Joe Bennett

The Terrifics #3 (June 2018)

The Terrifics #3The Terrifics #3 is completely false advertising. There’s nothing terrific in the comic at all. Certainly not the art; Joe Bennett and the three inkers have bad expressions and static figures. Not the characters. Plastic Man’s obnoxious, Mr. Terrific is a jerk, Sapphire Stagg is enabling her megalomaniac father, Simon Stagg is a megalomaniac, Metamorpho is dim; Phantom Girl is all right. The caveman is all right. Otherwise, no. And the writing isn’t terrific.

It’s kind of stunning how fast this book ran out of steam. Apparently all it had going for it was the promise of Tom Strong being integrated into the DCU. That promise isn’t worth sitting through the rest of the material.

The worst thing about the three different inkers–these aren’t terrible inkers either, at least two of the names are people who’ve worked on fine books (and I don’t recognize the third)–is there’s no visual continuity. There’s Bennett’s busy and visually uninviting composition and everyone looks a little bit different every few pages.

Terrifics has gotten to be anything but.


Meet the Terrifics, Part 3 of 3; writer, Jeff Lemire; penciller, Joe Bennett; inkers, Sandra Hope, Jaime Mendoza, and Art Thibert; colorist, Marcelo Maiolo; letterer, Tom Napolitano; editors, Andrew Marino and Paul Kaminski; publisher, DC Comics.

Hardware (1990, Richard Stanley)

Hardware looks a lot like an A-ha music video… but not in a bad way. Richard Stanley is a decent enough director.

The plot’s pretty simple, beneath all the sci-fi decorations. It’s the end of a slasher movie, when the hero or heroine has to fight the villain all by him or herself. There’s no actual narrative to Hardware, except in terms of being a narrative mess.

Maybe if Stanley could write well, not having a narrative wouldn’t matter. But he doesn’t write well at all.

Much of the present action is real time, which makes it hard for the film to get a sturdy footing. Like I said before, it’s a slasher movie. Sure, it’s post-apocalyptic, full of Biblical references, but it’s just a slasher movie.

There’s a lot of good acting in it.

John Lynch is really good. William Hootkins has the biggest role I’ve ever seen him in (as a grotesque peeping tom), he’s pretty good. Dylan McDermott can’t surmount the inherent weakness to his character, but he’s still okay.

I thought it was Nancy Travis in Hardware, but it’s Stacey Travis. She’s okay, but it’s hard not to watch it thinking Nancy Travis would have done a better job.

Technically, it’s a jumble. Simon Boswell’s music is bad. But there’s some cool stop motion to make up for it. Stanley does compose a few nice sci-fi shots.

It’s a lot of work to figure out Hardware and it’s not worth the effort.



Directed by Richard Stanley; screenplay by Stanley and Michael Fallon, based on a comic by Steve MacManus and Kevin O’Neill; director of photography, Steven Chivers; edited by Derek Trigg; music by Simon Boswell; production designer, Joseph Bennett; produced by JoAnne Sellar and Paul Trijbits; released by Palace Pictures.

Starring Dylan McDermott (Moses Baxter), Stacey Travis (Jill), John Lynch (Shades), William Hootkins (Lincoln Wineberg Jr.), Iggy Pop (Angry Bob), Carl McCoy (Nomad), Mark Northover (Alvy), Paul McKenzie (Vernon) and Lemmy (Taxi Driver).

Deathstroke 3 (January 2012)

Oh, silly rich people, you think you’ll ever kill Slade? He has such a cool name. Slade.

This issue of Deathstroke is better than and worse than the previous ones. Higgins has some story, but really… it doesn’t matter. Deathstroke is out to kill someone for something, probably money. But he runs into a seemingly deathless opponent and yada yada.

The issue moves because of the fight scenes, which are very long and badly done. Bennett’s proportions on Deathstroke make me wonder if this comic’s for the Cable audience. Bennett flirts with the Liefeld school of anatomy on occasional, or he just doesn’t know how to draw someone crouching.

There’s also Deathstroke’s sidekick, his Q. He shows up for some banter. It’s not terrible banter either.

The fight scenes make the book pass quickly and the cliffhanger’s not too terrible.

Either Deathstroke is less loathsome or I’m a tad disinterested.


Legacy; writer, Kyle Higgins; penciller, Joe Bennett; inker, Art Thibert; colorist, Jason Wright; letterer, Travis Lanham; editors, Rickey Purdin and Rachel Gluckstern; publisher, DC Comics.

Revolution on the Planet of the Apes 2 (January 2006)

The problem with Revolution reveals itself in the backup from Templeton and Gabriel Morrissette–it’s supposed to be cheeky. It’s hard to describe the comic as anything else. Sure, it’s a direct sequel to Conquest but who cares? It’s also a direct prequel to Battle so the series is of little consequence.

To fill in for the pointlessness, Templeton and O’Brien are cheeky. It’s all a “wink wink” joke for the reader, who presumably likes Planet of the Apes… but not enough to want a real comic book series of it.

Almost all of O’Brien’s logic is bad too. The setting of Conquest gets retrofitted for the modern day, which means a lot of Internet references. Had the comic stuck to the actual setting it’s continuing, Revolution might have worked better.

As far as the art goes… Sam isn’t improving. Between him and the plotting, Revolution reads like a fanzine.

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