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Friday, September 26, 2014

Comic Reviews 9/26/14

REVIEWS

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.


Title: GEORGE PEREZ'S SIRENS
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.

Title: HERO CATS
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.

Title: JIM HENSON'S THE STORYTELLER: WITCHES
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.

Title: ODDLY NORMAL
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
ALL AGES






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.

Title: GOTHAM CENTRAL SPECIAL EDITION
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.

Title: BATMAN AND ROBIN: FUTURES END
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.

                                    *****
TRIVIA CONTEST!!!!     WIN REAL PRIZES!!!!!

If you think you know the answer to the trivia question send your guess via
Email to me at ComicBkNet@aol.com 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.

THIS WEEK'S TRIVIA QUESTION:
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


REVIEWS

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.


Title: EDGE OF THE SPIDERVERSE
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.

Title: ANNIHILATOR
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
stuff.

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

Title: BATMAN: FUTURES END
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
illustration.

Title: WORLD'S FINEST: FUTURES END
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.

Title: COPPERHEAD
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.

Title: TEEN DOG
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
ALL AGES





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.

                                    *****
TRIVIA CONTEST!!!!     WIN REAL PRIZES!!!!!


If you think you know the answer to the trivia question send your guess via
Email to me at ComicBkNet@aol.com 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
Begley.

THIS WEEK'S TRIVIA QUESTION:

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.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Comic Reviews 9/12/14


REVIEWS

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.

Title: THE DEATH-DEFYING DOCTOR MIRAGE
Issue Number: 1
Publisher: Valiant
Writer: Jen Van Meter
Artist: Roberto de la Torre
Colors: David Baron
Letters: Dave Lanphear
Cover Artist: Travel Foreman
Price (USD): $3.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Super Hero/Occult





Valiant has released its latest revival of a past title with one that has a
strong female lead, Doctor Mirage. As in the original series Shan Mirage is on
her own after the untimely death of her husband Hwen. Shan has many skills in
mystic arts, one being the ability to communicate with the dead. Sadly though
the one person she has not been able to contact is her husband. If this series
is anything true to the original that will eventually change, but nothing
guarantees that fact. The opening scene serves up sort of a therapeutic session
for both Shan and her newest clients. Not only does Shan needs to be working
mentally and economically but also the people that have come to see her have all
felt a loss similar to hers. She can help them find closure by passing along
messages from their loved ones. But the main plot involves another client her
manager has found. Shan is not anxious to take on a big job in her state of mind
but the knowing financially she can't turn it down she agrees to at least meet
the client. He is billionaire Linton March and though he is a widower contacting
his dead wife is not what he desires. At the close of WWII he was with Army
Intelligence and became part of a team tasked with recruiting Nazi occultists
similar to the program that recruited scientists to work for the US rather than
the communists. They not only recruited people but collected significant magical
and paranormal objects. On one mission the team was caught by surprise and
though Linton survived he is burdened with a supernatural shackle on one wrist
and needs help to remove it. As Shan soon finds out he is actually bound
mystically to a creature who is in chains in a special room. Though Shan knows
there are others better equipped to help Linton a psychic conversation with the
captive convinces her that this task might help her to find Hwen, if she
survives the experience. This title has started off strong. There is good
characterization of the main characters and a sense of the danger and importance
of the task at hand. The art is captivating in its simplicity and complexity at
the same time. The coloring compliments the line work perfectly. The ending is a
classic splash page that portends what is to come in the place where the living
do not belong. The team has hit the high points set out by the plot and promise
a thrilling adventure. Well done.

Title: ACTION COMICS: FUTURES END
Issue Number: 1-SHOT
Title Story: Crossroads
Publisher: DC
Creator: Superman created by Siegel & Shuster
Writer: Sholly Fisch
Artists: Pascal Alixe and Dave McCaig
Colors: Pete Pantazis
Letters: Carlos Mangual
Cover Artist: Lee Weeks & Dave McCaig
Price (USD): $3.99/$2.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Super Hero




This month DC has moved all their regular NEW 52 titles into the time of FUTURES
END, the weekly series set five years in the future. It would help a little if
you have been reading that series because you would have bits of information
about the particular character of the tie-in title and his or her place in the
future. So far from what I have read of these tie-in titles I suggest reading
them first before reading that week's issue of FUTURES END. But don't put off
reading them before the next week's FUTURES END. In the case of Superman we know
from the weekly that there has been a different man dressed in the familiar
uniform of the man of steel with a big difference, he also wears a helmet to
hide his face. Prior to this issue of ACTION we learned who it was behind the
mask - SPOILER ALERT - it is not Clark Kent/Kal El. So what has the real steel
deal been up to five years in the future? This issue of ACTION starts to reveal
it and this week's issue of FUTURES END, the one with Constantine on the cover,
reveals even more. Whatever happened between now and the future has affected
Clark in a profound way. As we start the issue he is in a barren pasture in
Ethiopia trying as hard as he can to grow food to aid the starving all around.
Even the irrigation drip he has managed to obtain may not be enough for this
used up top soil. Actually the scenes with Clark are peripheral to the main
story. Instead we are shown scenes of various people in different places in the
world. Each are at a crossroad in their life. Each are given an opportunity to
realize their potential and make a change. Some chose to better their lives,
others failed. What happens to them involves a creature, perhaps magical in
nature, who looks like a Superman made of sand. He visits each one and imparts
one super power one each of them. A girl about to step off a tall building can
suddenly fly. A young man who is being beaten by the bookies he owes suddenly
gains super strength. A young boy who has had to watch his abusive father beat
his mother suddenly has invulnerability. In each case it is a test and the sand
Superman is part of it all. He also learns a lesson that he puts to good use by
the end of the story. I was pleasantly surprised by this story and not at all
disappointed that it did not have more to do with Clark. His story is moving
forward in FUTURES END and no doubt in SUPERMAN: FUTURES END when it comes out.
I was disappointed with the art though. It is not bad on the individual
characters but there is very little detail in the backgrounds to give it more
definition. Overall it is a good issue, though you can skip it and not miss
anything about the big picture of the FUTURES END arc.

