John Nyberg

Dark Horse Presents 23 (October 1988)

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Here’s a somewhat strange issue… it opens with Stout’s history piece about Americans massacring Filipinos in the late 1800s and early 1900s. It’s even more relevant today (those massacred were Muslim and the whole thing has been brushed under the history carpet). It’s better as a history lesson than a comic.

Race of Scorpions is a practically unintelligible new serial. Duranona’s artwork is nearly impossible to comprehend. He’s got all this perspective but almost no shadows, so it all just jumbles together. He appears to have borrowed from Star Wars to set up his story of the young man who loses his guardians.

Geary’s Police Beat works again… but the real nice one is Arcudi, Barker and Nyberg’s American spree killer story. The story’s solid–disaffected WWII vet goes nuts–but the artwork is just fantastic. I’m not sure if it’s Barker’s pencils or Nyberg’s inks, but it’s simply gorgeous.

CREDITS

Filipino Massacre; story, art and lettering by William Stout. Race of Scorpions; story and art by Leopoldo Durañona; lettering by Jean Simek. Gateway to Hell: The Howard Unruh Story; story by John Arcudi; pencils by Gary Barker; inks by John Nyberg; lettering by Jim Massara. Police Beat; story, art and lettering by Rick Geary. Edited by Randy Stradley.

Zorro 1 (January 1994)

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Oh, good grief, McGregor makes a Batman “joke” about the cape this issue. It’s kind of embarrassing, really, given he’s a writer of some reputation. Then a Spider-Man “joke,” then a Spawn “joke” (I forgot about Spawn… they still make those, right?).

Otherwise, it’s a very pedestrian done-in-one featuring Zorro saving a kidnapped lady (who’s loose, but Zorro don’t go in for that business, he’s got virtue). McGregor loads the comic with action setpieces, apparently because he doesn’t have any real story to tell. There’s a volcano, lots of fighting, an earthquake, horses, horses jumping, it goes on and on.

McGregor goes through the trouble of wasting pages and pages of exposition to kill off the villain at the end of the issue. He also writes in the second person, directing Zorro, in what might be the most embarrassing thing I’ve read in quite a good while.

CREDITS

Prequel in a Hostile Landscape; writer, Don McGregor; penciller, Mike Mayhew; inker, John Nyberg; colorist, Digital Chameleon; letterer, Mike DeLepine; editors, Jim Salicrup and Dwight Jon Zimmerman; publisher, Topps Comics.

Zorro 0 (September 1993)

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Talk about an anachronism… McGregor’s got a line of dialogue about people in capes flying. Zorro takes place in the 1800s, which might be a little before Superman, but I’m not sure.

McGregor also does all his mountain man (the villain) dialogue in a Deliverance dialect, which is sort of effective, since it makes one worry for Zorro and his maintaining his manly virtue, but it’s otherwise awful.

The villain’s name is Buck Wylde, which… well, the joke’s too easy.

Mayhew’s art is okay… it’s hard to tell, really. McGregor’s plotting features a giant burly mountain man swinging through the air at one point and I guess Mayhew captures it. It’s interesting to see him (Mayhew) draw instead of do his cover thing, I suppose.

The biggest problem is Zorro’s basically a non-character in this issue, so it’s hard to even guess where the series is going from here.

CREDITS

Drink the Blood Straight; writer, Don McGregor; penciller, Mike Mayhew; inker, John Nyberg; colorist, Digital Chameleon; letterer, John Costanza; editor, Jim Salicrup; publisher, Topps Comics.

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