The Comic Queen

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Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Single-Panel Reviews 11/24/04

Ocean #2
Vertigo $2.95
Writer: Warren Ellis; Penciller: Chris Sprouse; Inker: Karl Story
Ocean has gone from a promising scifi story in issue #1 to an excellent, not-to-miss, series for anyone who enjoys a good science fiction story. This issue UN Weapons inspector Nathan Kane meets the small crew of the station investigating the phenomena on Europa. Kane learns more about the billion-year-old sarcophagi and why he, as a weapons inspector, is there. There’s quite a bit more to the story, but I don’t want to make this too spoilertastic. Ellis writes much more dialog and tells quite a bit of story in issue #2, Sprouse and Story still get plenty of room for beautiful large panels though. This title is very high on my books-to-recommend list.
Bottom line: A

Human Target #16
Vertigo $2.95
Writer: Peter Milligan; Artist: Cliff Chiang; Colorist: Lee Loughridge
This was the final part of the current storyline, and it ended much better than I thought it might. I wasn’t wild about the storyline involving a cult who believed Paul James was the second coming of Christ at the beginning. However, Milligan continues to impress me with his characterization of Christopher Chance – The Human Target for hire – who changes identities, filling in for people for a variety of reasons and motivations. Chance is so interesting to me because his psyche, his being, is simultaneously so strong and yet so fragile – a reflection of all of humanity. The next issue should be a good jumping on point for new readers as a new storyline will begin.
Bottom line: B+

One Step After Another, One Shot
AdHouse Books $5
By Fermin Solis
In One Step After Another, Solis, of Spain, shows us Olga as she leaves Our Lady of Mercy Juvenile Center, finds a job, a friend, and a bit of herself as well. Solis presents us with more of a character study than anything else – readers are flies on the wall for just a few days in Olga’s life. So, if you prefer stories that are wrapped up neatly by the end, you may not enjoy this book. However, I would strongly urge you to reconsider if you enjoy the artistic style of Andy Watson, as Solis’s style is similar. Now this will sound odd, but I thought Solis consistently wrote the best onomatopoeia I’ve ever read. From the takatakataka of the sewing machines to the drriiing, driiing of the doorbell, Solis sets the scene and further pulls in the reader with this simple device.
Bottom line: B

Kinetic #8
DC $2.50
Writer: Kelley Puckett; Penciller: Warren Pleece; Inker: Garry Leach
Well that’s that for this title. I have to say, I’m pretty disappointed it was cancelled. I’m also disappointed the writing didn’t pick up a bit about midway through the series, possibly snagging more interest instead of less. What I’m most disappointed in, though, is DC’s dismal creation and use of the DC Focus line. I’m not sure I understand how DC thought this was going to be a successful venture. Why not short series as part of the Vertigo line? I would have liked to see Kinetic as a 12-issue series – that way we may have had better storytelling or at least a more satisfying end.
Bottom line: C

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