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Friday, January 14, 2011

Comic Reviews 1/14/11

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

Issue Number: One-Shot trade paperback - collected from the web comic on with previously unpublished material
Publisher: IT an imprint of Harper Collins Publishers
Creators: Kris Wilson, Matt Melvin, Rob DenBleyker & Dave McElfatrick
Price (USD): $13.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Humor
Mature - Comics on the Edge (some material may be offensive to all ages)

It has been a while since I found myself laughing out loud at a comic book but
that is what happened when I first saw a few of the strips in this collection
and knew I had to read the whole book. One fascinating thing is that the four
creators did not meet until 2 years ago though they have been doing these online
comics for four years. Sometimes simplicity speaks more than detail. I think
that is why so many of these gags hit home. The characters are just stick figure
drawings and there is no unessential background or detail to clutter things up.
Many times it is just two people talking until the joke is told. You will
quickly become enamored of these odd looking characters but the book comes with
a warning. "If you are younger than 15 or older than 50 there is an 87% chance
something in this book will offend you." Heck, I'm over 50 and I am offended by
the warning! Of course that warning is tongue in cheek because there are some,
not the majority by any means that will test your judgment on what is funny and
what is just bad taste. Since I am very broad minded about sick humor I found
the occasional groaner mixed in with some puns and genuinely funny ideas makes
the volume a lot more fun. To give you an idea on one page orange guy walks up
to green guy and says Tony is dead. Green says, "Oh, God no... I didn't get a
chance to tell him." "Tell him what?" "That I spilled arsenic in his orange
juice." On another page one guy is admonishing another that Easter isn't all
about candy and bunny rabbits and colored eggs. It's about Jesus' resurrection
from the dead. Silence as Jesus enters, grabs the guy with the bunny ears and
bites him as the admonisher looks at the reader and says, "Happy Zombie Jesus
Day!" Later it comes to a guy cooking on a grill as wife congratulates him for
getting some meat for the barbeque after all. She says she has to go buy Timmy a
gift. Maybe he'll stop crying like he has been all afternoon. By the way where
is Timmy? To which the man replies, "You ever heard of the phrase 'Two birds one
stone?'" And on it goes some are just cute, some are very clever, some are
really bad puns and some will have you telling yourself you should not be
laughing. As I said with an open mind you can find the humor in it all and have
a good laugh. If you are offended by jokes about religion, the handicapped,
disease and death, homosexuality, fetuses (yeah there's a few of those) or John
Wilkes Booth then I suggest you not pick this book up. Personally I think there
is something for everyone in this one.

Issue Number: 1 (of 5)
Publisher: Radical Comics
Creators: Matt Cirulnick
Writer: M. Zachary Sherman & Matt Cirulnick
Artists: Mack Chatter, Martin Montiel & Colin Lorimer
Colors: Kyushik Shin
Letters: Rus Wooton
Cover Artist: Alex Maleev
Price (USD): $5.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Crime Adventure
Mature - Comics on the Edge

The story takes place in the not too distant future in a much different world.
Actually it is not an improbable future some might say as worldwide depression
has led to food riots, gas riots looting and general chaos. The United States
has become more like the old west as even dueling has been made legal. To carry
the simile further the main character is Wyatt Earp, retired US Marshall. The
story is filled with other famous names including Virgil and Morgan Earp, Doc
Holiday and the James Gang among others. Wyatt has retired to Las Vegas and from
atop a skyscraper recounts the tale of the days fighting criminals with Doc
Holiday until he quit then with his brothers. It all leads to a train they were
guarding. It was filled with a lot of money heading for Vegas when the James
Gang attacked. In the heat of the battle a third group jumped in and made off
with the cargo. In the firefight Virgil is killed. In the present the wounded
Morgan shows up at Wyatt's after escaping from the Pinkertons. The book flashes
back to also tell us Doc's story. How he worked with Wyatt and looked the other
way when some of the cops took there cut off of seized evidence. That is until
he had to choose between his job and his loyalty to his friend. Back in the
present, after Virgil's funeral Wyatt decides to hang it up and move to Vegas.
He is going with Doc and they convince Morgan to come for a few days, so they
can convince him to retire as well. But Vegas is not going to be so easy to
settle down in. The famous Wyatt Earp draws attention. Even the Mayor and his
private police force are there to greet them as they start to work on
refurbishing an old building into their own casino, the A-OK. The guys soon
learn that to do business in this town they are supposed to play along with what
amounts to the municipal protection racket. Since this has four more issues to
go there is a lot more to the story and the people behind the attack on that
train. While the story has a lot of connections to the old west it is just the
names of the people and places with a little parallel here and there. So far the
plot holds my attention, after it stopped bouncing back and forth to introduce
the players and their background. The art on the other hand gave me mixed
feelings. Realizing there are a lot of different styles out there I know I won't
like them all. It is not I dislike this one either. It is unique and has a lot
of dynamic elements that fit the story. Maybe the coloring in some panels could
be blurring out detail I would rather see. Still it does get the job done. So I
would recommend this one for the story, which seems to be going in the right

