Miracleman 2 (October 1985)

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And here’s a great cliffhanger. Again, Moore’s not plotting these stories for a full issue, but it shakes out very nicely this issue.

Miracleman is an odd comic. Moore runs headstrong into the relationship problems between Mike and Liz, he deals with Mike’s strange duality with Miracleman–the way Mike’s able to talk about Miracleman’s rather purple narration is fantastic. Moore presents the tropes of superhero comic books and then integrate a discussion of them into the comic.

There’s also the villain this issue. I can’t remember his name, but he’s a big black guy with funny sapphire teeth–Evelyn Cream (thanks, Internet). Leave it to Moore to make a bad Bond henchman into a great comic book villain.

There’s a lot in each story, the composition, the newly fertile relationship between Mike and the world… it’s a crazy good comic. And these were just shorts when originally published; incredible.

A 

CREDITS

When Gods Cry War…; writer, Alan Moore; artists, Garry Leach and Alan Davis; colorist, Ron Courtney; letterer, G. George; editors, Dez Skinn and Cartherine Yronwode; publisher, Eclipse.

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Manifest Destiny 2 (December 2013)

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It’s a mix of an action issue and a (fake) science issue. Lewis and Clark try to figure out the creature they’ve discovered–with some great notes about its physiology–before the buildup to the action sequence begins.

And I’ve got to get it out of the way–the cliffhanger, which hinges entirely on the zombie zeitgeist and the reader’s familiarity with it, works. It’s incredibly creepy thanks to Roberts’s art. I’m sure Dingess will have a good explanation for it–he sort of hints at one earlier in the issue–but the cliffhanger’s effective. Even if it’s a zombie.

The issue’s just all around good. Roberts handles the panicked conversation scenes as well as he does the chase through the forest. He and Dingess aren’t playing with a familiar drama; the Lewis and Clark era of American exploration only gets play every fifteen years or so.

Destiny’s working well.

CREDITS

Writer, Chris Dingess; artist, Matthew Roberts; colorist, Owen Gieni; letterer, Pat Brosseau; editor, Sean Mackiewicz; publisher, Image Comics.

Batman 382 (April 1985)

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Editor Len Wein really should have sent this one back to the oven. First off, there’s the art from Rick Hoberg and Rudy Nebres. It’s awful. The figures are too static, the settings are too slight. Especially given Moench does a whole hostage airplane storyline–the art fails it every step of the way.

Except when Julia and Vicki stand around looking dumbfounded. Those panels are kind of funny.

Then there’s Moench. Moench tries to do a Batman and Catwoman star-crossed lovers story and he fails miserably. The dialogue’s stilted and rushed, the characters don’t act with any decent motivation. When he gets to the ending, which the artists screw up too, it’s hard not to roll one’s eyes. He goes for a big revelation about the relationship but he had a more honest moment in a brief comment from Gordon.

Not a good comic book, not at all.

D- 

CREDITS

The Vengeance Spiral; writer, Doug Moench; penciller, Rick Hoberg; inker, Rudy Nebres; colorist, Adrienne Roy; letterer, Ben Oda; editor, Len Wein; publisher, DC Comics.

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