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Sunday, September 4, 2011

comic review 9/4/11

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
Title Story: Flight of the Daedalus
Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment
Creator: Based on the Universal TV series "The Six Million Dollar Man"
Story: Kevin Smith
Writers: Kevin Smith & Phil Hester
Artist: Jonathan Lau
Colors: Ivan Nunes
Letters: Simon Bowland
Cover Artist: Alex Ross et. al.
Price (USD): $3.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Science Fiction/Adaptation
Teen+ (language)

This comic is based on an unused screenplay for a SIX MILLION DOLLAR MAN movie.
As such it has the elements that you would expect. It is a necessity to
introduce the major characters and retell the origin of the star character. It
has been a very long time since I have seen the pilot or first episode of the
old television series starring Lee Majors. I know the basic story though as
nearly everyone does. Steve Austin is a test pilot. Today he is going on his
last flight in that capacity to show the capability of the latest stealth
bomber, the Daedalus. He is to take it up to 80,000 feet achieving Mach 8, shut
it down and glide for six minutes, and then restart and make a smooth landing.
As we all know that will go horribly wrong. This opening issue is the build up
to the crash. We get a lot of character development showing the relation between
Steve and Jamie as he prepares to retire from government service and marry her.
Of Course Oscar Goldman is here to aggravate the general in charge of the
project and support Steve. The second plot involves some theft of government
robotics secrets at three locations. The M.O. is always the same. The opening
scene shows us a clandestine entrance and the slaughter of personnel with a
sword by a cloaked figure with a robotic arm. This will obviously be the main
conflict of the story after Steve goes through some changes. I enjoyed this
comic as an interesting comic and as a remembrance of the show I was always sure
to watch, even if the effects were cheesy. The art is very good and the dialogue
is decent, if peppered with the usual schoolyard humor Smith likes to use. I say
it is a worthy effort and good reading for fans of the show and new readers

Issue Number: 1
Title Story: The Scribe
Publisher: IDW
Creator: Ann Rice
Adapted by: Mariah McCourt
Artist: Renae DeLiz & Ray Dillon
Letters: Shawn Lee
Price (USD): $3.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Horror/Supernatural

This is the latest comic to adapt a work by Ann Rice. The protagonist in this
case is not a vampire but a ghost. It begins with a professor who went off to an
isolated cabin in the woods to write a book. He is the character named in the
story title, the Scribe, for he will be the narrator who wrote Azriel's story.
Jonathan was moved by the death of a student, a pretty young girl with a famous
stepfather. She was brutally murdered. So he removed himself from the cruel
world to work on his book and had it not been for Azriel showing up at his door
he would have died from a sudden illness that had overtaken him. Maybe Azriel
knew his plight or maybe it was fortuitous coincidence but the ghost who appears
as a man nursed him back to health. There is a bit of exposition as to Azriel's
current state and even his connection to Esther's death. He has taken on a real
flesh form and may live forever that way. He had his foot on the ladder to
heaven but he made a different choice. He is still a bit of a mystery and as
this chapter closes he is just about to narrate his story to Jonathan from the
beginning. In typical Rice fashion it will go back to ancient times as is hinted
by the very last panel. There is just enough mystery and hint of supernatural
things to intrigue me into wondering how he became what he is. The art is very
good in relating some of the emotion and mystical nature of the plot while
staying grounded in the present, at least in this chapter. I think this will be
worthwhile for new readers to stay with. Thos who have read the novel will have
to judge it from a different viewpoint.

Issue Number: 1
Publisher: IDW
Creator: Eastman & Laird
Writers: Kevin Eastman & Tom Waltz
Layouts: Kevin Eastman
Artist: Dan Duncan
Colors: Ronda Pattison
Letters: Robbie Robbins
Price (USD): $3.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Super Hero

The Ninja Turtles is a property that keeps coming back. In their first
incarnation they were an unexpected hit that blossomed into a multi-million
dollar franchise. They rose to even greater exposure in motion pictures as
another generation of fans joined the bandwagon. Now we have this new full color
series from IDW and I suspect it will find yet another group of new fans as well
as the return of many longtime fans who delight in their exploits. All the
familiar characters are here - Old Hob, Master Splinter and of course
Michelangelo, Donatello, Leonardo and Raphael. It starts with a clash of the
good versus the bad in an alley ending without a winner per se. Then it drifts
into the origin story for the benefit of those unfamiliar with the history of
the TMNT. It starts eighteen months earlier in a lab at Stock Gen Research. Four
small turtles are part of a secret research project. The young intern, April
O'Neil takes a liking to the turtles, though they are not part of her duties at
the lab. She is the one who gives them their names. She is not so keen on the
rat, Splinter that runs around freely though he is harmless. It is clear her
immediate supervisor knows more about the nature of the test on these five
animals than he is revealing. We also see a behind the scenes conversation that
is a foreboding of clandestine motives. The entire transition to the human sized
mutants of our heroes is left for another time. And just to add another plot
element one of the TMNT crew ends the chapter in a solo encounter with a human
that is not very nice. The art is well executed with dramatic points of view and
varied layouts. It is a good start to an old favorite.

