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Posts Tagged ‘Lary Stucker’

Hawkman (2002 Series) #26

July 24, 2012 Leave a comment

March 20, 2004

Quick Rating: Very Good
Title: Rest

A mistake from Hawkman’s past comes back to haunt him.

Writer: Josh Siegal
Pencils: John Byrne
Inks: Lary Stucker
Colors: Hi-Fi
Letters: Rob Leigh
Editor: Stephen Wacker
Cover Art: John Byrne
Publisher: DC Comics

Writer Josh Siegal is a new name to me, but after reading this issue of Hawkman I find myself asking why he’s only doing a fill-in until the new creative team comes on instead of handling writing chores full-time. This is a really smart issue, wherein Hawkman and Hawkgirl find themselves facing off the bloody menace of a vampire.

Siegal takes the fact that Hawkman has been around for thousands of years in hundreds of incarnations and runs with it, showing how an honest mistake can get magnified over the centuries, leading to the current predicament. He shows the flip side of that too, though, employing skills that may go unused for hundreds of years, but are never forgotten.

Siegal also employs a non-linear storytelling style, bouncing further and further into the past to show how the characters were brought to the point. The structure of the story (if not the content) reminds me very much of one of m favorite movies, “Memento,” which tells the story from the end to the beginning. It’s not an easy technique to pull off, and Siegal does a fantastic job.

John Byrne seems to be drawing a lot of vampires lately. He did it last week in JLA and he’s doing it here. They both look good, though, so I’m not going to complain. Lary Stucker’s inks compliment the pencils very well, and we have a comic book that manages to straddle the line between superhero storytelling and horror. Visually, this book could fit into either category, and that’s what it needs to do.

After the great run Geoff Johns had on this title, it’s going to be hard to follow up. This may be a done-in-one fill-in issue, but it’s a very good one. Hawkman fans will be highly satisfied.

Rating: 8/10

Teen Titans Go! #17

June 25, 2011 Leave a comment

March 28, 2005

Quick Rating: Good
Title: Anger Management

The Titans help Hotspot learn to curb his temper.

Writer: J. Torres
Pencils: Mike Norton
Inks: Lary Stucker
Colors: Heroic Age
Letters: Pat Brosseau
Editor: Tom Palmer Jr.
Cover Art: Sean Galloway
Publisher: DC Comics/Johnny DC

We get another pretty solid issue in this title that spins off of the popular Cartoon Network series. The quasi-Titan named Hotspot gets into a little trouble when his uncontrollable temper leads to the villain called Adonis slipping through the team’s fingers. To prevent a reoccurrence of this, each of the members decides to show him how to control his temper – with varying degrees of success.

This is a good issue, a pretty funny one. As you’d expect, the attempts to give Hotspot a cooler head are quite amusing. It’s low on action but high on comedy, which is to be expected. It’s aimed at the younger readers, but not to a degree that the adults who browse through it will be bored. It will work for anyone who’s a genuine fan of the television series.

Speaking of the television series, Mike Norton does a really impressive job with the artwork when it comes to capturing the same art and style you get when you watch the show. The only thing that still doesn’t really work for me are the frequent lapses into overly-cartoony bits for asides or quick jokes. Apparently this is something you see with the more Manga style the title is going for, but it’s not something I really care for.

Overall, it’s a decent book if you like the show.

Rating: 7/10

Teen Titans Go! #14

May 14, 2011 Leave a comment

December 19, 2004

Quick Rating: Fair
Title: If You Can’t Beat ‘Em…

It’s the Teen Titans and Speedy versus Plasmus!

Writer: J. Torres
Pencils: Todd Nauck
Inks: Lary Stucker
Colors: Heroic Age
Letters: Phil Balsman
Editor: Tom Palmer, Jr.
Cover Art: Dave Bullock
Publisher: DC Comics/Johnny DC

This issue special guest-star Speedy hooks up with the Teen Titans to take down the monstrous Plasmus.

That’s pretty much it. The entire issue is a fight scene. We don’t even see what leads to the fight – the first panel shows Speedy about to fire his arrow at the beast – and the issue ends two panels after the fight does. It’s nothing but a throwdown issue. It’s fun, to be sure, but there’s no real meat to this story. Fight scenes are fun, but for one to last for an entire issue, you really want there to be more to it, even if the comic is written specifically for the younger demographic.

The artwork is fine. Nauck and Stucker do a great job emulating the style of the TV show, and there are some great scenes as our heroes have to find an army of mini-Plasmuses (Plasmusi? Whatever.) that are swarming upon them. I particularly like the effect they and the color team manage to create with Raven’s powers.

I’ve warmed up to this title, mostly because I happen to know a certain six-year-old who’s in love with it, and when you look at it through her eyes you see its charm and its virtue. But I think there have been much better issues than this one.

