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Thursday, July 29, 2010

Comic Reviews - 7/23/10

Issue Number: 1
Title Story: Lust and Leviathan
Title Arc: Troublemaker
Publisher: Dark Horse
Writer: Jim Shooter
Artist: Dennis Calero
Letters: Blambot!
Price (USD): $3.50
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Super Hero

Some heroes refuse to go away. Doctor Solar first came to life in 1962 as one of
the offerings of Gold Key Comics. A more commercially successful version became
part of the Valiant Universe under the guidance of Jim Shooter. Now Shooter is
writing yet another iteration of the character for Dark Horse. The story starts
with Solar already having donned a red suit and visor and in the midst of trying
to capture a big bruiser in a costume creating havoc in a restaurant. He
eventually succeeds but the hook of the story is where this bad guy came from.
The story segues into Solar explaining how he changed into the Man of the Atom
to a colleague in a very cursory fashion. Shooter's real intent is to get into
that other character and more about his "creator." While there is some typical
super hero action this is not typical for some of Shooter's other work. A being
as powerful as Solar should have a very easy time with a thug who just has super
strength. We are probably supposed to chalk it up to his relative inexperience.
The other side of the plot showing Leviathan and another costumed character is
supposed to heighten our interest in the larger story but I found the whole
thing less than intriguing. I am hoping Shooter will get into some deeper plots
as he goes on so I will stick with it a while. The art I found to be adequate
but only marginally. There is something about it, the coloring and shading that
makes it less appealing to the eye. It gets the job done though. I give it a
qualified yes for now.

Backup feature: "Solar's Secret" from DOCTOR SOLAR, MAN OF THE ATOM #1
Gold Key Comics October 1962
Script: Paul S. Newman
Art: Bob Fujitani

Since Dark Horse has the rights to the Gold Key material they ran the origin of
the original DOCTOR SOLAR as a back up story. It is interesting to contrast the
art and writing of this feature with more standard fare not only of these days
but that of the sixties. I actually like the line art better than the main
feature though the coloring of Solar post-accident with green skin was strange.
It is fun to read these older comics with the perspective of what has happened
since then. It is easy to see why Marvel took off in the sixties and Solar never
made it real big. While it is a readable story it is just not as exciting as the
other comics that surpassed it. So far the Valiant Solar was the best version
yet and worth seeking out in the back issues.

Issue Number: 1-Shot
Title Story: "Tough ****"
Publisher: Image
Writer: Joe Casey
Artist: Chris Burnham
Colors: Marc Letzmann
Letters: Rus Wooton
Price (USD): $4.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Science Fiction
MATURE - Comics on the Edge

Officer Downe is Terrance Downe who is one bad mother when it comes to enforcing
the law. One day he was a little too gung ho in a high-speed chase and died in
the process. That was twenty-two years ago. Lucky for the police they had a
group of scientists who finally cracked the resurrection equation. Yes they
found a way to bring Downe back to life. As we see in the opener he is very
aggressive in his approach and comes up against the most hard-core criminals out
there. After we see his successful takedown of a drug cartel their leader pulls
a suicide move with a large explosion killing Downe as well. It is then we see
his back-story and the amazing technology that once again restores Downe for
another round at the bad guys. But waiting in the wings is an even tougher
opponent - Zen Master Flash. The whole thing is way over the top with lots of
blood and gore, cursing, and even a story title that can't be reprinted in this
family friendly forum. It is not high drama by any means and mostly pushes the
limits for shock value and humor. It is not for everybody. If you like
outrageous violence and language in a tongue in cheek science fiction based plot
than this will appeal. Otherwise - just move along.

