Bill Sienkiewicz

Batman 400 (October 1986)

830781I hate this comic. I hate how DC used it, I hate how Moench writes it, even if it was an editorial decision.

There are nods to Moench’s run, but only so far as he gets to give each of his characters a page to sort of say goodbye. There’s no closure on any of the story lines, not a single one.

There’s also a lot of crappy art. It’s an anniversary issue with a lot of big names drawing either poorly or against their style. Rick Leonardi and Arthur Adams are some of the worst offenders, but not even Brian Bolland does particularly well. Ken Steacy is the only decent one.

Moench’s writing for a different audience than usual, the casual Batman reader, not the regular. Apparently he thinks the casual readers like endless exposition and incredible stupidity. It’s a distressing, long read; a terrible capstone to Moench’s run.



Resurrection Night!; writer, Doug Moench; pencillers, John Byrne, Steve Lightle, George Perez, Paris Cullins, Bill Sienkiewicz, Art Adams, Tom Sutton, Steve Leialoha, Joe Kubert, Ken Steacy, Rick Leonardi and Brian Bolland; inkers, Byrne, Bruce Patterson, Perez, Larry Mahlstedt, Sienkiewicz, Terry Austin, Ricardo Villagran, Leialoha, Kubert, Steacy, Karl Kesel and Bolland; colorist, Adrienne Roy; letterers, John Costanza and Andy Kubert; editor, Len Wein; publisher, DC Comics.

Before Watchmen: Nite Owl 4 (February 2013)

887775Once again, I’m left wondering if there’s some intentional misogyny in these Before Watchmen series just because it would horrify Alan Moore.

This issue we learn Nite Owl has this costumed madam–something Straczynski never makes feasible–in love with him and he’s in love with her but he later mocks her in Watchmen to Laurie.

I’d forgotten that particular detail from the original series, but wow, Straczynski really harps on it. I like how Hollis gets a pass, how Rorschach gets a pass, but not the madam. Unless Straczynski’s whole point is to make Dan unlikable and to make people dislike him when rereading Watchmen.

As I doubt anyone would reread Nite Owl. I’m not even sure the editors read it.

It’s shallow, trite and mean. Lame tie-in to the original series at the end too.

Kubert’s art is awful but I think his dad had just died.


From One Nite Owl to Another; writer, J. Michael Straczynski; penciller, Andy Kubert; inker, Bill Sienkiewicz; colorist, Brad Anderson; letterer, Nick Napolitano; editors, Mark Doyle, Camilla Zhang and Will Dennis; publisher, DC Comics.

Before Watchmen: Nite Owl 3 (November 2012)

876501Well, Straczynski doesn’t spend too much time with Rorschach this issue, just enough to remind everyone he’s around. He also doesn’t continue the narration from Dan. Why? Because Straczynski doesn’t go for any kind of narrative continuity; Nite Owl’s an editorial disaster. I guess no one told Straczynski to at least be consistent in his lameness.

And, except the art (which is often quite bad), Nite Owl’s more lame than anything else. Straczynski treats Dan like a bit of a tool, introducing the costumed madam as a way to show off how little Dan has going for him. Because, after reading Watchmen, everyone wanted a comic about Dan Dreiberg losing his virginity to a vaguely condescending madam.

Straczynski also makes the juxtaposing of Dan and Rorschach crystal clear. Lovely to read someone who treats his readers like illiterate boobs.

The Higgins pirate thing is especially bad here too.


Thanks for Coming; writer, J. Michael Straczynski; penciller, Andy Kubert; inkers, Joe Kubert and Bill Sienkiewicz; colorist, Brad Anderson; letterer, Nick Napolitano. The Curse of the Crimson Corsair, The Evil That Men Do, Part Six; writer, artist and colorist, John Higgins; letterer, Sal Cipriano. Editors, Mark Doyle, Camilla Zhang and Will Dennis; publisher, DC Comics.

Rocketeer Adventures 2 1 (March 2012)

863520The best story in this issue is Peter David and Bill Sienkiewicz spoofing “Merry Melodies” cartoons, featuring Daffy as the Ducketeer. The art’s great, the script’s funny; David knows how to pace the story right. It’s nice because it’s so subtle–obviously, there’d be pop culture about America’s only science hero.

