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Posts Tagged ‘Cory Petit’

John Carter: A Princess of Mars TPB

March 26, 2012 Leave a comment

March 18, 2012

Title: A Princess of Mars

Based on the Works of: Edgar Rice Burroughs
Writer:
Roger Langridge
Art:
Filipe Andrade
Letters:
Cory Petit
Colors:
Sunny Gho, Arif Prianto, Benny Maulana & Sotocolor
Cover Art:
Filipe Andrade & Skottie Young
Editor:
Mark D. Beazley, Jennifer Grunwald, Jeff Youngquist
Publisher:
Marvel Comics

In recent months, I’ve become quite a fan of all things related to Edgar Rice Burroughs’s John Carter character, so I decided to take a chance on the Marvel Comics adaptation of the first book in the series, A Princess of Mars. Despite being scripted by the great Roger Langridge with covers by the equally great Skottie Young, this collection of the series was, in fact, just okay for me.

Strictly taking it as an adaptation, it does its job. It tells the story of John Carter, ex-Confederate soldier who is mysteriously whisked away to the planet Mars and forced to struggle for his life. That struggle doesn’t really gain meaning other than survival until he meets the lovely Martian Princess Dejah Thoris, and his new world begins to become a home.

Langridge does a decent job with the adaptation, but there are some strange choices in here. Carter, for example, has a tendency to speak in more modern slang and contemporary dialogue than feels appropriate for the character, particularly having read the novels just a few weeks ago. The way the ending is condensed feels off as well – it’s actually similar to the movie, cutting down the time Carter spends on Barsoom drastically, and with less of a purpose than before. Some of the changes are easier to accept – the way Carter figures out where he is, and the almost too-cute combination to the atmosphere plant.

Filipe Andrade’s art is, similarly, okay. It tells the story, but feels a bit too blocky, too angular, and not quite as smooth or energetic as one would hope for this property. It probably doesn’t help that it’s compared here to Skottie Young’s covers – he’s one of the great fantasy artists of the day and the interior work just doesn’t live up to the stuff he does in his five cover sketches.

It’s okay, and I wouldn’t mind reading the other Barsoom novels adapted by this team, but it’s not the knockout that the Oz adaptations have been.

Rating: 7/10

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X-Factor (2006 Series) #19

December 21, 2011 Leave a comment

May 15, 2007

Quick Rating: Very Good
Rating: T+

One of Jaime’s dupes is dying – and saving him may kill them both!

Writer: Peter David
Pencils: Khoi Pham
Inks: Sandu Florea
Colors: Chris Sotomayor
Letters: Cory Petit
Editor: Andy Schmidt
Cover Art: Andrea DiVito
Publisher: Marvel Comics

I must confess, my teaser up top really doesn’t do this issue justice. There’s a lot going on here besides just Jamie trying to save a dying duplicate. As usual, Peter David uses the erratic behavior of the duplicates to great effect here.

The rest of the team is split up as well, following Layla’s vague instructions. Rahne and Guido continue their hunt for Pietro, while Syrin and Monet have encountered three former mutants from the X-Cell, and they’re none too happy to be face-to-face with some of the few mutants who managed to hold on to their powers after M-Day. Layla, meanwhile, has a heart-to-heart with the former mutant girl Nicole.

Nobody in the entire X-universe is using the fallout of the M-Day storyline as well as Peter David is. While the X-Men are pretty much business as usual – off in space or fighting evil mutants or whatnot – here in X-Factor the depowering has become a personal storyline for several of our characters, and the stakes are clearly very high. This title, hands down, is the single greatest thing to come out of House of M.

Pham and Florea have been on board for several issues now, and I’m very happy with their artwork. Their Blob in particular has an inspired design, with his powers gone but his girth still there. I just wish they would get to redesign some of the characters who appear in this issue that have more of a distinctively “90s” feel.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: X-Factor is the best X-title Marvel is publishing right now. Period.

Rating: 8/10

Heroes For Hire (2006 Series) #10

December 15, 2011 Leave a comment

May 22, 2007

Quick Rating: Average
Rating: T+

Lost in the Savage Land!

