Single-Panel Reviews 10/5/04
Adam Strange #1 (of 8)
Writer: Andy Diggle; Artist: Pascal Ferry; Colorist: Dave McCaig
I’m not a big Adam Strange fan, in fact, I don’t know much at all about the character. Going into this book, I knew the basics – Adam Strange would periodically be transported to the planet Rann by a Zeta beam where he lived a separate life. Other than that the character of Adam Strange is untrespassed territory for me. With this in mind, I thought this was a very good comic. Diggle’s writing was concise and natural, and Adam Strange’s premise was easily and quickly laid out. Like I said, Adam had an alternate life on Rann where he had a happy family life and was becoming increasingly attached to Rann. Adam was transported back to Earth some time ago on a final trip to wrap things up, and then the Zeta beams just stopped appearing. Cut off from Rann with only Superman’s word on what went wrong, Adam hits rock bottom. The frame for this backstory is that Adam has been arrested in suspicion of arson to his apartment building and is trying to clear his name with the interrogating officer. One criticism I have of the issue is the hackneyed police officer. Other than that, I don’t have any reservations. From pencils to inks to letters and especially to colors, this is a beautiful book. The art alone is most definitely worth buying the book, and with Diggle on words, the comic is even better. I’m expecting good things from this limited series.
Bottom line: A-
The Losers #16
Writer: Andy Diggle; Artist: Jock; Colorist: Lee Loughridge
Well speaking of Andy Diggle, here’s a look at The Losers this month. So far in the series, readers have been watching a group of ex-CIA operatives – the Losers – try to find “Max,” the mysterious person, or perhaps myth?, behind the story of these operatives’ journey into the underground. While the comic has been a great ride in terms of gritty action and writing, my one big criticism has been that for more than a year of issues, we don’t have enough backstory to really latch onto these characters. What are their motivations? What’s the whole story behind the Losers? I do like a good mystery, but you don’t want to cheat your readers by not giving them a big enough nibble from the dangling carrot, either. Beginning with this issue, it looks like we’re going to get a big bite of the carrot. This is the first issue in a storyline revealing the Losers’ backstory, and therefore is a good issue to pick up for first-time readers.
Bottom line: B+
Ex Machina #4
Writer: Brian K. Vaughan; Penciller: Tony Harris; Tom Feister: Inker; Colorist: J.D. Mettler
Through issue three, I’ve consistently felt this is one of the best new books around. However, Vaughan is losing me a little with this issue. Vaughan is certainly a good writer, but some of the dialogue felt a forced and I’m not sure I like where the plot is going. Or maybe it’s that I’m not sure I like how we’re getting there or the pace of it. Story-telling-wise this issue treaded water and maybe took a stroke backwards. I’m sure Vaughan has more up his sleeve, and I’m onboard for the foreseeable future, I just don’t think this is the best issue so far.
Bottom line: B
Wonder Woman #208
Writer: Greg Rucka; Penciller: Drew Johnson; Inker: Ray Snyder; Colorist: Richard & Tanya Horie
Alright, now we’re getting somewhere. I’ve enjoyed Rucka’s run on Wonder Woman quite a lot, but the last couple issues have dragged a bit. With part three of the storyline “Stoned” Rucka picks up the pace and gets to the heart of the plot. Medusa is front and center in this issue and ready to take on Wonder Woman. Most action scenes don’t do a whole lot for me, but the fight between Wonder Woman and Medusa was well done. The dialogue kept the pace in check, and the art kept the action fluid and interesting. By the end of the issue we’re set up for the next chapter, which looks to be the climax of the storyline.
Bottom line: B+