Stan Sakai’s story makes a similar acknowledgement, but it tries too hard. Or maybe Sakai’s art just doesn’t work for the story. Cliff encounters a farm boy with parents named Jonathan and Martha and a nemesis named Lex. It’s cute, but slight. And the way Sakai draws faces is off-putting.

The worst is Marc Guggenheim and Sandy Plunkett’s story. The art is good, but the writing is moronic. Cliff’s injured and unconscious; his rescuers have to decide if they’re turning him in since he’s a wanted vigilante. Guggenheim’s script gets worse as it goes.

It’s a disappointing issue.


The Good Guys; writer, Marc Guggenheim; artist, Sandy Plunkett; colorist, Jeromy Cox; letterer, Robbie Robbins. The Ducketeer; writer, Peter David; artist, colorist and letterer, Bill Sienkiewicz. A Dream of Flying; writer, artist and letterer, Stan Sakai; colorist, Dave Stewart. Editor, Scott Dunbier; publisher, IDW Publishing.

The New Mutants 37 (March 1986)

While I’m loathe to say anything nice about Chris Claremont, especially in an issue where he apes dialogue from Little Big Man to show how conscious he is to the plight of Native Americans regarding the John Wayne cavalry movies, he almost does a good issue here.

Well, maybe not. I mean, the Beyonder’s still idiotic, but he’s torturing the superheroes here and, while Claremont’s got some lame characterizations for them, the Beyonder’s really freaking evil. It makes no sense in context of the initial Secret Wars II stuff, but whatever. It’s nice to read this book and not be dreading every moment, especially given Sienkiewicz’s far more traditional artwork this time.

I don’t know what else to say about the comic. Usually, I can just rip on it, but this issue–oh, the She-Hulk cameo was dumb. So was the cop not knowing what the Avengers were called.


If I Should Die; writer, Chris Claremont; penciller, Mary Wilshire; inker, Bill Sienkiewicz; colorist, Glynis Oliver; letterers, Tom Orzechowski and L. Lois Buhalis; editor, Ann Nocenti; publisher, Marvel Comics.

The New Mutants 36 (February 1986)

I mustn’t have ever picked up a New Mutants comic as a kid when I was getting Secret Wars II crossovers. I think I’d remember being this totally perplexed. Claremont’s approach to this title is apparently to throw everything he can think of into the issue, up to and including a floating subway car (and a Ghostbusters reference).

There are demons, there are religious things, mutant things, dating things, it’s just way too much. It’s like instead of creating characters, Claremont wants to discuss “issues” just really, really immaturely. It’s kind of like social commentary with stick figures.

The Secret Wars II crossover is actually all right (it’s far better than demons), just because it deals with the fallout of someone encountering someone as powerful as the Beyonder. What’s incredible is apparently no one realized the Beyonder’s a perfect stand-in for the comic book writer, metaphorically.

Big surprise there.


Subway to Salvation!; writer, Chris Claremont; penciller, Mary Wilshire; inker, Bill Sienkiewicz; colorist, Michael Higgins; letterer, Tom Orzechowski; editor, Ann Nocenti; publisher, Marvel Comics.

The New Mutants 30 (August 1985)

772812.jpgI don’t think I’ve ever read a Sienkiewicz comic before. I know, I know. I was a DC guy in the eighties for the most part and, even if I did, I was a kid and probably wouldn’t have appreciated it. Sienkiewicz did mainstream books? It’s incredible to think about it–his work’s design oriented but also has a narrative flow. It’s absolutely great.

The comic itself, a Secret Wars II crossover, is all right if unspectacular. Even though I’m completely unfamiliar with the title, I could figure some things out (though not all the character names, besides Dazzler and Kitty Pryde), maybe because Claremont is the wordiest comic book writer I think I’ve ever seen.

I wonder if the title was produced “Marvel style” (Sienkiewicz illustrating off a plot, then Claremont filling in text)–there’s a lot of art covered up here with exposition.

It’s a decent enough comic.


The Singer & Her Song; writer, Chris Claremont; artist, Bill Sienkiewicz; colorist, Glynis Oliver; letterer, Joe Rosen; editors, Peter Sanderson and Ann Nocenti; publisher, Marvel Comics.

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