Khari Evans

Harbinger 7 (December 2012)

888877Barry Kitson on pencils makes for a better looking Harbinger overall, though inkers Lee Garbett and Khari Evans could’ve picked up the slack more when Kitson gets bored. He’s always got a rushed, unfinished feel to his faces in particular.

This issue features the renegades trying to recruit more Harbingers. Dysart splits the story between Harada at the open and then this new character–Flamingo–for the rest of the issue. Flamingo’s a stripper and has had a bad life up until Peter, Faith and Kris find her.

Oh, before I forget, it’s interesting how Dysart is positioning Kris against Harada–the two masterminds.

Back to the stripper. Dysart does a good job telling her history, though the ending seems off. Faith shows up and Faith’s so naive, it’s hard to determine if people are taking advantage of her. Good or bad.

So, besides the last couple pages… great issue.

CREDITS

Writer, Joshua Dysart; penciller, Barry Kitson; inkers, Lee Garbett and Khari Evans; colorists, Ian Hannin and Dan Brown; letterer, Rob Steen; editors, Jody LeHeup and Warren Simons; publisher, Valiant Entertainment.

Harbinger 5 (October 2012)

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Dysart brings Harbinger’s first arc to an extremely strong finish. He had some sublime foreshadowing earlier (it read like long-term foreshadowing, but it turns out to be short) and he doesn’t waste time establishing the characters. Instead, he just lets the scenes play out fast. For example, there’s a returning character who finally gets a name, but Dysart then develops the character (a little) in his actions. No painful expository scene.

There are also a bunch of unexpected plot twists. Three definitely surprised me; a couple more might be surprising to others. None of the surprises, even the second soft cliffhanger, feel forced. Dysart does a great job. One wonders if he had this issue in mind and just had to write to it.

He also brings in compelling supporting characters, which the book has been lacking.

The writing’s so strong, I didn’t notice if Evans messed anything up.

CREDITS

Omega Rising, Conclusion; writer, Joshua Dysart; pencillers, Khari Evans, Matthew Clark and Jim Muniz; inkers, Evans, Matt Ryan and Sean Parsons; colorists, Ian Hannin, Jeromy Cox and Chris Sotomayor; letterer, Rob Steen; editor, Jody LeHeup and Warren Simons; publisher, Valiant Entertainment.

Harbinger 4 (September 2012)

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Even with the foreshadowing about the Harbinger foundation being nasty, nothing really prepares for this issue. Dysart shows an unexpected mean-streak, setting up a sympathetic new character and then attacking her. He also manages to get some real sympathy for his protagonist, who hallucinates he’s able to apologize to the girl he wronged.

This issue of Harbinger is there first where all cylinders fired. Dysart isn’t really introducing a lot of new characters; the one he brings in is a big part of the plot. The characters from the last issue get better treatment too. Dysart takes the time to let them have a natural conversation.

The ending surprises. There’s a great reveal and then a big cliffhanger, but Dysart nicely separates the two. He puts the reader a little off-guard and delivers the finish.

It seems like all Harbinger needed was not to be an origin story.

CREDITS

Omega Rising, Part 4; writer, Joshua Dysart; artists, Khari Evans, Matthew Clark and Lewis LaRosa; colorist, Ian Hannin; letterer, Rob Steen; editor, Josh Johns, Jody LeHeup and Warren Simons; publisher, Valiant Entertainment.

Harbinger 3 (August 2012)

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Now we discover the X-Men. Sorry, the Harbinger group. Or foundation. It’s all very futuristic–though it reminds of a lot of sci-fi–and the protagonist, Peter doesn’t quite know what to make of it all.

I don’t know how much Dysart came up with, how much is from the original Harbinger series or how much is editorial… it’s not dynamic. I’ve seen everything in here before. Except the LaRosa illustrated flashback pages, which are easily the best thing in the issue. They make the protagonist sympathetic, something he’s not until the end when it seems like the Harbingers might be bad guys. I mean, they sort of encourage jocks to bully.

