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Posts Tagged ‘Rob Leigh’

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

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Smallville #7

June 26, 2012 Leave a comment

March 13, 2004

Quick Rating: Good
Title: Chronicle & Parenthood

Chloe Sullivan gets a visitor that dredges up a case from the past.

Writer: Clint Carpenter
Pencils: Tom Derenick & Tom Grummett
Inks: Adam DeKraker & Kevin Conrad
Colors: Guy Major & Trish Mulvihill
Letters: Rob Leigh
Editor: Tom Palmer Jr.
Cover Art: John Van Fleet
Publisher: DC Comics

DC comics and the WB network begin a multimedia assault with a story that picks up a thread from a season one episode of Smallville, continues on the show’s website and will wrap up two months from now in the next issue of the comic book. If you’re going to do a story like that, this is the way to do it – “Chronicle” is a story that has a fairly satisfying ending to it, even if you don’t decide to log on to the website and check out how it continues, but the option to keep reading is there if you want it.

A man arrives on Chloe’s doorstep with new information about the mysterious “Level Three” that Luthorcorp moved out of Smallville under mysterious circumstances. Chloe and Clark go out to investigate. In a back-up story, Jonathan and Martha Kent get stranded on the side of the road due to a series of Clark-related mishaps. The backup is a quick funny story with a predictably sappy ending, but in the context of the television show it works fairly well.

It’s always a challenge, when adapting a TV show or movie, to draw characters that resemble the real actors without completely surrendering the storytelling needs of a comic book. Tom Derenick does a great job with this – his characters look enough like Allison Mack and Tom Welling to remind us that there is a TV show but he never sacrifices the conventions of comic storytelling. Tom Grummett isn’t quite as successful at this – his faces, especially John Schneider as Jonathan Kent, tend to be a bit over-detailed, but overall, the story looks all right.

This issue also includes a few text pieces – an article about visual effects on the program, the beginning of the season two episode guide and a weird “Voices From the Future” report that uses that annoying internet technique of substituting numbers for letters. You’re welcome to try to decipher it if you want – I got frustrated in two sentences.

This is a decent comic book, but I don’t think it gets used to its fullest potential. I’ve never seen an issue outside of comic book stores. This should be out there on magazine racks where kids and teenagers who watch the TV show can find it, read it and hopefully make the transition to other comic books. It’s time DC learned how better to market the best tool for grabbing new readers they currently have.

Rating: 7/10

Stormwatch (2011 Series) #4

February 21, 2012 Leave a comment

December 17, 2011

Title: The Dark Side Part Four

Writer: Paul Cornell
Art:
Miguel Sepulveda
Colorist:
Alex Sinclair
Letterer:
Rob Leigh
Cover Artist:
Miguel Sepulveda & Alex Sinclair
Editor:
Pat McCallum
Publisher:
DC Comics

A monster has fallen to Earth from the moon and absorbed the Stormwatch team. On the outside, Apollo and Midnighter are left to face the creature, while the team inside struggles for freedom. Some interesting stuff in this issue. Paul Cornell begins the hinting at the future that readers already know is waiting for Apollo and Midnighter, while showing off the rather strange abilities some of the characters have. All of the heroes are used well, here, particularly Apollo and Jack Hawksmoor, whose basic premise (being the “God of Cities”) makes him a far more interesting character than I would have expected. He’s the sort of character that can be really handy to explore a universe, and with the New 52 being so relatively uncharted, there’s a lot of potential here for him to do exactly that.

I like the artwork here a lot. Miguel Sepulveda can do sci-fi action really well, and Alex Sinclair’s work on the colors is outstanding. He does a few different effects here, but doesn’t take it overboard. The last page in particular really stands out – a very nice piece of work.

I’m sorry to hear Cornell will be leaving this book after the first story arc. He’s given it a solid start. But whoever takes over, I hope they can keep it going strong.

Rating: 7/10

Justice League Dark #2

February 14, 2012 Leave a comment

November 6, 2011

Title: In the Dark Part Two: Dark Matter

Writer: Peter Milligan
Art:
Mikel Janin
Colorist:
Ulises Arreola
Letterer:
Rob Leigh
Cover Artist:
Ryan Sook
Editor:
Rex Ogle
Publisher:
DC Comics

The Enchantress is growing more unhinged, her power more unchecked, and Zatanna know she’s going to have to draw together a team to fight back. Across America, though, the likes of Constantine and Shade the Changing Man are dealing with issues of their own. The book is coming together slowly, but not in a bad way. Like a lot of team books, this first story arc feels like it’s all about bringing the group together for the first time. We see their connections here to Zatanna, we see why they may be needed, and the slow convergence is entertaining to me. The big surprise is just how big a role Dove seems to be playing in the book. Considering her relationship with Deadman, I expected her to show up once in a while, but this issue really makes it feel as though she’s going to be a regular cast member, which would be just fine by me. In addition to a good story, the artwork by Mikel Janin is nothing short of gorgeous. His ability to blend superhero characters with a book that feels like high fantasy is absolutely uncanny, and his faces are very expressive and energetic, telling the story of the characters’ emotions as neatly as the speech balloons convey their words. The “Dark” corner of the New 52 has really turned out to be one of its finest.

