Ragamuffins 1 (January 1985)

Ragamuffins #1

Ragamuffins is a very strange comic. It’s unfortunate it’s strange, because in addition to being strange, it’s a lovely effort from Don McGregor and Gene Colan.

McGregor writes first person narration to introduce each of the three stories, which start in 1951 and then follow up with the protagonist some years later to show how he’s grown up. The problem is how well the stories work–Colan doing small town Americana is just phenomenal and McGregor writes the heck out of the scenes–so when the last one has a forced finish, it’s very obvious.

If McGregor had done a fourth story, or even put the three stories in a different order, it might work out. But for there to be two successful transitions between stories and then a failure on the last one. It hurts.

But the comic’s successful right up until the last page. Wonderful mix of nostalgia and reflection.

B 

CREDITS

Writer, Don McGregor; artist, Gene Colan; colorist, Steve Oliff; letterers, P. Bernard Jr. and David Cody Weiss; editor, Dean Mullaney; publisher, Eclipse Comics.

Advertisements

She-Hulk 5 (August 2014)

She-Hulk #5

Soule shows off major writing chops–the pace of the issue is phenomenal–and he’s got this amazing conversation between She-Hulk and Shocker but he tries for too much. He’s also got Ron Wimberley on the art. Hopefully Wimberley is a fill-in, because he eventually gets to be too much. During Hellcat and Tigra’s scene–they also have a good conversation–the exaggerated figures stop the comic cold.

But it’s not all Wimberley’s fault, like I said before. Soule has three plot lines this issue–Jennifer, Patsy and Jennifer’s paralegal–and he juggles them well, only to let it all fall apart so he can get a hard cliffhanger. Almost literally.

Something about the flow is just off, maybe because of how Jennifer’s wrap-up with Shocker goes from this quietly special moment to narrative mechanizations.

It’s still a fine issue, just one with some rather significant problems.

B 

CREDITS

Blue; writer, Charles Soule; artist, Ron Wimberley; colorist, Rico Renzi; letterer, Clayton Cowles; editors, Frankie Johnson, Jeanine Schaefer and Tom Brennan; publisher, Marvel Comics.

Firestorm, The Nuclear Man 3 (May 1978)

Firestorm, The Nuclear Man #3

I don’t know how best to make the remark without it sounding like a slight but McLeod inks the heck out of Milgrom’s pencils this issue. There are maybe two questionable panels, otherwise the art is first-rate.

And it’s first-rate art on an excellent comic. Conway doesn’t do a direct sequel to the previous issue, he jumps ahead a bit and starts with Firestorm being juvenile. There’s a lot in the issue about the dynamic between Ronnie and the Professor when it comes to being Firestorm and the maturity required for it (Conway wants to say the great power line and does come close).

There’s also quite a bit with Professor Stein on his own, which is cool. And the villain introduced is Killer Frost. I should have punned.

No, I shouldn’t have.

The issue’s very strong thanks to the emphasis on Stein and the villain. Very strong.

B+ 

CREDITS

Kiss Not The Lips of Killer Frost; writer, Gerry Conway; penciller, Al Milgrom; inker, Bob McLeod; colorist, Mario Sen; letterer, Ben Oda; editor, Jack C. Harris; publisher, DC Comics.

Starlight 4 (June 2014)

Starlight #4

I don't know if Starlight is exactly deceptive, but Millar does make you forget he's up to his old content tricks. There's just enough humor, character revelations (I was going to say development, but not really) and nods to the Flash Gordon roots of the project to move things along. Not to mention the Parlov art. There's some phenomenal Parlov art this issue.

But then, as the issue wraps up, it becomes clear Millar only really resolved his cliffhanger from the previous issue and set Duke up for the next big cliffhanger and the next big opportunity for fantastic Parlov art. There's nothing wrong with that approach but if Starlight is just going to be comic to read for the art… maybe Millar could talk less.

Because he doesn't really have anything to say. He hints at having something to say, but then avoids it.

Even hampered, the comic's successful.

B 

CREDITS

Writer, Mark Millar; artist, Goran Parlov; colorist, Ive Svorcina; letterer, Marko Sunjic; editor, Nicole Boose; publisher, Image Comics.

Powered by WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: