Zak Edwards's Comic Reviews

Reviewer For: Comic Book Bin Reviews: 195
6.9Avg. Review Rating

4.0
Action Comics (2011) #11

Jul 11, 2012

I havent really been a fan of the art on Action Comics, Rag Morales art just looks exactly like the stereotypical comic book art that Jim Lee exemplified in the nineties. When I look at it, I feel nothing, it doesnt do anything other than convey the story exactly as it is. When compared with Sweet Tooth art, the other book I reviewed today, it just falls a little flat simply because it lacks any sort of power. It's communicative, but only to the minimum, and is more obsessed with making characters pose than depict what they feel. Also, the quick fill-in of Brad Walker is pretty jarring while being obviously better. His style has a little more flair, his flow is just more fun to look at, it is more stylish overall. Its a sort of irony that a book that keeps looking to the past for the future looks like a decade most readers like to sweep under the rug.

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6.5
Action Comics (2011) #12

Aug 3, 2012

The book's writing suffers at the hands of an art team simply trying to keep up and it's unfortunate. That being said, the final conversation between Superman and his landlady, where she turns Cubist, is quite well done. Overall, the art shows a stressed art team who will complain about the working conditions in a few years.

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5.0
Animal Man #20

May 2, 2013

Guest Artist John Paul Leons heavily shaded art is reminiscent of the Sean Phillips/Michael Lark school of noir-esque sensibilities and, as a choice of cinematography for this fake film, it works well. His lighting choices between the plasticized in front of cameras spectacle against the darker reality is a careful and strong juxtaposition, but only reinforces the simple binary of fake Hollywood and real life. His more rigid paneling reflects its filmic quality, varying only slightly on an eight-panel grid that uses a double-wide panel or two every page. The artwork is an excellent choice and serves Lemires script well.

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8.5
Army@Love: The Art of War #6

Jan 16, 2009

Veitchs art is expressive and excessively busy, adding to the general obscurity of the text. His characters emotions are exaggerated as well, which only reinforces the absurdity of the series. Veitch has been drawing the series since its conception and thinking of another artist who could draw the series is impossible. His art reinforces all of his points, the exaggerated characteristics of his cast add to its absurdity. The decal quality of the corporate sponsorships on almost every military vehicle reinforces many of his arguments. In fact, this attention to detail in excess reminds me of Transmetropolitan, where artist Darick Robertson also busied every panel with multiple amounts of media and advertisements to reinforce Warren Ellis commentaries on commercialism and consumerism. Overall, Veitchs own art works with his script.

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8.0
Astonishing X-Men #25

Jul 6, 2008

Simone Bianchi likes things dark and washed out, colour-wise. A tip: read this comic book in a well lit area or else you might not see everything. But the second time I read this comic book, I began to really enjoy the art. Its expressive and realistic and not over-sexualized. I believe this will work very well for the series, combining a focus on inter-team dynamics with an artist who can convey emotion and expression very well. My only complaint is the numerous dramatic close-ups. With the large amount of dialog, things become very cramped. It feels like too much of the art is covered up. But Bianchis art is perfect. This series should be entertaining to say the least.

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3.0
Beasts of Burden #1

Sep 21, 2009

So where the story of this book falters at the absolute best, the art is very pretty in a landscape painting sort of way. She has a very good ability to have these animal characters emote in ways which doesnt make them have their eyes popping out of their head. The painted scenes are very, well, pretty to look at and thats basically the only strength of the book. If you like The Group of Seven, youll like this book, its a pity theres all these speech bubbles in the way.

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7.0
Brain Boy #1

Sep 18, 2013

The entire art team matches Matt Prices intensity. Penciller R.B Silva has a cartoonish style, every character becomes what Price sees: more ideas of characters than people in and of themselves. This may speak to broad characterization, but given our unreliable narrator, they seem to be given less a chance to establish themselves. Price is disinterested and thus readers are kept in the dark. The colours play into this cartoony approach, everything is bright and colourful and pleasing to look at in its intensity. Overall, the script mirrors the art and vice versa. So while the book and main character are a bit of a mess, its a mess I want to keep reading.

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4.0
Brain Boy #2

Oct 17, 2013

Art-wise, penciller R.B Silva, inker Rob Lean, and colourist (with the aforementioned Nate Piekos) deliver a visually engaging book. Silva likes to play around with perspective throughout, which is a pretty poignant approach seeing how Brain Boy is constantly having his powers blocked, and it makes the book that much more watchable. His style is cartoonish and simple but very energetic, skipping along in a way that works against the dense writing.

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6.0
Buddy Cops One-Shot #1

Mar 13, 2013

But the book does wear its heart on its sleeve, beginning with a premise that very openly sounds like an elevator pitch of a bad TV show: A bad cop gets coupled with a do-gooder cop. One operates entirely outside procedure, the other is obsessed with it. Oh, and it takes place in the future and one is a robot, the others drunk a lot. Buddy Cops isnt breaking boundaries or doing anything other than exactly what it sets out to do: put a few extended gag strips together for a one-shot comic. And it does that, just nothing else. If this is actually a pitch for an ongoing, I certainly wouldnt read it, but Im sure people would pick it up and be amused.

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4.0
Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 9 #13

Sep 10, 2012

If the writing shows great care even as it doesnt work, Georges Jeantys pencils show nothing but disregard. The artist choices of the Buffy comics, with the obvious exception of Jo Chens gorgeous covers, has never been great, and the book continues to look inconsistent and fairly terrible. Panel to panel, Jeantys art varies and there is a telling panel near the end that simply show Buffy and Kennedy are sporting different hair colours, pretty much looking the same otherwise. Jeantys challenge of making characters look familiar without going overboard is difficult, but I have never been of fan of the art here, this latest installment doesnt change my opinion one iota.

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7.0
Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 9 #14

Oct 11, 2012

Any change from series regular Georges Jeanty for me is a bonus, so Karl Moline is a welcome change of pace. What Moline'a artistic style brings is a consistency even if Im not completely swayed by his work. His pencils are well conceived and steady; the book may never astound but it certainly doesnt disappoint, His facial expressions dont exactly work at times but they do convey what the script is saying and, after witnessing Jeantys inconsistencies issue after issue, its nice to have something that actually works throughout.

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6.5
Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Willow - Wonderland #1

Nov 3, 2012

At this point it's obvious the editors of Season 9 have settled on a house style for these books to maintain a certain level of artistic continuity, it's really too bad the style they chose isn't strong at all. The colours are too vibrant and jarring, the expressions either completely lacking or strange looking; this and the other books are just not something I actually enjoy visually. The action sequences are cramped and the characters are cartoonish in a way that isnt redeeming or really playing off the recognized Alice in Wonderland motifs to any great effect. Overall, I just dislike the art of all these books, even if the story itself is quite good. If the exterior work, the two incredible covers this book has by David Mack and Megan Lara, could ever match the inside, these books would be so much stronger.

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9.5
Change #1

Dec 23, 2012

The reason, and Im ashamed to say it, I picked up Change off the shelf was that the art looked like the artist of Manhattan Projects, Nick Pitarra. While Pitarras pretty new to the scene himself, their styles do line up and not to any detriment. Morgan Jeske, a Vancouver based illustrator, pumps out art that is just as deliberate as Kots writing. Nothing feels superfluous or attention-grabbing, from the initial colouring and subsequent shift to the marks on the lead females face, everything is part of a plan. Throwaway panels tie in wonderfully, truly showing just how comics arent storyboards for films, but a medium unto themselves.

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10
Change #2

Jan 20, 2013

Artist Morgan Jeske and colourist Sloane Jeong work together to bring the swirling narrative into cohesive fragments. Colour schemes change from page to page, setting to setting. Jekse is less concerned with accurate representation that surreal interpretation, frequently not representing what the reality would be (if we could even drop such a word into this book). At one point, a colourless girl sits next to a suit with a mouth for a face, telling us so much in the little space. The girl is numb, disinterested; the man, spouting manufactured thought processes. The panel gives more in terms of theme, tone, and voice in a single panel than books spend entire trades figuring out. And Jeskes characters are at once expressive and robotic, looking bored and contemplative all at once. As for me, I remain firmly in the latter category.

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9.0
Change #4

Mar 17, 2013

Dense, dynamic, and actually innovative. Ales Kot is the writer to watch in 2013.

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10
Daredevil: End of Days #1

Oct 11, 2012

The book looks amazing, it's the best way to put it, and the shifts in colouring, inking, and painting throughout seamlessly tell the story Bendis returns to finish. In a strange way, the book speaks to the Daredevil of days gone by, prior to his recent reboot, and locates him in the past as we look to the future. Things start and end at the beginning here, and the book fluidly references and calls back moments to remember without being nostalgic or hokey.

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7.5
Faker #1

Jul 8, 2007

The art by Jock is interesting, which I guess works for this series. Almost every page is emphasizing a different colour palette, but not in a very 'artsy' way. I feels more like the colourist got up and said, "I'm feeling very yellow today and so this page will be very, very yellow!" It's weird, and not in a Dave McKean or Sam Kieth way. I don't know how much freedom colourists get, so it's hard to say who's to blame for the rainbow of colouring, but I hope it doesn't continue. The pencils are okay, nothing that makes me want to pick up something else drawn by Jock, but it doesn't bother me in any way either.

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8.0
Faker #2

Aug 6, 2007

Jock, the artist, has a fairly decent style. Unfortunately, some of the male characters are difficult to differentiate between, making some scenes difficult to follow. I personally had to read the issue twice before understanding who was who. The colour palette problem from last time is still there, but much tamer, serving to enhance rather than distract. Nothing amazing, but Jock does a good enough job for the most part.

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9.5
Faker #3

Sep 20, 2007

Jock's art is very cool. That's the best way to put it. His layouts are fluid and unique. Shading and contrasting create very interesting panels within these layouts. It's easy to sit back and just look at the art. I wasn't completely sold at the beginning, but now that the colouring is more controlled, everything works together.

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9.0
Faker #4

Oct 11, 2007

Jocks art is highly stylized, with some crazy colour palette choices. Dramatic shading and panels of bright colouring make for a unique experience. The panelling is almost as eccentric as the rest of it but without losing flow. Easy to read and easy on the eyes, what more can a reader ask for?

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6.5
Faker #5

Dec 5, 2007

Jocks art continues to grow on me. Dynamic shading is used for mood and I think in some cases to cover up poorer quality drawing. The colouring has quietened down, allowing it to add to the comic book rather than distract. Jocks art is easy to follow and is different enough from most artwork to maintain interest and a sense of individuality. Where Careys story may have gone awry over time, Jock maintains his quality.

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9.0
Faker #6

Jan 29, 2008

Jock brings his very best to visually create what Carey was writing down. The more stunning shots are of the more gruesome moments in the book, something present in the first and second issues, creating a strangely beautiful out of the disgusting. The panelling present in certain sequences are pointed and intentional. One scene in particular of the death of a certain character comes to mind, the two main panels of the character running are distantly surrounded by smaller panels. The isolation and helplessness is conveyed almost solely through the panel choices over the pictures themselves. Jocks heavily contrasted art coupled with colourist Lee Loughridges distinct palette creates visually effective art fitting to Careys script.

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8.0
Fantastic Four #562

Jan 6, 2009

Bryan Hitch is still Bryan Hitch. Probably responsible for the slight delays in the release of this comic book, but that doesnt matter when the book is in your hand. His attention to details is above and beyond what is expected. Even people and objects in the far background are detailed and paid attention to, creating an entire panel worth looking at. Even The Thing, in all his orange glory, never becomes simply an orange blob, no matter how far away he is from the camera. His panelling is good as well, with a particular page of an exchange between Reed Richards and Dr. Doom standing out in my mind. The page has a sort of symmetry with two extreme close-ups of the two characters eyes which makes for a great page. Hitchs work continues to impress me and as long as the delays never become too extreme, I will continue to look forward to engaging in his work.

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7.5
Fantastic Four #563

Feb 4, 2009

Bryan Hitchs pencils bring a level of grounding to Millars script, working in tandem with the script to balance it out. If some other artist with a more extreme or exaggerated style would probably take this comic book to absurdity, but Hitch prevents this. With a book that has a lot of over-the top mixed in with a very real moment (an engagement), Hitch helps highlight the smaller moments within Millars script. The balance works very well, Ben Grimms excitement and happiness is more resonant than the twenty foot fertility statue. The action filled sequences benefit from Hitchs action as usual, with his attention to minute detail really paying off. Everything just looks better when his skylines are paid attention to with crazy detail. It makes the setting feel real.

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4.0
Fantastic Four #574

Jan 3, 2010

Neil Edwards art (no relation) just seems rushed, with not enough care put into the work. For example, page five, panel one is a picture of a couple of children but one of the children looks like a disfigured and obese middle-aged woman only to revert looking like a child in the next panel. Similarly, Mr. Fantastic on the next page is experiencing some perspective problems, making him look like a hawk and incredibly thin. Overall, the art feels uncared for and done in spurts of rushing.

