Chuck Austen

Miracleman 8 (June 1986)

7968 20051127175514 largeThe issue opens with Cat Yronwode apologizing for the following reprints. She ought to doubly apologize as there’s a mention of the reprints being what Miracleman is thinking about after the end of his battle with Gargunza. Except none of the reprints feature Gargunza. Apparently when Miracleman thinks about his past, he thinks about unrelated episodes.

These reprints are probably the first Mick Anglo Marvelman I’ve read and, wow, they are stinky. Bad puns abound. Not to mention Anglo draws youthful Micky Moran like he’s fifty-three and an old drunk. There’s some Popeye influence to the art, which is kind of neat at times, but not often enough for it to be any good.

Yronwode keeps reappearing–with Chuck Austen drawing her appearance–to promise Alan Moore will return the following issue. Publishing delays are to be expected, but at least the reprints could’ve been on topic as flashbacks.

D 

CREDITS

Miracleman Combats the Electric Terror; writer, Mick Anglo; pencillers, Anglo and Chuck Austen; inkers, Anglo and Al Gordon; editor, Cartherine Yronwode; publisher, Eclipse.

Miracleman 7 (April 1986)

7961 20051127175459 largeI wonder how Alan Moore felt about seeing these finished pages. He turned in a great script, sent it off, got back these Chuck Austen pages. It’s a shock he didn’t quit comics then.

Oddly enough, Austen is better this issue than last. He’s still terrible though. He can’t do a subplot about some former Nazi youth being excited at the arrival of the Aryan Miracleman. Austen hasn’t got an ounce of subtlety. It’s shocking.

He must have been cheap.

The issue finishes up Miracleman’s encounter with his creator. Moore comes up with what should be a beautiful sequence for that particular finale and Austen drops the ball on it. Moore’s trying to go between childlike wonder and visceral violence. Austen doesn’t exhibit the ability for either.

It’s very odd to read a story in a visual medium and be left recalling it more vividly than the artist rendered it.

C+ 

CREDITS

Bodies; writer, Alan Moore; artist, Chuck Austen; colorist, Ron Courtney; letterer, Wayne Truman; editor, Cartherine Yronwode; publisher, Eclipse.

Miracleman 6 (February 1986)

7951 20051127175441 largeAnd here we have the first appearance of Chuck Austen on the art. And wow. Wow. I complained about Alan Davis–who does the first chapter–I complained about his work on faces. But he got the mythic quality of the story. He got how people, even if they aren’t beautifully drawn, do look different.

Austen doesn’t get anything. It’s bad. It’s worse than I… it’s bad.

The story’s good though. Moore neatly ties all the jungle scenery to the finale (or the cliffhanger). Austen butchers it. It should be great stuff but nope. It looks like a crappy eighties cartoon.

Anyway, there are some other really good moments in the modern day story. The art’s not good, but there are good moments.

Then there’s Young Miracleman story with Ridgeway art. It’s more cute than anything else, but it’s good. Moore shows some whimsy, which the main feature doesn’t have.

B- 

CREDITS

…And Every Dog Its Day!; writer, Alan Moore; artists, Alan Davis, Chuck Austen and John Ridgway; colorist, Ron Courtney; letterer, Wayne Truman; editors, Dez Skinn and Cartherine Yronwode; publisher, Eclipse.

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