Detectives Inc.: A Terror of Dying Dreams 2 (September 1987)

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The fight scene is painful. It goes on for three or four pages–at least, two, anyway–and is impossible to comprehend thanks to Colan only doing pencils. It’s like a sketch of a fight scene, not an actual realized sequence.

There’s some good art, of course. Colan isn’t going to do a comic without some good art in it. Most of the good art is for the establishing pages at the beginning of each chapter–there are three or four this issue. More than two. Colan takes his time with the scenery. His pencils are less rough too. There are definite lines.

As for the story, again the best part is when Denning is off on his date. It’s a very awkward romantic sequence, not too graphic, but trying very hard to be suggestive. McGregor’s writing an honest scene though. The rest of the issue feels perfunctory in comparison.

C 

CREDITS

Knishes and Boardwalk Surveillance; writer, Don McGregor; artist, Gene Colan; letterer, Mindy Eisman; editor, Catherine Yronwode; publisher, Eclipse Comics.

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Brother Lono 8 (April 2014)

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As finishes go, Lono doesn’t have a bad one. It’s not great. It’s good enough. Azzarello seems to be showing a lot of restraint, like he didn’t want to do too for a finish. Like he didn’t want turn make Lono into too much of an action hero.

Instead, Azzarello focuses on the bad guy. He’s comical at this point, just because no one’s scared of him anymore and he’s got the whole twin aquarium thing going on. It’s humor. Very, very black humor, but still humor.

But the story isn’t a humorous one. The stuff with the priest and the nun isn’t funny at all. The issue doesn’t have a tone. Azzarello doesn’t commit to any of the ones he toys with.

It’s a shame Azzarello couldn’t maintain the level of intricate plotting he had at the beginning of the series. Like I said, though, the issue’s not bad.

B 

CREDITS

¬°El Perro Loco!; writer, Brian Azzarello; artist, Eduardo Risso; colorist, Trish Mulvihill; letterer, Clem Robins; editors, Gregory Lockard and Will Dennis; publisher, Vertigo.

The Incredible Hulk 45 (November 2002)

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About ninety percent of this issue is good. Jones should have spread it out over two parts–Bruce gets hit by a car (but doesn’t Hulk out?) and the lady who hit him takes him in and nurses him back to health. It opens with a text recap reminiscent of the TV show, which is awesome.

Juxtaposed against Bruce’s recovery–he’s really loopy, lots of strange dreams, which Immonen and inker Scott Koblish do well with–is someone crossing the country, encountering various unfortunate people. Sadly, Jones has a reveal at the end and it’s lackluster to say the least.

The confused Bruce thing is fantastic stuff. The lead-up to it is moody and effective. It feels perfect–rainy streets, Bruce Banner all alone with a strange alluring guest star… why Jones has to ruin it with a scene out of The Terminator, I don’t know.

The rest’s awesome.

B 

CREDITS

Remember Me Never; writer, Bruce Jones; penciller, Stuart Immonen; inker, Scott Koblish; colorist, Studio F; letterers, Richard Starkings and Wes Abbott; editors, John Miesegaes and Axel Alonso; publisher, Marvel Comics.

Empire of the Dead 2 (April 2014)

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Maleev has some awesome panels this issue. He could be better on some of it–there are some arena scenes (zombie versus zombie for the people’s pleasure) and Maleev doesn’t do establishing shots well enough, but he does quite well on the vampire stuff. The vampire stuff is the strangest thing in Empire, probably because it works so well.

Romero started out with human characters–they’re back this issue, with the doctor getting a smart zombie to study. They’re not the protagonists though, there’s a hand-off where the vampires get to run the issue. Romero does a great job establishing their quarrels and such. He also opens up the idea Empire could go anywhere.

As long as there are vampires and zombies. So maybe not anywhere.

The dialogue’s good, the scenes are funny; Romero’s got the comic running smoothly only two issues in, but doesn’t go overboard raising expectations.

B 

CREDITS

Writer, George A. Romero; artist, Alex Maleev; colorist, Matt Hollingsworth; letterer, Cory Petit; editors, Jake Thomas and Bill Rosemann; publisher, Marvel Comics.

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