Wednesday, July 12, 2017

What I Bought 7/7/2017 - Part 2

I didn't realize the Justice League movie was coming out this year. I figured that thing was still years away. But until a month ago, I didn't realize the new Spider-Man movie was coming out now, either. I thought it was still a ways off, too. My grade school self would be appalled.

Real Science Adventures #3, by Brian Clevinger (writer), Lo Baker (artist/letterer Flying She-Devils), Wook Jin Clark (artist, The Sparrow), Anthony Clark (colorist), Tessa Stone (letterer, Flying She-Devils), Jeff Powell (letterer, The Sparrow) - A bottle of hooch, a seaplane, and a sturdy tree to lean comfortably against. That covers everything you need.

The She-Devils discover that Mad Jack watering his booze with hooch hurts fuel efficiency, so it's a question of whether they can reach the rendezvous point before they hit "E". Also, Jack isn't out of tricks to try and recover his plane - and his brewmasters - mostly undamaged. As for Sparrow, the Nazis caught her, but she stashed all the munitions she took off soldiers in the base in various places you wouldn't want explosives, so stuff is blowing up, which is going to give her a chance to get loose and wreak more havoc.

Baker's certainly good at drawing characters that show the wear of their lives. Nobody looks too smooth, everybody has a worn look to them, and in the case of Jack and his men, a maniacal look to them. As for the flight combat, which I was curious how Baker would handle, there isn't a lot of it yet, since Mad Jack is still trying to be crafty. The little there was, was OK. Baker breaks up the panels of the action outside with shots of the She-Devils' and the Tongan ladies' efforts to fight them off. Keeps the reader's attention on the stakes. The Sunderland dominates most of the panels it's in, but doesn't convey much sense it's moving. But it's essentially a fortress (not be confused with the B-17 Flying Fortress) under siege. Like in Sahara (the Bogart movie, not the Matthew Mcconaughey one) or whatever story about a small group trying to hold a position against overwhelming odds you prefer. The plane is target, everything else revolves around it.

That said, I don't know if I'm going to stick with it. I can't say I'm incredibly invested in it, and despite Clevinger's efforts to keep things moving at a brisk pace, the same is true of the Sparrow story. Although there it's because it's broken into six page chunks. Just as you start to get into it, it's over for another month.

Copperhead #14, by Jay Faerber (writer), Drew Moss (artist), Ron Riley (colorist), Thomas Mauer (letterer) - No jokes, I just like that cover. It's fairly simple, but it's straightforward and tells you what you need to know: there's gonna be a fight.

The Sheriff is trying to find this assassin, and has to ask Ishmael to lean on some possible sources, which nets them a picture of the killer, right as said killer takes a shot at the sheriff. A fight ensues, and the sheriff narrowly wins. And it's right then that Clay finally reaches Copperhead, and he finds the sheriff immediately. That's probably bad.

I'm wondering what the big surprise is going to be in the next story. Faerber keeps hinting there's more going on with Clay's obsession with reaching the sheriff than her simply being the one who put him away. References to Clay wanting revenge on the partner who sold him out, which makes me wonder if Clara was originally a crook who went straight, or was undercover as Clay's partner, or what. Still wanting to see what Mr. Hickory's plans are. Seems bigger than simply not wanting a sheriff who isn't properly deferential to him. Although my track record on guessing where Faerber's going with a story is so abysmal, I'm not even going to bother.

It's Moss' first fight scene on the book, and it works. He doesn't do anything particularly dynamic with panels or layouts, focuses on the action, two people ultimately punching each other a lot. There's one panel where the sheriff avoids being impaled and he draws her nose as being really wide, but it works as a suggestion of how fast she had to move to dodge, that our view of her is warped by it. I do wonder what happened to all the people that were shown in the background watching the fight right after that, who all seem to have vanished by the end when Clay appears. Granting that a brawl in the streets of Copperhead is probably not unusual, this one involves the relatively new sheriff, which you think would draw interest, if only from people waiting to see if the law is gonna get it in the neck.

There's a page where Clara scopes out the train station, trying to decide who looks like an assassin, only to pan over a whole crowd of rough-looking types and conclude that's going to be a tough call. Moss uses one wide panel, but breaks it up into three with a couple of panel borders, which, I feel works at cross purposes. If you're going for Clara scanning the crowd carefully, one wide panel suggesting an uninterrupted moment would work better. But if you want to suggest she's glancing around, eyes darting from one face to the next, multiple panels are a good idea, but then it probably shouldn't be drawn where a figure that starts on the right side of one panel, continues on the left side of the next. The general impression is still conveyed, but it doesn't work quite as efficiently as it could.

Overall though, Moss is still getting the job done, even if there are some stylistic tics I don't love.

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