The Legend of Luther Strode 6 (August 2013)

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The big finale is pretty much what I expected. It’s a setup for the next series; so if Jordan’s writing this series just as a lead-in… well, it shouldn’t have been six issues. It could have been three and been much, much better.

It’s another fight scene. Moore gets to do a mall fight, kind of Dawn of the Dead. It’s cool looking enough.

Jordan opens the issue trying to build up the characters. There’s more conversation from Luther Strode on the first two pages of this issue than in any of the previous ones. It’s too little, too late. Jordan’s managed to exhaust all his goodwill from the first series and start chopping away at the goodwill Moore is still garnering.

On the other hand, another sequel couldn’t have much to do with this series so Jordan might turn things around. Legend is nicely drawn and totally useless.

C 

CREDITS

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

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EGOs 1 (January 2014)

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I don’t know where to go on EGOs. On one hand, writer Stuart Moore does a great job with the sci-fi universe setup. Gus Storms’s art is kind of a friendly Prophet. It’s never gross, never too bloody.

But it’s not just a sci-fi story, it’s a superhero sci-fi story. It’s the Legion of Super-Heroes getting the “grown-up, grim and gritty” treatment. It’s goofy. Is it going to be goofy in a good way? It’s hard to say, as Moore did put in all that sci-fi setup work. It’s like he takes the science fiction future part of it far more seriously than the superhero stuff.

The characters seem like they could be good. The protagonists are a fighting married couple, retired superheroes with nothing else to do. And Moore doesn’t wink at them. It’s all straightforward and sincere.

I’m hopeful, but shouldn’t be.

B- 

CREDITS

Dead Worlds; writer, Stuart Moore; artist and colorist, Gus Storms; letterer, Rob Steen; editor, Marie Javins and Moore; publisher, Image Comics.

Batman 395 (May 1986)

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Moench tries for way too much this issue. First, he’s got a new villain for Batman to deal with, then he’s got Batman and Catwoman smooching at the Bat-signal. Robin’s jealous so he teams up with Harvey Bullock. So both teams are investigating, Robin’s being nasty to Catwoman, but then it all turns out it’s a Hitchcock homage with Vicki and Julia.

Any number of those items could fuel its own issue–or easily half issue–but Moench throws them all in here. Oh, I forgot his lame, film-quoting villain. Moench overstuffs the issue; it comes as a surprise even, which is a plus. At first, it seems like Julia and Vicki are around as filler for a scene, not the protagonists of the cliffhanger.

Another problem is Mandrake. He’s too loose this issue, his figures too exaggerated. Hurried might be all right, but the art seems rushed.

C+ 

CREDITS

The Film Freak; writer, Doug Moench; artist, Tom Mandrake; colorist, Adrienne Roy; letterers, John Workman and John Costanza; editor, Len Wein; publisher, DC Comics.

Hawkeye 16 (February 2014)

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Once again, why is Matt Fraction even writing Clint Barton issues of Hawkeye when he’s got the opportunity to write these Kate issues.

It’s a done-in-one, “Rockford” style detective issue. Kate comes across a guy walking down the freeway, discovers he’s got a story (sixties rock legend turned burnout) and tries to help him. Things do not go particularly well, but they go badly in very amusing ways. Plus, Kate develops as a character throughout, between her neighbors, the angry police chief and her supermarket P.I. mentor. It’s all so awesome, one would think Fraction wouldn’t want to write Clint anymore either.

I won’t even get into how movie-ready a nineteen year-old, female superhero would be for Disney.

Nice art from Annie Wu, who gets in some nice psychedelic poster art influences–doing a flashback with a guy’s face as the guide, for example.

Excellent stuff.

A- 

CREDITS

Recording Tape; writer, Matt Fraction; artist, Annie Wu; colorist, Matt Hollingsworth; letterer, Chris Eliopoulos; editors, Devin Lewis, Sana Amanat and Stephen Wacker; publisher, Marvel Comics.

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