The Auteur 5 (July 2014)

The Auteur #5

I don’t know why Spears can get away with the end of The Auteur. I don’t want to think about it too hard either, just because the last issue of this arc (or the series, it’s unclear) is so entertaining and sincerely presented.

Some of the success is because Callahan’s art is so good. He doesn’t even have particularly fantastic subjects to illustrate; the biggest set piece is a gross out scene with a drug’s side effects being harmless bleeding from the skin. It’s a really funny scene. Not laugh out loud, but funny.

Spears’s sincerity in the issue is the craziest part. Not the gross out stuff, not the one liners. At first, his mention of the protagonist’s love of film seemed like a last minute addition, but Spears really just goes with it. Every chance he can to commit to insane earnestness, he does.

It’s a great finish.

CREDITS

Presidents Day, Part 5 of 5: Show Don’t Tell; writer and letterer, Rick Spears; artist, James Callahan; colorist, Luigi Anderson; editor, Charlie Chu; publisher, Oni Press.

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She-Hulk 6 (September 2014)

She-Hulk #6

I really hope Wimberly isn’t staying. He’s got a peculiar style and I gave it some slack last issue because it was different. This issue he’s doing superhero action and a lot of dialogue humor and it flops. Over and over, it flops.

He does draw She-Hulk as more of a monster than a cover girl, which is interesting, I suppose, but Soule is still writing it for the wink and the smile. The two elements aren’t moving together.

There’s also the way Soule shuts everything down in the issue after going out of his way to get the reader interested. It’s manipulative and pointlessly so. Whatever happens next is misdirection so why not just get to the meat and potatoes of a monkey with life-giving (literally, it seems) spit.

The issue reads fairly well, but Soule definitely forces the ending. Actually, the entire second half is forced.

B- 

CREDITS

Blue, Part Two; writer, Charles Soule; artist, Ron Wimberley; letterer, Clayton Cowles; editors, Frankie Johnson and Jeanine Schaefer; publisher, Marvel Comics.

The Fury of Firestorm, The Nuclear Man 10 (March 1983)

The Fury of Firestorm, The Nuclear Man #10

The issue opens with the Hyena hunting a bunny rabbit; Broderick and Rodriguez do a great job on the bunny rabbit, but it looks like there are some problems with the Hyena. So the issue starts right off with some questionable art and then it just gets worse.

Broderick does fine with the action scenes, does fine with all his composition but he and Rodriguez’s detail on the regular folks this issue is terrible. And the Hyena is a problem throughout; it’s too slick to be convincing as a giant were-hyena. Not enough fur detail, I guess.

There’s also way too much detail on teenage Doreen’s sheer nightie. It’s a weird choice; someone should have caught it.

Otherwise, the issue’s fine. Not Conway’s finest hour–the Hyena’s backstory is too convoluted and tied Peter Parker style to Ronnie’s civilian life–but he’s still got some nice character moments and Firestorm action throughout.

B 

CREDITS

Prowl; writer and editor, Gerry Conway; penciller, Pat Broderick; inker, Rodin Rodriguez; colorist, Gene D’Angelo; letterer, Adam Kubert; publisher, DC Comics.

Groo vs. Conan 1 (July 2014)

Groo vs. Conan #1

Groo vs. Conan. Even the title takes a moment to digest.

Sergio Aragonés and Mark Evanier fully embrace the absurdity of it, including the middle part of the comic–the majority of the comic, in terms of pages–being the two men walking around talking about doing such a crossover and how crazy it would be.

So why do it? Well, in the comic, Aragonés gets bumped on the head and thinks it’s a great idea.

As for the actual Conan and Groo scenes, the issue is mostly setup. Groo gets confused about who he’s supposed to battle and why and his concerned potential victims head to find Conan to save them. Tom Yeates draws the Conan pages. He does a fantastic job. Aragonés does fine with the Groo stuff and the “real world” stuff, but Yeates doing fantasy is treat as always.

The issue’s amusing without being particularly successful.

B- 

CREDITS

Writers, Sergio Aragonés and Mark Evanier; artists, Aragonés and Thomas Yeates; colorist, Tom Luth; letterer, Richard Starkings; editors, Dave Land, Katie Moody and Patrick Thorpe; publisher, Dark Horse Comics.

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