Camelot 3000 6 (July 1983)

Dick Giordano pitches in to help ink (or finish) and it’s a small disaster. This issue takes a completely different tone thanks to the art change. It’s the faces, really. The detail is gone from them. After what’s so far the series peak last issue, Barr returns the comic to a middling affair. Arthur and Guinevere are getting married, which brings in questions about Arthur as the savior of the human race. Barr hasn’t thought it out. He also mucks around with the duality between being a regular person and a reincarnated one. Like I said, middling. Barr doesn’t even … Continue reading Camelot 3000 6 (July 1983)

Camelot 3000 5 (April 1983)

Well, it’s only taken Barr to the fifth issue but he’s finally made Camelot 3000 a compelling read. He opens with Morgan LeFay’s story and it’s a good one. The finish is ludicrously contrived–without any acknowledgment of the contrivance–but the idea of a medieval witch who goes off to space and revolutionizes an alien race is a gleeful homage to Edgar Rice Burroughs. Then Barr moves on to the Knights of the Round Table, who are bickering amongst themselves and generally unhappy with their newfound lot in life. The characters all of a sudden become interesting with all this turmoil … Continue reading Camelot 3000 5 (April 1983)

Camelot 3000 4 (March 1983)

Bolland’s art gets downright lazy quite a few times this issue and not with his white backgrounds either. He’s losing control of faces here; no matter how many iconic double-page spreads he does, he’s not going to make up for lazy faces. The issue’s weak overall. Barr’s vision of future governments is incredibly similar to modern ones–the United States, China, some vague Soviets and even more vague Africans. And for all the multiculturalism of the resurrected Knights of the Round Table, Barr’s not above an evil gay dude at the United Nations out to spoil the heroes’ fun. As for … Continue reading Camelot 3000 4 (March 1983)

Camelot 3000 3 (February 1983)

What a goofy ending. Barr’s going for fifties sci-fi, which doesn’t seem appropriate, especially since he doesn’t have any humor about the book. Camelot 3000 is all very straight-faced, even Queen Guinevere’s futuristic battle garb being comic book female hero trampy. Meanwhile, Lancelot gets a bitching set of space armor. Barr handles the love triangle unexpectedly, which starts the issue off on better footing than it finishes. He also reveals the source of the alien invasion, contriving a connection to the resurrected Knights of the Round Table. Why’s it contrived? Because he didn’t write the first issue with the revelation … Continue reading Camelot 3000 3 (February 1983)

Camelot 3000 2 (January 1983)

This issue’s goofiness isn’t all Barr’s fault. For instance, Bolland’s the one who reduces a riot scene to three people against a white backdrop. Guess he didn’t want to take the time on backgrounds. But amidst the combined, considerable goofiness, there are a couple good things coming through. First is the love triangle between Arthur, Lancelot and the queen whose name I can’t remember. Guinevere? Anyway, Barr continues it straight–they’re all reincarnated or resurrected, but the history exists. It gives Camelot some actual volume, which the series desperately needs. The human protagonist from the first issue is barely present here. … Continue reading Camelot 3000 2 (January 1983)

Camelot 3000 1 (December 1982)

Besides the beautiful, precise art from Brian Bolland and Bruce Patterson, it’s hard to determine exactly what Camelot 3000 has going for it from the first issue. Mike W. Barr writes the human protagonist pretty well; his emotional turmoil is believable, for example. But a lot of the comic features a larger than life King Arthur, who remains unperturbed whether he’s waking up after two thousand years, fighting aliens or playing with ray guns. He’s a lousy character, especially since Barr changes the focus from the kid (who becomes Arthur’s squire) to Arthur around the halfway point. While the art’s … Continue reading Camelot 3000 1 (December 1982)

Dark Horse Presents 105 (January 1996)

Dark Horse had a misprint this issue. A couple pages were out of sequence on Niles’s Cal McDonald. Well, that misprint in addition to continuing Shaw’s Alan Brand and Musgrove and Chamberlin’s Pink Tornado. What’s funniest about Shaw this issue is how lazy he gets. Lots and lots of white space here. Alan Brand started out interesting and then got idiotic very quickly. As it did, Shaw’s art got lazier and lazier. As for Pink Tornado, the art’s a bit better this issue. Musgrove and Chamberlin have problems with eyes. They also, again, write poorly. It’s amazing someone at Dark … Continue reading Dark Horse Presents 105 (January 1996)

Dark Horse Presents 104 (December 1995)