Title: GREEN ARROW: FUTURES END
Issue Number: 1-SHOT
Publisher: DC
Writers: Jeff Lemire 
Artist: Andrea Sorrentino
Colors: Marcelo Maiolo
Letters: Dezi Sienty
Price (USD): $3.99/$2.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Super Hero






This story is set in the FUTURES END world five years in the future. In fact it
takes place before THE NEW 52: FUTURES END #1. If you know about the weekly
series you know that one of the big bangs at the very start of the series was
the death of Oliver Queen. So this issue leads up to that event, even depicts
it. That is really not a spoiler given the circumstances. And I will add that
after you read this comic go to THE NEW 52: FUTURES END #18 to see how the
events in this issue evolved into the maxi-series. As this issue begins we are
still five years into the future and in Seattle a new Green Arrow, Emiko Queen -
half-sister of Oliver and daughter of Asian archer Shado. At this time she has
taken over the Emerald Archer's mantle with the help of Naomi Singh who uses the
code name Dart. This has been going on for weeks but Oliver shows up at the
Arrow Cave to fill Emiko in on his master plan. But not quite yet. He needs her
to continue on in his place and if he should fail at what he is about to do. He
gives her an object that must get to Lois Lane if that happens and instructs her
not to follow him. The main plot is that Oliver has discovered the secret of
Cadmus Island. One of the underlying drivers of the plot of FUTURES END is that
after the Earth War millions of refugees from Earth 2 have been trying to
integrate into their new world. The secret is that a number of heroes from Earth
2 are being held on Cadmus Island, being experimented on and cut apart. Ollie
means to go and rescue those heroes and expose Cadmus. But to do that he has to
recruit others to join him. So where does he start? He goes to a group of people
that are not all that friendly with him, The Outsiders. He needs to convince
Shado, Katana, the Axe, the Fist and Magus to join this quest. If they do he
will forego being the hero of Seattle and join them in the Outsiders. He has to
be convincing because one of these players is crucial to the first step in his
big plan. As I said this story also depicts the death of Oliver Queen. It is
what happens right after that that is the crux of the story and the bridge to
the main FUTURES END story. If you've read FUTURES END #18 you know what I mean.
If not you will really enjoy the culmination of this story. I highly recommend
this one.

Title: EX-CON
Issue Number: 1
Title Story: Beginning to See the Light
Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment
Writer: Duanne Swierczynski
Artist: Keith Burns
Colors: Aikau Oliva
Letters: Rob Steen
Cover Artist: Tim Bradstreet
Price (USD): $2.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Crime/Science Fiction
MATURE - Comics on the Edge



This is the story of Cody Pomeray. He is a bit of a neer-do-well who just
happens to have a special talent. When he looks at people he sees an aura around
them. It is something the doctor he saw as a child calls color Synesthesia. Each
aura had a color and he learned orange meant weak, red meant lust, yellow was a
lie, dark grey meant fear and green was always greed. He used the most of this
gift through his life, always on the edge of danger. He could read people and
use them to his advantage and avoid being used. Until his luck ran out. He ended
up in jail doing five years and it would have ended with his death much earlier
had he not been protected by a boss, Barnaby Creed, known as the Pope. Barnaby
has a proposition. He will see to it that no harm comes to Cody while he is in
prison in return for a favor when he is released after his stint. Knowing the
alternative is certain death Cody accepts but he is disturbed by one thing. He
cannot see the Pope's aura. Now since this title is called Ex-Con the story
continues after he is freed and there is a limo waiting for him outside the
prison. It seems the Pope is going to collect on his favor right away. But the
surprising thing for Cody is who it is that on the outside that will be giving
him his instructions. I have mixed feeling about this one. I like the idea of
the special talent and the characterization of Cody and his femme fatale are
spot on. The basic plot is setting up the bigger story. You get the feeling Cody
could be getting deeper into trouble because what he is being asked to do seems
too simple. On the other hand I am not thrilled by the art. Keith Burns' has a
unique style that has some appeal but not consistently. The biggest flaw is the
coloring. For a story based on someone being able to see colored auras Oliva
needs to use brighter, sharper color distinctions and does not. So a mixed
review on this one.

Title: THE NAMES
Issue Number: 1 (of 8)
Title Story: The High Window
Publisher: DC/Vertigo
Creators: Peter Milligan & Leandro Fernandez
Writer: Peter Milligan
Artist: Leandro Fernandez
Colors: Cris Peter
Letters: Carlos M. Mangual
Cover Artist: Celia Calle
Price (USD): $2.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Crime Drama
MATURE - Comics on the Edge


The "names" in the title refer to the names of those who had Kevin Walker
killed. The opening scene shows his untimely death staged to look like a
suicide, complete with a note he is forced to write before he is tossed out a
51st story window. The main emphasis of the plot is how his wife handles the
news and subsequent events. It seems the people responsible work at the Wall
Street firm he was employed at. Katya does not believe he would commit suicide,
even the composition of the note in his own handwriting is not consistent with
his personality. The perpetrators have been thorough, even doctoring his medical
profile to make it look like he was depressed. There is an added factor to the
mix. Kevin's son by his first wife is in a special school. He is a young boy
with unusual math skills but also has selective mutism. He hasn't spoken since
his dad's last visit. Now she has to inform him of Kevin's death and hope she
can break through his unspeaking shield. The real story begins when she receives
a recording on a phone. Since this was prepared in the event of his death it is
no surprise that Kevin tells her to not pursue the matter, for her and Philip's
safety. She must not trust the police or his colleague Marco and she must find
the "key." It is somewhat cryptic and when Marco arrives to console her she
knows what she must do. This is a thriller that will intrigue you right from the
start. The players on the bad side are deliciously ruthless and the strong
female lead is well-defined without being one-dimensional. We can already see
that this will be a complex process for Katya to find the names of those
directly responsible. By the end of the first issue she has one to start with on
her quest. We have the feeling it is going to be a great adventure. The art is
equal to the writing. The layouts, lines and colors are executed perfectly to
add the emotion and mood not in the scripted words. This will be worth investing
in for eight issues.