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6.5
Fantastic Four #587

Jan 29, 2011

As for the issue itself, it plays on many of the broader themes Hickman has been working on surprisingly well. The story is divided into three separate ones, and each develops autonomously and carries the characters further one their own separate journeys, and adds tension to the inevitable conclusion (if not undercut like I discussed above). Sues continuing independence is undercut by Namors horniness for a little frustration, and the contrivance of the random bureaucratic loophole was eye-rolling, but this story worked well. Reeds is forgettable (I actually had to reread it to remember what happened almost entirely), but Johnny and Bens makes no sense whatsoever. There are bugs, other dimensions, and something about needing someone to stay behind, but none of this adds up very well on more than a single reading. It is pure contrivance and worries me for Hickmans larger plan, remembering Hickman apparently went to Marvel with entire books for his proposals, reaching as far as six

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8.0
Fatale #13

Mar 29, 2013

Phillips art remains something I want to go back to, however. His moody, heavily shaded artwork has always been a highlight in all his collaborations with Brubaker. I was initially worried how he would handle a genre that is more defined by its blinding sunlight than what lurks in the shadows, but his sensibility still makes the series delightful, mostly by making most things happen at night. I would have liked things to be more stark, colour-wise, but the final page shows Phillips choice is less to do with limits on his ability and more with stylistic choice. Choosing a certain cohesion with the rest of the series is a good move, anyways, as these issues are to help bring new readers in. I hope these issues help bring in those new readers, but I also hope Brubaker and Phillips keep exploring their world to the depths they want to, its always a treat.

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8.5
Four Eyes #2

Feb 23, 2009

Max Fiumara (Blackgas, Infinity Inc.) has a very expressive style. I find it able to deliver both the giant action of dragon fights, as well as deliver the smaller violence of Enricos life, all while being able to display the emotion that fills the issue. Its very adaptable, being able to deliver all of what is demanded of the script. His dragon fighting sequence is particularly impressive, with giant panels of multiple dragons twisting and tangling themselves up with each other while smaller panels of the major characters reactions really drive home the fights impact. It is a spectacle to see and I can almost recommend the book based simply on this sequence. Nestor Pereyras colours really add to the sequences as well. The fantastci colurs of the dragons, with their purples and vibrant fires is juxtaposed with the very bland palette of the real world.

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7.0
Grimm Fairy Tales Presents: Godstorm #0

Sep 18, 2012

Artistically, Jason Johnson is also not breaking new ground and it looks a lot like the sort of stereotypical style associated with superhero books. The proportions get hilarious at times, just look at the cover, but I can see the purpose of making these Greek gods seem exaggerated. With the context of contemporary Zeus, who looks relatively more normal, the book works well in simple juxtaposition. The art is clean, well rendered, and coloured brightly and non-offensively. If I could categorize the entire book, I would say its playing safe and this is actually to its benefit. I expect to be pleasantly surprised by this story as it unfolds.

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7.0
Ignition City #1

Apr 11, 2009

Artist Gianluca Pagliarani seems to reflect this emphasis of the world over the characters inhabiting it, even on the first couple of pages. These pages feature a highly detailed landscape shot of Berlin, complete with traffic james and flying blimp like vehicles while the characters in the other panels feature very little detail. But the whole look of the landscapes in the issue are really something worth looking at, drawing on the combination of western and science fiction of the writing. Its very pretty to look at, even if the characters lack of detail reflects their lack of interest.

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8.5
Incognito #3

Apr 22, 2009

Sean Phillips art is dark and much of his settings and character designs mimic Brubakers simultaneous homage and undermining. The previous example of the heros costume is a prime example, looking classic while challenging the capes and tights look of contemporary costumed vigilante books. The world these characters inhabit is dark and dirty, just like the pulps from which the setting is ripped from. Even the cover reflects this concept very well. A classic sort of super hero type image, a blonde woman in a short skirt and leather shirt and boots with a gun is surrounded by a hazy, bleak, black and white world. She is washed out herself, being an unnatural white colour and neutral expression to the violence and damage she may be causing to this world around her. She does not give an air of being a hero, but a part of the problem, despite occupying an on-the-surface feeling of being a hero. Overall, Phillips and Brubaker are working in such close proximity, the art and words blen

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0.0
Irresistible #2

Sep 3, 2012

Without any merit whatsoever, this type of publication should be banned.

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9.5
Joker #1

Nov 8, 2008

Two lines on the Jokers face aside, Bemejos interpretation is still powerful. The inking duties have been split between himself and Mick Gray, whose vastly different styles perform wonders in the story. Bermejo limits the pages he does to those with a great impact; the first full-page, full shot of the Joker, a lot of his welcoming party at a strip club, and a lot of the final pages of the novel, most notably an extreme close-up shot of the Batmans face to juxtapose the cover. These pages carry an extra weight to them and can be seen as visible markers of the narration of the story. But Mick Grays inking allows for a rougher feel to the bulk of the story. His inking allows for things the polished look of Bermejos couldnt, like the heavy shading associated with Two-Face or the extreme blood involved in ssome of the Jokers more extreme bouts of violence.

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9.0
Kick-Ass #1

Feb 28, 2008

John Romita Jr. follows the theme of realism in his pencils, filling the action panels with blood, bruises, and very grounded fighting. If a character even simply gets punched, it is felt and shown to have serious consequences. There are no supermen, when someone gets attacked Romita Jr. makes sure the reader knows that this would be exactly what would happen if it were to happen down the street. The characters all look very normal as well. Even the supposed hot girl sitting behind Dave is nothing to gawk at. Daves friends and himself are all skinny, plain-looking kids. Romita Jr.s art has never felt been disproportionate to the extremes that can be seen in many titles, so his approach is perfect.

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7.0
Kick-Ass #2

Apr 4, 2008

As for the art, John Romita, Jr. sure can draw blood, which is a good thing, the last half of the comic book is filled with it! But I found I enjoyed the art in places where I didnt enjoy the writing. Daves hallucinations have an eerie, disturbing quality to them that is quite enjoyable and reflective of what Dave may be going through. The fighting felt stiff with little fluidity with the characters looking like they were frozen in various positions instead of moving. Judging by the bonus script in the back of this issue, Millar gave Romita plenty of room to flex and some of it is great. The use of the garbage can for not only the can itself, but also the lid as a weapon just works well within the fight. These moments add to the believability when the script falters. So judgement of the art comes down whether one wants to look at the art as supporting where the script needs work or as poor collaboration. I for one, am divided, but I still am enjoying the series.

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9.5
Kick-Ass #3

Jun 14, 2008

John Romita Jr. likes blood and gore, made obvious by the cover, but this makes the action sequences at the end of the series difficult to look at. Millar created a sequence at the end not to be enjoyed, something Romita Jr. reflected perfectly in his pencils. Romita also does a great job of showing Daves messed up injuries, somplete with swollen jaws and bandaged faces. His art works for both halves of Daves life, depicting real-looking people in a story where reality is the point.

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7.0
Kick-Ass 2 #1

Nov 2, 2010

John Romita Juniors art is fairly inconsistent this issue, an unfortunate circumstance given the lack of action happening plot-wise. In some instances, the art has been inked an coloured in a wonderful fashion which looks completely different from the panel next to it, going from a familiar colour scheme of the first installment to a much softer look on the next panel. Characters get disproportionate as well, especially in a panel depicting Hit-Girl sitting in front of her parents and looking gigantic. Overall, the art is fine, but detracts far too often.

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0.0
Milk Wars: JLA/Doom Patrol Special #1

Feb 7, 2018

A Morrison send up thats bright, fun, dense and more on-the-nose than it purports to be.

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8.5
Mind MGMT #5

Sep 26, 2012

Having read this issue more than a few times, I really love how much Kindts artwork tells the story, relying more on the how it's told over the what is spoken. This issue could have easily been silent as Kindts deft use of repetition and simple narration makes this issue, one a of notable clarity within itself, even easier to decipher. Its probably why the book is so easily reviewed in respect to the rest of the series, there is almost a moment of respite in this recognizable story. But Kindts affective and simple style relates very easily the basic moments while remaining as complex as the product he created. The book itself contains numerous styles, innovations, and stories Kindt handles with ease. Overall, the book is a joy to read.

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8.0
New Warriors (2007) #1

Jun 9, 2007

Seeing Paco Medinas art again is great, it is reminiscent of his run with the New X-Men, he knows how to draw younger characters with life and vigour. Unfortunately, there seems to be a lot of art put onto panels after the fact and it is very obvious. There is a Marvel sign that sticks out, as well as some graffiti art and, worst of all, some text on a t-shirt. These additions after the fact do not enhance the art but rather become distractive and take away from the whole panel. Im also not a fan of how Medina seems to be putting Sofia into many poses that make come off as being a big tease and flirt rather than an actual character. Shes constantly bending over tables and overly touchy with men that it takes away from her character. Other than that, I enjoy Medinas art and I hope he stays for a while.

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7.5
New Warriors (2007) #2

Jul 13, 2007

Paco Medinas art is very good except for a few panels that just ruin the issue for me. The panels in question have one of two problems. The first problem is that some of the adult characters, Tony Stark in particular, just look too much like teenagers. The second and more pressing problem is Medinas inability to draw a properly proportioned female. Most of the characters have giant breasts, each considerably larger than the tiny waists of the characters. The comic is not supposed to be a collection of pin-ups, and yet in some places it feels precisely like that. Its unfortunate that Medina ruins his otherwise excellent art with exaggerated features. It takes away from the whole experience.

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7.0
New Warriors (2007) #3

Aug 7, 2007

Paco Medina continues to handle the art very well. His teenage characters continue to drawn with energy and vigour. I enjoy his animated expressions and ability to draw almost anything, as long as the subject is under twenty. Medina has also given the whole issue a breast reduction which deals with one of my major complaints of the last two issues. His art style fits the series perfectly.

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8.0
New Warriors (2007) #4

Sep 20, 2007

Paco Medina continues to be a perfect fit for this series. The animated characters work great for showing these teens as just that, teenagers While Grevioux creates the characters with dialogue, Medina defines them with his great pencils. Nothing seems awkward and barely anything is disproportionate, except maybe the tiny cops, but thats on purpose. Basically, Medina is doing an amazing job.

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7.0
New Warriors (2007) #5

Oct 19, 2007

Paco Medina is a very energetic artist to say the least. Action sequences burst from the page right into your eye sockets. These scenes are chaotic, their dangerous, their crazy, their awesome! This energy transfers from scene to scene, allowing for the less action-orientated scenes to not cause a drop in flow and feel. Sometimes, with comics being a relatively quick-moving medium, transfers from scene to scene can feel like walking into a brick wall when it comes to consistency in feel. Medina eases these transfers. His drawings are still fairly disproportionate when concerning the female form, though. The last couple of issues has scene clever use of objects obstructing his tendency to draw women in unrealistic ways, but this issue sees the return of this. It is not a welcome return. Besides this, Medinas art is very easy to enjoy and mixes with the script very well.

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6.5
New Warriors (2007) #6

Dec 18, 2007

Paco Medina originally was bothering me with his incredibly disproportionate depictions of women, and while it is still there, it is definitely toned down. His conveyance of emotion is not as effective this issue either, adding to some problems already in the script. Paco Medinas pencils have been improving with the series but encountered a few problems this issue while still remaining fairly good. The character of Phaser, who just had his sister killed, has his goggles on for the entire issue, hiding his eyes completely. This makes him appear bug-eyed the entire time and one cannot see him grieving, rather, he is simply frowning. The male cop has the same expression for the entire issue as well, which may be more appropriate as he is a hard type of character, but it is not effective. But other than these discrepancies, Medinas art is well done and fits many aspects of the story very well. His characters are animated but not cartoon looking, striking an appropriate balance.

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6.0
New Warriors (2007) #7

Jan 16, 2008

Jon Malins art is with some problems as well. The proportion problem is very evident in this issue, with nipples pointing skyward from enormous breasts throughout the entire issue. The story suffers from this and lowers the overall quality of the comic book. I know sex sells, but some of these over-sexualized panels in this issue are ridiculous and bordering on offensive. Besides this, the issue is fairly dialogue heavy, and Malin is allowed to play around with facial expressions with mixed results. Some are fairly effective, others come across as very cartoonish. The dramatic zoom-in on a face is overused, appearing on almost every second page. I was beginning to wonder what was trying to be accomplished by this other than a deadline. Overall, the art was disappointing but had some positive qualities in an issue that was more character focused than action driven.

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5.0
New Warriors (2007) #8

Jan 19, 2008

Jon Malins art continues to be over-sexualized, especially concerning the female characters. How many people wear skin tight, glorified sports bras or school girl outfits to a family dinner with small children present? The female characters also all possess the same face, only coloured differently to distinguish between them. The male characters are depicted with more variation, but are still seen wandering around shirtless with pants leaving little to the imagination. Once again, Malin uses the close-up on a characters face much too often, up to three times on a single page, which causes the effect to lose any meaning. The art simply does not enhance the story-line, but rather distracts and brings down the quality of the book.

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8.0
New X-Men (2004) #38

May 11, 2007

With all the chaos of Belascos realm, Skottie Youngs graffiti inspired art works incredibly well. The shift from series regular Paco Medina is a little jarring, but I love it. The new art is very modern and works well with the abundance of demons and crazy landscapes. Each page was a treat, especially the fight scene with Rockslide, Pixie and company. Both New X-Men and X-Men have two very talented and outside of the box artists and I hope the trend continues into other major titles.

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7.5
New X-Men (2004) #39

Jun 17, 2007

Skottie Young continues to show just how wild that ride can be. His chaotic, animated style works very well with this story in Hell. He does, however, seem to have a knack for drawing some characters well and others simply looking silly. For example, Young can draw a mean Dust, some of the panels stick out a bit style-wise, but they are incredible. Unfortunately, Nehzno just looks like a silly caricature. I still applaud Young for keeping such a fresh style in mainstream comics.

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7.5
New X-Men (2004) #40

Jul 31, 2007

Skottie Young continues to be bold and separate himself from other artists out right now. His crazy style fits the story and its setting perfectly. Im not sure how a whole issue of the kids on earth would look, but for right now its awesome. Still, almost all the kids and adults look to be about the same age, except for in one panel where an extreme height difference is used to show the difference in age. That is avoided mostly by Young keeping the adult characters in the background. All the kids and their unique appearances are emphasized and the art is stronger for it. No complaints on the art, except for that first one.

