Saturday, December 26, 2009

Comics Review : Star Trek The Next Generation Ghosts Issue 2

The covers: Two covers, both by the great Joe Corroney. A spectral Jean-Luc reaches out to Everuud, as seen last issue. This illustration does make you want to open the book to see what's going on. The "Retailer Incentive Virgin" Cover is the usual cover image without any writing. Overall grade: Both A

The story:
I felt the story to be better this time that previously, so congrats to Zander Cannon. Every character (save Data, who I'm sure will be popping up next issue) has some very solid scenes progressing the plot: Worf is investigating the Dorossh's past, Crusher and LaForge are continuing to work on Everuud's situation, Riker has the best bits on Pages 11 - 14, while Troi believes Picard is in some sort of emotional funk. Only the Picard/Troi scene seemed lacking: I'm hoping this thread is going somewhere. I found Worf trying to define honor for the Dorossh solid and his predicament and solemn reaction to an accusation spot on. Little breadcrumb clues seem to be dropped throughout, which I liked. I now want to know where this story is going. Overall grade: B

The art:
I'm sorry to say that Javier Aranda's art has gotten worse. Previously I stated that I found his backgrounds good, and looking at Page 1 I can still say that's true, but go to Page 2 and the downward spiral begins: what's with all the crosshatching in Picard's room? He looks like he's in a padded cell. Troi's hairstyle is still terminally wet. The first panel on Page 3 has a tremendous waste of space: the bottom third of the panel is the black back of a sofa! Layout problems continue in the first panel of Page 4: too much dead space. Now Page 5 has Aranda showing well that he can master the seeming limitations of a nine panel page: this looks good. However, Page 8, why is Worf pointing up? Page 12 and 13 have Riker puckering up in every close up. Page 16, wasted space in the first panel, again (this issue of wasted space could be hammered on endlessly--a novice artist error). Page 21, really?!? That's O'Brien? The biggest gaff is the dialogue Riker gives in the second to last panel on Page 21, because on Page 22 we can clearly see Worf wearing an object that can save him from this situation. Could someone call Gordon Purcell to quickly salvage this series? Overall grade: D

The inks:
Should an inker go with every line the artist makes, or should they add or delete at their own discretion to make the art better? That's the question I ask of Marc Rueda. Marc, start making some changes because what the reader is getting is not reflecting well on you. Overall grade: D

The colors:
John Hunt has this book looking very pale. Look at Picard's room. I know it's supposed to be a moody moment, but what's up with the walls' coloring? Sick Bay is funky, too. The only time the page looks dynamic is when Worf goes outside; Page 20 is great! However, most of the book seems dull. Though I do have to wonder if this should be thrown at Hunt because of all the empty spaces his coloring has to fill. Overall grade: C-

The letters:
Dependable Robbie Robbins does a solid job with all the dialogue and two sound effects. Overall grade: A

The final line:
The story is better but the art is really killing this comic. Purchase this book only if you're a rabid Trek comic fan. IDW, I don't know how much money you saved on the artwork by hiring a non-name artist, but what your sales losses will be must outweigh the savings. Final grade: D+