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Friday, October 7, 2011

comic reviews 10/7/11

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: The Trench
Publisher: DC
Creator: Paul Norris
Writer: Geoff Johns
Artist: Ivan Reis
Inker: Joe Prado
Colors: Rod Reis
Letters: Nick J. Napolitano
Price (USD): $2.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Super Hero

This is a refreshing new look at a character that has been maligned by fans and
the general public to some degree due to the nature of his powers. On this
fresh start Geoff Johns seizes on that history and uses it for comic relief. Not
that this is a very heavy plot to start with but it does involve a new threat
from the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean in the framing sequences that provides
tension, foreboding and horror to an otherwise straightforward super hero plot.
Locals will delight that the first appearance of Aquaman in the book is in
Boston where he was at the harbor and heard a police chase so he jumps in. The
sequence serves to show us this version of Aquaman is straight down to business
and highlights his strengths. The next is the fun part as he walks into a local
seafood restaurant near the shore to eat lunch. It is just a delightfully
written sequence with awe struck patrons gasping that he would order fish and
chips! The underlying tension in the conversations he has with an ambitious
blogger highlights the differences in culture and perception and the humor is
spot on. It alone is worth the price of the book. The third gets us more into
the relation between Arthur and Mera, his past through flashbacks and a major
decision he has made about their future. In case you hadn't noticed in the
promos he has both hands now and I hope it stays that way. The art is terrific
and the comic is already is getting a lot of buzz. I urge you to give it a try.
It is my pick of the week.

Issue Number: 1
Title Story: What Price Tomorrow
Publisher: DC
Creator: Jerry Siegel & Joe Shuster
Writer & Breakdowns: George Perez
Artist: Jesus Merino
Colors: Brian Buccellato
Letters: Carlos M. Mangual
Price (USD): $2.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Super Hero

Unlike ACTION COMICS and JUSTICE LEAGUE this title follows the adventures of
Superman in the present time. There have been some changes to the character and
supporting cast in this new continuity. I guess the biggy is that Clark is no
longer married to Lois. In fact the subplot makes a big deal of Lois dating
another guy. Her life has changed quite a bit. She has just been made the
Executive Producer of the nightly news division at Planet Global Network and
Executive VP of New Media. It is now owned by Morgan Edge who offered Clark the
news anchor position along with his reporting job at the Planet but Clark turned
it down. There is some conflict between Clark and Lois about what kind of
organization Edge is running so he does not totally agree with her taking the
job. But they are not an item and she is dating another guy. At one point there
is a strong hint he has feelings for her. The scripting of all this background
information is weaved into the main story very well. It shows how well Lois does
her job, including handling the boss, when Superman goes into action against a
fiery menace attacking the city. Even Perry White has changed to a more buff man
with chiseled jaw - a new look for him. And the Daily Planet building is gone
replaced with a new skyscraper and modern globe on the top. It is the setting
for Morgan Edge's grand announcement about Lois' appointment at a gala
reception. But this is a book called SUPERMAN and we do have the action
sequences of him fighting a being apparently made of fire when he tries to stop
the heist of a chemical waste truck. Carrying the truck over the city to get the
thieves to surrender he is taken by surprise when it explodes. There is some
terrific action sequences as it goes from bad to worse and a hint that this is
an alien presence attacking for a specific reasons. Speaking of aliens,
continuity buffs will note the one page insert of another alien blowing a rather
large horn atop the Himalayas. This is the same horn mentioned and found in
STORMWATCH #1. We get to see who actually blew the horn, and that is about it.
Whether it has any connection to the menace in Metropolis remains to be seen. In
all I found this to be a solid first issue. It has lots of detail on all the
major characters and their new situations, some good action sequences and it is
all drawn and colored very nicely. It is a worthy addition to the top super hero
at DC.

Issue Number: 1
Publisher: DC
Writer: Mike Costa
Layouts: Graham Nolan
Finishes & Cover: Ken Lashley
Colors: Guy Major
Letters: Rob Leigh
Price (USD): $2.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Covert Ops/Science fiction

You will know right off the bat that this is not your father's Blackhawks. The
U.N. sanctioned team consists of Lady Blackhawk, The Irishman, Kundichi and
Attila with field support handled by Wildman. In this mission they have been
called in to intervene in a hostage situation at an airport in Kazakhstan. From
video surveillance they see a previously unknown group using vehicles and
weaponry prohibited by the Metapowers Act. They manage to get the job done with
lots of shooting and acrobatic skills but the covert nature of their team may
have been compromised. Also, the female Kunoichi received a wound that will
become a major plot point by the end. Later at the Eyrie we meet Andrew Lincoln,
the deputy of operations as he greets a UN Delegate who informs Lincoln of the
breach in their status that occurred on the mission. The subplot about
Kunoichi's wound takes center stage as we are shown a supermax meta-human
security facility in central Asia somewhere. It all involves microscopic
machines called nanocites. There we meet whom it was that sold the weaponry seen
before and the power of those nanocites. It has all the makings of a good
thriller with interesting antagonists and heroes that are very colorful. I
enjoyed it as a good action story and the art team does a good job bringing it
all to life. If you like these kinds of books without the spandex heroes this
one is for you.

