Pipeline: Pipeline, Issue #4

Sun, June 29th, 1997 at 12:00am PST

Comic Books
Augie De Blieck Jr., Columnist

PIPELINE COMMENTARY AND REVIEW #4

Judging by what few posts I've seen on-line about it so far, I may be one of the few who enjoyed THE DARKNESS #6. I liked it as a bittersweet ending kinda thing. Although even I have to admit that some backgrounds would be a welcomed addition to Silvestri's art.

How does one enter in a Marvel Annual into their databases? (This question, obviously, is for the anal few of us who actually do keep track of such things.) It used to be easy. AMAZING SPIDER-MAN ANNUAL #4. Simple. Easy. But now it's stuff like THUNDERBOLTS '97 ANNUAL, judging by one recent front cover. So what is the title and what is the issue number? Is the title THUNDERBOLTS ANNUAL and the issue number 97? Or should that be THUNDERBOLTS '97 with an issue number of 1? The indicia seems to indicate the latter, and it's the way I entered it in, in the end. But it just seems strange and convoluted.

And don't even get me started about -1 issues. . .

But I enjoyed the THUNDERBOLTS '97 ANNUAL. It's been awhile since I didn't enjoy a tale written by Kurt Busiek, though.

(ASIDE: I can say that now without fear that people will accuse me of sucking up to the on-line pro. =)

The origin of the Thunderbolts, more or less, is given and is done by a wonderful assortment of great artists: Mark Bagley, Tom Grummett, Gene Colan, Darick Robertson, George Perez, amongst a couple of other fine artists.

Joe Rosas is the colorist for the THUNDERBOLTS in all their current incarnations, as well as HEROES FOR HIRE, if I remember correctly. I first started noticing his work during the time Chris Claremont and Jim Lee were working together on the X-MEN. Those were fun times, and his coloring there was always bright and lively and amazingly detailed. Nowadays, the computer can do all the detail work, and Rosas is left to present us with an open color scheme, with a fine mix of contrasts and colors.

And is Jolt going through the same troubles as Jubilee and Linda Park? The writers seem to suggest that these are women of some Asian descent. And yet the artists can never seem to make up their minds.

STORMWATCH #49 came out this week, also, as the second of three parts of the "Change or Die" storyline. There's a lot going on in there, and the story is wonderfully written. Dramatic stuff this time around. The conclusion should prove exciting.

Thus endeth my weekly suck-up to Warren Ellis. ( I swear this doesn't occur consciously every week. I don't plan this kinda stuff ahead. It just. . . happens.)

SUPREME #49 is out this week, too, and the rotation of artists continues. Mark Pajarillo gets the pleasure (or pain) of drawing from an Alan Moore script. I can't wait until Chris Sprouse takes over. This is nothing against Pajarillo, who seems to be able to draw very well, but he just never seems to put the figures anywhere near the reader. It gets very annoying when you feel like you have to squint to see the given character in a panel. There is usually lots of unecessary white space in the larger panels, too.

Rick Veitch draws in a 70's style this time around, in a section I wish they had called on Jim Starlin to draw. The coloring team seems to have learned from a recent issue of StormWatch -- the paper the flashback's printed on is colored to represent the aging of the story, and give it that more newspaper-ish feel. I like it.

THE FLASH #128 was pretty exciting this week, although I had one weakness with it. I'm a big Babylon 5 fan, currently ecstatic about the news that season 5 is a reality. But everytime I read Mark Waid's demon, I keep reading his name in Minbari. Neron becomes "Neroon" and that's just all wrong. ;-)

Terry Shoemaker draws IRON MAN #10. I could never stand his art before. Here, it works. It looks good. Must be an inker thing. (And, hey, the story thing is pretty good, too.)

And why is it that IRON MAN with the new spiffy gatefold cover is $1.95 and FANTASTIC FOUR with the new spiffy gatefold cover is $1.99? Did someone forget to change the price on the cover? Is Marvel set to lose roughly 100,000 x 4 cents, or $4000.00? Or will that come out of the retailer's pockets, who already paid the extra 4 pennies, but now won't make it back?

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