The Mice Templar 3 (January 2008)

The Mice Templar #3

This issue is a little busy. First, Glass showcases a rat battalion as they return home. They’re hunting. Nasty guys, these rats. It turns out some of the cast from the first issue has survived and are now prisoners of the rats, so Glass turns the focus to them for a while.

Of course, he had a cliffhanger to resolve with Karic and Pilot–Luke and Obi-Wan–and he gets to it nearly halfway through. They have a lengthy resolution to their problems and it’s a rather neat one but then Glass proceeds to work towards another cliffhanger.

If I’m counting right, the issue has one cliffhanger resolution, one soft cliffhanger for the prisoners and another hard cliffhanger for Karic. It’s just too much, even if Glass does pace it all beautifully. The emphasis on revelation and action means not enough character development.

Still, Glass and Oeming have momentum.

B 

CREDITS

The Prophecy, Part Three: Black Aniaus; writers, Michael Avon Oeming and Bryan J.L. Glass; artist, Oeming; colorist, Wil Quintana; letterer, James H. Glass; editors, Judy Glass and Will Swyer; publisher, Image Comics.

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Wildfire 1 (June 2014)

Wildfire #1

Wildfire seems to a science thriller. It’s hard to say so far–writer Matt Hawkins gives the reader a glimpse of the titular disaster and then backtracks a few days, presumably to show now the event came to pass.

He’s got Linda Sejic on art and she’s doing sort of a digital cartooning thing. I say sort of because she’s trying real hard not to be cartoonish but it comes through every once in a while, especially during the character development scenes. But it’s relatively competent–there are some blurring effects she uses to cover not doing full detail and those are annoying–but Hawkins’s script is outstanding.

The setup has a lot to do with the controversy over GMO as food stuffs, but real human failings leading to the science thriller aspects.

Hopefully Hawkins can keep up the balance between tension and character development; it’s a rather impressive start.

B+ 

CREDITS

Writer, Matt Hawkins; artist, Linda Sejic; letterer, Troy Peteri; editor, Betsy Gonia; publisher, Top Cow Productions.

The Flash 289 (September 1980)

The Flash #289

Cary Bates sure does like exposition. It’s practically endless in the Flash feature, with Bates writing really long paragraphs of thought balloons explaining why The Flash can do what he can do. None of it makes any sense, but it sounds scientific.

The story has The Flash trying to sort of two villains who are battling each other. There are a lot more details–like they’re astral twins and so on–but he doesn’t really do anything with that relationship. It’s just another piece of the story requiring a whole lot of explanation, which Bates then provides.

The art from Don Heck and Frank Chiaramonte is decent and everything works out pretty well. It’s just goofy and Bates can’t hide it.

Then there’s the Firestorm backup with gorgeous George Perez art. Besides the lovely action intro, it’s a origin retelling. Gerry Conway’s writing is solid, but the art’s the thing.

B 

CREDITS

The Good… The Bad… and The Unexpected; writer, Cary Bates; penciller, Don Heck; inker, Frank Chiaramonte. Firestorm, Firestorm is Back In Town!; writer, Gerry Conway; penciller, George Perez; inker, Romeo Tanghal. Colorist, Gene D’Angelo; letterer, Ben Oda; editor, Len Wein; publisher, DC Comics.

Thomas Alsop 1 (June 2014)

Thomas Alsop #1

Thomas Alsop is one confused comic. Not the art from Palle Schmidt, it’s excellent throughout. But Chris Miskiewicz’s story ranges from annoying to outstanding. Outstanding is when he flashes back to the titular character’s ancestor on Manhattan in the 17th century. Annoying is all the modern stuff.

Miskiewicz writes the modern stuff as the lead character’s obnoxious blog posts. They’re based on the idea he’s a charismatic guy. He’s not. Thomas Alsop is a tool. His adventures as the mystical protector of Manhattan are ill-defined too (especially given the events of 9/11, something I don’t know if I’d even want Miskiewicz to attempt discussing).

The modern stuff jumps around to show the reader Alsop hasn’t always been a tool–in the present-most time, he’s a rock star tool. Before he was just a buffoon. Miskiewicz is bad at writing the narration.

Still, the art, and flashbacks, intrigue.

C- 

CREDITS

The Hand of the Island, Part One; writer, Chris Miskiewicz; artist, Palle Schmidt; letterer, Deron Bennett; editors, Jasmine Amiri and Ian Brill; publisher, Boom! Studios.

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