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Monday, October 20, 2014

Comic Reviews 10/20/14


The comics reviewed are chosen by David not by THAT'S ENTERTAINMENT management
or staff. The opinions expressed are his alone. If you have an opposing view you
are welcome to respond to David directly by Email at the address above.

Issue Number: 1
Publisher: Image
Writer: Scott Snyder
Artist: Jock
Colors: Matt Hollingsworth
Letters: Clem Robins
Price (USD): $2.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Horror
MATURE - Comics on the Edge

This opening issue has two plots that are tied together by a similar occurrence.
The first and shortest takes place in 1919. A woman is trapped inside what
appears to be a hollow tree. She is injure on one ear and her nose looks like it
has been sliced off. She is calling to her young son to help get her out. She is
frantic saying, "They're coming." All Timothy wants to know is why she is in
there. She has an answer that does not explain much but it does help Timothy
decide what to do. The other plot is set in the present. Perhaps in the same
town as the earlier one. A teenage girl, Sail, is heading off to her first day
of school. The discussion with her dad starts off with a whimsical game they
play using imaginary characters to tell a story but eventually she gets around
to her fear for that day. What if the other kids already know about her?  There
is a secret from her past that only she and her family know the full details
about. That incident is revealed later in the book. Sail had been tormented by a
by a bully for a long time. As she is confronted in the woods things escalate
but Sail has unexpected help. As a result of what happened she has a reputation
that has followed her and her family even to a new town. The supernatural
element is involved in both plots but the reasons behind it all are still
clouded in mystery. Strange things are going on already - like the deer that
wandered into their house somehow. Snyder has begun his story with
characterization of the main players and lots of questions about what is going
on around them and why. It has something to do with a pledge in both cases and
of course there is the title of the book that hints at more. The art is
captivating and when the plot calls for it downright jarring. It is intriguing
enough to keep following for now. Knowing Snyder there is a big payoff coming.

Issue Number: 1
Title Story: Something Wicked
Title Arc: The Crucible
Publisher: Archie Comics
Writer: Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa
Artist: Robert Hack
Letters: Jack Morelli
Price (USD): $3.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Supernatural Fantasy
Teen +

If you have followed AFTERLIFE WITH ARCHIE you know the whole zombie plague
began as a result of Sabrina the teenage witch helping out Jughead by bringing
his beloved dog back from the dead. She was punished for that but this story
takes place much earlier than that. In fact it is Sabrina's origin story, at
least in this particular continuity. It begins she was only a year old. She was
the product of a forbidden marriage. Her father was a warlock and her mother a
human. It was time for the witches to take the daughter and raise her. It was
always inevitable and so was the ruination of the marriage, though not in a
normal way. Sabrina was raised by her father and his two sisters Aunts Zelda and
Hilda. When she was six he disappeared and so her aunts took over entirely. They
got Sabrina her own familiar, Salem the talking cat. As time went on the other
kids her age began to tease her when they found out she was a half breed and so
they all moved to Greendale, to another coven where Sabrina could have a fresh
start. These are the familiar characters from the familiar TV show, even cousin
Ambrose shows up. Sabrina makes new friends, even has her first crush. But this
is not a situation comedy. It is more light than dark but there are parts at the
beginning and end that remind us that this is not the normal Archie Universe.
Anything can happen and since this is basically a book about witches those
things could get wicked and scary. The last two pages remind us of that. As if
to draw a counterpoint to that ending we have a backup story by George Gladir
and Archie Comics legend Dan DeCarlo. It is a lighter look at the more classis
Sabrina, a sort of primer on her life in Greendale. She hides the fact that she
is a witch and creates a lot of mischief. It is a good filler piece and the art
is traditional Archie look. The art in the main story is not. It has lesser
defined lines relying on the painted colors for definition. It is not the most
attractive style in my opinion. If they wanted a sharp contrast from the
traditional Archie style they found it. It is not distracting from the story but
it is not as appealing as the art in most comics I read. Overall the book is a
solid and the plot carries through nicely. It should be an interesting take on a
familiar character in an alternate setting.

Issue Number: 1
Title Arc: Castles in the Sky
Publisher: Avatar
Creator: Garth Ennis
Writer: Garth Ennis
Artist: Matt Martin
Colors: Digikore Studios
Letters: Kurt Hathaway
Price (USD): $3.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: War Adventure
MATURE - Comics on the Edge

I generally enjoy most stories written by Garth Ennis. I find his war stories
particularly well done. When he gets away from the fantasy aspects of horror and
science fiction his ability to create realistic characters in true life settings
comes to the forefront. I was pleased to see this series starting because I knew
it would be worthwhile. A quick look at the art both on the cover and inside
shows that the folks at Avatar continue to maintain some of the best production
values in the industry. Matt Martin is a fine artist in every aspect. His
characters, attention to detail and flow from panel to panel makes a great story
come to life and Digikore keeps it grounded with spot on coloring. The first
issue is part one of a three issue arc. The story follows Sergeant Leonard
Wetmore from his journey across America to the ship in New York waiting to take
him to England and his first assignment of the war - as a gunner on a B-17
Flying Fortress. Garth goes into great detail about the ship, its specs and
history. He also eventually gets to a mission briefing and other details on how
the Army Air Corp is conducting their effort in this part of WWII. But this
story is also about characters and Leonard gets to see some of the countryside
before his first mission. Here he will meet a young boy and his widowed mom just
outside the base. It is clear this is not just thrown in for color. The boy has
a chip on his shoulder because his dad was killed in Sicily and he idolizes the
British soldiers. Because of that he also hates Yanks. The mother is grateful
for Leonard's effort to befriend the boy and it seems this sub plot will
continue to develop. I was expecting by the end to see the first action that
Leonard's plane and crew would get in to but Ennis threw a curve toward the end
of the issue. It is just another aspect of the reality of war and I won't spoil
it. This is a top notch comic that stands out and above other war comics in my
opinion. It is more about the people and the things they have to deal with day
to day more than the stress of battle, at least so far. I am enjoying it and you
will too.

Issue Number: 1
Title Story: Suicide King
Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment
Writers: Tim Seeley and Steve Seeley
Artist: Rafael Lanhellas
Colors: Mike Stefan
Letters: Marshall Dillon
Price (USD): $3.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Horror
MATURE - Comics on the Edge

I picked this one up on a whim, never having read an Evil Ernie comic. There is
a brief paragraph at the start to introduce the characters to new readers. Evil
Ernie was a man named Ernest Fairchild who died to save the world from the
vampire goddess named Purgatori. At some point he also assisted his beloved
Mistress Hel in her attempt to bring about Ragnarok, thus betraying his master
Lucifer.  Now he is back in Hell under constant torture for his transgression.
That is not much to go on considering the story starts very differently in the
real world as a good looking female comes into a remote bar in South Carolina
and proceeds to literally tear apart the few men hanging out there. She tells
one thug before he dies to give her regards to Mistress Hel. Her name is Carrion
Jane. As this issue develops we will see she is just one of a number of agents
of Mistress Hel slaughtering people on her behalf. They have lovely names like
Mr. Sloth, Wicked Walter, Skin & Bone and Deathlore. What her end game will be
is unclear. Meanwhile back in Hell Ernie is busy as Lucifer's assassin taking
care of two minor demons who are plotting to pick up the pieces after Hel
overthrows the Master. Lucifer offers Ernie a chance to be redeemed in his
master's eyes and get revenge by fighting against Hel and her new minions on
Earth. That is the basis of the plot. The first issue introduces these
characters as well as a female human Ernie will meet and take as his unwilling
ally when he once again returns to the world of the living to begin his task.
The most interesting aspect of Evil Ernie is this button that he wears - an evil
talking Smiley button. It is sort of a comic relief part of the story, at least
for me. This is not a bad book as far as the genre goes. The plot is clear on
who the bad guys are - basically they are all bad. So let's say who is on whose
side. Things are set in motion to begin a war. You get the feeling Evil Ernie
must be a real bad-ass if he is going up against five agents of Hel with only a
female human and a crazy button on his side. The art is impressive as well. It
has good flow, varied panel size and arrangement, and it is colored perfectly to
fit the various settings. I will not say I am a big fan of this type of story
but I found this comic well executed. Those who are into it will not be

Issue Number: 1
Publisher: Image
Writer: Michael Moreci
Artist: Vic Malhotra
Colors: Jordan Boyd
Letters: Ryan Ferrier
Price (USD): $3.50
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Science Fiction

The title of the comic is also the name of a space colony that was the dream of
billionaire Langford Skaargred. He spent his life and fortune to get it done. He
envisioned it as a tent post in a grander plan. It was supposed to be an example
of what man can accomplish and point the way to further exploration. It is on
the planet Dispater, a dwarf planet with surface area the size of India. It has
an abundance of water underground but there is also a unique mineral that men in
their wisdom found a way to refine into a hallucinogenic drug called Recall. The
planet sits on the cusp of an energy anomaly in the Andromeda galaxy. The
anomaly behaves like a black hole without the crippling gravitational effects.
It consumes light and energy, but its gravity is not so dense that it collapses
everything in its radius as a black hole does. And it does not prevent light
from escaping. This is the setting for the story and the first scene involves
the anomaly being used in what appears to be a nefarious manner. Whether it
plays a bigger part in the ongoing story remains to be seen. For now the main
plot revolves around characters on Dispater. Sonya Torin has been searching for
her sister Bekkah in the various bars and cheap hotels with little luck. She has
drawn the attention of certain people who would rather she not find her. Bekkah
appears to be one of three girl's missing from Gracie's and the owner will stop
at nothing to get them back. Meanwhile the people trying to stop Soyna from
finding her sister seem to be on the other side. Lucky for Sonya that Alex is in
the bar when Mr. Moscow's men make their move. He manages to save her in an
unorthodox fashion and is willing to help her find her sister. So at first blush
this appears to be more of a noir type story than a science fiction one. All of
the major characters save for Sonya are tainted more or less with crime and
underground activities. There is only a hint at the end that what is behind
Bekkah's disappearance is more diabolical than an underworld rivalry. The
characters are defined well but the bits and pieces of other plots and plans are
a bit vague as to their meaning in the big picture. The visual aspect of the
book is good enough to get the job done. I am not entirely sold on this title.
The structure is using the crime plot to advance things toward revelations much
further down the road. It may be worth an issue or two to see where it is going.