Rating: 6/10

Superman: Our Worlds at War-The Complete Collection TPB

April 20, 2011 Leave a comment

April 17, 2011

Title: Our Worlds at War

Writers: Jeph Loeb, Joe Casey, Mark Schultz, Joe Kelly, Peter David, Phil Jimenez, Todd DeZago
Pencils:
Phil Jimenez, Mike Wieringo, Doug Mahnke, Ed McGuinness, Pascual Ferry, Carlo Barberi, Kano, Todd Nauck, Mark Buckingham, Duncan Rouleau, Yvel Guichet, Bill Sienkiewicz, Ron Garney, Leonard Kirk
Inks:
Marlo Alquiza, Andy Lanning, Jose Marzan Jr., Cam Smith, Keith Champagne, Tom Nguyen, Juan Vlasco, Wayne Faucher, Walden Wong, Duncan Rouleau, Mark Morales, Lary Stucker, Bill Sienkiewicz, Dexter Vines, Robin Riggs
Colorist:
Wildstorm FX, Patricia Mulvihill, Jason Wright, Zylonol Studios, Tanya Horie, Richard Horie, Tom McCraw, Rob Schwager, Gene D’Angelo
Letterer:
Richard Starkings, Comicraft, Ken Lopez, Janice Chiang, Bill Oakley
Cover:
Ed McGuinness
Editors:
Eddie Berganza, Mike McAvennie, Bob Joy       
Publisher:
DC Comics

Comic book crossovers have been a staple of the form since the 1980s, and there have been more misses than hits. Sometimes, though, time passes and you forget how good a particular storyline was. That’s the case for me with the 2001 crossover Our Worlds at War.

In this storyline Imperiex, an alien Superman had fought some months before, was making Earth the target of his latest assault. It turns out Superman hadn’t fought the real Imperiex, but rather a “probe” sent out by a much more powerful biend, who had the intention of destroying Earth in part of an ongoing quest to wipe out… well… the universe. Superman, the Justice League, and pretty much every other hero on the planet assembled to go to war against the forces of Imperiex, and to do so they had to make some strange allies… Lex Luthor, then-President of the United States, and the dark god himself, Darkseid.

Although this book is labeled The Complete Collection, that isn’t strictly true. There are several crossover chapters and specials that were released in 2001 that aren’t part of this already-hefty omnibus. This book does collect all of the pieces vital to the main story, including the chapters of the assorted Superman titles, Wonder Woman’s book, those starring the members of Young Justice, and a few more for good measure. Not every chapter is that great, but a lot of them are. The story packs a surprising emotional punch, as we see Superman and his allies run ragged fighting a foe more powerful than they’ve ever fought before. Granted, that’s the tagline for virtually every crossover that’s published, but this time we really feel the stress, the strain they have to go under. We see heroes brought to the breaking point and several significant, meaningful deaths. (Unfortunately, virtually all of those deaths have been reversed in the decade since this story first saw publication, but it’s unfair to hold that against this volume, I think.)

The book does lean heavily on characters that were important to the Superman mythos at the time, such as Strange Visitor, who more recent readers won’t recognize at all. The changes that Steel goes through, as well, make for a strange little time capsule, and Supergirl is virtually unrecognizable from the current version. But the story as a whole is still engaging, exciting, and powerful. I’m really glad I picked up this monster omnibus and read this story again.

Rating: 8/10

For the record, this book collects the following individual issues: Action Comics #780-782, Adventures of Superman #593-595, Impulse #77, JLA: Our Worlds at War #1, Superboy (1994 Series) #91, Supergirl (1996 Series) #59, Superman (1987 Series) #171-173, Superman: The Man of Steel #115-117, Wonder Woman (1987 Series) #172-173, World’s Finest: Our Worlds at War #1, and Young Justice (1998 Series) #36.

Teen Titans Go! #11

April 5, 2011 Leave a comment

September 27, 2004

Quick Rating: Good
Title: Countdown

Terra is part of the team now… but will that protect them from Slade?

Writer: J. Torres
Pencils: Todd Nauck
Inks: Lary Stucker
Colors: Heroic Age
Letters: Phil Balsman
Editor: Tom Palmer Jr.
Cover Art: Dave Bullock
Publisher: DC Comics/Johnny DC

This was a pretty good issue of Teen Titans Go!, something that ties directly into recent events of the TV show. It may have done with a little note informing the readers that it takes place before recent episodes – mainly for the benefit of particularly young readers (of which I know there are many). Still, with a little help from their parents, it should be easy to figure out where this story fits in.