Title: GOD HATES ASTRONAUTS
Issue Number: 1 (of 5)
Title Story: A Star is Born
Publisher: Image
Writer/Artist: Ryan Browne
Colors: Jordan Boyd
Letters: Chris Crank & Ryan Browne
Price (USD): $3.50
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Science Fiction/Humor
MATURE READERS ONLY - Comics on the Edge



First I must admit I only picked this one up because of the title. Second, it is
worth noting that this is another Image comic truly standing on its own merits.
There are no ads at all. From front cover to back cover it is entirely the work
of the creators. Having said that I will also say it is one of the most bizarre
comics I have ever read. It starts like a somewhat typical space opera, in plot
anyway. But right from the first page you know it is going to be an irreverent
romp. We look in on a ship traveling in the Crab Nebula and naturally the crew
are crabs - well at least their heads are crabs. That is except for the captain
who is a tiger and his name is Admiral Tiger Eating a Cheeseburger.  Evidently
that is what he does all the time no matter what else he is doing. His father is
the king of Crabulon and his name is, you guessed it, King Tiger Eating a
Cheeseburger. This scene is set two years ago. It ends in tragedy as the ship is
rammed by what appears to be a crude home-made rocket and both ships are
destroyed. So where did this other ship come from? If you thought crab headed
people and cheeseburger eating tigers were silly wait until you meet the astro-
farmers. Their leader, the Lord Astro-Farmer, had a vision of the Great Space
God who told him to leave this world and join him in Golden Moon Heaven. So
naturally he got a bunch of his fellow farmers and formed the astro farmers.
They built rockets ships from silos and will defy NASA's admonition not to
venture into space. Lord Astro-Farmer is pretty confident they will succeed and
he has his love by his side. She is the lovely Hennifer - the combination of a
ditsy babe he found on the street with the head of his true love, his chicken.
Yeah, need I say it doesn't get any better. There is one more group of
characters involved in this convoluted plot. They are the Power Person Five who
work for NASA and will try to stop the Astro-Farmers from going into space. They
are a super hero group whose leader is their former star warrior who now has the
head of a rhino. Without going into details about the rest of them suffice it to
say there is a big confrontation between the Astro-Farmers and the Power Person
Five before too long. And we have not heard the last from King Tiger Eating a
Cheeseburger. There is a basic plot underlying this whole thing if you filter
through all the inane characters and improbable situations they have been
through. Just because you have a plot that could work does not mean you can
dress it up with silly characters that swear a lot, have sex with chickens and
are all basically insane. I can see a segment of comic readers that might enjoy
this craziness. The curious, such as myself probably won't see the entertainment
value of such an effort. It is up to you to decide how you feel.

                                    *****
TRIVIA CONTEST!!!!     WIN REAL PRIZES!!!!!


If you think you know the answer to the trivia question send your guess via
Email to me at ComicBkNet@aol.com 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:
The story began in Avengers, continued in Fantastic Four and then jumped to the
first issue of a new comic.  Name this title that debuted in Feb 1986.

The return of Jean Grey and the original X-Men was the story that launched X-
FACTOR. The winner by the dice is Gary Katzoff.

Here was your no prize question:
Who were the first singing brothers inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of
Fame?

The Everly Brothers were American country-influenced rock and roll singers,
known for steel-string guitar playing and close harmony singing. The duo,
consisting of Isaac Donald "Don" Everly and Phillip "Phil" Everly, were elected
in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's first group of inductees in 1986.

THIS WEEK'S TRIVIA QUESTION:
What Issue #1 comic, about a dog and cat, was polybagged to preserve a unique
"smelly" gimmick?


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 5, 2014

Comic Reviews 9/5/14


REVIEWS

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.


Title: WAYWARD
Issue Number: 1
Publisher: Image
Writer: Jim Zub
Artist: Steve Cummings
Colors: John Rauch & Jim Zub
Letters: Marshall Dillon
Price (USD): $3.50
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Japanese Horror
Mature - Comics on the Edge




This is the story of Rori Lane. Her mother is Japanese and her father is Irish
and after her parents split up she stayed in Ireland to finish her schooling.
But that didn't work out so now she is coming to Japan to live with her mother.
But she is not an ordinary girl as we soon see. Emerging from the subway she is
at a loss as to which way to go to her neighborhood. Just as she is about to ask
a stranger for directions she has a flash and can see a red line on the ground
showing the way, just like those commercials on TV. So clearly she has some kind
of gift. Earlier in the issue she is thinking about the trip home and comments
that, "Every route has a pattern. I just have to connect the dots." Evidently if
she thinks about where she has to go her mind will provide a visual aid as to
the best way to take. This gift will come in handy later. This real plot is
about Japanese monsters known as Kappa. Traditionally they are the size of a
small human and appear as humanized turtles with shells and beak. In most of the
folklore they are brutal monsters. The fact that in this story they also use
swords opens things up to obvious jokes about ninja turtles, but thankfully we
are spared. When Rori is wandering the city on her first day home she runs into
a trio of guys hanging out on the streets and it appears they have bad
intentions. Fortunately for Rori another girl appears and exposes these boys as
Kappa, or as she calls them Turtle-heads. It will take Ayane's excellent martial
arts skills and Rori's new found talent working together to get them both out of
trouble. So Rori's first day back in Japan has turned into a real adventure. Who
is the mysterious Ayane and why did she appear when she did? If these Kappa can
masquerade as ordinary people is anywhere safe?  And what about all those cats
that were following Rori right before the fateful encounter? So far this has
been a delightful story with interesting characters. The script is structured to
develop Rori's character, her relationship with her mom and just hint at what
Ayane is all about. She is clearly one of the good guys but is a bit quirky and
has what appear to be fangs. There will be a lot to explore moving forward. The
art is very appealing and is colored brilliantly. This really could be another
sleeper hit from Image. I suggest you give it a look.