Musgove and Chamberlin have a Helen Keller joke in this installment of The Pink Tornado, presumably because they thought it makes them edgy. They’re really just incredibly stupid and rather terrible writers. Their dialogue’s endless and their art’s bad. As for Niles’s Cal McDonald, it’s fine. I mean, it’s bad, but it’s Jones’s fault. Niles writes an action story and Jones isn’t capable of illustrating an action sequence. It’s maybe the best thing I’ve ever read with Niles’s name on it, as he doesn’t profusely narrate the action sequence. Shaw’s Alan Bland is, again, weak. But then there’s Pope and … Continue reading Dark Horse Presents 104 (December 1995)

Dark Horse Presents 103 (November 1995)

I want to take back all the nice things I said about Shaw’s Alan Bland. This installment is annoying and idiotic–Shaw has so many sight gags, he eventually runs out of space on the page. And the script thinks old hippies (who look more beatnik) are hilarious. It’s atrocious. Pope’s got second slot, which is nice… makes the issue more digestible. One-Trick continues, with Pope complicating the heist aspect of the narrative. It’s such a delicate mix, overall, between genre and tone. Lots of concentration on race and culture here. Musgrove and Chamberlin contribute The Pink Tornado. No surprise from … Continue reading Dark Horse Presents 103 (November 1995)

Dark Horse Presents 102 (October 1995)

Shockingly, the Niles story story this issue–one of his Cal McDonald ones–is mildly inoffensive. It’s poorly written detective narration, but at least he’s work in a recognized genre (badly written detective narration). It’s stupid and Casey Jones’s art isn’t any good… but it’s not intolerable. Oh, the Marz and Wrightson Aliens story ends this issue too. It’s not as predictable as I thought it was going to be, but it’s still pointless. Maybe it’s setup for a series or something. Shaw’s Alan Bland, about a floundering painter, is all right. Shaw’s art isn’t quite finished enough for the cartoon look, … Continue reading Dark Horse Presents 102 (October 1995)

Dark Horse Presents 100 3 (August 1995)

The Concrete story goes on forever, but it’s actually pretty funny how it turns out. Not funny enough to laugh at, but Chadwick definitely comes up with something amusing. Oh, I’ll just spoil it–a mom and son pull a long con on Concrete for something he did back in his first appearance. Decent art, nothing spectacular. Concrete’s just such a miserable character, he’s hard to read sometimes. Pekar and Sacco have a little story. I still don’t get the appeal. It’s too affected to be real life, so…. Brunetti does a page of funnies, some of which I’ve read. They’re … Continue reading Dark Horse Presents 100 3 (August 1995)

Robocop: Mortal Coils 4 (December 1993)

It’s so, so bad. I mean, I thought since Grant turned in a decent third issue, he might be able to pull off a fourth too, but no. It’s just awful. It’s hard to explain how bad it is without sitting down and reading it because it’s just so unbelievable. Grant goes for this melodramatic ending and then somehow gives his terribly paced limited series too many endings, the first time showing the inspiring human spirit of Robocop with his girlfriend–sorry, sorry, his female lab technician friend–and then having a comedic finale with the U.S. government about to kill Robocop … Continue reading Robocop: Mortal Coils 4 (December 1993)

Robocop: Mortal Coils 3 (November 1993)

Holy cow, Robocop, it’s almost an okay issue! It doesn’t take much for an issue of this series to be better than before, since the first two issues–and lots of this one–are so exceptionally terribly, but this issue does have some imagination to it. No, not imagination, sorry, what was I thinking… not imagination. Storytelling competence. Steven Grant’s probably written two thousand comic books, it’d be hard for him not to have one acceptable moment and he does, here in the third issue, and it’s a pretty good moment. Robocop saves some crooks who are going to strip him for … Continue reading Robocop: Mortal Coils 3 (November 1993)

Robocop: Mortal Coils 2 (October 1993)

The problem, occasionally, here at Comics Fondle is the length constraint. Each review of a standard issue is one hundred and fifty words. I have five words to say about Robocop: Mortal Coils issue two. What a piece of crap. So how to fill the other hundred words? Does it matter what’s wrong with it? I mean, does one even have to read further to figure out why a licensed property comic from the nineties is a piece of crap? Doesn’t it go without saying the writing is awful and stupid and misogynistic? I did like seeing some reference to … Continue reading Robocop: Mortal Coils 2 (October 1993)

Robocop: Mortal Coils 1 (September 1993)

How to start… maybe licensing Robocop 3 instead of Robocop is a bad idea. I mean, it’s not like The Terminator, where licensing got all split up, sequel after sequel. Dark Horse could have gotten Robocop and not had to do sequels to Robocop 3, right? This issue is Robocop in Denver. It’s kind of like Passenger 57 is Die Hard on an airplane. No, it’s not. Look at how hard I’m trying to figure out how to talk about this tripe. Denver is apparently worse off than Detroit, which is stupid and doesn’t fit into the movie mythology–it’s another … Continue reading Robocop: Mortal Coils 1 (September 1993)