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Comic Proportions 

Potter's Field No. 1

Published by Boom! Studios. Plot and script by Mark Waid. Pencils and inks by Paul Azaceta.

The Deal: Potter's Field tells the story of a mysterious, self-styled detective known only as John Doe. Doe's mission in life is to solve the unsolved murders of New York's many nameless dead folk. The comic was originally slated to be published under the Image banner years ago. Now the book has resurfaced at Boom! -- where writer Mark Waid also happens to serve as editor-in-chief.

The Good: Potter's Field undoubtedly features one of the cooler concepts in comics. And the lead character, John Doe, is mysterious and immensely competent at solving crimes; he's a great mix of the Shadow and Batman but without the funny costume. Waid's script is entertaining and engrossing, featuring enough twists to keep you guessing and enough action to keep you awake. If you hate what Waid is doing at DC these days (The Flash and The Brave and the Bold), you should pick up this book. Taking a look at the art, I'm enthralled by Paul Azaceta's talents. His work -- peppered with ultra-realistic figures, a minimal use of lines and a utilization of shadows to create form -- reminds me a little of John Paul Leon's art. Azaceta's differs, however, by employing a rougher outline of ink around his images, giving the book an appropriately gritty feel.

The Bad: The big reveal at the end was a little too convenient. But, hell, it worked.

The Verdict: Go buy Potter's Field. The second issue is out on stands now, so you can scoop up both in one visit.

New Warriors No. 6

Published by Marvel Comics. Plot and script by Kevin Grevioux. Pencils by Paco Medina. Inks by Juan Vlasco.

The Deal: This issue marks the sixth edition of the new post-Civil War adventures of the New Warriors. Last issue, one member died and the team's leader, who may or may not be Night Thrasher, has just disbanded the team.

The Good: All in all, the art is the best part of New Warriors; Paco Medina just gets better with each issue. He really knows how to walk the fine line between a "clean" art style and a "cartoony" art style, giving readers the best of both worlds. On top of that, his storytelling instincts are manifesting into more logical page layouts. So, hooray for the art.

The Bad: The art's good, but the writing is not as impressive. Kevin Grevioux's script isn't unreadable, but it's definitely starting to show signs of weakness. For example, Grevioux has been teasing us about the mystery of the New Warriors' identity since the series began; six issues later, the masks come off, but it's a real "who cares?" moment. And we still don't know Night Thrasher's secret identity; soon, I really won't care. On top of that, it's probably time to cut some of the more uninteresting members of the Warriors' supporting cast. (May I suggest killing the two cops investigating the secret behind the team?) The team has more than enough characters, and they seem to be fighting their supporting members for "screen" time.

The Verdict: I'll probably drop this book.

Reviewed materials furnished by Heroes Aren't Hard To Find: www.heroesonline.com.

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