Issue Number: 1
Publisher: Image
Creators: Joshua Williamson & Andrei Bressan
Writer: Joshua Williamson
Artist: Andrei Bressan
Colors: Adriano Lucas
Letters: Pat Brosseau
Price (USD): $2.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Fantasy

The first third of this comic seems to be a tragic story of a family falling
apart. On his birthday young Mikey was playing ball with his dad in the park.
Mikey chased the ball into the woods and never came out. Soon the police are
called in and it is clear Mikey vanished. The following months are hard on
everyone. Theories range from kidnapping to accusations that the father somehow
killed his son. After a year only Mikey's brother has not given up hope. Aaron
the father however has been drinking heavily and has just been served with a
divorce petition from his wife who has already moved out. It is on that day that
Detective Brooks brings the family to the police station for a major break in
the case. They are interviewing a man they found wandering in the forest dressed
like a warrior from the Lord of the Rings. He has a fantastic story to tell and
the most amazing part of it is that he is actually the missing Mikey all grown
up. He tells how he somehow passed into another dimension where the world was
like a grand fantasy tale, complete with dragons, ogres, and an evil force of
nature called God King Lore. Lucky for Mikey he is found by the good guys and
eventually is told that his coming was told in prophecy. That he will be the one
to defeat Lore. His story ends many years later, time passes more quickly in
this land, when he fulfills the prophecy and defeats Lore. Now he is back
because a league of war criminals have escaped to Earth and he must hunt them
down before the infest Earth with Lore's bloody legacy. Apparently he is who he
says he is. The fingerprints match and the DNA test is forthcoming. Imagine how
you would react if a loved one disappeared for a year and then reappeared some
twenty years older? The father knew immediately this must be his son. The mother
and brother are more skeptical. It is an amazing story. I can see going forward
this can be structured with parallel plots. One in the present day will deal
with the implications of the family dynamic as well as those escaped criminals.
The other plot could follow Mikey as he begins his training as a boy destined to
be a hero. That could be interesting. However, there is another plot element I
have not revealed that could change everything and give the book a whole new
twist to it. I enjoyed this story right from the start and though the revelation
and explanation of what had happened to Mikey was handled well. Then the last
two pages threw me for a loop - not what I expected. This one has a lot of
promise story-wise. It has very nice art with terrific coloring. This one could
be another sleeper hit if handled correctly.


If you think you know the answer to the trivia question send your guess via
Email to me at and you could win the prize. The first six
correct answers will be assigned a number and a roll of the dice will determine
the winner. You should put your real name in your message so we know who you
are. Prizes must be claimed at our store within 30 days of winning. The prize
will be a $10 credit slip, which will be redeemable for merchandise at regular
retail or in-store ongoing specials only.  Only one prize per person will be
allowed per every 4 weeks. I will be the sole judge of the correct answer even
if more than one answer could be correct. Submit only one answer per Email
please but guess as often as you like.

Last week's trivia question:
What was the first comic title in which Superboy (Kon-el), Robin (Tim Drake),
and Impulse (Bart Allen) all worked together?

WITHOUT GROWNUPS was the answer.  Superboy, Robin and Impulse first appeared
together at the end of UNLIMITED ACCESS #3.

What card game are Aunt May and Uncle Ben playing when the intruder shows up in

Folks, you never know who among the readers is knowledgeable about the question
so don't hesitate to send in an answer - even days after it appears.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Comic Reviews 10/10/14


The comics reviewed are chosen by David not by THAT'S ENTERTAINMENT management
or staff. The opinions expressed are his alone. If you have an opposing view you
are welcome to respond to David directly by Email at the address above.

Issue Number: 1
Title Story: Welcome to Gotham Academy
Publisher: DC
Writers: Becky Cloonan and Brenden Fletcher
Artist: Karl Kerschl
Colors: Geyser with Dave McCaig
Letters: Steve Wands
Price (USD): $2.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Teen Drama

Lots of first issues this week. One of the more interesting ones is this title
set in an exclusive school in Gotham. The lead character is a second year
student named Olive Silverlock here on a Wayne Foundation scholarship making her
somewhat of a target for the richer kids. As the story progresses we pick up
little bits of her history. She alludes to something that happened over the
summer that troubles her. Her immediate problem is she has been assigned as a
"nanny" to a first year student - sort of a big sister guide to acquaint
newcomers. The problem is "Maps" Mizoguchi is the sister of her ex-boyfriend,
which makes it awkward for Olive - not so much for Maps who is clueless. We get
the impression that Olive has changed - impressions from her narrative and
interaction with others. Even her roommate remarks that she liked Olive a lot
better last year. Maps on the other hand is just a ball of fire overly excited
about the whole experience and eager to explore the grounds, especially the
North Hall, recently declared off limits and structurally unsound. Maps has
heard the rumors of a ghost at the academy and views life here much like a grand
video or role-playing game. In an effort to do better with Maps, Olive suggests
they skip the welcoming assembly, with keynote speaker Bruce Wayne, and explore
the belfry of the chapel where the assembly is being held. Let's just say it is
not the smartest move considering what comes next. And there just might be
something real about that supposed ghost haunting the academy. That sub plot is
only beginning to develop. This is a pretty decent first issue. The art is very
pleasing though the coloring could be a bit brighter in places. The characters
have unique traits both visually and personally. There is a lot of development
getting us used to the main players and a bit of mystery waiting to come to the
front. There are even heroics involved though the closest we get to seeing any
super heroes is the bat-signal in the night sky. In all it likes like a fun book
with a lot of promise if you are not a strict capes and tights fan. It is worth
the affordable price.

Issue Number: 1
Title Story: Freak Show - The Strongman Cometh
Publisher: DC
Story: Andrew Kreisberg
Writers: Brooke Eikmeier & Katherine Walczak
Artist: Phil Hester
Inker: Eric Gapstur
Colors: Kelsey Shannon
Letters: Deron Bennett
Variant Cover Artist: Francis Manapul
Price (USD): $2.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Super Hero - TV Adaptation

The other reasonably priced debut comic this time around is based on the new
FLASH TV show starting this week. This comic is set in the same continuity but
it reads well enough so you do not have to watch the show to know the players.
In this version of his origin Barry Allen a particle accelerator exploded during
a bad thunderstorm. It released unknown substances into a storm cloud and Barry
was struck by a lightning bolt from that cloud. It put him into a nine-month
coma while changing his DNA big time. When he awoke he was at S.T.A.R. labs, the
people responsible for the accelerator. Scientist Harrison Wells and his
assistants Cisco Ramon and Caitlin Snow are helping Barry adjust to his new
ability. So like ARROW the hero has a team in on his secret identity. Like past
versions of the Flash Barry is a member of the Central City PD Crime Lab. He has
a crush on Iris West who is currently dating another cop, Eddie Thawne. If you
look close in one panel you get a close look at Eddie's badge number (a no prize
to anyone who can identify the significance of Badge 714!) But I digress... Barry
has an admirer of his own but he is clueless about it. This issue slides right
into the story with enough detail on what happened and who the main players are
and still gives us a major plot about some villains who are about to create
havoc in Central City. Flash gets to show off his action against his first foe,
a circus strong man pulling a bank robbery. It does not end well for Flash but
provides a plot device to show another aspect of his super speed. As the main
plot develops we learn the bank robbery was not for money but for a certain key
and by the end of the issue a female snake charmer will prove to be far more
dangerous to the citizens of the city than the strongman was. I read this before
seeing the first episode of THE FLASH and was quite entertained. It has all the
basics to introduce the characters and the premise going forward. It will be
interesting to see Barry develop his powers as things move forward. The art is a
lot of angles which may not be appealing to some but the dynamics are all there
to tell the story. This one is worth a look.

