The Jetsons 1 (January 2018)

The Jetsons #1

The Jetsons is really serious. It’s about a damaged Earth about to be struck with another disaster. There’s only so much time left with your kids. Hug them.

I’m not sure why writer Jimmy Palmiotti thinks anyone is going to care–past not wanting to see the Earth blow up or whatever (I’ll admit, it’s a weird sensation)–because his revision of “The Jetsons” cast sure isn’t going to get much sympathy.

Dad George Jetson looks about sixteen. Artist Pier Brito isn’t ready for a mainstream comic. His scenery is fine. His people are not. Past George looking like a kid, his part is to be freaked out his mom euthanized herself to become the family’s robot maid.

Wife Jane is an important scientist who knows the world is going to end soon. Or might end soon. Brito can’t keep a constant set of features for her. It’s like he can’t be bothered with facial details, much less expressions.

Daughter Judy has nothing to do. Except look younger than her dad. Jane doesn’t get the youthful appearance, at least nothing like George does.

Son Elroy is at that awkward age where he doesn’t like girls yet (but they like him) and he’s just trying to impress his dad. Who looks like his little brother. And has no scenes with him.

The script’s mediocre, the dialogue’s not even mediocre (Palmiotti can’t seem to figure out how to have George talk), the art’s disappointing.

We’ve met George Jetson. No more please.

CREDITS

Meet the Jetsons; writer, Jimmy Palmiotti; artist, Pier Brito; colorist, Alex Sinclair; letterer, Dave Sharpe; editors, Diego Lopez, Brittany Holzherr, and Marie Javins; publisher, DC Comics.

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Booster Gold/The Flintstones Special (May 2017)

Booster Gold/The Flintstones Special

Booster Gold meets The Flintstones. Then there’s a Jetsons backup. Both are fairly rank, though Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti try to infuse Jetsons with the political subtext Mark Russell usually brings to Flintstones. He doesn’t in the feature though. He just has Booster Gold be an idiot because Booster Gold is an idiot. It’s sort of the comic one would’ve expected from a Hanna-Barbera imprint at DC… unlike the actual Russell Flintstones comic.

Nice enough art on the feature from Rick Leonardi and Scott Hanna. Pier Brito’s Jetsons art isn’t ready for primetime.

CREDITS

Booster Trouble; writer, Mark Russell; penciller, Rick Leonardi; inker, Scott Hanna; colorist, Steve Buccellato; letterer, Dave Sharpe. Eternal Upgrade; writers, Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti; artist, Pier Brito; colorist, Alex Sinclair; letterer, Michael Heisler. Editors, Brittany Holzherr and Marie Javins; publisher, DC Comics.

Star Spangled War Stories 5 (February 2015)

Star Spangled War Stories #5

Lovable. Star-Spangled War Stories and G.I. Zombie are lovable. I’m not sure if it’s what Gray and Palmiotti intend–I assume so, since they go out of their way to make the comic read like a familiar, pleasantly inventive amusement. It’s the genial procedural of comic books.

None of the details really matter–it doesn’t matter that G.I. Zombie works for the feds and isn’t a private eye–because Gray and Palmiotti just have to string together the little scenes. The great moments of the comic where the benefit of an undead hero comes in handy. There’s even time for him to catch up with an old–human–friend this issue.

It’s awesome, start to finish. Gray and Palmiotti have found something special with this approach, because it’s not a horror comic and it’s not an action comic, but it borrows from both.

And Hampton’s art looks absolutely fantastic.

A 

CREDITS

Door-To-Door Delivery; writers, Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray; artist and colorist, Scott Hampton; letterer, Rob Leigh; editors, David Piña and Joey Cavalieri; publisher, DC Comics.

Star Spangled War Stories 4 (January 2015)

Star Spangled War Stories #4

Okay, so G.I. Zombie is kind of lame when he’s on his own. Not the comic, but the character. When he’s running around this issue, talking to himself, it’s really lame. If Gray and Palmiotti want to have some reason he speaks to himself in expository dialogue, they should introduce it. His origin is still in question… if he’s a motormouth, so be it. But establish it.

Otherwise, not much happens in the issue. The army shows up and the zombie crisis gets contained to some degree. The better stuff is with G.I. Zombie’s partner, Carmen. She’s got the flashback at the beginning of the issue, she’s the one who gets to find the domestic terrorists’ amazing Bond villain base.

There are some decent moments with G.I. Zombie, but the writers put too much emphasis on his lame dialogue and not enough on his experiences in the issue.

It’s annoying.

B- 

CREDITS

Exit Strategy; writers, Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray; artist and colorist, Scott Hampton; letterer, Rob Leigh; editors, David Piña and Joey Cavalieri; publisher, DC Comics.

