The Comic Queen

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Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Single-Panel Reviews 9/14/04

Here's a glimpse of some comics from the last couple weeks that are worth checking out.

Street Angel #3
SLG $2.95
By Jim Rugg and Brian Maruca
Street Angel is the homeless ninja “hero” (I use this term loosely) in a rough section of metropolitan Wilkesborough. In the fist two issues, Street Angel has battled gangs of ninjas, conquistadors, and pirates. But in issue #3 Street Angel takes on a whole new level of trouble, the badest baddie there is – the devil. Of course, she does have some help – Jesus himself lends a hand in fighting evil this time. Now, this wasn’t my favorite issue as far as plot goes. However, I thought the art was stepped up a notch. Much less was packed into each page, and the pages where Street Angel fights as her transfigured self were crisply drawn and inked. The nice part about Street Angel is that you never have a clue about what will happen next. You just have to pick up the next issue to find out.
Bottom line: B

WE 3 #1 (of 3)
Vertigo $2.95
Writer: Grant Morrison; Penciller: Frank Quitely; Colors and Digital Inks: Jamie Grant; Letterer: Todd Klein
WE3 tells of three animals – a dog, cat, and rabbit – who are part of a successful government program to use small animals as the next weapons. Armed animals controlled remotely to do the killing instead of armies of humans. I won’t spoil the entire plot, but the point is these three animals end up escaping. There wasn’t much dialogue in the first issue, and when that’s the case in a comic, it is essential that the artwork be extremely effective at storytelling. Quitely not only achieves this but teamed with Jamie Grant on colors and inks the book is visually amazing. DC included sample pages in Previews a couple months ago, and while I understand why they included the ones they did (they included the most dialogue and plot and were less gruesome than many of the pages), those sample pages were the least dazzling of the book.
Bottom line: A-

Jane’s World #15
Girl Twirl Comics $5.95
By Paige Braddock
Jane’s World began as a web comic strip in 1998 and with its increasing regularity found its way to print in 2001 in collected issues. Now at issue 15, Jane’s World is making another transition – from comic strip to comic book format. On page 46 of the 53-page story, Braddock fills out the page into the new format. Jane’s World stars Jane, a 30-something journalist, and a pretty good-size supportive cast, which notably includes Ethan, Jane’s roommate, and several friends who are women and also women who happen to be more than friends. Yep, Jane bats for the other team. Braddock writes a smart, fun character in slightly-unsure-of-herself Jane. Plainly said -- the comic is simply fun to read. In this issue, Jane deals with a mini-convergence of exs, we watch Ethan be slowly transformed by a new girlfriend, and the action ends with a roadtrip. Check out an archive of strips and more on the comic at the Jane’s World website.
Bottom line: B+

Bear #6
SLG $2.95
By Jamie Smart
I hadn’t read Bear before this issue, so thought it was about time to try the title. Published quarterly, this issue of Bear was especially horror-themed presumably for Halloween titled “Silence: The Spooh Whooky Special.” Bear is a cute little stuffed animal – but don’t let that fool you, he’s also a trash talker with plenty of attitude. The main characters also include Looshkin, the psychotic house cat who constantly devils Bear, and their owner Karl, an underachieving Gen Y/X’er. Smart writes a frenetically witty comic and does some nice things artwise with perspective and shading. Most comics seem to take about 15 minutes to read, but this book is jam packed from inside front cover to inside back cover with dialog and action, making it a longer read and a nice bargain to boot.
Bottom line: B+

Kinetic #6
DC Focus $2.50
See my review of Kinetic #6 at the Paperback Reader website.

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