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8.0
New X-Men (2004) #41

Aug 19, 2007

As I said earlier, Yost used Skottie Young and his graffiti style art to its full potential. The setting allowed for some wild backgrounds while the assortment of characters, from demons to a lizard mutant, added to the whole experience. Youngs portrayals of Dust, Pixie, and Rockslide were very memorable. While some characters do seem to become caricatures, this happens very infrequently. I worry that Youngs art may seem out of place once the kids are settled back home on earth, but so far he has only enhanced the experience.

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8.0
New X-Men (2004) #42

Sep 26, 2007

The first thing that catches the eye is how different the art is. I had to check the credits to make sure the art team had not changed, it hasnt. The team is the exact same as before, proving how different artwork can be in the hands of a versatile team. Where the last arc was clean with a bold colour palette, it has been replaced by a rougher style with a more bland colour scheme. It still looks great. I was concerned that once the setting had changed from the crazy landscapes and characters of Belascos realm to the normal world, that Youngs art would be too crazy for any believability. These concerns have been addressed. While some things do look a little over the top, like Wolverine and Colossus. Overall the characters are animated just enough to convey how mellodramatic the characters are without crossing the line into saturday morning cartoon. Youngs panels look great.

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9.0
New X-Men (2004) #43

Nov 7, 2007

Skottie Youngs art took a major shift last issue, moving from his clean-cut, brightly coloured visuals to a much rougher and duller appearance. The shift works well, as the kids movement from their last adventure in Limbo back to the X-Mansion needed a different look to it. With the change in writing style, it makes sense that the art changes with it. Youngs characters are dramatic enough to portray what they are going through without too much of a cartoon look, something that happened a few times last arc. The dulled colours sometimes make it difficult to discern whats going on in the darker backgrounds, but Young accomplishes in one silent, five-panel page than a worded page could ever do. Young is set to be replaced by Humberto Ramos next issue, and it is a sad thing to say good-bye to his dynamic, versatile, and very unique style.

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7.0
newuniversal #6

May 25, 2007

Salvador Larrocas art is still very fitting for the series as it seems to be heavily set in reality. The obvious photo referencing is actually an effective device for the most part as it allows the audience to see the familiar and therefore extend their disbelief. I still love the fact that he draws real people rather than supermodels and I hope he continues with this great work.

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7.5
Newuniversal: Shockfront #1

May 19, 2008

With the new series, a new artist has started working on Newuniversal. Replacing Salvador Laroccas photo-referencing is Steve Kurth. Kurth is not using this photo-referencing technique of Larocca, who made many of the main characters look like popular Hollywood stars like Bruce Willis and Angelina Jolie. His pencils are enjoyable, with very expressive faces working well with a story heavy on the dialogue and light on the action. I also enjoyed his use of shading, it stood out as being very effective in conveying tone without swallowing the page in black. The colour palette has changed as well, choosing a bolder colour set that replaces the last issues. These colours create a more comic book feel, taking away from the realism present in Laroccaa panels. The art is effective overall, with little to complain about a a few panels to point out as working very well.

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6.5
Northlanders #1

Dec 11, 2007

Artist Davide Gianfelice delivers an interesting portrayal of Woods script with his rough and moody pencils backed by the contrasting colour palettes of colourist Dave McCaig. The whole comic has an almost 300 look to it, if I dare make the comparison. Reds and blacks work well to set atmosphere, while the use of gray serves to flush the colour out of the backgrounds and people. The art is very well done; gritty, rough, washed out with splashes of colour fit the time of the piece more than some of the characters.

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6.0
Number 13 #1

Dec 23, 2012

The style instantly takes me back to saturday morning cartoons in the nineties and that is never a bad thing. Actually. the more I look at it, the more I like it. There is a technical precision to the art that is influenced by how those cartoons were shot and, with that frame of reference, the art is incredible. The writing though, is a different kind of nostalgia, a tired nostalgia that revisits, not innovates.

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7.0
NYX: No Way Home #1

Aug 7, 2008

Artist Kalman Andrasofsky reminds me at times very deliberately of NYXs Robert Teranshi but also brings an original take as well. The panels bounce between the two different styles more than I would like. Sometimes the characters, Kidon in particular, jump between a throwback to the original artwork to a new art style. I like both, but not together. Hopefully Andrsofsky will bring more of personal style next time to create a more unique experience which will be his own work rather than an emulation of a prior work. But his work is very good, the characters are very expressive while attention to background details never become ignored. In a series where the city was a very important character, it is nice to see it is not being overlooked.

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5.0
Pride and Prejudice #1

Apr 11, 2009

As for the art, I really did not like it, the cover especially was simply a terrible idea. The cover attempts to look like an old-fashioned version of an issue of Cosmopolitan magazine, but with the language of a modern day issue. As you can see on the left, phrases like Bingleys Bring Bling to Britain grace the cover and the whole thing makes the book feel as cheap as one of those magazines. Much of the problems with the art can be summed up on the first couple of pages. The panel showing all the Bennet girls (complete with names) make them all look like supermodels who are either bored or stoned, and most certainly spent their fathers unremarkable income on botox and expensive hair treatment products. Also, there is a panel of Mrs. Bennet in which her face takes up the entire panel, like her face is getting squished through a small box, something penciller Hugo Petrus repeats a few times with different characters with little success. I have to appreciate his paying attention to

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3.0
Punk Rock Jesus #1

Jul 20, 2012

There's something here, but I don't think even Sean Murphy realizes it.

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6.5
R.I.P.D: City of the Damned #1

Nov 27, 2012

Artist Tony Parkers artwork calls on familiarity to help the extensive genre blending. The opening sci-fi looks a bit like Star Wars Episode I with all the chrome and bridges, the Western is pretty easy to pick out as well and blends into the rest of the comic, so much so that the Leopard wandering around could barely register without Parkers own emphasis. This quick reference tactic, as I said, eases all these genres being placed together so quickly, which only helps. Overall, the book looks great, especially in the continual attention to detail, and I look forward to the next issue.

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6.0
R.I.P.D: City of the Damned #2

Dec 23, 2012

And artistically, the book remains great. Tony Parkers style, just enough cartoon and just enough detail, can and does take on everything. The style isnt cartoonish, per se, but characters drawn in his style look like live action versions of cartoon characters without looking too silly. Michelle Madsens colours only add to the experience, moving from mood to mood in ways that make sense and are almost rendered invisible (in the best way possible).

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8.5
Red Mass for Mars #3

Jun 23, 2009

As for the art, Ryan Bodenheim and colour assists by Marty Shelley is really a joy to look at. I mention Marty Shelley because of the colouring of this issue, which really struck a chord with me. The backgrounds, almost all of space with crazy colour schemes of blue and red or brown and yellow, help create mood within the scenes while maintaining a surrealistic experience. This type of future is very foreign and I like how the background colouring works with this. His characters are expressive and play with convention just like the script. Many characters look like the archetypes they mimic, yet in the scenes in which they react against these ideas, the characters can look very unlike themselves in often shocking ways.

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7.5
Resident Alien: The Suicide Blonde #1

Sep 18, 2013

Artist Steve Parkhouse, like Peter Hogan, is a mainstay in British comics and that particular style, balancing heavy shading, simple palettes, and structured paneling for a story that follows the scripts priorities. Parkhouses character designs are simple and familiar and the world is populated by characters who look like people, a mundane quality that the storys setting works to its advantage. Parkhouse has a long history of drawing interesting people without relying on the mainstays of the industry, the issue is visually appealing, drawing readers in through a straight forward approach. For first issues, the approach both creators take is welcome, visually providing readers with something to cling to while hinting at more beneath the surface. Seems pretty appropriate for a murder mystery.

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7.5
Resident Alien: The Suicide Blonde #2

Oct 18, 2013

As I mentioned last time, Resident Alien: Suicide Blonde is a wonderful read for its quiet approach and use of space to show rather than tell. It operates very differently from Dark Horse's other output this month, which shows off exactly how narcissism can take over a narrative. Here, writer Peter Hogan lets things play out, gives characters an opportunity to speak for themselves, and, especially important given the story's mystery premise, allows readers a space to put things together.

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6.5
Runaways (2005) #25

Jul 4, 2007

As for the art, Michael Ryan is a talented artist and does a very good job of handling Whedons awkward script. Ryan seems to have followed what Alphona was doing and bring his own style into the mix with great results. I enjoy what hes doing, the kids still have some flavour to them. There is a classic feel to them, I hope he sticks around.

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7.0
Runaways (2005) #26

Jul 4, 2007

The art continues to be excellent. Once again, Michael Ryan seems to have a very firm grasp on what these kids should look and act like. I loved all of it. His characters are chalked full of animated emotion that doesnt make the whole thing feel like a saturday morning cartoon. I hope Ryan stays with the series for a long time.

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6.0
Runaways (2005) #27

Jul 8, 2007

So, in closing. If you are new to Runaways for this arc, you probably think Im crazy to be saying bad things about this story. Long-time fans will most likely disappointed as it feels like some of the magic is gone. I think my overall rating tries to strike a balance for Whedons script and gives credit to Ryans art.

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7.0
Runaways (2005) #29

Feb 28, 2008

Michael Ryans expressive and colourful art fits this series so well. His pencilling duties also end with Joss Whedon, so he will be missed. As I said earlier, Ryans art has been much more consistent than Whedons scripts. His characters are very expressive without crossing the line into comedic, fitting the humour style the series possesses very well. Runaways delivers great one-liners rather than physical comedy, so his grounded style works to laugh when appropriate. His care in other scenes works as well. The falling petals of the flowers present in the fight between Molly and Klara had potential to come across as cheesy and unoriginal, but Ryan gave the panel a subtlety that keeps the scene genuine. His action sequences work well also, with his beautiful two-page spread of the gang war being very colourful and jammed packed with almost every character in the story so far. Ryans pencils are perfect for this title and his consistency is a relief.

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5.0
Runaways (2005) #30

Jun 29, 2008

streets flood and it looks amazing. Where I am not broken up about Whedons departure, Ryans talents will be missed.

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7.0
Runaways (2008) #1

Aug 31, 2008

As for the art, if you like the cover, youll love whats inside. If youre like me and hate the cover, then it only gets worse from there. The characters are far too like a childrens cartoon. Its like Skottie Youngs art in past New X-Men issues without the cool stylization. It just strikes me the wrong way and I find it frustrating. Yes, Runaways is a fun book, packed with humour and action, but it also is not campy, which is exactly what penciller Humberto Ramos is doing. Also, some of the characters are almost unrecognizable while others, Chase and Victor particularly, look the exact same with slightly different skin and hair colour. Molly and Klara also look like bobble-heads. But it is really a qustion of preference, and I prefer someone else. Runaways has always had amazing art, from Adrian Alphona to Michael Ryan, so this is the first time I am disappointed with the pencilling for this series.

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7.0
Runaways (2008) #2

Sep 28, 2008

Humberto Ramos art is driving me insane. While I will admit when I first opened the first pages of this issue I was impressed, a closer look immediately made me groan. The colouring is great, with the alien invaders looking great as they power up against the Runaways, as does theyre powering up against their new threat, but they still look ridiculous. The characters eyes are the size of dinner plates, stuck inside giant faces which make the characters look like bobble heads. The scenes of the cast eating pizza look particularly bad, with Nico opening a gaping mouth to a dripping slice while her eyes have seem to magically shrunk down to below average size. The only scenes which actually dont look over the top and much to cartoonish are with Karolina interacting one on one with Nico and Xavin. Ramos manages a subtlety which works well, while the rest feels like a bad joke.

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6.5
Runaways (2008) #3

Oct 24, 2008

For some reason Humberto Ramos grossly exaggerated cartoonish style did not annoy me as much this issue as the previous two. Perhaps Ive just come to accept it and merely see the art for what its trying to convey instead of how it convey it. Its funny, for one of the jokes involving some physical humour, its Moore who makes the joke fall flat instead of Ramos. Ramos makes a scene with the humour understated and in the background but still very visible and it is Moores writing that clogs up and draws too much attention to whats supposed to be funny. Its disappointingly American in its humour style. Not to take away from American humour, but sometimes subtlety works wonders for laughs and this is a prime example of how it was ruined.

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4.0
Runaways (2008) #4

Dec 2, 2008

and feel it is inappropriate for the feel of the series. The sheer amount of exaggeration creates an air of silliness and childish antics. Runaways has always been much deeper than this and the artists have always recognized this. But Ramos style seems dead set on making the bug-eyed Runaways as silly looking as possible.

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4.0
Runaways (2008) #6

Feb 3, 2009

Humberto Ramos art annoys me more than anything else, so I am very glad past penciller Takeshi Miyazawa will be back to finish Moores run, although Ramos will continue with the covers. But that was the only art I enjoyed in this issue. The cover was less silly then the others Ramos has done, and this series enjoyed very cool covers, almost all serious works of art within themselves. Klara covered in roses was very well done with a degree of seriousness I thought impossible with Ramos. But then I opened the comic and its back to normal. Ramos art is so melodramatic and exaggerated that I cant engage with it. I have to say, though, I really enjoyed Christina Strains colouring. With the fight between the Majesdanians and the Runaways being full of bright colours, it added to the excitement of the fight. Ramos can make thing look exciting, in a way, but much is lost in an lack of believability. Also, Strains Karolina has a skin colour that, when contrasted with other characters,

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6.5
Runaways (2008) #7

Feb 27, 2009

As for the art, Im just glad Humberto Ramos is gone, I did not enjoy his overly cartoonish and very exaggerated style which I felt conflicted with much of what Runaways is as a series. But he is gone and Runaways welcomes back Canadian Japanese artist Takeshi Miyazawa. Miyazawa has drawn four Runaways issues previous to this and I gladly welcome him back. I do not read a lot of manga and as such am not very familiar witht the style, but his art is much more grounded than Ramos. His characters are expressive, his action sequences fluid and fun, and overall it is very solid work. There is little to complain about, he does the job and he does it very well. I no longer feel myself fighting with the art to interpret the comic, but rather Miyazawa is helping Moores script.

