Miracleman 10 (December 1986)

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John Ridgway returns to ink Veitch and it works out nicely. Veitch has fine composition, with the Ridgway inks the panels all have a lot of personality. I love how Mike looks so ancient and tired.

Most of the issue is spent with two aliens who have come to Earth to check on the miracle-people. Turns out there are more of them than Moore previously revealed (at least one more) and the aliens use the alternate universe in a similar way.

The stuff with the baby, while beautifully rendered, gets a little tiresome. Moore amps up the pressure on the characters only to immediately release it when a scene is winding up. The baby’s also not visually around a lot and sometimes when Liz and Mike talk about her, it sounds like there’s a monster in the crib.

Moore uses some lovely storytelling devices here too. Really lovely ones.

B 

CREDITS

Mindgames; writer, Alan Moore; penciller, Rick Veitch; inker, John Ridgway; colorist, Ron Courtney; letterer, Wayne Truman; editor, Cat Yronwode; publisher, Eclipse.

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Tom Strong and the Planet of Peril 6 (February 2014)

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Hogan’s a show-off. He’s great, he does a great job here, but he’s a show-off. After a very tense opening, things gradually calm down and resolve. Sprouse and Story mostly do talking heads for the first third of the comic.

Then comes this sequence with a presidential voiceover. At first it seems tedious–like Hogan’s trying to go for something obvious… but he’s not. It’s sincere and he sells it. Awesome sequence.

Then there are two or three more such sequences–none of these as great as that first one but featuring some excellent art throughout. Finally, after Hogan’s got his reader emotionally enthused, the kicker with Tom and his family’s resolution.

Here’s a comic about a guy flying across the galaxy to a duplicate Earth while accompanied by his fire-man son-in-law and it’s about the family. Hogan, Sprouse and Story do a wonderful job.

A 

CREDITS

The Bells; writer, Peter Hogan; penciller, Chris Sprouse; inker, Karl Story; colorist, Jordie Bellaire; letterer, Todd Klein; editors, Jessica Chen, Kristy Quinn, Ben Abernathy and Shelly Bond; publisher, Vertigo.

Detective Comics 554 (September 1985)

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Janson art again. It’s just phenomenal. He’s even figured out he doesn’t like doing splash panels with bland superhero poses so instead he’s doing complex panels indicating lots of movement. The way Janson draws Robin beats how he draws Batman; he’s very enthusiastic about all the movement.

The feature story is actually rather confusing. Not throughout, when Batman, Robin and Harvey Bullock are trying to get on an ocean liner to save hostages, but when Moench gets to revealing why the hostage takers are in town. I had to read like maybe three times and I’m still not sure I’ve got it right.

But with the art–and the banter between Robin and Bullock–who cares. It’s a fine outing.

And then, in Green Arrow, Black Canary gets a new eighties costume and the Canary Cry. It’s not a great story, but the artwork’s excellent and it amuses well enough.

B- 

CREDITS

Port Passed; writer, Doug Moench; artist, Klaus Janson; letterer, Todd Klein. Green Arrow, Crazy from the Heat II: The Past is Prologue; writer, Joey Cavalieri; penciller, Jerome Moore; inker, Bruce D. Patterson; colorist, Shelley Eiber; letterer, Bob Lappan. Editor, Len Wein; publisher, DC Comics.

Juice Squeezers 1 (January 2014)

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Cute David Lapham. Who knew.

For what he doesn’t do originally in Juice Squeezers–and a lot is original, he just has problems with the teenage banter scenes–he mimics. What does he mimic? Love and Rockets. And Lapham does handle the whole teenage romantic comedy angst thing well himself.

The setup’s mind-boggling. Teenagers who hunt down the giant insects plaguing a rural California valley. So it’s a fifties sci-fi movie mixed with Tremors, only too young for the drive-in crowd. Wait a second… Squeezers might even be targeted for young teens. David Lapham doing a comic for twelve year-olds. Man’s got to eat.

There’s a lot of fun, a lot of good characterizations. He never draws the bugs too gross (or even too dangerous) and he generates a very positive vibe. There’s a nice mix of light and dark visuals too. It’s a good comic.

B 

CREDITS

The Great Bug Elevator, Part One: Welcome to the Neighborhood; writer and artist, David Lapham; colorist, Lee Loughridge; letterer, Nate Piekos; editor, Jim Gibbons; publisher, Dark Horse Comics.

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