Tag Archives: Peter Gross

Indubitable Issues and Pull List (12/14/16)




Cosmo’s Recommendations…
unbeatablesquirrelgirl15Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #15
“If you’re still not reading this book, what can I possibly say to you? How about this issue teases the epic clash of titans which fans have been clamoring for? Yep, it’s Taskmaster vs Mew the Cat. And yep again, it’s told from the feline’s perspective. Ah Mew . . . “

Continue reading Indubitable Issues and Pull List (12/14/16)

Freeze Frame 3/19/2014

So good to be back-Pat
by Chris Samnee from Daredevil #1

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Freeze Frame 2/18/2014

by Tyler Jenkins from Peter Panzerfaust #17

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The Unwritten Apocalypse #5

img066          Overview: In this stand alone issue we follow our old friend Mr. Bunn/Pauly Bruckner, as he journeys through the land of broken stories.  He’s returned to his human form, but the world he’s navigating is far from humane.  It’s a very dark place inhabited by lost souls, and Pauly starts to realize that he had it pretty good over in Willow Bank.

          Art: This issue, series artist Peter Gross is joined by Al Davison, and the results are pretty great.  One of the things that always confuses me with this book, is who does what art wise. The credits just list names, or sometimes it states Peter Gross layouts, guest artist finishes. I don’t know if that means pencils are layouts and inks are finishes, or if Gross just provides a rough draft of the art and the guest makes it their own.  I guess it’s not that important, but when doing a review, I like to give credit where credit’s due, and in this case I can’t specify.  Anyway, I’m assuming this issue gross did some of it and Davison handled a portion himself, because there are two distinct looks throughout the story.

          img067Davison’s style is heavily shadowed, and there is a much more sinister look to his pages when compared to Gross’s bright and polished style. His lines are simple, well defined, and clean, and he does a great job depicting a grimy, unkempt world.  His scenes depict some of the more gruesome goings on that we’ve seen from this title, and he handles the action very well.  In a scene where Pauly must fight to become the sole murderer of the ark–I told you it was a dark place–the sequence is pretty cool, with all the necessary beats established panel to panel for a visceral effect.  This particular combination of artists worked really well to establish the different settings and mood for this issue, and it’s always a nice thing to discover an artist you aren’t familiar with to file in the mental like column, which I have now done with Mr. Davison.

           Gross, as usual, does a fine job.  This is his visual world, and that comfort shines through in both his layouts and character work.  I especially enjoy his depiction of the Willow Bank scene, where Pauly is describing it in reverence for Tom, and the layout is dreamy and bright.

img065Story: Narratively this was a very interesting issue.  We’ve gotten to know Mr. Bunn over the course of 3 or 4 special issues, but this is the most time we’ve spent with Pauly Bruckner the human.  He definitely comes off as a bad person, but Carey also shines a light on some of his better qualities as well.  He takes a shine to a boy he encounters during his raiding missions for the ark, and ultimately that choice leads to the child’s death.  This is the first time we see Pauly mourn the demise of something, and it leads him on a new path.  I very much enjoyed this issue, though it only added a little to the overall narrative arc of the book, it was pretty engrossing, and shed more light on how the world is now that Leviathan is not the same.  I’m enjoying this so far, but I do miss the referential nods to classic stories from the series’ beginnings, I don’t know if we’ll see much more of that now that the world has gone to shit, but I hope that part of Tom’s rehabilitation of the world’s stories involves some of the classic and most necessary tales from our history.

         img069 **Minor Spoilers to Follow**  I’m suspicious of the white worm thing following around Rhea Hawkins, I think it might be the beginning of another Leviathan, but this one feeds on terrible stories, and maybe that’s why the world has turned into a kill or be killed terror-zone.  The Leviathan is, after all, a representation of the collective conscience of the world. It feeds on stories, and the ones it likes start to become almost true.  The fact that Pullman shows up and starts manipulating Pauly’s choices makes me wonder if his plan is to create a new world where he decides the stories that are told.  If he asserts control over the Leviathan from a young age it will almost be beholden to him, and this could have a drastic affect on Tom and Company’s ability to change things. One thing is for sure after five issues of Apocalypse, is that the fate of the world and the fate of the types of stories it creates are interwoven.  If the world is ever going to return to some semblance of it’s former self; Tom, Winston, and the crew are going to have to start telling new stories and destroying these bad one Pullman is creating.  They’ll also have to address the problem of Madame Rausch soon, because if I remember right she is attempting a similar mission as Pullman.

