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Friday, June 10, 2011

comic reviews 6/10/11

My View
David LeBlanc

David LeBlanc was the Editor of the Comic Book Network Electronic Magazine for
over ten years. He is a life-long fan of comics and moderated online comic book
forums long before the Internet became the place to be. David works part-time at
That's Entertainment, the Eisner-winning comic store in Worcester, MA.


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: 1 (OF 3)
Title Story: This Is the World We Live In
Publisher: DC
Writer: Rex Ogle
Artist: Eduardo Francisco & Paolo Siqueira
Inker: Eduardo Francisco
Colors: Stefani Renee
Letters: Travis Lanham
Cover Artist: Brett Booth & Andrew Dalhouse
Price (USD): $2.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Super Hero

This is one of the first set of FLASHPOINT mini-series that flew off the shelves
last week. This one takes place mostly in Europe, somewhere deep in what is left
of the Swiss Alps. It opens just before the eastern half of Europe was sunk by a
tidal wave generated by Aquaman. There is a war going on in this world between
Wonder Woman and Aquaman. This story follows some of the human survivors as they
attempt to find a way to stop the war before more of humanity is wiped out. The
story centers on Traci, whom is a mystic. If you have read some issues of MADAM
XANADU you would be familiar with her I guess. But that is okay. We get the idea
right from the start when the tidal wave hits and she saves her dad by
teleporting them both that she can do magic. Since this series is only three
issues long we get right to the point but still get some character development
along the way. Traci's dad is part of a major brain trust, H.I.V.E., involving
leaders from various countries. At the climax Traci discovers their plan. Now
she has a major choice to make. One neat part of this issue is the giant map of
the world in the meeting room. It shows what is left of Europe but also which
parts of the world are now controlled by various powers. It gives you the big
picture of just how different things are in the World of Flashpoint. There is
also a brief recap of how the war came about and even a hint of where things are
heading. I think it is a good compliment to the main story. The art is pretty
decent. The team handles a lot of characters and situations well. I'll stick
with this one.

Issue Number: One-Shot
Title Story: I Am the Future
Publisher: DC
Creator: McDuffie, Cowan, Dingle & Davis
Writer: Felicia D. Henderson
Artist: Denys Cowan
Inker: Rodney Ramos, Prentis Rollins & John Stanisci
Colors: Lee Loughridge
Letters: Dave Sharpe
Cover Artist: J.H. Williams III
Price (USD): $2.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Super Hero

This one-shot was planned before the untimely death of Dwayne McDuffie. It is a
story that is not that unusual in regards to Static and the Dakota. It revolves
around Virgil Hawkins Uncle Teshome who was framed for murders he did not
commit. Virgil Never gave up on him and even wrote letters to all levels of
government to get them to open the case. After ten years the conviction was
overturned. Virgil renews his friendship with his favorite uncle but Teshome's
troubles were not left behind. While he was in prison he fought another convict
maiming Blinder in the process. Blinder got out early and is a bang baby -
Dakota's name for people who got powers during the incident in Dakota Park a
year ago. Now Binder has a protective force field and is running designer drugs.
He also has a score to settle with Teshome. Static is naturally able to run
interference but he cannot overcome the force field. Later tragedy strikes the
family and Virgil does some soul searching to get the motivation he needs in the
end. It is not a bad story but nothing spectacular. It is good to see Cowan on
the art as it really hits the mark. In the back of the issue there is a tribute
to Dwayne McDuffie in the form of a short story with a clever twist. There are
also some gallery pages and tributes in text from Michael Davis and Derek Dingle
the cofounders of Milestone Media. This is a really nice addition to the
collection of fans of Milestone and Static.

Title: 50 GIRLS 50
Issue Number: 1 (of 4)
Title Story: 10 Ships. 50 Women. 1 Way Home.
Publisher: Image
Creator: Frank Cho & Doug Murray
Writer: Frank Cho & Doug Murray
Artist: Axel Medellin
Colors: Nikos Koutsis
Letters: Thomas Mauer
Cover Artist: Frank Cho
Price (USD): $2.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Science Fiction

Ok, I'm a sucker for female astronauts. For the purpose of this story there is
nothing but female astronauts. In the far future the Earth is rapidly running
out of resources. Mankind needs minerals, rare earths, radioactive elements that
are in short supply as are the fossil fuels and the alternate sources of energy
are not enough for its needs. Man must go to the stars to get more. The problem
is that the faster than light drive developed to make such a supply mission
possible has killed all the men who have tried it. It turns out only women with
3 'X' chromosomes can ride safely through the wormholes. It turns out there are
only fifty such women with the rare chromosomes and strangely they are all about
the same age. So the story begins with one of the ships on the first mission
light years away. As the assigned time to return approaches the ship enters the
wormhole and emerges somewhere else beside Earth orbit. While pondering why
things went wrong the captain sends two of the crew to investigate the planet
they are now orbiting. They find not only the indigenous life hostile but
something in the atmosphere is attacking the plastic in their suits and ship. It
will take some inventive thinking to escape back to the mother ship. Of course
the disintegration of the plastic is a good excuse for the two good looking
astronauts to loose most of their clothes. While Axel is really good at drawing
everything he is especially adept with the female form. The story is solid
enough that the partial nudity (PG 13 really) is not entirely gratuitous. The
bigger story is the ship is stranded somewhere out in space with no evident
reason why it happened. There is a small indication on the last panel that they
have another problem in the ship. This is solid entertainment in story and art.
I think those who take the time to try it will like it.

