Tag Archives: Ben Abernathy

Welcome to Tranquility: One Foot in the Grave #4

“Homecoming-Part 4: Home to Roost” (No Spoilers)

Writer: Gail Simone
Artist: Horacio Domingues
Colors: Jonny Rench
Letters: Travis Lanham
Assistant Editor: Kristy Quinn
Editor: Ben Abernathy
Cover: Neil Googe

Simone’s normally quaint little town of Tranquility gets a little ‘Silence of the Lambs’ injected into it this issue. As the superhero citizens of the town learn the identity of the villain that’s been on the attack things get a little tense.

Simone has introduced a great new villain during this series. He has proven himself to be a true threat even to the more powerful residents of Tranquility. His motivations also take a darker tone this issue as Sheriff Lindo reveals a past connection she has with the villain.

We do get some great action pieces in this issue, especially from some of the characters that you normally wouldn’t expect it from. It’s this sense of the situation truly becoming dire that has kicked this story up a notch. One character’s future is already in question and it seems that anyone who encounters this villain isn’t fairing any better.

Domingues’ art does have its moments. He gets to draw some great action this issue. There’s also the arrival of a hero who I think will mean more to people who read the first Tranquility series. It was great to see him in action again.

Simone also does a great juxtaposition of the events towards the end which (without spoiling anything) involved the villain taking on the returning hero while a little girl reads a comic book with Pink Bunny. It’s a very cool moment and I thought Simone did a great job with it.

I have to hold my rating steady for this one. This has been a great little mini-series so far and I know with two issues left we’ve still got room for a lot more Gail Simone goodness!

8 out of 10 (On its way to greatness!)

X-files/30 Days of Night #3

(No Spoilers)

Writer: Steve Niles & Adam Jones
Pencils: Tom Mandrake
Colors: Darlene Royer
Letters: Ed Dukeshire
Assistant Editor: Kristy Quinn
Editor: Ben Abernathy
Cover: Andrea Sorrentino

The nightmare for Agents Mulder and Scully continues as the threat increases substantially in this issue. Niles and Jones have gone from making this feel like an X-files episode to feeling more like an X-files movie.

The layouts and the pacing take on more of a widescreen feel in this issue. Mandrake’s art seems to be getting better and I like some of the huge establishing shots he illustrates. Plus, like I’ve mentioned before, we don’t have a particular vampire character we’re following so Mandrake takes the vampires we do see and seems to give us only teases of them. Whether it’s in shadows or close-up shots, he truly gives them a beast-like quality. This is a departure from the way Niles has presented them in the past which was a mixture of the human and animalistic traits. But again, I think it’s the lack of a main vampire character (so far) that drives this notion.

The characterization is still spot on as Mulder continues to insert humor even in the most dire situation while Scully is ever the skeptic as the unexplainable happens around her. They also get into a pretty intense action scene towards the end. It’s not something I’m used to seeing with them but the unexpectedness of it added to the suspense.

The story is still moving along nicely. We didn’t learn as much as I would’ve liked this issue but we traded that for a great action scene. I think what made it more suspenseful is that I’ve been wondering how Mulder and Scully will survive against such a dangerous foe. I got a taste of that here.

The series is continuing to be a great read each month. I’m confident that the remaining issues will be just as enjoyable. Niles proves time and time again that he knows how to write a good comic. Now with Adam Jones providing some insight, it appears the two work really well together. A solid read each month and one that is worth checking out if you still haven’t.

8 out of 10 (On its way to greatness!)

Dv8: Gods and Monsters #6

“Teenage Riot” (No Spoilers)

Writer: Brian Wood
Pencils: Rebekah Isaacs
Colors: Carrie Strachan
Letters: Jared K. Fletcher
Assistant Editor: Kristy Quinn
Editor: Ben Abernathy
Cover: Fiona Staples

This was the issue I was waiting for! We’ve had some great setup with some action here and there but here we finally get a huge battle in this issue. Brian Wood’s storytelling and Rebekah Isaac’s art continue to be married perfectly into this incredible story.

Good storytelling is about balance. As we’ve progressed through the series I think for the most part this creative team has kept a good balance. Some issues read a little slower than I would’ve liked but they were usually followed up by something really cool. But after straddling the fence for so long we finally come to an action heavy issue. Let’s just say I finally got to see a certain Dv8 member and her warriors in action. It is beautifully done and had some amazing fight scenes throughout. I can safely say Isaacs has no problem drawing huge battle scenes. I can’t wait to see what else she’s got in the last two issues.

The alliances that Wood has allowed the Dv8 members to form are really interesting. The decisions seemed to be based on the fact these kids have known each other for a long time and have always known who they would side with if things went south for the team. Each of their reasons so far have been well thought out and have added an interesting dimension to some of these characters.

Because this issue was mostly action I unfortunately don’t have too much more to say about it. But I can say I was completely satisfied with it because it was certainly something I had been waiting for. One interesting side note that I think may have helped this issue is that it doesn’t focus on the Dv8 member you think it will. In fact, it kind of teases that story but then moves on to the battle I’ve been raving about. It’s the first time so far in the series that Wood broke the pattern. That might have been another reason I liked this so much because I wasn’t expecting any of this.

Just two issues left and I love where this series is going. I have never enjoyed these characters as much as I have during this mini-series. I’m so glad Wildstorm finally let Wood do this story and I’m excited to see what happens next.

9 out of 10 (Excellent!)

Welcome to Tranquility: One Foot in the Grave #3

“Homecoming-Part 3: An Armor of History” (No Spoilers)

Writer: Gail Simone
Artist: Horacio Domingues
Colors: Jonny Rench
Letters: Travis Lanham
Assistant Editor: Kristy Quinn
Editor: Ben Abernathy
Cover: Neil Googe

Gail Simone is a true master of the story telling device “the plot thickens”. This is only the 3rd issue of this mini-series and she has packed so much story into this series so far. She is also doing a great job of balancing all the characters which is no easy task with an ensemble cast.

The story behind the villain of this story could have easily been written off as a cliché. But Simone takes us down some dark places as we see the true nature of this villain. We also find out pretty quick how he got this way. This new character she’s introduced is really powerful and it leads to some disturbing uses of his powers. This issue is really about him as the other characters can do little else but be reactive to the events unfolding before them.

Domingues’ art is growing on me a little but there are still some places I feel he can improve. However, there is one scene between Henry Hate and Zombie Zeke that he illustrates which was hilarious! I’d call it Simone’s obligatory humor scene but I think that comes off as negative. And believe me there is nothing negative about Simone’s humor. She comes up with some fun scenes (wait until you see the in-comic “advertisement”).

The issue also has a great cliffhanger. Any time the survival of any of the characters comes into question, it’s a great cliffhanger. Plus, with the way Simone has presented our villain, the act he performs at the end is truly wicked and comes after some intense build-up in the story.

One Foot in the Grave seems to be focusing on our new villain more than the citizens of Tranquility. This may make the difference for new readers because they’re learning about this new character as older fans do the same. It’s almost as if he’s the window into this story. I hope people are giving this title a try. It is proving to be a solid read each month.

8 out of 10 (On it’s way to greatness!)