The Comic Queen

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Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Single-Panel Reviews 07/27/05

I’m obviously incredibly behind in my comic reviewing, so expect to read several of these quick single-panel reviews as I catch up over the next few weeks.

Odd Numbers
Gagne International Press $9
By Michel Gagné
Though this book appears to be a simple counting hardback, the fantastic creations Gagné puts on the page provide a level of detail that both adults and kids will want to look at over and over. From “1 Horn” to “30 Warts,” the creatures used to illustrate the counting are simultaneously beautiful and grotesque. “Odd Numbers” is another fascinating offering from Gagné that I highly recommend no matter your mathematical ability.
Bottom line: A

Dark Mists #1
AP Comics $3.50
Writer: Annika Eade; Artist and Colorist: Lee Garbett
Set in 1936, the Imperial Japanese Secret Government recruits a group of geishas to report on their clients’ conversations, thus becoming undercover agents. This goes against the geisha way, but they agree to participate to help their country. The plot is intriguing but didn’t progress nearly as much as I would have liked. The art was absolutely the best part of this comic. The style consists of simple, elegant, lanky lines and paired with a soft coloring, achieves a water color feel. The worst part of the comic was by far the lettering. The majority of the bolded words were incorrectly emphasized making reading the dialogue extremely distracting and practically ruined the pace. I’d still recommend this comic, but I hope AP Comics fixes this problem before the next issue.
Bottom line: B

Ocean – series review
Wildstorm $2.99 and $3.99
Writer: Warren Ellis; Penciller: Chris Sprouse; Inker: Karl Story
As a whole, I enjoyed this sci-fi action story. Ellis set up a nice tale about deadly secrets uncovered below the ice surface of the moon Europa, the power struggle with a corporation set on controlling these secrets, and the weapons agent who is determined to settle the situation and save the galaxy in the process. The last issue, however, sees this concept reach a very unsatisfying end. Without ruining the ending, I’ll just say this issue doesn’t balance out with the pace of the rest of series, it just wraps up much too quickly with too much left unexplained. It was almost like Ellis quit writing about halfway through the issue and handed it off to someone else to finish. I typically enjoy Ellis’s comics, and I did enjoy this series right up to this, final issue, so I expected a little something more complete from him. I would have preferred to see this as at least an eight-issue series or a GN.
Bottom line: B

Damn Nation – issues #1-3
Dark Horse $2.99
Writer: Andrew Cosby; Artist: J. Alexander
I reviewed the first issue of this series and though I had a few problems with it, I thought it showed a lot of promise and intrigued me to read more. Now, after issue three, which was supposed to be the finale of the series and now is apparently not, I am utterly disappointed. This is one of the worst series I’ve ever read. The plot is worthless, the writing is horrible, and though I enjoy the overall look of the art, it is in places confusing. I’m not usually so blunt or scathing in my reviews, but I’m willing to make an exception for this comic.
Bottom line: D