Star Trek 11 (February 1981)

Star Trek #11

This issue’s art, from Joe Brozowski and Tom Palmer, is better than the usual for the comic. A lot of emphasis on the faces, lots of photo reference, but also a decent level of general competency. If a little static.

Pasko’s script regurgitates some of the old “Star Trek” episodes without offering anything new. He relies on bringing in a guest star from a character’s past, which hurries along the setup because Pasko can use expository conversation. It’s just not very useful in terms of furthering the characters. Everyone is stuck; it’s unfortunate the series doesn’t take the time to develop any character subplots. Maybe the license forbids it.

It’s a perfectly fine licensed property comic. Pasko’s clearly a “Trek” enthusiast and he does fine remixing a bunch of old episodes into this story. It’s a shame Marvel isn’t doing anything more with the comic, but it’s to be expected.

C 

CREDITS

“…Like a Woman Scorned!”; writer, Martin Pasko; pencillers, Joe Brozowski and Tom Palmer; inker, Palmer; colorist, Carl Gafford; letterers, Joe Rosen and Rick Parker; editor, Louise Jones; publisher, Marvel Comics.

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Manifest Destiny 7 (June 2014)

Manifest Destiny #7

Dingess and Roberts start the next arc–somewhat unannounced–with the survivors of the settlement aboard the ship. There’s very little not having to do with them–poor Pocahontas is reduced to two or three lines and background–but Dingess does take the time to detail some of the crew’s backgrounds.

It’s nearly a calm river travel story, then one of the settlers sparks an argument for Lewis and Clark and brings one of the series’s problems into focus. I can’t remember who’s Lewis and who’s Clark. I double checked and Lewis is narrator and brown-haired guy, but it barely matters. Dingess has a great concept and plotting and letting the would-be protagonists get too much spotlight isn’t in the cards.

It’s actually a very good issue in many ways and the great conclusion makes up for the bumps; overall, Dingess just hasn’t found a good narrative approach.

CREDITS

Writer, Chris Dingess; artist, Matthew Roberts; colorist, Owen Gieni; letterer, Pat Brosseau; editor, Sean Mackiewicz; publisher, Image Comics.

Firestorm, The Nuclear Man 1 (March 1978)

Firestorm, The Nuclear Man #1

What an awkward first issue. Writer Gerry Conway has a lot of story to tell, since he covers the origin of Firestorm and has to introduce the two alter egos, but there’s also a couple action sequences. His solution for having to convey all the information isn’t original–he uses expository dialogue. Lots and lots of expository dialogue.

Offsetting the exposition is the playful nature of Conway’s narration–from the first issue, Firestorm feels more like a Marvel comic, between the colloquial tone of the narration and penciller Al Milgrom’s New York City backdrop.

Milgrom’s has some rough patches–Firestorm has a funny looking face–but it’s fine for the most part.

With the rush of information and characters getting introduced, not to mention Conway harping on Firestorm’s teenaged alter ago, Ronnie, having low-self esteem. At least he’s got a personality, while Professor Stein (the other alter ego) doesn’t.

C 

CREDITS

Make Way For Firestorm!; writer, Gerry Conway; penciller, Al Milgrom; inkers, Klaus Janson and Joe Rubinstein; colorist, Adrienne Roy; letterer, Todd Klein; editor, Jack C. Harris; publisher, DC Comics.

The Empty Man 1 (June 2014)

The Empty Man #1

There's an air of not-so-quiet desperation about The Empty Man, like writer Cullen Bunn is sitting in the front row of a class with his hand up, practically leaping out of his seat, trying to get the attention of the great Hollywood gods who can option his new comic and turn it into a TV show.

Only, like most desperate people, he's forgotten to be original and is instead recycling already existing media properties for most of the comic.

There's something of a prologue–or two–before the main characters appear. They're FBI agents and are in a world of dark magic where evil spirits (or one) roam the real world. They have terrible chemistry too. Bunn tries too hard with everything, ending on a weak hard cliffhanger.

Vanesa R. Del Rey has a distinct style and I love she modeled one character on Clark Gable. But it's far from enough.

C 

CREDITS

Writer, Cullen Bunn; artist, Vanesa R. Del Rey; colorist, Michael Garland; letterer, Ed Dukeshire; editors, Chris Rosa and Eric Harburn; publisher, Boom! Studios.

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