          Conclusion: I felt this was a very good issue, it was one of the darker chapters since the .5’s from last year, and the world it depicts really shows how far gone the state of things are.  My hope is that from here on we go into the how and when of what Tom and his merry band are going to do about it. There are only seven issues left, and Carey and Gross have a lot of things to attend to.  This chapter might not be the end of Pauly Bruckner, but things are certainly not looking good for him.  I’m interested as well in what becomes of the worm thing, and whether or not it is a developing Leviathan.  This is such a complex story I really can’t wait for it to wrap up so I can re-read it again and focus on the smaller aspects as opposed to the rather epic plot.  I would definitely not recommend starting here, this is a story like a lot of Vertigo books that is best to start from the beginning.

Review of The Unwritten Apocalypse #4

Unwritten Vol. 2 Apocalypse #4The Unwritten Apocalypse #4 by Mike Carey & Peter Gross

After a more adventure filled two issues, Carey takes a moment for the characters to catch their breaths (or at least as well as they can under the present circumstances). Ritchie shares a moment with the ghost Miri, while Tom and his father debate methods for dealing with the apocalypse raging around them. This leads to Tom checking in on Pauly Bruckner. Pauly had long been trapped in the body of a rabbit. As such he has had a reoccurring role in Unwritten, most prominently in the recent Orpheus in the Underworlds storyline. Now, though, it seems that he has been returned to his human body. He only makes a brief one page appearance in #4, but it is immediately clear that all is not right with him. He is fixated on a handheld mirror, on the other side of which we glimpse a furry paw. It is a teaser which leaves me quite curious to learn more about Pauly’s current state.

After making the rounds of their sanctuary, Tom joins Lizzie for their own intimate reunion. Afterwards, he drifts off into a dream state which forms the bulk of this issue’s narrative. He pays a call on Madame Rausch who has long played a mysterious part in the series’ narrative. A woman who can manipulate others through puppetry, her motives have largely remained hidden. Now, she lets the veil slip a little, making clearer not only what she wants in general, but what she needs from Tom in particular. In exchange she provides Tom with information on how to heal Leviathan before his death bring an end to all the world. Right before Tom departs from this dream state, Tom recalls for a moment his lost childhood, a memory made more poignant by the fact that what he is recalling was never really his anyway. It was simply a byproduct of hid father’s tale spinning. Which, of course, does not make the emotion any less true . . .

All in all, this was another great installment in one of the best series being published right now.


Staff Review: The Unwritten Apocalypse #2


The Unwritten Apocalypse #2 by Mike Carey & Peter Gross

And it’s back.

The last several months have been a mixed experience for this Vertigo series. The Great Fables Crossover turned out to be more Good-Pretty Good than Great. Not bad mind you, but probably the least interesting arc so far. On the upside, Vertigo released an excellent original graphic novel delving into the origins of Tom/Tommy Taylor. Then, Vertigo announced that the series would take a couple months off before beginning a final 12-issue arc. Last month’s kickoff for Apocalypse, while interesting, served mostly as a bridge getting us from Fables back to Unwritten. Still, I maintained my faith in what Carey and Gross are doing.

And this week, I was rewarded abundantly.

The world which Tom Taylor returned to at the end of #1 is rapidly coming apart at the seams. The beast Leviathan, which feeds on human stories, has been gravely wounded. The barriers between fictional worlds are dissolving, reshaping our reality into a surreal landscape. In the middle of a bleak 21st Century London, a band of men in period garb take our heroes hostage, almost hanging one of them. Their lives are only spared due to the quick thinking of Liz Hexam.

It has been too long since Lizzy played a prominent part in this series. She has always been one of my favorite Unwritten characters, on account of her intelligence, determinedness and charm. Faced with dire straits, Liz rapidly deduces from their appearance that the sword-wielding men in large wigs are from the 17th Century; by way of their speech, she concludes that they are rakes out of Restoration comedies. Since she knows the standard arc of these comedies, she can instantly slip into the character type necessary to soften their adversaries’ hearts. The exchange she shares, noose slipped around her neck, is one of my favorite scenes of the week.

Yet, there is more at stake here than simply avoiding the ire of a pack of libertines and a fop. Carey reminds us that as our ability to tell stories breaks down, so do so many of the basic functions we take for granted. How could we brag if we lack the talent for embellishing the truth; how could we seduce without second-guessing what our object of desire wishes to hear, or feel, next? Would we even be able to remember our past without imagining a framework for it, fitting random memories into a logical sequence we call a life? How could any of us get out of bed in the morning, if we could not imagine how our day might go?

All in all, an outstanding issue from what remains one of my favorite current series.