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Friday, September 17, 2010

Comic Reviews 9/17/10

Title: TIME BOMB
Issue Number: 2 (of 3)
Publisher: Radical Comics
Creators/Writers: Jimmy Palmiotti & Justin Gray
Artist: Paul Gulacy
Colors: Rain Beredo
Letters: John J. Hill
Price (USD): $4.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Science Fiction
Mature Readers




I was really impressed by the first issue of this mini-series I was happy to
find the second issue out this week. Aside from the solid story and interesting
characters Paul Gulacy's art is very appealing. He gets the action, close up
emotion, and the realism just right. After a WWII bomb is trigger in a long
buried Nazi bunker the world is threatened with a deadly virus that would mean
the end of civilization. The New World Order sends a team of specialists back in
time using an abandoned experimental machine - the Time Bomb - to prevent the
Omega device from being set off in the first place. The team of Jack Mcrea, Ken
Weinhauser, Christian Grainger and Peggy Medina overshoot their 24-hour target
and instead are sent back several decades to a concentration camp near the end
of the war. This obviously changes the parameters of their mission. They have to
now work as spies in a war zone, find the Omega Bomb, in whatever stage of
development it is at, and either dismantle or destroy it without getting killed
or seriously altering history. Of course they have a few high tech toys to aid
them in this mission and get to use them. But it is still stealth and cold
calculation they will need to get to their goal. Along the way there are fights
with Nazis, a very interesting meeting of the people behind the construction of
the Omega bomb and their familiar leader and a turning point to the story in the
heart of the coming end to the war in Berlin. The writers have taken the time to
script a thriller with just the right amount of the fantastic to make it more
about the characters racing against time to save the world. The cliffhanger
ending for the team after overcoming some really intense situations will have
you desperate to see how it all ends. This book demonstrates how to put together
the whole package. Wait until you see what I mean.

Title: THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN
Issue Number: 641
Title Story: Something Blue
Title Arc: One Moment in Time
Publisher: Marvel
Writer: Joe Quesada
Artist: Paolo Rivera
Other Art: Joe Quesada, Danny Miki & Richard Isanove
Letters: Joe Caramagna
Price (USD): $3.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Super Hero



I won't pretend to keeping up with all the details in Peter Parker's life. I
occasionally pick up a Spider-Man title but see him more often in other books
such as the NEW AVENGERS. So, I am not sure if I get the entire gist of this
plot. I know Peter Parker revealed his identity to the world during the time
after the Super Human Registration Act was passed. As a result his loved ones
became targets. His Aunt May was mortally wounded. Now here is the part where my
knowledge departs from the introductory text. What I remember is that Peter made
a deal with Mephisto. In exchange for May Parker's survival the memory of Peter
Parker being Spider-Man would be wiped from the world's memory. That includes
the fact that Peter and Mary Jane would no longer be married, it would be as if
it never happened. Marvel used it as a Brand New Day - a way of having Peter
single again without going through some messy divorce or death. The introductory
text here has him going to Doctor Strange to ask him to make the world forget
that he is Spider-Man. This final chapter of the arc has Peter and Mary Jane
sitting down to discuss why their marriage never came to be. He is retelling the
events of that day through his perspective. Doctor Strange appears to be in a
trance but we see he is having a high level meeting on the astral plain with
Reed Richards and Tony Stark. It is the three together that have the knowledge
and technology to do what Peter is asking - but are they all willing to do it?
This indeed reads like another reset in the Marvel Universe. It is as if they
are saying, "the Mephisto thing didn't work the way we wanted so lets not just
bring Peter and MJ back together but provide a better way for them not to be
together, or never married for that matter." Well, whether or not I have it
right the story here is well scripted and allows things to move forward from
here. The mix of art styles works well as it highlights the difference in
perspectives from what happened then and what is now. Peter even comments at the
end that it feels like a brand new day and for Spider-Man it is.

Title: LUCID
Issue Number: 1 (of 4)
Title Story: Subterranean Homesick Aliens
Title Arc: Magical History Tour
Publisher: Archaia in association with Before the Door
Creator: Michael McMillian
Writer: Michael McMillian
Artist: Anna Wieszczyk
Letters: Shawn DePasquale
Price (USD): $3.95
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Science Fiction/Fantasy



Before the Door is the media production company of Zachary Quinto. This is also
Michael McMillian's first comic work. He is an actor who recently appeared on
HBO's True Blood and had a recurring role on WHAT I LIKE ABOUT YOU. This comic
is a combination of spy adventure, magic, science fiction and the Arthurian
legend. Matthew Dee is the newly appointed "Protector of the Realm" sometime in
the 21st century. He uses his skills as a covert spy and combat mage to protect
America from the forces of evil. The latest threat has him and his fellow agent
Danya Gygan on the trail of the Grand Liaisons to Outer Biological Entities,
GLOBE, who are about to open a Parson's Gate, which is a dimensional portal.
They believe they are descendants of celestial beings who they will help bring
back to save mankind. A man named Waylan Gheely is manipulating them. Dee knows
they are just dupes that will help bring a great evil into our dimension. This
plot serves to introduce us to Agent Dee and his abilities. Not only is he an
effective covert operative but he also has a high level of magical skill. He
later tells his superiors and the President about those extra-dimensional beings
called the Daoine Sidhe. They were banished after a long struggle for dominion
of the Earth by non other than Merlin of Camelot. The spell Merlin cast so long
ago is showing signs of cracking so Dee is tasked with conducting a s‚ance with
the now late Gheely to learn what they can. Though the art is a little too dark
in color it is not bad. We have gotten rid of most of the back-story and
introductions and will get into the heart of the story next time. Not a bad
start.


