Monday, 28 September 2020

U.S. Agent #2 - Marvel Comics

U.S. AGENT No. 2, September 2001
With its action meter ramped right up to level ten, Jerry Ordway’s script for Issue Two of “U.S. Agent” must surely have left its 20,939 readers utterly breathless by the time they reached its sense-shattering conclusion. In fact, apart from Agent Kali Vries’ seemingly clumsy attempt to woo John Walker back at his apartment following their unsuccessful attempt to arrest Poundcakes “thirty miles off the coast of Maine”, this twenty-two page periodical’s pace simply doesn’t let up and arguably packs every panel with either pulse-pounding physical violence or treacherous espionage; “I’ve proven my loyalty to you, Senator. When may I meet our mysterious benefactor?”

The Joe Sinnott Hall of Famer’s sequence set amidst “an Atlantean Outpost manned by a radical faction of the undersea kingdom’s military” is particularly well-penned, with the American author showing just how formidable a fighter U.S. Agent can be despite the anti-hero being heavily encumbered by a deep-sea diving suit. Delightfully though, Ordway even manages to imbue this part of the publication with some surprising vulnerability by having the elderly Farley participate in the mission and almost get killed by a merman’s malicious assault.

This sense of genuine fear for “the midget” is truly palpable, and arguably must have made many within this comic’s audience extremely anxious as to whether the grey-haired, bespectacled scientist was going to survive salvaging Marion Pouncey’s contraband. Indeed, if it were not for a spectacularly impressive appearance by the Sub-Mariner himself at the very last minute, then Walker would undoubtedly have had much more to worry about than his S.T.A.R.S. team relying upon the Avengers to finally catch up with Poundcakes in Connecticut.

Pleasingly, the artwork for “Powerplay” is predominantly as good as the narrative’s writing, with Jerry providing the Atlantean assault with plenty of dynamically-drawn drama. The sense of difficulty for the land-lubbers moving through the watery depths is particularly well emphasised, making it is easy to imagine even someone as super-humanly strong as “one of the four original Grapplers” having to exert themselves that extra bit more so as to propel themselves and their treasure chest full of gold, silver, precious gems and pearls across the sea-bed by foot.

Writer/Penciler: Jerry Ordway, Inker: Karl Kesel, and Letterer: John Workman

Saturday, 26 September 2020

U.S. Agent #1 - Marvel Comics

U.S. AGENT No. 1, August 2001
For those bibliophiles able to forgive John Walker looking somewhat like a light-sabre wielding Judge Dredd clone rather than his original, disconcerting dark mirror image of Captain America, Issue One of “U.S. Agent” probably proved a rather enjoyable read in May 2001. Indeed, it is arguably hard to imagine a more pulse-pounding opening than that which Jerry Ordway provides this comic’s 23,720 strong audience, as the super-human “top cop” single-handedly takes on an entire Hydra base hidden amidst “the Northern Italian countryside” in an effort to detain the wanted terrorist known as Machete.

Happily however, this twenty-two page periodical’s narrative doesn’t just focus upon the titular character’s ability to endlessly bash heads or bruise bodies, and additionally features a plot twist which sees the deeply troubled crime-fighter face treachery within the federal government’s very own Superhuman Tactical Activities Response Squad (S.T.A.R.S.). This traitor’s identity isn’t revealed until close to the end of the book, following the disclosure that they cold-bloodedly gunned down Fernando Lopez, and resultantly leaves its readers with an excellent cliff-hanger as to whether U.S. Agent will realise he’s being played for a fool by the turncoat before it’s too late; “Make it happen, or he’s gone -- History -- Poof!”

Ordway’s ability to flesh out a number of this publication’s supporting cast within such a short space of time is also rather commendable, courtesy of some brief insights into Walker’s fractious relationships with his fellow S.T.A.R.S. members. John seems to be much impressed with Val Cooper’s ability to recruit the very best personnel to support his missions. But seems far less impressed with Senator Warkovsky’s decision to recruit his old Boot Camp rival Kali Vries to the organisation, or the back-chat of his team’s elderly computer wizard, who appears perfectly willing to voice his opinions as to the anti-hero’s “old girlfriend” behind his back.