Issue Number: 1
Title Story: The Transgmigration of Bucky Barnes
Publisher: Marvel
Writer: Ales Kot
Artist: Maro Rudy
Letters: Clayton Cowles
Price (USD): $3.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Super Hero

Marvel keeps finding new things to do with Bucky Barnes. THE WINTER SOLDIER was
launched not that long ago and now it starts again, with a new first issue of
course. His new directions spins out of the ORIGINAL SIN event. Part of what was
revealed in that series was that Nick Fury had been guarding Earth from a
satellite headquarters. He was the "Man on the Wall" eliminating known threats
by murdering them before they murdered us. At the wrap of that series Bucky was
chosen to take his place. He has set up shop in the orbiting secret satellite
and has taken on a partner, Daisy Johnson, ex-S.H.I.E.L.D. Director now on the
run. The structure of the issue is broken into several segments, not necessarily
in chronological sequence. One is on a far off planet with Bucky in chains about
to be killed by an alien race. Another has him recruiting Daisy both on the
satellite and at a space station orbiting Mars. In a third he is tracking down
an interstellar drug smuggler who happens to be currently in the Marianas Trench
with the help of Prince Namor. There are also a couple of unrelated scenes that
have no context with the rest of the book or any of the characters that I can
tell. Parts of the book make sense and are even entertaining. The rest of it
could mean a lot or very little, eventually. I really dislike it when writers
try to be too clever by throwing in a scene or two like this that will only make
sense several issues down the road. But that is not my main problem with this
title. That would be the art. This style is very unique in that the panels are
jumbled all over. On some pages they are concentric circles, others wrapped
around a central illustration or just a series of very small rectangle on the
bottom quarter of a large illustration. I am being overly simplified in my
description here. It is as if he is trying to find new ways to splash things all
over the page. This is not fine art, it is a comic book. It is an
ACTION/ADVENTURE story that relies on sequential art. I'd rather not try to
figure out what the sequence is supposed to be. And frankly the characters are
not clearly defined in most cases. The whole thing is very muddled. It is just
not appealing to me. I don't find the overall concept compelling enough to stick
with this one.

Title: THOR
Issue Number: 1
Title Story: If He Be Worthy
Publisher: Marvel
Writer: Jason Aaron
Artist: Russell Dauterman
Colors: Matthew Wilson
Letters: Joe Sabino
Cover Artists: Russell Dauterman & Frank Martin
Price (USD): $3.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Super Hero

Marvel seems bent on changing a lot of their major characters these days. We had
a Superior Spiderman for a long time, Captain America is a whole other person
now and Tony Stark is on the verge of a big change as well. Don't get me started
on the latest news about the Fantastic Four. Oh and Wolverine is going to die.
Anyway, the latest change is happening in one of their other long running
comics. The change hinges on a whisper really. During the ORIGINAL SIN series
Nick Fury whispered something into Thor's ear while they were on the moon. From
that moment on Thor has been unable to lift Mjolnir. He has become unworthy. The
implications of this are puzzling fans all across the Marvel fanverse. Even Odin
is puzzled at how this could be when he learns of it. How could a few spoken
words rob Thor of the symbol of his power and the tool he uses to fly? I imagine
eventually we will find out. But at the present he has spent days, maybe weeks,
struggling to gain what he has lost to no avail. Now if you have not been
reading the series that preceded this relaunch, as I haven't, there are other
changes that have taken place among the Norse gods. Odin was gone for a long
time and his wife Freyja has taken over Asgardia as its monarch, the All-Mother.
Now Odin is back but it seems like there will be conflict over who's in charge.
In a sub plot it seems frost giants have invaded Earth and all involved - Odin,
Freyja and Thor - will have choices to make about that. There is a lot going on
here and then there is that cover illustration and the thing that has gotten
everyone's attention. There will be a female Thor. The last two pages illustrate
this quite plainly as the mystery woman in armor and a mask, alone on the
surface of the moon, speaks a simple sentence and lifts the hammer. She is
worthy. What happens next is anyone's guess. This is a pretty good start to a
new chapter. Many fans are not happy about this turn of events. But if you look
at the history of long running characters almost all of them went through
changes that does not please everyone. What counts in the end is the quality of
the writing and art. That is always first and foremost in this medium. This book
has both. Jason Aaron has given this title a new following and continues to
bring strong characterization with interesting plots to all his work. The art is
clean and beautifully colored. This is sure to be a winner and bring in more
fans who are curious about what is developing. It is worth it for you to see for

Title: GUARDIANS 3000
Issue Number: 1
Publisher: Marvel
Writer: Dan Abnett
Artist: Gerardo Sandoval
Colors: Edgar Del Gado
Letters: Clayton Cowles
Cover Artist: Alex Ross
Price (USD): $3.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Super Hero

A lot of readers may not be aware of the original Guardians but that won't
hamper them in jumping right into this series. All you need to know is on the
credits page. The lineup is Vance Astro, Martinex, Charlie-27 and Starhawk. The
story is set in 3014. They are fighting invading Badoon and other deadly threats
to the galaxy. The plot of this story uses and old standby of science fiction -
a time loop. Starhawk is the mystical precog of the Guardians and has sensed
that the Guardians and their allies are fighting a war that never ends, that
somehow time is starting over again and again. She also sensed something special
in the human female Geena Drake in a way still unexplained. It is for that
reason the Guardians have rescued her from a Badoon prison and brought her to
the Hideaway Parliament. It is a safe place hidden in fold space and can only be
found with a dimension key. Here the alliance of the last free cultures are free
to meet and plan their war against the Brotherhood. This space station is
supposed to be unfindable and unreachable but somehow the Badoon attack. This is
where the story begins as the issue starts. We find the Guardians in mid battle
fending off the attackers and trying to find a way out while keeping Geena safe.
How did the Brotherhood find them? Is someone in the Alliance a traitor? More
importantly if they win or lose are they doomed to replay these events over and
over? As I said it is an often used plot devise. What makes the story are the
characters and how well they are integrated into the plot. In this case that is
not a problem. Neither is the art. It is a bit unique in the character
depictions but then most of the characters, except for Geena are pretty unique
in themselves. It is a good debut issue in that it gives us a close look at the
main characters as well as the dynamic of the team. There is plenty of action
and a bit of mystery and some light touches of humor. It is a good start.

Issue Number: One-Shot
Title Story: Genesis
Title Arc: Act 1
Publisher: DC
Story: Van Jensen, Justin Jordan, Robert Venditti, Charles Soule & Cullen Bunn
Script: Jensen & Jordan
Artists: Ethan Van Sciver, Martin Coccolo, Goran Suozuka, Chriscross & Pete
Colors: Marcelo Maiolo
Letters: Dave Sharpe
Price (USD): $4.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Super Hero

Doesn't it seem like every major event in a comic book universe is hype to have
long term consequences - things will never be the same? Well this crossover
event in the Green Lantern books is promising the same thing. One thing it will
certainly have big effects on the GL line. The fact that it also involves
Kirby's Fourth World characters hints that it will give more depth and
prominence of those characters in the NEW 52. This book end beginning one-shot
sets the stage in rapid fashion for what looks like it will be a major conflict
between the various Lantern Corps and the New Gods. It begins with things that
are familiar to long time DC readers but may not be to newer readers. The very
first panel is a classic scene used in GL stories prior to the NEW 52 version.
It is a depiction of the creation of the multiverse - a hand in the void of
space issuing forth all life, matter and multiple universe from its palm. Among
all the worlds created in that initial spark was the planet of the Old Gods. And
so we are given a quick history of the Kirby DC characters through the fall of
the old gods to the rise of the New Gods and the eventual conflict between those
of New Genesis and those of Apokolips. The evil Darkseid is of course ever-
searching for the anti-life equation to force all of creation under his boot.
The only hope for the New Gods to eventually prevail over this is to find the
life equation. Their quest eventually lead them to the boundary of creation, the
Source Wall. They gain knowledge from the beings that have become part of the
wall, for many have tried to breach it and find what is beyond, but all have
failed - except one. Through some cryptic words from the being in the wall High
Father and Metron learn that the wall has been breached by the unification of
seven ring bearers. As Metron explains the existence of the seven different
Lantern Corps High Father wrongly concluded that they joined the forces of their
rings to breach the wall and gain the power of the life equation. What Green
lantern fans know is that it was actually Kyle, the White Lantern that made the
trip through the wall and back. So desperate is High Father to gain the life
equation he quickly forms his own plan. He will send out his minions - Orion,
Metron and the rest to get a ring of power from each one of the seven, by force
if need be. He will build a device to combine the power of the seven rings and
that will give him the power of the life equation.  You can already guess what
some of the consequences will be. Even plans with good intentions can lead to
disaster.  This is certainly an interesting beginning to the arc. The unnerving
part of it all is the change in character with this version of High Father from
earlier versions. In the past he was more a peaceful person depicted more like a
shepherd. Here he is in armor and is willing to do whatever it takes to defeat
the ancient evil they have been battling forever. There is one scene toward the
end that depicts a rather cavalier attitude towards the collateral damage caused
by his erroneous assumptions. That may be off-putting to older fans of the pre-
NEW 52 character. This promises to be a grand epic battle pitting the two major
space-based forces in the DC Universe. It may even spill into other books as
they approach the Earth War part of their development elsewhere in DC titles.
The art certainly supports the epic scope of the story, including a four-page
spread depicting the Source Wall. This one is sure to delight GL fans and true
DC fans as it progresses forward.