Title: POP
Issue Number: 1 (of 4)
Title Story: Eyes Without a Face
Publisher: Dark Horse
Writer: Curt Pires
Artist: Jason Copland
Colors: Pete Toms
Letters: Ryan Ferrier
Price (USD): $3.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Science Fiction





Imagine you are perhaps a middle-aged man who has decided to make a big change.
Working at a meager living selling old records and even older comic books is
only an excuse to hide from the lies you have been telling yourself. But today
is the day you will change all that. You lock up the store for the night and
just as you turn to go a girl runs straight into your arms pleading for help.
She is dressed only in panties and a tube top and before she can explain her
problem she passes out. This is the fix Coop finds himself in. He can't take her
to the cops because frankly he is a bit high from pot. Coop's life is going to
change alright, but not the way he expected. The girl is Elle Ray and she has
escaped from certain fame. The other half of the plot is about a very secret
organization that literally grows celebrities. In a clandestine lab they grow
people who become the next Mariah or Britney or even that Canadian freakazoid
(more about him later.) Well it seems Elle was one of these test tube humans but
she broke out of the womb early and ran away. Naturally she represents a large
investment to those in charge and they will be using every resource at their
disposal to get her back. Some of them are technological, like the bioimplant
that can be remotely activated to track her down. If that fails they have human
resources that will be more forceful. Just how forceful is demonstrated by the
male and female enforcers who pay a visit to international megastar Dustin
Beaver. Seems Dustin recently announced his retirement at the ripe age of
nineteen. Spike and his girl are going to show him the error of his ways. There
is a lot going on here. There is a lot of back and forth between the scenes of
Coop and Elle trying to cope with the situation they are in and the behind the
scenes machinations of the evil organization. Some things are explicit and some
are more subtle. There are a couple of pages with multiple panels that seem far
removed from anything else in the book. The main plots are easy to follow and
filled with action and excitement. I am liking where this is going. The visual
aspects fit together in a rough style that has so much variety involved from the
demands of the script. There is a lot of energy in this book that is very
entertaining.

Title: SUPERGIRL
Issue Number: 34
Title Story: The Girl Who Fell to Earth
Title Arc: Superman Doomed [Last Sun]
Publisher: DC
Writer: Tony Bedard
Artist: Karl Moline
Inker: Jose Marzan Jr.
Colors: Hi-Fi
Letters: Rob Leigh
Cover Artists: Cameron Stewart with Nathan Fairbairn
Price (USD): $2.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Super Hero



The last time I checked in on Supergirl she was getting involved with the Red
Lanterns and now she is back on Earth. I wasn't sure how easy it would be to
follow this issue seeing how it was part of the larger Superman Doomed arc and
the third part of the Last Son portion. They both wrap up in SUPERMAN: DOOMED
that will follow next. But fortunately this story is more about Supergirl
herself and her actions with the people around her as the events of the larger
story are happening nearby. We learn bits and pieces of that larger story as the
issue moves along. At the start Supergirl literally falls to Earth and crashes
into an apartment building where she is cared for by a young man in a wheel
chair until she awakens. Their eventual conversation takes up the first half of
the book and through it we learn the high points of her latest exploits
confronting the now deformed Superman with the Red Lanterns. Meanwhile her new
friend, Michael, tells her of strange things happening on Earth - people going
in comas and Superman turning into a monster, even fighting his own friends. But
tragically there has been collateral damage, and it continues. Michael's own
parents are missing somewhere in Metropolis and he has not heard from them for
two days. Needless to say Supergirl is back and a lot of people need her help.
She may not be able to stop what is happening to her cousin but she can help
those in danger if she can recharge through the green cloud covering the city. I
liked this story because it was a more personal story about two people relating
to each other supporting each other through some hard times. It is about the
return of a hero and the steps she must take to gain acceptance at a time when
there is lots of mistrust in her kind. And then, just when it seems things are
going well we get another punch, a mysterious twist of events and then a major
revelation at the end promises more excitement next time. It was a good balance
and ended on a thrilling note.

Title: BATMAN BEYOND UNIVERSE
Issue Number: 13
Title Story: Marked Soul
Title Arc: Mark of the Phantasm
Publisher: DC
Writers: Kyle Higgins & Alec Siegel
Artists: Phil Hester, Eric Gapstur, Craig Rousseau & Thony Silas
Colors: Nick Filardi & Guy Major
Letters: Saida Temofonte
Cover Artist: Matteo Scalera & Moreno Dinisio
Price (USD): $3.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Super Hero



I picked up this issue of BATMAN BEYOND UNIVERSE because I had read it had some
major revelations about the main characters. Even if you don't read this title
on a regular basis you will be able to follow this story and realize its impact.
It is set up with three plots. The short one happened a year ago their time. It
is a scene that has the Dee Dees robbing a chemical plant. Batman and his semi-
partner Vigilante try to stop them but they make an escape when Vigilante is
injured by a chemical and Terry comes to his aid. The key element in this part
is the radio conversation between Bruce and Terry over allowing Vigilante to tag
along. The second plot is in the now, a year later. Vigilante, whose real name
has much significance in the Batman Universe is attacked in his base by The
Phantasm, a vigilante who hunts killers. So right away we know Vigilante is the
target for a past crime, which Phantasm reveals but I won't. Luckily Terry is
close by when Vigilante hits the panic button and Batman saves him though
Phantasm escapes. But Terry is exposed to the fear gas and when he spots a
framed photograph he forces Vigilante to explain. When he does Terry attacks
him. He has a good reason to and the fear gas pushes his anger too far. Not only
does he learn who the Vigilante really is but also learns why he was targeted as
a killer. This is the second major reveal, but again I won't spoil it. Based on
the identity of Vigilante, who manages to escape Terry's wrath, Terry has harsh
words with Bruce about what he knew when and then seeks out Dick Grayson for a
heart to heart. This brings up the third plot. It revolves around event that
happened "then" which was some years ago when Tim was Robin and was exposed to
heavy doses of Joker Toxin. In this continuity it was at that time Barbara quit
being Batgirl, Dick returned from Bludhaven and they rekindled a relationship.
However shortly thereafter that relationship, and the one between Bruce and
Dick, is shattered by another startling revelation. But you know I won't reveal
that one either. This issue is jam-packed with lots of interesting character
development and explanations of things that have been hidden since the
beginning. It is a good jump on point and a good read. The art is, as always,
consistent with the TV show. I say give it a try.