Rating: 8/10

Trials of Shazam! #2

December 15, 2011 Leave a comment

September 25, 2006

Quick Rating: Very Good
Title: Grounded

The Trials begin!

Writer: Judd Winick
Art: Howard Porter
Letters: Rob Leigh
Editor: Mike Carlin
Cover Art: Howard Porter
Publisher: DC Comics

Last issue, things changed for Billy Batson. This issue, we check in on the rest of the Marvel Family. Those of you who have worried about Mary since Brave New World, this issue we find out her fate. But the real focus is on Freddy Freeman, the young man who once was Captain Marvel, Jr., and who now has no power at all.

Billy and Freddy meet and we learn a lot about what’s happened – how Billy has changed and what it means for the rest of the Marvels. This issue really changes the focus of the entire property – even the title of the miniseries has a new significance by the end. Judd Winick is doing a lot more than just updating the Marvels for the 21st century, he’s changing them from the ground-up. He’s doing it so well, though, that even a lifelong fan of the Big Red Cheese like myself can’t really get upset. Change is only bad when it doesn’t make sense. The changes in this issue… they fit.

Speaking of changes, let’s talk again about Howard Porter’s cracking new art style. Porter’s art, which appears to be some form of digital painting, give this book a style unseen elsewhere on the shelves. This is very much its own series, both in art and story, and it’s all to the good.

There isn’t much else I can say – this issue is majorly spoiler-laden. But if you enjoyed issue #1, you’ll be happy to know this issue keeps the story going in the right direction.

Rating: 8/10

Blood of the Demon #2

December 6, 2011 Leave a comment

April 4, 2005

Quick Rating: Very Good
Title: Hunters

Jason and Etrigan strike an uneasy truce.

Plot: John Byrne
Script: Will Pfeifer
Pencils: John Byrne
Inks: Nekros
Colors: Alex Bleyaert
Letters: Rob Leigh
Editor: Joey Cavalieri
Cover Art: John Byrne
Publisher: DC Comics

The new status quo for Jason Blood and the Demon is established this issue, and while it’s not what I expected, it’s an interesting take nonetheless. Last issue, Etrigan was fully unleashed in the midst of an arcane ritual to bring an “Elder God” to Earth. This issue the demon revels in his freedom as he does battle with the creature, only to find a new obstacle he didn’t expect.

I’m not entirely sure what I think of this new arrangement. It reminds me quite a bit of another DC hero (and I can’t say more without spoiling it) but it may be a bit more interesting in this case, as our two main characters have often been at odds – Jason’s heroic tendencies clashing with Etrigan’s basic evil nature. That part of the arrangement, at least, seems to have remained intact, and I think that’s important to keep. Although I’ve got to do on record as one of the people who misses the rhyming Etrigan – he never feels quite right if he’s not rhyming to me.

This is a heavy action issue, but we also get some development and some additions to our supporting cast, whom I suspect will be rather important to this series – some of them in a “support crew” kind of way and some in an adversarial “Jean Valjean” way. Both of these have a lot of potential for this series.

Byrne seems to have a lot of fun with the artwork in this issue, particularly with the rather Lovecraftian “Elder God” that gives us our Maguffin. He has an interesting take on Etrigan himself as well, making him look more beaten up, more weathered than most interpretations of the character.

Like the first issue, I feel like this is a solid start to relaunch the character. It’s interesting – not so long ago I remember reading an interview with Byrne where he said he had no jobs lined up after he finished Superman/Batman: Generations 3. Between this, Doom Patrol and his return to Action Comics, he’s not hurting for work anytime soon.

Rating: 8/10

North 40 #1

September 27, 2011 Leave a comment

July 21, 2007

Quick Rating: Very Good
Title: Now Entering Conover County

Conover County is a typical American town – except for the monsters.

Writer: Aaron Williams
Art: Fiona Staples
Letters: Rob Leigh
Editor: Scott Peterson
Publisher: DC Comics/Wildstorm

Conover County seems like any of a thousand other small-town American communities. Normal people, normal problems. Until a couple of youngsters get their hands on a decidedly nasty book that should have been kept off-limits to the town library. They recite an ancient incantation, and when the night falls, the terrors begin.

Aaron Williams is best known for his lighter fare, like Nodwick or the brilliant PS 238, so this horror story is something of a departure for him. In truth, the book reminds me a lot of Rising Stars or Heroes, except instead of a sudden inundation of superpowers, the people of the community instead find themselves transforming into monsters. Of course, the town isn’t entirely without protectors – some of the people who fall under the curse find some rather useful abilities as a result, and one girl in particular seems destined to stand against the darkness.

Williams manages to blend that sensibility with the small town life with a dash of Lovecraft for good measure. While he doesn’t abandon his sense of humor entirely, the comedy in this book is a great deal darker than what fans of his would be accustomed to. He’s really branching out with this book, and from a storytelling standpoint, it’s a real success.

Fiona Staples is a good choice for the artwork. Her characters have a good feel – they look different from one another, so it’s easily to quickly distinguish them visually. But she’s really good at the horrors, the monsters, and the nasties that come crawling out of the night once things go bad.

This is a really good first issue – plenty of fun, and a story that feels familiar without seeming like a pastiche of anything that’s already been done. This is one of the most original horror comics I’ve read in quite some time.

Rating: 8/10