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7.5
Runaways (2008) #8

Mar 30, 2009

And to have Takeshi Miyazawa back to draw the Runaways again is fantastic. Miyazawa did some issues back in the days when the series was still written by Brian K. Vaughan, and having him back is a great experience. His art is expressive, clear, bright, and very accommodating to the series tone and style. Besides his tendency to make Chase look very feminine, Im really enjoying the fun he seems to be having. Probably one of my favourite panels involves Nicos staff of one emerging from her body and smacking a zombie square in the eye with a resounding smack! Also, all the sketches of the costume ideas Molly has are wonderful, with costumes designed with extra pockets, which makes the thing look like a parka, and many other ideas. Miyazawas having a good time, and that certainly translates for the reader.

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8.5
Runaways (2008) #10

Jun 3, 2009

The bonus story in the back, written by James Amus with art by Emma Rios, moves at a much quicker pace. The story is only eleven pages and as such, much is left for the reader to fill in, like why the monster they are fighting is actually even there. But the final joke of the entire story more than makes up for these forgivable constraints. I have a feeling the joke was thought of first and the rest of the story after, but you will have to read it to get what I am talking about.

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8.5
Runaways (2008) #11

Jul 1, 2009

Sara Pichelli is a good choice for a series like Runaways. Her ability to play with emotional expression while not becoming exaggerated is very reminiscent of original series artist Adrian Alphona. Helped by series artist Christina Strain, who has coloured every issue of Runaways, Pichellis art fits perfectly. She does borrow heavily from Alphona, notably with a scene near the end with Chase which mirrors a panel of Alphonas. While this may seem like mimicry, it is actually more along the lines of the return to form the series has been enjoying in just two issues.

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8.0
Runaways (2008) #13

Sep 2, 2009

A dense story that is still very good while the art is able to keep things interesting.

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9.0
Saga #2

Apr 27, 2012

The big part here is Fiona Staples. She has such great character designs and I really took notice of her backgrounds this time around. It almost makes her character work pop out even more, with wonderfully rendered simple-yet-effective background elements. Little things, like the Chinese Dragon train, also keep things really interesting and make the worlds seem both otherworldly and familiar. Overall, Staples has a grasp of the characters and a controlling share in the world they inhabit right now. If things keep meshing together this seamlessly, I doubt there will a book I get more excited about in a while.

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10
Saga #5

Jul 20, 2012

Was there ever any doubt this wouldn't be incredible?

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7.5
Secret Warriors #1

Feb 10, 2009

As for the art, I am not convinced Stefano Caselli is the right person for the job. I understand the Young Guns promotion going on with some of Marvel Comics newest finds, but Caselli is just too conventional for me in this title. His characters all look stereotypical of the big American comics. They are expressive and his action sequences certainly have a lot going on, but I feel there may be another artist out there who could help on a title which is playing the espionage game. Everything is too polished and neat, not reflecting what is boiling just underneath. The scenes are all well done, but I think there are some whose style is a little more gritty that could have worked better. Salvador Larocca immediately comes to mind, but I am sure there are many others as well. But the book does look fairly good for the style. Overall, it doesnt add to the story, but does not take away either.

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6.0
Sledgehammer '44 #1

Mar 13, 2013

But as for new, I would like artist Jason Latour to draw more books, please. His cartoonish style, and I mean this in the Seth and classic New Yorker magazine sense of the term, plays with nostalgia in very productive ways. There is a real sense of past through his art while his action scene constructions slowly build to moments of legitimate aw. Unlike Seth, whos work is exceptionally static, Latour has an eye for movement from page to page, panel to panel, combining a more mainstream sensibility with a style embedded in the past. The artwork far outstrips the writing, but that makes me head straight to the internet to find more Latour, not more Mignola.

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9.0
Spaceman #6

Apr 27, 2012

Risso is also putting out some great work. His moody lighting and almost cartoonish style serves this book extremely well. With people being genetically engineered for space, I appreciate how Rissos style lends itself to making even regular characters look a little off as well. Sure, Orson and his freak brothers look like cavemen, but I think the vendors selling guns to kids looking like predatory versions of Wayne Knight is equally interesting. And while most of the design work of the city itself is still fairly generic, Risso spreads of the world his characters inhabit are still wonderful to behold.

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8.5
Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane #2

Sep 7, 2008

Craig Rosseaus pencilling continues to be an appropriate match to Moores script. His animated, expressive characters fit well with the melodramatic nature of teen drama. Two things grabbed me in the issue as poor in an otherwise good issue. The first is the choice to change Liz Allens hair colour. Now I believe this is a decision made by Terry Moore, but I fail to see the necessity of it. I had no idea who she was when I saw her until Mary-Jane said Liz, it just does not work, she is no longer a recognizable character. The other is the second panel depicting Harry, simply put, he looks like Frankensteins monster. Great match on the art and writer. As a side note, I hate the alternate monkey cover, Marvel's insistence on forcing completely unrelated books to feature covers of this very poor idea is pointless. Its only redeemable feature is Adrian Alphona, who happens to be an amazing artist.

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7.0
Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane #3

Oct 16, 2008

Artist Craig Rousseau may be jarring for those used to the manga style of drawing usually associated with this series, but his pencils work perfectly. His art is expressive and a clear communicator with a focus on articulating the story over a showcase of overly sexualized characters that can ruin other series involving teenagers. I still need to be reminded Mary-Janes best friend, Liz Allen, dyed her hair from blonde. Flash Gordon, Midtown Highs resident hulking jock, also does look almost stereotypically apelike. Spider-Mans very brief action sequence shows off Rousseaus ability to handle both fights and conversations surrounding a lunch table. While some artists obviously excel at one, Rousseau handles both well.

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7.0
Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane #4

Nov 17, 2008

Craig Rousseaus artistic contributions for this series are great. His characters are expressive and communicative without becoming overly cartoonish. He does have characters whose necks are strangely thin, causing a lot of his characters to look like bobble heads. But Rousseaus art synchronizes with the script because of his ability to communicate emotion.

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7.5
Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane #5

Dec 11, 2008

Craig Rousseaus art still fits the series and Moores writing perfectly, animated and expressive without too much over the top actions. The colouring in this series has been equally well done, with the palette being bright and bold. The shading can really drive home mood a little too much sometimes. For example, Mary-Jane is sitting in a park feeling sorry for herself and she is surrounded by a shadow focusing solely on her, which is fairly difficult to swallow. But that is a fairly specific complaint which does not interfere with the quality of the art very much. Overall, the story and the art line up perfectly, not much more one can ask for.

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8.0
Spider-Woman #2

Oct 23, 2009

Alex Maleevs art is just simply very, very good. He has a habit of using the same panels multiple times, one he uses three times in two pages, and the context they are used in I feel even a slightly different panel would have had more of an impact. However, the same panel being used twice in the first two pages has a very good and cinematic resonance. His shading can become very melodramatic while keeping Jessica in the spotlight (emphasis on the word light), particularly in the interrogation scene, where the bad guy is almost completely obscured while Jessica is almost completely lighted. Also, I would like to point out how, when Jessica starts to use her seduction powers, there is a panel completely focusing on her breasts. However, despite these complaints, Maleevs dark and cinematic yet expressive art adds to Bendis script in many ways, and the bars casting shadows on Jessicas face completely recognizing the influence of the series and a quite welcome homage. I absolutely ado

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5.0
Spider-Woman #4

Jan 2, 2010

As I said, Maleevs art is one of the two reasons for a continued purchasing of this title. His art is dark and brooding with simply amazing colouring. The colours wash things out, bleed together, create crazy patterns and make the book much nicer to look at than read. Great examples of the colouring happen throughout the fight scene with the Skrull, where Maleevs colours create a disorienting effect which draws the reader closer to the protagonist because of an implied subjectivity to the art. As Drew is knocked to the ground, the colours around her become white and mix with strange shapes and other colours. The panel doesnt create a typical seen of a pure white backdrop, but actually puts the white at the front of a backdrop of a heavily distorted version of the actual background. The blood splatters on the subsequent pages are used to guide the eye through the dual page setup. The colouring is complex, adding dimensions to the story, which is something every artist should cons

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7.0
Stray Bullets: Sunshine and Roses #15

Jun 13, 2016

Usually the example of a brilliant crime comic, Stray Bullets: Sunshine and Roses #15 stumbles more than it succeeds. Visually, its still amazing. Personally, I need my Caesar.

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4.0
Sweet Tooth #35

Jul 11, 2012

The stage has been set and though I fear Gus himself, who is quite absent along with his protector, may have his journey ended before we see him fully develop out of his naivety, I trust Lemire to leave off with what he still does best: qiet and powerfully emotive stories, much like the one here.

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8.5
Sweet Tooth #36

Aug 3, 2012

As the series progresses, it seems Lemires style has become looser and rougher, more likely related to his increased workload than anything else, but the rush works anyways. Besides, the opening dream sequence, where he takes on the coloring duties as well, proves hes not letting Sweet Tooth simply die because he has more lucrative projects on the go. Time and care goes into each issue, and his use of double page spreads and still general experimentation shows Lemire is still using Sweet Tooth as a creative outlet as his other work becomes more editorialized. Sweet Tooth has been a struggle for Lemire at times, but I think its also a wonderful place to watch one of comics most talented people grow into a writer and artist who can bring people to the medium and raise its quality.

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9.5
Sweet Tooth #39

Nov 14, 2012

It's visceral (that leg breaking is making me shuffle uncomfortably as I write this), and still moving. Lemire's strength has never been in great action sequences, his art is too wooden in a way, so his focus continues to be on his ability to freeze moments. The action sequences don't have flair, nor should they, because we are dealing with the most blatant mortality here. Here, movements have weight, consequences, and implications, they cannot simply hover or move without impact.

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10
Sweet Tooth #40

Jan 20, 2013

Really, I cant wait to reread the entire thing as soon as I get the chance.

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9.0
The Great Unknown #1

Feb 23, 2009

Rouleau is primarily known for his work as an artist for both DC and Marvel Comics, and his art is also a strong point for this issue. I mean, save for one page, the whole thing is blue for some reason I do not understand, but other than this colouring choice, the art is great. The style is fairly cartoonish, which allows for some wonderful stereotyping of people Zach feels the need to be in opposition for. But this itself is played upon with Felds parents turning out to be cardboard cut outs. The experience is very cool and I appreciated how Rouleaus style allows for this moment to be as great as it is. But at the same time, Rouleaus artistic style allows for his characters to be very expressive in terms of emotion. Wonderful art to match a great story.

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8.0
The Great Unknown #2

May 24, 2009

The Great Unknown continues to enjoy an artistic style perfectly matching the story. Being fairly cartoonish in style, Rouleau can exaggerate in many ways. Expressions can jump off the page while many characters appear to look exactly the same as the next, which is exactly how the protagonist perceives the world. The color scheme continues to be almost entirely blue for an unknown reason, but at this point, it is hardly noticeable.

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9.0
The Massive #4

Sep 10, 2012

The Massive is on the forefront of what everyone will be writing like in a couple of years.

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6.5
The Massive #6

Nov 13, 2012

The fact of the matter is the whole thing feels really disjointed, sparse, and I find myself having a hard time getting through an issue. It's like I'm missing issues (but I'm not) or even pages (which I don't think I am). And with the back issues currently away from me, I can't really go back and look at what I'm missing. Maybe it's made for the trade, I don't know.

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9.0
The Massive #8

Jan 21, 2013

What The Massive is doing, both ship and series, is communicating a lack of communication, and the series is benefitting from giving these moments of confusion and lack of knowledge as places for readers to identify (notice too how this is the first issue without supplemental material in the back). The book is on a due course, that much is evident, and I'm glad Wood has given us a moment to identify with the place, characters, and narrative itself for future issues; issues I eagerly anticipate.

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8.5
The Massive #10

Mar 25, 2013

Art-wise, the books switching of palettes and style for the information pages and general action works wonders, as does the lettering, which bleeds the story together to connect their importance. Legendary artists Gary Erksine is responsible for this issues art and, while quite brilliant for most, can dip into cartoon in a way that jars the careful realism Wood is attempting. However rare, these moments are jarring, but Erksines generally expressive and grounded visuals still add to the story and its world.

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9.5
The Massive #12

May 22, 2013

That being said, the art initially threw me off. Theres one panel in particular, with extremely heavy inking and blank expression, where I decided, at least momentarily, that I disliked the art, but it obviously grew on me. Danijel Zezeljs heavy lines obscure and fade out faces, which makes sense for the environment, but leaves most characters looking either stone-faced or simply unreadable. There are other moments, like in the case of Callum's gun, where a Phillip Bond style of cartoonish exaggeration comes in as well, which is also jarring. But the artwork, perhaps like the story itself, moves in broader strokes, focusing for moments to discuss much larger narratives and, while the art works on this larger scale, zeroing in on single panels can be quite alienating.

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9.6
The Massive #13

Jul 6, 2013

I've said this almost every time I review this series, but Brian Wood and Dark Horse comics are actively changing comics for those willing to seek them out. Hopefully the popularity of this series will help The Massive be the game-changer it deserves to be.

