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Friday, May 27, 2011

Comic Reviews 5/27/11


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: 44
Title Story: Turbulence
Title Arc: Flashpoint
Publisher: DC
Creator: Dan Jurgens
Writer: Dan Jurgens
Artist: Dan Jurgens
Inker: Norm Rapmund
Colors: HI-Fi Designs
Letters: Carlos M. Mangual
Price (USD): $2.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Super Hero

This is the first DC tie-in to FLASHPOINT and as such sold rapidly. After the
search for Batman concluded Booster had returned to the present to find a bunch
of strange phrases scribbled on a chalkboard. Things like "Wonder Woman Princess
of War" and "The Terror of Aquaman" and many others. We now know those phrases
were referring to what is status quo after the Flashpoint event happened. In
fact, as we see in this issue, shortly after his return the event happened and
Booster blacked out. When he awoke Rip Hunter and Michelle are no longer there
so he and Skeets head to Coast City to find Green Lantern. They are met with
hostility in the form of a multi-pronged attack by the military that think
Booster is an agent of Atlantis. Since this may be the first sampling of the
title for readers who want to get all they can out of FLASHPOINT Jurgens has
included a brief recap of the origin of Booster in a flashback. He has given us
some insight into where Booster fits into the event now occurring. As far as we
know he and Barry Allen are the only two people who are aware that the world has
changed though Booster is only just realizing he is not in Kansas anymore. It is
a side plot off the main story that will show things not covered there. Jurgens
plots it well and the art is top notch. If you can find it you might want to get

Title: DRUMS
Issue Number: 1
Publisher: Image
Writer: El Torres
Artist: Abe Hernando & Kwaichang Kraneo
Cover Artist: Raul Allen
Price (USD): $2.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Supernatural Thriller
Mature - Comics on the Edge

Image has been coming out with a lot of new series and mini-series that have
some pre-press buzz on the Internet. This one is set in Santa Rosa, FL where an
FBI team, Iron and Poltz have been sent to investigate a mass death scene. The
local sheriff has never seen anything like it. They arrive to a room full of
bodies with no apparent cause of death. The opening two pages give a hint it may
be related to a religious ritual the Latino victims were conducting. While they
wait for some forensic evidence of gas or poisoning Iron visits the morgue to
view some of the bodies. Once he is alone one female corpse suddenly grabs him
and speaks as if possessed by someone or something. The story gets into three
main religions that are implicated by a cultural anthropologist consultant. The
plot will take her and Iron to visit one of the main leaders of one of the
religions. The script is only giving bits and pieces of information as we go and
is thick with dialogue. The mystery only deepens as the first issue wraps up
with another supernatural event. The art is appropriately dark for the subject
matter and the stormy weather throughout. It might take some thought to stick
with everything and process it. This is not another zombie tale. But I think it
is well executed and should be interesting as it moves along.

Issue Number: 1 (of 5)
Publisher: Image
Creator: Michael Benaroya & Jeff Cahn
Writer: Jeff Cahn
Artist: Salvador Navarro
Colors: Ifansyah Noor
Letters: Josh Aitken
Cover Artist: Mark Texeira
Price (USD): $1.00
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Science Fiction/Military

This is a bargain book at only a buck. If you like the shoot-em-up black ops
type comics this one should work well for you. But it also has an element of
science fiction that pushes it toward the super-powered genre. The basic
background is that the government has perfected a system known as Red Spike. The
system is incorporated into soldiers and it allows them to use massive amounts
of adrenaline at will. This is basically a quest for the super soldier plot. So
far two men have Red Spike installed. In the opening scene Matt and Gregg
parachute into hostile territory and take down an unimaginable number of troops
using the speed and strength that Red Spike affords them. It is almost a
competition between the two and that is sometimes not good. They have to get
into a certain building to plant charges and escape before it blows. This allows
us to see how they interact and the slightly different response they have to the
stimulus. There is a subplot involving a government agency that is looking into
the project but that does not develop too far. It also appears that those in
charge of Red Spike might be doing more than just upping adrenaline levels in
their subjects. So this title has elements of government intrigue, secrets
within secrets, maybe a love interest and lots of action. So far it ties
together well and the art supports the effort. It remains to be seen if it will
be a big hit or a niche comic to appeal to certain fans. For only a dollar it is
worth sampling.

Publisher: Arcana
Creator/Writer: Sean Patrick O'Reilly
Scripts: Sean Patrick O'Reilly, Shawn DePasquale
Artist: Leisl Adams
Colors: Chandran
Letters: Shawn DePasquale
Price (USD): $.25
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Fantasy - Romantic Comedy

If you thought the last comic reviewed was a bargain then look at this one for
only a quarter. It is an introductory look at a graphic novel and 3D animated
feature coming in 2012. The book starts at the very beginning of the story as a
young boy named Joe Beck had the bad luck of chopping down a tree with a pixie
in it. Unknown to Joe the pixie king is angered enough to send the injured
pixie, Samuel, and his friends to plague Joe with misfortune for the rest of his
life. Sure enough the bulk of the issue shows all the mishaps Joe will have as
he grows, most of which the unseen pixies are responsible for setting up. As he
grows he ends up working in his father's auto repair shop and there too there
are constant mishaps, things that make him late for work and on and on. He
finally meets a girl that is friendly to him and it looks like his life is
taking a turn for the better, until he walks into an open manhole on the way
home. I can see from this brief preview that this could translate into a movie
very well as it has lots of visuals that would work well on screen. The art is
good but not cartoonish and the three pixies are kind of funny on their own. For
25-cents you can't go wrong. And one reason it is so inexpensive is that there
are seven pages in the back with eight per page ads for Arcana's other graphic
novel offerings. You can't go wrong for the price and the finished product
should appeal to all ages.

