The Punisher 11 (February 2001)

The Punisher #11

Ennis continues with the goofy issues. The dialogue out of this one is hideous. Ennis is going for cheap one liners. It’s awful.

But, hey, the detectives might have something to do next issue. Maybe for a minute or two. Though Ennis could have given them something to do this issue; instead he reminds the reader of their presence, which he’s been doing for the last few issues. Promising they’ll eventually pay off.

Kind of like the other idiot vigilantes. It’s not good comic relief or anything else at this point. Ennis tries to rationalize the absurd way too much in this comic. He goes for humor in those rationalizations and it gets old fast.

The supporting cast all get their page time this issue and Ennis continues to protect them.
Like everything else, Ennis has no idea what to do with them but at least they are likable characters.

C 

CREDITS

Any Which Way You Can; writer, Garth Ennis; penciller, Steve Dillon; inker, Jimmy Palmiotti; colorist, Chris Sotomayor; letterers, Richard Starkings and Wes Abbott; editors, Kelly Lamy, Stuart Moore and Nanci Dakesian; publisher, Marvel Comics.

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Ms. Marvel 4 (July 2014)

Ms. Marvel #4

Well, this issue definitely delineates Wilson’s strengths when it comes to writing scenes. The opening where Kamala reveals her secret identity to Bruno is a fantastic, long scene. Wilson gets to do all the “I’m a superhero now” exposition and brainstorming about a costume amidst a sincere scene between two friends.

Then there’s a comic ending to the whole thing when the cops show up.

And the scenes with Kamala’s mom are good, even though it ends way too quick because Wilson has to move things along to the big action scene. The big action scene is where there are problems.

Ms. Marvel fights little evil robots in a crappy beach house while trying to save a high school classmate. Why are their evil robots? Who cares, it’s a terrible idea. Wilson’s clearly having a problem finding her awesome protagonist superhero adventures.

There’s a disconnect and the heroics feel forced.

B 

CREDITS

Past Curfew; writer, G. Willow Wilson; artist, Adrian Alphona; colorist, Ian Henning; letterer, Joe Caramagna; editors, Devin Lewis and Sana Amanat; publisher, Marvel Comics.

Stray Bullets 35 (October 2004)

Stray Bullets #35

Lapham is really enjoying his high school arc. It’s not as violent anymore because of Virginia getting the cops involved with the brawl. Or so Leon, who’s around to explain everything to Virginia because she’s become a caricature, says.

Leon and Virginia sit around and comment on the events in the issue, a jock-related love triangle. Because everyone reading Stray Bullets wants to read a misanthropic, X-rated version of “Friday Night Lights.” It should be better, for Lapham to take the traditional lionizing of high school athletes and show the realistic side of it but… it’s not. It’s terrible. It’s a dumb idea for a story and Lapham is incompetent at executing it.

From the first couple pages, I could tell he was slacking on the art and I kept hoping he wouldn’t slack on the writing too. I kept waiting for a point. There isn’t any point.

D- 

CREDITS

Bamboozled; writer, artist, and letterer, David Lapham; editors, Renee Miller and Maria Lapham; publisher, El Capitán Books.

Rover Red Charlie 6 (May 2014)

Rover Red Charlie #6

Garth Ennis just made me cry.

Jerk.

I’m not sure Red Rover Charlie has the most honest finish, but it has the finish the series needs. Ennis manages to reward the reader–which he definitely should, given the four dollar price tag per issue–and he does it with breaks. There are a whole lot of endings in this issue and Ennis keeps doing them through the rewarding ones to the somewhat profound ones.

There are actually quite a few profound moments in the comic, both about animals, humans, the idea of pets and then the idea of nature itself. It’s actually a rather lovely comic.

All the sentiments are difficult to balance out and it might be where Ennis has the most success. He’s very sure of himself and willing to risk going too far to make it work.

Some very nice art from DiPascale too.

Charlie’s an unexpectedly great series.

A 

CREDITS

The Angel With His Darker Draught; writer, Garth Ennis; artist and colorist, Michael DiPascale; letterer, Kurt Hathaway; publisher, Avatar Press.

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