Tag Archives: Gabe Eltaeb

The Authority: The Lost Year #9 - Cover

The Authority: The Lost Year #9

The Authority: The Lost Year #9 - Cover“Punch Drunk”

Writers: Grant Morrison, Keith Giffen, & J.M. DeMatteis
Pencils: J.J. Kirby and Michael Lopez
Colors: Gabe Eltaeb
Letters: Rob Leigh
Editor: Scott Peterson
Cover: Gene Ha

I am truly shocked but I actually thought this issue was okay. Last issue really frustrated me to no end and I dreaded picking this one up. But there were several factors that were different about this issue that I think slightly improved it from the last one.

First off, we get J.J. Kirby as the artist this time. I didn’t think David Williams and Kelsey Shannon’s art from last issue was horrible at all. In fact I stated in my review for that issue that I thought it was perfect especially with some of the facial expression they did. But I think Kirby’s art suited the story just that much more. I remember first seeing J.J. Kirby’s work in the Backlash series. I didn’t care for it as much back then but when he returned and did The New Dynamix mini-series in 2008, I enjoyed his art. I think he’s improved even further in this issue. He’s got a cartoony style that definitely matches the tone of the story.

The Authority: The Lost Year #9 - Image 1The first part of this story last issue didn’t appeal to me because it was trying to be funny and I just didn’t find it to be. Here however, I think the overall humor worked better. Was it outstanding? No. But it was much better than last issue. It was almost like watching an episode of The Tick (or reading the comic). The characters from the alternate Earth were goofy enough to have been villains in The Tick.

I think something else that helped this issue is that it’s basically fighting through the majority of it. The dialogue does have fun with the situation but I think the action allowed for better visual jokes this time.

Does this issue redeem my feelings towards this series? Not really. But I’m glad to read an issue and not regret that I did. We’ve got 3 issues left so we’ll see if the team will end up anywhere else that’s interesting before all is said and done.

7 out of 10 (Above Average)

Sparta: USA #3 - Cover

Sparta U.S.A. #3

“Various Cancers” (No Spoilers)

Writer: David Lapham
Pencils: Johnny Timmons
Colors: Gabe Eltaeb
Letters: Wes Abbott
Assistant Editor: Kristy Quinn
Editor: Ben Abernathy
Cover: Johnny Timmons

The novelty of wondering what is really going on in this story is staring to run out for me. We do have some interesting moments but I don’t find myself attaching to any of the characters. I’m not sure I like the main character, Godfrey McLaine, because even though he’s trying to help these people, it’s hard for me to root for a guy who’s got a harem of women following him AND a wife and three kids. Of course, the morals in Sparta are definitely different than most people’s so who am I to judge?

The one constant about this book is its ability to keep us in uncertainty. This was fine for the first two issues but like I said, it’s starting to wear on me. On the flip side, Johnny Timmons’ art is growing on me. I’m starting appreciate all the detail he puts into it and there are some really cool scenes involving Yeti’s (yes, you read right) that I thought were the hi-light of the issue. Well, that and the harem of women mowing down an invading force on Godfrey’s front lawn (again, yes, you read right). Have I ever mentioned this book is weird?

6 out of 10 (Above Average)

Gen 13 #35 – Cover

Gen 13 #35

“Pocatello: Part 1 – Pathcutter” (No Spoilers)

Writer: Phil Hester
Pencils: Cruddie Torian
Inks: Saleem Crawford
Colors: Gabe Eltaeb
Letters: Wes Abbott
Editor: Scott Peterson
Cover: Pete Woods

Finally, we get a good jumping on point with the Gen 13 kids. Originally, issue 33 was supposed to be writer Phil Hester’s first but the story running through Wildcats and The Authority required writer Adam Beechen to take Gen 13 for issues 33 & 34 before we could get here. I can see why this was done but it has been hard to sell Gen 13 with a good jumping on point because of this. Thankfully, they finally accomplish that here.

I was impressed with the latest issue of The Darkness which Hester wrote so I was eagerly anticipating him coming onto this book. We get the standard “Status Report…” at the beginning of the issue which lays out what’s happened so far in a very simple and direct way. But Hester takes it further by having a new character narrate the majority of the issue. Plus, the roster for Gen 13 is finalized. Not all the original members are here. Some have ended up on The Carrier which is currently out in space while others apparently stayed behind with the remnants of the Wildcats.

The rosters across all the Wildstorm Universe books have been mixed up. It’s a move that has fans split but I personally like it. It makes sense that all the chaos we’ve seen in the WSU lately would make it very hard for the teams to stay in their original incarnations. Likewise, these changes have had negative effects on some of the characters and that’s good to see. Some of these characters have been together for years and suddenly they’re gone. It truly is like a family breaking up.

A new reader jumping on here will get the basic idea that the world has ended and it’s been that way for a while but they really don’t need to know much more than that to appreciate the story Hester has presented here. It’s got some Mad Max stuff going on and even a little bit of Resident Evil: Extinction (I think Fairchild kind of had a Milla Jovovich thing going on). Plus, Hester slows down in certain places and gives us some good character moments. A mix of quiet moments and action is what a good comic should be in my opinion.

Finally, I must mention artist Cruddie Torian. This is his third issue and it’s amazing how his art improves each issue. It is so clean and crisp here compared to two issues ago. I’m really enjoying his art on this book and watching him grow as an artist.

Overall, a really good first issue for Hester. I’m still frustrated that this is bi-monthly. I hope this creative team will bring some readers in so we can get this back on a monthly schedule. If you’ve been curious about Gen 13, give this issue a try.

Rating: 8 out of 10 (On Its Way to Greatness!)

Sparta: USA #2 - Cover

Sparta U.S.A. #2

“Fear the Future” (No Spoilers)

Writer: David Lapham
Pencils: Johnny Timmons
Colors: Gabe Eltaeb
Letters: Wes Abbott
Assistant Editor: Kristy Quinn
Editor: Ben Abernathy
Cover: Johnny Timmons

Sparta U.S.A. is one of the oddest stories I’ve read in a long while. It’s one-part Twilight Zone, one-part Twin Peaks, with just a dash of Doctor Who thrown in. It’s the kind of story that you spend a lot of time trying to wrap your brain around. So far, I couldn’t tell you if that’s a good thing or a bad thing.

It’s not that the concepts are completely out there. Rising up against an oppressive force seems to be the basis for the story so far. It’s the odd setting and the details of this world that leave you in a constant state of uncertainty.

Several things are established in this issue. We finally get to see who has been narrating the last two issues. We get a little info on this world and why Sparta seems to be so segregated from the rest of it. It is solidified that there is a magical element to this world. Plus our protagonist and antagonist are clearly established and their points of view are brought into play.

Writer David Lapham, while leaving me scratching my head most of the time, has crafted a story that seems to feed off our need to know what’s going to happen next. Because even though there is a natural progression of events that happen when dealing with an oppressive force, again it’s this odd little world in which it’s all taking place that doesn’t allow you to predict what’s coming with absolute certainty.

We’re only two issues in but I’d imagine that even when all is said and done, this story will require a second reading to really get all that is being set up here. One thing I will say that’s unique about this is taking supernatural story elements and mixing them up with the mundane. This mix makes for interesting scenes like the cliffhanger of this issue. This cliffhanger could’ve easily been the end of a sitcom or a soap opera. But with all the supernatural elements present, it puts a whole new spin on this situation. Keep leading the way Mr. Lapham, because I have no idea where in the world you’re taking us. But, that’s ok.

7 out of 10 (Slightly Above Average)