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Posts Tagged ‘Javier Pulido’

The Shade (2011 Series) #6

August 14, 2012 Leave a comment

June 16, 2012

Title: Las Cinco Esquinas

Writer: James Robinson
Art:
Javier Pulido
Letters:
Todd Klein
Colors:
Hilary Sycamore
Cover Art:
Tony Harris
Editor:
Wil Moss
Publisher:
DC Comics

With the Inquisitor cutting a bloody path through Spain, the Shade and La Sangre are joined by one of the local heroes, Montpellier, to try to hunt him down.

This isn’t really what I expected from James Robinson returning to the Shade. While there’s still plenty of cool weirdness (what with the vampires and all), it’s not as surreal as a lot of the previous Shade stories have been. It’s a more personal story, and a more straightforward one as well. None of these are bad things, it’s just a departure from what he’s done with the character in the past, and that may be turning off a few people.

One thing I really enjoy about the book is how he’s reaching out to some of the unexplored corners of the new DC Universe. With a few exceptions, most of the New 52 titles are still pretty America-centric, and I like seeing him go around Europe and show off some of the different characters that are in the DC toy box. I’d like to see more of Montpellier, and I’d read a whole miniseries of La Sangre by herself. (In fact, DC, if you’re reading, why not at least give her an arc in DC Universe Presents?)

Javier Pulido is really perfect for this story. His style isn’t like your typical superhero comic. It’s a little darker, a little more Mike Mignola-esque. That Hellboy vibe is perfectly suited for this title and the characters that we’re playing with here.

This halfway point helps show that the book is going into some different directions, but overall, I think that’s a good thing.

Rating: 8/10

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Human Target (2003 Series) #5

September 30, 2010 Leave a comment

December 13, 2003

Quick Rating: Very Good
Title: The Strike Zone (Take Me Out to the Ballgame Part Two)

Christopher Chance discovers the baseball player he’s been hired to protect has some dark secrets of his own.

Writer: Peter Milligan
Art: Javier Pulido
Colors: Javier Rodriguez
Letters: Clem Robins
Editor: Karen Berger
Cover Art: Javier Pulido
Publisher: DC Comics/Vertigo

After reading just this two-issue story arc, you can officially color me a fan of this title. Peter Milligan has taken an obscure DC hero and made him an outlet to tell really good stories commenting on society without sounding preachy or straining to make his point.

Christopher Chance is a master of disguise who impersonates people marked for death in order to protect them. Last issue, Chance was hired to impersonate Larry McGee, a pro ball player fearing for his life after one of his teammates was murdered. Chance’s investigation turns up dirt not just on McGee, but on his late friend and on Major League Baseball as a whole.

This issue tells the usual gritty crime drama and infuses it with commentary on the problem of doping in professional sports. McGee becomes a template for any decent man in the game who feels forced into something he doesn’t believe in because he can’t compete any other way. Chance also gets to show off a little, demonstrating photographic motor skills that remind the reader of characters like the villain Taskmaster, who need only see an action to repeat it.

Puldio does better in this issue than in last issue, where he sacrificed some readability for the sake of creative panel layout. While he still plays with the layout somewhat in this issue, he does it without losing any comprehension of the story and is far more successful.

This title may not be getting much notice, but it’s one of the best books Vertigo is putting out these days. If you’re not reading it, you’re doing yourself a disservice.

Rating: 8/10

Human Target (2003 Series) #4

June 25, 2010 Leave a comment

November 18, 2003

Quick Rating: Great
Title: The Set-Up Man (Take Me Out to the Ballgame Part One)

Christopher Chance goes undercover as a professional baseball player to get to the bottom of a gambling scandal.

Writer: Peter Milligan
Art: Javier Pulido
Colors: Javier Rodriguez
Letters: Clem Robins
Editor: Karen Berger
Cover Art: Javier Pulido
Publisher: DC Comics/Vertigo

I am only sparsely familiar with the old DC Universe incarnations of Christopher Chance, the master of disguise who poses as men marked for death, and this is my first exposure to the new Vertigo version, but I must say I am highly impressed. Chance, in this issue, poses as a player for the New Yorkers baseball team to discover why an all-star committed suicide.

Virtually every sports movie ever made all boils down to whether or not the team (or star) will win the Big Game. The mark of a good sports movie is whether or not you actually care about it by the time that game comes. This issue combines the best aspects of a good crime drama with the best aspects of a good sports movie – by the end of the issue I was not only anxious to find out what happened next, but downright frustrated at exactly where Milligan chose to end this month’s tale – at the moment of maximum suspense, of course.

I’m of two minds about Pulido’s artwork. His style is very good, suitably gritty without being too dark, and Rodriguez’s colors stay with a dull palette that fit the story well. The problem comes when Pulido attempts to play with panel layout – he experiments with panel size and shape, with blank space, all of which are good things, but he doesn’t quite have the mastery to experiment to the extent he does. There are several pages of important dialogue where it’s somewhat difficult to figure out what order to read the word balloons in.

This comic book has done the most important thing a comic book can – it got someone who hadn’t read any previous issues excited to read the next. What more can you want from a monthly comic?

Rating: 9/10