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Thursday, November 4, 2010

comic reviews 11/5/10

Issue Number: 584
Title Story: Congratulations, Mister Grimm. You're Handsome Again!
Title Arc: Three (part 2)
Publisher: Marvel
Creator: Lee & Kirby
Writer: Jonathan Hickman
Artist: Steve Epting
Colors: Paul Mounts
Letters: Rus Wooton
Cover Artist: Alan Davis, Mark Farmer & Javier Rodriguez
Price (USD): $2.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Super Hero

This is the second part of the four-part story that will lead into the 50th
Anniversary of the FANTASTIC FOUR. The build up for the arc is that one of the
four will fall but which is not yet clear. The story intersects with previous
plots and mysteriously ignores some event from the last issue. There are three
plots in this episode. Sue Storm is off to meet Namor in the X-Men's refuge
known as Utopia. She is there to help hold a summit between the Atlanteans and
the newly discovered tribes of Old Atlantis. At the end of the issue the Silver
Surfer who is seeking answers as to why Galactus from the far future is lying
dead and decaying under the Earth pays Reed a visit. But the main plot, as
indicated by the title, concerns The Thing. Reed and his new Future Foundation
has developed a formula they believe will allow Ben to return to his human form
for a week at a time. This by far is the most interesting part of the story. Ben
has already taken the potion and in spectacular fashion it indeed works. So
Johnny proposes that he makes the most of it by going out on the town to do
things he hasn't been able to do in a long time. And so the two spend time
together as normal humans, not a thing people stare at no matter where they go.
Walking in the streets, taking in a ball game, knocking down a few at a bar,
participating in a card game with friends are all things Ben relishes more and
more as the night goes on. They even have a run in with the all-new, all
different Yancy Street Gang. But the highlight for Ben is a reluctant visit to
the one person he really needs to see. It is a touching moment seemingly out of
place in a story that bodes ill for one of the four. It got me thinking that
perhaps Ben will die in an act of courage while in human form. That remains to
be seen. I do not follow the FF on a regular basis but this issue was not
difficult to get into and it was a delight to read. The art is top notch as is
the scripting. With two more issue in the arc look for major developments next
time to lead into the finale. The arc has been selling well so grab it while you

Issue Number: 1 (of 6)
Title Story: The City of Tomorrow
Publisher: DC
Writers: Stuart Moore & Fabian Nicieza
Artists: Tom Derenick & Drew Geraci
Colors: Allen Passalaqua
Letters: Rob Leigh
Price (USD): $3.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Super Hero

While DC publishes this series it is a joint venture with Teshkeel Comics. It
features the big teams from both publishers though probably like most of you I
was unaware of The 99 until I picked up this comic. On the Arabian Peninsula a
coalition of governments and corporations have built the so-called City of the
Future in the middle of one of the largest desert areas in the world. It is
intended as a showplace of international peace and cooperation at a cost of
billions. A special domed roof keeps the environment comfortable while allowing
in the right amount of sunlight. Families from around the world have volunteered
to live in harmony here. At the ribbon cutting ceremony is one of the main
philanthropists involved, Dr. Ramzi Razem of the 99 Steps Foundation. He brought
with him three members of the recently revealed teenage superhero team he runs,
The 99. Each member has been given a unique power through the magic of Noor
Stones. Also on hand are Superman and Wonder Woman, in her new persona, which
may be her first appearance that way outside her own title. But naturally things
go awry when Albert Chou shows up. He is an employee of the enemy of Dr. Razem,
Rughal. Soon the crowd is fighting each other for no apparent reason. As
Superman, Wonder Woman, and their new allies try to cope with the disturbance
other strange things are happening around the world. In St. Louis people with
powers, the New Madmen, attack a young man in a wheel chair, John Weller. John
is/was a member of the 99 and these guys are after him. Luckily other members of
the JLA intervene. As John's power to inflict pain suddenly go wild they whisk
him off to the Hall of Justice. Elsewhere, in the Amazon basin, Carter Hall is
on an expedition with some students when they encounter what appears to be an
earthquake. Other members of the 99 who apparently know what is the cause of the
rumbling will join him. Well, it is off to a good start plot-wise but there are
a lot of characters introduced in a short time. With a six-issue story I imagine
each episode will introduce more, each with one unique power to be integrated
into the situation at hand. While it is interesting from that aspect the basic
story seems mostly like an average team up you would see with more established
characters. Still, it is worthwhile reading so far.