Writer: Zeb Wells
Pencils: Clay Mann
Inks: Terry Pallot
Colors: Brad Anderson
Letters: Cory Petit
Editor: Mark Paniccia
Cover Art: Michael Golden
Publisher: Marvel Comics

The Heroes For Hire team has been thrown to the Savage Land and split up. Humbug has been carted off by giant insects, with Misty and Colleen trying to find him. Tarantula and Shang-Chi are having a little tryst by a waterfall, while Paladin has to patch up an unconscious Black Cat. And unbeknownst to anyone, Moon Boy and Devil Dinosaur are lurking nearby.

All of these disparate elements, ultimately, add up to one great big “meh.” So much of this story is pretty much just pieced together from other stories – everything from Honey, I Shrunk the Kids to Jurassic Park. The characters, meanwhile, are running true to stereotype, with chunks of the book being given up to such concepts as Shang-Chi beating himself up for betraying his “honor” to Black Cat automatically assuming Paladin was up to no good while she was unconscious (because pretty much everyone else could bandage a chest wound without removing a person’s clothes, right?).

The artwork by Clay Mann isn’t bad – his layouts are very good, although his figures are a bit sketchy at times.

It’s not that there’s necessarily anything wrong with this issue, it’s just that there’s nothing exciting about it either. Soap operas in comics can work. Books full of B-listers (or even C- and D-listers) can be fantastic if they’re written well. It’s just that the strong writing just isn’t applying here. This is a book that, to succeed, has to be a lot greater than the sum of its parts, and frankly, it just isn’t.

Rating: 5/10

Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man #18

December 13, 2011 Leave a comment

March 6, 2007

Quick Rating: Very Good
Title: Sandblasted Part 2 (Back in Black)
Rating: A

Spidey and the Sandman seek out the man with Ben Parker’s face!

Writer: Peter David
Pencils: Todd Nauck
Inks: Robert Campanella
Colors: John Kalisz
Letters: Cory Petit
Editor: Stephen Wacker
Cover Art: Mike Wieringo
Publisher: Marvel Comics

Last issue, the Sandman tracked down his old enemy Spider-Man, not for a fight, but because he needed help. Flint Marko’s father is on death row, about to be executed for the murder of Ben Parker, and he needs Peter to help him clear dear old dad’s name. Meanwhile, someone who looks disturbingly like Ben has shown up in New York, and gunned down Spider-Man… 2211.

Only Peter David could take the utterly bleak “Back in Black” storyline and find a way to tell a story that’s actually fun. Although Peter isn’t making light of the situation, the classic Spider-Man sense of humor is evident in the fight scenes. Plus, for fans (like myself) who have always been mad about the arbitrary decision to make Sandman into a bad guy again after his reformation, seeing him and Peter fight side-by-side again is very entertaining. The scene with the two of them talking at Ben’s grave is absolutely great.

The only real problem with the issue is through no fault of the writer – the “Back in Black” delay clearly impacted the story, as there’s no mention of how or why Peter is in his black costume again anywhere in the issue. Now that Amazing Spider-Man #538 has finally come out, we get a quick mention on the “previously” page, but it was too late to work it into the story. As such, we’ve got a deep, brooding Spider-Man who can’t quite talk about why he’s deep and brooding, which makes for awkward reading.

Todd Nauck has long been a favorite artist of mine, and his style fits this story perfectly. He’s wonderful with any Spider-Man, but his cleaner, more classic style fits the black costume far better than more hyperdetailed styles used in some of the other titles. He helps make this a fun book, the best of “Back in Black” so far. Hopefully by next issue they’ll have caught up enough to get into the actual reasons for the black suit in the story.

Rating: 8/10

Wolverine: Origins #14

December 5, 2011 Leave a comment

May 6, 2007

Quick Rating: Below Average
Title: Swift and Terrible Part Four
Rating: Parental Advisory

Cyber versus Daken – who hasn’t been waiting for it?