Issue Number: 1
Title Story:
Publisher: IDW
Based on: Teleplay of "Where No Man Has Gone Before" by Samuel A. Peeples
Writer: Mike Johnson
Artist: Stephen Molnar
Colors: John Rauch
Letters: Neil Uyetake
Price (USD): $3.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Science Fiction

This is an interesting concept for a Star Trek comic book. It takes the
characters from the recent hit movie and puts them into stories told before in
the old original Star Trek TV show, hence the credits to the teleplay. While I
would not want to see the new continuity characters go through old plots in the
movie sequels I think it works well as comic book adaptations. The names are the
same but the faces are the new ones from the movie. The art team does a good job
capturing the likenesses of the actors from the movie and telling the story in a
dynamic fashion though I would like more inventive layouts. The story is one any
old school Trek fans will recognize. Gary Mitchell and Mr. Kelso are part of the
crew carrying out the exploring mission of the Enterprise at the edge of the
Galaxy. Spock detects the distress beacon from the SS Valiant as they approach
the edge. The partial recording hints of something about extra sensory
perception and the captain of the Valiant giving the order to self-destruct.
Only the beacon survived. As the Enterprise encounters the same barrier the
Valiant hit there is massive damage to the ship, nine crew are killed and
Mitchell is affected in an amazing way. While under observation he shows signs
of increased mental capabilities, reading everything at an increasing faster
pace and soon exhibits the beginnings of telekinesis and other psychic ability.
As the crew learns more from the recovered beacon they realize they are
following the same pattern as the Valiant. Kirk may have to decide to do
something about Gary Mitchell before it is too late. I like this because it
follows the basic plot of a familiar story with the new twist of slightly
different people in the major roles. It is playing out in roughly the same way
as Shatner, Nimoy and the others experienced but not exactly. As a fan I enjoyed
it very much. The plus is that new fans of Star Trek from the movie (are there
any?) will enjoy it as well. Thumbs up for this one.

Issue Number: 1
Title Story: God Particle
Publisher: DC
Creator: Gerry Conway & Al Milgrom
Plotters: Ethan Van Sciver & Gail Simone
Writer: Gail Simone
Artist: Yildiray Cinar
Colors: Steve Buccelato
Letters: Travis Lanham
Cover Artist: Ethan Van Sciver with Hi-Fi
Price (USD): $2.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Super Hero

The last Firestorm was the combination of Ronnie Raymond and Jason Rusch. In
this new Universe they are both Firestorm. In case you did not notice the title
is now THE NUCLEAR MEN. In this version Jason Rusch was entrusted with the last
vessel that would transform the right gene type to a Firestorm. As we see
through the first half there is a ruthless organization trying to track down
that last bottle that can activate a Firestorm being. Ronnie and Jason are not
friends. In fact as we reach a critical point in the plot Jason has written
uncomplimentary things about the star quarterback and Ronnie has come to
confront him about it. That is when it hits the fan and in order to save lives
Ronnie activates the process and to their surprise as Jason becomes Firestorm
Ronnie becomes one also - two separate Firestorm beings. And wait until you see
what happens when two Firestorms merge as one - they become Fury! It is a great
new way to spin the whole concept of the Nuclear Man who can transmute matter on
an atomic level. The characters are familiar but with a fresh start that makes
their relationship with each other different. The art is spectacular, especially
the final splash pages with the introduction of Fury. I anticipate that over
time Ronnie and Jason will learn to work together but for now it is adversarial
in nature. It is a classic struggle of brain over brawn. It is off to a bang of
a start.

Title: FLASH
Issue Number: #1
Publisher: DC
Writers: Francis Manapul & Brian Buccellato
Artist: Francis Manapul
Colors: Brian Buccellato
Letters: Sal Cipriano
Price (USD): $2.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Super Hero

Barry Allen is back. And like Clark Kent there are changes in his life in the
new DC Universe. He is the police scientist who is secretly the Flash but he is
not married to Iris West. He is not even dating her. She will become interested
in him after there is an attempted robbery that the Flash foils. Unfortunately
one of the perpetrators is killed in the ensuing battle and Barry Allen and his
assistant Patty Spivot are tasked with seeing if the Flash is responsible. More
curious than that the victim turns out to be an old friend of Barry's. More
curious than that his dead friend Manuel shows up at the lab a few nights later.
And when Barry chases after him something even more curious happens. I like the
way this plot is slowly building to peak the reader's interest. The Iris West
sub plot is very minor right now. Maybe in this title they will eventually
become involved as they were in the old continuity - or maybe not. The art is a
unique style that has a nice quality though it takes time to get used to it. The
way Barry changes into his costume has a fresh take now. There is a sequence
where Flash is falling from a building down to the sewer below the street. It
takes up the whole page but has a good impact on the reader. I think the team is
a good one. The beginning story held my interest and left a hook at the end to
get me to want more. So far it is another solid restart for DC.


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The Chief first gathered his team in what magazine?

THE DOOM PATROL was first formed in MY GREATEST ADVENTURE. The winner by the
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What is the world's biggest single structure made from living organisms?

The Great Barrier Reef can be seen from outer space and is the world's biggest
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In which city can you find MONARCHS, GENERALS, MAMMOTHS and METEORS?

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What was the first .COM domain name ever registered back in 1965?

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