If you think you know the answer to the trivia question send your guess via
Email to me at and you could win the prize. The first six
correct answers will be assigned a number and a roll of the dice will determine
the winner. You should put your real name in your message so we know who you
are. Prizes must be claimed at our store within 30 days of winning. The prize
will be a $10 credit slip, which will be redeemable for merchandise at regular
retail or in-store ongoing specials only.  Only one prize per person will be
allowed per every 4 weeks. I will be the sole judge of the correct answer even
if more than one answer could be correct. Submit only one answer per Email
please but guess as often as you like.

Last week's trivia question:
We all know Steve Ditko was the first penciller in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN.
Who was the second?

The question was not who succeeded Ditko in the title, just who was the second
to pencil "IN" ASM.  That was Jack Kirby in a back up story in #8, featuring his
Fantastic Four!


What was the first comic title in which Superboy (Kon-el), Robin (Tim Drake),
and Impulse (Bart Allen) all worked together?

Folks, you never know who among the readers is knowledgeable about the question
so don't hesitate to send in an answer - even days after it appears.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Comic Reviews 10/3/14


The comics reviewed are chosen by David not by THAT'S ENTERTAINMENT management
or staff. The opinions expressed are his alone. If you have an opposing view you
are welcome to respond to David directly by Email at the address above.

Issue Number: 1 (of 5)
Publisher: Image
Creator: Larime Taylor
Colors: Jay Savage
Price (USD): $3.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Crime Drama
MATURE - Comics on the Edge

This number one is actually the second series about college freshman Zoey
Aarons. This is really one long story told in segments. To catch up new readers
there is a brief but inclusive recap on the inside cover. Basically Zoey is a
killer. Her first murder was at eighteen to avenge a friend driven to attempt
suicide. Off to college Zoey tried to control this urge to kill by hosting an
anonymous call-in show at the campus radio station. But she eventually gave in
to her impulses by killing a sorority queen and her boyfriend who were being
abusive to Zoey and her dorm mates. In an unrelated storyline her uncle is a
homicide detective in this college town who has been investigating a series of
murders of coeds. The killer leaves Polaroids at the crime scene as his
signature. What brings the two plots together is a Polaroid of Zoey's latest
killing she finds when she gets back to the radio studio. Larime likes to tell
his story is separate time sequences. The same is true for this new arc. The in-
continuity sequences follows the plot moving forward from the revelation that
the Polaroid killer revealed that he knows Zoey is also a killer and he has been
following her. On the one hand she is relieved there is someone else out there
like her, a killer that is. But the fact he has been following her is kind of
creepy. In an interesting plot development the killer, whose name is Rio, calls
in to her radio show. The script is really clever in this scene. While both are
using fake names the conversation is cleverly worded to bring out the fact that
the girl he is talking about is Zoey and that he wants to meet her. The other
plot segment takes place in the present some four months after the two have had
their face to face. Right now they are both tied up and being held at gun point
by the father of the girl Zoey killed. He clearly thinks the two were in on it
together and will likely kill them both. How they got there and whether they
will survive will be told over the course of the story arc. This is a
fascinating subject. It explores the motivations and rationalizations of
killers. What drives them in this case are very different things. These are not
the stereotypical psychopaths from some TV drama. I enjoy the series overall for
the depths that it goes to in exploring Zoey's personality. I also am still
amazed how Larime draws these characters using his mouth and a special computer
program due to the disability in his arms. The first series was done in black
and white so color is a new edition to this title. Unfortunately the color was
done by a stand-in at the last minute, and it shows. Larime's style is more
focused on the characters leaving the background to simpler shapes and less
detail. A good coloring would give depth to the background and sharpen the focus
on the people. The coloring here is minimal with only the people and their
clothes and a few objects filled in. the rest is basic line work with everything
the same color. Worse there seems to be a wash across most of the panels. It is
hard to describe but it looks like someone spilled something and tried to wipe
it off. It really distracts from the look of the book. Hopefully the next issue
will be an improvement.

Issue Number: One-Shot
Title Story: Pressure Point
Publisher: DC
Creator: Dan Jurgens
Writer: Dan Jurgens
Artists: Jurgens & Norm Rapmund, Will Conrad, Steve Lightle, Stephen Thompson &
Mark Irwin, Ron Frenz & Scott Hanna and Brett Booth.
Colors: John Kalisz
Letters: Taylor Esposito
Cover Artists: Jurgens, Rapmund & HI-FI
Price (USD): $3.99/$2.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Super Hero

One of the fan favorite characters before the NEW 52 was Booster Gold. He has
been seen very little in the NEW 52 lately but now he has a one shot that
promises we will be seeing more of him in the near future. This particular issue
is kind of quirky in that it poses more questions and very little solutions. As
the story of Booster has developed over the years he has been lately featured as
a time traveler. If you haven't read his latest adventures a quick check on
Wikipedia has a lot of detail about him and his relation to DC's other time
traveler Rip Hunter. But this is the NEW 52 where the focus of some books have
been gradually shifting to the other worlds in the multiverse. In this one-shot
we find Booster traveling through dimensions rather than time. Among the places
he visits are Earth 19, Earth 4 and Earth AD where Kommandi and company live.
But this is not a controlled journey. He is making these hops as if he is being
pushed from place to place. At each stop he naturally gets into conflicts with
others there because that is what happens in comic books. But there is a deeper
story here. Someone is trying to find the secret of Vanishing point, the place
out of space and time where Booster monitors the timelines. The story eventually
involves a younger Booster from another universe and his sister, Michelle. As
the story reaches its climax we are promised more to come in the WORLDS END
event coming up. This is not a bad story but to get the most out of it you will
have to be very conversant with Booster's history. It is really a tease for
things to come elsewhere. I don't think it is entirely needed to follow what is
going on in the NEW 52 FUTURES END overall story but it appears it will have
relevance in the future. The art is splendid with multiple artists being used to
illustrate the various alternate Earths involved. I think I will more enjoy the
upcoming appearance of Booster and Blue Beetle in JUSTICE LEAGUE 3000 as they
are supposedly going to be the pre-NEW 52 versions somehow flung into the future
before Beetles death - or maybe not. It is up to you to decide if this issue is
worth your time.

Issue Number: 1 (of 6)
Title Story: The Village Fete
Publisher: Boom! Studios
Creators: Dan Abnett & I.N.J. Culbard
Writer: Dan Abnett
Artist: I.N.J. Culbard
Letters: I.N.J. Culbard
Price (USD): $3.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Anthropomorphic Fantasy

I like to pick up comics that are not the same old fare from most being
published today. This one caught my eye because the characters are all
anthropomorphic versions of people and the writer is Dan Abnett who usually
spins a good tale. This being a creator owned title means it does not rely on
past continuity so anyone can get right into it. The story is set in the village
of Lower Crowchurch, somewhere in England probably in the early 20th century. It
starts with two locals, Fawkes and Bodie, walking down a country lane and
partaking in some ale. They are known for getting into mischief and drinking too
much. They witness what they think is a falling star but when they hear a crash
they realize it is more than that and run to investigate. This is key to the
story later in the book. The central character appears to be Mr. Clive Slipaway,
a dog character, who recently moved into the town. He is greeted by the town
Solicitor Gilbert Arrant and a reporter for the local newspaper, Peter Minks.
They invite him to the local tavern where there will be a meeting to organize a
committee for the annual fete. It is at this meeting we get to meet some of the
other citizens of Lower Crowchurch and learn of Arrant's leadership in the fete
year after year. Eventually Mr. Slipaway shows up to Arrant's delight, as he
hopes to find something Clive can do to integrate into the population by working
on something at the festival. This serves to gather all the players together for
what comes next. Fawkes barges in declaring that Bodie is dead, burned by a
bright light coming from the crashed "star" and everyone needs to rally to
protect the town. The regulars take all this as the ramblings of the town drunk
but only Slipaway thinks there may be something to it. He knows he saw terror in
Fawkes eyes and words and so he convinces Arrant and Minks to help him
investigate. We see in the last few pages some of the danger that they and the
town will be facing. This is a clever tale with delightful characters and
pleasing art. At first I did not pay that much attention to the cover but
looking back I see I should have expected this would involve some sort of
extraterrestrial element. It is a six-issue story that is moving at a good pace.
It has light humor and mystery that blend well. It is definitely giving me what
I was looking for - a story I wouldn't find in the mainstream ongoing comics.

