Rick Leonardi

Booster Gold/The Flintstones Special (May 2017)

Booster Gold/The Flintstones SpecialBooster Gold meets The Flintstones. Then there’s a Jetsons backup. Both are fairly rank, though Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti try to infuse Jetsons with the political subtext Mark Russell usually brings to Flintstones. He doesn’t in the feature though. He just has Booster Gold be an idiot because Booster Gold is an idiot. It’s sort of the comic one would’ve expected from a Hanna-Barbera imprint at DC… unlike the actual Russell Flintstones comic.

Nice enough art on the feature from Rick Leonardi and Scott Hanna. Pier Brito’s Jetsons art isn’t ready for primetime.

CREDITS

Booster Trouble; writer, Mark Russell; penciller, Rick Leonardi; inker, Scott Hanna; colorist, Steve Buccellato; letterer, Dave Sharpe. Eternal Upgrade; writers, Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti; artist, Pier Brito; colorist, Alex Sinclair; letterer, Michael Heisler. Editors, Brittany Holzherr and Marie Javins; publisher, DC Comics.

The Flintstones 7 (March 2017)

The Flintstones #7Until the last few pages, this issue of The Flinstones is just fine. I mean, Pugh’s not on this month and Rick Leonardi and Scott Hanna do an all right enough job but there’s something missing. Russell tries a lot–including Gazoo narrating the whole thing in a report–and some of it connects, some doesn’t. The end’s just way too sappy though.

CREDITS

Another Day on Earth; writer, Mark Russell; penciller, Rick Leonardi; inker, Scott Hanna; colorist, Chris Chuckry; letterer, Dave Sharpe; editors, Brittany Holzherr and Marie Javins; publisher, DC Comics.

Batman 400 (October 1986)

830781I hate this comic. I hate how DC used it, I hate how Moench writes it, even if it was an editorial decision.

There are nods to Moench’s run, but only so far as he gets to give each of his characters a page to sort of say goodbye. There’s no closure on any of the story lines, not a single one.

There’s also a lot of crappy art. It’s an anniversary issue with a lot of big names drawing either poorly or against their style. Rick Leonardi and Arthur Adams are some of the worst offenders, but not even Brian Bolland does particularly well. Ken Steacy is the only decent one.

Moench’s writing for a different audience than usual, the casual Batman reader, not the regular. Apparently he thinks the casual readers like endless exposition and incredible stupidity. It’s a distressing, long read; a terrible capstone to Moench’s run.

D- 

CREDITS

Resurrection Night!; writer, Doug Moench; pencillers, John Byrne, Steve Lightle, George Perez, Paris Cullins, Bill Sienkiewicz, Art Adams, Tom Sutton, Steve Leialoha, Joe Kubert, Ken Steacy, Rick Leonardi and Brian Bolland; inkers, Byrne, Bruce Patterson, Perez, Larry Mahlstedt, Sienkiewicz, Terry Austin, Ricardo Villagran, Leialoha, Kubert, Steacy, Karl Kesel and Bolland; colorist, Adrienne Roy; letterers, John Costanza and Andy Kubert; editor, Len Wein; publisher, DC Comics.

The Amazing Spider-Man 254 (July 1984)

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Here’s my issue… yes, Spider-Man has lots of human problems–his aunt’s pissed at him, he’s got girlfriend trouble, he’s got job trouble. He’s apparently the only superhero in New York when there’s a superpowered terrorist blowing up toy stores. The list goes on and on.

But let’s look at these problems.

Aunt May’s pissed he dropped out of college. How contrived. She’s not even a character. It’s unbelievable her beau would even have lunch with her.

His girlfriend trouble–the Black Cat. She’s a moron and a flake and written by everyone in that manner. She even tells Peter she doesn’t like him, only the costume.

The job trouble–he’s taking boring pictures. Considering he got his start faking exciting pictures, Peter’s just being lazy.

He’s not very sympathetic here.

But the Leonardi art is good on all the superhero adventuring. Not so much on the faces though.

CREDITS

With Great Power…; writer, Tom DeFalco; penciller, Rick Leonardi; inker, Joe Rubinstein; colorist, Christie Scheele; letterer, Joe Rosen; editors, Bob DeNatale and Danny Fingeroth; publisher, Marvel Comics.

The Amazing Spider-Man 253 (June 1984)

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Where to start… I’m tempted to start with Rick Leonardi, who comes up with these great layered panels (or maybe Bill Anderson inked them to make them layered), but simply cannot keep any consistency when drawing people. Maybe he does all right when he’s got football helmets on them–it’s a football corruption story, luckily Peter was assigned to the sports department this issue.

DeFalco manages to overwrite and underwrite at the same time. He’s pushing everything he can into the issue to get an emotional response–the football player throwing games, his disappointed kid brother, Aunt May being mad at Peter for dropping out of college. He even ends the issue with Peter being compared to the football player, they’re both throwing it all away.

But there’s almost no Spider-Man stuff in the issue. Some swinging around, some black costume stuff. There’s no focus on the character though.

CREDITS

By Myself Betrayed!; writer, Tom DeFalco; penciller, Rick Leonardi; inker, Bill Anderson; colorist, Glynis Wein; letterer, Joe Rosen; editors, Bob DeNatale and Danny Fingeroth; publisher, Marvel Comics.

