Tag Archives: shannon eric denton

Wetworks: Mutations

Writer: Kevin Grevioux & Christopher Long
Artist: Julius Gopez
Colors: Tony Avina
Letters: Dave Lanphear
Assistant Editor: Kristy Quinn
Editors: Jim Chadwick & Shannon Eric Denton
Cover: Brandon Badeaux

(No Spoilers)

With the end of the Wildstorm Universe upon us, we get one last hurrah for one of its original teams. Ultimately, I think this was supposed to act as a lead in to a new series, but with the end of the imprint it’s turns out to be a love letter to the fans.

Of all the teams in the WSU, Wetworks was the title I followed the least. I always liked the concept of the team but never really liked the fact that they dealt with the supernatural aspect of the WSU. As time went on, I came to appreciate this fact a little more and based on the title of this one-shot, I was hoping for a major change for the team. Well, in that expectation it did deliver.

Kevin Grevioux & Christopher Long had the difficult task of getting us to understand what the Wetworks team was about and also catch us up on what’s been going on in the WSU in general. They do this by utilizing the summary page at the beginning of the issue like the other WSU titles have been doing. Since I’ve never really followed the team, I tried to come at this issue from a new reader’s perspective. They would definitely be able to tell that there has been a bigger story going on here. But I think there’s enough information here where they could enjoy the one-shot.

First thing I noticed is Julius Gopez’s art. I believe he’s a newcomer and I think his style was appropriate for this title. He drew some great battle scenes and his art is very detailed. His art combined with Tony Avina’s coloring was great. The story started off pretty strong but by the end you could tell they were trying to hurry and wrap it up. The way everything was laid out, I could easily see this going 4 issues. That was my one complaint about this is that it all seemed to be forced into this one-shot.

There were a lot of great things set up but unfortunately we’ll never see those things paid off now. Plus towards the end, I though the dialogue suddenly shifted and got really weak. I felt like I was reading something from the 90’s as because it was full of clichés and one-liners. It was a shame because I really wanted the entire comic to end strong.

All in all, it was a decent one-shot but I really wish they would’ve let this creative team know the imprint was ending. That way they could’ve made different decisions story-wise. But we as the fans asked for more Wetworks and we got it. So in that at least we can be happy.

7 out of 10 (Above Average)

Garrison #6 - Cover

Garrison #6

Garrison #6 - CoverWriter: Jeff Mariotte
Pencils: Francesco Francavilla
Colors: Wes Hartman
Letters: Johnny Lowe
Assistant Editor: Kristy Quinn
Editor: Shannon Eric Denton
Cover: Francesco Francavilla

(No Spoilers)
Where Sparta U.S.A. frustrated the heck out of me, in the end Garrison was successful in underwhelming me.  I tried to give this book the benefit of the doubt but ultimately it was just your average comic.

Garrison #6 - Image 1Did we get more fun Francesco Francavilla art?  Absolutely!  Plus we get some great action scenes but that’s something that this series has delivered since the beginning.  It’s the story that really made me lose interest.  We got Garrison’s origin last issue and it wasn’t a very original idea.  In this issue we do get a neat little addendum to his origin but much like Sparta U.S.A. it seemed like too little too late.

To me an average comic is one that’s entertaining but is usually forgettable.  Garrison unfortunately falls under that category.  I never got invested in the characters and the story progressed in a very predictable way.  I think I had my hopes set high because I have enjoyed Mariotte’s work in the past.  So I was surprised that he didn’t take any chances with this mini-series and take this character in a different direction.

With the shutdown of the Wildstorm Imprint, Garrison will be one of the last creator-owned titles Wildstorm ever prints.  With such an event, I just wish we would’ve gotten a better story.  But at least we’ve still got two more creator-owned titles that are wrapping up under Wildstorm’s imprint that I am thoroughly enjoying.

5 out of 10 (Average)

Ides of Blood #2

“Beware the Ides of March” (No Spoilers)

Writer: Stuart C. Paul
Pencils: Christian Duce
Colors: Carlos Badilla
Letters: Johnny Lowe
Assistant Editor: Kristy Quinn
Editor: Shannon Eric Denton
Cover: Michael Geiger

Stuart C. Paul and Christian Duce deliver another beautiful issue in this intriguing mini-series. Paul’s writing is flawless and Duce’s art continues to be amazing as we get arguably one of the most unique takes on one of the most infamous assassinations in history.

Paul’s skills as a writer shine here as the pacing is excellent. He is able to pack so much story into these issues so far that I really feel like I’m getting my money’s worth reading this comic. In a 32-page comic that only has 22-pages of actual story (standard because of the ads) you feel like you get twice as much story. I’d liken it to what Adam Beechen is doing over in Wildcats.

Don’t think this means Christian Duce is doing nothing but drawing small panels. The layout sizes vary enough to keep it visually interesting; including an awesome full-page shot of Valens and Caesar. There are also some great action pieces especially towards the end where some of the scenes are very superhero-like. Duce is also able to capture the desperation in those final pages as we end with a great cliffhanger.

It’s obvious Paul has done his research as he inserts various ideas surrounding the assassination of Caesar such as the “Ides of March” and omens like the two-headed calf being born. It’s amazing how much mythos has been built around this historical event. It’ll leave you wanting to head to Wikipedia to read up on all the details he’s inserted in the story.

I’m afraid this comic is going to fall under the radar for most people. I know money is tight for a lot of people but if you’ve got that one title you’ve wanted to drop, do it and add Ides of Blood to your pull. It’s only 6 issues and with what we’ve gotten so far, I anticipate that it will be a solid read all the way through. Give it a try if you’ve been on the fence about it. It’s worth the read!

9 out of 10 (Excellent!)

Garrison #5

Writer: Jeff Mariotte
Pencils: Francesco Francavilla
Colors: Wes Hartman
Letters: Johnny Lowe
Assistant Editor: Kristy Quinn
Editor: Shannon Eric Denton
Cover: Francesco Francavilla

(No Spoilers)

Alright, we got a little more with this issue than last. There wasn’t a single explosion in this issue but there was a great hand-to-hand fight at the beginning. But thankfully fighting is not all we get in this issue as we finally get some revelation here.

When I started reading the issue and the fight began to run long I was afraid we wouldn’t have room for much else. Don’t get me wrong, it was an awesome fight but this series has been leaning more towards action than story since the beginning so while I was expecting it, I was also hoping for a little more substance too. Francavilla continues to deliver some awesome fights and is still finding new and interesting ways for Garrison to finish people off. Then afterwards we get a pretty funny scene of Garrison and Agent Bracewell in a plane that I thought was amusing but again I thought we were running out of comic too quick to fit in more story.

Thankfully, by the last third of the issue we finally get an answer to the origin of Garrison. It’s not really an original origin and it’s kind of what I anticipated all along but it’s passable. It makes sense with certain real world concerns but as far as comics are concerned, it’s not an idea we haven’t seen before. And I don’t mind revisiting old ideas but I do like them to have some sort of cool new spin on them (see Ides of Blood).

I’ve already talked at length about the comparisons to a summer blockbuster movie and you could almost keep a checklist of the cliché’s here. This includes the one we get at the very end of the book which I could see coming a mile away. Again, not necessarily a bad thing but it does kind of take the suspense out of the story.

I am still enjoying this comic but I was kind of hoping they’d try something new with the story. I anticipate next issue we’ll get at least one more good fight and probably a happy ending but regardless I’m still interested enough to see how it all ends. I just wish Mariotte had taken more chances with this story.

6 out of 10 (Slightly above average)