Star Spangled War Stories 3 (December 2014)

Star Spangled War Stories #3

I still don’t know why I like Star Spangled War Stories so much. Maybe it’s because of Gray and Palmiotti’s pace. This comic–featuring the cast of “Duck Dynasty” unleashing a zombie plague on the United States (the rural United States)–moves at a breakneck pace. About the only time it calms down for a moment is when G.I. Zombie’s partner, whose name I don’t remember, stops at a diner and there’s character development between her and a domestic terrorist whose organization she’s infiltrated.

Otherwise, it’s all action. Only it’s G.I. Zombie running through this small town, trying to help people–Gray and Palmiotti establish the characters and settings quickly (sometimes during action sequences) but they still stick.

It’s kind of like a monster movie from the fifties, only with a lot of action and some very modern sensibilities.

Plus, the strangeness of Hampton doing big action still works wonders.

B+ 

CREDITS

Small Town Welcome; writers, Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray; artist and colorist, Scott Hampton; letterer, Rob Leigh; editors, David Piña and Joey Cavalieri; publisher, DC Comics.

Wool 6 (August 2014)

Wool #6

The last issue reveals Wool doesn’t just have a pacing problem or a perspective problem, it has a scale problem. Palmiotti and Gray never make the silo society seem real enough. They never show the silo in a way to make one believe anyone besides the cast lives there.

It’s not imaginative enough in how they’re adapting the comic. Sure, Broxton’s art is a little claustrophobic, but there’s no opportunity for it to be anything else.

Without a sense of the society, the writers don’t give the characters a setting, so their implied back stories and histories have less–or no–resonance. It hurts the comic immensely and could have been easily fixed.

It’s a fairly good final issue. The tension is honest, the plot twists are not. They never get enough time, but Gray, Palmiotti and Braxton are all professionals. Wool ends competently, but without anything special about it.

B- 

CREDITS

Writers, Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray; artist, Jimmy Broxton; letterer, Bill Tortolini; editor, Matt Hoffman; publisher, Jet City Comics.

Wool 5 (July 2014)

Wool #5

Wool is a frustrating comic. Presumably to stick with the narrative structure of the source novel, Gray and Palmiotti constantly waste time and pass up opportunities for a better structure.

This issue has protagonist Jules on a mission where she’s diving (in her environment suit) to the bottom of the silo. It’s flooded. It could be a great sequence, but it’s actually a waste of time because all it does is introduce a second sidekick for her. It doesn’t need the emphasis if all it’s going to do is bring in another character.

Or they could have used it as a framing device for the issue. But no.

Then the comic cliffhangs with her previous sidekick, now working for the evil information technologies department, chatting with her on the radio. Yet another possible wonder framing device for the whole series.

It’s got its plusses, but Wool is way too loose.

B- 

CREDITS

Writers, Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray; artist, Jimmy Broxton; letterer, Bill Tortolini; editor, Matt Hoffman; publisher, Jet City Comics.

Wool 4 (July 2014)

Wool #4

The issue starts with the protagonist narrating. The fourth issue and Gray and Palmiotti have finally settled on having the protagonist. And on having her narrate. Only she doesn’t narrate for long and the focus soon shifts back to the subplots.

The sheriff–I can’t believe it, I remember her name is Jules–is in another silo and her world view is being broken. Luckily there’s some guy in the other silo who’s been there for thirty-four years alone and he’s rational enough to explain everything to her.

Meanwhile, the regular silo and the somewhat familiar supporting cast–lots of supporting cast members have died off in Wool and it’s hard to bother getting too involved with the new ones–are planning a revolt. Perhaps it will succeed. Perhaps it will fail. It’s hard to actually care.

It’s a good issue, but Wool’s too insubstantially constructed to succeed.

B 

CREDITS

Writers, Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray; artist, Jimmy Broxton; letterer, Bill Tortolini; editor, Matt Hoffman; publisher, Jet City Comics.

Wool 3 (July 2014)

Wool #3

It’s almost like Wool, the comic book, is meant to inspire the reader to instead go read Wool, the novel, in order to understand the character motivations. Because Gray and Palmiotti try for intense scenes, montage sequences, all sorts of things they can’t get done because they haven’t set up the characters well.

The villain is one dimensional. Even when his big secret gets revealed, it doesn’t offer him any depth because it’s a predictable big secret. As for the protagonist, the issue removes her agency–again–and sort of soft resets with the cliffhanger (and the big reveal).

Broxton’s art helps a lot–he does post-apocalyptic really well and he can pace out the scenes visually–and Wool does configure its derivative and familiar details in a reasonable order… but the series is now half over and there’s not much going on outside sci-fi standards.

But prettily.

B 

CREDITS

Writers, Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray; artist, Jimmy Broxton; letterer, Bill Tortolini; editor, Matt Hoffman; publisher, Jet City Comics.

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