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Posts Tagged ‘Dave Sharpe’

She-Hulk (2004) #12

June 25, 2012 Leave a comment

February 19, 2005

Quick Rating: Excellent
Title: Some Disassembly Required

It’s She-Hulk versus Titania in the title bout!

Writer: Dan Slott
Pencils: Paul Pelletier
Inks: Rick Magyar
Colors: Dave Kemp
Letters: Dave Sharp
Editor: Tom Brevoort
Cover Art: Mike Mayhew
Publisher: Marvel Comics

This may be the first time doing a review has ever almost gotten me in trouble. I’m working the sound effects for my community theatre this weekend, and since I had a little downtime (and have already seen the play five times by now), I made the mistake of reading this comic book in the booth. I almost laughed loud enough for the audience to hear me.

Here’s the bullet points – Titania, who hates the She-Hulk, has taken the Power Gem from the Champion to take her down. Forced to stay in her human form for reasons that are perfectly logical, although will take people by surprise if they aren’t familiar with some Marvel continuity, She-Hulk is trapped in human form and is forced to call in reinforcement. Lots of reinforcements. Unexpected reinforcements.

Since the first issue, the two best things about this title have been the humor and the rampant mining of Marvel continuity. This issue Dan Slott turns both of these factors up to eleven. She-Hulk goes to an incredibly unlikely source to figure out how to take down Titania, and the guest-stars make perfect sense and exist to complement her, not steal the show. There are some outrageously funny moments here – such as Hercules asking his Damage Control foreman if he can take a break to go save the city and Stu telling off not only some obnoxious characters, but taking a good-natured poke at readers who may take things too seriously.

Since this is the last issue of “season one” (Marvel has promised to bring this title back later this year, and the last page even includes a self-referential gag to let the readers know when it will be back), Slott wraps up a lot of storylines or at least brings them to a point of logical resolution, where we can accept things being left for a while. We get resolution for She-Hulk, Titania, Southpaw and the law firm. We even get a little resolution for some story threads left over from Avengers Disassembled, which tie into story elements in this book.

Paul Pelletier is at the absolute top of his game. The characters look great, the fight scenes are fantastic and the visual gags all just plain work. There are panels where your jaw just drops and panels where you laugh out loud. I’m in love with this book.

This same creative team is going to take some time off to do the upcoming GLA (that’s Great Lakes Avengers) miniseries, which promises to have a lot of the same comedic sensibilities, so you can bank on me following them there. But man, I can’t wait for this book to come back for season two.

Rating: 10/10

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She-Hulk (2004 Series) #11

December 16, 2011 1 comment

January 14, 2005

Quick Rating: Great
Title: Imbalance of Power

Titania’s on a rampage – and even an enhanced She-Hulk may not be strong enough to save the day.

Writer: Dan Slott
Pencils: Paul Pelletier
Inks: Rick Magyar
Colors: Dave Kemp
Letters: Dave Sharpe
Editor: Tom Brevoort
Cover Art: Mike Mayhew
Publisher: Marvel Comics

Dan Slott deserves a ton of credit for how he pulled this issue out. He’s taken Titania, a character who has always been an emotional arch-foe for She-Hulk but has never been able to match her in combat, and made her a real threat. Even better, he found a way to reconcile all of the various storylines involving Shulkie from the last few years of other Marvel Comics and made them all fit perfectly within the context of this title.

Titania, now armed by the Power Infinity Gem, is ready to take on the woman she hates more than any other, and the way to draw her out is to tear up the city. Meanwhile, She-Hulk is having a chat with her old buddy Doc Samson. This sequence is where this issue really shines. Slott reaches back to She-Hulk’s days with the Fantastic Four to pick up a thread, which he laces into the “Red Zone” arc of Avengers, back into his own title and then through Avengers Disassembled, explaining perfectly how everything fits together in Jen Walters’ life. He even finds a way to explain the abominable Juggernaut incident from Uncanny X-Men, for which he shall have my eternal gratitude.

For all the character development, though, this issue is ultimately a lot of set-up to lead to a great cliffhanger, which promises a real slam-bang next issue.

Paul Pelletier’s artwork is as good as ever. He draws a lot of characters in a lot of environments, showing She-Hulk and Titania both in various levels of musculature, and recreates scenes from other titles (the brutal death of the Vision, for instance), with grace.

