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Posts Tagged ‘Rus Wooton’

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

The Manhattan Projects #1

March 28, 2012 Leave a comment

March 18, 2012

Title: Infinite Oppenheimers

Writer: Jonathan Hickman
Art:
Nick Pitarra
Letters:
Rus Wooton
Colors:
Cris Peter
Publisher:
Image Comics

The Manhattan Project: the US think tank that helped develop the atomic bomb and win World War II. But what if there were more to it than that? What if the Project was just a cover for something even bigger – a chance for the greatest minds in the world to carry out virtually any sort of experiment the mind can conceive? And what if, like the project itself, not all of the minds involved were exactly what they appeared?

The Manhattan Projects, the new project by Jonathan Hickman and Nick Pitarra, starts out with an intriguing premise and then goes to a very different place. As a sort of alternate history project it starts with Oppenheimer – in real life one of the minds behind the Manhattan Project – and takes him to some very unexpected places. Well… unexpected before you start reading the book, anyway. I heard a lot about this issue’s big twist ending, and to be honest, it was a twist I suspected pretty early on.

That’s not to say it isn’t a really great issue, though. If it was nothing but the twist, there’d be no real reason to come back for issue two. The very concept is clever, original, and plump with potential to take the characters and their world into weird, unexplored, totally unique circumstances. That’s what has made Jonathan Hickman’s work on Fantastic Four so great, and it’s wonderful to see him bringing a similar sensibility to these other characters, who feel totally new despite a bit of familiarity that comes when you attempt any sort of alternate history project.

Nick Pitarra, Hickman’s partner on the recent The Red Wing miniseries, returns with this book as well. There’s only one real scene of sci-fi weirdness for him to illustrate, and he does it well, crafting robotic creatures that look time period appropriate and excitingly bizarre at the same time. Hopefully future installments will give him even more of a chance to branch out and cut loose.

It’s a promising beginning, and I’m looking forward to seeing where it goes in the future.

Rating: 9/10

Thief of Thieves #1

February 22, 2012 Leave a comment

February 18, 2012

Title: Chapter One-The Thief and His Apprentice

Story: Robert Kirkman
Writer:
Nick Spencer
Art:
Shawn Martinbrough
Letters:
Rus Wooton
Colors:
Felix Serrano
Cover Art:
Martinbrough & Serrano
Editor:
Sina Grace
Publisher:
Image Comics/Skybound

Meet Redmond and Celia, two expert thieves – or, at least, one expert thief and a thief in training. This issue not only introduces us, but flashes back to the day they met, and how they began their odd journey together, with Redmond teaching her how to become a master thief. But despite the allure of his lifestyle, just how satisfying a life does Redmond really lead?

I tried this first issue for several reasons. Foremost, I like the creators involved. Nick Spencer is a fantastic writer, Shawn Martinbrough a great artist, and Robert Kirkman has proven himself to be an important creator behind-the-scenes of the comic book world, trying harder than anybody else I can think of to expand the boundaries of what the medium can offer in terms of different kinds of stories, not just doing the same thing over and over again. For that, if nothing else, I’m inclined to at least sample anything he’s willing to lend his name to.

Thief of Thieves #1 isn’t bad. It’s got wonderful art, and interesting characters with a dynamic that doesn’t feel like most other comic book partnerships. The fact that these are criminals instead of heroic characters further places this book outside of the norm, and the way the two of them meet is funny and entertaining.

That said, I’m not sure I’m sold on this book’s longevity. The first issue is good, but I have trouble seeing what’s going to happen long-term. At the moment, it feels like the beginning of a miniseries (which is actually what I thought it was when I read it, until I got to Kirkman’s text piece at the end). And it could be a great miniseries. But it’s a harder sell as an ongoing, and instead of simply finishing the story, the next few issues instead will have the task of convincing me to devote three dollars a month to this title long term. Fortunately, this is a creative team good enough to do that. Hopefully, they’ll pull it off.

Rating: 7/10

Marvel Zombies 2 #5

October 26, 2011 Leave a comment

February 26, 2008

Quick Rating: Great
Rating: Parental Advisory

The hunger is waning… but does that mean the fighting is over?

Writer: Robert Kirkman
Art: Sean Phillips
Colors: June Chung
Letters: Rus Wooton
Editor: Bill Rosemann
Cover Art: Arthur Suydam (After John Buscema)
Publisher: Marvel Comics

When I heard that there was a second Marvel Zombies series in the works, I (justifiably, I think) was afraid it would be a derivative book that just rehashed the first one in the hopes of making a quick buck. Instead, the sequel has been a surprisingly strong title that adds a whole new dimension to the concept (both metaphorically and literally) and this last issue seals the deal nicely.

The spacebound zombies are beginning to realize the ones left on Earth discovered long ago – if they go long enough without feeding, the Hunger will eventually leave them. As the zombies come to this conclusion one at a time, they not only have to grapple with the weight of their sins, but also prepare to battle those Zombies who still seek to feed. And if that wasn’t bad enough, not all of the humans left alive are feeling particularly forgiving.

This last issue is exciting and packs a serious emotional punch on several levels. While the first miniseries was really a dark comedy – an excuse to play with a nasty little concept, but not much more – this sequel turns the whole thing on its head and makes it a startlingly effective morality tale.