Issue Number: 1 (of 4)
Publisher: Dark Horse
Writer: Chris Roberson
Artist: Patric Reynolds
Colors: Dave Stewart
Letters: Nate Piekos
Cover Artist: David Palumbo - Variant: Fiona Staples
Price (USD): $3.50
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Science Fiction
Mature - Comics on the Edge

Dark Horse has a long history of publishing comics based on the ALIENS and
PREDATOR movie franchises. I did not realize until after I picked this comic up
that it is part of a longer story involving both those properties as well as
PROMETHEUS. The checklist in the back indicates this is the second chapter in
the overall FIRE AND STONE arc that links everything together. The first part
was PROMETHEUS #1 that came out earlier in September. FIRE AND STONE will
involve those two titles, PREDATOR and ALIENS vs. PREDATOR as they each run
their four-issue course over the next four months ending in February with
PROMETHEUS: OMEGA. Although this issue is the second part of the arc it is noted
that events take place before the events in PROMETHEUS: FIRE AND STONE #1. So I
noted that I could jump in with this issue and go back to that other title if I
choose to without missing much. However, the story is based on things that
happen after the story told in PROMETHEUS, the movie so we are provided with a
brief recap about the adventures of the crew of the Prometheus on the planet LV-
223. Key to that story is that they found horrifying proof that mankind is not
alone in the universe and only Dr. Elizabeth Shaw and a damaged android, David,
made it off the planet. Now it is decades later. No one has been back to LV-223
but there is a mining colony on nearby LV-426, aka Acheron, one of three moons
circling a planetoid in deep space. That is where the story begins. Unlike a lot
of ALIENS stories we are not seeing events that led up to an encounter with
those creatures. Instead we see the colony is being overrun by aliens. Three
characters stand out as key to their survival. Russell is an engineer, Genevieve
a greenhouse supervisor and teacher for the colony's children, and Nolan Cale is
a surveyor and prospector for the company. As people are fighting for survival
and loosing badly Cale herds them to the Onager, a low orbit shuttle meant to
ferry cargo to orbit and back. They must leave the surface to survive and with
limited supplies they will have to try and make it to one of the other moons and
signal for a starship to rescue them. The story in this first issue goes through
the desperate race to save as many as they can before they take off and the
tricky landing on the other moon that makes this journey a one-way trip. There
key elements of the plot I have not revealed that are vital to what happens in
the next three issues. How this story ties in to the other three titles of the
arc is not clear at this point. It reads like a stand-alone story and at this
point there is little hope the humans can survive long enough to be rescued. The
art is a bit muddy in the coloring, lots of brown tones are used. But it is
sufficient to advance the story visually. I have not seen enough here to get me
excited about this particular mini-series. So far it is a typical plot in a
different setting. Maybe as part of the larger arc it will have more
significance but that runs over seventeen comics in total so it is a big
investment to get to the punch line.

Issue Number: One-Shot
Title Story: Haunted
Publisher: DC
Writer: Dan Jurgens
Artist: Lee Weeks
Colors: Dave McCaig
Letters: Travis Lanham
Price (USD): $3.99/$2.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Super Hero

I reviewed the ACTION COMICS: FUTURES END one-shot recently. This title, like
the rest of the one-shots in September, takes place in that time five years in
the future. We know Superman has gone off to Africa to help feed the poor
through growing crops but from the one-shots I have read as well as the weekly
FUTURES END. We still are not sure why he abandoned his role as the premier
super hero in the US. But here still is a Superman in Metropolis though he has
been hiding his identity under a helmet. Not too long ago, in FUTURES END #17,
Lois Lane discovered that the stand-in for Kal El is actually Shazam, aka Billy
Batson. Being a reporter she reported that Shazam is the one in the Superman
suit wearing a mask, though she did not reveal his secret identity. The gist of
this comic is the confrontation between Billy and Lois after the facts have been
revealed, why Billy is doing this in the first place, the consequences the
revelation is having, and what Billy will decide to do going forward. As a
result of the revelation there are some who criticize Shazam for pretending to
be Superman, even though he is doing all he can to protect the citizens of
Metropolis and stop the bad guys. Now that the world knows it is actually Shazam
there is one bad guy in particular who is out to get him after finding out
Shazam did not die in the Earth War. That provides the action for this issue.
But the real story is the conversation between Lois and Billy. Despite his anger
that she blew his cover she convinces him to let her know why he was
masquerading of the Man of Steel. He tells her why he owed it to Superman to
carry on his work but has no knowledge of where Kal El has gone to. As I said
the story ends with another change as Billy decides how best to serve that debt
going forward. This is a good use of the one-shot to supplement the weekly
series. Rather than take up time in the main book these key events are told
here. It makes for a good story and has a logical conclusion. Superman does
appear in his own title but only in flashback but that does not detract from the
enjoyment. It is not critical to read this to follow FUTURES END going forward
but it does fill in the blanks not revealed elsewhere.

Issue Number: One-Shot
Title Story: Crappily Ever After
Publisher: DC
Creator: Paul Dini & Bruce Timm
Writers: Jimmy Palmiotti & Amanda Conner
Artist: Chad Hardin
Colors: Alex Sinclair
Letters: John J. Hill
Cover Artists: Amanda Conner & Paul Mounts
Price (USD): $3.99/$2.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Humorous Super Villain

Unlike the SUPERMAN one-shot reviewed above this entry has little if anything to
do with the main FUTURES END story. In fact if they left out the first panel
with the editorial blurb, "Five years from now", in the corner the story could
be taking place in the present. If you only want plots with relevance to the
overall event than this one-shot will not fit that need. However, if you are a
Harley fan or just enjoy an occasional whimsical story set in the DC universe
than this one is for you. It starts with the premise that Harley is having
herself shipped to the Bahamas in a crate to save on air fare for this vacation.
What could possibly go wrong? Sure enough the plane crashes and she finds
herself stranded on an island with what little she can salvage from the
wreckage. This being lighter fare it is filled with lots of humor. One of the
first chuckles is her finding a soccer ball and deciding to paint a face on it
and give it a name, in homage to a famous movie. A lot of the rest comes from
her conversations with the skull of her pet Bernie that she now is wearing
around her neck. Well, soon she finds she is not alone as local tribesmen reveal
themselves and surprisingly refer to her as their Most Awesome Goddess. After a
lot of food and entertainment the chief reveals they will escort her in the
morning to meet their god-king near the volcano off in the distance. It won't
take you long, looking at the chief's headgear, to realize who their god-king
actually is. It is no spoiler that he is The Joker. The plot involves his story,
what he has been up to five years in the future, as well as the happy reunion.
It gets more absurd as Joker tells her they are to be married that night though
they are both surprised by a twist the natives put on the "wedding." As I said
this is a very whimsical comic, perhaps more so than the regular monthly issues
of this title. But it is very enjoyable because of that clever whit and strong
art. For Harley fans it is a must get. For the rest of us it is a pleasant


If you think you know the answer to the trivia question send your guess via
Email to me at and you could win the prize. The first six
correct answers will be assigned a number and a roll of the dice will determine
the winner. You should put your real name in your message so we know who you
are. Prizes must be claimed at our store within 30 days of winning. The prize
will be a $10 credit slip, which will be redeemable for merchandise at regular
retail or in-store ongoing specials only.  Only one prize per person will be
allowed per every 4 weeks. I will be the sole judge of the correct answer even
if more than one answer could be correct. Submit only one answer per
please but guess as often as you like.

Last week's trivia question:
Steven Grant wrote a JFK conspiracy comic published by Dark Horse. What company
originally published the first issue?

Vortex first published Steven Grant's BADLANDS before Dark Horse picked it up
and ran the entire series.

We all know Steve Ditko was the first penciller in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN. Who was
the second?

Folks, you never know who among the readers is knowledgeable about the question
so don't hesitate to send in an answer - even days after it appears.


Friday, September 26, 2014

Comic Reviews 9/26/14


The comics reviewed are chosen by David not by THAT'S ENTERTAINMENT management
or staff. The opinions expressed are his alone. If you have an opposing view you
are welcome to respond to David directly by Email at the address above.

Issue Number: 1 (OF 6)
Title Story: From Time to Time
Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Creator: George Perez
Colors: Leonardo Paciarotti
Letters: Ed Dukeshire
Alternate Cover Artist: Cameron Stewart
Price (USD): $3.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Science Fiction

George Perez has crafted a story and mythology that spans centuries and into
space. The leader characters, as you would expect are all females. They are
currently scattered about in time all over Earth. They are located in Rome of
100 AD, Iceland in 1104, Japan in 1754, Arizona in 1884, London in 1888 and New
York in 1987. One referred to as Highness is being held on an alien prison space
craft. She is their leader, Madame Vizcarra. There is a plan to get them all
together that will begin with rescuing Highness from her captors. The beginning
of that plot involves another of their team, Fanisha. She is in search of a lone
dragon back in ancient Iceland. The dragon in fact is part of an alien race
called the Draggo. By saving this particular dragon from its exile on Earth she
will save the entire race, putting them forever in her debt. As the story
progresses she will call in that debt to rescue Highness. The story is told in a
series of short scenes injected between scenes of the rescue as it progresses.
These shorter segments highlight each one of the Sirens as they interact with
the population in their time period. Agony is a female gladiator, as hard as
that would be to believe, in ancient Rome. Milla Bishop is a schoolteacher in
the Arizona Territory who also must confront a potential gunfight with her
advanced technology. Sherita is a servant in the household of a scientist in
1949 Alabama who has been using her advanced knowledge to aid the master in his
research secretly. Each one has their own place in the time they are in and soon
they will all be brought back together on their base on a spaceship, presumably
in the present. The reason why this group was originally scattered about in time
is hinted at briefly but as the issue reaches its climax they face a more
immediate problem. I enjoyed the issue primarily for Perez's art. He handles a
large cast better than most artists and this title is no exception. The plotting
is somewhat jarring as it hops from scene to scene but once you get what is
going on it becomes easier to follow. There is more of the overall plot that
needs to be explained moving forward as this issue is more introductory to many
characters with only a few of those really given a lot of development. He put a
lot in the first issue but left a lot to be explored later. It looks to be a
decent series if he maintains the forward momentum in the next issue.