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8.5
The Massive #14

Jul 26, 2013

Garry Browns art continues to shine, and Jordie Bellaires colours are only helping. The differentiation of time, which plays into the issues concerns over the past and future, the drawing of history into a formulation of moving forward. The heavy palettes to differentiate between periods is an immediate visual clue, but Browns style works across these massive shifts exceptionally well, partly because of his light approach, but also because of his stark panelling choices. Most pages in the present use a larger picture as a backdrop, with panels laid on top, unifying the page into a sort of singular moment that is simply great to look at. But the flashbacks use heavy blacks and whites, throwing the background effect away to create stronger individual moments over a bleeding of time. The effect, like I said, looks great and keeps the pages focused on what matters: the setting, an especially important aspect to consider in a book about environmental collapse.

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6.5
The Massive #15

Sep 9, 2013

Artistically, Garry Browns art ranges from the clean, simple opening scene at De Gaulle airport to the heavy details of a half-submerged New York with ease. Coupled with Jordie Bellaires gorgeous colouring, which simply stuns at points while narratively guiding the reader. The final panel in particular leaves readers with a beautiful sunset with deep reds to compound and offset the tension. Browns work is consistent throughout and must read beautifully in the trades. The consistent use of full page panels overlaid with smaller ones looks beautiful, filling out the series minimalism with expansive landscapes, and such an aesthetic will inevitably give some consistency to the series trades. Here, the tactic still looks great. So, while the story falters, the art team brings some much needed and beautiful consistency.

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9.0
The Unwritten #2

Jun 15, 2009

Peter Gross art has a simplicity to it which really allows him to draw the eye to whatever he wants instantly. This is depicted very on in the issue with a contrast of two pages across from one another. The first has an almost overwhelming amount of detail which draws your eye all over the place with so much going on. The second contains very sparse backgrounds with characters with fairly few details, a simplicity that allows a focus on the exchange between the characters. This is helped with colourists Chris Chuckry and Jeanne McGee, who help bring attention to the important characters when they are in crowds of washed out faces. Even with the simplicity, Gross still creates characters who are easily recognizable and certainly look like nothing more than regular people.

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7.0
Thunderbolts (2006) #126

Nov 25, 2008

Roberto De La Torres art is middle of the road. Nothing stands out as amazing, but nothing stands out as terrible either. It conveys what is going on, being fairly expressive when the mood calls for it, but much of the story is communicated through the words rather than the pictures. A prime example of this is the the scene between Moonstone and Penance, the man who caused the tragedy involved with Civil War. Penance has lines like You must hate me while his face is covered and for much of the rest of the scene he stays fairly static in look despite him going through a state of anger and confusion. But I must say, I absolutely love the cover for this comic book. The shattered glass and reflections of the main cast not only looks really good, but reflects a lot of what Diggle and De La Torre are doing inside.

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7.5
Thunderbolts (2006) #127

Dec 21, 2008

Artist Roberto de la Torres style is reminiscent of Mike Deodato who drew this series during Warren Ellis run, but with much less photo referencing of major celebrities. One thing which stood out for me this issue was his camera angles. The panels each take advantage of very extreme angles. His shot-reverse shot dialogues even take a more extreme look. The conversation between Bullseye and Moonstone employs a shot-reverse shot but the reverse shot is at a steep angle looking down which allows for a different but effective perspective of the discussion. He employs these angles in the action sequences as well, which come across as security camera angles at times, which works well during scenes where this perspective would be expected as characters try to escape each other. De la Torres works well in this series so far, being able to employ different techniques to add drama and suspense to the scenarios.

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5.0
Thunderbolts (2006) #128

Jan 24, 2009

The Dark Reign event starts right here in Thunderbolts #128. But what exactly is this Dark Reign and what does it mean for the Marvel universe. Well, Norman Osbourne, a.k.a the Green Goblin, is now in charge of S.H.I.E.L.D, the worlds largest and most expansive (and intrusive) espionage agency. Of course, having a known killer running things is going to result in some serious problems. Hence, the Dark Reign event. But Dark Reign hardly starts with a bang, it starts with some politics with the man on everyones mind, Barack Obama.

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5.0
Thunderbolts (2006) #130

Mar 31, 2009

As for the art, as soon as I saw the first page I cringed, remembering the art switch during the Secret Invasion tie-in, which was overly, well, comic book like. It was a flashback to the nineties and the story matched it. Now this series is experiencing the same thing again, a big change in order to do some internal promotion. So the art really didnt sit well. But Bogo Dazo can make action sequences full of explosions and guns, his pencils have tons of energy. The characters are flying all over the place and the fighting is very chaotic. Dazo is a great choice for an issue that is a fight and no flavour.

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4.0
Thunderbolts (2006) #137

Oct 24, 2009

Mahmud A. Asrars art is similar to the story in some respect. It is very good and very standard. I didnt find anything in this issue which made me feel either way. The panels do their job, the story is clearly told without any major hang-ups, and so on. He can handle everything Remender has given him without any problems and his action sequences are very well put together, particularly when looking at Iron Fist's martial arts hi-jinks. But the cover, Francesco Mattina, is incredible, well, except that none of what the cover says is in the story. Iron Fist joins very briefly and Power Man doesnt join at all, and neither look like killer zombie, Spawn-inspired demons as they do on the cover. But it is a very cool cover despite these somewhat important technicalities.

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5.0
Thunderbolts (2006) #143

May 5, 2010

The art is similarly underwhelming, being fairly generic and stiff in many places. Artist Miguel Sepulvedas inking is of particular concern, in some places looking splotchy, particularly with pictures of Stature. Things begin to lose focus and detail as they get further away in very noticeable ways. Details vary from frame to frame, with eyes being a particular concern for Sepulveda, they always seem to be either looking the wrong direction or missing altogether. I will say I enjoyed colourist Frank Marin, whos classic colouring made the book feel nostalgic without overdoing it. The colouring seems to harken back to simpler times, something Marvel is striving for, but without feeling too kitsch or campy. Overall, this book has been a disappointment for some time now, and I can only really give it one more go before I lose all hope entirely.

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8.5
Transhuman #1

Mar 28, 2008

JM Ringuet has very little to work with in this comic book as the majority of the comic involves aging scientists and entrepreneurs discussing the subject matter in their offices. Not too much excitement in the conventional sense. In the little places where Ringuet can flex a little, the results are mediocre. Nothing about his art is amazing, sometimes it feels too unrealistic given the material. But once again, he does not have much to work with. I am looking forward to where this series goes in the little time it has.

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8.5
Transhuman #4

Dec 8, 2008

JM Ringuets art has been getting better as the series moved along. With basically only aged talking heads to draw, Ringuet has come up with some inventive ways to keep the reader involved. His camera angles have become less static, with variation keeping things interesting. His backgrounds and landscapes are more interesting as well, with his two-page spread of a cityscape rat the beginning of the issue filled with a surprising amount of detail. The backgrounds behind many of those interviewed work well as reflections of the characters involved, a dark, moody background of evil looking rats for one very bitter employee standing out in particular.

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9.5
Trillium #1

Aug 8, 2013

Beautiful, some of Jeff Lemire's most accomplished work and we're only at the first issue!

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7.5
Ultimate Comics Avengers #1

Aug 15, 2009

Penciller Carlos Pacheco has a style fairly reminiscent of Bryan Hitch which never works against him. The team is obviously going for a very distinctive look and tone very similar to the original Ultimates series and so the art could only go one way. To be honest, it is a welcome change back to a more realistic look compared to the over-the-top art of Ultimates 3 artist Joe Madureira, which went as far as to have little pink hearts floating around a characters head. The colouring also fits into this realistic look, but a couple of panels seem to be a little to bright and polished for the art. The panel with Captain America driving out of the building has him looking very polished and bright to a very noticeable and distracting degree, but then eventually his colours fade, only to be brightened again. Similarly, the terrorists, A.I.M, operatives, have very yellow costumes which seem to fade and go bright again. Of course, this could be to focus the readers attention on whats impor

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8.0
Ultimate Comics Avengers #2

Sep 16, 2009

I have to say, while some of the things in the issue do not make a lot of sense, like Gails hair going from long and seductive when her and Captain America are about to get it on to short and cropped (on a noticeably older Gail, despite only a month passing) when in front of a government man; the art of penciller Carlos Pacheco works very well in the series. I noticed especially this issue a certain fondness for Captain Americas dirty fighting style. He throws coffee on people, straight up kicks Hawkeye in the face with both legs, and leaves a plane to fly straight into the ocean. Theres flair and its amazing for the fifteen year old boy trapped inside this reviewer.

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6.0
Ultimate Comics Avengers Vol. 2 #1

May 5, 2010

The change in art is a welcome one as well, with Leinil Francis Yus rougher style fitting the tone of the book much better than the crisp and clean style of the last artist. The book does look amazing, a bonus considering the lack of content. Yus characters are expressive and cool looking, certainly the Punishers new costume looks very cool. With all the fighting, art has to be stellar and, while it didnt fully distract, Yus art is just that. His actions sequences are fun to look at, and Captain Americas angry and brutal fighting style looks awesome in Yus hands, as does the Punishers multiple murders.

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8.0
Ultimate Comics Iron Man #1

Oct 22, 2012

The art, as Ive talked about above, is used to great effect. Great writers show rather than tell and great comic writer teams similarly rely on each other to accomplish this to a better effect. Matteo Buffagni uses cramped spaces to great effect; the scene in Tonys limo is messy and an effective use of space (or lack thereof) to depict his current situation. The perspective awkwardly never gets everything in either, which speaks to the unfolding story of Tony that is constantly showing what he cant see over what is obvious to him. This obliviousness to his own situation will certainly play out in later issues, and the synergy of this team can only bring this out more.

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8.0
Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #1

Aug 15, 2009

David Lafuente has only one major flaw I can find in his work and its fairly minor but completely annoying. Spider-Mans head is a perfect circle, perfect! Its like the thing was drawn with a compass. And its not like Peter Parkers head is circular, just Spider-Mans. And it gets to you, like a thorn in your foot or a splinter or that feeling on your face when you know you have a pimple coming and there is nothing you can do about it but touch your face all the time. Something Mr. Parker is probably experiencing under his Spider-Helmet. But besides this, Lafuente has the skills with both character expression and comedic timing as well as a handle on darker action sequences to really make this title be all it can be. While I will miss Stuart Immonen and all his gorgeous action sequences, it is nice to have someone whose talents can really highlight the more mundane points of this series.

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8.5
Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #2

Sep 9, 2009

Artist David Lafuente must have taken the perfect circular head of Spider-Man comments to heart as Spider-Man is sporting a much less perfectly circular head this issue. It has some figure to it. But this was the only complaint I had for his art, which is able to handle all aspects of the series. His action sequences are fun to read and very high energy, his comedic scenes offer a slightly cartoonish look while not going to extremes while the more dramatic moments have more than enough expression to really nail the mood and feelings of the characters. He is a very well-rounded artist in this respect and more than capable of drawing whatever Bendis needs and drawing it well, a gift which can only help a series like this. And now that Spider-Mans head is under control, theres nowhere to go but up!

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6.0
Ultimate Comics Spider-Man Vol. 2 #16

Oct 23, 2012

Another big glory day problem is the art. I know where Sarah Pichelli went but I want her back. Or Stuart Immonen, or Mark Bagley, or any of the other myriad of artists who made this book look and feel as good as it is. Pepe Larraz can handle the action sequences well, they look like scenes Ive seen under artists who can construct an action sequence a little better, but his character work only highlights how the book isnt being what it has proven to be. Of course, there isnt a whole lot to work with, Miles spends a lot of time under a mask and the characters spend even more time fighting things, but the book just doesnt look very good. The cover kind of speaks to it all: kind of generic, attempting to reel you in, but mostly faded into the background like the Ultimates here.

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9.0
Ultimate Comics Spider-Man Vol. 2 #23

May 19, 2013

The old looks a lot like the new, but this book is gorgeous, jump on for a ride!

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2.0
Ultimate Comics: Ultimates #9

Apr 27, 2012

By contrast, this is probably the prettiest mess I have seen in a while. Not as flashy as the artists covering Marvels big Avengers vs. X-Men crossover, and certainly less ridiculous, artist Esad Ribic and colourist Dean White make a book that looks incredible. From the first pages, with its lush colouring, crisp work, and wonderful panelling, the book simply looks better than it reads. Ribic is handling it all, the black hole near the end is legitimately terrifying, using obvious digital techniques to contrast the rest of the pages drawing. Truly a moment of wishing the words didnt cover things up, Im glad Marvel decided to keep its truly great artists on some books that could benefit from the talent. Hickman is usually nothing less than brilliant and capable at this sort of big story, but it seems he let this one get away from him.

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4.0
Ultimate Origins #1

Jun 14, 2008

Where Bendis drops the ball in the story, penciller Butch Guice picks up the slack. While not particularly a joy to read, Ultimate Origins is nice to look at. Guices moody shading works perfectly with a series focusing on secrets, keeping things in the dark. The expression on his characters faces is great as well, with many contorted looks keeping far enough away from comedic to convey emotion. My only complaint would have to be the difference in appearance for a few characters, Bruce Banner in particular. Having grown fond of the hunched over, socially awkward looking Bruce Banner of Bryan Hitch, this noticeably more muscular version simply looks off. But besides this, Guices pencils, with all their dark moodiness, are a great visual representation of the core theme of Ultimate Origins.

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2.5
Ultimate Origins #2

Jul 13, 2008

Butch Guices pencilling continues to be an interesting choice, his heavy shading supporting the secrecy which is the basis of the series. His expression does seem limited to solemn and hurt, however. Even in the brief moments of happiness near the end of the story, Guice heavily shades one happy expression and leaves the other neutral. Another problem is the young, pre-Captain America looks old rather than weak. The last panel does a great job of attempting to arouse some patriotic feelings with Captain America fighting some Nazis, but some of the other sequences fail to communicate. The death of Dr. Erksine simply falls flat, the impact not resonating on the page. So overall the pencilling fits the mood of the series but struggled this issue.