Issue Number: 1 (of 12)
Title Story: Playing God
Publisher: Zyo Comics
Creator: Robert Wawrzyniak
Writer: Robert Wawrzyniak
Artist: Shawn Surface
Inker: Scott Shoemaker
Colors: Scott Shoemaker & Frank Diaz
Letters: Anna Wawrzyniak
Cover Artist: Greg Horn (front) & Steve Sanchez (back)
Price (USD): $3.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Science Fiction

This is a different introduction to a maxi-series wherein the title characters,
The Ultimate 7, apparently do not appear at all. The next issue blurb alludes to
the birth of a legend on a remote outpost orbiting Mars in the year 3020. But
for now the action takes place on Earth in the late cretaceous period. We
witness an invasion by a mix of alien species although this is not the first
time they have visited our planet. It seems they are here to harvest the
dinosaurs from both the land and seas. They are stripping the planet of its
resources. They had sown the seeds on Earth long ago in a continuing program
among the galaxies. Now they are taking what they want, decimating the rest and
will next refertilize the planet with human life. The dinosaurs will be turned
into cyborg slaves for uses elsewhere. The whole chapter serves to introduce us
to the ruthless culture with far advanced technology doing, as they will on a
cosmic scale. This is where it all begins and perhaps the next time these cosmic
experimenters return will be in our far future. But will man be advanced enough
to not share the fate of the dinosaurs? That is the question we are left with at
the end of the issue. There is some really detailed art with spectacular
coloring. Coming from a new entry in a crowded market the book shows good
production value with a story that has promise if handled properly. It is worth
a look for a few issues to see where it goes.

Issue Number: 1-SHOT
Publisher: DC
Creator: Video Game Adaptation
Writer: David Lapham
Artist: Greg Scott
Colors: Val Staples
Letters: Saida Temofonte
Cover Artist: Jock
Price (USD): $2.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Crime Drama

This another comic adapted from a video game. As in the past I have no
experience with the game so I am looking at this purely for its entertainment
value as a comic book. In this case I had confidence that David Lapham would
deliver and he did. This is the story of an undercover cop named Tanner. Two
years ago a psychotic mob boss named Jericho shot him. He had a near death
moment. Well, he was clinically dead for five minutes. After that experience he
vowed he would get Jericho. The story follows him after he has infiltrated the
mob. He is a driver - that is his specialty. The opening scene shows how skilled
he is as cops are chasing him. He and his passenger had to pick up a metal case
to deliver for a meeting. When they got pulled over Viktor panicked and shot at
the cop and so Tanner had no choice but to drive off. His skills manage to get
them away and he meets his contact for the final slip. The conversation drifts
to the fact that Tanner may be going too deep into character. He put police in
danger rather than blow his cover. His partner is worried he may cross the line
and by the end of the story he is put to that test. There are chase scenes and
action throughout the book. While they are rendered well I did not care for the
inking that puts everything in shadow most of the time. Still it is an
interesting look into the mind of a man obsessed and how his obsession could get
the better of him. As I said, Lapham did well to give us an interesting story.

Issue Number: 8
Title Story: Nightmares in Numberland
Publisher: DC
Creator: Bob Kane
Writer: Grant Morrison
Artist: Scott Clark with Dave Beaty
Letters: Dave Sharpe
Price (USD): $2.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Super Hero

This is one of the most different Batman comics visually I have seen in a long
time. The concept is the introduction of a new virtual reality dubbed Internet
3.0 and the real time demonstration has the potential investors spellbound. Bear
in mind as you read this comic all the characters you see are the avatars of the
real people. The world around them is a construct like something out of TRON or
INCEPTION. A virus in the form of zombie looking commandoes crashes the meeting,
literally. Bruce and his potential business partners quickly learn that they
cannot even leave the simulation for fear of their lives. But Mr. Wayne and his
actual partner, Oracle, have planned the software for every contingency. To
fight the "virus" avatars they introduce Batman and Batgirl into the reality. No
one realizes that Bruce is actually controlling two avatars now and of course
Barbara is off site handling Batgirl while also working her techno magic to find
out how this was done and who is behind it. Morrison has provided a nice done-
in-one plot with a good concept and some good twists. Clark and Beaty provide a
really unique visual that perfects the feeling Morrison was going for with his
script. As an added bonus we get Barbara Gordon as Batgirl before the new DC
Universe has her back in the role officially. It is a fitting end to this
version of BATMAN INCORPORATED and they even give a one-panel preview of what is
to come in the new Number 1 issue coming this fall.


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 which comic, name and number, did Batman investigate the supposed death of
Paul McCartney?
Batman investigated Paul's "death" in BATMAN #222. The winner by the dice is

Here was your no prize question:
For which branch of the armed services did Hillary Clinton once apply?

She once tried to join the Marines.

By what name is Martin A. Bursten better known?

Here is your no prize question: Consider the United States "Major League" sports of NFL football, NBA Basketball, NHL hockey and MLB baseball and tell me what two days of the year are there no scheduled games?

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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