Pipeline: Pipeline, Issue #68

Sun, September 20th, 1998 at 12:00am PST

Comic Books
Augie De Blieck Jr., Columnist

SOME ACTUAL REVIEWS

I promised last week that I'd do some actual comics reviews this

week. And so I shall.

It's a welcome break from my continual struggles with getting Linux set up on my computer. Anyone have some good advice on getting PPP working with RedHat 5.1?

GON COLOR SPECTACULAR

Yes, I'm a little behind on my reading, what's your point? ;-)

This is the 48 pages-or-so compilation of the GON stories originally presented in Japan in color. It's interesting to see Masashi Tanaka's color view of the little guy. Quite honestly, I think I prefer Gon in black and white. It's the stellar line art from the pen of Tanaka that keeps bringing me back for more with every new compilation. While the color is interesting and at times, necessary for the story, the art loses some of its luster in my mind. You can see the ink wanting to bleed through the watercolors but failing in spots.

Of course, on the other hand, being in color means being on glossy

paper instead of newsprint and less ink rubbing off on your hands.

The stories, though, are just as good as ever with the lovable scamp Gon conquering all sorts of animal subkingdoms, protecting the

little guy and beating up the much larger guys. And since each story is short, this book is easy to read through cover to cover without realizing it.

SUPERMAN ADVENTURES #25

It's the team-up of the World's Finest -- almost. When Bruce Wayne

is unavailable to become Batman, Superman comes in to save the day,

assisted by Batgirl. The cover is a wonderful homage to the classic

World's Finest cover, and the differences between Supes and Batman

are pointed up beautifully in the story. There's tension between

Batgirl and Superman in this story. It's almost eery. Gotham City

and Metropolis are different cities requiring different takes.

The only funny thing, I thought, about this issue is that about

half-way through it, I had to check the cover to see if I was

reading SUPERMAN ADVENTURES or BATMAN ADVENTURES. Fun stuff. It's

Superman as seen through the filter of Gotham City.

GEN13 #33

This is an excellent issue for John Arcudi to just have some fun

with. Along with artist Gary Frank, he tells a story straight out

of some Scooby Doo or Bugs Bunny cartoon, as the teenagers run

across a larger-than-life baby and craziness ensues. It's fun

lightweight stuff.

The highlight is the backup story, though. It's a preview of Warren

Ellis' highly-anticipated series, PLANETARY. Drawn by the

superlative John "DESPERADOES" Cassaday, it's basically a retelling

of the Hulk origin, but with a completely different and warped twist

to it. This is Ellis getting a chance to play around with our

favorite origins and ideas.

In case you still need a reason to pick up this issue, the first

letter in the letters column is from some kid in North Haledon, NJ,

who unwittingly uses a groan-out-loud pun.

If you want to see more of his work, check out SIREN #2, where that

same kid (that's me in case you haven't realized yet) takes up a

good eight or ten inches of column space discussing the previous

issue. When I read the issue I'll review it, of course.

CAPTAIN AMERICA #11

Mark Waid writes this issue, as always, but I think Andy Kubert

steals the show with his art and storytelling. There's just some

wonderful panels in this issue. The story is sort of so-so, but soe

of the pages have beautiful layouts. The opening double-page spread

is well-done with a nice tilt to it. The double-page spread of Cap

and Carter falling through the air works well, particularly with the

extra-wide panel along the bottom there. My absolute favorite pages

of the issue is the final sequences with Sharon standing off with

Cap. GREAT work there, with some fine parallelism and excellent

choice of close-ups.

SUPERMAN FOR ALL SEASONS #3

Until Paul Dini and Alex Ross come around to give us their Superman

special, Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale (with painting by Bjorne Hansen)

deliver the perfect anniversary tribute to the big blue Boy Scout.

This is a quick read, make no mistake about it. Sale uses a lot of

large panels and Loeb doesn't interfere by packing in tons of

captions and dialogue to stifle it. These two men work well

together, and leave enough room for Hansen to shine on the colors.

This issue is told from Lex Luthor's point of view and includes all the hubris and machiavellian plotting you'd expect from Luthor.

Richard Starkings changes lettering fonts to point this up, too.

It's a good story and one which leaves you feeling sorry for Supes.

How odd, eh?

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