No one’s got a personality besides the lead’s doctor so far. Everyone else just performs in their scene. And then there’s the awkward moment the lead misses the girl he brainwashed.

It’s an unfortunately underwhelming issue.

CREDITS

Omega Rising, Part 3; writer, Joshua Dysart; artists, Khari Evans and Lewis LaRosa; colorists, Ian Hannin and Moose Baumann; letterer, Rob Steen; editor, Josh Johns, Jody LeHeup and Warren Simons; publisher, Valiant Entertainment.

Harbinger 2 (July 2012)

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I don’t know if I’d say Evans’s art is better this issue–there’s more action and he can handle the action–but as for the faces… he still seems weak. But I wasn’t paying as much attention, there’s too much else going on.

Dysart opens the issue with another flashback, this time to India (with nice Lewis LaRosa art). It works–showing other Harbingers has an immediate hook, something the main plot line doesn’t yet. For example, the lead brainwashed a teenage girl into having sex with him. Sure, he’s a teenager too, but even his schizophrenic friend knows that sort of behavior’s inappropriate. The lead’s not likable, which on one hand I applaud, but on the other… Harbinger‘s a little too glossy for Dysart to take that approach. It’s not mean, except that one act.

Still, the issue assuages most of my Evans fears; it’s fine, if problematic.

CREDITS

Omega Rising, Part 2; writer, Joshua Dysart; artists, Khari Evans and Lewis LaRosa; colorists, Ian Hannin and Moose Baumann; letterer, Rob Steen; editor, Josh Johns, Jody LeHeup and Warren Simons; publisher, Valiant Entertainment.

Harbinger 1 (June 2012)

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So the character in the first scene is a guy? Someone needs to sit Khari Evans down and have a walk with him about showing gender through facial characteristics. The second time I went back to the beginning of the issue, I noticed without Joshua Dysart identifies character’s genders maybe two would be immediately clear.

Evans’s bad faces–it’s not just gender, but age–make Harbinger occasionally difficult and it shouldn’t be. I had no idea the protagonist is high school age based on the art. When there’s a scene between the lead and his unwilling love interest at her school, it’s weird. And it had my expectations of the characters’ dialogue out of whack. I thought Dysart had a weak moment in a conversation, but he didn’t… the characters are just kids. And Evans’s art didn’t get me there.

With Evans’s involvement, it’s too soon to tell about it.

CREDITS

Omega Rising, Part 1; writer, Joshua Dysart; artist, Khari Evans; colorist, Ian Hannin; letterer, Rob Steen; editor, Josh Johns, Jody LeHeup and Warren Simons; publisher, Valiant Entertainment.

Immortal Weapons 4 (January 2010)

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There’s the Swierczynski I was expecting… turning in a completely useless issue.

Tiger’s Beautiful Daughter gets the feature. Swierczynski’s so wrapped up in his Amazon warrior women story he neglects to mention a) the name of the Heavenly City and b) how they could possibly have an Immortal Weapon. It’s nonsensical, but also bad.

Swierczynski tries real hard not to be sexist, but fails miserably. I also like how he borrows the reasoning for some Muslim women taking the veil (so their features aren’t their defining factor) as the warrior women putting on face guards. However, these warrior women are running around in bikinis so I’m not sure what difference the face guard makes.

Also… if Tiger’s Beautiful Daughter is supposed to be beautiful, did someone forget to tell Evans? The character’s funny looking.

The Iron Fist backup is, again, too short and too unbearably ugly (thanks to Diaz’s art).

CREDITS

Tiger’s Beautiful Daughter; writer, Duane Swierczynski; penciller, Khari Evans; inkers, Victor Olazaba and Allen Martinez. The Caretakers, Part Four; writer, Duane Swierczynski; artist, Hatuey Diaz. Colorist, June Chung; letterer, Nate Piekos; editors, Alejandro Arbona and Warren Simons; publisher, Marvel Comics.