Aliens vs. Predator: Three World War 6 (September 2010)

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Stradley really doesn’t “earn” his ending here.

He decides, on the last issue, to make it all about the protagonist reconciling with her demons and choosing life. It’s inspiration and heart-warming and not at all the story he’d been writing up until this point.

Only this issue and the previous one even hint at the character’s need for internal reconciliation–the comic has a large cast and it’s not like the protagonist gets much page time as anything but the deus ex machina to save her boyfriend’s heinie. Except this time he sort of saves her. It’s actually a rather dramatic sequence–more proof of Stradley’s abilities, regardless of what meaning he chooses to foist on the comic; it’s a shame Leonardi illustrated it.

Alien world, two different types of aliens, flying machines… it should have been an awesome spectacle.

But wasn’t.

Still, the series is a pleasant surprise.

CREDITS

Writer, Randy Stradley; penciller, Rick Leonardi; inker, Mark Pennington; colorist, Wes Dzioba; letterer, Blambot!; editor, Chris Warner; publisher, Dark Horse Comics.

Aliens vs. Predator: Three World War 5 (July 2010)

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Stradley compresses here. Weeks and weeks. Maybe even a month. It’s okay until he gets to the action part of the issue, which is then far less interesting than it needs to be. He follows the civilians (the protagonist’s sidekicks who haven’t really done anything since the first issue–oh, wait, her boyfriend’s there) for the last quarter of the issue and they’re boring. Stradley seems to be using them because they give the best device for his exposition….

Coming after the previous issue, with its strong battle scenes, this issue seems not just anemic but out of place. Stadley had been building towards something–each issue intensifying–but this issue lets the tension slacken. Maybe the series needed to be longer.

Leonardi doesn’t, five issues in, redeem himself, but I’ve gotten used to him. I don’t expect anything; when there’s a decent panel, however, I really do appreciate it.

CREDITS

Writer, Randy Stradley; penciller, Rick Leonardi; inker, Mark Pennington; colorist, Wes Dzioba; letterer, Blambot!; editors, Samantha Robertson and Chris Warner; publisher, Dark Horse Comics.

Aliens vs. Predator: Three World War 4 (May 2010)

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The romance between the protagonist and the nerdy guy doesn’t work. He’s not really a nerdy guy, of course, because he used to be in the Marines. Or something. But he’s basically the nerdy guy. He’s even got a nerdy name–I think Die Hard ruined the name Ellis for anyone serious.

But part of the comic needs the romance to be touching and significant and it’s not. Maybe Stradley doesn’t buy it either. He writes zero chemistry between them. They seem like siblings.

Otherwise, it’s a rather good issue. It’s a big invading an alien planet issue so there’s a lot of battle scenes with people and Predators fighting the aliens and then the command scenes with people and Predators standing around worried. It’s a rather well-done invasion issue, actually. Some leaps in time logic for dramatic effect, but it’s good.

Even the art doesn’t annoy too much.

CREDITS

Writer, Randy Stradley; penciller, Rick Leonardi; inker, Mark Pennington; colorist, Wes Dzioba; letterer, Blambot!; editors, Samantha Robertson and Chris Warner; publisher, Dark Horse Comics.

Aliens vs. Predator: Three World War 3 (April 2010)

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Wow… it’s a good issue. All throughout I mean. There’s even a big action sequence at the end and it works. Probably because Stradley writes the sequence instead of just provides a list of actions for Leonardi to draw.

As for the art, it’s still terrible. I might have to revise my opinion. Maybe Leonardi isn’t drawing the protagonist as cheesecake material because he’s simply not willing to take the time. Unless inker Pennington is going all Vince Colletta–there are a bunch of panels where the characters don’t even have faces. It’s not clear if Leonardi just didn’t bother drawing them or if Pennington got out his eraser.

But the art quibbles are somewhat small. Sure, it’s not well drawn, but the writing this time is compelling. It’s a cheap amusement and a well-written one. Stradley’s fast character establishing makes up for all the faceless characters roaming about.

CREDITS

Writer, Randy Stradley; penciller, Rick Leonardi; inker, Mark Pennington; colorist, Wes Dzioba; letterer, Blambot!; editors, Samantha Robertson and Chris Warner; publisher, Dark Horse Comics.

Aliens vs. Predator: Three World War 2 (February 2010)

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Whatever my problems with Leonardi–they go on and on–I have to give him credit. He draws a female character in, basically, a bikini and doesn’t do it with any of the cheesecake objectification most comic book artists would. In fact, I didn’t even realize it; it just seemed the right outfit. (It’s a human wearing a Predator outfit for those who don’t follow Aliens vs. Predator).

This issue follows the same formula as the first one. The beginning is some really dumb action scene, then the actual story starts and it’s good. Stradley gets in some nice homage to Aliens (the movie)–it’s homage because it’s clear what he’s doing and it’s in an Aliens comic, in case anyone’s wondering why I’m in favor of it while I usually use “homage” as a pejorative around here (always with the quotation marks).

Besides the lame action half, it’s decent.

CREDITS

Writer, Randy Stradley; penciller, Rick Leonardi; inker, Mark Pennington; colorist, Wes Dzioba; letterer, Blambot!; editors, Samantha Robertson and Chris Warner; publisher, Dark Horse Comics.

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