Title: UNCANNY AVENGERS
Issue Number: 23
Title Story: Let's Get Well
Publisher: Marvel
Writer: Rick Remender
Artist: Sanford Greene
Colors: Dean White
Letters: Clayton Cowles
Cover Artist: Augustin Alessio/Emma Rios
Price (USD): $3.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Super Hero




I have not been following this title so I took a chance that the latest issue
would be accessible. Fortunately it is a bit of a transition chapter and there
is a brief synopsis in the front to get up to speed. A lot has happened with
these characters that are a combination of Avengers and X-Men. With Wasp and the
Scarlett Witch we have Havok, Rogue, Sunfire and Banshee returning home.
Evidently they have spent years trapped on Planet X. They have now returned
after defeating Kang with the help of Immortus. Wasp is married to Havok and
they had a daughter who is lost somewhere or some when in time. Steve Rogers
appears to be much older as he greets them, I imagine to tie in to the
continuity in his title. Havok's face has been burned and disfigured. Sunfire
body was destroyed and he is now just a shell of cosmic fire. Something is wrong
with Banshee and it is not explained fully in this issue. He evidently is
staying in a stasis tube. And Wonder Man is trapped inside Rogue's Psyche. So
this issue is reuniting old friends and everyone coping with the changes to
everyone else. Rogue is having the hardest time of it and is really stressed out
with Simon being inside her brain. Wanda's attempt to cure her leads to more
problems and a wild chase to get Rogue back under control. Meanwhile Alex and
Janet have to cope with the possibility of never finding their daughter. Add to
that Havok's unique power makes it impossible to fix his face through normal
surgery so he may be disfigured for life. The final scene of the issue is a
lead-in to the next big event, AXIS, as Immortus appears to Janet and Alex with
words of hope for their daughter but also a dire warning about sinister plot
moving forward that will mean disaster on a global level. Who is behind it all
is revealed so if you don't know by now I will leave it for you to discover. As
I said this is a transition issue so it is pretty easy to follow. It is also a
good jump on point to those who want to know all there is to know about AXIS
right from the beginning. Little plot seeds like this are being included in a
number of titles right now, and I believe this is the first. However I was not
impressed with the art. The characters faces seemed all wrong - Wanda and Janet
are too young and Logan's face is all wrong. It just does not appeal to me on
that aspect though the dynamics are fine. I am not fond of Remender's writing
though I know this is a popular title. To each his own.

Title: BOB'S BURGERS
Issue Number: 1
Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment
Cover Artist (Main cover): Devin Roth
Price (USD): $3.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Humor - Cartoon Adaptation
Teen +








This is the latest comic from Dynamite of a licensed TV property. If you have
watched the show you know Bob and his family are the five main characters.
Rather than give us one or two adventures of the family we get five separate
entries (some with very long titles) involving each member of the Belcher
family. Here is a summary:

"Tina's Erotic Friend Fiction Presents: My So-called Life as a Horse", written
by Mike Olsen with art by Brad Rader and Derek Schroeder
Older daughter Tina tells a fictional tale in which she imagines herself as a
horse leading an otherwise normal life as a member of the family. That is until
she gets message from her friends in the Equestranauts. Yes it is a super hero
team of horses each with their own unique super power. Their arch rival Xander
has acquired the Electric Leash of Doom and the team needs Tina as their secret
weapon. It is actually a decent story and fun for all ages.

"Burger of the Day Ideas" by Jeff Drake with art by Tony Gennaro
This is Bob's entry and is just a pages of jotted down ideas for the names of
burgers using TV catch phrases or hits of the 80's. They are all kind of silly
and one is even illustrated. The "I Pity the Cool Ranch Burger" is a typical
burger with Cool Ranch Doritos stuck on the top bun to form a Mr. T Mohawk.

"Louise's Unsolved Mysteries and Curious Curiosities: Picture Day" by Rachel
Hastings, Frank Forte, Paige Garrison and Tyler Garrison
Younger daughter Louise, she the one always wearing a hat with rabbit ears,
appears to have an overactive imagination. It is picture day at school and she
notices that all the kids who have had them taken have blank stares and can only
say, "You must have your picture taken." She is convinced the photographer is an
alien trying to take over the world. How much of this is real and how much
imagined?


"Letters from Linda: Dear "Apparently You're Parenting" Magazine" by Jeff Drake
& Tony Gennaro
Mother Linda decided to writ into her favorite parenting magazine to offer her
thoughts about a new column about wine. Rather than the typical what wine goes
with what food column she thinks it would be good to talk about how much wine
goes with what activity like clothes shopping, kids bedtime stories or TV
dramas. It is somewhat predictable but I chuckled.

"Gene Belcher Presents: The Boy in the Burger, The Musical" by Justin Hook,
Bernard Derriman, Paige & Tyler Garrison
Son Gene presents a story told as if it were a musical. All the dialogue rhymes.
He is doing his duty for the family business parading around in a burger suit in
front of the store. But it is the hottest day of the year, blamed on the Solar
Vortex and he eventually passes out. When he awakens he is told he is now fused
to the suit. How will he live a life in a burger suit? Is there a silver lining
in the burger bun?

The common thread in all of this is silliness. I couldn't take a steady diet of
it but once in a while it is a pleasant diversion.

                                    *****
TRIVIA CONTEST!!!!     WIN REAL PRIZES!!!!!


If you think you know the answer to the trivia question send your guess via
Email to me at ComicBkNet@aol.com 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:
If a girl came up to you saying "I'm Dr. Strange's daughter", you would say "Hi
..." -- which name?

Doctor Strange's daughter Is Carla.
Not the Sorcerer Supreme we know and love, but a villain called Dr. Strange from
Tales of Suspense #41 seen in The Essential Iron Man.