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6.0
Ultimate Origins #4

Sep 14, 2008

The art, by Butch Guice, is dark and expressive, perfect for this series. He has a great sequence of panels of the Hulk turning back into Bruce Banner which I found to be quite compelling just in his use of panels. While everyone seems to have a default emotion of angry, Guice does work in other expressions when appropriate (just dont ask him to do happy, it happens once and it looks like the goofy, fake smile of a kid ashamed of his braces).

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9.5
Ultimate Spider-Man #110

Jun 24, 2007

As for Mark Bagleys last full issue, he continues to be outstanding. He can draw everything: emotion, action, everything. Id like to take this moment to note that he also does it all on time, something other Ultimate(s) titles cant seem to accomplish this. I think every fan of this series will miss Mark Bagley. Hopefully his replacement, Stuart Immonen, can utilize the two-page paneling like Bagley did, as well as many other things he has brought to the table since issue #1. While the writing has sometimes suffered in this series, the art rarely has.

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10
Ultimate Spider-Man #111

Jul 22, 2007

Mark Bagley has now officially left Ultimate Spider-man after one-hundred ten and a half issues of consistently professional and near-perfect artwork. The art in this issue was split between Bagley drawing the Peter-May conversation and Immonen handling a flashback scene involving Ultimate Spot. As we all knew this was happening for about a year now, seeing the new art was in no way jarring or even distracting. It was simultaneously a send-off for Bagley and a preview of what Immonen will bring to the table. As daunting as this task must have been, Immonens pencils art great. His style is a perfect distance away from Bagleys, being not too different to be confusing, and yet different enough to not feel like a carbon copy. I think I will enjoy this new artist, and yet miss Bagley. It will probably take a few issues to stop saying, Bagley probably would have done it this way. Still, I would like to welcome Stuart Immonen to this series and wish him the very best, as well as say g

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8.5
Ultimate Spider-Man #112

Aug 22, 2007

This is the first time we get to see Stuart Immonen draw Peter Parker as he only did the Spider-Man stuff in the last issue. Seeing the new look of the mask-less cast was a lot more jarring than seeing the Spider-Man, which is unsurprising. While I enjoy Immonens style and a new take on the series, I find myself missing Mark Bagley. This was inevitable, of course. One-hundred and ten and a half issues is bound to leave an impression in your mind for what all the characters should look like. That being said, Immonen is more than capable of taking over, being a talented artist, its just going to be different. Bendis supplied Immonen with plenty of room for showing off. Theres a little of everything in this issue, from car chases to dream sequences, so the new artist has flexed his muscles a little bit. He done a brave thing picking up where Bagley left off.

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6.0
Ultimate Spider-Man #113

Sep 13, 2007

Visually, though, almost the whole issue is worth looking at. Immonen conveys the action of the prison escape with flow and grace with his high action shots breaking through panel after panel and almost leaping off the page. Letterer Cory Petit avoids clogging these panels with Normans issue-wide inner monologue, keeping the art at the forefront. Things drop slightly for the interview, with the newswomens faces looking very awkward. They look very gaunt, like if the colourer shaded them gray or green instead of fleshy tones, they would be zombies. Some characters are difficult to recognize, leaving readers to guess if some of the cast made an appearance or not. Nevertheless, Immonens art continues to be on par with the man he succeeded, it will just take some time to adjust to.

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7.5
Ultimate Spider-Man #114

Oct 2, 2007

Art is amazing to put it lightly. Immonen is proving time and time again that he more than capable of taking over for long time penciller Mark Bagley. His action sequences are filled with dramatic fighting. Panelling is dynamic and still very flowing. Action, speech bubbles and sound effects are all well integrated with one never interfering with the other, but rather enhancing the whole experience. The shift in how the characters look is handled well, with all characters more recognizable now. Bendis writing served to establish relationships characters have to each other before introducing the character in every instance. This made guessing who each character is nonexistent. For example, Mary-Jane getting picked up by her mother is discussed beforehand and therefore she isnt getting picked up by a character who may or may not be her mother. Immonens art is awesome. He can stay as long as he wants, its fine by me.

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8.5
Ultimate Spider-Man #115

Nov 3, 2007

This issue is almost split directly in the middle for action scenes and talking scenes, and I mean right down the middle. Take the book, open it to where the staples are at the center and at the bottom is a transition panel from talking to action. Both halves display strengths this title has, with strong dialogue and great art through both. For the dialog, Bendis has created a laugh out loud comic book this month. Spider-Mans taunting of Norman Osbourne is incredibly funny, making long fight scenes not feel like an attempt to increase page count. The discussion between Peter Parker and Ultimate Carol Danvers (Ms. Marvel in regular continuity, but not in this Universe) are well put together as well. Carol Danvers plays an excellent antagonizer to an increasingly nervous Peter Parker, who continually uses terrible humour as an attempt to deal with the situation. Bendis knows how to create dialog very effectively, with characters talking with each other as opposed to stating lines

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9.0
Ultimate Spider-Man #116

Dec 5, 2007

As for Stuart Immonens pencils, talk about cinematic storytelling! The opening pages were gripping, and even the dialogue heavy parts were well drawn. Immonen is doing a very good job. A little blip in quality can be seen when characters are at a certain distance away from the camera, they lose too much detail sometimes and look very poor. Other than that, it is very obvious that Immonen has spent a lot of time considering things like lighting, angle, and motion in his work. This pays off when, even though his style is not realistic, the panels are given a level of believability. And thats part of the point, isnt it?

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5.5
Ultimate Spider-Man #117

Jan 13, 2008

Stuart Immonens art had some problems this issue as well, lacking an ability to convey what was going on in the less action-heavy scenes. While his pencils are still very well done, perhaps a combination of a sub-par script and poor layout has led to this issue being unable to portray the emotion that is going on. Harrys death was shown but not felt until Peters eulogy scene at school, probably because Bendis attempted a more silent approach to his death and it did not work as effectively as he likely hoped. The action sequences were much more effective, with some of the bigger panels featuring some great art. Much of the smaller panels worked well to bridge between these bigger panels. So overall Immonens art worked well as the issue was so action heavy, but the conveyance of emotion and consequences of these fight scenes was lost.

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10
Ultimate Spider-Man #118

Feb 5, 2008

Immonen and Bendis are shown to be a perfect match-up throughout the entire issue, in one page in particular. With Kitty Prydes AARRGGHH!!! monologue, Kitty is sitting alone in the school cafeteria and opens up by stating (after the AARRGGHH!!!), Stop staring at me! The students foreground of Immonens panel are not staring at her, in fact, they appear to not even realize she exists. Some of the students in the background could be staring, but this panel polarizes Bendis melodrama with Immonens objective pencilling for some very effective and engaging effects. The entire art team needs to be recognized for enhancing Immonens pencils. Inker Wade von Grawbadger creates some moody panels with dramatic shading that make the art team a director of sorts and lends to a cinematic feel. The last panel of the first page is an example of this, with Peter being darkly shaded to reflect his emotional state. This lack of colour is contrasted in a couple of scenes, particularly with the pastel

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7.0
Ultimate Spider-Man #119

Mar 8, 2008

Stuart Immonen had some fun this issue, especially with Iceman. Everywhere in this issue, the background is crowded with Icemans slides going off in random directions. Its really quite humourous. Imagine the dangers of these giant pieces of ice, hundreds of feet in the air. Hes a danger and doesnt even realize it! Immonens scenes with the kids talking have a subdued expression to them, as if they are not really as dramatic as they should be. The words coming out of their mouths make sense, but some places their expressions seem too laid back. But for the scenes with Spider-Man, Iceman, and Liz Allen talking with the fire and the masks and the ice, Immonen performs much better. His action scenes are as amazing as ever and he continues to do a great job without delays.

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8.5
Ultimate Spider-Man #120

Mar 28, 2008

Stuart Immonen works with the script very well as usual. While this issue does not raise the bar of his work in any way, his work has not declined either. Immonens two-page spreads are more effective now, as is recognizing characters that look very different from Mark Bagleys. He continues to do his work on time and with consistent quality.

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7.5
Ultimate Spider-Man #121

May 12, 2008

Stuart Immonen once again strives to maintain the same quality in both halves of Ultimate Spider-Man. The action sequences are great, filled with some very exciting panelling and flow to each page. The double-page panelling is pulled off quite well, something Immonen struggled with initially. The Peter Parker sequences have a great amount of emotion to them as well, with Immonen nailing some great facial expressions, particularly with J. Jonah Jameson. There are a few spots where the art looks simply off. Jamesons trunk shrinks noticeably in a certain panel, making him look very disproportionate. But overall, Immonens creative look at Spider-Mans very unique fighting style adds to the enjoyable experience of this issue.

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8.0
Ultimate Spider-Man #122

Jun 4, 2008

Stuart Immonen, by now almost every reader of Ultimate Spider-Man either loves or hates his art and I personally enjoy his pencilling. Seeing Immonen get a handle on the two-page panelling, flow, as well as improving the the dramatic pieces while retaining his grasp of the action sequences has been a fun ride. Some of the emotion can become flat at a distance and is especially apparent in some panels where important characters are back further. But the pencilling is past the point of fitting the script, but enhancing it. It feels less and less like someone trying to draw Bendis script and more like a collaboration. Bagley who?

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6.5
Ultimate Spider-Man #123

Jun 29, 2008

Stuart Immonen is great, seriously great in my opinion. Watching his development has been an added bonus to a series which has been at the top of its game for a long time, including almost every issue he has pencilled. When I learned of this Symbiotes arc, I was excited to see Immonens Venom and he does not disappoint. Tentacles and all, this Venom is both original and a throwback to Bagleys own interpretation. The second last panel is a great homage to Bagley while being unique and discreet. Seeing the numerous action sequences with Venom, Immonens strong point with this title, are a gift. He continues to add to this already excellent title.

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8.5
Ultimate Spider-Man #124

Aug 2, 2008

Stuart Immonen plays his strengths this issue while some scenes suffer. He has always excelled at the action sequences in this title, bringing more energy to Bendis already hyperactive scripts and this issue is no exception. The fighting sequences remain tons of fun to watch and I am especially enjoying Immonens Venom with all his tentacles everywhere. HIs backgrounds are great during the fight with the Beetle, with Manhatten at sunset looking very pretty as Spider-Man keeps popping up to annoy the silent perpetrator. But for the scenes without the masks, the emotional side just does not register in his pencilling unless extreme close-ups are used. Faces seem bland and with contortions from farther back, but up close his expressions instantly seem cleaner. Unfortunately, it doesnt work, but the action sequences make up for this as there is much more Spider-Man than Peter Parker this issue.

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7.0
Ultimate Spider-Man #125

Sep 2, 2008

The art is still amazing and it is difficult to see another artist doing as good a job as Immonen when it comes to the pencilling. He cannot express emotion to the level Bagley did, but his action sequences more than make up for this. Maybe it was just the setting of the single scene of Peter Parker and not Spider-Man, but Immonen has simply begun to shade things heavier. It works for the most part, but can come across as too moody and also covering up. But a single look at Venom growling at a police officer wipes these thoughts away.

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7.0
Ultimate Spider-Man #126

Sep 26, 2008

Stuart Immonens pencils continue to be great. He is starting to nail the emotional aspects of the characters, adding to those parts of the series. Seeing Aunt May in an old, ratty Led Zeppelin t-shirt and rubber gloves shows so much of who she is. But Peter is only in three pages of the issue, the rest is Spider-Man, and with Spider-Man comes awesome action sequences which are always a treat with Immonen. The two-page spread of the Ultimates bringing the hammer down (literally in Thors case) is amazing, as is the panel of Captain America with his hands in Venoms neck. The sequences flow and work so well.

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7.0
Ultimate Spider-Man #128

Dec 1, 2008

Stuart Immonen has always excelled at the action shots in this series, and this issue is no exception. The battle between the symbiotes, in all their gloopy red and black glory are very cool to see. Immonen really abandons human anatomy for a lot of the fight between them, instead giving them a much more mythic look. They are truly monstrosities Spider-Man in no way can deal with and Immonens art really depicts this well. Even when Spider-Man does interfere in their fight, its almost laughable because of how Immonen shows the two fighting. And the new kind of Venom that is shown at the end of the issue is very different, evolving the look of the character. The lettering of the Eddie Brock/ Venom character is very cool as well, with the tyoe of speech bubble fully reflecting Eddies surrender to the symbiote, from white, to white with a scratchy font, to full black bubble. The art team in this issue really put forth something to be proud of.

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4.0
Ultimate Spider-Man #130

Jan 30, 2009

Penciller Stuart Immonen also falls into some of the same problems as Bendis, almost tracing Finchs work on Ultimatum. I was going to commetn on the great level of detail in the two page spreads before I remembered how uninspired (or over inspired, if you want to look at it that way) it all is. For the sections of artwork he doesnt trace, Immonen does his usual great job Ive come to expect. His action is high energy and his panelling very fluid (and a highlight for me). There is a hiccup where I am unsure whether Spider-Man is throwing a cab in the air or what, but the sequence looks cool anyway. By now, Immonens work is the look of the book, and while he still struggles with the characters out of costume, he more than makes up for it in his action sequences, which are just fun to engage with.

