It's the 13th edition of The Spinrack: Retro Reviews, kids. Surely, this will be a good stack of comics, right?
The Call of Duty: The Precinct #1 (2002)
Frankie Gunzer is cop in New York City. He's used to dealing with criminals, but some crazy stuff is coming his way. Bruce Jones' characters and plot were just boring. From the bizarre incidents to simple exchanges of dialogue, nothing stands out. Well, except for this:
Frankie: "You been practicin'."
Priest (Frankie's brother) "Vic Tanny's gym, every Thursday night for six years."
Yep. A retired cop/priest can kick ass because he goes to the gym once a week. Totally believable.
Tom Mandrakes' work fits Jones' script, but in a bad way. It lacks energy and it's just a bit rough.
4.2* out of 10*
Captain America #425(1994)
Captain America's health is deteriorating! Meanwhile, sinister forces are in action to ruin Captain America. Mark Gruenwald's writing ain't sharp. Sure, there are some okay bits to the comic, but there are some crappy moments in here. First of all, I don't care if it's an imposter or not, there's no way that I can take a villain named The Porcupine seriously. There is a scene that involved a shoplifting kid and a comic store owner. Both of them represent two bad states of mind within the 90's comic community; the belief that ultra-violent heroes are the best and the collector mentality. I have no problem with the message, but that message is hampered by it's gimmicky cover. Oh, check out this quote from Diamond, "I'm coming with you, boyfriend!" What woman would ever say that?
Dave Hoover's art is weak. It's not visually appealing and the way that he handles the female characters' hair is just odd. There are 4 pinups in the back(two of them by Hoover) and they suck. To Hoover's credit, his pinups are not the worst the bunch. That honor goes to the final two pinups (one of Diamondback posing and the other one is a shot of an angry Captain America with a shield and an American flag). The Diamondback pinup is not eye catching and lacks the sex appeal that it strives to obtain. Meanwhile, the Cap pinup just looks odd and the heavy use of blacks does the work no favors.
4.5* out of 10*
Uncanny X-Men #416(2003)
Nightcrawler, Stacy X and Warren head to the X-Ranch so Stacy can gather some of her things. Meanwhile, Juggernaut deals with his rough childhood. The main problem with Chuck Austen's writing is that everything feels forced. From the plot to the dialogue, the characters and situations don't feel natural. The moments in this comic try to draw certain reactions from the reader and Austen fails at getting those reactions. There is one cool idea involving Iceman, but the writing as a whole is lame. Kia Asamiya's work is a mixed bag. There are some good things about it, but it's a bit rough around the edges.
3.7* out of 10*