Writer: Daniel Way
Art: Steve Dillon
Colors: Matt Milla
Letters: Cory Petit
Editor: Axel Alonso
Cover Art: Marko Djurdjevic
Publisher: Marvel Comics

As Wolverine lies around bleeding, Daken and Cyber face off. (Apparently these two have some history.) The fight is made a bit more complicated, however, when we learn something about Cyber’s new host that he, apparently, didn’t know.

Sadly, “complicated” is about the best thing I can say about this fight. Daken and Cyber are two singularly uninteresting characters. It’s even less engaging when Cyber decides to start whipping around Wolverine – a character who, considering that he regenerated an entire body from a single drop of blood not too long ago, probably should be recovering from his injuries a lot faster. The inconsistencies with this character are really enormous.

Steve Dillion isn’t even enough to make this book more palatable. He’s done fantastic work on books like Preacher and The Punisher, but neither of those books really relied on the sort of more traditional superhero action this book demands. His fight scenes don’t quite work, there’s something unrealistic about the composition that weakens pages that should be much better.

This book still doesn’t work. It’s a superfluous comic for a character whose overexposure has finally started to come under control.

Rating: 4/10

Wolverine (2003 Series) #57

October 25, 2011 Leave a comment

September 3, 2007

Quick Rating: Average
Rating: Parental Advisory

Wolverine vs. Scimitar! (Who?)

Writer: Marc Guggenheim
Art: Howard Chaykin
Colors: Edgar delgado
Letters: Cory Petit
Editor: John Barber
Cover Art: Arthur Suydam
Publisher: Marvel Comics

After a surprisingly good fill-in issue, Marc Guggenheim returns to the book he wrote last year with an issue that scores a resounding “meh.” Wolverine and Amir (the Atlanean woman he hooked up with during Guggenheim’s last story arc that virtually everyone had forgotten about) are sent into Iraq to take down the terrorist group called Scimitar. The reasons they’re sent on the mission are never adequately explained, and while Wolverine’s reason for accepting it is, his reason is really somewhat ridiculous. The end of the issue leaves us on a cliffhanger that doesn’t really generate much suspense, since there’s no way it’s going to be a permanent change.

Now in all fairness, it’s better than the last story arc. It’s at least coherent as a story. It’s just not a very interesting story.

The artwork is okay. Chaykin handled last issue too, and his Wolverine isn’t too bad – if a little… well… wide. The cover, by Arthur Suydam, isn’t bad either, but have we really reached the point where we’re gonna start slapping zombie covers on books that have NOTHING to do with the Marvel Zombies?

Not a terrible issue, but I’ve read better.

Rating: 5/10

Black Panther (2005 Series) #30

October 20, 2011 Leave a comment

August 26, 2007

Quick Rating: Fair
Title: Absolutely No Way To Win Part 3
Rating: Parental Advisory

Zombie Skrulls, Galactus Zombies… the Fantastic Four is in a tight spot.

Writer: Reginald Hudlin
Pencils: Francis Portela
Inks: Francis Portela
Colors: Val Staples
Letters: Cory Petit
Editor: Axel Alonso
Cover Art: Arthur Suydam
Publisher: Marvel Comics

Still in the Marvel Zombies universe, the new Fantastic Four find themselves being chased down by a zombie Skrull version of the original FF, which isn’t nearly as much fun as it sounds. As they do this, the Marvel Zombies continue their plan to turn the Skrull homeworld into a buffet, and one of them suggests they start using their new powers to the fullest.

While I’m not one of the ones crying that the Marvel Zombies are getting overexposed, I do think that perhaps they weren’t put to the best use this issue. By their very nature, the Zombies are a very dark, tongue-in-cheek concept, but some of their dialogue this issue (particularly Spider-Man and the Hulk) goes past simply tongue-in-cheek to simply absurd. The plot works well, the action works well, but the dialogue doesn’t work.

What does work is Portela’s art – his style almost perfectly mimics Sean Phillips’ designs for the Zombies from the original series, and the still-living heroes don’t clash at all with that vision.

Overall, this storyline has been surprisingly good. It just gets a bit too silly here at the conclusion.

Rating: 6/10