Issue Number: 9
Publisher: Papercutz
Writers: Maia Kinney-Petruchia, Margo Kinney-Petruchia, Scott Lobdell, Stefan
Petruchia & Jim Salicrup
Artists: Diego Jourdan, Rick Parker, James Romberger & Marguerite Van Cook
Price (USD): $6.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Horror Parody

Yes that's right. Even though the title is the same as the classic EC series by
William M. Gaines this one is done to parody horror comics as well as certain
elements of modern pop culture. I happened on it on the rack, noting it was
already up to issue #9 and decided to see what it was all about. The framing
sequences featuring the Crypt-Keeper, the Old Witch and the Vault-Keeper are
light fare by Jim Salicrup and Rick Parker. They introduce three separate
stories in true anthology fashion. The first is "Dead Dog Dies" featuring a
recurring character, the Stinky Dead Kid by Margo & Stefan Petruchia with art by
Diego Jourdan. It is his birthday and all his zombie friends do their best to
get him presents. But just because you eat brains doesn't mean you have any, as
most of the presents are dirt or bones. His one live friend, Crowley comes
through though with a dog skeleton, figuring it would make a good zombie pet. It
is amusing; though not laugh out loud funny, seeing the kid dragging around his
pet to the horror of normal folk. Not a bad story but cute in a bizarre way. The
second story is a parody of Sarah Palin (sort of) starring in "Kill Baby Kill"
written by Scott Lobdell and drawn by Romberger and Van Cook. It is of course a
play on her phrase "Drill Baby Drill" and the story revolves around a female
senator championing deep sea drilling using a new drilling technique while being
protested by some agitated environmentalists. In typical twist of fate fashion
some people get what they deserve. The art has a Neal Adams quality to it though
it needs better definition. Finally, as promoted on the cover, there is a Wizard
of Oz sequel titled "Wickeder" by Maia and Stefan and once again drawn by
Jourdan. In this version Dorothy is escaping the wrath of the munchkins for
killing the witch Alfalfa who was protector of animal rights and practitioner of
the black arts. But a fatal accident lands her back in Oz and on trial for
murder. She is defended by Belinda, the Overprivileged in a court presided over
by three flying monkeys. It gets more ridiculous as testimony by the scarecrow,
the lion and the tin man all end in disaster. The surprise witness seals her
fate and there is a big reveal at the end. While the art in every story is
decent, Jourdan is the best of the bunch. The entire book is entertaining
escapism though not hilarious. I think I would prefer straight up horror with
ironic twists.

Title: KICK ASS 2
Issue Number: 1
Publisher: Marvel/Icon
Creator: Mark Millar & John Romita Jr.
Writer: Mark Millar
Artist: John Romita Jr.
Inker: Tom Palmer
Colors: Dean White
Letters: Chris Eliopoulos
Price (USD): $2.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Super Hero

Dave Lizewski is back. No, not the customer of That's Entertainment who won the
right to have his name used in this comic - he comes around on a regular basis.
I am talking about Kick Ass, the kid who decided there should be super heroes in
our world so he became one in the now epic first series and movie of the same
name. This sequel begins with Dave in his costume sparring with Hit Girl to
become a better vigilante. This of course is wrong as she is supposed to be
living a normal life as a kid in school. She has been taken in by her dad's ex-
partner, Marcus and her mother has recovered from her breakdown. She needs to be
good for her sake. Millar changes focus to the main character and his desire to
build a super hero team, which he feels is the next logical step after taking on
a mobster gang with a little girl. We see some flashes of what it to come before
settling in to a more linear story. Dave is back to a personal life as it was
before the last series. He has no girlfriend and lusts secretly after an older
woman though he truly wants to reconnect with Katie. He has taken to meeting
like-minded hero wanabees for team-ups on patrol. While He can't figure out why
Mindy won't help him he is soon going to get his wish of a team, and wait until
you see these characters! And waiting in the wings is the Red Mist pursuing
similar dreams on the dark side. This is mostly setup with a peek at some things
to come. Those familiar with the characters and the pacing will enjoy the return
trip with the promise of a new adventure. I kinda wonder how much of a beating
Dave can take without giving up, but then where would that leave us? The
characters are growing and changing and I am in it for the long run.

