Winter Soldier 5 (July 2012)

Tom Palmer is a very strange inker for Guice. Gaudiano shows up for a bit, at the beginning and end most noticeably, but Palmer handles the big action scene. It’s Bucky, Natasha and Doctor Doom versus the Super-Apes and some other bad guys. With the Palmer inks, it looks like something out of a seventies Marvel comic. It’s glorious action in the Marvel style. This issue makes up for the lackadaisical pacing in the last few and it’s not even Brubaker’s fault. It’s all Tom Palmer. Even more, when he does the quiet scenes, he brings age and gravity to … Continue reading Winter Soldier 5 (July 2012)

Conan the Barbarian 12 (December 1971)

Conan has another dalliance, this time as consort to a queen. It doesn’t turn out so well for him—well, he gets in trouble because of her fetching handmaid as well. At least in the queen’s perspective. To Conan, he’s getting weary of women. The sex is so obvious, I was a little surprised to see the Comics Code on the cover. Thomas gets in a first and second act here, not much of a third one. There’s an organic feel to the plotting though—it’s very nice how he passes two weeks in brief narration. The ending is Conan and the … Continue reading Conan the Barbarian 12 (December 1971)

Conan the Barbarian 8 (August 1971)

How sweet, Conan ends the issue with a girl on his arm. Well, actually, they’re on horseback fleeing for their lives, but it’s the first time he’s gone off with anyone else and the first girl to be around for the last page. Windsor-Smith is doing something bad with the noses. It’s not the inkers. They’re these really small noses. I have no idea why he’s doing it, but it ruins his faces. This issue is a direct sequel to the last, though some complications occur off-page. It’s a treasure hunt–and Conan does get a sidekick for a while–and ends … Continue reading Conan the Barbarian 8 (August 1971)

Immortal Weapons 2 (October 2009)

What a stinker. The whole thing plays like a bad Marvel horror comic from the seventies, with a team of mercenaries (they have matching outfits, of course) out to retrieve a spider. It’s not any spider, it’s one of the Bride of Nine Spiders’s spiders. There’s a bit of a continuity break, showing the Bride to always be beautiful, when in Immortal Iron Fist flashbacks she wasn’t shown as such. So, it’s an action horror comic instead of a kung fu horror comic. Bunn’s writing is occasionally okay—his dialogue is fine—but he’s establishing all these characters in a single issue. … Continue reading Immortal Weapons 2 (October 2009)

The Immortal Iron Fist 26 (July 2009)

Oh, come on. I think Foreman’s the bigger problem, but Swierczynski really does completely fail when it comes to a good conclusion. He has a dramatic cliffhanger, but it’s a confusing one (one the previous page implies is unlikely). But worse, he fails to deal with K’un-L’un. He changes the status quo again and abandons it. He really has no idea how to pace an issue. He goes for dramatic effect with brief, intense moments… then leaves them hanging. He doesn’t follow through to make them solid. But, like I said before, the real problem is Foreman. Even with someone … Continue reading The Immortal Iron Fist 26 (July 2009)

The Immortal Iron Fist 25 (June 2009)

As usual, Swierczynski manages to pull the story around after a weak move. Here, he reveals the old impostor to be nothing but a temporary ruse, something to distract Danny (and the reader). Then we get the full story. Then the Immortal Weapons start kicking butt. Swierczynski is best when he utilizes the Immortal Weapons, so it makes little sense why he keeps them on the back burner for most of his issues. Danny’s a strong protagonist, but Swierczynski can do only so much with him. He’s still resolving old plot threads, he can’t go forward. So giving him people … Continue reading The Immortal Iron Fist 25 (June 2009)