The ending is about as blatant a set-up for yet another sequel as I’ve ever seen, and while that sort of thing usually annoys me, this time it doesn’t bother me at all. I want more. I want to know where this story is going to go. I want to see how this is going to develop.

This is one of the few sequels that actually surpasses the original.

Rating: 9/10

Fantastic Four #555

September 1, 2011 Leave a comment

March 11, 2008

Quick Rating: Bad
Title: World’s Greatest Part Two
Rating: T+

Is Reed Richards smart enough to save the human race?

Writer: Mark Millar
Pencils: Bryan Hitch
Inks: Bryan Hitch & Paul Neary
Colors: Paul Mounts
Letters: Rus Wooton
Editor: Tom Brevoort
Cover Art: Bryan Hitch
Publisher: Marvel Comics

Reed Richards’ ex-girlfriend has presented him with a startling declaration: the Earth is dying, and it’s too late to save it. The only hope now is to build an entire new Earth, a perfect Earth, and to transport everyone in the world there.

“World’s Greatest” may be the single most inaccurately-named comic book story ever written. Nothing of this book smacks of greatness. Most of it doesn’t even seem to indicate a passing familiarity with what makes these characters who they are. For starters, the entire story is predicated on the idea that there is something that is so fundamentally wrong with the world that Reed Richards, the smartest man on Earth, the guy who – in the very Civil War crossover written by Mark Millar – crafted a list of ways to save the world, never realized that the world was in danger in time to avert it, NOR did he realize that there was a problem in the near-decade since the point of no return supposedly passed! Reed then proceeds to tour a plan ripped straight from the pages of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy that seems to be orchestrated by guys so smart that they haven’t got the foggiest notion that the “changes” they’re going to attempt to institute will most likely result in far more bloodshed and hatred than the things they’re trying to prevent.

Then there’s Johnny. Oh, poor Johnny, who has grown up and been devolved so many times that one can only assume he’s been replaced by a Skrull a minimum of 15 times. Johnny does something so abysmally stupid this issue that if a superhero on his first day on the job did it, he’d be brutally murdered, and everybody would agree he brought it upon himself. Even at his least mature, Johnny has never been this reckless before. The character has been boiled down to nothing but Id, no nuance at all.

Bryan Hitch’s art is, at least, better than the story, but even he isn’t on his A-game.

I don’t even know what else to say, except to mourn the fact that we’ve for 14 more issues of this stuff on the schedule.

Rating: 2/10

House of M: Avengers #4

August 28, 2011 Leave a comment

January 29, 2008

Quick Rating: Good
Rating: T+

Will a war destroy Sapien Town?

Writer: Christos N. Gage
Art: Mike Perkins
Colors: Raul Trevino for Protobunker Studio
Letters: Rus Wooton
Editor: Bill Rosemann & Tom Brevoort
Cover Art: Mike Perkins
Publisher: Marvel Comics

With the Punisher safe in Wakanda, he starts feeding Luke Cage’s “Avengers” information about Magneto’s plans to wipe out the remaining human forces. Meanwhile, the Kingpin’s tenuous partnership with Thunderbird’s forces snaps, and the war for Sapien Town promises to be as bloody as anything that could happen in Wakanda.

While this premise – heck, this entire universe – still isn’t one that holds much appeal for me, Christos Gage is probably one of the few writers working for Marvel that could keep my attention this long. While I still don’t feel any particular affinity for any of the characters, the situation itself is turning out to be pretty interesting. It’s something of a political chess match, with the different factions trying to make alliances or trying to fight back against mutual enemies, with everyone trying to figure out exactly who is on who’s side.

Mike Perkins’s art, as usual, is very good, particularly on the sequence towards the end where we see three different battles going on at once. He and Trevino do a great job of differentiating between the three battlefields, and they pack a lot of action into a few panels.

This isn’t too bad. It’ll never make a “favorite” list for me, but it’s at least interesting.

Rating: 7/10

The Walking Dead #87

August 8, 2011 Leave a comment

August 1, 2011

Title: Send in the Clone-Bots        

Writer: Robert Kirkman
Art:
Charlie Adlard
Gray Tones:
Cliff Rathburn         
Letterer:
Rus Wooton
Cover Artist:
Charlie Adlard
Editor:
Sina Grace              
Publisher:
Image Comics/Skybound

As the town still tries to recover, for some of our cast, things are falling apart. Rick’s guild over Jessie and Ron’s death and Carl’s injury continues to plague him, and even his lifeline to his lost wife seems to be ready to abandon him. Michonne is dealing with things in her own way, and Maggie comes to Rick with a very specific request. This is one of those quieter issues of The Walking Dead – no one dies, no one is in immediate jeopardy, even, and the only zombies we see are the ones Michonne is using to vent some frustrations, something that to her is barely dangerous at all. Yet it’s still one of the most compelling comics being published. The character drama has always been the hallmark of this series. If it weren’t for issues like this one, the issues that make us really care about the characters that we’ve been following, those issues that are full of blood and anguish wouldn’t really mean anything. The big issues may be why we read this comics, but issues like this are what give the big ones meaning.

Rating: 8/10