Tag Archives: Jeff Parker

Comic Book Review – Aquaman #29


Is the new creative team living in the shadow of Johns and Reis or are they finally picking up some steam of their own?

I have been reading this title since its relaunch under the talented hands of Geoff Johns and Ivan Reis. Their work was spectacular even if the title seemed to suffer from some story drift (sorry for the pun) near the end of their run. When the title transitioned to Jeff Parker and Paul Pelletier I was excited. Two creators whose work I had enjoyed in the past will surely be able to continue this character’s upward momentum. Unfortunately I have been underwhelmed so far.

Jeff Parker’s writing seems confined and safe – something I have not noticed from him before. I don’t know if this is due to some editorial mandate or Parker’s own trepidation following the likes of Johns. The transition seemed smooth enough and Parker is for the most part not jettisoning the good things about the character’s revival. This issue’s story, however, will seem very familiar to any regular reader of the title. A nosy scientist betrays Aquaman and inadvertently opens a rift allowing monstrous creatures to threaten Atlantis and the surface world. We have been here before and fairly recently in fact.

What I am missing in particular is Parker’s humour. Even Johns injected a sense of self depreciation into the character. A fitting addition since Aquaman is usually the butt of jokes anyway. Parker is, after all, writing the terrific Batman ’66 title that oozes with self mocking. The end of this issue gave me a little hope. I am not terribly excited about the identity of the big bad since you know this is the classic misunderstood fight trope. I did particularly enjoy the winged serpentine woman and hope she will develop into a worthy adversary for Aquaman. Parker needs to be free to bring his style and energy to this title.

Here again I feel like the current artist is trying to be too much like the previous fan favorite. Paul Pelletier’s art always looked like Alan Davis and John Byrne had a love child. He has smooth, sleek lines on solid, well positioned figures with expressive faces. You can see some of his style shine when the story stays in the slower parts of the book. Mera’s expression when she opens the door is particularly nice. Unfortunately, once the action starts, the pencils and colors remain in a singular style that makes my eye rush through the panels – nothing to see here just a smash fest.

In the major fight scene Pelletier struggles when the panel is filled with rubble and rough textures. It is hard to see where one monstrous creature ends and the next one begins. You have to work to differential between the different surface textures – even between a minotaur (hair), a cyclops (skin) and a crab monster (hard shell). I think this is made worse by a color palette that stays within a few shades of one tone throughout the battle. Norm Rapmund’s inks on the final page seem to clear up some of the clutter better than Parson’s do during the balance of the book.

Sometimes the artist’s figures can come off stiff while in action but then you get a shot like the serpentine woman beckoning the big bad through the portal – full of expression and emotion. I would like to see this creative team approach the story in such a way that will work with the artist’s strengths. I just don’t know if the art needs a better supporting cast or if Pelletier is just better suited to a book with a sleeker environment like Green Lantern or Superman.

What to look for
Is there enough here to believe that these talented creators are beginning to move in their own direction?

What might put you off
How long can we wait until these guys make this title their own?

Although I see a spark of hope here, I am getting a little tired of treading water (that pun was intended.) I am not too interested in seeing a poor man’s version of those who came before. I like these creators, just not what they have done together with this title.

Title Aquaman
Issue Number 29
Publisher DC

Release Date 3/26/2014
Writer Jeff Parker
Penciller Paul Pelletier
Inkers Sean Parsons and Norm Rapmund (pg.20)
Colorist Rain Beredo
Letterer Dezi Sienty
Editor Chris Conroy

Reviewed by Geoff Jolliff

Marvel Spotlight – Hulk #34


Commander Steve Rogers has a new mission for Red Hulk… in outer space! A rescue mission goes wrong and Big Red finds himself pulled into a strange planetary system at war. Epic monster battles! Brazen warrior women! Space intrigue! And… King Red Hulk?! Is it cosmic Déjà vu, a cruel joke of fate, or are there other hands at work??? Find out in PLANET RED HULK, an epic two-part adventure from Planet Hulk’s Carlo Pagulayan and Hulk master scribe Jeff Parker!

Marvel Spotlight – Fall of the Hulks:


As the FALL OF THE HULKS rages on, the ALL-NEW SAVAGE SHE-HULK continues on a collision course driving her right into the Gamma-charged fray! Now, thanks to help from a surprise ally, Lyra’s true agenda becomes clear…but can the offspring of Hulk and Thundra stand up to the onslaught of RED SHE-HULK? Can anything? From writer Jeff Parker of the sold-out FALL OF THE HULKS: ALPHA and amazing artist Salva Espin comes this tale of gorgeous gammazon gals

Comic Book Review – Savage She-Hulk #1 of 4

There’s a new She-Hulk in Town.  Where’s the other one?