Most amazing of all, though, is the fact that this book never loses its sense of humor. Never. It’s not as laugh-out-loud funny as some earlier issues have been, but even in the midst of a few really heavy scenes, Slott eases in a joke to keep it from going to far.

This book is getting a much-needed profile boost in the coming months, and the critical buzz couldn’t be better. This is one of the best comics Marvel puts out every month, and if you’re not reading it, you should be.

Rating: 9/10

DC Universe Presents #2

November 4, 2011 1 comment

October 31, 2011

Title: Twenty Questions Part Two

Writer: Paul Jenkins
Art:
Bernard Chang
Colorist:
Blond
Letterer:
Dave Sharpe
Cover Artist:
Ryan Sook
Editor:
Will Moss
Publisher:
DC Comics

With no more answers about why he’s been chosen for his afterlife mission or why the parameters seem to have changed recently, Deadman tries to force the Goddess Roma to play her hand. It’s not as easy as all that, though, and he soon finds himself back on Earth seeking clues in the one place he has left… a club that caters to the occult set. Without an invitation to the Moonstone Club, though, he’ll have to resort to drastic means. Paul Jenkins’ rejiggering of the Deadman concept is proceeding really nicely here. I like his take on the character very much. It’s in keeping with everything we already knew about him, while still leaving plenty of room to try something new. The Moonstone club and its various inhabitants is a very cool concept, one that works with Deadman very well. The continuing questions about Deadman’s true nature are also intriguing While we haven’t really learned anything new yet, it’s easy to believe that by the time this story arc reaches its conclusion, the life (such as it is) of Boston Brand is going to be different than it is right now. Bernard Chang does good work here, with some nice “acting” on the characters Boston possesses. The subtlety of the facial expressions and body language really make it clear it’s the same person in multiple bodies, even if we didn’t have the crutch of the energy-aura to point it out for us. Very nice issue two.

Rating: 8/10

Batgirl (2011 Series) #2

November 3, 2011 Leave a comment

October 17, 2011

Title: Cut Short, Cut Deep

Writer: Gail Simone
Pencils:
Ardian Syaf
Inks:
Vicente Cifuentes
Colorist:
Ulises Arreola
Letterer:
Dave Sharpe
Cover Artist:
Adam Hughes
Editor:
Bobbie Chase
Publisher:
DC Comics

In her first encounter with the serial killer called Mirror, Batgirl’s fear of being crippled again stopped her from stopping him. In her next fight, she begins to hunt down the truth… and it’s not at all what she expected. As I’ve come to expect from Gail Simone, this issue really takes the characters and take them into perfectly logical, but very unexpected directions. Barbara’s roommate is already stumbling on her covered in cuts and bruises, something that doesn’t at all sit well with her, and the way it’s approached in this issue, her anger is entirely justified. Mirror himself has a very intriguing motivation, something I wouldn’t have guessed at that makes him less of a madman and more of a tragic villain in the vein of Mr. Freeze and the like. He’s still dangerous, he still needs to be stopped, but when you think about what drove him to the lengths he’s taking, you feel for him. Ardian Syaf is a fantastic artist, and a great choice for this book. I really enjoy his take on Batgirl and the design for mirror. As for Adam Hughes’ cover – is he trying to make Batgirl look like Karen Gillan? Because first of all, he’s succeeding, and second, now I really want her to learn an American accent and play Barbara Gordon in something, because she’d be fantastic. Great issue.

Rating: 9/10

New X-Men (2004 Series) #37

October 18, 2011 Leave a comment

April 9, 2007

Quick Rating: Good
Title: The Quest for Magik Prelude
Rating: T+

Does Blindfold sense Magik’s return?

Writers: Craig Kyle & Chris Yost
Pencils: Skottie Young
Inks: Sean Parsons
Colors: Skottie Young & Jean-Francois-Beaulieu
Storybook Page Art: Niko Henrichon
Letters: Dave Sharpe
Editor: Nick Lowe
Cover Art: Niko Henrichon
Publisher: Marvel Comics

Well, her brother’s alive again, I guess it was Magik’s turn. On an ordinary evening at the X-Mansion, several of the young heroes are entertaining each other by telling stories. When it’s Blindfold’s turn, though, she begins to describe a tale from the X-Men’s past – that of Illyana Rasputin, the girl called Magik. And the story doesn’t end with her demise.

