Aquaman 1 (February 1986)

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Not much happens in Aquaman. Well, a lot happens but writer Neal Pozner doesn’t want to spend much time with it. Aquaman’s evil brother destroys his surface world home, but instead of there being a lot of disaster movie action, Aquaman ignores it. Mera gives him crap for it too, but he doesn’t care.

Pozner’s Aquaman is kind of a jerk. Or a dimwit. Maybe a little of both.

There’s also a huge revolt going on in Atlantis. They want of attack the surface world. Why? Because they’re isolationists and Aquaman tried to make them think globally. Not sure it’s worth the riot–Pozner’s attempts to show the protestors’ complaints are moronic. I never did figure out if the hair dryer line was serious or a joke.

Craig Hamilton has many, many problems on the art. His figures bend funny, amongst other things.

This issue’s got nothing going for it.

D 

CREDITS

Writer, Neal Pozner; penciller, Craig Hamilton; inker, Steve Montano; colorist, Joe Orlando; letterer, Bob Lappan; editors, Robert Greenberger, Pozner and Dick Giordano; publisher, DC Comics.

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Lois Lane 1 (April 2014)

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Pulitzer Prize-winning–not to mention gainfully employed–journalist Lois Lane thinks in hackneyed phrases like “a thief in the night.”

About the only nice thing to say about Lois Lane–her first comic to herself in almost twenty years–is I like how writer Marguerite Bennett keeps the misspelling thing from Superman: The Movie. Sure, it might be a DC New 52 editorial decision and it’s not like Bennett does it well–or gets why it worked in the movie–but whatever.

The art, from a litany of folks who I’m not taking the time to list, isn’t bad. It’s not good, but it’s decent enough DC house style. No crazy proportion problems. The monsters look cool.

The story has to do with Lois being a good sister to Lucy, who’s had a girlfriend for five years and hasn’t told her sister. They need help. Just like this comic.

D- 

CREDITS

Nostalgia; writer, Marguerite Bennett; pencillers, Ig Guara, Meghan Hetrick-Murante, Emanuela Lupacchino and Diogenes Neves; inkers, Marc Deering, Meghan Hetrick-Murante, Ruy Jose and Guillermo Ortego; colorist, Hi-Fi Colour Design; letterer, John J. Hill; editor, Rickey A. Purdin; publisher, DC Comics.

The Incredible Hulk 47 (January 2003)

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I don’t know how he did it. Jones made everything mysterious literal and still the comic works. It’s a great explanation, but his presentation–more talking heads, but this time during a road trip (with awkward pauses)–is what sells it. He’s got a frantic pace, with Bruce always in some kind of danger, and the exposition just makes it move quicker.

What Jones also does is reward the reader. He brings up all the big moments he’s been repeating, either in flashback and dream sequence, and he lets the reader figure it out. Or, more accurately, figure out how he told the story.

The art makes it all possible. Immonen and Koblish can switch genres immediately–there’s another great action sequence at the end of this issue–and the story needs it. Bruce Banner is never on firm ground and Jones doesn’t let the reader get comfortable either.

Awesome.

B+ 

CREDITS

Transfer of Power; writer, Bruce Jones; penciller, Stuart Immonen; inker, Scott Koblish; colorist, Studio F; letterers, Richard Starkings and Wes Abbott; editors, John Miesegaes, Warren Simons and Axel Alonso; publisher, Marvel Comics.

Tomb Raider 1 (February 2014)

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Thank goodness Gail Simone has Lara Croft say “mates” and use kilometers instead of miles. Wouldn’t want to forget she’s British. Or something. Those little details, along with the forced exposition, drag the reader out of what’s already a chore.

Why would Dark Horse bother licensing Tomb Raider if they were just going to give it to artists who can’t draw action? The inks don’t seem to do much, they certainly don’t lend any motion to Nicolás Daniel Selma’s lead-footed pencils. There are motion lines. Maybe inker Juan Gedeon added them, thinking they were enough. They aren’t.

Having never played the game, I’m not sure if Simone’s script is meant to appeal to fans or to general readers. If it’s the latter, the comic’s in real trouble. There’s only one scene where the character shows any natural personality and it’s forced (she’s encountering sexism).

At least it reads fast.

F 

CREDITS

Season of the Witch; writer, Gail Simone; penciller, Nicolás Daniel Selma; inker, Juan Gedeon; colorist, Michael Atiyeh; letterer, Michael Heisler; editors, Shantel LaRocque, Ian Tucker, Aaron Walker and Dave Marshall; publisher, Dark Horse Comics.

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