Ivan Brandon

VS #1 (February 2018)

VS #1Despite a rather boring cover, VS is all about the art. Specifically the Esad Ribic art. Pretty much every panel of the comic looks like some awesome seventies sci-fi book cover. Not awesome sci-fi book, but its cover. Though maybe it does read like some of those seventies sci-fi books….

Brandon’s script is perfectly servicable. It starts like it’s about a futuristic alien war–except the aliens all look mostly human or at least are buff like humans (see, sci-fi book cover). But it’s not. It’s really about a sporting event. “War has become a spectator sport,” says the publisher description.

The first half is a battle, then Brandon switches over to focus on the protagonist. Who–gasp–appears to die at the end of the issue. Probably won’t. Not based on next issue’s cover, which is included.

Ribic’s a great artist.

VS just isn’t great comic. It’s fine. It’s worth it if you’re looking to see some great art. Otherwise. Eh.

CREDITS

Writer, Ivan Brandon; artist, Esad Ribic; colorist, Nic Klein; letterer, Aditya Bidikar; editor, Sebastian Girner; publisher, Image Comics.

Drifter 1 (November 2014)

Drifter #1After one issue, all Drifter has done is establish itself as another sci-fi Western. It’s not a new genre. Nic Klein clearly works at the art, so while the design work reminds of other sci-fi movies, TV shows and comic books going back forty years, at least he’s visibly committed.

And writer Ivan Brandon seems committed too. Unfortunately, he shows that commitment with truncated narration and dialogue–Drifter reads like a pulp novel with its tough guy (and girl) dialogue. Ditto the protagonist’s narration. Instead of establishing characters, Brandon goes with caricatures.

Only the comic is about some guy who wakes up in a settlement on an unknown (to him) desert planet. Without Klein’s illustration–which seems fit more for covers to old science fiction paperbacks than it does to sequential narrative–Drifter wouldn’t have much going for it. It’s blandly inoffensive, unimaginatively derivative. There’s just no meat.

B- 

CREDITS

Hanging On; writer, Ivan Brandon; artist, Nic Klein; letterer, Clem Robins; editor, Sebastian Girner; publisher, Image Comics.

Men of War 3 (January 2012)

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Vankin defines Men of War‘s target audience this issue in his backup. It’s pro-war, bigoted twits who are too stupid to ask questions. And Vankin makes it very, very clear. I’m not sure if he’s happily appealing to that audience or if it’s a joke. I don’t care either. His writing is awful.

Also terrible is Brandon this issue. Brandon’s front story–with Derenick’s art cramping a lame story’s style even more–is a rip off of the Iron Man “Five Nightmares” arc. People are weaponized and blow up.

But here, the good guys manage to take out the Muslim bad guys. In the new DC, I wonder if the big summer crossover will be about Lex Luthor’s secret Muslim heritage.

But I didn’t hate the comic. It’s DC doing ad work for the Army. The creators should be proud of doing such a soulless, artless piece of crap.

CREDITS

Last Clip; writer, Ivan Brandon; artist, Tom Derenick; colorist, Matt Wilson. Human Shields, Part Three of Three; writer, Jonathan Vankin; artist, Phil Winslade; colorist, Thomas Chu. Letterer, Rob Leigh; editors, Kate Stewart and Joey Cavalieri; publisher, DC Comics.

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