Here was your no prize question:
Who is the only person to receive two Nobel prizes in science in two different
fields?

In 1898, Marie Curie and her husband, Pierre, discovered radium. She spent the
remainder of her life performing radiation research and studying radiation
therapy. Her constant exposure to radiation led to her contracting leukemia and
she died in 1934. Curie is the first and only person to receive two Nobel prizes
in science in two different fields: chemistry and physics. She was also the
first female professor at the University of Paris. Jeffery Matthews wins the no-
prize this time.

THIS WEEK'S TRIVIA QUESTION:
The story began in Avengers, continued in Fantastic Four and then jumped to the
first issue of a new comic.  Name this title that debuted in Feb 1986.


Here is your no prize question:

Who were the first singing brothers inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of
Fame?

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, August 29, 2014

Comic Reviews 8/29/14


REVIEWS

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.


Title: THE MULTIVERSITY
Issue Number: 1
Title Story: House of Heroes
Publisher: DC
Writer: Grant Morrison
Artist: Ivan Reis
Inker: Joe Prado
Colors: Nei Ruffino
Letters: Todd Klein
Price (USD): $4.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Super Hero





This is a much anticipated comic book from one of comic's favorite creators. It
will consist of two bookends, this being the first, telling a story that
involves the entire DC Multiverse, the fifty two universes as outlined on the
cover border. In fact if you look closely at that trade dress you will note that
several of the numbered Earths are in white, indicating their importance in this
particular issue because characters from those Earths are involved. In between
will be six one-shot issues each taking place on an alternate Earth and drawn by
different artists. It is our first wider introduction to the Multiverse since
the New 52 was launched. Like many of Morrison's work there are layers of story
on top of others and this is no exception. The main plot through it all is about
something that endangers the entire Multiverse - what DC normally calls a
"Crisis". The central character is Nix Uotan, the last of the Monitors. As
Superjudge, Nix Uotan has vowed to protect the Multiverse from his stronghold in
the Orrery, also called the Multiversity. He becomes aware of just such a major
threat through a comic book and along with his talking monkey sidekick, Mr.
Stubbs, he travels to Earth-7 to begin his investigation. He finds a devastated
world with only one super hero left standing, Thunderer. He is barely holding
out against the gigantic egg-shaped being with one eye and bat-like wings
floating above him. It identifies itself as one of the Gentry. It seems like
wiping out all life and turning the laws of physics on end in this place was
planned with one objective - to lure Uotan into making a swap, himself for
Thunderer. Being the kind of hero that he is Uotan agrees to the terms and
instructs Thunderer to go back with Mr. Stubbs and then assemble heroes from all
the remaining Earths and return to save them all. The balance of the book has
Thunderer doing just that. By the middle of the book he has assembled heroes
from various worlds. In one case we get a closer look at the world one comes
from. The Superman of Earth-23 is a black man whose secret identity is President
of the United States. There are a few scenes of him in his normal routine
including a scene with the Justice League of that Earth. And speaking of Justice
League, when Superman arrives in Multiversity he is greeted by Captain Carrot.
We also find Dino-Cop from Earth-41 who looks strangely like the Savage Dragon,
complete with the police uniform. The room is filled with alternate world heroes
- a Flash, a Green lantern, a Wonder Woman (girl really), and even Aquawoman.
Probably the most interesting part of the story is the encounter some of them
have on Earth-8, which is clearly a Marvel Universe analogue with Lord Havok
(Dr. Doom), Behemoth (Hulk - Dr. David Dibble), a Mr. Fantastic and even the 
Retaliators (Avengers). This is most interesting. If you have been reading
AVENGERS and NEW AVENGERS you know that they recently met and alternate Earth
Justice League. But all of this, well not the Marvel characters, was what you
expect in a story exploring the 52 worlds of the Multiverse. The tie-in with the
comic book I mentioned is also one of those multi-layered plot elements that has
to be read and interpreted by the reader. Frankly I am more interested in the
one-shot stories in the upcoming issues that will tell a longer story on one of
the other worlds in each issue. But this is a good framing issue that ends with
a twist that appears to be more about how the other bookend will begin than any
of the intervening one-shots. The art throughout is very fine. This is the kind
of comic you can read more than once and get more out of it each time. It really
lives up to the hype.

Title: THE DELINQUENTS
Issue Number: 1 (of 4)
Publisher: Valiant
Writer: James Asmus
Story: James Asmus and Fred Van Lente
Artist: Kano
Letters: Dave Sharpe
Price (USD): $3.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Super Hero/Humor






If you know these Valiant characters at all you probably think this is a logical
team-up to produce. After all both teams have a similar makeup. One partner is a
party animal while the other partner is more serious about life and their
purpose. But any good team up needs a good purpose and so we begin at some point
in the past, apparently the 1960's. Armstrong at this point is wandering about
the U.S. living the life on the rails with hobos. The key plot element is that a
"King of the Hobos" Toothless Rufus entrusts him with a map of the country
showing where certain hobo treasures are located. If you are familiar with the
hobo legends you know they have their own code of symbols meant communicate
amongst themselves secretly. The map was actually tattooed on another hobo's
rear end and when he died was peeled off to pass down to others. So yeah, it is
called the ass map. Well over time part of it was ripped off and passed from
person to person while Armstrong retained the other half. So that brings us to
the present and the reason why the two Valiant duos will cross paths. The plot
introduces the big agro-business corporation called Mondostano. They are
involved in genetically engineered organisms. They are portrayed as the
stereotypical evil corporation, taking over small farmers who are "caught" with
produce that contains their patented modified genes in them. Like most of the
bad guys in both regular titles their operatives are caricatures and in the case
of the muscle literally larger than life. During one such takeover Jia Storm and
her heavy Mr. Meat come across the missing half of the ass map and she realizes
her superiors will want to see it. One thing leads to another and eventually
Mondostano hires Quantum and Woody, who are now public heroes for hire, to find
what kind of treasure is hidden in each location based on the map and try to
find the other half. The first problem is trying to figure out what all those
strange symbols mean. It won't be long before Archer and Armstrong are on the
same trail with their half of the map.  So the plot is set up to eventually have
these guys cross paths. Much of it is rather silly and even too coincidental to
be believable but for the sake of the comic I let that pass. The fun of this
comic is more in the dialogue and actions of the characters. Both Armstrong and
Woody are constant frustrations to their partners. Half the time both teams are
running away from angry people or getting mixed up with strange villains or
people who appear harmlessly nuts but are really hiding an evil nature. This is
not meant to be taken seriously as a super hero comic. It is all in fun and it
will amuse anyone who gives it a try. As a bonus the "board game" variant cover
to the miniseries are one inter-locking picture of a board game. There are
player tokens and game cards at the back of each issue to cut out so you can
eventually play the world's first board game played on comic book covers - or so
they say. I guess they hope you buy two copies - one to keep and one to cut up.
One copy is sufficient to get your money's worth in my opinion.