Equally as entertaining as this comic’s script is the Inkpot Award-winner's artwork, which does a really nice job of depicting the sheer insanity of U.S. Agent attempting to penetrate a massively-fortified Hydra installation with nothing more than guts and some state-of-the-art technology. The American artist nails the sheer viciousness of an intense battle tightly bound within the confines of a corridor, yet does admittedly seem to pencil a distinctly stiff-looking Walker during some of this book’s more sedentary, dialogue-driven scenes.

Writer/Penciler: Jerry Ordway, Inker: Karl Kesel, and Letterer: John Workman

Thursday, 24 September 2020

Lytton #1 - Cutaway Comics

LYTTON No. 1, September 2020
Financed by a successful “Kickstarter” in July 2020, this opening instalment to a “new four part comic mini-series from legendary Doctor Who writer and script editor Eric Saward" certainly must have pleased the vast majority of its backers when they received their copy later in the year. For whilst there isn’t a trace of either the Daleks or Cybermen threatening the well-being of Gustave Lytton in this particular twenty-eight page periodical, the comic does live up to its pre-publication promise of depicting the ex-soldier in a thoroughly entertaining “noir thriller… perfect for fans of Sin City and Criminal.”

Indeed, the mercenary turned businessman’s ‘swapping of a shooter for a suit’ as he desperately searches London's West End for a positron molecular condenser seems to suit the cold-hearted killer’s character very well, and certainly shows a side to the alien from Riften 5 that was rarely touched upon during his two stories on the small screen. True, the man is every bit as mean and arguably unpleasant as actor Maurice Colbourne portrayed him in “Resurrection Of The Daleks”. But Saward’s enthralling script also hints at a softer side to the stony-faced ‘dog of war’ when he admits to keeping the ever-loyal Lance Corporal Wilson at his side for once saving his life in Saigon in 1968; “I at least own him a living.”

Delightfully, the British author’s development of this comic’s other cast members is just as intriguing, with the aforementioned Wilson proving particularly endearing. Determined to discover the murderer behind the deaths of six women and four men, the man risks all by clambering down into the London sewers despite the best efforts of Lytton to put him off the scent by claiming the noise he keeps hearing below his feet is “just a radio belonging to a sewer worker.”

Barry Renshaw’s artwork for Issue One of “Lytton” also helps imbue the narrative with an engaging sense of dread and foreboding. The Liverpool-born illustrator can readily pencil action, as shown with this book’s awesome opening sequence concerning a Vietnamese suicide attack, and Lytton’s incredibly violent dust-up with a party of 'hired help'. Yet it is debatably Renshaw’s choice of gaudy colours for the bright lights of seedy Soho which truly helps bring this publication’s storytelling to life, especially when they’re used to highlight the distinctly dark thoughts and feelings running through Gustov’s head.

The regular cover art of "LYTTON" #1 by Barry Renshaw

Wednesday, 23 September 2020

Star Trek: Year Five #14 - IDW Publishing

STAR TREK: YEAR FIVE No. 14, September 2020
Packed full of the physical bravado long time Trekkies would have expected from William Shatner’s portrayal of “Starfleet's youngest starship captain”, Issue Fourteen of “Star Trek: Year Five” undeniably delivers its readers with plenty of violent action and political intrigue. But whilst such plot devices as Captain Kirk running “the gauntlet of his Klingon persecutors” provides this twenty-page periodical with plenty of pulse-pounding pace, the fact the Federation officer has willingly submitted to being so barbarically tortured in the first place will also have this comic’s audience scratching their heads in utter bemusement.

For starters, it is arguably never made clear just what the point of Kirk’s so-called trial is supposed to achieve, apart from permitting “showrunners” Jackson Lanzing and Collin Kelly with the opportunity to reminisce about presumably their favourite Klingon episodes during the franchise’s original televised run in the Sixties. True, towards the end of the book it is revealed that the traitorous Admiral Koraxi wanted the Enterprise’s skipper “off the board so he could keep conducting illegal experiments”, but if the entire purpose was to kill him then a disruptor blast to the head would surely have been a more reliable method than the theatrical challenge penned for this particular publication.

Similarly as nonsensical is the writing duo’s secondary story-line concerning Spock and McCoy exposing “a disturbing secret that stretches to the highest levels of Starfleet Medical.” Bound to a chair in readiness for a grim interrogation by his abductors, the Vulcan easily escapes by snapping the metallic arm restraint supposedly holding him in place and then brings the entire conspiracy to a swift end by simply pointing a phaser at the Admiral’s second-in-command; “Your boss is a traitor, son. Be real careful with your next choice.”

