The Boys 69 (August 2012)

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I’d say another problem with Ennis’s big twist is how many twists does he really need for this comic book. He’s about to hit seventy issues–I’m not going to do the math, but his readers have dropped north of two hundred bucks on this series (especially since it’s so heavy on continuity–no jumping on late)… Isn’t that investment worth something from the writer besides three or four twists in the grand finale?

Especially when the twists don’t amount to anything. Ennis is at least playing this “big” twist out through the finale arc. The last big twist got resolved in an issue or two.

Worse yet, he doesn’t seem to know how to write his villain. He turns him into a Bond villain and not a very good one.

It’s like he never wanted anyone to read this series a second time through. It’s a perplexing cop out.

CREDITS

The Bloody Doors Off, Part Four; writer, Garth Ennis; artist, Russ Braun; colorist, Tony AviƱa; letterer, Simon Bowland; editor, Joseph Rybandt; publisher, Dynamite Entertainment.

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Afterlife with Archie 2 (January 2014)

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The craziest part of Afterlife with Archie isn’t the idea of “Archie with zombies” but how Aguirre-Sacasa’s writing makes me wonder if I shouldn’t be reading Archie on a regular basis. He does a fantastic job with the characters when they’re dealing with the non-zombie related scenes.

Aguirre-Sacasa tells the issue in flashback–with a couple interludes (and what’s up with the weird brother and sister from college… are they in the regular comics); Veronica is telling her father the story of the dance. The recent past tense thing works for the story, particularly because Aguirre-Sacasa gets how to insert Veronica’s panic into her recounting.

And then there’s the Francavilla artwork. He’d do an amazing regular Archie comic too; the way he toggles between horror and teen drama is wonderful.

Even just engaging with the characters as icons, there’s still a lot of tension. Afterlife’s awesome.

CREDITS

Escape from Riverdale, Chapter Two: Dance of the Dead; writer, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa; artist and colorist, Francesco Francavilla; letterer, Jack Morelli; editors, Victor Gorelick, Carly Inglis and Paul Kaminski; publisher, Archie Comics.

Detective Comics 544 (November 1984)

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What an issue. How to even start. Okay, so Moench is having so much trouble figuring out why Bruce Wayne wants to adopt Jason Todd, he actually has a scene where Nocturna “tempts” him with the promise of a ready-made family.

They’ll get married, adopt Jason, be Batman and family. It’s inexplicable stuff, with Moench going full steam trying to make the characters act sensibly… only there’s no sense to it.

The Nocturna art–Alcala inking Colan–is wondrous. The rest of the issue, mostly Batman trailing a thug, is nowhere near as impressive.

There’s also some stuff with Jason himself, but it’s not memorable. This adoption plot line is a complete misfire. Moench can’t even give Batman and Nocturna chemistry, mostly because she talks like such an insane flake.

As for Green Arrow? McManus’s art is still fantastic. It’s actually not particularly intelligible, but it’s definitely great looking.

CREDITS

Deceit in Dark Secrets; writer, Doug Moench; penciller, Gene Colan; inker, Alfredo Alcala; colorist, Adrienne Roy. Green Arrow, It’s No Fair II: Fair from the Madding Crowd; writer, Joey Cavalieri; artist, Shawn McManus; colorist, Jeanine Casey. Letterer, Todd Klein; editor, Len Wein; publisher, DC Comics.

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