All New Savage She-Hulk is a ‘Dark Reign’ tie-in.  The story begins as the flame-haired, green skinned femme fatale lands in New York City from what we assume to be the future.  It seems pretty obvious that this is a different She-Hulk from the Jen Walters we all knew and loved before. Lyra is her name and she is definitely on a mission, so don’t get in her way.

Without giving too much away, she proceeds to ravage the opposing forces sent to stop her, with bits of flashbacks in between to set up just exactly why she’s there in the first place.  Apparently, she’s looking for something and only has so much time to find it.  The pace is fast, the writing fairly tight, and the dialogue is quick, with just the right amount of exposition to keep the pace flowing without dragging it down.

If you pick it up and start reading, then you’ve got to read to the end…you’ll understand when you get there.

In the back of the issue is a piece titled “A Bunch Of Savages”.  A nice little bonus, this is basically 8 pages of details leading up to the issue it’s contained in, and provides a decent amount of information in case you’re left a little confused.  It includes a casual round-table discussion with Jeff Parker, Paul Tobin, and Fred Van Lente, the writers of ‘Raging Thunder’, the ‘Hulk Family’, and the issue I’m talking about now, respectively.

I have to say that I liked the art overall.  It’s clean and crisp.  I found nothing confusing when reading through the issue.  Peter Vale & Robert Atkins work off of each other well, and pull the action along without skipping a beat.  I wish today’s artists would show a little more motion in their artwork though.  Every page doesn’t have to look like a pin-up poster.  I won’t mind, really.  My one turn-off with the art was the lack of emotion from the main character throughout the book. Except for a furled brow now and then, there really wasn’t any other emotion that showed from her.  It just made her look a little too robotic for me at times.

What To Look For:
Boudicca, the talking wristwatch-thing, has a great personality. Its dialogue is priceless.

What might put you off:
The basic plot gives men a very bad rap in light of the future that Lyra comes from.  Even though the idea makes sense in the overall scheme, it gets old quick.

If you like She-Hulk, you’ll probably like this four issue mini-series.  If you’re just not into gamma-babes, then there’s really no point in picking it up.  I’ve read She-Hulk since her first appearance.  I like the character.  I liked this issue as well.  You decide.


Title: All New Savage She-Hulk
Issue #1 of 4
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Release Date: 5/6/2009
Writer: Fred Van Lente
Artists: Peter Vale & Robert Atkins
Inkers: Nelson Pereira & Terry Pallot
Colorist: Marte Gracia
Letters: Simon Bowland
Cover art by Alex Garner
Editor: Mark Paniccia
Reviewed by JR Todd

Comic Book Review – Agents of Atlas #3

As the fifties storyline takes center stage; Parker and company continue to flesh out their team.

The first issue of this series contained an unrelated flashback story featuring the team in the 50’s.  The second issue’s flashback was actually woven between the contemporary tale.  In this issue, the flashback takes over – it’s even called story 1 in the credits.  The 50’s flashback is a pretty straightforward mystery surrounding a group of communists and one of Agent Woo’s old flames.  M-11 gets to show why is also called the killer robot and the team uses portions of their fallen enemies’ uniforms to access another dimension.

The current storyline is becoming less and less important.  It seems that Parker is just using it to round out his characters’ histories and motivations.  Osborn shows up again, a little more prepared this time and the team eventually runs into the guy featured on the cover.  This is definitely a unique way to tell a story but just when I was getting into the contemporary portion of this book; it takes a back seat and seems to shift into neutral.  The one stand out moment from the contemporary story is a deeper look into the emotional state of Namora.

OK Marvel…three issues in and we already have a fill-in penciller?  Wow!  Sorry to get all fanboy but this is ridiculous.  The regular penciller, Carlo Pagulayan, hasn’t even pencilled an entire issue yet anyway due to the flashback stories.  The pencils on the contemporary story were done by Clayton Henry.  The inker and colorist did everything within their power to make the art look like the first two issues.  They mostly succeed.  Henry’s art is a little stiff at points and his storytelling is not as smooth as Pagulayan’s.  He does shine in larger panels when dealing with Namora.  His last page is off in its proportions and in its emotions.

Fortunately, the flashback feature takes the spotlight here and we do have Gabriel Hardman again.  I honestly wouldn’t mind if he took over the entire series.  He has a classic style that uses contemporary elements to provide the required Marvel-style punch.

What to look for
Our team travels to an alternate dimension using 3D glasses tech.

What might put you off
The fill-in art and I do not need to see Marvel Boy naked again please – thank you.

If this trend continues, I suppose the flashback story will completely eclipse this book next issue.  Since this is the best part of the book right now, this will offset the withering contemporary portion of this title.  It should remain on your pull list.


Title Agents of Atlas
Issue Number 3
Publisher Marvel
Release Date 4/1/2009
Writer Jeff Parker
Penciler Gabriel Hardman and Clayton Henry
Inker Elizabeth Dismang and Jana Schirmer
Letterer Nate Piekos
Editor Mark Paniccia
Reviewed by Geoff Jolliff