Kid Lobotomy #6 (March 2018)

Kid Lobotomy #6

Kid Lobotomy comes to a satisfactory, self-indulgent, successful conclusion. Milligan does not Milligan Lobotomy and he even has Kid refer to him (Milligan). But really only twice. And once during a “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” reference, which is beautifully executed. Surprisingly so. Kid Lobotomy #6 almost feels like it’s from a different series.

Not least because Kid is now front and center protagonist. He’s discovering his past and how those secrets have affected him and the lives of those around him. It’s not near as outrageous an issue in terms of what Fowler has to visualize, but there’s something special about the art this time. It flows differently. Because Kid’s protagonist and everything else is subplot.

When I finished reading the comic, I was a little confused. Milligan changes the style a bunch, not just with the plotting and his self-reference but in how Kid functions in the comic. Then I realized how well it’d read in trade. It’s the pay-off chapter. It’s just not the pay-off issue. Well, it is the pay-off, but it’d read better in trade.

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CREDITS

Uncommon Lobotomies, Part Six of A Lad Insane; writer, Peter Milligan; artist, Tess Fowler; colorists, Lee Loughridge and Dee Cunliffe; letterer, Aditya Bidikar; editor, Shelly Bond; publisher, IDW Publishing.

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The Terrifics #2 (May 2018)

The Terrifics #2

I wish The Terrifics were terrific but it’s not. It’s perfectly fine. It’s gorgeous DC superhero stuff. Reis’s art doesn’t particularly invite dwelling, but if you decide to dwell, you get reasonably rewarded. As for the story, it’s very much part two of the series opener.

Oh, and Tom Strong is a red herring. Let’s just get it out of the way. After the cliffhanger “resolution” with him, it’s backstory on Phantom Girl. Then it’s action, action, action, quick romance (I mean, Rex and Sapphire have to kiss, don’t they), then a little more action. The last bits of action aren’t particularly exciting, as they’re expository action. Reis and Lemire pulling them off so (relatively) well showcase that rare quality of the superhero comic book–it lends itself to expository action.

The cliffhanger involves why the team is now a team.

Good writing. Plastic Man is starting to grate. But only slightly. Lemire’s writing for him seems like a series of postscript quips to scenes. Too many of them. Though Plastic Man’s not wrong about Mr. Terrific being a bit of a dick (but not too much of one, Lemire keeps everyone affable).

We’ll see. So far, it’s totally solid DC superhero stuff. Might even end up being worth reading.

CREDITS

Meet the Terrifics, Part 2 of 3; writer, Jeff Lemire; pencillers, Ivan Reis and Jose Luis; inkers, Vicente Cifuentes and Jordi Tarragona; colorist, Marcelo Maiolo; letterer, Tom Napolitano; editor, Jessica Chen and Paul Kaminski; publisher, DC Comics.

Love and Rockets #9 (November 1984)

Love and Rockets #9

Jaime opens Mechanics this issue with an eight-panel retelling of the story so far. At least the most relevant parts. They’re little panels too. Top half of the page. It’s beautifully done.

Turns out the flashback panels are Race’s thoughts as he’s recovering. He’s survived the blast, no one knows about Maggie and Rena Titañon. The story–ten pages this time–is split between the rest of the cast (Hopey, Penny, Race) and Maggie and Rena. They’re in the sewers, trying to get out to sea. It lets Jaime do a lot of work with black. He’s been doing big panels with a lot of silhouettes and shadows lately, but here he gets to do almost a whole strip of them.

Plus there’s a tie-in to Rocky and Fumble. Maggie and Rena use a Fumble-head as a flashlight. First official crossover, I think. Derek Cinema gets mentioned in Mechanics and one of Mario’s strips, but a Fumble-head is the first visual crossover.

Then Beto’s got the Palomar conclusion. He makes it sad, funny, dangerous, funny, and sad. And then sweet, while still being sad. The (now grown) boys head into the hills to find their missing pal, who’s run off after attacking his wife and child. There’s character development in two flashbacks–Beto does for comedy in both, but differently. The first time it’s a funny flashback. The second time it’s this concerning foreshadowing, played for visual humor.

The story of Jesús–the missing guy–has two nice bookends. Then Beto postscripts with Carmen and Heraclio. Now, Carmen still hasn’t gotten a full story to herself, but in the one page–she doesn’t appear in the rest of this chapter–she becomes the emphasis of the whole thing. The action just leads to Carmen’s reaction to it all.

It’s nice, but it’d be nicer for her to have her own story one of these issues. Beto’s only established her as Mrs. Heraclio. She’s got personality but nothing going on.

Then it’s a Rocky and Fumble, where Rocky runs away. She and Fumble do it up Mark Twain style, on the river. This strip started in space–like a “Jetsons” thing–and it’s just gotten more and more grounded. The strip’s full of humor and emotion. Growing pains emotion for Rocky and her parents, which she can’t really verbalize and they don’t want to verbalize.

Plus Fumble’s adorable.

And Jaime’s art is beautiful. Again he’s playing with the blacks, so much of it is silhouette. Some rather neat composition too. Even planet-bound, Jaime enjoys doing the comedic action with Rocky and Fumble.

So it’s another good issue. Beto’s playing with his narrative, Jaime’s playing with his art. Seems to be par for the course at this point.

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