Bob Layton

Rom 72 (November 1985)

rom-72.jpg
Oh, is Rick Jones green and fat as a superhero because he’s supposed to be “hulking out?” Mantlo never made it clear in the writing.

I think I’ve tried to read Rom before and failed. This issue is better–and Rom-free–than the last one I tried. Maybe because Ditko draws the Beyonder like Gene Simmons with a jheri curl. It’s so atrocious one can’t look away.

Mantlo actually gives a lot more thought to the Beyonder than Shooter does in the regular Secret Wars II issues and I’m sure if Mantlo had written that series, it would have been better.

I’m not saying, obviously, this comic book is any good. It’s actually pretty damn lame. It’s just a better characterization. But only of the Beyonder. Rick Jones is beyond lame in this comic (I didn’t even know he was in Rom)–he’s never even seen Pinocchio.

Big yawn.

CREDITS

When You Wish Upon a Star; writer, Bill Mantlo; penciller, Steve Ditko; inker, Bob Layton; colorist, Petra Scotese; letterer, Janice Chiang; editor, Mike Carlin; publisher, Marvel Comics.

Web of Spider-Man 6 (September 1985)

28572-1.jpgNo doubt about it, there’s some good stuff in this issue–it’s all about the government (Ronnie Raygun in bed with the Kingpin–how did that one fly in the eighties?) dealing with the Beyonder turning a building into pure gold–but can Fingeroth overwrite thought balloons or what? No one ever stops thinking about what they’re doing. It must take them forever to walk, thinking each step out.

But Fingeroth’s approach, the realism, it actually makes one think for a bit. Sure, his dialogue is overblown and so on (I mean, really, in the Marvel Universe, is a building of solid gold really going to change the world economy . . . one would think the Hulk would crash the stock market with a sneeze), but it’s definitely thoughtful.

It’s a tedious read in a lot of ways, but it’s definitely ambitious in quiet, good ways.

The art’s a complete mess, however.

CREDITS

Gold Rush!; writer, Danny Fingeroth; pencillers, Mike Harris, Mike Zeck, Bob Layton, Dave Simons and Jim Mooney; inkers, Zeck, Layton, Simons and Mooney; colorist, Bob Sharen; letterer, Phil Felix and Rick Parker; editors, Keith Williams and Christopher Priest; publisher, Marvel Comics.

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