There’s good and bad in this issue. The good is in the presentation. If they’re going to do a Magik storyline, it’s best that they give newer readers a solid recap on her past, and as recaps go, this one is pretty strong and fairly entertaining. The problem is that the issue is literally nothing but recap. Until the last page, there’s not really any plot progression. Well, there’s a strange scene involving Josh and the Cuckoos sneaking into Hank McCoy’s bedroom, but that’s just kinda disturbing.

The artwork is another strong point. Skottie Young does the basic scenes, and he does a fine job that’s well in keeping with the tone of the series. Niko Henrichon’s artwork, however, is really a standout in this book. Henrichon provides the art for the “storybook” scenes, and does a GREAT job. These pages would be perfectly in keeping with a beautiful fantasy comic book – lush, rich and enchanting.

The story is just okay, although I’m really burned out on all the resurrections we’ve seen lately. (What happened to “dead means dead?”) Still, if it gets us more Henrichon artwork, I’ll take it.

Rating: 7/10

Cable and Deadpool #45

October 13, 2011 Leave a comment

September 24, 2007

Quick Rating: Very Good
Title: Band of (Oh) Brothers
Rating: T+

Deadpool and Bob – meet Captain America and Bucky!

Writer: Fabian Nicieza
Pencils: Reilly Brown
Inks: Jeremy Freeman
Colors: Gotham
Letters: Dave Sharpe
Editor: Nicole Boose
Cover Art: Skottie Young
Publisher: Marvel Comics

Having saved the world from Hydra, the Penetraitor’s damaged armor caused a hiccup in time last issue, grabbing Deadpool and Bob Hydra, hurling them back in time to World War II, just in time to team up with Captain America and Bucky on the trail of the mad scientist Arnim Zola. Deadpool is jazzed to be working with the living legend, while Bob finds himself torn between his HYDRA training focusing his hatred on Cap and the fact that Captain America is just darn cool.

As usually is the case, this is a fun issue, with Cap and Bucky’s very distinct reactions to Deadpool opening up to some nicely-played comedy. The fight scenes are a lot of fun, the artwork is great – I’ve finally realized what it was the problem was that kept me from enjoying this series wholly: Cable. I just don’t care about him. But Deadpool, solo, is turning out to be a highly entertaining read.

Really, Marvel? You’re going to cancel this book – one of the few legitimately enjoyable comics in a bloated, depressing X-line, to replace it with a Cable ongoing? At least keep this book alive and drop his name from the title – make it a Deadpool solo book again. It’s too good to lose that way.

Rating: 8/10

Exiles (2001 Series) #60

September 30, 2011 Leave a comment

March 4, 2005

Quick Rating: Very Good
Title: Son of Apocalypse Part One

Back in the Age of Apocalypse, the Timebroker reveals a new mission – and a new teammate.

Writer: Tony Bedard
Pencils: Jim Calafiore
Inks: Mark McKenna
Colors: JC
Letters: Dave Sharpe
Editor: Mike Marts
Cover Art: Jim Calafiore
Publisher: Marvel Comics

For some time, my major criticism of this title was that it seemed like Tony Bedard was taking too long to get around to any real plot progression. The stories seemed rather generic and not specific to the Exiles, and the members of the team didn’t get their stories advanced much, if at all.

He’s making up for that now. The Timebroker has plunked the team back onto Blink’s world, known to comic fans as the universe of the Age of Apocalypse (just in time to coincide with the 10th anniversary specials of that same event, what a coinkydink) and replaced some of their members. The team’s disenchantment with the Timebroker’s mission grows this issue, especially when they learn what their new mission is.

This book feels like it’s finally rumbling towards a final confrontation with the mysterious and increasingly malevolent Timebroker, something that Bedard has slowly been brewing since taking this title over 15 issues ago. It make have taken a little while to get here, but this issue has really started to excite me.

Jim Calafiore returns to the art again this issue, and I must say, he’s just as good as the artist he trades off with. It’s been a while since I read any of the Apocalypse issues, but he fits the visuals of that world very well, and manages to show a progression of how that world looked some time after its conclusion and supposed destruction. (I’m assuming the other issues being released this week give some sort of explanation as to how it escaped nuclear devastation, they seem to brush past it in this issue).

Next issue is labeled as the last part of this arc, but future covers would seem to indicate that there’s a good bit more to go through before the main story is over. I’m quite anxious to see how it plays out.

Rating: 8/10