Clayton Henry

Black Lightning: Cold Dead Hands 1 (January 2018)

Black Lightning: Cold Dead Hands #1Black Lightning is back. Both in the series and as a hero. He’s returned to Cleveland to bury his father. He still narrates the book talking to his father, but whatever. Writer (and Black Lightning creator) Tony Isabella has a lot of exposition to get out. Including one-liners name-dropping other heroes. Though only two of them are big time. The others… well, whatever.

Isabella doesn’t lay out the ground situation straightforward, he tries to bake information into the scene, which sometimes works, sometimes doesn’t. Artist Clayton Henry doesn’t have the right visual pacing for the script. He doesn’t do well with a lot of dialogue (and there’s often a lot of it).

Some of the series is ostensibly going to have to do with cops not liking vigilantes and especially black ones (or women, the white male cops don’t like women either). It’s nearly ambitious. Then the issue ends with Black Lightning framed for murder and on the run. Giving the cops an excuse.

There’s no character stuff for Black Lightning past the talking to dead dad.

There doesn’t seem to be much point to Cold Dead Hands, except maybe to have a Black Lightning comic out when the TV show premieres.

CREDITS

Ready To Do It All Over; writer, Tony Isabella; artist, Clayton Henry; colorist, Pete Pantazis; letterer, Josh Reed; editors, Rob Levin, Harvey Richards, and Jim Chadwick; publisher, DC Comics.

Spider-Man & the Secret Wars 4 (May 2010)

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On the other hand, Tobin seems to think the last issue is a useful place to totally waste not just the reader’s time but his or her money as well.

This issue is an imaginary story. It’s a few pages of Spider-Man having the power of the Beyonder, then it’s all about how Doctor Doom set Spider-Man up to have that power for a brief instant (Tobin apparently got tired of trying to set actual Secret Wars scenes around Spider-Man and just went for making up his own stuff). Wolverine got the powers too but we don’t get to see Wolverine’s dream life (Peter just keeps bringing Uncle Ben back, though he’s apparently destined to die multiple times a page).

Until now, the comic wasn’t earth-shattering, but it was decent. But this issue is a complete waste of time. Tobin clearly ran out of story ideas.

CREDITS

Writer, Paul Tobin; pencillers, Patrick Scherberger and Clayton Henry; inkers, Terry Pallot, Scherberger and Henry; colorist, Brad Anderson; letterer, Dave Sharpe; editors, Michael Horwitz and Nathan Cosby; publisher, Marvel Comics.

Agents of Atlas 4 (July 2009)

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Parker brings his two stories together to great success, even if Clayton Henry’s art is uglier this time around (last issue they seemed to be going some kind of connection to Pagulayan’s–here it’s clean and bright, kind of like art on action figure packaging).

But, again, Hardman’s art makes up for it. Parker ties his two stories together with a nod toward Brubaker’s recent Captain America flashbacks–seeing Gorillaman in a Brubaker and Epting Cap scene is a little nutty and not at all played for humor, Parker’s way too subtle for it (which makes him a little different from Marvel’s last wunderkind, Dan Slott)–but also with a hint at the depth of the future stories. It’s Levitz’s ABC method, only applied to Marvel (but in a very pre-Didio DC way).

The issue ends with everything brought modern, which gives it a lovely feel. Parker’s just fantastic.

B+ 

CREDITS

The Dragon’s Corridor, Part Three; writer, Jeff Parker; artist, Gabriel Hardman; colorist, Elizabeth Dismang Breitweiser; letterer, Nate Piekos. Inside America; writer, Parker; artist, Clayton Henry; colorist, Jana Schirmer; letterer, Piekos. Editors, Lauren Sankovitch and Mark Paniccia; publisher, Marvel Comics.

Agents of Atlas 3 (June 2009)

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Frank Cho likes women with big bottoms, Clayton Henry likes women with big foreheads. To each his own. I thought Henry was one of those CG artists, but maybe not (didn’t he do that Venom/Carnage limited, the awful one by Milligan?). Anyway, I hate saying it, but I really missed Pagulayan’s grandeur this time around.

Thankfully, Gabriel Hardman is still doing the flashback art and the flashback is the primary story this issue. The split is basically the same–the flashback has this intriguing compelling story, the present day one does some “Dark Reign” lip service but also does some real character moments (this time between Namora and Venus).

There’s some momentum on the “Dark Reign” tie-in building, along with the title tying into the bigger Marvel Universe (is a Bucky Captain America cameo the Marvel equivalent of a Superman cameo or a Batman cameo? Wolverine’s Batman, right?).

B 

CREDITS

The Dragon’s Corridor, Part Two / Interlude at Sea; writer, Jeff Parker; artists, Gabriel Hardman and Clayton Henry; colorists, Elizabeth Dismang Breitweiser and Jana Schirmer; letterer, Nate Piekos; editors, Lauren Sankovitch and Mark Paniccia; publisher, Marvel Comics.

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