This week, I had two pieces go up at two different sites on the same day. It sure made me look productive, even though one of them was actually written a week before. That's the magic of the internet! Over at Comics Should Be Good, my latest "1987 And All That" was about Fallen Angels, a fun and odd and somewhat immature eight-issue mini-series. Then on PopMatters, I wrote about how the current Silver Surfer run stacks up against Stan Lee & Moebius' Silver Surfer: Parabale. The two titles have very different interpretations of their main character, and it made me wonder what, exactly, defines the Surfer, and what details are more flexible/expendable. I never landed on a firm answer, but I asked the question a lot.
Something I Failed to Mention
In the Fallen Angels post, I focused on the plot and the themes it contained, as well as discussing each character in the sizable cast in some degree of detail. That all had to do with me getting to my main, closing argument, that Fallen Angels most likely works best as a kids' comic, since it has a lot of life lessons strewn throughout its narrative. The side effect of spending all 2,000+ words on building up to and then making that one point was that I essentially didn't discuss the art at all. The series had, in eight issues, three pencilers and three inkers, who didn't even work together in consistent pairs. Co-creator Kery Gammill drew half of the issues, but not in a row; she did the first two, the fourth, and the seventh. Marie Severin stepped in as penciler just for issue #3, and then Joe Staton handled the rest (5, 6, & 8). Tom Palmer inked three of Gammill's four issues (1, 2, and 7) plus Severin's one, but Val Mayerik was on inks for issue #4, as well as Staton's first two chapters. Finally, Tony DeZuniga showed up out of nowhere to ink the finale with Staton's pencils. It's a messy hodgepodge of artists, with the one thing that ties the visuals together being Petra Scotese's skillful coloring. None of the pencilers are bad on their own, and their styles don't exactly work against one another, but they are different enough to notice, and that gets distracting. It's probably the book's biggest weakness, this artwork irregularity, and it makes Fallen Angels feel less self-confident than it maybe ought to. Then again, the whole series is about teenagers who aren't super self-confident learning to believe in themselves and each other, so in some ways the fluctuating art style fits with that perfectly. So it's annoying but not too damaging to the overall quality of the title. Oh, and Joe Staton's Boom-Boom is probably the best Boom-Boom I've ever seen.