Issue Number: 1
Publisher: Marvel/Icon
Writer: Ed Brubaker
Artist: Sean Phillips
Colors: Val Staples
Price (USD): $3.50
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Super Hero/Crime Drama

The first series introduced Zack, who was a super-villain stripped of his powers
and living in the witness protection program in a dull job. He found a way
around the powers thing and got his powers to work so he became a vigilante for
the good. This drew attention from the enemies he was hiding from, co-workers
and his handlers. Since that story wrapped up, you have to read it to find out
how; he has decided to sign on with the secret ops organization SOS. To be free
he has to work for the good guys. Along the way they are still trying to figure
out what he is and how he got his powers. He was part of the Lazarus project but
clearly not just another clone of the science hero who survived by transferring
his mind to new bodies as needed. Zack is also seeing a therapist as a condition
of the deal. So we get to see some insight into his thinking and narratives of a
few exploits as the groundwork for this second series. Zoe is his handler and
recreational sex-mate though they are not emotionally involved. The other man on
the team is a not a nice guy and rides Zack all the time. The other main
character of the story is Ig, Ignatius Beckman, an old man with a grudge. His
attempt at murdering Zack brings us into the main plot going forward and another
mysterious character introduced at the end of the chapter. Like most of
Brubaker's work the plot is very involved and weaves through seemingly unrelated
things that come back later. The characters are interesting enough that you
won't miss anything by not reading the first series. With Phillips once again
providing his very capable artwork this series is a sure bet. Go for it.

Issue Number: 1 (of 6)
Publisher: Radical Comics
Creator: Darren Lynn Bousman
Writer: Rob Levin & Troy Peteri
Artist: Bing Cansino
Colors: Andrei Pervukhin
Letters: Troy Peteri
Cover Artist: Tae Young Choi
Price (USD): $3.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Horror Mystery
This is a fascinating story that starts with a multiple murder. In a suburban
home having a neighborhood birthday party for a young boy the father, a sufferer
of migraines, suddenly snaps and kills the clown, a neighborhood couple and then
his wife and child before the cops show up and kill him as he attacks them.
Weeks later we meet the protagonist of the story, a real estate agent named
Richard who is the lucky guy who gets to try and sell the house of the murder
scene. Actually he knew the victims, his wife was supposed to go to that party.
His co-worker convinces him to go check out the place at night, to see what
might have to be done to it before putting it on the market. Wandering through
the house using a flashlight they are startled when a man named Jebediah Crone
approaches them. He insists to see the house and then offers to buy it even
before it goes on the market, at a premium. There is more to the story
involving another murder and Richard may be accused of being involved. And the
mysterious Mr. Crone is going to show up again in an unexpected place. The title
is a French word meaning slaughterhouse. Is the reason Crone wants the house the
fact that it was an abattoir? It appears Richard's life will get a lot more
complicated quickly. The story got me from the start. The art is finely detailed
with coloring and shading setting the mood in nearly every panel. The
interspacing of some dream scenes and imagined images are well done and add to
the mystery. It is a good comic so far.


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:
Iota, Donner, Blitzen, Starlight, Payback and one other were also known as...
The other was Static and they became the group HEROES in the mini-series from
Milestone. The winner by the dice this time is Mike Dooley.

Here was your no prize question:
There are four words in the English language, which show all of the vowels in
alphabetical order. Can you name any of them?
They are: facetious, abstemious, annelidous, and arsenious.

What was Steve Niles' first published comic work?

Here is your no prize question:
There are only two words in the English language, which show the five vowels in
reverse alphabetical order. Can you name one?

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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