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Friday, January 21, 2011

Comics Reviews 1/21/11

Issue Number: 1
Title Story: Growing Pains
Publisher: DC
Writer: J.T. Krul
Artist: Adriana Melo
Inker: Mariah Benes
Colors: Marcelo Maiolo
Letters: Sal Cipriano
Cover Artist: Nicola Scott & Doug Hazlewood with Jason Wright
Price (USD): $2.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Super Hero

This one shot explores the personal relationship of Cassie Sandsmark, Wonder
Girl, and Helena her human mother. Cassie has pretty much dedicated her life to
being Wonder Girl and living at Titans Tower. The main plot really plays up the
fact that her mother does not approve of her career choice. Helena's work takes
her all over the world and so Cassie decided to visit with her in London at an
archeological conference. Right from the first scene together we get the idea
her mother will not let up on the jabs and Cassie eventually ducks out of the
seminars to be alone. The other plot involves whom she meets and strikes up a
friendship with while touring the museum. A young girl named Kiran is also here
with her archeologist parents. When an attempted robbery involving rock
creatures begins Wonder Girl swings into action and so does Solstice, Kiran in
her hero identity. Look for more of her in the very near future and I suspect
this comic was used on purpose to give Solstice a grand entrance. But I was not
so keen on the main plot. It carries through the book to the very end when in
the last few panels Helena approaches Cassie and gives her a big hug. It did not
seem authentic to me that just having Cassie fight a major villain and end up
safe would be enough to turn her mother's attitude. Aside from that complaint
the book was entertaining, had good art and introduced a new character to the DC
pantheon. So I give it thumbs up.

Issue Number: 1 (of 4)
Title Story: Reborn
Publisher: Marvel
Writer: Andy Diggle
Artist: Davide Gianfelice
Colors: Matt Hollingsworth
Letters: Joe Caramagna
Cover Artist: Jock
Price (USD): $3.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Super Hero

If you are curious about what happened to Matt Murdoch after the whole
Shadowland event there is of course a follow up series with the word "Reborn" in
the title. Yes Daredevil has left the city and the profession in search of
himself. He used to battle evil but since he succumbed to it he needs to be
alone away from his former life. So we first see him walking somewhere out west
until he comes across a remote town. He befriends a young boy who is also blind
but is soon harassed by a group of local thugs who want him to leave and give
him a beating to prove it. In his current state of mind Matt doesn't even want
to resist. The thing is even though the sheriff stops the guys he sends them on
their way and then gives Matt a ride to the edge of town telling him to take the
morning bus out of town. So what we have is a classic plot where the stranger
happens on a town with a secret and it seems like everyone from the diner
waitress to the police are in on it - except maybe the blind boy. How long will
it take for Matt to decide he needs to find out the reason behind the bum's rush
and what is that secret? It looks like we will find out eventually. I am willing
to approach the character as a very changed man on a quest. Whether this ends
with him returning to being Daredevil is not important to me. In fact I think it
would be cool if he didn't. I liked the art for the composition and use of
perspective and coloring. In fact the last panel is pretty cool. I'll be
interested more in the ending than the mystery of this town.

Issue Number: 1 (of 4)
Title Story: Dead X-Men
Publisher: Marvel
Creators: Louise Simonson, Chris Claremont & Doug Braithwaite
Colors: Rob Schwager
Letters: Dave Sharpe
Price (USD): $3.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Super Hero

There seems to be a pattern of multiple dead people coming back to life in
comics these days. There are a dozen of them over in DC's Brightest Day series
and now it looks like Marvel is using that plot device as well. I have not been
reading the CHAOS WAR stuff but decided to see if one of these related series is
readable on its own. The cover alone is intriguing as you see Esme and Sophie,
John Proudstar, Banshee, a Madrox dupe and others walking out of a raging fire.
All these characters are dead in current continuity. But as we see from the
first panel something has brought them back to life on the grounds of the
decimated Xavier Academy. They are as much confused as the reader. They are not
zombies, they know they are dead. The consensus is they need to find out why
this is happened and Thunderbird takes charge. Some will search the grounds
while others check for life nearby. They soon see the results of the Chaos
King's work. It is he who has destroyed the dreamworld plunging the living into
an eternal sleep. Next he obliterated the underworld freeing the dead to walk
the Earth. Through cryptic clues they realize where they have to go but they may
be stopped by a sudden relentless attack. How it wraps up and whether it affects
the events in the main book will remain to be seen. I liked this one for a
couple of reasons. It was neat to see Sean, Moira and John Proudstar again as I
was a big fan back in the early days of the All-New X-Men. The interaction of
the characters was not bad either considering some of them did not have a clue
who the more recently dead were. But like all X-Men they are working together
and making sacrifices. The art holds up though it is nothing spectacular. I
would hold off judgment and a final grade until the second half comes out.

Issue Number: 2 (of 3)
Publisher: Radical Comics
Writer: David Hine
Artist: Wayne Nichols
Colors: Feigiap Chong & Sansan Saw
Letters: Richard Starkings & Jimmy Betancourt
Cover Artist: Francesco "Matt" Mattina
Price (USD): $4.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Supernatural - Horror
Mature Readers

This series started off with a lot of information being established about the
main characters. When a femme fatale Katrina asked the private eye named Ryder
to investigate the suicide of her boyfriend Michael Hudson he finds himself
getting deeper into a world of ancient beliefs. Hudson believed he was a
descendent of an ancient race of daemons that once ruled the Earth. When Katrina
is attacked by a living daemon the intervention of Charles Monk, with his
glowing daemon-killing, bullets saves them both. But Ryder touches a bullet and
his hand starts to burn in pain and Monk has no choice but to cut it off. As
this chapter opens the three have formed an alliance. The fact that Ryder
himself must be a daemon descendent does not faze the others as Monk educates
them on the ancient history of the daemons and the Order of the Sacred Blood
their avowed enemies. A society of knights at the beginning they had collected
the diseased blood of the daemon hive queen and used it on weapons through the
ages to root out and kill daemons walking among us as humans. Monks glowing
bullets are the last weapons of that kind. In this chapter Ryder and Katrina
grow closer as their true natures and desires begin to surface for the reader.
There are many layers of the story including the Danton family that Michael
Hudson blamed for his parents deaths. Ryder will find his connection to it all
by the end of this chapter and the major threat to humanity is also revealed.
This is a really dense series. There is a lot of development, history and
revelation making it worth the price. It would be less economical if they
instead did regular sized issues for a cheaper price. The art is spellbinding in
places with everyone doing a great job. So far this series does not disappoint
and should have a bang up finish.


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 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?
If you remembered the McKenzie brothers you know their hats called toques! The
winner by the dice roll is David Mc Barron.

Here was your no prize question:
Who owns the most expensive action figure as of 2008?
As with anything else, no matter how many people try to improve upon it and
expand it, there will be nothing as truly valuable as the first G.I. Joe action
figure. This prototype stands at twelve inches tall and was purchased in 2003
for $200,000. It is currently owned by collector Steve (Diamond Comics
Distributors) Geppi. Joe is being showcased at the Geppi Museum in Baltimore,
Maryland. David Mc Barron also got this one correct.

In a monumental change, the comic industry finally raised the price of the
average comic from 10 cents to 12 cents. What was the year?

Here is your no prize question:
What US location has the lowest Zip Code number?

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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