Issue Number: 1
Title Story: The City Calls
Publisher: Action Lab Entertainment
Writer: Kyle Puttkammer
Artist: Marcus Williams
Inker: Ryan Sellers
Letters: Briana Higgins
Price (USD): $3.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Animal Super Heroes
All Ages

We go from a group of femmes to a group of felines for this somewhat whimsical
tale set in a world where the cats at least can talk to each other and have a
real effect on things going on about them. The lead character and narrator is
Cassiopeia who lives in Stellar City with a family whose mother was an astronaut
that has gone lost in space on a mission to Mars. We learn more about the father
and his daughter in a backup story later. Cassiopeia has made changes in her
life and finally landed with this family as a permanent home. In Stellar city
she has met other cats who are all heroes that work under the radar to fight
crime and threats to humans. Midnight is sort of a Batman type who thinks of
itself as the Paws of Justice. Belle is the wise one as we see as she thwarts a
plot by an unscrupulous man trying to rob her elderly owner from her riches.
Rocket claims to be from outer space and is seeking a way to get back to its
home planet. Rocco is a cute fuzz ball that packs a wallop when needed. Ace sees
himself as a soldier responsible for protecting the homeland while his master is
off in the service. Part of the main story concentrates on Cassiopeia's story,
first as she is adopted by an older single lady, Lilly. Her niece is the
astronaut Amelia who went missing and Lilly decides the father and daughter
could use the company of her cat during their hard times. That brought Cass to
their home and eventually she met all the others. There is no real adventure of
the Hero Cats in this issue, just a recap in brief panels about them fighting
skeleton dinosaurs, flying saucers and robots. So this first issue only
introduces all the cats and tells the background of their leader. Next issue
looks to be an entire story against a twisted troublemaker.

The back-up story is scripted and drawn by Tracey Yardley. It is only two pages
but it sheds light on Cassie's owner, Stanley Quest and his daughter Suzie. We
know their wife and mother was lost in space and now we find out that after this
happened a meteor crashed into their home giving both Stanley and Suzie super
powers, as mysterious meteors always do in comic books. He is now Galaxy Man and
unbeknownst to him his youthful sidekick, Cosmic Girl, is actually his own
daughter. More to develop in future issues as they gain their own rogues gallery
of foes to fight.

The comic is ok but I found it lacked a lot of substance. The plot involving
Cass and how she came to her current situation is the only real story in it all.
The rest of the title characters are merely introduced and their interaction as
a group are in one panel summaries. Maybe next issue will be more about the team
as a unit. It is hard for me to want to see how that develops. This is why most
super hero comics are heavier in plot to begin and fill in details as they go
along. You have got to interest the readers in the action if you want them to
keep coming back. Other than that the art is polished and executed very well.
Being a smaller independent imprint this one will need people to stick with it
to survive.

Issue Number: 1 (of 4)
Title Story: The Magic Swan Goose and the Lord of the Forest
Publisher: Archaia
Writer/Artist: S. M. Vidaurri
Variant Cover Artist: Missy Pena
Price (USD): $3.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Fantasy

Often in a comic book that has one person doing both the writing and art you get
a very unique product. That is the case with this fantasy story. It is not just
the art but the story that stands out as a new experience, at least for this
reader. Right away the art strikes you. It is laid out almost as an illustrated
story in a book rather than the more common sequential art. Most of the pages
have a central illustration and the lettering moves the eye around the page in
various sequences. Vidaurri's art is suited for this kind of structure because
the detail in the background and inanimate objects is just a much a part of the
visual experience as the characters. Having said all this there is a fine story
that is not just a rehash of other fairy tales we are familiar with. It is the
story of a royal family with two children. When the second child was a boy the
king celebrate the birth of his heir by cutting down the tallest tree in the
forest and formed a crown from the highest bows as they are purported to have
magical powers. But he did not know that this tree was beloved by the Lord of
the forest, a mythical creature with true magical powers. One day the princess
was wandering in the forest and heard the Lord of the forest cast a spell, a
curse on any man who wears the crown made from his beloved tree. She kept this
knowledge to herself until the untimely death of her parents. This meant that
the Prince, her younger brother, would soon be crowned king, crowned with the
cursed wooden crown. The tale becomes involved with a swan goose trying to
kidnap the prince but he is saved by an unlikely ally. When the time of
coronation came the princess would take action to save her brother and solve a
great mystery. It is an enchanting tale that has many elements and flows nicely
from start to end. If this is the quality of product that will represent the
rest of the series it will be worth staying with all four issues. This was
definitely a pleasant surprise.

Issue Number: 1
Title Story: Be Careful What You Wish For
Publisher: Image
Creator: Otis Frampton
Flats: Thomas Boatwright
Price (USD): $2.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Fantasy

This comic is also one where the entire effort is from one creator. While it is
appropriate for all ages it has a somewhat dark theme to start. It is the story
of a young girl whose name is actually Oddly. Her story goes back to her
parents. It seems her mother is a witch who used to live in Fignation, the land
of fiction. As a reporter for the Fignation Times she came to the real world to
get a better idea of what life in the real world was all about. She sought out
and found the most normal man she could find. The hook is she found him, his
last name was actually Normal, and then fell in love. So she married him and
they settled down in an otherwise normal neighborhood and the witch could cover
her true appearance with a spell so she looked like a normal person as well.
What she could not change was her genes and so when they had a daughter she was
born with green hair and pointed ears. Why they would choose to name their
daughter Oddly is never explained but you can imagine the kind of cruel taunting
she would receive from her cruel classmates over her name and appearance. So
Oddly's life is not a happy one. The story begins on her birthday. It starts as
a typical day with insults from the others in school. The biggest insult was
that in spite of her attempt to reach out to the others and invite them to her
birthday party not one person is willing to attend. To top it off the afternoon
turned to rain and while water is not actually deadly to witches, as in The
Wizard of Oz, it does hurt. In other circumstances loving parents would help
their child through these hardships but this couple seems completely oblivious
to their daughter's plight wrapped up in their own world and each other. The
crux of the opening story is the twist that will shape the plot going forward. I
have mixed feelings about this comic. On the one hand the art is pretty good. It
is a cartoon-like style that is well suited for the story. Frampton makes good
use of shading, layout and coloring to emphasize mood and emotion. On the other
hand, as I said, it is a dark story up to the very end. In fact the most
enlightening panel is the scene from the second issue. The plot is going to turn
and it looks like the next issue will be a lot more fun. That would be a good
thing. So I think it is worth checking out for the craft and the promise of a
more interesting plot going into future issues.

Issue Number: 1
Title Story: In the Line of Duty
Publisher: DC
Writer: Ed Brubaker & Greg Rucka
Artist: Michael Lark
Colors: Noelle Giddings
Letters: Willie Schubert
Price (USD): $1.00
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Super Hero

This comic is a reprint of the first issue of an older series. It was rushed to
print to coincide with the debut of the new TV show GOTHAM that premiered this
week. There are actually four trade paperback collections of GOTHAM CENTRAL
available from DC's back list. If you have not read any of the series than this
issue is a bargain at one dollar to see if it is worth a follow up with the
larger story. With Ed Brubaker and Greg Rucka doing the writing I knew the story
would be worth a dollar for sure. These are of course stories that focus on
members of the Gotham PD. Police Commissioner James Gordon, Captain Maggie
Sawyer, Detective Harvey Bullock, Renee Montoya and Crispus Allen all are doing
their part to keep the streets of Gotham safe. At times the nature of the
threats they face may beyond their capabilities to confront and they may
reluctantly rely on the Dark Knight for help. The set up for the initial plot
has a couple of detectives following a lead in a kidnapping case. What they
stumble on is the temporary hideout of Mr. Freeze. The end result is that one is
killed the other is injured and Freeze escaped. Since this is the murder of a
cop it is now the top priority on the force. Everyone that can be spared will be
involved. During the course of the story we learn that the dead cop had been
somewhat of a critic of others on the force who saw no problem in letting a
vigilante like Batman closing cases that involved super criminals. He always
though it was shameful, as if they had given up their responsibility. The
surviving partner wants GCPD to close the case without relying on Batman and for
now the higher ups agree. Since this only the first issue of the story there is
only a few scenes that indicate where it might lead. Neither Gordon nor Batman
show up anywhere in this issue. This promises to be more about the police force
and its members on the front lines against large than life characters in their
quest for justice. I think the plot gives you just enough detail and
characterization to settle in for more action and thrills as things develop. On
the other hand I am not a big fan of the art. While the basics of depicting the
story in sequential format are solid the line work is not as appealing as other
artists. It is not horrible - I just prefer sharper inking that makes people
look more natural. But that is a personal thing and it does not take away from
the quality of this book, which is well worth a buck to sample.

