The Boys 71 (October 2012)

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For the last regular issue–there’s one more, but this one ends the plot line of the the final arc at least–Ennis does rather well. He doesn’t recover the series, however. He turns in almost a standalone. One wouldn’t have to read the previous thirty or forty issues to still get a good experience.

One definitely wouldn’t have to read all the ancillary series, even though Ennis directly refers to many of them.

It’s a talking heads issue, a return to the good old days of Hughie and Butcher shooting the shit. And this time, Braun does really well with the scenery.

Unfortunately, a lot of the dialogue has to do with the silly stuff Ennis was done with The Boys. It reminds the reader the characters were deeper without Ennis trying too hard than when he pushes too hard.

It doesn’t right the course, but it’s definitely good.

CREDITS

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

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Robocop: Last Stand 5 (December 2013)

Robocop 05 rev

Wow, what a downer issue.

In a lot of ways, it seems like a rejection of the reader’s expectations, which Grant had only recently raised–and only if the reader is familiar with Robocop 3. But this issue? This issue reaffirms the reader has no idea what’s going on.

Unfortunately it does feel rushed. Some of the rushing is for effect–bluntly and quickly presenting plot twists gives the issue a sense of urgency–but Öztekin’s art also suffers. The art’s still awesome, he just doesn’t get to do as many awesome action sequences. The action here is, like I said, rushed.

The narrative also suffers. Grant relies on one or two panel updates–not even the traditional Robocop news updates–to show big changes going on.

It’s a bridging issue. The twists get Grant some more good will–but the comic’s readable no matter what thanks to the art.

CREDITS

Writer, Steven Grant; artist, Korkut Öztekin; colorist, Michael Garland; letterer, Ryan Ferrier; editors, Alex Galer and Ian Brill; publisher, Boom! Studios.

Detective Comics 545 (December 1984)

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This issue has some beautiful art from Gene Colan and Bob Smith in the feature and then Shawn McManus in the backup, but it’s a disaster otherwise.

Moench spends most of the feature with his really lame character, the Night-slayer. Basically the guy’s just a standard acrobatic, costumed villain who carried on with Nocturna (his step-sister) and he’s injured and a blind girl takes care of him.

Does it seem like Bride of Frankenstein a little? Yes, it really does. See, better, the blind girl thinks he’s Batman.

As for Batman, he doesn’t get much of a story. Moench wastes over half the issue on Night-slayer and then ends it abruptly.

Just as abruptly as Cavalieri ends the Green Arrow backup, with someone finding out Ollie’s secret identity.

There’s not enough pages in either story for a satisfactory narrative; the wonderful art makes up for it… somewhat.

CREDITS

By Darkness Masked; writer, Doug Moench; penciller, Gene Colan; inker, Bob Smith; colorist, Adrienne Roy; letterer, Ben Oda. Green Arrow, It’s No Fair II: Fair Raid; writer, Joey Cavalieri; artist, Shawn McManus; colorist, Jeanine Casey; letterer, Adam Kubert. Editor, Len Wein; publisher, DC Comics.

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