Mercifully however, this book’s look is far more successful than its narrative’s logic, with “fan-favourite Star Trek artist Angel Hernandez” doing a stunning job of capturing the increasing physical damage James Kirk receives at the hands (or rather blades) of his merciless Klingon captors. Indeed, the illustrator seems to really capture the essence of Shatner’s battered, bloodied and bare-chested look from the broadcast episode “Where No Man Has Gone Before” in his sketches of the captain's severe injuries, and even makes Robert Fletcher’s uniforms from “The Motion Picture” appear surprisingly attractive considering the criticism often heaped upon the one-piece jumpsuit design.
Writers: Jackson Lanzing & Collin Kelly, and Artist: Angel Hernandez

Tuesday, 22 September 2020

Avengers [2018] #13 - Marvel Comics

AVENGERS No. 13, March 2019
This particular “flashback tale of the Prehistoric Earth’s Mightiest Heroes” surely must have much impressed this comic’s 49,517 readers in January 2019 with its enthralling mixture of kick-ass karate and palpable sense of injustice towards a young girl simply trying to teach “Kung-Fu to cavemen.” Indeed, Jason Aaron’s narrative portrays such a dark depiction of K’un’Lun and its much-lauded sacred traditions that it is arguably quite difficult to reconcile their secret city’s sinister shenanigans with the mysterious ‘home’ Danny Rand so desperately tried to return to during Jo Duffy’s run in the Seventies on “Power Man And Iron Fist”.

Enjoyably though, such a disconcertingly brooding backdrop drenched in the infuriating ‘holier than thou’ attitude of the Dragon Kings provides “the very first Iron Fist” with just the motivation needed to both help her survive ten gruelling years of banishment amidst a desolate wintry wasteland, and subsequently fuel the fifteen year old “primordial woman” to defeat everything from starving wolf packs through to a veritable army of savagely carnivorous ape-men; “Along the way, I encountered many beings who needed to feel the power of the Curse of Shou-Lao. In the great dead forest, that distinction belonged to the Gorilla Clan.”

In addition, Issue Thirteen of “Avengers” does a grand job of establishing Mephisto as being a persistently evil, manipulative serpent since Mankind’s earliest hour. Slithering up upon an isolated Fan Fei one night when the vulnerable girl realises she is truly a lonely outcast, even amongst the primitive people she has sworn to protect, the devil reeks of calculating charm and does his damndest to ensure that “the little hero” pays for rejecting his advice not to rule as “Queen of the Monkeys”.

Also adding enormously to this twenty-page periodical’s pulse-pounding pace and dramatic story-telling are Andrea Sorrentino’s awesome layouts, which do an incredible job of imbuing even the most word-heavy of scenes with plenty of raw energy, courtesy of the artist’s dynamically laid out panels. Coupled with the Italian illustrator’s tremendous flair for pencilling a fight scene, as well as Justin Ponsor and Erick Arciniega’s colours, this book genuinely proves to be a feast for the eyes, with Iron Fist’s intense battle against a diamond-encrusted Ape King proving to be the publication’s highlight.
Writer: Jason Aaron, Artist: Andrea Sorrentino, and Color Artists: Justin Ponsor & Erick Arciniega

Monday, 21 September 2020

The Immortal Hulk #36 - Marvel Comics

IMMORTAL HULK No. 36, October 2020
Offering a marvellous mixture of Machiavellian manipulation and a seriously savage slugfest, Al Ewing’s penmanship for Issue Thirty-Six of “Immortal Hulk” must surely have assured many of this publication’s readers that the Leader’s presence within the ongoing series was going to generate some sense-shattering shenanigans for Bruce Banner’s alter-ego. In fact, having previously caused the jade giant to spectacularly disintegrate the hapless Mayor of Georgeville in this story-arc’s previous instalment, Sam Sterns arguably goes one better by manipulating the titular character into immediately duking it out against the increasingly cocksure Gamma Flight for the vast majority of this twenty-page periodical.

Happily however, this lengthy swapping of punches, kicks and limb-ripping disfigurements contains plenty of emotional moments alongside its bouts of pulse-pounding pugilism, with Ewing’s use of Titania as a highly annoying catalyst for much of the savage action proving remarkably successful. Mary MacPherran’s personality has always been based upon a ‘hit first, think afterwards’ principle, and in “The Thing In The Tube” the British author takes the human mutate one step further by having her assault Jackie McGee simply because the reporter realises the supposedly reformed super-villain is clearly “escalating” an already bad situation.