Title: THE FADE OUT
Issue Number: 1
Title Story: The Wild Party
Publisher: Image
Creators: Ed Brubaker & Sean Phillips
Writer: Ed Brubaker
Artist: Sean Phillips
Colors: Elizabeth Breitweiser
Price (USD): $3.50
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Crime Noir
Mature - Comics on the Edge




Fans of Ed Brubaker's crime dramas will not have to be nudged to buy this comic.
If you have never tried one this is a good one to pick up. Brubaker and Phillips
blend together so well that whatever the story is that they are telling comes
across fluidly. Every panel accentuates and moves the plot without just showing
what is already being told. Additionally, Sean Phillips has a clean detailed
style and he uses the coloring and shading to optimum advantage. This drama is
set in Hollywood in the fall of 1948. The main character is Charlie Parish, a
screenwriter with a broken marriage and a small drinking problem. His friend,
Gil Mason, is a washed up writer with a huge drinking problem. Charlie help Gil
stay out of trouble and when he is lucid Gil helps Charlie with his writing. The
crime that is central to the story is the death of up and coming starlet Valeria
Sommers, the co-star of the movie Charlie is working on. It all begins when
Charlie awakens in the bathtub of one of those small bungalows the studio keeps
to stash contract players so they can be near the set. His first thought is,
"How did I get here?" Slowly he begins to remember bits and pieces about the
night before - the wild party, the fight between some studio big shots and a
black celebrity and later walking away from the party - but not much else. He
chalked it up to a drunken blackout. That all changes when he makes it to the
living room and finds Valeria strangled to death on the floor. The rest of the
cast is very interesting. There is the womanizer star, the publicity girl for
the studio and the studio's head of security. Each are inserted into the plot in
the proper place to build the story in the right manner. Charlie realizes he
can't tell anyone where he spent the night and so he lets others discover the
body and break the news. The fact that the death is quickly being portrayed as a
suicide makes him more nervous still. This is a tense drama that gets even more
so by the end of the issue. If you are like me you are already forming theories
by then as to who killed Valeria. Is it one of the five main characters we've
met, even maybe Charlie?  Could it be someone else to be revealed later?  All I
know is this is a top notch thriller from the best in the business. You really
should check it out.


Title: THE LIFE AFTER
Issue Number: 2
Publisher: Oni Press
Writer: Joshua Hale Fialko
Artist: Gabo
Letters: Crank!
Price (USD): $3.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Fantasy
Mature - Comics on the Edge






Often times I will pick up a comic that is not a first issue to see how well the
creators transition the story for new readers. This series is on its second
issue and the bizarre cover drew me in to it. What I found on the inside was not
what I expected, although it ties directly into the cover illustration. To their
credit Fialkov and the editor give a quick synopsis of the story so far on the
inside cover. The story is about Jude who is having a hard time believing where
he is. He remembers seeing a girl on the bus each day but is afraid to talk to
her. That changed when he gets the courage and as they touch he has a vision of
her tragic past and then the girl disappears in a flash of light. Imagine his
surprise when the man who helps him to his feet is none other than Ernest
Hemingway who tells Jude he is in purgatory, one especially set aside for
suicides. As the second issue begins Hemingway is further explaining that
everyone here died from suicide and the compulsion is still with them. Sure
enough as they walk across a bridge several people are climbing on the rail to
jump over the side. When Jude tries to grab one of them he once again
experiences that persons past - in this case a young boy who could no longer
take the constant bullying at school and ended his life in a leap. When
Hemingway asks Jude how he committed suicide Jude can't remember, in fact he
does not think he did. This is what sets him apart from everyone else in
purgatory. He has no compulsion to commit suicide and is the only one who can
see people's past with a touch. He needs to figure out why he is here and
Hemingway agrees to help. The journey will lead them to experiment with touching
another soul and that leads to an attack from ghost-like monsters that provide
Jude visions of a truly unnatural plane of existence filled with creatures and
scenes you might see in some medieval painting of hell. The other element to
this story is what is going on behind the scenes. There are men in some kind of
control room watching what is going on and they are not pleased. Jude and
Hemingway must be dealt with and soon.  Needless to say we are not told
everything we need to know at this point and the mystery of it all is
delightful. We are seeing it from two points of view but it is still puzzling
that someone controls what goes on in purgatory in this manner - if that is
really where we are. This one issue succeeds in providing the new reader with
enough information to jump on the story and it moves forward with lots of new
ground being covered. Gabo is an excellent illustrator that excels with bringing
to life anything Joshua can thing up with excellent detail and vibrant coloring.
I was pleased with this comic and would recommend you give it a try.