Issue Number: 1 (of 5)
Publisher: Image
Creator: Kody Chamberlain
Price (USD): $2.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Crime Drama
MATURE - Comics on the Edge

The title refers to pecan pralines that are found at each of six recent murders
in New Orleans. In fact the opening scene is close ups of someone mixing up a
fresh batch, presumably for the murder of a priest that follows in the next
sequence. Contrast the view of the murderer with the cops assigned to the case.
One is on the edge of despair. Curt's daughter died three weeks ago and now his
wife wants a divorce. His partner, Jeff, has to convince the lieutenant to give
Curt the chance to stay sober and work the case and prove he can still do the
job. The two have an interesting dynamic and Kody takes the time to show them
together discussing other things to familiarize us with the two. There is also
another duo involved obliquely right now in the story. They are a city
prosecutor with some perverse habits and a powerful woman who has the goods on
him and will use him for her own purposes. How this fits in is yet to be
revealed. Kody is an amazing artist. He uses black and white, a harsher
realistic in brown tones and even a more cartoony style for a flashback. So far
everything has kept my interest while revealing just enough to begin building
the drama. This is a solid effort worth checking out.

Issue Number: 1
Title Story: Slave Ship To the Stars
Publisher: Shadowline/Image
Writers: Jane Wiedlin & Bill Morrison
Artists: Bill Morrison & Tone Rodriguez
Inker: Bill Morrison & Dan Davis
Colors: Rachelle Rosenberg
Letters: Tony Fleecs
Price (USD): $3.50
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Science Fiction

Well, I'll admit I didn't even know who Jane Wiedlin was and the comic itself
gives no background text. So off to the Internet I go to find that Jane was the
rhythm guitarist for the Go-Go's and dabbled in acting in TV and movies. Now she
is co-writer of this space opera with herself as the heroine. Bill Morrison does
a good job in the art and no doubt polishing the script as well. The set up has
Jane and her band performing on tour. She has been trouble by strange dreams of
being abducted by aliens and then probed by a robot called the Probuloid.
Stranger still is the new amp her manager gets in return for her promoting the
product. The trouble is it is very similar to the Probuloid. The story goes from
a meeting with a fan after a show and then a real abduction of both of them by
real aliens. They want her to perform for their leader on their home planet.
What they have in store for Jane along the way will change her life forever.
Actually this is not a bad story. There are moments of humor, lots of strange
E.T.s and the opening scene gives us a glimpse of where the plot is heading.
There is a female villain that will give our dynamic duo some hard times in the
future. It's a fun romp and well executed. Just the thing to vary your comic

Issue Number: 1-SHOT
Publisher: IDW
Creator: Richard Stark
Adapted by: Darwyn Cooke
Price (USD): $2.00
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Crime Drama
Mature - Comics on the Edge

I am not familiar with Richard Stark's books but Darwyn Cooke is a big fan and
has been for a long time. This oversized low-priced adaptation is a prelude to
the graphic novel coming in October - THE OUTFIT. Darwyn Cooke is a very
recognizable artist with firm command of all the techniques needed to bring any
story to life. Stark's story of criminals planning an armored car robbery is
transformed into a fascinating study of just another job through the eyes of the
protagonist, Parker. The significance of the title is the fact that Parker has
just had plastic surgery to alter his face so the New York syndicate would not
be able to track him. Even old acquaintances do not recognize him now. Now he
needs cash and make contact with a friend who facilitates their kind of work.
The job is to rob an armored car at a diner as the employees break for lunch.
The waitress is in on the job brought in by one of the group who is more than
friendly with her. Parker hears the plan and refines it and gets them to
practice before the big day. But he is also an old hand at this business and he
knows he cannot trust everyone on the team. How it plays out is classic stuff,
with a surprise for the next chapter in the final scene. I really enjoyed the
story told mostly in narrative form. Cooke's style is elegant in its simplicity
and layout. Even a simple panel showing the tools of the trade fits right in
when used in this third color black and white book. The story is solid and I'll
be looking for THE OUTFIT this fall. So grab this one - it is definitely worth
two bucks.


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

Last week's trivia question:

In what comic, issue and number, did Deathstroke the Terminator first appear?

Many knew it was NEW TEEN TITANS #2. The winner by the dice is Michael Odell.

Here is your no prize question:

Who was awarded the very first gold record?

Although there were earlier publicity stunts involving records sprayed with gold
lacquer, the actual award recognized today as a Gold Record was first awarded to
Perry Como in 1958 for his recording of "Catch a Falling Star".


Like many heroes, he got his power, as did a few other people in an accident.
Whose power was the ability to hear evil?

Here is your no prize question:

What is the only song John Lennon recorded completely by himself during his time
with The Beatles?

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.

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