Issue Number: 1
Publisher: Sea Lion Books
Creator: Richelle Mead
Writer: Richelle Mead & Grant Alter
Artist: Dave Hamann
Colors: Nelson Cosentino de Oliveira
Letters: Dave Lanphear
Price (USD): $3.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Horror/Fantasy

Eugene Markham might be called a supernatural detective. She practices magic
taking the name Odile after the dark swan in Swan Lake. We meet her on her
latest assignment in which she was asked to exorcise a haunted running shoe. She
sets up her spell and soon confronts a keres, an ancient death spirit normally
confined to a magic jar. This one got loose and looking for a new home found the
shoe. The sequence serves to introduce us to Eugene and the characteristics of
the Otherworld and its denizens. Later we see she lives a somewhat secluded
life, giving herself small pleasures and working on the somewhat strained
relationship with her stepfather. The main event is the next case she agrees to
take on. The so-called Gentry of the Otherworld abducted a fourteen-year-old
girl over a year ago. Her brother is frantic to find her and contacted Eugene's
agent to convince the Black Swan to cross over into the Otherworld in body to
rescue her sister. Something is not right lately. The keres she banished knew
her real name and the brother is convinced he is being watched for some reason.
As the first issue reaches a climax Eugene will have to confront yet another
demon. This story moved along quite nicely taking the time to introduce the
characters involved. Eugene is a believable person by the end and though she is
capable she is not a fearless hero charging in blindly. The art is complimentary
to the story with brilliant coloring giving it the right finish. I like this
comic and I think others will too.

Issue Number: 1 (of 4)
Publisher: Marvel
Writer: Cullen Bunn
Artist: Lee Garbett
Inker: David Meikis
Colors: John Rauch
Letters: Joe Caramagna
Price (USD): $2.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Super Hero

This four-issue tie-in to Marvel's summer event concerns Namor trying to protect
his kingdom. His longtime nemesis, Attuma, is one of the Worthy and has attained
the weapon of Nerkkod, Breaker of Oceans. In the confrontation Namor is forced
to flee with Loa as Nerkkod takes over Atlantis promising to destroy it and its
citizens. Later on land Namor forms a plan and contacts Stephen Strange for
help. Dr. Strange determines they need more heroes and sends out a mystic
summons for the Defenders. But due to the problems around the world the only one
who shows up is Lyra, the She Hulk. It seems the four will have their hands full
when Nerkkod launches an attack on the land until an unexpected ally appears in
the end. While this ties in to the major plot it stands on its own. In fact the
event was planned with seven hammers of power going to the Worthy so that these
mini-series could explore each one individually. The element of fear is evident
in Namor's demeanor, a departure from his normal aspect. I liked the art and so
far the plot is making progress. The appeal of these characters makes it
different enough to be interesting. Let's see where it goes.

Issue Number: 1
Title Story: Reed Gunther and the Steak Snacking Snake
Publisher: Image
Creator: Shane & Chris Houghton
Writer: Shane Houghton
Artist: Chris Houghton
Price (USD): $2.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Humor/Western

This is a farcical adventure in the style of western myths like Pecos Bill or
Paul Bunyan. Reed Gunther is a wandering cowboy who travels with his pal
Sterling, who is a bear. This adventure begins as they camp for the night
unknowingly on a ranch run by a woman named Starla. At first she takes them for
rustlers and seeing Sterling the bear she is convinced it is the bear that has
been killing her cattle. Reed is forced to subdue her to explain their peaceful
intentions and soon they all learn the real culprit is a larger than possible
snake - I'm talking as big as a building here- living in the river. When it
attacks they also learn its skin cannot be penetrated by bullets. It will take
some imaginative planning to defeat such a large adversary. This is a very
clever story with a script that is funny and appealing. The trick is to keep the
reader engaged whether they are five or fifty. Shane does this well and Chris
has just the right style to emphasize some of the silliness without sacrificing
some measure of realism. For its genre it is superbly done and should be fun
for anyone who decides to give it a chance.


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:

Which comic book superhero did Nazi Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels describe
as a "Jew?"

The answer is Superman. The winner by the dice roll is Stephen Kostrzewa.

Here was your no prized question:

What was the first zoo in the United States?

The Philadelphia Zoo, located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on the west bank of
the Schuylkill River, was the first zoo in the United States. Chartered by the
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania on March 21, 1859, its opening was delayed by the
American Civil War until July 1, 1874. It opened with 1,000 animals and an
admission price of 25 cents. David Mc Barron earns the gold star on this one.


According to a survey conducted by Esquire Magazine in 1965, which two
superheroes were ranked by college radicals - alongside Malcolm X, Bob Dylan,
and Che Guevara - as their favorite revolutionary icons?

Here is your no prize question:

What animal has the highest blood pressure?

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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