Issue Number: One-Shot
Title Story: Brothers in Arms
Publisher: DC
Writer: Ray Fawkes
Artist: Dustin Nguyen
Inker: Derek Fridolfs
Colors: John Kalisz
Letters: Taylor Esposito
Price (USD): $2.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Super Hero

The neat thing about these FUTURES END one-shots is that sometimes there are
dramatic changes going on five years in the future. This title is no exception.
There is a new Robin in town and he will be familiar to those who have read the
Zero Year arc in Batman titles. He is Duke from that story. Evidently he was
inspired by that first encounter and has dedicated his life to doing what Batman
does, put in the years of training and has made it to the A team, sort of.
Although Duke has been Robin for two years now this story illustrates a
lingering fear or doubt still haunting Bruce. He still has not gotten over
losing Damian and he is making sure he does not lose another Robin. So the basic
plot of this story is that Bruce is confronting The Heretic, presumed dead all
these years after the Damian incident, and he is having Alfred make sure that
Duke does not show up to help by sending Robin all over Gotham to other minor
crimes being committed. The way this is plotted out it showcases the new Robin's
talent nicely as he mixes it up with various bad guys. It also puts Alfred in
the middle of things. With Duke badgering about where Bruce is Alfred still
remains loyal to his instructions though he pleads Duke's case as well. We saw
from a previous FUTURES END one-shot that Bruce is not in top physical shape
anymore and Alfred is constantly monitoring his vitals remotely. So the faithful
butler knows the damage being done to Batman as he fights what appears to be the
Heretic. It is a well-paced story that sets up the future for the Dynamic Duo. I
like the new Robin and hope he plays a role in the ongoing FUTURES END weekly
series as well. This book is appealing visually also. It is a great done-in-one
story that anyone can enjoy on its own.


If you think you know the answer to the trivia question send your guess via
Email to me at and you could win the prize. The first six
correct answers will be assigned a number and a roll of the dice will determine
the winner. You should put your real name in your message so we know who you
are. Prizes must be claimed at our store within 30 days of winning. The prize
will be a $10 credit slip, which will be redeemable for merchandise at regular
retail or in-store ongoing specials only.  Only one prize per person will be
allowed per every 4 weeks. I will be the sole judge of the correct answer even
if more than one answer could be correct. Submit only one answer per Email
please but guess as often as you like.

Last week's trivia question:
What comic, in 1993, modeled the eight major characters on real people chosen by
a contest?

Jim Shooter's DEFIANT line held a contest to pick eight kids to model their GOOD
GUYS after in 1993.

Here is your no prize question:
Which actor has been in every Pixar film?

John Ratzenberger is best known for his role as Cliff Clavin in Cheers and his
recurring roles in Pixar films. If you're a fan of Pixar movies such as Toy
Story and The Incredibles, you may have noticed his familiar voice. John
Ratzenberger has been in every single Pixar movie to date, starting with Toy
Story in 1995 and continuing all the way through the next Finding Nemo movie,
currently scheduled for a 2016 release. He's put his talents to use in a variety
of roles from Hamm the Piggy Bank in the "Toy Story" series to, his personal
favorite, P.T. Flea in "A Bug's Life." His "Cars" character Mack the Truck had
the epiphany that Ratzenberger has appeared in every Pixar film during the
movie's closing credit sequence.

Steven Grant wrote a JFK conspiracy comic published by Dark Horse. What company
originally published the first issue?

Folks, you never know who among the readers is knowledgeable about the question
so don't hesitate to send in an answer - even days after it appears.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Comic Reviews 9/20/14


The comics reviewed are chosen by David not by THAT'S ENTERTAINMENT management
or staff. The opinions expressed are his alone. If you have an opposing view you
are welcome to respond to David directly by Email at the address above.

Issue Number: 1 (of 5)
Title Story: Spider-Man Noir
Publisher: Marvel
Writers: David Hine with Fabrice Sapolky
Artist: Richard Isanove
Letters: Clayton Cowles
Price (USD): $3.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Super Hero

If you read SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN #32 then you have already seen the beginning of
this Marvel event. If not there is no recap to catch you up on the underlying
plot. Basically while Otto Octavius, aka Dr. Octopus, was inhabiting Peter
Parker's body an accident hurled him into future to 2099. He discovered a great
foe was traveling across time and dimensions to kill every version of Spider-Man
he could find. He was successful with some so Otto/Peter knew he had to find a
way to stop this death angel before he killed them all, including himself.
Otto/Peter managed to create his own device to cross time and dimensions and is
busy recruiting Spider-Men to build an army to defeat the enemy. You don't need
to know this to enjoy the main story in this issue but it helps explain the
ending that occurs after the main plot has been resolved. So this book looks in
on one such alternate Spider-Man. I am not sure if this particular character has
appeared in the past or was created for this series. Regardless, he is Peter
Parker who lives with his Aunt May and dates Mary Jane Watson. But in this
reality it is New York in 1939. He is a journalist who was bitten by a poisonous
exotic spider hidden in an antique statue. He passed out and dreamt of the
spider-god Anansi. When he awoke he had gained spider-powers and so became
Spider-Man to fight crime during the era of prohibition and thereafter. The bit
about the spider-god is crucial to the plot. There is a famous magician
appearing at the New York World's Fair called the Magnificent Mysterio. He has
observed the exploits of Spider-man in the theater news reels and is convinced
that the blood of Anansi flows through his veins. If Mysterio can gets his hands
on some of Spider-Man's blood he too can gain powers from the spider-god. To
execute his plan he will need the help of the criminal he is in league with,
Wilson Fisk, the Kingpin of Crime. He knows there is a connection between
Spider-Man and Felicia Hardy. Using Fisk and his men he will attempt to force
her to tell him how to find Spider-Man. If that fails he will use her as bait to
lure the web-slinger into a trap. But being the egotistical showman he will
threaten to kill her live on stage if Spider-Man does not surrender. That is the
plan. The story sets it up and then we see where it goes from there. I enjoyed
this alternate cast of characters. The little changes keep it consistent with
the time setting and yet it is still a basic Spider-Man story. Felicia is a
tragic and yet faithful character here and she plays a critical part not only as
a victim but also her actions provide a possible bridge to a future story.
Mysterio is a good villain. This being a noir story he powers are all the tricks
and feints of a magician but in this setting it is more than enough to advance
his criminal aspirations. The Kingpin here is just as ruthless as the more
familiar Fisk. It is well-constructed plot-wise and of course ends with the
intersection of the larger plot when Superior Spider-Man appears. The art is
really good on this issue as well. So far I think this major arc that will also
cross over into AMAZING SPIDER-MAN, SPIDER-MAN 2099 and yet another issue of
SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN is worth the extra investment in the five-issue mini-series.

Issue Number: 1
Title Story: Deal with the Devil
Publisher: Legendary Comics
Writer: Grant Morrison
Artist: Frazer Irving
Letters: Jared K. Fletcher
Price (USD): $3.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Horror/Science Fiction
MATURE - Comics on the Edge

You never know what Grant Morrison will come up with when he is working on
established characters in the mainstream super hero genre. When he works on his
own creations it is even more surprising what he comes up with. Such is the case
with this new effort from Legendary Comics. The Annihilator in this case has a
double meaning. In the first instance it is a black hole at the center of the
galaxy referred to as the Great Annihilator. It plays a role in a screenplay
being developed by a rising star writer named Ray Spass, pronounced space. It is
the setting for his latest effort, or rather a space station on the edge of it
is. In the far future sixteen of the Dominions greatest scientist started a
three year tour of duty at Dis. Within six months they all suffered from
depression, paranoia, nightmares and perversion. Later a sect of celibate neo-
nihilist monks caking themselves The Select moved in. Eventually they all took
poison and sat down together staring and sobbing at the hole until their tears
ran black. Now it has become the prison home of Max Nomax. He has brought with
him the body of his dead lover with the hope of bringing her back to life. It is
an interesting beginning to a movie, if Ray can ever finish it. In an effort for
inspiration he has just bought an abandoned home in Hollywood with a history of
Satan worshippers and murder. Oddly, there is a small sinkhole near the front
walk making unsaleable otherwise. This is the kind of thing that appeals to Ray,
the creepier and weirder the better. His agent is bothered by the lack of
progress on the script and even more by Ray's lifestyle of booze, drugs and
orgies. He has given Ray a deadline to meet if he wants to sell his script. What
we learn later is that Ray also has an inoperable brain tumor, which may be part
of his obsession in life and work of cheating death. So imagine his surprise
when he is informed by the FBI that a fugitive by the name of Max Nomax is
trying to contact Ray. But that is the name of the lead character in his
screenplay! As I said Mr. Morrison comes up with some unique plots and this
seems like one of those times he is using fictional characters that meet their
creator. We will have to see how it plays out. Ray is not a likable character,
not many in this comic are. But he is developed well and the plot is very
intriguing. The art is fascinating as it runs from the spectacle of outer space
to the depravity right here on Earth. Frazer Irving uses shading and color in a
variety of ways that are stunning to see. This will certainly get you thinking
about what is going on, how everything is connected. You may find yourself re-
reading it to fully understand the scope. It is not light disposable super hero