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6.0
Ultimate Spider-Man #133

Jun 15, 2009

But here in lies the problem with this issue. As Bendis obviously compensates for Immonens specialty, the issue feels lacking because of it. I feel too much was held back in this issue because of the experimentation and a more conventional issue would have been better able to have an impact, especially before the series is rebooted after the whole Ultimatum debacle is finally put to rest by the terribly incompetent team of Jeph Loeb and David Finch.

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8.5
Ultimate Spider-Man Annual #3

Nov 2, 2008

David Lafuentes art frustrates me and is enjoyable all at the same time. Where the series regular penciller, Stuart Immonen, has a firmer grip over the action part of Ultimate Spider-Man, Lafuente obviously is much better at the drama. This is great for an issue focusing on the drama, but even within these sections there are some problems. The characters can become exaggerated very quickly and reminds me of childrens anime. But his expression when done with more subtlety, like in the final resolution between Peter and Mary-Jane, pays off, with the emotional impact being felt and conveyed as very real. His Spider-Man, on the other hand, is just not good. The character is largely disproportionate, with a giant head which is an almost perfect circle. The car chase scene, for everything except for Spider-Man, is handled very well. The pacing is perfect, and the tension of stopping the runaway car is suspended and carried on for a full effect. His homage to a previous moment with P

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1.0
Ultimate X-Men #83

Jun 28, 2007

As for the art, it seems that Marvel has given up on the series as well by hiring an artist who draws all characters to look in their forties. The excessive lines on all the characters faces age them and also make it look like the artist was too lazy to use an eraser. The colouring is awful as well, with a bland palette combined with shocking pieces of colour, like Jean Greys unnecessarily bright red hair. Dazzler looks like a guy, Angel and Colossus do not look attractive like they used to, and Rogue looks almost exactly like her counterpart in the original Marvel Universe, except older. Usually I like to think of one redeeming feature of a book just to be fair, so I'm going to go with the cover. I actually like this cover, the colouring and positioning looks great. Too bad the interior couldn't be that good.

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5.0
Ultimate X-Men #84

Jul 18, 2007

The art has certainly improved, now that Pascal Alixe has been replaced by the more competent Yanick Paquette. While the art remains more rough, it works better with Paquette. Characters look better, with less lines making them all seem like senior citizens rather than teenagers. I enjoyed the art much more this time around. Hopefully everything continues to improve. For a series that has counted Brian K. Vaughan, Brian Michael Bendis, and Mark Millar as contributers, Ultimate X-Men should be a lot better.

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6.0
Ultimate X-Men #85

Aug 12, 2007

The art continues to improve, with Paquettes pencils becoming smoother and more dynamic. His handling of the fight scenes is exciting, mixing high energy explosions with cool close shots of combat combat. The characters are maintaining their unique appearances in a new way thanks to the different costumes, overall the art is improving along with the writing. Things are definitely looking up all-round for this title.

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5.0
Ultimate X-Men #86

Sep 20, 2007

Paquettes art continues to look better and better. The fight scenes were great, with characters leaping of the pages, fighting with unique ways to defeat the opponents that are quite entertaining. Bishops X-Men continue to look great in their new uniforms. The only complaint is the Jean Grey scene. The fact that her face is completely shaded out while her barely clothed body is shown to great detail is downright unnecessary.

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4.0
Ultimate X-Men #87

Oct 22, 2007

As for Yannick Paquette, his art is getting better with each issue. The new look for the new team went over very well and now its exciting to see other parts of his work. The facial expressions are great, but the most impressive part of his art is how his characters look like the race to which they are descended. Psylocke actually looks asian rather than a white person with a slightly different skin tone. So often characters are depicted as white people in features with a colour change, but Paquette seems set on making people look like their race in features as well. It makes the comic book feel like a more multicultural experience. Paquette is getting increasingly better with time, if the series is not.

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2.0
Ultimate X-Men #88

Dec 7, 2007

The saddest part of this whole entire comic book has got to be poor Yanick Paquette. While Kirkman is busy running whats left of this series into the proverbial ground, Paquette has been improving greatly in his artwork. One can honestly track his progress issue to issue, watching this artist grow and improve. Every aspect of his work, from panelling to clarity and sharpness, is imroving. Hopefully he will be moved to other projects and this series does not become a career ruining run for him. None of the bad in this series is his fault.

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6.0
Ultimate X-Men #89

Jan 15, 2008

Yannick Paquette has been replaced by an artist who has some experience with drawing the X-Men, Salvador Larroca. Larroca has pencilled a lot of X-Men comic books, including the first 24 issues of Chris Claremonts X-Treme X-Men, brings his experience to the Ultimate X-Men. This pays off in this title, and it seems Larroca was having some fun with an issue that contains some very different material. The scenes involving the Shadow King play around with both sharpened and dulled visuals, creating some contrasting panels that reinforce a warped reality in these sequences. The initial action sequence suffers from some problems in communication. Some of the more important actions is a little too subtle and easily missed. The resemblance of the Shadow King character to Wolverine is a little overwhelming as well, but necessary. Shadow King reminded me one some of the cover art from the mini-series telling the history of the mainstream continuity Wolverine, Origin, which is not a bad th

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4.0
Ultimate X-Men #92

Mar 28, 2008

As I mentioned earlier, Salvador Larroca is not to blame for this series as his pencilling is steadily getting better. The action-filled issue is filled with plenty of dramatic posing, exaggerated fighting, and characters growling at each other. The issue looks great and flows nicely. The characters look great, fight great, and stare each other down with great enthusiasm, what more can you ask for in an issue that is cover-to-cover over the top fighting?

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3.0
Ultimate X-Men #93

May 12, 2008

The art, a sudden change from Salvador Larroca to Harvey Tolibao, is actually quite good; not to take away from Larroca's art, which was very good, bringing a familiarity to the Ultimate X-Men while keeping them looking separate from their mainstream counterparts. Tolibao can draw fire, and this issue is all Phoenix, so being able to draw fire is paramount. The other characters watch in disbelief and worry, which he nails with good facial expressions. There is really nothing to complain about with this art, it suited the story better than the story itself. Besides the male X-Men wearing impossibly tight t-shirts, the characters are drawn in a similar way to the previous artists. The new artist is not jarring or distracting, which can be difficult to accomplish.

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7.5
Ultimate X-Men #94

May 29, 2008

Mark Brooks pencils compliments the classic feel of the story, with much of the over the top action of the initial fight looking clean and very energetic. The same goes for the more subdued scenes of simple interactions, with Brooks style being expressive and maintaining a high energy to it, encouraging the quick pace Coleite has set. While he does have a bit of an exaggeration issue concerning anatomy, Brooks seems to use this exaggeration for a purpose besides sexing up a comic book. Those affected by the Ultimate version of Mutant Growth Hormone are the characters with the more exaggerated anatomies, creating a physical depiction of its effects. Not necessarily negative at this point in the story, but if Coleite chooses to continue in the vein of Mutant Growth Hormone being a metaphor for real-life drugs like heroin or cocaine, than these exaggerations may prove to be an effective tool. His art is giving the story a visual representation of both energy and speed and giving an o

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7.0
Ultimate X-Men #96

Jul 28, 2008

The art consists of two separate artists, yet Brandon Peterson only draws a few pages somewhere in the middle, making the switch very noticeable. Its as if Marvel decided to switch artists and not bother to have the new artist do the couple of pages already done. While the art has had varying degrees of success as the series writing quality steadily dropped, it seems the art has finally synced with the writing, now getting better with the story. Mann does action very well which serves him as this entire issue is a whole bunch of action sequences. Every panel is filled with things blowing up or lightening or fire or something, but it is all exciting to look at.

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6.0
Ultimate X-Men #98

Dec 3, 2008

Mark Brooks artwork is great in a series like this, his style balances an equal ability to both convey emotion and depict action very well, which this series has both of. I especially liked his two page spread of Jean Grey relating some memories of Nightcrawler and Dazzler. The blending of images and lack of panels, with the present on one side and the past on the other works wonderfully. The page is very busy with plenty going on without becoming overwhelming and thankfully Coleites dialogue is sparse to allow for Brooks to express visually what is happening. His Rogue struck me as different from his usual style, she became much softer in this issue, which was fitting as the issue has a heavy focus on the fragile character. So while the story is frustrating, Brooks pencils are still nice to engage with.

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3.0
Ultimate X-Men #99

Jan 6, 2009

The art changes four pages in and then changes three more times after that at random intervals. It seems like Mark Brooks drew the six or so pages he liked in the script and then let Dan Panosian do the rest, and it is jarring, especially the first one. I turned the page, flipped it back, and flipped forward again to see what was going on. It just looks bad, and it happens multiple times. But Mark Brooks is a capable artist already familiar with the story, considering he drew it for the New X-Men series this story ripped off. His art is expressive and can handle the action very well. But Panosian is of a different quality. Its more cartoon influence and looks directed to a younger audience than Brooks. The men have very square jaws and chiseled features in a cartoonish kind of way. The art switching back and forth is distracting, unfortunately, and with a noticeable change in quality, it suffers.

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4.0
Ultimates 3 #1

Dec 6, 2007

Ultimates 3 has got to be one of the most anticipated comic books to come out this year. With the majority of the Ultimate line not receiving very positive criticism over the past year or so coupled with the focus on Marvel Comics mainstream continuity with events like Civil War and Messiah Complex; the entire line is in need of some revival. Ultimates 3 was poised to be this revival (but Ultimate Spider-Man is doing this right now). Mark Millar and Bryan Hitchs series finished earlier this year and Marvel was quick to note that The Ultimates were not finished. A team consisting superstar writer Jeph Loeb and artist Joe Madureira was announced and people got excited. But does the first issue of The Ultimates 3 live up to its predecessor? In a word: no. The series maintains tiny pieces of its former intelligence and adult feel, but for the most part, it disappoints.

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7.5
Ultimatum #1

Nov 5, 2008

Of course, David Finchs pencils are fantastic. He can handle everything, from general, everyday interactions to something like the Thing keeping a whale out of the Baxter Building. Everything is top quality, thats the best way to put it. Some of the better panels within the comic book are the extreme close-up of Professor X, which embodies both a weariness and desperation simultaneously, and the large panels of the New York cityscape, which are done with an intense amount of detail. There are no shortcuts in the art, every window is drawn, every line and crevice given attention and I think this took an already artistic work to another level. My only complaint may seem strange, but the characters are just too good looking. They all have a stunning beauty to them which is strange and creates a very shallow aspect to the art. Someone like Peter Parker is supposed to be an every man, but he is almost a rock star in this. Besides this, Finch is a very talented artist.

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1.0
Ultimatum #2

Dec 26, 2008

And this is not helped by David Finchs pencilling which can only be described as attempts at creating masturbation material for thirteen year old boys. As soon as the panel depicting Carol Danvers, full-length, with her massive breasts and impossibly white blonde hair, I started rolling my eyes at the art just as much as the story. Its insulting, offensive, misogynistic, and pathetic. It just adds to increasing the setbacks comic books need to get past.

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0.0
Ultimatum #3

Mar 22, 2009

For David Finch, nothing sums up his abilities more than the first few pages. The idea is Mystique is making herself look like the Scarlet Witch to... do a recap? Thats right, David Finch dresses up Mystique as Scarlet Witch in a thong, leans her over her father and tells him everything hes done in the past two issues. And the whole time Magneto and Mystique have the same amount of emotion as the Barbie Dolls their based off of. I would love to see the script these pages are written for, they must be fairly pathetic, something to the effect of Get Scarlet Witch in something seriously skimpy and parade her in front of her father. I want incest, David, lots of incest. The rest of the comic book is of about the same caliber.

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7.0
War Heroes #1

Jul 25, 2008

As for the art, I have to say I am not a fan. The images in the panels feel as is they are stuck on, like the entire comic book is a sticker book. Things simply look put on top of each other in ways that are both noticeable and intrusive. The colours are also washed out and with little variation within the panels, appearing to be applied with the bucket function of the paint program. The colouring is frustrating, at times it seems to be copying the latest issue of Criminal, other times its the Ultimates, wrestling with a decisive palette. A final complaint is the faces of the characters, they have too many lines on them, as if the sketches were not erased and inked instead. Perhaps over the next couple of issues things will become more stable, really adding to this comic series rather than getting in the way.

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9.0
Welcome to Tranquility #7

Jun 9, 2007

As for the story at the back of the issue, I enjoy these little tidbit stories that have appeared through-out the series so far, allowing for some nostalgic comic action as well as a hint into some of the character's histories. The story is very quick, well written by Simone and pencilled by Stephen Molnar, and adds to the whole Tranquility experience.

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5.0
Welcome to Tranquility #8

Jul 8, 2007

Overall, this issue was a big disappointment for me. I've come to expect more from this series and its characters. With very little usage of the amazing cast Simone has created, the issue suffers severely.

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6.5
Welcome to Tranquility #9

Aug 5, 2007

The art, handled by Tranquility regular Neil Googe and also Leandro Fernãndez. Both stories are well drawn with style. None of it is eye-popping or incredibly original, but both use their skills to help properly tell the story. Isn't that what it all boils down to anyway? I've become used to Googe's art, and any replacement would have to do some convincing, and Fernãndez has a style that is not too far away from the original. Both work well together, and there is no complaints from me.

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4.0
Welcome to Tranquility #10

Sep 13, 2007

As for the six-page story in the back, the whole thing feels like an incredible waste of time. It is a complete rip-off of Scooby-Doo, complete with a cowardly talking dog and a four member team solving seemingly supernatural mystery. The sole difference is that these kids have super-powers and the only thing missing is the villain saying "And I would have gotten away with it if it weren't for you meddling kids!" to make this carbon copy complete. If I wanted to experience something like this, I would wake up early next Saturday and watch some Hanna-Barbera cartoons, for free.

