Posts Tagged ‘John Rauch’

The Walking Dead #100

July 25, 2012 Leave a comment

July 13, 2012

Title: Something to Fear Part Four

Writer: Robert Kirkman
Art: Charlie Adlard
Letters: Rus Wooton
Gray Tones: Cliff Rathburn
Cover Art: Charlie Adlard & Cliff Rathburn
Variant Covers: Marc Silverstri & Sunny Gho; Frank Quitely; Todd McFarlane & John Rauch; Sean Phillips; Bryan Hitch & John Rauch; Ryan Ottley & John Rauch; Charlie Adlard & Cliff Rathburn, Charlie Adlard
Editor: Sina Grace
Publisher: Image Comics/Skybound

Let’s hear it for Robert Kirkman, shall we? Aside from a hit TV show and what will likely prove to be the highest-selling comic book of 2012, The Walking Dead is now a member of that ever-shrinking family of comic books that have lasted 100 issues or more… and this for a black-and-white character drama with no superheroes. That’s damn impressive.

Also impressive is the story we get here. Kirkman tells a great story, but he doesn’t go out of his way to make this some huge, mind-blowing, 100th-issue extravaganza. We get extra story pages here, but a lot of it is talking heads stuff. Rick and his friends are going out to take a stand against the mysterious Negal, leader of a group of survivors demanding unfair tributes from the group Rick’s people have fallen in with. Rick and company wind up in a face off with Negal, only to wind up captured, and forced into the most horrible situation a human could place them in.

There’s so much about this comic that’s impressive to me. The fact that the drama can come not from the zombies, but from the still-living, is really just the top of the iceberg to me. The fact that, after 100 issues, Kirkman can still legitimately amp up the drama regarding who will live and who will die… the fact that this issue ends with our heroes at a new low point, a point of rage and grief and pain that the reader will share… it’s remarkable that he can still do that after all this time.

Adlard pours it on this issue, turning out some of his best work. Pain, anguish… gore… he puts it all into these pages, turning out a stark look at a horrible world that’s nevertheless wonderfully entertaining to read.

This book is hard to read. But if it wasn’t, it would be worthwhile.

Rating: 9/10


G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero (2001 Series) #36

August 14, 2011 Leave a comment

November 11, 2004

Quick Rating: Very Good
Title: Shroud (Union of the Snake Part One)

As the G.I. Joe team falls apart, Cobra begins to rebuild.

Writer: Brandon Jerwa
Pencils: Tim Seeley
Backgrounds: Jason Millet
Inks: Cory Hamscher
Colors: John Rauch
Letters: Dreamer Design
Editor: Mark Powers
Cover Art: Tim Seeley & Jeremy Roberts
Publisher: Devil’s Due

After a rather blasé two-issue story, Brandon Jerwa is back in full force this month with a great offering for the readers, if not for the G.I. Joe team. With Hawk out of commission, permanently, it would appear, his replacement with the Jugglers shows none of the compassion for the team he brought to the table. The new bosses want to gut G.I. Joe, just as Destro is getting Cobra up and running again.

This issue is very much a tale of two armies. The Joes are being ripped apart from on-high, while their personal bonds and loyalty to the cause are still strong. Over at Cobra, the command is in place and functional, but the individuals still harbor deep anger and mistrust for one another. Can either army function in such a state?

Destro also pulls off a few unusual operations in this issue, plots and schemes to chip away at the American faith, which are much more subversive and, potentially, much more effective than anything Cobra Commander ever did.

Tim Seeley does a fantastic job with the art this issue. The characters look strong and distinct, and it’s a lot of fun for an old-school Joe fan like myself to see this issue focus on a lot of the original core members. (We also get a reminder that, no matter how iconic Duke has become to the team, he wasn’t one of the originals.) The cover echoes that fact, and it’s really a beautiful piece of art. At first blush it may appear to be a standard, generic pin-up cover, but it turns out to actually be germane to the story. Plus it looks really, really good.

This is a strong start to the next storyline, which is especially good after the last two issues. It seems this series is back on track.

Rating: 8/10

Breakdown #2

February 2, 2011 Leave a comment

December 4, 2004

Quick Rating: Good

Jeff Carey, the former Paragon starts his bloody path to vengeance.

Writer: Chuck Dixon
Pencils: Dave Ross
Colors: John Rauch & Jeremy Roberts
Letters: Dreamer Design
Editor: Mark Powers
Cover Art: Dave Ross & Jeremy Roberts
Publisher: Devil’s Due/Aftermath

Last issue Jeff Carey was a hero. Paragon, the super-powered protector and idol of millions. Then his wife and daughter were murdered, and Jeff was presumed dead.