This comic also includes a preview of the upcoming comic from Legendary called
EPOCHALYPSE. It is written by Jonathan Hennessey, penciled by Shane Davis,
colored by Morry Hollowell and lettered by Pat Brosseau. The brief scene
depicted takes place in a road side diner. At first it seems like the cook and
waitress have a secret microwave they are very guarded about. But as government
troops swarm the place we begin to understand that this is no normal appliance
and there is more than meets the eye here. It is an interesting tease with
stunning art and coloring. It might be worth sampling when it hits the stands

Issue Number: ONE-SHOT
Title Story: Remains
Title Arc: Futures End
Publisher: DC
Writer: Ray Fawkes with Scott Snyder
Artist: Aco
Colors: FCO Plascencia
Letters: Dezi Sienty and Carlos M. Mangual
Cover Artist: Jason Fabok and Brad Anderson
Price (USD): $3.99/$2.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Super Hero

This month we are getting a more in-depth look at the Earth of FUTURES END five
years from now. The NEW 52 titles are all set in that time frame in September
and this one takes a closer look at Batman. In this time Batman has been trying
every available technology to solve a problem and time is running short. He has
been injured over the years, even has an artificial spine grafted to his back.
Now he is looking for a way to extend his legacy rather than just leave it to
the various comrades in the Batman family of heroes. He has tried everything
available from Waynetech, Terrifitech, and even the work of Dr. Magnus and Kord
Industries. He has not been able to get anything from Miles Caulder but he knows
one lab that house the secrets of Caulder's creation. It is that of Lex Luthor.
This will be his biggest challenge yet and the security at Lexcorp is probably
the best on Earth. Despite Alfred's objections he will attempt to breach that
security and find what he needs to complete his ultimate objective. I won't
reveal what that is as it is the punch line of the story in the end. What most
of the issue details is his efforts to breach Lexcorp and get to the one thing
he needs. It is a classic Batman as detective and master escape artist romp with
twists and turns at every level. Since this is set in the future, or maybe a
possible future, we never know what his fate will be until the very end making
it all the more thrilling as we move along. The counterpoint to his efforts are
the taunting by Luthor at every step via holographic image. As we near the end
we begin to suspect what it is that Batman is hoping to do, though if you don't
guess it is revealed in the end. I found it to be a thrilling story and very
entertaining. The art holds up though the detail on the characters is a little
rough at times. It is a good story with a big hint provided by the cover

Issue Number: ONE-SHOT
Title Story: Breaking
Title Arc: Futures End
Publisher: DC
Writer: Paul Levitz with Keith Giffen
Artist: Yildiray Cinar
Colors: Jason Wright
Letters: Carlos M. Mangual
Cover Artist: Stephen Segovia and Mike Atiyeh
Price (USD): $3.99/$2.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Super Hero

The NEW 52 version of WORLD"S FINEST is of course the adventures of Huntress and
Power Girl who are originally from Earth 2 where they were that world's version
of Bat Girl/Robin and Supergirl. In their regular issues they have just made it
back to their home world to find a global war being fought by a new group of
heroes against the forces of Darkseid. But this issue is set in the future five
years later and they are back on Earth Prime, or whatever it is called, along
with millions of refuges from Earth 2 as a result of the Earth War that occurred
in the intervening years. We have learned from the FUTURES END weekly series,
and other main titles already out this month, that the heroes from Earth 2 have
been rounded up and isolated on Cadmus Island for nefarious purposes. It is a
high security island patrolled by Nomacs. As this story begins Power Girl is
sneaking onto the island to rescue Helena who has been captured. Once inside the
perimeter Kara manages to find suitable clothing to help her blend into the
population hopefully unnoticed. But it will take more than a change of clothes
to fool Deathstroke who is a major enforcer for the powers that be. In a
somewhat comical side note her initial battle with Deathstroke results in a
blast to her chest that destroys the fabric and reveals her cleavage. She just
can't seem to get away from having a boob window! The rest of the issue is more
struggles as she meets Fifty-Sue and mistakes her for a helpless little girl
that is just another captive - big mistake. There is no happy resolution to this
one as it appears her efforts and the fate of Helena will be continued
elsewhere. If you are a fan of WORLD'S FINEST or the EARTH 2 series you will
want to get this to keep up with these characters and their place in FUTURES END
wherever it goes from here.

Issue Number: 1
Publisher: Image
Creators: Jay Faerber & Scott Godlewski
Writer: Jay Faerber
Artist: Scott Godlewski
Colors: Ron Riley
Letters: Thomas Mauer
Price (USD): $3.50
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Space Western

There is a subgenre of science fiction called the space western. It is basically
Old West drama set in space. Aspects of the original STAR TREK series and
FIREFLY are other examples. This comic is purposely done this way and the
creators refer to it as DEADWOOD in space. The main character is Clara Bronson,
newly appointed Sheriff of the mining town of Copperhead on a distant planet.
The story follows her and her young boy Zeke as they travel to their new home.
They are met by her deputy, an alien named Budroxifinicus. Right from the start
he exhibits his resentment for not getting the job Clara has. It seems humans
are in charge of everything and the aliens are not given positions of high
authority no matter how qualified they are. So this story will have familiar
plot elements - the newcomer seeking how best to fit in and gain respect for her
authority while juggling the responsibility of a single parent. The first
encounter on the job is a domestic dispute among an alien family in which Clara
will have to prove herself to her deputy "Boo" as well as the citizens. Then we
have the local big shot and owner of the mines, Benjamin Hickory, who lets it be
known she should play along with his desires since he pretty much owns the town.
These incidents are devised to set the scene and the character of Copperhead as
backdrop to the more intense situations that are to come. By the end of the
first issue Clara will be faced with her first murder scene and Zeke, as young
boys tend to do, will have his own set of troubles. I really enjoyed this first
issue. It has a good mix of characterization, humor and drama. The science
fiction elements blend in well rather than dominate the story as is best in this
type of tale. The art and coloring are splendid as well. A lot of the science
fiction comics I have sampled seem to try to be a lot more complex making the
story less important than the elements around it. This is not the case here so I
recommend you give it a chance.

Issue Number: 1 (of 8)
Publisher: BOOM! Box
Creator: Jake Lawrence
Variant Cover Artists: Jen Lee/Alexis Ziritt
Price (USD): $3.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Humor

I like to sample the All Ages comics when they come out to see how companies are
trying to appeal to younger readers. Many of them are adaptations from other
media and some are doing very well on their own. I saw this one from BOOM! Box
and decided to see what it is all about. From what I can tell it is not an
adaptation but an independent creation of Jake Lawrence. The lead character is
an anthropomorphic dog in high school with mostly human kids. In this case Teen
Dog is the super cool dude that is liked by almost everyone. The girls rave that
he is cool, charming, dreamy and a rebel. As we see from some of the scenes he
is more into being cool than concentrating on schoolwork or even what is going
on in the classroom. The book is laid out in a series of shorter comics, usually
a page or two. Some of them have silly punch lines like Teen Dog revealing his
idea of being prepared for class is bringing a hamburger to eat. In others get
into philosophical discussions with his friend Mariella like pondering why there
are always different cliques at schools but of course those two transcend
cliques. He does have a nemesis, another dog student named Thug Pug, who is
rather harmless but constantly derides Teen Dog as not really being cool. There
is a lot of silliness as we jump from scene to scene like why is there a cave in
the back of his locker, or how did he become the 34th President of the United
States? I can see the appeal to the younger crowd and even some adults whose
sense of humor is not really in line with my own. The art is very accomplished
showing Lawrence to be a good cartoonist. I just don't think I would enjoy
another issue as much, let alone eight. Your opinion might be otherwise.


If you think you know the answer to the trivia question send your guess via
Email to me at and you could win the prize. The first six
correct answers will be assigned a number and a roll of the dice will determine
the winner. You should put your real name in your message so we know who you
are. Prizes must be claimed at our store within 30 days of winning. The prize
will be a $10 credit slip, which will be redeemable for merchandise at regular
retail or in-store ongoing specials only.  Only one prize per person will be
allowed per every 4 weeks. I will be the sole judge of the correct answer even
if more than one answer could be correct. Submit only one answer per Email
please but guess as often as you like.

Last week's trivia question:
What Issue #1 comic, about a dog and cat, was polybagged to preserve a unique
"smelly" gimmick?

Of course it was Marvel's REN & STIMPY adaptation that had the air fouler
enclosed in the bag of the first issue. The winner by the dice is Christopher


What comic, in 1993, modeled the eight major characters on real people chosen by
a contest?

Here is your no prize question:
Which actor has been in every Pixar film?

Folks, you never know who among the readers is knowledgeable about the question
so don't hesitate to send in an answer - even days after it appears.