Immortal Weapons 1 (September 2009)

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Could this story be more depressing?

Aaron does a decent job on Fat Cobra’s backstory—though he doesn’t go enough into defining Fat Cobra’s Heavenly City. He buys his way back into it at one point and buying one’s way back into a Heavenly City seems a little common.

Then there’s all the retconning of Fat Cobra into Marvel Comics history. He was almost an Invader, he was Ulysses Bloodstone’s sidekick and so on and so forth. Aaron’s trying to hard to be cute. When we get to the end of the story and find out the salient feature of Fat Cobra’s (forgotten) past… all the other stuff becomes silly.

That feature—Fat Cobra has no memory of his past—is similarly problematic. Aaron needed to explain it.

Good art from a variety of artists. It’s a fine package.

Swierczynski’s Iron Fist backup is the best Iron Fist he’s written.

CREDITS

The Book of the Cobra; writer, Jason Aaron; pencillers, Mico Suayan, Stefano Gaudiano, Roberto De La Torre, Khari Evans, Michael Lark and Arturo Lozzi; inkers, Suayan, Gaudiano, De La Torre, Victor Olazaba, Lark and Lozzi; colorists, Edgar Delgado, Matt Hollingsworth, Jelena Kevic Djurdjevic and Jodi Wolff. The Caretakers, Part One; writer, Duane Swierczynski; penciller, Travel Foreman; inker, Gaudiano; colorist, June Chung. Letterer, Nate Piekos; editors, Alejandro Arbona and Warren Simons; publisher, Marvel Comics.

The Immortal Iron Fist 15 (July 2008)

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Fraction does another of those untold tales of a previous Iron Fist stories this issue and it works pretty well. He’s got a lot to get in here–he has to establish the Iron Fist (this one uses the power to expand his tactical thinking), set the ground situation (he’s fighting the British in China in the 1700s or thereabouts) and then come up with a plot.

The plot’s unexpected–it’s a lot more DC than Marvel, with an impotent Iron Fist teaming with a similarly afflicted Indian hero as they quest for freedom and glory. Well, maybe not glory, they’re off to rescue someone.

Along the way, they run into a third similarly powered individual.

Fraction does a great job expanding the mythology here. He even manages to avoid any of those Star Wars references he so loves.

Evans’s artwork is good (if a little glossy).

A fine issue.

CREDITS

The Story of Iron Fist Bei Bang-Wen (1827-1860); writer, Matt Fraction; penciller, Khari Evans; inker, Victor Olazaba; colorists, Jelena Kevic Djurdjevic and Paul Mounts; letterer, Dave Lanphear; editors, Alejandro Arbona and Warren Simons; publisher, Marvel Comics.

The Immortal Iron Fist 7 (August 2007)

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Fraction and Brubaker take a break here to focus on one of the previous Iron Fists.

They present the story like a fable and get really cute with it. I don’t think the cuteness necessarily has to do with the Iron Fist in question being female, but because she’s got a goofy, sweet but stupid boyfriend. He’s funny.

Actually, there’s a lot of humor in it. Even narrative humor, with a joke in a text box. Probably because dealing with the tale of pirates isn’t going to be fun unless you get in some jokes.

It works as an issue–I wish they’d done one for every Iron Fist, instead of just this one (shocking how good Marvel books never seem to last).

The art’s a bit problematic. Foreman doesn’t flow naturally into Fernandez who doesn’t flow naturally into Evans. It’s not bad, it just always seems a little off.

CREDITS

The Story of the Iron Fist Wu Ao-Shi, The Pirate Queen of Pinghai Bay; writers, Ed Brubaker and Matt Fraction; pencillers, Travel Foreman, Leandro Fernandez and Khari Evans; inkers, Derek Fridolfs, Francisco Paronzini, Leo Fernandez and Victor Olazaba; colorist, Dan Brown; letterer, Dave Lanphear; editors, Alejandro Arbona and Warren Simons; publisher, Marvel Comics.

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