Even with some of the art, this issue’s a complete stinker. None of the writers actually exhibit any love (or respect) for the characters.
Hampton does a nice mix of bright pulp and his static painting; as a result, the first story is very pretty. But Dave Gibbons’s script gives Cliff a dumb adventure, makes him slightly unlikable and Betty a strumpet.
But those characterizations are nothing compared to Joe Pruett and Tony Harris’s second story. Pruett and Harris re-imagine Cliff as half-weasel, half-dweeb and Betty as the shallowest person in America. They’re repugnant characters.
The third story, from John Arcudi and Brendan McCarthy, is better than the second and probably the first. McCarthy’s art is sort of boring, given his usual style. It’s the Rocketeer versus the female Nazi Rocketeer. It could be a lot worse, but it’s nothing special.
This issue’s actually unpleasant to read.
A Day at the Beach; writer, Dave Gibbons; artist and colorist, Scott Hampton. Waterlogged; writer, Joe Pruett; artist, Tony Harris; colorist, JD Mettler. The Flight of the Aeronaut; writer, John Arcudi; artist, Brendan McCarthy; colorist, Jamie Grant. Letterer, Shawn Lee; editor, Scott Dunbier; publisher, IDW Publishing.