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Thursday, November 10, 2011

Comic Reviews 11/11/11


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: 1-SHOT
Publisher: Image
Writer: Sam Humphries
Artist: Steven Sanders
Letters: Troy Peteri
Price (USD): $3.50
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Science Fiction/OMG/WTF
MATURE - Comics on the Edge

That genre designation is the creator's designation on the back of the book. And
I must agree. It is one of the strangest comics I have read in a long time.
Strange because it goes places others haven't. It is the story of a cop who
glories in breaking up vegisexual riots. Yes, you probably guessed what a
vegisexual is - someone who has sex with plants. It makes him feel proud that he
is a zoosexual - er, someone who practices bestiality. Then at one riot he meets
a bystander just watching. She is a mineralsexual. As she explains to officer
Jok she does not screw rocks. She uses a form of meditation to merge auras with
crystals. The encounter bothers him so much he goes to see her at her apartment
and learns a lot about her and himself. But there is a final encounter later, in
a jewelry store that brings everything to a head and an unexpected resolution.
Although it is a quirky premise it makes sense in a science fiction way. The art
is really good black and white with dynamic layouts and good use of grays. It
sure is not for everyone but it is well executed and worth it for those with an
open mind.

Issue Number: 1
Title Story: Everything Is Sinister
Publisher: Marvel
Writer: Kieron Gillen
Artist: Carlos Pacheco
Inker: Cam Smith
Colors: Frank D'Armata
Letters: Joe Caramagna
Price (USD): $3.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Super Hero

Last time I looked at one half of the split X-Men in WOLVERINE AND THE X-MEN.
This week I look at the other half UNCANNY X-MEN. As an aside I believe this is
the first time this title started with #1. The first thing I noticed is this is
a more serious book with a normal amount of humor based on the circumstances -
natural ribbing and sarcasm. Like the other book there is a guide in the back
detailing the major players and their positions. The X-Men, or Extinction Team
as Cyclops calls them, are Storm, Emma Frost, Magneto, Namor, Colossus, Hope
Danger and Magik. It further details sub teams, some with members of the
Extinction Team on them such as the X-Club/Science Team (look for their own
title soon), Security Recon, Street Team, Clean up (New Mutants), Gen Hope and
several recruits. The story begins with Scott talking to his core Extinction
Team explaining to them that they are not exterminators but rather their purpose
is to sway the opinion of the humans about mutants by saving THEM from
extinction by serious enough threats. It is mostly a five-page monologue that
spells out the focus of the team. But the story title is the giveaway what the
first main threat will be. Sinister is the villain and his plan involves the
Dreaming Celestial. His brutality is demonstrated very clearly. The X-Men are
brought in by S.W.O.R.D. when their monitoring detects energy spikes from the
Celestial. The rest of the book is all action as the more they attack the worse
things get. A couple of highlights include the current status of Colossus, an
interesting conversation between Namor and Emma and Magneto pushing his power to
the limit. If you prefer the X-Men in action this is a good new start. The
sinister ending, pun intended, promises more to come. It starts slow and builds
and the end drew me in to what it is all about. The art is superb as well. It is
an easy jump on point for the curious.

Issue Number: 1
Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment
Writer: Stuart Manning
Artist: Aaron Campbell
Colors: Carlos Lopez
Letters: Troy Peteri
Price (USD): $3.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Horror

Back in 1971 a new kind of soap opera hit the daytime TV airwaves. It had a
vampire, a witch and a werewolf as three of the leading characters and it became
a hit. Maybe because it was a major departure from the normal soaps. No doubt
the appeal to a younger audience and the late afternoon airtime was part of its
success. It was a cult favorite of college and high school students. The
question is can a comic book based on baby boomer cult TV show translate into a
hit forty years later. The Collins family is an old dynasty living in the
shadows of a troubled past in a remote fishing village on the coast of Maine.
Their darkest secret is Barnabas, a man over two hundred years old, cursed by
the witch Angelique to live forever as a vampire. The rest of the family has
problems barely hinted at. Elizabeth is concerned with protecting the family
name, her son is a pyromaniac, her daughter Carolyn drinks to drown her sorrow,
and cousin Quentin has his own secret that I won't spoil. Barnabas is plagued by
dreams and it seems he is closest to the family doctor, Julia Hoffman. She is
trying to cure him of his vampirism while supplying him stolen blood so he won't
have to feed. The problem with this first issue is that it is just a little
information about a lot of people. The main focus is on Barnabas and Carolyn
both of whom are in perilous situations and Julia has a secret of her own that
spells trouble for Barnabas. It seems they are jamming an awful lot into the
first issue to set up plot points immediately. In a soap opera it works well
because the next episode is a day away or at most three. I am not sure how well
this will work on a monthly schedule. The real problem for me is the art. It is
rather crude in definition. Campbell seems to have moments with strong lines and
good coloring mixed with blurry scenes. It is just not appealing. I am not sure
there is enough here to interest new readers and I doubt there are enough 55+
year olds that read comics and are Dark Shadows fans. I could be wrong.

