The Legend of Luther Strode 4 (March 2013)

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Jordan is just getting worse. He’s still not doing a bad job, he’s probably even on the positive side of mediocre, but he’s getting worse. There’s less and less actual content as the series progresses. There’s no story, just a series of awesome action set pieces from Moore.

And the fight scene is great. The bandaged villain guy is a good opponent for Luther. Jordan doesn’t write their fight banter particularly well–he’s trying to get in way too much exposition–but the character concept is strong. Moore does well with all the energy of an absurdly long limbed supervillain.

About the only character who gets any attention is Petra. Jordan has her running around, meeting up with various players. He doesn’t cliffhang on her again, which is a welcome change. Unfortunately, the cliffhanger he does pick isn’t much better.

The series continues to be entirely decent but completely pointless.

C+ 

CREDITS

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

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Ghost 1 (December 2013)

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Ghost is a fairly amusing read with great Ryan Sook art. Or maybe Ghost is an excellent read from Kelly Sue DeConnick and Chris Sebela with decent art. It changes from page to page. DeConnick writes well but doesn’t have a good plot. She does wonders with the characters.

Sook is responsible for taking that okay but bland script and making it bold. He does. It’s pulpy, it’s noir, it’s very visually Chicago–Sook isn’t lazy at all. Oh, and there are demons. But I don’t remember anything except the scenery, maybe some of the noir angles, and neither memorable moment seems enough. Because the art is kind of bland too.

Sook doesn’t go crazy, DeConnick doesn’t go crazy. Ghost would be the perfect comic to pick up from time to time without hunting it down–there’s nothing compelling. The writers don’t conceive a protagonist so much as a subject.

B 

CREDITS

Writer, Kelly Sue DeConnick and Chris Sebela; artist, Ryan Sook; colorist, Dave McCaig; letterer, Richard Starkings; editors, Everett Patterson and Patrick Thorpe; publisher, Dark Horse Comics.

Detective Comics 560 (March 1986)

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This issue has Batman tricking Robin and Catwoman into teaming up. They aren’t getting along–all because of Jason–so Batman has to set a trap for them. Moench tells the story from the perspective of a spider in the Batcave.

It’s sort of nutty. But it’s also kind of great. Robin refers to Nocturna as “his mother of the night” or something silly–like he’s a goth or something. Robin as a goth. It’d be awesome. No, Moench doesn’t go there but he does try to do something really difficult. He tries to look at Jason’s grief. That alone gets the issue respect.

The art is good. Colan and Smith have a great time with Selina and Bullock as far as detail. And there’s a quick Batman origin recap. It’s nice looking.

The Green Arrow backup has great art, strange story. Not bad (yet) but very gimmicky and strange.

B+ 

CREDITS

The Batman Nobody Knows; writer, Doug Moench; penciller, Gene Colan; inker, Bob Smith; colorist, Adrienne Roy; letterer, John Workman. Green Arrow, …Me a Bad Guy…?; writer, Joey Cavalieri; penciller, Jerome Moore; inker, Dell Barras; colorist, Jeanine Casey; letterer, Bob Lappan. Editor, Len Wein; publisher, DC Comics.

Prophet 42 (January 2014)

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Wow. Usually the backups are decent, but this issue’s effort from Polly Guo is so great, I’m talking about it first. Just a superb, funny high school story. Truly excellent stuff.

Now on to the feature. Ron Wimberley does a Diehard flashback. No complaints as it’s a great story, but why is it always Diehard? Why doesn’t anyone else get a story? But he’s telling it Rein-East, which is super cute.

Anyway, the story has Diehard on this planet with a tribal civilization. He’s trying to fit in, going on a vision quest. Only it’s Diehard so his inorganic physiology screws it all up. Even though Wimbeley never outright says it, he makes it clear Diehard is sad in his condition as an immortal android.

Robot. I can’t remember. Doesn’t matter for the story.

The art’s good, full of Prophet energy and wit. Wimberley and Guo do fantastic work.

A 

CREDITS

Writers, Ron Wimberley and Brandon Graham; artists, Wimberley and Giannis Milonogiannis; colorists, Wimberley and Joseph Bergin III; letterer, Ed Brisson. Frog and Fly; writer and artist, Polly Guo. Publisher, Image Comics.

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