The Titans, with their newest member Terra, engage in a fun-filled game of “Capture the Flag.” What the viewer/reader knows that the Titans don’t though, is that Terra is a double agent, working for their enemy Slade (the TV version of the DCU’s Deathstroke). The team gets led into a dust-up with some of Slade’s forces, and Terra’s loyalties are clearly divided.

By necessity, this is an issue that can’t really show much change or growth of the characters. The story, after all, has to be able to fit seamlessly between episodes of the TV show. However, it can give a little insight into the characters, particularly Terra and Beast Boy, and it does very good in that respect.

Todd Nauck, as usual, is quite well suited to the art on this book. He doesn’t have to adapt his own style very much to match the style of the show – each of these characters is perfectly on-model, and for a cartoon show adaptation, that’s really the best you can say.

Although I’m still not a fan of some of the sillier Anime-style elements this property has, I’ve warmed up both to the TV show and the comic. It’s definitely got its place, especially among younger fans who may not yet appreciate the more sophisticated storytelling of Justice League Unlimited.

Rating: 7/10

Teen Titans Go! #6

April 1, 2011 Leave a comment

April 24, 2004

Quick Rating: Fair
Title: Storm

Lightning and Thunder are back in town, and the town gets the punishment.

Writer: J. Torres
Pencils: Todd Nauck
Inks: Lary Stucker
Colors: Heroic Age
Letters: Phil Balsman
Editor: Lysa Hawkins & Tom Palmer Jr.
Cover Art: Dave Bullock
Publisher: DC Comics

This issue picks up two of the villains from one of my least-favorite episodes of the TV series the comic is based on, but I have to admit, Torres handles them consistently. Lightning and Thunder, the two elemental brothers that can’t seem to get along, return to San Fransisco tearing a path of destruction. The Titans, of course, jump into the fray to protect innocent bystanders from such debris as falling giant toothbrushes and other dangers that set up obvious gags, but none of them are so groan-inducing as to make the book painful.

Todd Nauck’s pencils are great in this issue. He manages to mimic the style of the cartoon, including some manga-style jokes, and the look of the comic is perfectly consistent with the show. He manages to work in some bits of his own as well, like a brief visual cameo from Slobo (late of Nauck’s work in Young Justice). I particularly liked the sort of camera negative effect Heroic Age managed to do with Raven’s powers.

Clearly, I’m not the target audience for this title, but it does fit with the show fairly well and kids who enjoy the cartoon will most likely enjoy this as well. With the Batman Adventures comic book getting the axe in favor of the new, darker Batman cartoon that’s premiering later this year, it’ll be up to this comic book and Justice League Adventures to usher kids in to the world of the DC superheroes. This book, hopefully, will help with that goal. In fact, the only real problem, objectively, is Beast Boy’s grocery list. Really, would anybody be that upset over losing some tofu ice cream?

Rating: 6/10

Teen Titans Go! #5

January 23, 2011 Leave a comment

March 20, 2004

Quick Rating: Below Average
Title: Monster Zit

Raven gets a blemish… and it could tear the Titans asunder!

Writer: J. Torres
Pencils: Tim Smith 3
Inks: Lary Stucker
Colors: Heroic Age
Letters: Jared K. Fletcher
Editor: Lysa Hawkins & Tom Palmer Jr.
Cover Art: Dave Bullock
Publisher: DC Comics

This issue: Raven gets a zit! And it gets bigger and bigger and worse and worse! That about sums it up! Even though I am, admittedly, no fan of the Teen Titans cartoon, I really feel like this issue did a disservice to the show. Besides the fact that the cartoon did the “hero gets a zit that turns out to be more than a zit” episode with Starfire not too long ago (and did it better), the characters are all extremely off-kilter with the animated versions. Robin and Cyborg are much nastier and crueler than they are usually portrayed in the show, but that wouldn’t happen if Raven’s characterization were so off. She is usually portrayed as a cold, stoic character who keeps her emotions in check. In this issue, though she’s wildly emotional, freaking out over the zit and swinging wildly between shame, humiliation and rage. That’s not how the character is usually (or for that matter, ever) portrayed.

I’m not huge on the anime art style used here either, but that at least is consistent with the show. Most panels in the comic look like they could have been clipped straight out of frames of animation. Tim Smith does a nice job showing the increasingly grotesque nature of the zit in question, and he manages to work in several cute visual gags. At several points the story gets broken up with a brief “comic strip” with a throwaway gag, some of them funny, some of them lame, which will probably work for the younger audience this book is aimed at.

I have to question the wisdom of making a pimple the major plot point of a comic book aimed at an age group that’s too young to have them, but it’s a silly story that I suppose kids will like. At least until they turn on the television and realize that they’re watching almost a completely different set of characters that just happen to look alike.

Rating: 4/10