Nathaniel Dusk 1 (February 1984)

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There are no inks on Gene Colan’s pencils in Nathaniel Dusk. It’s pencils and color. To. Ziuko uses really bright colors too, often it’ll just be a single color across objects. Colan’s not too concerned about universal detail.

Don McGregor is clearly a fan of detective novels. He puts a lot of time into the lead’s first person narrative. Probably too much work, since some conversations get cramped, but McGregor is definitely committed. He’s doing a grownup comic for a mainstream publisher in the eighties. It’s a crazy thing.

But it’s also a totally mediocre thing. Besides Dusk’s girlfriend having a couple kids while still being a femme fatale, there’s nothing to the story. There’s great mood and a lot of nice details, but the story just drags.

There are some great period set pieces and McGregor and Colan certainly get a bunch of credit, but who knows what’s next.

B 

CREDITS

Lovers Die at Dusk, Part One; writer, Don McGregor; artist, Gene Colan; colorist, Tom Ziuko; letterer, John Costanza; editor, Alan Gold; publisher, DC Comics.

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Batman 400 (October 1986)

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I hate this comic. I hate how DC used it, I hate how Moench writes it, even if it was an editorial decision.

There are nods to Moench’s run, but only so far as he gets to give each of his characters a page to sort of say goodbye. There’s no closure on any of the story lines, not a single one.

There’s also a lot of crappy art. It’s an anniversary issue with a lot of big names drawing either poorly or against their style. Rick Leonardi and Arthur Adams are some of the worst offenders, but not even Brian Bolland does particularly well. Ken Steacy is the only decent one.

Moench’s writing for a different audience than usual, the casual Batman reader, not the regular. Apparently he thinks the casual readers like endless exposition and incredible stupidity. It’s a distressing, long read; a terrible capstone to Moench’s run.

D- 

CREDITS

Resurrection Night!; writer, Doug Moench; pencillers, John Byrne, Steve Lightle, George Perez, Paris Cullins, Bill Sienkiewicz, Art Adams, Tom Sutton, Steve Leialoha, Joe Kubert, Ken Steacy, Rick Leonardi and Brian Bolland; inkers, Byrne, Bruce Patterson, Perez, Larry Mahlstedt, Sienkiewicz, Terry Austin, Ricardo Villagran, Leialoha, Kubert, Steacy, Karl Kesel and Bolland; colorist, Adrienne Roy; letterers, John Costanza and Andy Kubert; editor, Len Wein; publisher, DC Comics.

Robocop: To Live and Die in Detroit 1 (February 2014)

Robocop

Again, not having seen the new Robocop movie, it’s hard to say who’s responsible for the nonsense of To Live and Die in Detroit. It could be writer Joe Harris. He certainly does write some terrible exposition about the Motor City and juxtaposes it against the lame action and activities of Robocop. Robocop, it turns out, is an asshat by the way. But did the editors make him an asshat or did the liaison at the license holder?

The art isn’t too bad. Piotr Kowalski does all right, actually. The sleek image of Robocop is boring, but the rest of the action’s decent. Shame about all Harris’s exposition. It’s nauseatingly obvious and incredibly lame. Unless some Detroit politician wants to give out the comic at a campaign rally.

But not with the resolution. The resolution is pure crap. Whoever came up with it should be ashamed of him or herself.

F 

CREDITS

Writer, Joe Harris; artist, Piotr Kowalski; colorist, Vladimir Popov; letterer, Ed Dukeshire; editors, Alex Galer, Ian Brill and Eric Harburn; publisher, Boom! Studios.

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