Title: RATCHET & CLANK
Issue Number: 1
Title Story: Ears of War
Publisher: Wildstorm/DC
Writer: T.J. Fixman
Artist: Adam Archer
Colors: Jonny Rench
Letters: Saida Temofonte
Cover Artist: Creaturebox
Price (USD): $3.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Video Game Adaptation
All Ages


This one is adapted from a Sony video game of which I have no knowledge. SO once
again I go into this review as a typical comic fan sampling a comic book for the
first time. First let me say I really like the art. It has an almost 3D quality
with vibrant coloring and animation quality finished art. That alone makes it a
visual pleasure. On the planet Veldin our two heroes are busy restoring a
Skyburst 8000 rocket ship. Ratchet is the somewhat humanoid of the two while
Clank is a small robot. It is clear from the start that this is a light-hearted
story, as they no sooner fire up the ship than things go wrong. Fortuitously it
is a non-lethal predicament. But it serves to introduce the characters and set
the tone of the comic. They guys have a past that Ratchet would rather forget.
He just wants t be a simple mechanic doing his job. Too bad the President of the
Polaris Galaxy, Qwark, shows up with a job for them. It seems that some planets
have gone missing. Ratchet wants nothing to do with it but when the force behind
it all comes visiting his planet, that's another story. It is the beginning of
an adventure that has colorful characters and a deeper plot than I though it
would. It is entertaining from the point of view of one unfamiliar with the
video game. Those familiar will probably enjoy it more.

Title: INVADERS NOW
Issue Number: 1 (OF 5)
Title Story: Condemned To Repeat It
Publisher: Publisher
Writer: Christos Gage
Artist: Caio Reis
Colors: Vinicius Andrade
Letters: Simon Bowland
Cover Artist: Alex Ross
Price (USD): $3.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Super Hero


I am not much of a fan of golden age super heroes transplanted to the present
but this seemed like it was worth at least checking out now that the Invaders,
at least some of them, have been around for a while. It starts out with a
strange man stumbling into a hospital. He is malformed with bulging muscles all
over so much that his skin is splitting open. He attacks two people and soon
they begin to deform. Fortunately they are all put down before it can spread
further and the incident is reported to the new head of US security forces,
Steve Rogers. But he recognizes what this is and puts out a call for the
Avengers, all of them. Suddenly the Golden Age Vision (I didn't even know there
was one!) appears in the room and tells him no, only the Invaders can save the
world now. The rest of this first issue has the Vision rounding up the rest of
the Invaders, or in some cases their current counterparts. They are Bucky Barnes
- Captain America, Namor - the Submariner, Thomas Raymond - Toro, Jim Hammond -
the Original Human Torch, Jacqueline Falsworth Chrichton - Spitfire and Joseph
Chapman - Union Jack. Along the way, in a two by two sequence, we get to learn
about the characters. For example Tom Raymond has an interesting conversation
with Bucky about the difficulty in being displaced in time to the future while
elsewhere Spitfire tells Union Jack how much she appreciates his carrying on her
father's legacy. Each pair either gets to fight evildoers or perform some task
together just as Vision appears to recruit them to the cause. This all links
back to something that happened back during WWII. The hint is that this was not
one of their better moments. So as far as the first issue goes it is good set up
and background on all the characters, some that we know very well and others we
are getting to know. That structure also allows us to see them in action as
teammates as the story moves forward. The art is pretty good. If you are at all
curious about these characters are all about this appears to a good way to get
to know them. The bigger picture behind the major plot will have to wait until
the next issue.

Title: DOOM PATROL
Issue Number: 14
Title Story: Power Player
Publisher: DC
Creator: Arnold Drake
Writer: Keith Giffen
Artist: Matthew Clark & Ron Randall
Inker: John Livesay
Colors: Guy Major
Letters: Swands & Brosseau
Cover Artist: Clark & Major
Price (USD): $2.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Super Hero

I have not read an issue of DOOM PATROL in about a year so I decided to see what
they are up to. As it turns out this issue is the start of a new arc so it is a
good one to sample. It begins with a delightful introduction told in song by
none other than Ambush Bug. It is actually a recap of the most recent story to
help the new reader segue into the new one. And it does as Dayton and Robotman
are walking the beach Rita show up in enlarged form, grabs Dayton and flings him
out into the ocean. Only Cliff's fast reaction will enable Dayton to survive.
This single event sets off reactions not only from Rita's teammates but also
from the people that watch over them. Once Rita has cooled off there are some
revealing discussions about how the members feel about each other and Niles
Caulder. Speaking of Niles you might guess from the cover that the story would
be more about him and it is. This may be something that has been going on for
several issues but he is about to conduct an experiment on himself that will
truly change the dynamic of the Doom Patrol and not in a good way. His
personality seems agitated; perhaps he has even gone over the edge. He will
attempt to give himself Superman/Kryptonian powers. What will be his plan if he
succeeds? I found this to be an interesting plot with some really surprising
action in the latter half. I am not sure I get why they have to be shown as
major dysfunctional all the time. The art team does a decent job in support of
the story. This is one of those episodes that you read to the end and
immediately say, what happens next?

*****
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:
Whose name means "He who devours your entrails and thoroughly enjoys it"?
The answer is the DC character Lobo. The winner by the dice is Gary Katzoff.

Here was your no prize question:
Where is the driest place on Earth?
Technically, the driest place on Earth is in the valleys of the Antarctic
near Ross Island. There has been no rainfall there for two million years. On the
entire continent the average yearly total precipitation is about two inches.

THIS WEEK'S TRIVIA QUESTION:
In the SUPERMAN: THE MOVIE, what color was Lois Lane's underwear?

Here is your no prize question:
What country has more lakes than the rest of the world combined?


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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