This issue he starts his quest for vengeance by breaking into a prison full of murderers and criminals that he put away looking for clues – and one very specific prisoner. This issue is interesting mainly because it raises a lot of questions about Jeff’s past. The new character introduced in this issue is bound to inject a lot of questions into this title and I find I’m much more curious about Jeff himself than I was last issue.

We also, obviously, get more of a chance to see him in action, as well as a chance to see how versatile his powers really are. Last issue it looked like he could be an average, generic strongman superhero. This issue it has become clear that there’s much more to him than that, and there are hints as to where some of that power may have come from. Last issue, we’re forced to remember, wasn’t so much an origin as it was a turning point. The action beats are well-done and well-spaced, and he works in a little humor along the way.

If there are any problems with this issue, it’s that we’re still getting too much set-up. Last issue was paced very well, laying out the characters and beginning the basic situations that will define this title. This issue felt like the first half of the next issue, everything that needs to be done to bring you up to the next major plot point, then it ends just as it promises to get interesting. That bodes well for issue #3, but it makes issue #2 suffer a bit by comparison.

The artwork, by Ross and the color team of Rauch and Roberts, is pretty strong. It’s a good, old-fashioned style that still manages to have a lot of darkness to it, kind of like when Brent Anderson took over Rising Stars.

I’m enjoying this title. I’m anxious to see where it goes. But I think this is going to go down as a weak early issue.

Rating: 7/10

Age of Heroes #3

August 12, 2010 Leave a comment

August 6, 2010

Title: Girls Night In
Kelly Sue DeConnick
Brad Walker & Walden Wong
Jay David Ramos
Dave Lanphear
Lauren Sankovitch
Yanick Paquette, Michel Lacombe & Nathan Fairbairn
Marvel Comics

The third book in Marvel’s Heroic Age anthology is, like most anthologies, a mix of stronger and weaker pieces. It starts out with a pretty good tale, “Girls Night In,” starring the three ladies in charge of coordinating the Avengers, New Avengers and Secret Avengers teams with one another. While Maria Hill, Victoria Hand, and Sharon Carter are having a meeting at Avengers tower, the Absorbing Man attacks in a rage, planning to take his ball and chain back – and the ladies have no Avengers to protect them. The story is strong, funny, and gives us a nice chance to see these three ladies are more than just plot contrivances. The artwork is strong too.

Title: Don’t Believe the Hype
Kevin Grevioux
MC Wyman
Victor Olazaba
John Rauch
Dave Lanphear
Lauren Sankovitch & Tom Brevoort

The second story in this book, though, the Blue Marvel in “Don’t Believe the Hype,” is considerably weaker. Here we see Marvel’s latest indecisive powerhouse watching as the villainous form of Hyperion attacking the Winter Guard in Uzbekistan. I didn’t read the Blue Marvel’s miniseries, this is my first exposure to the character, but it didn’t do much to endear me to the character. He feels too similar to the Sentry, a character that came out of nowhere, that Marvel is trying to attempt us to convince is terribly significant and powerful, but feels ultimately shallow and insignificant. The ending  seems kind of forced and contrived as well. The character just doesn’t interest me at all.

Title: Billion Dollar Baby
Fred Van Lente
Jefte Palo
Jean-Francois Beauliue
Dave Lanphear
Lauren Sankovitch

The Taskmaster shows up next in a two-page story where he finds himself targeted by a mysterious group called the Org. It’s hard to really get a grasp on the character in this story. Van Lente is a fine writer, but this little snipped really feels like nothing more than a preview of the upcoming Taskmaster miniseries. That’s okay in and of itself, but I wish this story had a little more meat of its own to make me recommend it.

Title: Nuts to This
Dan Slott
Ty Templeton
Jorge Maese
Dave Lanphear
Lauren Sankovitch

The book closes with Squirrel Girl, one of Dan Slott’s pet characters, in “Nuts to This.” In this story we see Squirrel Girl pondering her teammates in the Great Lakes Avengers X-Men Initiative Avengers. With her on the team, being the powerhouse that she is, she’s worried that she’s holding the team back, and she makes a fateful decision. It’s an okay page, but it feels very much like a set-up, a way for Slott to free the character up so he can use her elsewhere. Again, nothing wrong with that in and of itself, but it’s just not much to sink your teeth in to.

The opening story in this book is very great, but the rest of the issue drags the score down considerably.

Rating: 6/10