This issue might have the worst Phipps art so far. It’s incredibly bad, but also very precise. So each bad panel pokes at you as you read it; the hands are off, the expressions are terrible. Phipps doesn’t have any personality either, which might not make the art any better but at least it’d be interesting.
The crime this issue is rather vicious, with a dismembered and mutilated corpse. There’s also a subplot about one of Jennifer’s friends, a retired Secret Service agent turned gumshoe. Barr tries too hard to make the guy likable; unfortunately he seems to be a new regular.
As for Gabe and Jennifer’s romantic stuff… Barr has a case of mistaken identity cause some acerbic banter but it’s just tacked on. It’s a quick, glossy read; without the sensational murder it wouldn’t have any teeth.
The Phipps art pretty much does it in from the start.
The Adventure of the Bleeding Venus; writer, Mike W. Barr; penciller, Robb Phipps; inker, Rick Magyar; colorist, Susan Glod; letterer, Vickie Williams; editor, David Campiti; publisher, Innovation Publishing.