The Comic Queen

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Saturday, November 13, 2004

Single-Panel Reviews 11/13/04

Angeltown #1
Vertigo $2.95
Writer: Gary Phillips; Artist: Shawn Martinbrough; Colorist: Lee Loughridge
My first thought after finishing this issue was: man, this comic is crowded! There is a large cast of characters introduced for a first issue, actually for a five-issue mini-series this is still quite a few, but we end up knowing very little about any of these characters.
Nate Hollis: main character, a private investigator charged with finding …
Theophus “The Magician” Burnett: a basketball player wanted for questioning in the murder of …
Allison Dillon: Burnett’s ex-wife who just published a tell-all book then was found dead.
Monica Orozco: Burnett’s lawyer, the person who sent Hollis after him.
Morris & Nameless thug: hired thugs by …
Paul Tedajikian, aka Paul Teddy: assumedly a mob player
Irma Ducet, aka Irma Deuce: Bounty hunter
Gina: Irma’s lover
Duddly: Burnett’s teammate
Toasty: aspiring actress who’s been a guest at Burnett’s private parties
Maynard Regus: Detective on the LAPD covering the murder case, also introduced is his father who is in an extended care facility
Obadiah “Clutch” Hollis: Nate’s grandfather, also worth noting is Earl, the deceased son of Clutch, supposedly a crooked cop.
Kristy: Nate Hollis’s lover
Whew! That’s 16 characters in 32 pages, about 10 of which have the potential to be regular characters. The premise is of a typical cop-drama sort, so some of the players are stock characters, but Nate Hollis and others do have the potential to be very interesting characters. Too bad Phillips didn’t trim down the cast a bit. The issue kept me interested but didn’t suck me in. I’m interested in where this will go, though, so I’ll keep reading.
Bottom line: B

Jane’s World #16
Girl Twirl Comics $5.95
By Paige Braddock
In this issue, Jane plays a smaller role, especially to Chelle but also to Ethan. The road trip wraps up, leaving Chelle facing some tough memories, but by the end of the issue, Chelle and Jill seem on their way to working some of their history out. Not seeming to work out, on the other hand, is Ethan and Dixie’s relationship. This issue marks the first all comics format for Jane’s World and completes the transition from strip to full-page format. The feeling exuded from this new format is that of stretching out on a couch after a long day’s work. Braddock seems to be enjoying all her space, and so am I. This series just keeps getting better.
Bottom line: B+

The Ballad of Sleeping Beauty #5
Beckett $1.99
Writer: Gabriel Benson; Penciller & Inker: Mike Hawthorne; Colorist: Mike Atiyeh
What I enjoy the most about this issue is the use of both the panels and the page, and, in general, the inks throughout the series. Really the art and the high production value have been what’s keeping me coming back each issue. I like the series in general, but the writing is lacking something—I can’t quite put my finger on it. I can understand slowly revealing the characters’ history, but perhaps enough hasn’t been revealed to keep me really intrigued. Or maybe it’s the underlying plot that I’m struggling with. Cole and Will have been friends for years – Cole’s wife was murdered years ago, and misled by the real killer – Drake. Cole has been seeking revenge ever since. Now knowing that Drake is the real murderer, Cole has to live with the guilt of killing many innocents. Recently (at the start of the series) Will and Cole have become involved with a new character, Red, a young man with an unbelievable tale of a town fast asleep and his love, a sleeping beauty, who awaits him. Trouble is, since the beginning of the series, the three have chased and been chased, gotten nowhere in between glimpses of backstory and shoot ‘em up scenes, and really that’s about it. Like I said, I’m coming back for Hawthorne’s art, but after a while, I’ll need more to hook me.
Bottom line: B


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