Issue Number: 1
Title Story: Madness, Mayhem & Mentachem
Title Arc: The Heart of the Matter
Publisher: DC
Writer: Adam Beechen
Artist: Ryan Benjamin
Inker: John Stanisci
Colors: David Baron
Letters: Swands
Cover Artist: Dustin Nguyen, variant by Darwin Cooke
Price (USD): $2.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Super Hero

This is yet another series based on the very well done cartoon show of the same
name. If you never saw an episode or two it is really worth looking for. It is
set in the future when Bruce Wayne has retired from being Batman and disappeared
from public life. The teenager Terry McGinnis stumbled upon Bruce and his
secrets and eventually under Bruce's guidance began to fight crime in the Gotham
City of tomorrow as Batman Beyond. Since this is at least the third comic book
series start for our hero it does not get into the origins of the character.
Instead we have him taking down a group of bad guys dressed up like Tweedle-dee
and Tweedle-Dum. For the new reader it is an introduction to the way things work
- Terry is the field agent in constant contact with Bruce doing the Oracle
thing. The main antagonist for this issue is a man named Jatts who just found
out that after all those years of prolonged exposure to the materials he handled
while in the Metahuman Evidence Confiscation Unit he has contamination into his
bones and only has months to live. So he decides on a plan to rob the vault
where he works of a very unique magic wand. For whatever reason when he touches
the wand it is absorbed into his body and he gains the power to transmute things
into different elements. As he decides to leave Metropolis fast he does not know
that the Justice League got the alarm and is on the way to intercept him.
Through the course of the story Jatts will take over a shopping mall with
Terry's mother and brother among the hostages. While Terry races to the scene
and Bruce is coordinating strategy with the future Commissioner Gordon the fun
part of the story begins with the entrance of the future Justice League. None of
the characters are from our time - this is an all future League with familiar
names and powers if not faces. We are left without knowing if Terry will work
with them or against them for the sake of his family. I like the characters in
this future Gotham. The comic stays true to the cartoon while doing everything
the right way to be entertaining for the new reader. Terry has a loved interest
that provides another subplot as well. The art is very capable, again keeping
true to the TV show with people who are more realistic than cartoony. It is good
fun and captivating for all ages. I am glad to see this title back on the racks

Issue Number: 1
Publisher: Marvel
Writer: Jason Aaron
Artist: Ron Garney
Colors: Jason Keith
Letters: Clayton Cowles
Price (USD): $3.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Super Hero

Since I am interested in all things Ultimate this was on my list this week. It
begins with the Ultimate Captain America, AKA Steve Rogers as a prisoner being
taunted by a man conveniently in the shadows. He has come to shoot Steve but
after a dialogue wherein the man taunts him to pray for God's help he leaves
again promising to return in five minutes to end it all. How Steve got in this
position will be the plot of this arc as we move back to the beginning six weeks
ago. The setting is North Korea where the powers that be are attempting to make
their own super soldier. We are witness to a test of the current subject as four
soldiers are put in the room and told to kill him. They fail of course. And
watching the proceeding with the Korean scientists and military is an American
wearing a ski mask to hide his identity from them. He has been supplying the
serum but he warns them not to use this new weapon to attack South Korea. But it
seems Captain America and the British SAS are about to spoil the plans as they
breach the facility. The mysterious American has an exit plan and before it is
over he will face Cap mano a mano. This is a good first issue. It does not
bother to get into any origin story for Steve Rogers that has been covered
before in another series. But it seems there is an origin to be told, based on
the revelation at the end of the issue. This one has some mystery, thrilling
action scenes and good characterization. The art is decent in every aspect. We
are left with Captain America in a bad situation, which may or may not be
leading to that first scene I described. Regardless it promises to be
interesting and entertaining.

