Detectives Inc. 2 (April 1985)

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I love this comic. McGregor throws a whole lot of story at Rogers–I don’t think I’ve ever read another comic with one or two page “chapters” where there’s so much content. Rogers is probably fitting two to four pages of content onto each page. It’s amazing stuff, especially given Rogers also has a lot of design going on. And the dialogue; Detectives Inc. is a talking heads book where the people move around a lot.

But what’s so good about the issue is McGregor’s determination. He loses track of Denning, who actually does the investigating, and concentrates on Rainier, whose self-examination following hostility towards their lesbian client brings him to a new place.

McGregor only hints at all the factors at play–basic machismo, post-divorce wounding, being a vet–yet the subtlety all works. The mystery resolution’s somewhat anti-climatic, but who cares… McGregor and Rogers rock.

A- 

CREDITS

A Hostile Poolside Universe; writer, Don McGregor; artist, Marshall Rogers; colorist, Tim Smith; letterer, Tom Orzechowski; editor, Tom Orzechowski; publisher, Eclipse Comics.

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Lazarus 6 (February 2014)

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Reading this issue of Lazarus, I was having a hard time reconciling it with the way the comic used to read. It’s become one I look forward to reading (not just seeing the Lark art) and I think I figured out what Rucka’s doing differently.

First, he’s turned Forever into a somewhat unreliable protagonist. The reader gets to see her reactions to certain things and assume her emotions, but Rucka is deftly suggesting not. The reader doesn’t know what Forever’s doing because she’s not that kind of protagonist.

Second, he’s splitting the story between the big power people and the little people. Even if the little people are scummy security guards. Rucka’s mixed the pot a little–there’s a cast of interesting people.

Maybe third, maybe more part two point one, is how Rucka’s opening up the space. He’s giving Lark much more to draw.

It’s becoming a solid read.

B+ 

CREDITS

Lift, Part Two; writer, Greg Rucka; artists and letterers, Michael Lark and Brian Level; colorist, Santiago Arcas; editor, David Brothers; publisher, Image Comics.

Batman 398 (August 1986)

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Moench finally starts dealing with some things this issue–Jason finally stops being such a little turd and Catwoman finally stops letting Batman treat her like half a partner. There’s a big showdown between Batman and Catwoman; what’s unspoken is how Bruce Wayne figures in. Batman gets to know Selina’s life, she doesn’t get to know (or share) his. It’s a good scene.

The Two-Face story comes to an end with an intricate plan from Batman to capture Harvey. Except, in this plan, there’s very little interaction between them during the majority of the issue. They have a showdown. Until then, it’s sort of goofy because Batman and Catwoman are following him through Gotham on motorcycles. Mandrake draws Batman’s figure odd, so it reminds a little too much of the TV show.

Speaking of Mandrake, some of his figures are really rough, but his Catwoman pages are absolutely phenomenal.

B 

CREDITS

About Faces!; writer, Doug Moench; artist, Tom Mandrake; colorist, Adrienne Roy; letterer, John Costanza; editor, Len Wein; publisher, DC Comics.

Bloodhound: Crowbar Medicine 4 (February 2014)

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Here’s what the problem is with the art on Crowbar Medicine–I remember the original series’s art. Bloodhound isn’t an easy book to forget. It was a crazy attempt from DC and it had amazing art. It’s like if you had Hulk Hogan as an emotionally complex ass-kicker. How do you forget a book like that one?

So Kirk and Riggs aren’t as good as they were. There are some great details though still–Clev’s scar has always been memorable. And they’re still really good at action scenes. There’s a big supervillain fight at the end of the issue. Very cool.

As for Jolley… what’s there to say? He knocks it out of the park. He has a fast issue–Saffron comforting Clev and Clev talking her into going after the bad guys. Some brainstorming (still same setting, I think). Then action and cliffhanger.

It’s a fabulous comic book.

A- 

CREDITS

Writer, Dan Jolley; penciller, Leonard Kirk; inker, Robin Riggs; colorist, Moose Baumann; letterer, Rob Leigh; editors, Ian Tucker and Brendan Wright; publisher, Dark Horse Comics.

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