Likewise, the former “2000 A.D.” writer does a similar job with poor Puck, who seems a far cry from the popular acrobatic hero depicted in John Byrne’s days on “Alpha Flight”. Without even pausing for a moment to contemplate just how the green goliath suddenly gained the power to cause a violent gamma explosion, Eugene Judd leads a vicious surprise attack against the hapless Hulk, mercilessly gunning down his former “team-up” friend despite Banner making it clear he wants no part of a confrontation; “Little Man? No… H-Hulk… Hulk not want this… Hulk not want fight!”

Joe Bennett should also take a big bow for his pencilling’s part in making this comic such a ‘thrill-a-panel’ ride. The Brazilian artist’s use of body language to depict all the unbearable haughtiness and arrogance of Absorbing Man’s muscle-bound wife is absolutely top-notch, and probably made Titania’s ultimate defeat at the unfathomably strong hands of the founding Avenger garner quite a few cheers from this book’s Hulk-heads when the behemoth finally decides he’s had quite enough of being MacPherran’s punching bag.
Writer: Al Ewing, Penciler: Joe Bennett, and Inker: Ruy Jose

Friday, 18 September 2020

A Man Among Ye #2 - Image Comics

A MAN AMONG YE No. 2, August 2020
For those readers able to ‘push through’ some utterly unnecessary expletives found during this twenty-one page periodical’s opening third, Issue Two of “A Man Among Ye” probably still provided them with plenty of entertainment, courtesy of Anne Bonny’s antagonistic relationship with her bald-headed, brutish shipmate Biff, and an intriguing flashback to Mary Read’s first encounter with murderous pirates “eight years ago”. True, the comic’s predominant focus upon the burgeoning relationship between the red-haired killer and the adolescent “lobsterback” does lead to a somewhat long-winded, sedentary scene set atop the crow’s nest. But once the virtues of killing and doing “horrible things” have been aired, Stephanie Phillips’ narrative quickly gathers pace as Governor Woodes Rogers makes it abundantly clear that thieves will not be tolerated at Fort Nassau and Captain “Calico Jack” Rackham’s superstitious crew plot a deadly mutiny.

Indeed, one of the strengths of this mini-series’ story-line arguably lies in its depiction of the wider issues occurring inside the Bahamas, and the Crown’s merciless determination to rid the colony of pirates. There’s clearly a lot more going on than the self-contained intrigues occurring on board the Kingston, with the American author even squeezing in a tantalising look as to the potential fate of “the infamous pirate king” Charles Vane - imprisoned at Rogers’ pleasure with little more than a view of the gallows to keep him company. Such fleeting insights really do provide this publication with a plethora of hooks to keep its audience enthralled, with this instalment’s cliff-hanger conclusion particularly providing the book with a captivating ending as an abandoned Bonny attempts to slope another’s sloop so as to save her Captain’s life; “I’m sorry, but I stole this boat first.”

Artist Craig Cermak’s pencilling is also impressive throughout this comic, with “the co-creator of Red Team” clearly putting plenty of thought and energy into his panels. Few perusing bibliophiles spying the illustrator’s tremendous sketch of Read’s father being blown sideways by a pirate ship’s cannon fire would debatably be able to stop themselves momentarily wincing at the perceived sound of the ball blasting its way through thick wooden timbers, or later slightly sway in the high winds as Mary takes her “first sip of the demon rum” on the main mast.
Written by: Stephanie Phillips, Art by: Craig Cermak and Colors by: John Kalisz

Thursday, 17 September 2020

Star Trek: Hell's Mirror #1 - IDW Publishing

STAR TREK: HELL'S MIRROR No. 1, August 2020
Heralding the return of “legendary writer J.M. DeMatteis” to the science fiction franchise “for the first time in nearly forty years”, and featuring both the highly popular Khan Noonien Singh and the Mirror Universe, this particular one-shot probably landed reasonably well with Trekkies upon its arrival in September 2020. However, for those fans frothing at the mouths in anticipation of actor Ricardo Montalbán’s incarnation of the genetically engineered superhuman violently squaring up against the savage crew of the I.S.S Enterprise, this twenty-four page periodical’s pedestrian-paced plot probably proved something of a disappointment.