Title: JUSTICE INC.
Issue Number: 1
Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment
Writer: Michael Uslan
Artist: Giovanni Timpano
Colors: Marco Lesko
Letters: Simon Bowland
Price (USD): $3.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Pulp Heroes






I am not a big fan of the pulp heroes but I like to sample the titles Dynamite
puts out now and then. This story not only brings together three of these
classic men of mystery - The Shadow, Doc Savage and The Avenger - but also
appears to be the origin story of The Avenger. This story evidently explores the
secret link that The Shadow and Doc Savage have that led to the birth of the
Avenger. It starts in the present as Doc Savage is ready to demonstrate his
latest technological breakthrough in his hideout in the Himalayas. Deep in this
former missile silo he has built a super collider to create a Universal Quantum
Machine that will smash subatomic particles together at the speed of light and
create a time wormhole. While the experiment is a success it is a bit out of
control and the cyclonic vortex begins to extend high into the atmosphere.
Unfortunately a passing jumbo jet is sucked into the event horizon and as you
would expect Doc Savage decides he must save them. In an "only could happen in
the comics" moment he flies up in his P-39 Airacobra so he can jump to the wing
of the bigger plane, get inside and save the day. There is so much wrong with
this entire sequence, according to the laws of physics that you really have to
suspend your disbelief for the sake of the story. Anyway, this is the plot
device that take the story back to 1939 where that time's Doc Savage is being
funded by Richard Benson, the man who will eventually become The Avenger. Back
then Savage is involved with the beginnings of the work on the atomic bomb. The
opening scene has an interesting discussion between Savage, Einstein, Fermi and
none other than HG Wells. Meanwhile Benson and his family are meeting in New
York to journey to Nepal as well. Oh, and Howard Hughes has a part to play in
this drama as well. You can imagine the commotion a jumbo jet from our time
would cause when it suddenly appears in the New York airspace and demands
clearance for landing. It is something right out of the Twilight Zone. Aside
from the action/adventure part of the plot there are also sinister forces at
work setting plans in motion at the same time. They will have profound effects
on Benson and the others as well. This is a pretty involved story with layers of
plot just starting to be set up for further exploration. The main story is
interesting and even comical at times. The art is up to the high quality
standards I have always seen from Dynamite. The Shadow also makes a brief
appearance but for now is mostly, well, in the shadows. I am sure it will all
come together nicely by the end of the arc. It is entertaining reading worth the
price.

Title: SENSATION COMICS FEATURING WONDER WOMAN
Issue Number: 1
Title Story: Gothamazon
Publisher: DC
Creator of Wonder Woman - William Moulton Marston
Writer: Gail Simone
Artists: Ethan Van Sciver and Marcelo Di Chiara
Colors: Brian Miller
Letters: Saida Temofonte
Price (USD): $3.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Super Hero





DC has started another solo title for its powerhouse female Wonder Woman. I
believe this is a way to have some stories told without being tied down to the
ongoing arcs in the main book. So it seems in this first issue anyway. This is a
$3.99 book so I would expect value for the money. Ethan Van Sciver certainly
delivers on that front on the lead story. I first saw his work when he was doing
a creator owned comic. I remarked then that he should forget about writing his
own comics and just draw. If you ever read CYBERFROG you know what I am talking
about. Many years later he has excelled at both Marvel and DC. He always turns
in detailed dynamic work that is an asset to any comic. Miller's colors are a
perfect fit for his work. With Gail Simone on the story I expected better than
average as well. The basic plot has the Bat-Team unable to take on a team up of
Gotham's baddest villains. Who can possibly handle Joker, The Riddler, Two Face,
Poison Ivy, Man-Bat, Penguin and Mr. Freeze all at once?  Oracle is given the
task to call in a substitute that is not only good enough but also bad enough to
do what it takes. She of course chooses Wonder Woman. Without getting into too
much detail she of course saves the day eventually with a little help from her
amazon sisters, a lucky flip of the coin and a couple of unlikely allies. It is
not a bad story but I did not think there was much to it. In fact the premise
bothered me right from the start. We see the Batmobile roaring down the street
with Robin and Nightwing on motorcycles on either side of it and then a big
explosion. The aftermath of that is why Oracle needs to call in help but it is
never explained what happened to the Bat-guys. The fact that Oracle is involved
means that this is not the NEW 52 continuity, and that is cool. I just felt this
was an average story that needed more punch.

Backup Story: "Defender of Truth" by Amanda Deibert, Cat Staggs and John Rauch
I had the opposite reaction to this short second story. To me the art was
unappealing. The lines and ink are less defined and the color is dull. The story
was more interesting with Diana alerted to an attack on the National Cathedral.
It turns out that Circe was luring her out and plans to put her through the
paces. Circe is not a fair fighter and uses innocents transformed into mythical
centaurs to attack Diana. This is a good back and forth battle until Wonder
Woman finally gets the upper hand. Then just when you think it is over there is
more as Wonder Woman takes the time to teach a few young boys who have been
watching a valuable lesson. As I said, this is the opposite of the first story -
better story, poorer art. I hope all the issues aren't this uneven. Wonder Woman
can be a great lead with the correct writer and artists.

                                    *****
TRIVIA CONTEST!!!!     WIN REAL PRIZES!!!!!


If you think you know the answer to the trivia question send your guess via
Email to me at ComicBkNet@aol.com 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:
In what Justice League related title did the WONDER TWINS, Zan and Jayna, enter
DC continuity?

It was not SUPER FRIENDS as that was not in continuity but EXTREME JUSTICE #9.
The winner by the dice is David McBarron.

Here was your no prize question:
Which fast food chain has the most stores worldwide with a total of 42,298?

Subway is kind enough to keep a store counter on its website, and they currently
claim 42,298 restaurants in 101 countries. That's a lot of sub sandwiches!
McDonald's, the world's second-biggest fast-food chain, currently counts around
34,700 restaurants worldwide. Subway, which started in 1965 as a sandwich shop
in Bridgeport, Connecticut, doesn't appear to be stopping anytime soon. The Wall
Street Journal reported in March 2011 that the Subway sandwich restaurant chain
pulled ahead of McDonald's Corporation in terms of number of stores open
globally. David McBarron knows his fast food and wins the no prize.

THIS WEEK'S TRIVIA QUESTION:
If a girl came up to you saying "I'm Dr. Strange's daughter", you would say "Hi
..." -- which name?

Here is your no prize question:
Who is the only person to receive two Nobel prizes in science in two different
fields?


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.