Peter Milligan

Kid Lobotomy #6 (March 2018)

Kid Lobotomy #6Kid Lobotomy comes to a satisfactory, self-indulgent, successful conclusion. Milligan does not Milligan Lobotomy and he even has Kid refer to him (Milligan). But really only twice. And once during a “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” reference, which is beautifully executed. Surprisingly so. Kid Lobotomy #6 almost feels like it’s from a different series.

Not least because Kid is now front and center protagonist. He’s discovering his past and how those secrets have affected him and the lives of those around him. It’s not near as outrageous an issue in terms of what Fowler has to visualize, but there’s something special about the art this time. It flows differently. Because Kid’s protagonist and everything else is subplot.

When I finished reading the comic, I was a little confused. Milligan changes the style a bunch, not just with the plotting and his self-reference but in how Kid functions in the comic. Then I realized how well it’d read in trade. It’s the pay-off chapter. It’s just not the pay-off issue. Well, it is the pay-off, but it’d read better in trade.



Uncommon Lobotomies, Part Six of A Lad Insane; writer, Peter Milligan; artist, Tess Fowler; colorists, Lee Loughridge and Dee Cunliffe; letterer, Aditya Bidikar; editor, Shelly Bond; publisher, IDW Publishing.

Kid Lobotomy #5 (February 2018)

Kid Lobotomy #5Kid Lobotomy seems about ready to have a “Milligan moment.” There’s no exact definition to a “Milligan,” it’s just when Peter Milligan does one of those Peter Milligan things and the comic never recovers. Sometimes he makes it twenty issues. Sometimes he doesn’t make it one.

Did he make it five on Kid Lobotomy? It’s a great issue, for the most part; even the ominous material is good. It’s just the end of a story but not the end of the arc. Milligan’s got one more to go and he’s just introduced the idea of the writer as interactive creator. i.e. the characters can interact with the writer.

We’ll see.

But otherwise it’s one of the best issues in the series so far. Fowler’s got a lot of different stuff–an action sequence in a mental hospital, some flashbacks, lots of bugs. Great visuals.

Kid Lobotomy just needs to survive its writer’s more extravagant impulses.


The Boy With Two Hearts, Part Five of A Lad Insane; writer, Peter Milligan; artist, Tess Fowler; colorist, Lee Loughridge; letterer, Aditya Bidikar; editors, Chase Marotz and Shelly Bond; publisher, IDW Publishing.

Kid Lobotomy #4 (January 2018)

Kid Lobotomy #4This issue is all about supporting cast member Oletta. While she’s trying to figure out what happened to Kid, she flashes back to her “origin.” Not her full origin (i.e. she’s a shapeshifter, how, why) but her beginnings at the hotel.

Milligan even introduces tween Kid, which is something to see. Though it does make Oletta hard crushing on him a little weird, as she met him when he was ten or something.

Though given the other oddities of Kid Lobotomy, that one is one of the least skeevy.

It’s a somewhat gentle issue–Milligan never goes as gross as he threatens–and Fowler’s artwork is fantastic.

Kid Lobotomy is a sturdy, sturdy book. Four issues in but still.


The Chambermaid’s Tale, Part Four of A Lad Insane; writer, Peter Milligan; artist, Tess Fowler; colorist, Lee Loughridge; letterer, Aditya Bidikar; editors, Chase Marotz and Shelly Bond; publisher, IDW Publishing.

Kid Lobotomy 3 (December 2017)

Kid Lobotomy #3What a book.

Kid (Lobotomy) has turned into a giant cockroach. What do you think happens to you if you start reading Kafka at twelve–you grow up to internalize it. So he’s a giant cockroach and he’s trying to hide from his sister, who wants to turn their hotel into a haunted hotel attraction.

She doesn’t get to see the ghosts, only Kid. He can’t help but come across them as they help him see the errors of his ways (at least as his desire to be a giant cockroach). Kid has people who care about him, like the shape-shifting girl and another sidekick.

The issue’s split between him, his sister, and the love interest. Things come together at the end, but without out much collision. There’s a hard cliffhanger, detached from the issue’s events but sort of related.

Who knows where it goes to go next. I’m reading Kid Lobotomy on guard; Milligan wants to shock, maybe awe, probably disgust. Fowler’s art is down for shock and awe but not so much for disgust. Who knew Kid Cockroach would be sweeter looking than Kid Lobotomy?


Lost in Franz, Part Three of A Lad Insane; writer, Peter Milligan; artist, Tess Fowler; colorist, Lee Loughridge; letterer, Aditya Bidikar; editors, Chase Marotz and Shelly Bond; publisher, IDW Publishing.

Kid Lobotomy 2 (November 2017)

Kid Lobotomy #2Milligan opens the issue with a couple new characters who ostensibly seem to provide the reader fresh perspective into the hotel and the existing cast. And they sort of do provide that fresh perspective, but all the action of the comic is so crazy it’s not like Milligan needed forced freshness.

The resolution to last issue’s cliffhanger takes up maybe half the pages; it’s Kid’s story arc. Then Kid’s story arc becomes something else entirely.

Meanwhile, one of the new characters explores a bit, discovering how little reality Kid Lobotomy has to it. Once Milligan gets that lack established, he and artist Fowler just go wild. Some great art throughout the book, including gross stuff. Fowler can make gross stuff palatable.

Who knows what next issue will bring, but it’ll be something else. Kid Lobotomy is definitely something else.


Vile Bodies, Part Two of A Lad Insane; writer, Peter Milligan; artist, Tess Fowler; colorist, Lee Loughridge; letterer, Aditya Bidikar; editors, Chase Marotz and Shelly Bond; publisher, IDW Publishing.