Indeed, with the exception of the enjoyably intense destruction of Captain Kirk’s legendary Terran Constitution-class battle cruiser during a confrontation with “one of Khan’s fellow gods”, the vast majority of “Star Trek: Hell’s Mirror” is a dialogue-driven insight into the motivations of Singh and the Botany Bay survivor’s almost desperate desire to turn both Spock and the Vulcan’s illustrious commanding officer over to his rebellion’s side; “I was told not to trust you when you joined us. But my intuition told me otherwise. Just as it tells me that we can trust Kirk.”

Fortunately though, such an arguably actionless story-line doesn’t mean that there still isn’t plenty of dramatic entertainment to be had from the Brooklyn-born writer’s penmanship, especially when Khan’s façade of benevolent leader occasionally drops to reveal his evident superiority complex and unmistakable anger at not being the master of all. Kirk’s apparent betrayal of the Empire is also very well crafted, with the American author repeatedly providing “the fiercely loyal Imperial captain” with the opportunity to reveal whether he is genuine in his willingness “to become a traitor to the cause” or not.

Perhaps therefore this comic’s only real disappointment is in some of Matthew Dow Smith’s interior illustrations. It’s very clear from some of the panels that the artist is highly proficient at pencilling the facial likenesses of notable thespians William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy and the aforementioned Montalbán. But such dedication seems to also cause many of his figures, especially when sketched from a distance, to appear disconcertingly stiff in their body positions, as well as ungainly in their movements.
The regular cover art of "STAR TREK: HELL'S MIRROR No. 1 by Matthew Dow Smith

Wednesday, 16 September 2020

Batman/Superman [2019] #11 - DC Comics

BATMAN/SUPERMAN No. 11, October 2020
As ‘thrilling conclusions’ go, there was surely little doubt in this twenty-two page periodical’s audience that Joshua Williamson delivered on “DC Comics” pre-publication promise that the titular characters would bring “the deadly machinations of the Ultra-Humanite” crashing to an end. However, just how the California-born writer’s narrative “will reverberate across the DC Universe for months to come” is arguably much harder to imagine, considering that his “Atomic” story-line wraps with the unnamed mad scientist’s degenerating brain being housed within S.T.A.R. Labs and Bruce Wayne successfully removing the villain’s “damn detonator” from his chest using the Batcave's advanced surgical table.

True, Batman is clearly unsettled by the Ultra-Humanite’s claim that “someone was keeping Atomic Skull captive” before Albert Michaels blew up Gotham City’s Financial District, and the American author unsurprisingly has the supposedly dead scientist tear himself free of his grave plot at the comic’s end. But none of this seems to suggest something so deadly has been started that the Burbank-based publisher’s “fictional shared universe” is in danger of being affected, nor that Superman’s revelation to the world that he is Clark Kent will detrimentally impact his relationship with the Dark Knight; “Clark, Stop. I know that. And I wasn’t mad that you didn’t consult with me about revealing your identity. I was only frustrated with how I reacted.”

What Issue Eleven of “Batman/Superman” does deliver though is a thoroughly enjoyable battle of sheer strength and sharp wits between the Man of Steel and one of “the first supervillains of the Golden Age of Comics.” Indeed, the pair’s titanic tussle, superbly sketched by former “Alpha Flight” artist Clayton Henry and beautifully coloured by Alejandro Sanchez, is arguably faultless, as Kal-El demonstrates to both his arch-nemesis and any perusing bibliophile that “Batman isn’t the only detective” in this book by using a trail of rare radiation and his supersonic hearing to locate the Ultra-Humanite’s secret headquarters. Aided by an incapacitated Caped Crusader, Williamson really shows off the Kryptonian’s fighting savvy by having him distract his ‘omnipotent’ opponent just long enough for his partner to neutralise the crook’s technologically advanced base of operations.
The regular cover art of "BATMAN/SUPERMAN" No. 11 by David Marquez

Tuesday, 15 September 2020

The Amazing Spider-Man [2018] #20.HU - Marvel Comics

Considering that Nick Spencer’s fifteen-page script for this particular special issue of “The Amazing Spider-Man” didn’t debatably add much to the motivational background of Adrian Toomes, it is easy to see why the comic sold significantly less copies than the other two instalments to the American author’s lengthy “Hunted” storyline which also hit the spinner racks in May 2019. Sure, the two-time ‘Charter Party candidate’ starts this book off well enough with a brief glimpse of the professional criminal’s early days “toiling in a laboratory alone.” But this flashback to the invention of the old man’s famous wingsuit is swiftly shelved in favour of (yet another) recap depicting him despicably deserting the Gibbon during the opening foray of Arcade’s formidable Hunter-Bots.

