The Legend of Luther Strode 2 (January 2013)

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It’s another action and violence issue. Since Moore has such a good time with the violence, the issue’s definitely entertaining. And Jordan doesn’t spend a lot of time with the crime boss. Luther does get a lot of page time.

He just doesn’t get to say anything. The girl, Petra, she gets a lot of lines and is actually the issue’s protagonist. Based on the cliffhanger, however, it appears Jordan is about ready to hand over the series to Luther. For those counting, that handover will be on issue three. While Luther’s name is in the title, Jordan’s plot is so contrived he can’t figure out how to get his titular character in the driver’s seat until the third issue….

Hopefully. It could all be about the villain again.

The comic’s good, it’s just uninspired. Apparently indie comic creators can do cash grabs too. No one is immune from it.

B 

CREDITS

Writer, Justin Jordan; artist, Tradd Moore; colorist, Felipe Sobreiro; letterer, Fonografiks; publisher, Image Comics.

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The Saviors 1 (December 2013)

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Weird. Weird is a good word for the first issue of The Saviors.

The J. Bone art–black and white–is good. It’s simultaneously energetic and pensive. He’s drawing the word from the perspective of the perpetually stoned protagonist, Tomas, so there’s got to be a balance. Bone finds it.

The story apparently has to do with a stoner discovering evil monsters are impersonating people on Earth in positions of power. Writer James Robinson never gets to that revelation. He establishes Tomas through a stoned monologue (to a lizard) and then gets going on an action roller coaster. The action is better than the setup.

The book has its problems, of course. Foremost has to be the blandness of Tomas as a lead. He’s the stoner from high school grown up, with Robinson silently judging him. It would’ve been more interesting for Robinson to lionize the stoner.

It’s decent though.

B 

CREDITS

Writer, James Robinson; artist and letterer, J. Bone; publisher, Image Comics.

Batman 393 (March 1986)

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Some lucky person out there, hopefully, has the original pages to this issue. Paul Gulacy guests and he does amazing work. There’s a lot of design influences, but all of them work. Well, sort of. They’re great, but they lead to the dialogue filling most of them. Moench writes a wordy script this issue and there’s not the right space for the words.

Batman is doing a mission for the CIA–again no Jason appearance–and he basically plays James Bond. He even hooks up with a female KGB agent. They have some good banter, but there’s way too much exposition. Even without Gulacy’s grand composition, Moench’s script has enough story for two issues.

The story is regularly silly, but the art makes everything a wonder; Gulacy delivers a gorgeous comic book.

The issue is also the first in Moench’s run so far not to continue over in Detective Comics.

B+ 

CREDITS

The Dark Rider; writer, Doug Moench; artist, Paul Gulacy; colorist, Adrienne Roy; letterer, John Costanza; editor, Len Wein; publisher, DC Comics.

Clown Fatale 3 (January 2014)

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Gischler doesn’t appear to be writing for a sequel series, which is both good and bad. Good because he’s taking this series on its own, bad because Clown Fatale is so much fun.

It’s bloody and hard too. Gischler is apparently out to shock the reader into detachment, then bring him or her back in with some great character moments. The ninja girl seducing the dimwit carny is awesome; especially since Rosenzweig bakes in the sight gags so well.

The issue does open with a strange flashback to a crime boss meeting. It’s strange because–while it does have to do with the story–it doesn’t matter enough to spend pages on it. Maybe for next issue?

There’s a good cliffhanger, there’s good character stuff, Fatale is just a good comic. Gischler really knows how to hang onto what’s funny while still edgy. The comic is always fresh, always surprising.

B 

CREDITS

Writer, Victor Gischler; penciller, Maurizio Rosenzweig; inker and colorist, Moreno Dinisio; letterer, Nate Piekos; editors, Shantel LaRocque and Daniel Chabon; publisher, Dark Horse Comics.

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