Issue Number: 1
Publisher: Image/Top Cow
Writer/Creator: Filip Sablik
Artist: Chris Dibari
Colors: Ivan Plascencia
Letters: Troy Peteri
Cover Artist: Michael Gaydos
Price (USD): $3.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Crime Drama

Another PILOT SEASON submission in the contest to win a longer run. This one is
about a racecar driver, Vince Martinez, at the height of his game. With six
straight wins he was on his way to win the Sprint Cup. But after the latest race
he made a bad choice to blow off some steam with his team at a strip joint. One
thing led to another and after a police chase and a crash he lost it all - his
job, his freedom and his family. After his time in prison he has a menial job
and no hope for the future. Then one day an old friend from his racing days
shows up to offer him a job as a driver for a limo service in Houston. Imagine
his surprise when he goes to pick up the clients and they come rushing out of a
bank with ski masks on and guns a blazing! This is not what he signed up for but
things get worse when he learns more about what is going on and further
complications to his situation. As far as plot goes this is a decent story. Some
of the script is uninspired but the action moves along and there are bits of
mystery as we reach the climax. The art is unimpressive though. The layouts are
fine but the pencil and ink is just passable. It is not a bad comic but after
reading some of the other entries in the contest I am betting this one won't
make the cut.

Issue Number: 1 (of 3)
Publisher: Boom! Studios
Translation: Edward Gauvin
Writer: Michael Le Galli
Artist: Francis Manapul
Colors: Christelle Moulart
Letters: Deron Bennett
Price (USD): $3.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Adventure
MATURE - Nudity, Sexual situations

There is no text piece in this issue explaining how or where this comic came to
be. There is a translator in the credits though. Anyway, the comic is set in the
kingdom of N'Nas Amon a long time ago. The kingdom has been invaded by troops
from Persia and Byzantium and worse the homeland army has been defeated in
battle with no survivors. The queen has pulled all remaining citizens into their
fortified city and hired mercenaries to defend it. But she has a different plan
for the prince, Aksamon. She contracts with the female warriors from Sarmatia to
take the prince through hidden tunnels under the city past enemy lines to the
hidden city where he will be safe with the elders and his cousin whom he is
destined to marry to carry on the royal line. The queen has seen the prophecy
that six warriors will accompany the prince she therefore rejects the request of
a loyal servant girl to also go along. Somehow I am thinking this female will
figure into the plot later. So the seven set out on their journey. Like
something out of an Indiana Jones movie the encounter all kinds of booby-traps
one of which serves to end the first issue with a cliff hanger. There is a lot
of embellishment of certain characters along the way. Two of the female warriors
are looked at in depth at one point. The queen also has her moments with a
trusted servant. Those dialogues serve to explain a lot about their culture and
what is expected from the young prince. There is an awful lot of dialogue in
parts of the book. It becomes more evident because the unusual layouts have
eight or nine panels on most pages. I liked the art, especially the coloring.
Moulart captures the mood as scenes shift from the palace, to underground and in
flashbacks to better times. There is enough here to make for a decent story.
With only three issues to tell it all I anticipate less exposition and a lot
more action next time. Thumbs up on this one.

Issue Number: 1
Creator: Stan Lee & Yoshiki
Writer: Jon Goff
Artists: Carlos Soriano & Crimelab Syndicate
Colors: Fco Plascencia & Ivan Plascencia
Letters: Comicraft
Price (USD): $3.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Mythology/Supernatural

I picked this one up because it was a new title and a #1 issue with Stan Lee as
creator. I did not have any hopes on the quality nor have I read any press on
it. The script is structured so that the first three pages are the end of the
first issue plot after that we rewind to earlier that day. It starts with views
of the TV news referring to a series of attacks on musical acts around the
world. The seventh occurred at the planned launch of the world tour of the
Japanese sensation Yoshiki at an abandoned amusement park in California. The TV
is in his mansion on the coast as he and his manager meet the day after. It
turns out three female organizers of the local fan club are there and the
manager explains they helped get Yoshiki out of harms way the night before.
Yoshiki has no memory of what happened until the three girls reveal their true
identities and costumes as the Shrine Maidens of the Dragon Temple. Tracy
explains they met last night as she stood to defend him when he unlocked the
dragon's power. Yeah it seems that he is connected to this mythical magic
through his music. There is a whole other supernatural realm called Oblivion.
The beastly inhabitants have devastated many worlds and the world of man is
next. Yoshiki alone may be the one person that can stop it through the power of
the dragon. Yada, yada, yada. That really sums up my feelings on the whole
thing. Mystical beings planning to invade Earth but a single person can become
an unwitting hero and channel magical powers to save the day all the while
having three scantily clad female warriors as background visuals. And speaking
of backgrounds, there aren't many. Most of the panels have solid colors behind
the characters in the foreground. It is a lazy style, IMHO, that concentrates on
characters mostly though they are not drawn badly. So the premise or the plot
does not excite me so far. I am less interested because we are entering this
title with the second issue, even though it is labeled #1. Yes they had
published one of those pesky, enigmatic zero issues last month, which covered
the attack on Yoshiki and the intervention by Tracy and probably more. You may
have read my rants in the past on why I do not agree with numbering any comic
with a "0". This issue points out another reason why. There is considerable
recap in this issue on what happened in that zero issue. It is as if it was
purposely structured this way for those of us who missed the zero issue. Anyway,
I do not recommend this comic based on what I have read and seen in this issue.
Your time and money is probably better-spent elsewhere.


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:
What was Harvey (Two-Face) Dent's original name when he first appeared?

So as not to confuse people with another famous character, Harvey Kent got
changed to Harvey Dent. The winner by the dice is Jeremy Mower.

Here was your no prize question:
What were the world's first cork-tipped cigarettes?

The answer is Viceroy and Greg Goding got it first.

In Superboy #50, three characters from the original KAMANDI series appeared.
Which ones?

Here is your no prize question:
Which famous Middle East Leader received the key to the city of Detroit in 1980?

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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