Escape from New York 1 (December 2014)

Escape from New York #1

I’m trying to figure out how to describe Escape from New York to those unfamiliar with the movie. You wouldn’t buy the comic on a whim, without a familiarity, because if you paged through it, you’d be immediately lost. Writer Christopher Sebela doesn’t really do an introduction, he does a direct sequel to the movie… then immediately invalidates it.

But, let’s say you stuck with it for a few more pages. And then you wondered why Diego Barreto is drawing the main character so blandly. And why is the dialogue so terrible? Sebela rips off a line from Terminator 2. In a sequel to a movie from eleven years before T2. It feels weird. But not totally awful yet.

It gets awful a few pages later with Sebela’s first “I thought you were dead” line from a diner waitress. It’s a terrible sequel; bad, officially licensed fanfic.

It’s wretched stuff.

D- 

CREDITS

Writer, Christopher Sebela; artist, Diego Barreto; colorist, Marissa Louise; letterer, Ed Dukeshire; editors, Alex Galer and Ian Brill; publisher, Boom! Studios.

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Planet of the Apes Giant 1 (September 2013)

POTA Giant 01 rev

All you need for a last issue is apparently a sole survivor, a big event and a flash forward in time.

Gregory isn’t rewarding his long-time Apes readers with the Giant finale, he’s finishing the story before Boom!’s license runs out. And, for some of the issue, he doesn’t do too bad. That basic quality is why the awful finish is so offending.

He’s in a rush, he’s got a lot of characters, he’s got lots of excuses. But the resolution is as poorly conceived as his use of twentieth century sayings from the humans. Why would anyone have preserved them?

It’s hard to properly talk about the stupidity without spoiling things–and Gregory does at least follow an established Planet of the Apes standard, but it’s a stupid one and the reference is without enthusiasm.

Additionally, the ending is obvious. It’s like someone dictated an uncreative finish.

CREDITS

Writer, Daryl Gregory; artist, Diego Barreto; colorist, Darrin Moore; letterer, Ed Dukeshire; editor, Dafna Pleban; publisher, Boom! Studios.

Planet of the Apes Spectacular 1 (July 2013)

POTA Spectacular nerdist Page 1 1

Decades of Apes licensed comics have shown the wide variety of imaginative things a writer can do with the franchise; Daryl Gregory doesn’t do much imagining. He’s got an ape and a human raised as sisters, he’s got a lot of war intrigue–mix of Dark Ages warfare with aged advanced weapons–but it’s not exactly pushing the limits of science fiction comic books.

However, he does what he does do really, really well. I’m not caught up on his Apes series, which involves deals with warlords and petty feuds leading to disaster (and the mutants pretending to be human); he recaps it all here.

He also moves his story forward.

And now for the amazing part–there’s no forced exposition. Not one single line. He infers things, he mixes up narrative approaches, he hints. Technically speaking, Gregory’s a marvel.

Shame Diego Barreto’s art is weak on the humans though.

CREDITS

Writer, Daryl Gregory; artist, Diego Barreto; colorist, Darrin Moore; letterer, Ed Dukeshire; editor, Dafna Pleban; publisher, Boom! Studios.

Planet of the Apes Special 1 (February 2013)

2013 02 11 PoTA special CVA

Calling this issue a Special seems like a little much. It’s over-sized, maybe, but since nothing happens in it and Diego Barreto’s art wouldn’t be able to convey anything well anyhow… it’s hard to know what to call it.

It’s somewhat inaccessible for a non-regular Boom! Apes reader too. I am not one, for instance. I was able to follow the story somewhat, but I can’t figure out why writer Daryl Gregory thinks the reader should care. There are three factions battling for power in a city-state–Barreto does an awful job when it comes to giving the city scale–and presumably the human woman is the best choice, which seems predictably unoriginal.

Gregory ends on a cliffhanger, suggesting the Special’s not a drawer story being burned off, but a special leading into a new series.

The issue certainly didn’t make me care enough for find out.

CREDITS

Writer, Daryl Gregory; artist, Diego Barreto; colorist, Darrin Moore; letterer, Ed Dukeshire; editor, Dafna Pleban; publisher, Boom! Studios.

Irredeemable 12 (March 2010)

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The issue’s a wee bit speedier of a read than I would have liked–it took a heck of lot less than five minutes to read–and it seems like a joining issue anyway. There’s the conclusion to a cliffhanger from the previous issue–Barreto handles the superheroes, Krause handles the Plutonian, which is efficient, sure, but not necessarily the way to make a fluid comic book–but Waid cops out on the Plutonian’s family story.

Spoiler alert–the Plutonian kills his former foster brother and sister and leaves his mentally handicapped foster brother to starve to death. In other words, he’s a really, really terrible piece of shit.

In some ways, it might be the worst thing Waid’s shown him do so far, torturing someone so exaggeratedly helpless. I’ll bet Waid wanted to have him brutally kill a kid and Boom! wouldn’t let him.

Still, it’s way too quick.

CREDITS

Writer, Mark Waid; artists, Diego Barreto and Peter Krause; colorist, Andrew Dalhouse; letterer, Ed Dukeshire; editor, Matt Gagnon; publisher, Boom! Studios.

Irredeemable 11 (February 2010)

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Interesting revelation this issue–not the stuff with the Plutonian’s girlfriend and the space alien, which is amusing both comedically and in terms of a character being boiled down to nothing more than a girl who likes bad boys (which works in an episode of “Seinfeld,” but is a little banal in more literary ventures)–rather about the Plutonian’s youth.

Actually, wait, it does relate–besides the squeeze finds out he’s a psychopath and the revelation–Tony “broke” his baby brother–are about the same thing. The Plutonian didn’t just snap, he’s always been a nutcase. It breaks the Superman parallels, quite intentionally, and Waid’s moving Irredeemable onto its own ground more and more each issue.

Unfortunately, regular artist Peter Krause isn’t on the whole issue. Diego Barreto, who isn’t bad, does the first half. He’s serviceable, but the issue feels off visually.

Once again, Waid’s on with this one.

B+ 

CREDITS

Writer, Mark Waid; artists, Diego Barreto and Peter Krause; colorist, Andrew Dalhouse; letterer, Ed Dukeshire; editor, Matt Gagnon; publisher, Boom! Studios.

Irredeemable 10 (January 2010)

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I was going to say, that art doesn’t look like Krause’s and it’s not. It’s a noticeable difference, which is too bad.

I guess if they’re going to do a fill-in artist, this issue’s an appropriate one, content-wise. There’s three stories going on (well, and a flashback); first is the Plutonian’s squeeze and her husband arguing then fighting the U.S. government sanctioned demon (no, I don’t have any Cheney jokes here, come up with them on your own), the Plutonian and his (resurrected?) sidekick (who’s secretly the Plutonian’s arch-villain) going shopping and the Plutonian giving some back story, and then the psycho super-hero who beat the Plutonian up a couple of issues ago.

In other words, it’s a bridging issue. It’s a solid bridging issue, but it’s not particularly important. All the information could be recapped in a two page seventies Marvel summary.

Still smooth sailing.

CREDITS

Writer, Mark Waid; artists, Diego Barreto and Peter Krause; colorist, Andrew Dalhouse; letterer, Ed Dukeshire; editor, Matt Gagnon; publisher, Boom! Studios.

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