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6.0
Welcome to Tranquility #11

Oct 11, 2007

As for the back-up story that occupies the last six pages of the issue, Im getting very tired of these. Every single one has been a complete lack of space, this one just as much as the others. Yet another origin story for a character that has not played an important role in the whole series takes away from pages that could have been used in the actual story. Simone used to give readers very brief, usually one or two pages, origin or back-up stories that were imbedded into the main story. These served as brief interludes and were extremely effective. The stories now taking up the final pages of each issue are longer and concern only very minor players. As for this story specifically, it is an advertisement for manga. Also, for a writer known for her strong representation of female characters, this story does quite the opposite. The female protagonist is a typical unattractive, and therefore must be unconfident, high school student with a crush on a boy who treats her like she do

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4.0
Welcome to Tranquility #12

Nov 28, 2007

The art remained consistent, even if the story did not. Neil Googe proved again that he can handle big action sequences as well as conversations. The pages turn very quickly when the pace speeds up thanks to his panelling, and slow down as well. The characters all look the ages they are, with the exception of a very young looking Pink Bunny, who is supposed to be as old as the rest, but is laid out for the reader to look down her shirt. The only real major complaint about his art is the noses of the characters, which look very strange and awkward, mostly looking like shiny flat pieces put on the face of the characters. Other than that minor detail, this series continued to look good, even if it didnt read well.

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9.0
Wonder Woman (2011) #0

Sep 21, 2012

Past and present mash together for a great read in an already great series.

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8.0
Wonder Woman (2011) #11

Jul 25, 2012

Cliff Chiang has a great style for this series, with his designs for the supernatural characters being consistently immediately recognizable and fairly unique. Apollo and Artemis are opposing, embodying the sun and moon respectively, continuing his trend of great design work. His emotional work is strong and simple, which works also. Overall, along with his stellar action sequences, Chiang provides a unique voice and clear visuals to a series relying on exactly these qualities.

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9.0
Wonderlost #2

May 12, 2008

The various artists add to the subjectivity of Cebulskis storytelling as most draw the female characters with proportions of the more popular super heroes like Emma Frost or Power Girl, big busts, tiny waists, flawless features. Overall, a more realistic, at least in those regards, would have benefitted the book more than making all of Cebulskis female friends and sexual accomplishments look like Barbie dolls. Beyond that, the art is almost an entirely different style from story to story, which is great, and all work well within the black and white art. Wonderlost displays some very good talent within it, but it is still Cebulskis antics that make this book.

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7.5
X #1

May 9, 2013

The thing is, this book, X, has Watchmen and The Dark Knight Returns written all over it in the way the early nineties did. It's proof that the Dark Age of comics reigns supreme, even as a whole heap of us thought Planetary, The Authority, and Seven Soldiers of Victory were going to make that a thing of the past. Guess what, the DCU reboot, with it's general focus on sex and violence and leather, is keeping us precisely where Image Comics left behind in their recent Renaissance. That doesn't mean the book in question is in any way a bad comic, but it does wear that variation thing on its sleeve. But that doesn't really matter because this book is good.

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7.0
X-Force #1

Feb 18, 2008

Ill be honest, the only reason I picked up X-Force #1 is because I am following Craig Kyle and Christopher Yost from their work on New X-Men. They took New X-Men, a struggling teenage super hero comic book, and turned into one of the best X-Men titles going with their balance of action and teen drama. Kyle and Yost took advantage of having a disposable cast, using this to keep the stories fresh and exciting. Now they have moved on to X-Force, basically the X-Mens own personal black-ops team with permission to kill. With a more adult team, Kyle and Yost are attempting to bring the action of their New X-Men run and put it in a more mature perspective. But without the disposability of the characters and lack of teenage superheroes, X-Force may be an entirely different experience.

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7.0
X-Force #8

Nov 4, 2008

Mike Chois art is, simply put, gorgeous. The early scenes of X-23 and Wolverine at a sniper point are paneled very well, having lots going on but without becoming overcrowded. His pencils balance realism with the fantastical, never making the contents of the story either unbelievable or exaggerated. Also, colourist Sonia Oback compliments Chois art perfectly, creating colours that mirror the dark elements of the story and also doesnt make the more extreme characters look overly cartoonish. Characters like Josh Foleys yellow skin is not too bright or strange looking, as is Dominos white skin, which borders on being extremely pale instead of looking like she is covered in chalk.

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4.0
X-Force #21

Nov 18, 2009

And considering Clayton Crains art, which is usually gorgeous, looks as rushed and disjointed as the issue reads. There seems to be instances where the easy way is taken out in many different ways, especially when placed next to some of his very good panels. For example, the page which zooms in on Pyro has a wonderful panel of Pyro in crisp and clear detail, yet in the panel above, fur on characters is depicted by what looks like a whole bunch of squiggle lines. Characters are continually shown with their backs to the camera, or obscured by some sort of object. So, while there are moments in Crains art which are simply gorgeous, they lose their effect almost immediately as the panels around it are given haphazard amounts of attention.

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7.5
X-Men Noir #1

Dec 9, 2008

The art is coloured. Thats the first mistake. Noir is back and white, and colour only works well in the way Frank Miller coloured in Sin City. But once past this, the issue actually looks good. The costumes are in keeping with the time period, and the backgrounds have enough blimps to convince me the story is not taking place in the present. The lighting is well done, and artist Dennis Calero makes wonderful use of shadows throughout the entire issue. The interrogation scene with Xavier in particular is a prime example of Caleros use of light, with the characters being draped in moody shadows, hiding all sorts. So besides the colour, Caleros art is amazing, capturing much of the visual elements of the film noir genre.

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8.0
X-Men: Endangered Species #1

Jun 25, 2007

Scot Eatons art is fairly good, although he seems to have problems in a few areas. First off, he cant convey emotion very well, sometimes characters look like they are actually smiling at the funeral, besides Emma Frost, who is supposed to be. Also, the youngest members and some of the oldest members all look to be the same age as Cyclops. Finally, Emma Frost does not know how to dress for a funeral, being shown in fishnet stockings and a miniskirt. All of that aside, Eaton is a very talented artist, I just believe his artwork would be better appreciated somewhere else.

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8.0
Young Avengers (2013) #1

Jan 28, 2013

Artistically, the book shines as well. Like I said earlier, artists Jamie McKelvie and Mike Norton have a classic and kinetic style that can also handle strong emotive moments. The spreads are particularly exciting and visually stand-out (like a spread should). Sometimes characters can get strange looking, but overall the art is exactly what this book needs. The book moves quickly when it should, exciting readers, and can make you ponder and linger too. Gillens pacing is perfectly accentuated by the beats of the art.

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8.5
Young Avengers (2013) #2

Mar 4, 2013

Not once is this book mis-stepping and every page shows careful planning and thought to storytelling, the exact opposite of sloppy. McKelvie's work is delightful and I can't really think of anything else to say!

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2.0
Young Avengers Presents #1

Feb 18, 2008

Paco Medina displayed his ability to pencil a teenage character, making the characters not look like children or adults, but somewhere in between. His previous experience on both the New Warriors title and the New X-Men title have given him plenty of practice in pencilling these characters looking the age they are. Also, my biggest problem with Paco Medinas pencilling was not present. Generally, Medina has problems considering an accurate portrayal of the female form, but he is given little opportunity this issue to do so, considering an almost completely male cast. Medinas drawings of Kate Bishop were, for the most part, not subject to this usual problem. Some of the action sequences are awkward and lacking a movement to them causing characters to appear frozen in action rather than fluid, which makes them look like statues. Medinas art was fairly well-suited for the title considering the characters involved and his own experience.

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7.0
Young Liars #1

Mar 12, 2008

Laphams art is nothing special, not to suggest it is not poor, but there is very little to point out as great. It does the job. Laphams art shows the characters for what they are, it is very unforgiving in that area. The bulimic model is gaunt and sick looking, Dannys groupie rival for Sadies attention is dolled up but seen giving oral sex to a passed out guitarist. Meanwhile, protagonist Danny is once again very normal looking, separated from all the other cast of characters. But some of the unforgiving depictions cross the line into caricatures. Some of these make sense, like Sadies aging father and dwarf brother. But the transvestite character of Donnie borders on comedic, which does not help when she is seen passed out with a needle in her arm. Just like the story, Laphams art is okay. For a writer with such a history and following, I was expecting more, but David Lapham has convinced me to buy the next issue, but issue three is up for debate.

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7.5
Young Liars #2

May 26, 2008

David Laphams pencils are once again clear and effective for the story. One thing he should be praised for is his depiction of characters loking like human beings rather than disproportionate Barbie dolls. Every character looks as if they could exist which is a welcome relief to much of the art out in comic books. The bands and music laced throughout the artwork, as mentioned above, is another level to the experience, something that had me going back to the first issue to find some more music to get. This comic book is beginning to cost me more than the three dollars a month in records, some of which are impossible to find!

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9.0
Young Liars #3

May 26, 2008

A great part of David Laphams art is the Wheres Waldo of music. Appearing on T-Shirts, signs, and part of plots, Lapham scatters little musical tidbits throughout the issues. Appearing this issue are, and Im probably missing some, Ted Leo (who is apparently God), Lou Reeds album Transformer, and folk-punk pioneers Violent Femmes. Lapham is increasing my music while providing an action-packed, adrenaline filled adventure contemporary recreation of Jack Kerouacs On the Road. The art works for Laphams story, being high energy when needed and focusing on the expressions from characters in the slower scenes. Danny looks subtlety older in this issue from the origin issue, noticeably different in appearance without a dramatic change, the same is achieved with Sadie. Laphams art coincides with the tone he is trying to achieve.

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9.0
Young Liars #5

Jul 17, 2008

David Laphams pencils work well for his series. He can convey everything with perfectly clarity. The flow is clear as well, as is his pacing. Everything about it is great that way. But there is nothing these pencils do which amazes me. His art makes perfect sense for the story being told and I continue to applaud Lapham for drawing characters that look like people rather than sex goddesses, it adds to the level of realism the story is based in. The story may be absurd in real terms, but much of it is firmly based in fiction and Lapham has steered clear of both science fiction and fantasy elements which allows for a continued shock value for the series.

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9.0
Young Liars #9

Nov 15, 2008

Laphams art does the trick. He proved in the last two issues his pencils can handle anything, be it giant women giving birth to spiders or anything else his mind can come up with. But his pencils are beginning to depict his characters even better. The first panel of the issue shows Sadie as being drop dead gorgeous, something I wasnt expecting as Ive become more familiar with his work. But his art remains expressive with just enough realism to create characters that at least look realistic, even if inside I hope they arent.

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9.5
Young Liars #10

Dec 15, 2008

Lapham's art is to the point where I cannot see any one else doing a better job. Its expressive, with characters loss, grief, anger, and complete sadness leaping off the page. His ability to convey such expression really allows this series to convey much of its meaning. A particular great example of this is the scene where CeeCee is sleeping with her university professor. The look on her face, complete detachment, rings home her grief and pain more than any scene loaded with sobbing could ever do. The same can be said of the half-page scene of her surgery, the scene is quick, wordless, and emotionless, driving home her experience very effectively. Laphams art has aided his story so well, its hard to imagine another artist who could handle this series.

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8.0
Young Liars #11

Jan 20, 2009

Laphams art really aids in his processes in many ways. Its expressive, certainly, in terms of conveyance of emotion, and the extreme emotions of the series really come out in his work. His action sequences are always at the high point of action, creating a lot of chaos and excitement in the scenes. People are thrown around, blown up, hacked apart, and many other violent things in high energy ways. And all the crazy things he comes up with are easily handled in his art, the dream sequences differentiate themselves immediately from other points of the story through colour and shading, as do the flashback sequences. Laphams art is highly communicative, which can be seen as either a relief or ironic, depending on your views of the story.

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9.0
Young Liars #12

Feb 17, 2009

And Laphams art is the only one that could keep up with what hes doing. Every page is working within his eight-panel structure I remember him referring to as the most cinematic for his style in the paratext of the first volume of Stray Bullets. But because of the constant variations, it is hardly noticeable and certainly not repetitive. The issue is devoid of flashy multipage splashes, but this makes sense, Lapham is telling a story not fixiated on putting a bunch of superheroes against each other, his is very much a drama of human lives, no matter how crazy it gets.

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8.0
Young Liars #14

Apr 21, 2009

Another thing about this arc, if you can call it that, is Laphams commentary on big box retail stores. The Brown Bag stores, an obvious commentary on Wal-Mart type stores, sells literally everything a town needs, the the extent they own the entire town the story is set in. Brown Bag sells everything from coffee to designer fur coats to plastic surgery and even houses. In a world where Wal-Marts are becoming famous for driving out local businesses, Laphams Brown Bag town is a scary almost-reality far too close to home. This is reflected in the art as the entire issue has become brown and washed out. While the characters can be seen in very vibrant clothing, the world they inhabit is almost featureless and certainly devoid of any vibrancy.

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9.0
Young Liars #18

Sep 8, 2009

And it does stop. Issues could exist after, no doubt at all about that. But they dont and things stop. In fact, the scene of Danny/ Johnny waking up and putting on clown make-up makes the whole thing open to a new story or lie. Sadie, the early protagonist, comes back in Loreleis body, triumphantly but offering nothing but violence and laughs. Really nothing is solved and there are certainly parts missing. The single page panel with the words I have never lied to you offers little insight. The story never concludes, the bomb threat is never resolved. Did they succeed, did it ever exist? The spider on the pillow at the end offers only a little insight. All in all, Young Liars has been a trip and leaves readers with the same feeling as after every issue, except there is no what happens next. Lapham created something which demanded attention, rereading and engagement. So now that we have the whole thing, I think its time to find some truths.

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