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Friday, September 16, 2011

comic reviews 9/16/11

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
Publisher: DC
Creator: Bob Kane
Writer/Artist: Tony Daniel
Inker: Ryan Winn
Colors: Tomeu Morey
Letters: Jared K. Fletcher
Price (USD): $2.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Super Hero

DETECTIVE COMICS begins anew with Batman chasing down his arch nemesis the
Joker. There have been a series of grisly murders and the victims are all known
suspected associates of the Joker. Through his technical investigations he
learns they have a phone number in common and Batman races to the location to
investigate. Little does he know it will be the scene of the next murder. We get
a hint of what is going on as a man with a rather unusual mask is at the
apartment with the Joker. Like most of the better stories we see Joker is
staying a step ahead of Batman. As part of the introduction to the new status
quo we look in on a rooftop meeting between the Caped Crusader and Commissioner
Gordon. This and other scenes reveal that, as in JUSTICE LEAGUE, the cops are
not on Batman's side though Jim certainly is. As you might suspect Joker is
setting traps for Batman and the Gotham PD but his master plan is a lot more
devious and subtle. The final scene comes as a real shocker and will change
everything from here on. It is too good to give away. If you turn to that one
last page you will definitely want to read the whole issue to find out how the
story got to this point. The plot is well thought out and executed superbly by
Tony with strong coloring support by Morey. I was not too keen on getting into
the various Batman books but this one is excellent. You may have to wait for a
reprint edition though, it was an immediate sell-out.

Issue Number: 1
Title Story: Living a Life of Privilege
Publisher: DC
Writer: J.T. Krul
Artist: Dan Jurgens
Inker: George Perez
Colors: David Baron
Letters: Rob Leigh
Cover Artist: Dave Wilkins
Price (USD): $2.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Super Hero

As a character with a lot of baggage from the events of the last year or so,
Green Arrow was another character that needed a new start. Little is mentioned
about CRY FOR JUSTICE or the whole BRIGHTEST DAY tie in as this title
relaunched. Oliver is sporting a new look with a new costume, which includes a
short haircut and an unshaven face, as opposed to the old beard. He has a
support staff that he communicates with while he is in the field. Naomi is his
tech wizard doing all the computer investigation and much more as shown in this
episode when Oliver needs her help using a special arrow that allows her to take
control of one situation. Adrien is his liaison to the board of Queen Industries
helping to keep his CEO at arms length from his Q-Core operation, the cover for
his super hero activities. He also has Jax, an M.I.T. graduate that helps design
his weapons keeping them non-lethal. The protagonists this time are a trio of
powered villains who take a luxury yacht hostage on whim. By the end of the
story we see they are connected to a larger group who have the stated goal of
killing Green Arrow. Not being an avid reader of GREEN ARROW I am unfamiliar
with any of these dozen or so bad guys but that was not a detriment in reading
the story. Likewise, perhaps the CEO, Mr. Emerson, with a robotic right hand may
be a carry over character but that is not a problem and his presence adds some
tension to the story. I liked the comic because it gets right into the current
situation and the new look compliments a better attitude for our hero. The art
team does a great job from start to finish. It is a very readable issue and may
get you hooked if you are not already a fan.

Title: OMAC
Issue Number: 1
Title Story: Office Management Amidst Chaos
Publisher: DC
Creator: Jack Kirby
Story and art: Keith Giffen & Dan Didio
Inker: Scott Koblish
Colors: Hi-Fi
Letters: Travis Lanham
Price (USD): $2.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Super Hero

OK. Did anyone catch the first letters of the words in the story title? Does
this mean each issue will have to use O-M-A-C to form a story title? Just
asking. At this point it is hard to say which titles of the new DC 52 will
continue in popularity because they are almost all selling out. People are
jumping on late but is that due to buzz about how good they are or not wanting
to miss out on the few real gems among them? I think the latter. I am not sure
if this one will have wide appeal after people sample it. It draws from previous
incarnations of the OMAC appearances in the recent past but starts fresh with a
new approach. Ground zero is the Cadmus labs. Now known as the world leader in
bioengineering and mapping the human genome it still hides more clandestine
operations a mile underground. Ninety percent of the workers above have no idea
their business is a cover for what is below. So when a being calling himself
OMAC starts tearing into the building there is panic. The subplot involves one
of the female workers looking for her boyfriend who stood her up. Now where
could he be? The action continues into the lower levels and Dubbilex is there
with lots of other Kirbyesque beings to defend their ground. I really like the
art, which indeed does justice to the King for the most part. Basically we have
an unwitting participant in a major plot for reasons that are not yet entirely
revealed. Of course you know wherever OMAC is can Brother Eye be far behind? We
will have to wait for future issues to see what the master plan is. I am not
sure this first issue has enough of a hook to get new readers involved.

