Day of Vengeance #1
Written by Bill Willingham
Penciled by Justiniano
Inked by Walden Wong
Colors by Pat Brosseau
Letters by Chris Chuckry
Day of Vengeance #1 is the second of the "Infinite Crisis" tie-in series I'll be reviewing here.
The plot of Day of Vengeance is pretty simple — the Spectre apparently goes nuts and starts killing DC's magical characters, so Ragman, the Enchantress, and Detective Chimp team up to stop him.
Again, the largest problem with this issue is that too much goes unsaid. A lot of time is spent introducing us to the Ragman, but other key characters aren't given any sort of introduction. The villain of the piece — the Spectre — doesn't have a speaking part and isn't shown doing anything particularly villanous on panel. For that matter, many key plot elements aren't shown, and are only introduced through dialogue. The result is a mildly confusing, somewhat directionless comic with no real sense of immediacy or urgency. It's not a bad story, but it's far from a good one. The art is much the same...
This page isn't dull like the sample page from The OMAC Project — in fact, it's quite lively — but in all other respects it's a mess. The transitional zoom between the first and second panel is really well-done, but there's no serious attempt to make the rest of the panels work together as a series. There's too much poorly-spotted, non-descriptive detail, which makes it hard to find the focal areas. The inker has attempted to vary the line weight, but hasn't really thought about where to vary it, and as a result the figures lack dimensionality. Coloristically, this page is a nightmare, a muddy monotone mess of browns and greens in which nothing stands out except for the Enchantress's red cravat.
Interestingly, the lettering is not well-positioned in the first three panels. That would be easy to improve. In the first panel, push Ragman's word balloon to the top left corner, and snake the tail down around the left hand side, curving it around the Enchantress's face. Push the Enchantress's balloon to the upper right corner. As a result, the panel still reads well, and now the Enchantress's baloon leads you into the second panel. In the third panel, put the Enxchantress's first baloon in the center of the panel, overlapping the bottom of the second panel. Now the lettering in the first three panels read in one clean, continuous arc, and leads nicely into the more conventional horizontal flow of the fourth and fifth panels.