Issue Number: 1
Title Story: First to Last
Publisher: Marvel
Writer: Christopher Yost
Artist: Paco Mendina & Dalabor Talajic
Inker: Juan Vlasco & Dalabor Talajic
Colors: Marte Gracia & Wil Quintana
Letters: Joe Caramagna
Price (USD): $4.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Super Hero

The first though I had was that the title seemed deceiving because the book felt
a little thin for the price and the Giant-Size tag. But the page count and lack
of lots of ads make up for that. The book is set up into two plots called the
then and the now. Different art teams handle the two so as to differentiate the
two. In the now the mutants are living on their island off the West coast when
the Guardian Clan of the Neo attacks them. Their plan is to evidently wipe out
all normal mutants, as the Neo are stronger, faster and more powerful. Their
leader explains that their kind was decimated and they have had no live births
since the same thing happened to the X-Men and their kind. The Neo want to find
out the secret of a mutant birth so their own kind will not die out. They will
not listen to reason and the fighting continues. During the battle Cyclops is
suddenly overcome and starts to have a vision of a long repressed memory. The
"Then" part of the story kicks in as the original X-Men are fighting with the
Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. When a Sentinel appears Magneto takes his team away
And soon Cyclops is ordered telepathically to retreat as well. But the kicker is
the repressed memory. After it all the X-Men are visited by god-like beings
calling themselves calling themselves the Evolutionaries. They state their
mission is to ensure the survival of Homo Superior. I have no idea if the
Evolutionaries ever appeared before in an X-Men comic (a lot of history in all
those years) but as you might expect they show up in the "now" part of the story
with the same mission and a startling revelation as to how they plan to carry it
out. The story will continue in X-MEN #12 so if you read that title you will
need to get this book. If you just read this one and get hooked well you will be
buying X-Men as well, which is the purpose I guess. I liked the plot and the
execution of it and the art is good enough though I preferred the "now" sections
more than the "then" parts. It is a must for all you X-Men fans and worth a look
but at a higher price point for the rest of you.

Issue Number: 1
Publisher: IDWE
Creator: Dave Stevens
Cover Artists: Alex Ross & Dave Stevens
Pin ups by Mike Mignola with Dave Stewart and Jim Silke
Price (USD): $3.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Adventure

There are three stories in this new anthology featuring the characters created
by the late Dave Stevens.

"The Rocketeer"
Writer/Artist: John Cassaday
Colors: Laura Martin
Letters: Chris Mowry

This one begins mid story even though it is issue #1 with only a paragraph to
explain that the Maroni gang is holding Cliff "Rocketeer" Secord's girlfriend
Betty captive to keep him from exposing their plan to extort money from the
government by threatening to shoot off a stolen military rocket. The story
begins with a stand off with Cliff confronting the gang with his pistol trained
on the control panel and Betty strapped to the missile. You can predict what
will happen and that our hero with a jet pack will be flying off to save the
lady. It is visually a stunning offering if light on plot and it wraps up
comically to make us feel good. As I said the art is the best part.

"Home Again"
Writer/Artist/Letterer: Mike Allred
Colors: Laura Allred

Speaking of art, fans of the Allreds will like this offering though it too is
only part of a story. As the title suggests Cliff has just returned to his home
and is welcomed by Betty and his friend Peevey. It seems someone has offered him
an opportunity to use the jet pack for good but the offer has strings attached.
He says he is in trouble and it involves a man named Jonas. Cliff's trip to New
York gave him a chance to soar among the skyscrapers but he is mum about the
details of what the trouble is all about. It is not clear if this is a
continuing story or what Allred intended - a portion of a story that might be
typical of the Rocketeer in an ongoing comic. He is not listed as contributing
to the next issue so I am guessing it is the latter. If that is the case it is
not very satisfying.

"Dear Betty"
Writer: Kurt Busiek
Artist: Mike Kaluta
Colors: Dave Stewart
Letters: Chris Mowry

This story on the other hand has a beginning, middle and an end. It takes place
from October 1944 until August 1945. Cliff is off helping the war effort while
Betty works as an actress in New York. The story has her reading various letters
from Cliff with only a few panels of what he might be up to in the war. The main
plot follows Betty as she worries over his safety while fending off the advances
of her leading man. When the letters stop she fears the worst - that her man
might not return. This is a very nicely scripted story and the art is
delightful. It is the best of the three in the title. More segments like this
could make this title worth following.


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:
According to DC, how many votes decided if Jason Todd, Robin II, lived or died?
There were 5343 votes in favor of Robin II dying, and 5271 in favor of him
living. 72 votes determined his fate. The winner this time is Gary Katzoff.

Here was your no prize question:
The motto "In God We Trust" first appeared on U.S. currency in 1864. What was
the denomination of the coin?
The two cent piece was the first coin of the United States to bear the motto "In
God We Trust". It was produced in the United States from 1864-1873, and was very
slightly smaller than a modern U.S. quarter.

Where was Stan Lee's boss when he got the idea that Marvel needed to do a
superhero team comic book?

Here is your no prize question:
Which planet has the longest day, from sunrise to sunrise?

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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