Issue Number: 2
Title Story: Deep Trouble
Publisher: Image
Creator: Ian Churchill
Colors: Ian Churchill & Alex Sollazzo
Letters: Richard Starkings, Jimmy Betancourt & JG Roshell
Cover Artist: Ian Churchill
Price (USD): $3.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Super Hero

I missed the first issue of this title from Image and decided to see what it is
all about. Right from the first page I was impressed with Ian Churchill's
artwork. The opening scene has the hero racing underwater to save his friend
Jake who is trapped in a mangled shark cage while a great white shark circles
around. The hero is Steve Ocean, AKA Marineman. He can breathe underwater and is
really strong - hmm... did Ian clear this with DC? Anyway, the art is very
detailed - first as seen from Steve's perspective and then in a two page splash
from Jake's. The appealing nature of the finished art is there throughout,
though at times some characters are really not drawn to proper proportions. As
for the story the opening splash is just the framing part to get us into a flash
back to how we got there. It seems Steve's father is a Commander in the Navy and
has just commandeered his son into escorting a female lieutenant on a tour of
the town as she settles in. She is not too keen on the idea but after Steve
performs a heroic act she becomes friendlier. The story is set on the coast of
South Africa and Steve is part of a TV show that has his good friend Jake in the
shark cage. He and another man will attempt to tag a great white to study its
migratory habits. That is when the shark jumped snapping the cage tether and
damaging the door latch. So it is up to Marineman to save his friend but in
doing so on live TV he will reveal his special talents. This will concern his
father and his superiors but also an old man who is very interested in the news
cast. I found the story likable and the characters as well. The supporting cast
is given enough dialogue for us to get to know them without taking away from the
main story. It seems to be going at a deliberate pace with enough mystery to
engage the reader enough to want to see the next issue. What I thought was going
to be a silly Aquaman copycat turned out to be a fun story worth reading.

Issue Number: 2 (of 4)
Publisher: Image/Shadowline
Writer: Charles Soule
Artist: Renzo Podesta
Letters: Shawn Depasquale
Cover Artist: W. Scott Forbes
Price (USD): $3.99 - Golden Age format
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Science Fiction/Supernatural

I reviewed the first issue of this series and liked it enough to come back for
more. Up to this point I find that my expectations about what is going on were
erroneous. Will Garland is a modern day guitar hero whose brilliant career was
cut short by a crippling nerve disorder. On his 27th birthday Garland sought out
a mad scientist named Hargrave Swinthe in search of a cure. He ended up going
through a bizarre ritual, Swinthe ended up dead, and now Garland has a strange
device embedded in his chest. After finding out he could play again his joy was
short lived as the talent faded and the pain returned. Now the ghosts of
Swinthe, and a few others, are visible to him. Swinthe explains that the ritual
was really a scientific experiment through contact with extra-dimensional
beings. Garland relates the vision he had of the being and another while going
through the process. As Swinthe's ghost explains the entity's affection for the
number nine as well as creative subjects it all begins to become clear. The
devise in Will's chest gives him an ability for three hours each time he uses
it. In fact being able to see and talk to ghosts is one of them abilities. But,
he is limited to twenty seven times and then his life will be over. It is during
this explanation that Swinthe alludes to the connection with Cobain, Hendrix and
other brilliant artists that died at the age of 27. As the power to see Swinthe
fades Will has to make choices. Not the least of which is what to tell the
police who are looking into Swinthe's death. It would be nice to know how to use
the devise in his chest to his advantage instead of just getting random
abilities. And the whole dead at 27 thing does not sound promising. There are a
couple more players added to the cast this time and one of those extra-
dimensional beings is snooping around as well. It is getting to be a journey
that is very unpredictable as to where it will go. The art is very distinctive
with an angular quality and nice coloring. This title got me thinking more than
I first expected it would. So far it did not disappoint me.


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: Special covers were all the rage in the Eighties. Continuity Comics did a crossover in its books with different types of special covers each month - embossed, foil, etc. One they called an "Indestructible" cover. The question is from what did they make the cover?

The answer is Tyvek(tm) which is the paper-like material used on those envelopes
you have to cut open because it is impossible to rip. You may also see it as a
protective layer over wall insulation on the outside of buildings, just before
they put on the siding.

The winner by the dice roll is Phillip Rutkiewicz.

Here was your no prize question: What is the most sold musical instrument in the world?
The musical instrument that has the highest sales in the world is the harmonica.

THIS WEEK'S TRIVIA QUESTION: In WOLVERINE: ORIGIN, several people wore a wool cap often worn in cold climates, a brimless cap. James wore one when he was given the label Logan. The name of this type cap is Canadian. Do you know it?
Here is your no prize question: Who owns the most expensive action figure as of 2008?

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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