The Mice Templar Volume II: Destiny 0 (April 2009)

The Mice Templar Volume II: Destiny #0

It’s a short but not sweet zero issue for the second Mice Templar series, which picks up almost immediately where the first series ended.

Writer Bryan J.L. Glass has two stories going–one has the fallout from the actions of the good priest (not exactly priest, more like elder–but still called a priest) and then one with Karic, the series’s protagonist, on the run with his new protector, Cassius.

Glass doesn’t have a lot of room to do anything and he doesn’t try. He lets new artist Victor Santos show his chops in both talking mouse heads and then an action sequence too. It’s almost more interesting as a transitory piece than anything else. There’s nothing necessary in the issue, but it’s impossible to discount it too.

The look into the activities of the elders is reason enough not to disregard it. It’s more unexpectedly deep than the stuff with Karic.

B 

CREDITS

The Sacrifice; writers, Michael Avon Oeming and Bryan J.L. Glass; artist, Victor Santos; colorist, Veronica Gandini; letterer, James H. Glass; editor, Judy Glass; publisher, Image Comics.

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Ordinary 2 (July 2014)

Ordinary #2

I’m a little surprised how well x and y hold Ordinary together for the second issue. There are almost no pitfalls, which is something considering the big change in reality is gearing up to be a dream or the end of the world.

Hopefully, x won’t try to explain it. He does bring in the scientist to try to figure out what to do–which is difficult because of the fundamentalist vice-president who doesn’t want to do anything about everyone all of a sudden being magical.

X writes the government crisis scenes well. They remind more of Dr. Strangelove than anything else.

Meanwhile the protagonist is still trying to find his son and having little adventures along the way. They’re all disturbing, even the big musical number. X and y do a great job with that musical number.

Only the hard cliffhanger feels off; it’s too much implied danger.

B+ 

CREDITS

Writer, Rob Williams; artist, D’Israeli; editor, Steve White; publisher, Titan Comics.

The Flash 299 (July 1981)

The Flash #299

It’s too bad, but not even the Infantino art can make this issue particularly worthwhile. There’s a real lack of personality to all of it; Bates is just building towards the big event with Barry’s evil father (I wonder if he’s secretly Reverse Flash, could he be) in the next issue. Not even a scene with Barry’s dad holding a gun to his head (while Barry is sleeping) has any weight.

Worse, Bates gets rid of all The Shade for most of the issue. The Flash teaming up with a supervillain might actually be interesting but The Shade’s barely in the issue. More time is spent on Barry verifying The Shade’s story than the odd couple teaming up.

And the big action finale is lame–it’s color effects, there’s nothing for Infantino to do.

Conway then tries something strange with the Firestorm backup–an average criminal versus Firestorm. Sadly, it doesn’t work.

C 

CREDITS

A Stab in the Black; writer, Cary Bates; penciller, Carmine Infantino; inker, Bob Smith; colorist, Gene D’Angelo; letterer, John Costanza. Firestorm, The Robbery; writer, Gerry Conway; penciller, Denys Cowan; inker, Dennis Jensen; colorist, Jerry Serpe; letterer, Todd Klein. Editor, Len Wein; publisher, DC Comics.

The Woods 3 (July 2014)

The Woods #3

Something important happens this issue of The Woods. It becomes “‘Lost’ with teenagers.” I can’t believe it took Tynion this long. It might not have been so sadly apparent if artist Dialynas were maintaining the previous issue’s level of quality, but he’s not. The book can’t handle the writing losing any ingenuity as the art becomes problematic.

The best thing about the comic are Josan Gonzalez’s colors.

The problem, at least as far as Tynion’s responsibilities go, is the cast. No one is likable except the obviously likable, no one is bad except the obviously bad. Tynion operates in absolutes; predictable absolutes.

It’s particularly bad when there’s a shining knight scene and Dialynas draws it so poorly it looks like a guy making out with his twin sister. The art with the monsters is even lazier.

Oddly, Tynion’s cliffhanger isn’t bad and the comic’s relatively inoffensive. It’s just not worthwhile.

C 

CREDITS

Writer, James Tynion IV; artist, Michael Dialynas; colorist, Josan Gonzalez; letterer, Ed Dukeshire; editors, Jasmine Amiri and Eric Harburn; publisher, Boom! Studios.

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