The Mice Templar 4 (April 2008)

The Mice Templar #4

Trippy might be the best word for this issue. There’s a lengthy hallucination, mystical sequence as the finale, but Glass is constantly spinning the reader around before it. Actually, having a dream sequence is the most straightforward thing he does this issue. Everything before is much less so.

First, there’s the resolution to the previous issue’s cliffhanger. Maybe it was a test for young Karic, maybe it wasn’t. Then there’s Pilot (Obi-Wan or just Don Juan) taking him on practically a vision quest, or at least a vision hike, and it’s exceptionally confusing. Set to all the lectures and descriptions is Oeming’s fantastic nature art.

Then comes the final twist (before the actual dream sequence) and it’s set during a fight scene between Pilot and another Templar, where maybe Pilot’s not who he’s says.

Somehow Glass doesn’t just get away with it all, it gets better as it progresses.

B+ 

CREDITS

The Prophecy, Part Four: The Readers of the Wheat; 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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Minimum Wage 6 (June 2014)

Minimum Wage #6

I’m not sure if there’s a better formula for Minimum Wage; Fingerman might have found it. It balances out all the content between humor, outlandish humor and self-observation. There’s some time spent on Rob’s love life, then a lengthy comedic subplot, then some stuff with his male friends. Not too much with them, but enough for the pop culture references (though Fingerman opens with a great one and it’s Rob and the girl) and manly one liners.

This issue continues with two of Rob’s ladies–almost called him Bob, maybe because one has to wonder how much of Wage is non-fictionally inspired–with Deputy Deedee successfully transitioned into being Rob’s buddy’s girl. Instead, there’s an idyllic main girl plot with Sheila, Rob’s boss. But Fingerman keeps up the humor and character work to make the idyllic hilarious.

There’s also a great homage to various artists Rob (and Fingerman) like.

Wage is fantastic.

CREDITS

Writer and artist, Bob Fingerman; publisher, Image Comics.

The Flash 290 (October 1980)

The Flash #290

The way Cary Bates writes The Flash, there’s nothing super-speed can’t accomplish. But it’s so darn likable, it’s hard to get stopped up by the severe gaps in logic. Maybe not gaps… canyons. Canyons in logic.

This issue has the incredible story of a young woman believing Barry Allen is out to kill her. The Flash, understandably, doesn’t think she’s got it right so he decides to help her. Bates paces the story beautifully, with some opening exposition, then some action, then more exposition, then maybe more action (or exposition). It’s a full story, even though it’s not the full issue.

Bates also has a nice way of working in the character development. He takes good shortcuts to get the girl established quickly.

Decent enough art from Heck and Chiaramonte, especially considering the absurdity.

Conway rushes the Firestorm origin recap a bit but the Perez pencils are absolutely gorgeous.

B 

CREDITS

“Will You Believe Me When I’m Dead?”; writer, Cary Bates; penciller, Don Heck; inker, Frank Chiaramonte; colorist, Gene D’Angelo; letterer, Milt Snapinn. Firestorm, The Secret History of the Nuclear Man; writer, Gerry Conway; pencillers, George Perez and Bob Smith; inker, Smith; colorist, Jerry Serpe; letterer, Shelly Leferman. Editor, Len Wein; publisher, DC Comics.

MPH 2 (June 2014)

MPH #2

It’s bad, but I sort of wanted Millar to flop on the second issue of MPH. Not for any reason other than his adherence to the eighties multi-racial movie gang. He’s got them in here; nothing but it seems.

But he doesn’t flop. Even without doing some fantastic super-speed moments–there’s only one–the issue proves incredibly entertaining and Millar manages to get in some good character work. He’s got a new approach to how the characters experience the drug. The world’s on pause around their adventures. It takes him a while to get to this device, with the guy from the last issue zooming in and out of his friends’ lives.

MPH then has the problem of seeming too impulsive and I was ready for it to flop because of Millar’s brevity. He doesn’t skip the responsibility though, he owns it.

Additionally, it doesn’t hurt the Fegredo art is absolutely gorgeous.

B 

CREDITS

Writer, Mark Millar; artist, Duncan Fegredo; colorists, Peter Doherty and Mike Spicer; letterer, Doherty; editor, Jennifer Lee; publisher, Image Comics.

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