Kid Lobotomy 1 (October 2017)

Kid Lobotomy #1Kid Lobotomy shows just how much editing can help when it comes to an excessive concept. Writer Peter Milligan has this expansive, weird, creepy, disturbing story yet it’s always in check. It hits all its story beats, the writing is there for the art, the art is there for the writing.

It’s so well-executed, one can look past some of the defects. For example, it’s a little slow at times. Milligan seems to be dragging things out; artist Tess Fowler compensates with focus on characters, but most of them are gross so the focus becomes problematic.

Actually, all the characters are gross to some degree. There aren’t any nice characters. Maybe the shape-shifting maid, who might be Franz Kafka’s sister. Speaking of Kafka, the protagonist sees lots of insects in his hotel. The protagonist is a mentally disturbed, wealthy young man whose father has gifted him a hotel to manage. In addition to managing, the protagonist (Kid), performs high-tech lobotomies on wanting customers.

Sometimes to good result, sometimes to bad.

Anyway, he sees the insects whenever he’s messing around with his sister, who wants to the hotel for herself.

So. Yeah. Kid Lobotomy sort of does an insect/incest word play thing. It’s icky, but well-executed.

And the comic’s got a great cliffhanger.


Do Not Disturb, Part One of A Lad Insane; writer, Peter Milligan; artist, Tess Fowler; colorist, Lee Loughridge; letterer, Aditya Bidikar; editors, Chase Marotz and Shelly Bond; publisher, IDW Publishing.

All-New Doop 1 (June 2014)

Doop #1Oops, was I supposed to read “Battle of the Atom” first? Even though I never read writer Peter Milligan’s X-Force, I figured Doop was from there and he finally got his own series. Given the mass crossover just in this issue–X-Men of all eras–I was able to guess some of the series’s intent.

Only, if it’s just Doop’s side adventures to this crossover, it’s unclear what kind of mileage Milligan will be able to get out of it. There’s some funny bickering with the various Iceman incarnations, but nothing to make the issue itself worthwhile.

Similarly, the David LaFuente art is pretty good, both for the action and the comedy, but it’s not enough on its own to recommend the comic.

The concept’s a fine enough idea–a side sequel to a big Marvel mutant event–it just doesn’t have much to offer except to diehards.



The Real Battle of the Atom; writer, Peter Milligan; artist, David Lafuente; colorist, Laura Allred; letterer, Clayton Cowles; editors, Devin Lewis and Nick Lowe; publisher, Marvel Comics.

Justice League Dark 3 (January 2012)

If nothing else, Milligan’s mishandling of Justice League Dark shows why pairing Justice League members off for issues has always worked. Because when you try to tell eight individual stories, you end up with a Deadman comic with some pointless guest stars.

Sadly, Janin’s art doesn’t hold up this issue. The first half or so is absolutely gorgeous, like the previous issues, then Janin starts to get sketchy and lazy. It’s not bad, it’s just nowhere near as good and, without Janin being amazing, what’s the point in reading Dark?

Milligan’s so disinterested in the characters, he resorts to the occasional sex joke (Zatanna and Constantine, Deadman and the girl he’s protecting), but without any enthusiasm. Cheap sex jokes are supposed to be funny, but Milligan apparently disagrees.

The series does show signs of eventually becoming cohesive, but the pacing makes waiting painful.

Or, with Janin off his game, pointless.


In the Dark, Part Three: Shibboleths and Alcohol; writer, Peter Milligan; artist, Mikel Janin; colorist, Ulises Arreola; letterer, Rob Leigh; editor, Rex Ogle; publisher, DC Comics.

Red Lanterns 3 (January 2012)

This issue is something special. It’s Benes objectifying a resurrected rape and murder victim. At first, I thought it was just his impulse, but then the issue moved on and it became clear Benes does it on purpose. It’s a little creepy. The new DC seems to be a bunch of creators you wouldn’t leave alone with your kid.

Oddly, it’s easily the best Red Lanterns issue. Milligan is able to write this female character, able to set her in opposition to the lead Red Lantern, and to do an impression of an eighties DC sci-fi book.

Benes rips off Phantom Menace for the alien planet this issue, bringing down the issue’s creativity, but Milligan has his own offenses too. In particular, he brings back the two quarreling humans. It’d be so funny if neither becomes a Red Lantern.

It’s not a good comic, but the writing’s not incompetent.


Higher Consciousness; writer, Peter Milligan; penciller, Ed Benes; inker, Rob Hunter; colorist, Nathan Eyring; letterer, Carlos M. Mangual; editors, Darren Shan and Brian Cunningham; publisher, DC Comics.

After Dark 1 (July 2010)

Wesley Snipes helped create After Dark. There’s no mention of if he did it before or after debtor’s prison. I imagine if the comic had a tax evader as a character, it might be a lot more interesting. The story, if I can figure it out, is about an atmosphere destroyed earth with no real sunlight (Snipes apparently saw the Matrix) and the people in power decide to send a mission out to find a cultural icon to inspire the masses. Unfortunately, it’s not Elvis.

A really lame team assembles and there’s eventually some dramatics, et cetera.

It’s basically like every other lame sci-fi story. I read it because of Peter Milligan, who doesn’t necessary do crappy work for hire. His writing here is terrible, so I guess you’ll have to trust me on that last statement.

There’s not much he can do with this awful, unintelligible art.

Simply dreadful.


Writer, Peter Milligan; pencillers, Sara Biddle and Jeff Nentrup; inker and colorist, Nentrup; letterer, Clayton Cowles; editor, Renae Geerlings; publisher, Radical Comics.

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