Issue Number: 1
Title Story: Raise Dem Bones
Publisher: DC
Creator: Len Wein & Bernie Wrightson
Writer: Scott Snyder
Artist: Yanick Paquette
Colors: Nathan Fairbairn
Letters: John J. Hill
Price (USD): $2.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Hero/Horror

I have not been a big fan of Swamp Thing but I must admit the opening scenes of
this comic are very intriguing. The narration is by Alec Holland. He is relating
a story from his childhood working for his father in a flower shop. Later, in
narration, he retells the story of how he once became Swamp Thing but has no
memory of what happened after that. Six weeks ago he woke up in a swamp and was
himself again. That takes care of the history for us. The rest is the story at
hand. As I said the beginning is interesting. While he is telling his story the
visuals show Superman, Batman and Aquaman in their usual settings. Clark and his
colleagues witness hundreds of birds falling from the skies. For Batman it is
the bats in his cave. And for the King of the Sea it is fish. This clearly
brings concerns. It also brings Superman to Louisiana to speak to Alec.
Elsewhere, at an archeological dig, even stranger things are happening and
before the end they will be very disturbing omens of things to come. So this
first issue is our introduction to Alec Holland as the former Swamp Thing. He
has issues with his vaguely recalled past and what he should be doing with his
future. Meanwhile it seems like the green may not let him let go. And what about
the events of THE SEARCH FOR SWAMP THING? Do they matter in this new version?
You will have to judge as we go along. The art is incredible for this script,
which calls for a lot of different settings, images and characters. It really is
a good-looking book. And for a nice touch as they give a tip of the hat to John
Totleben in one panel. I have mixed feelings overall. There is a lot in the plot
coming from different directions. Most of it appears to relate to something
coming down the road. What that means for Alec is the big mystery.

Issue Number: 1
Publisher: Blue Water Comics
Creator: Walter Koenig
Writer: Walter Koenig
Artist: Juan Baez
Colors: Jon Lyons
Letters: Bernie Lee
Cover Artist: GMB Chomichuk
Price (USD): $3.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Science Fiction/Horror

Well, I think this comic will sell a certain amount of copies from the celebrity
writer curiosity factor. He may not be so lucky on the second issue. He is
trying to tell two stories in a post apocalyptic future. It involves two groups
of people. Each was driven to live away from the surface of the earth due to the
toxic air. One group is well underground in caves eking their living from
fishing in the stream. The unique touch to this story is they have been down
here for generations and are now building a pyramid of stone to reach to opening
in the roof so they can live on the surface once more. The other group where
forced into cliff caves and were slowly dying until a child came in being
carried by a large bat-like creature. This child saved them from extinction by
turning them into vampires. When the air is clear they can leave their caves but
where do they go? Is there anywhere worth going to anymore? A lot of time is
spent with the underground group. They are a tribal society with strict rules
necessary for the survival of the whole. The only child born in the last nine
years is a cripple. The final fate relies on their ability to escape their self-
imposed prison while they can and re-establish civilization on the surface. On
the surface it is an interesting premise but the execution is too slow. There is
some mystery involved and brutality with the old and weak. It is just not an
appealing story. Likewise the vampire clan has too many panels to establish what
they are and how they set off to find their fate. Only at the end does it show
promise for something more interesting. The art is not inspiring either. I would
call it adequate. It is not enough to lift the entire work to something better.
I do not think it is worth reading a second issue.

Issue Number: 1-SHOT
Publisher: Marvel
Writer: David Lapham
Artist: David Aja
Colors: Bettie Breitweiser
Letters: Dave Lanphear
Price (USD): $3.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Super Hero

Wolverine is one of those characters that any good writer can use to tell a
decent story. Like Batman he has become iconic in that many stories can be told
without necessarily any ties to current or past continuity. When I saw that
David Lapham was the writer I figured it would be above average on that count.
The main plot involves a debt Logan owes to a friend. As the story opens we
witness a Yakuza hit on a family. A police superintendent and his wife are
killed but their two children escape by hiding. Logan, who was supposed to help
protect the witnesses in a case but he came to late to save his friend. But it
seems the Yakuza boss is still out for the son and Logan vows to protect him.
There is a secondary intersecting plot involving SHIELD. A bunch of large robots
attacked a US base on Okinawa and Nick Fury is all over finding them and
destroying them. It turns out they are from a secret WWII project and the dead
superintendent was involved with the project. The two stories intersect nicely
as Logan and Fury find the boy at the same time. Why he is a target and how all
the threads are resolved is nicely done. This is not a happily ever after story
but it is still satisfying. The art a different style with muted coloring and
good use of shadow. As a one shot story it stands out.


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:
The term "Rising Spirit" is said to be the explanation/translation of which
comic book logo?
The logo was a combination of a stylized RAI (pronounced rye) and a Japanese
symbol meaning Spirit. The book was Valiant's RAI. The winner is Gregory Goding.

Here was your no prize question:
Who fist coined the word, NERD?

It was Theodor S. Geisel (Dr. Seuss) in 1950, in his book "If I Ran the Zoo," in
which appears a creature called a "nerd" -- "I'll sail to Ka-Troo And Bring Back
an It-Kutch, a Preep and a Proo, A Nerkle, a Nerd, and a Seersucker, too!"

Who killed Leanna Creel?

Here is your no prize question:
How many laps does it take to win the Indianapolis 500?

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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