Innovation

The Maze Agency 23 (August 1991)

This issue’s incredibly confusing. Barr spends too long setting up the story–Gabe and Jennifer have to go to a biosphere to solve a murder but there’s already drama with the client. It’s Barr wasting pages for no reason. Maybe he wanted to give the penciller, Franchesco Bufano, something to do. Otherwise, wasted pages. Especially since […]

More

The Maze Agency 17 (December 1990)

It’s a religious cult mystery, along with some teenage lovers–one being the daughter of Jennifer’s friend. Barr doesn’t pause on his contrivances (it’s not just the daughter, but also Gabe’s religious history), just moves full steam ahead. Only the setting is terrible and the characters all act really dumb. Maybe not Gabe and Jennifer, but […]

More

The Maze Agency 16 (October 1990)

Mary Mitchell is an odd choice for the comic. If her lines were messier, it might work better but she has a very cartoony, clean style. All of a sudden The Maze Agency looks like a reductionist Disney cartoon. It’s occasionally interesting looking, but would work better for a backup story not a feature. Especially […]

More

The Maze Agency Annual 1 (August 1990)

The annual has three stories. The first has Rick Magyar, Darick Robertson and William Messner-Loebs illustrating a Spirit homage. It’s a lot of fun; Barr’s script for it is very fast. Gabe’s on a mission, runs into Jennifer, both having Spirit references in their appearance. It’d be impossible to tell the story without the art […]

More

The Maze Agency 15 (August 1990)

Barr does an amazing job pacing out the narrative this issue. He opens with Gabe and Jennifer, but moves quickly to Lieutenant Bliss. She dominates the issue–the first time a supporting cast member was gotten a Maze spotlight–even when she’s off panel in the second act. Barr comes up with an amusing way of keeping […]

More

The Maze Agency Special 1 (1990)

It’s a busy day for Gabe and Jennifer in this Special issue. What makes it special–besides the three interconnected stories, the reprint of Barr’s ashcan for Maze Agency and the extra pages–is the art. Each story has incredibly different artwork. The first has Joe Staton (inked by Rick Magyar). Shockingly, it works out well. His […]

More

The Maze Agency 14 (July 1990)

More bad art from Phipps. I’m not sure, but I think he’s getting worse. Like Barr thinks he’s getting better so he can handle more stuff–this issue there’s a lengthy “trial” sequence and then a nightmare scene at the end… the only scary parts being Phipps’s art though. He hurts what Barr is trying to […]

More

The Maze Agency 13 (June 1990)

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 […]

More

The Maze Agency 12 (May 1990)

Hughes is back this issue; he concentrates on mood more than faces, which is odd for a detective comic. At least it seems odd for Maze Agency. Oh, there are some good shots of Jennifer and Gabe, but some of the suspects are completely indistinct. The cynical take is Hughes was hurrying through and skipping […]

More

The Maze Agency 11 (April 1990)

Between Phipps’s awkwardly cherubic faces and the forgetful coloring (sometimes faces don’t get done, sometimes they get overdone–I assume it’s a printing issue and not Michele Wolfman’s fault), this issue isn’t much to behold. Phipps doesn’t have graceful figures and his framing suggests he’d be better suited for a newspaper comic strip than a full […]

More

The Maze Agency 10 (March 1990)

Robb Phipps takes over as penciller this issue (Magyar stays on inking thank goodness). He’s not good, not bad. His scale is off, with people, settings, especially hands, but he’s competent. Maze feels professional, in terms of the art, just not special. The story, however, is quite good. Now, with Gabe and Jennifer dating–this issue […]

More

The Maze Agency 9 (February 1990)

So, for those who don’t know, Ellery Queen is an amateur sleuth, created in 1928 or so, and has had numerous print, film, television and probably radio adventures. This issue of Maze celebrates his sixtieth anniversary and gives him a comic book adventure. I’m vaguely sure Barr mentioned him earlier in the series as a […]

More

The Maze Agency 8 (December 1989)

Barr does a lot better introducing Jennifer to Gabe’s world than he did introducing Gabe to her’s. Gabe lives in a crappy New York apartment with an assortment of interesting neighbors. Bringing glamorous Jennifer into it provides a lot of amusement. There’s also a lot of innuendo, whether it’s the actual sex or Gabe begging […]

More