This regurgitation of Martin Blank’s harrowing death scene really does feel completely unnecessary, and disconcertingly smacks of a writer desperately struggling to pad out a plot which has already been curtailed in size due to the publication containing a secondary yarn. Indeed, large chunks of this comic’s narrative seem to simply repeat key sequences previously depicted within the title’s main book line, with only Toomes’ rather contrived meeting with Arcade at “the luxurious Central Park institution Tavern On The Green” providing any fresh material; “I’m very up-front with the clients… If I’m gonna build you a death trap, said death trap has to have a chance of survival.”

Happily however, at least this series of all-too familiar summaries is sketched by Cory Smith, whose dynamically drawn layouts imbue the repeated death-dealing chase-sequences occurring in New York City’s fifth-largest park with plenty of animated life, or rather in the case of the Bison and Gibbon, death. The “simple lil pencil artist” also depicts a seriously egotistical-looking Vulture, and facially captures all the aging electrical engineer’s haughty arrogance once he’s been elected by the desperate super-villains as their all-powerful saviour.

Rounding off this disappointing instalment to Spencer’s “spiritual successor to the 1987 storyline Kraven's Last Hunt" is the five-pager “Mother”, which focuses upon Arcade’s replication of Vermin using an injection of “fifteen CCs of the Mountain Dew-coloured stuff.” Regrettably though, even this distinctly darker tale is perhaps more memorable for the look upon the white-suited assassin’s face when he realises that the Taskmaster has betrayed him to the Lizard, than Edward Whelan’s utterly bizarre doppelganger duplication sub-plot in which the "cannibal killer" is 'given' a family of his own.
Writer: Nick Spencer, Penciler: Cory Smith, and Color Artist: Erick Arciniega

Monday, 14 September 2020

Star Wars: Bounty Hunters #3 - Marvel Comics

Described by “Marvel Worldwide” in its pre-publication release as being “the ultimate heavyweight battle” between Bossk and Beilert Valance, Ethan Sacks’ scintillating script to Issue Three of “Star Wars: Bounty Hunters” not only arguably delivered to its readers a thoroughly enjoyable gratuitous confrontation between the two opposing mercenaries. But also provided his audience with a brief insight into just why the male Trandoshan and former Chorin slave despise each other so much by taking the fractious pair back “years ago” to a time when they both served aboard Nakano Lash’s ship the Starskimmer.

This initially tender flashback, featuring a facially reconstructed cyborg nervously awaiting the opportunity to use the vessel’s long-range communicator to contact his beloved Yuralla Vega, definitely shows a sensitive side to Valance which is rarely seen, and makes Bossk’s undisguised amusement at the failed transmission all the more malicious when he goads the former Carida Academy cadet over his deeply felt feelings for the woman; “Haha! That was pathetic. Weak. Knew you’d be too afraid to…” Indeed, such is the level of animosity Cradossk’s son generates in this sequence that it is hard to believe Beilert later spares the large lizard’s life after the Trandoshan tries to ambush him on the Graveyard Planet of Galmerah.

Disappointingly though, not everything within this twenty-page periodical is debatably quite so well penned, with Sacks’ inclusion of several other bounty hunters proving somewhat overwhelming within a single publication. Ooris Bynar’s appearance is okay considering that the Thisspiasian is recognisably distinct from his competitors and actually seems to get ‘the drop’ on Lash by reaching the fugitive’s secret location first. However, the likes of T’Onga and General Vukorah are seemingly just crowbarred into the book simply to help pad out its page count with some glimpses of “two of the most powerful criminal syndicates in the galaxy” once Bossk is defeated.

Quibbles aside, perhaps this comic’s biggest contributor is artist Paolo Villanelli, whose layouts for the confrontation between Valance and his ex-teammate help push along the extended action sequence at a frighteningly fast pace. The Trandoshan’s insane fury towards his foe leaps out of every panel in which he features, as does the sheer viciousness of the close combat once the two bounty hunters lock horns with one another trading punches, kicks and headbutts.
The regular cover art of "STAR WARS: BOUNTY HUNTERS" #3 by Lee Bermejo