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Friday, November 25, 2011

Comic Reviews 11/25/11


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
Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment
Creator: Jack Kirby
Writer: Jai Nitz w/Alex Ross
Artist: Johnny Desjardins
Colors: Vinicius Andrade
Letters: Simon Bowland
Cover Artist: Alex Ross/Jae Lee/Mark Buckingham
Price (USD): $3.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Super Hero

Spinning out of KIRBY GENESIS is this series starring one of Kirby's creations
that also appears in that series. Silver Star is a super powered man whose exact
origins are not revealed in this issue. He is part of a secret government
project under the Department of Defense call Project: New Breed. The opening
scenes show him at work in Libya helping liberate that country during the recent
uprisings. Throughout various scenes we see excerpts of presidential memos and
orders from presidents starting with Nixon through George W. Bush, apparently to
clue us in on their willingness to fund the project and monitor its progress.
The current plot has his contact, Agent Walker, fetch him from Libya to meet
with the president in DC via teleportation. It seems a closer review is required
and the president has assigned a military psychologist, John Dunn, to assess the
situation before any action will be taken. As Dunn, Walker and Silver Star, aka
Morgan Miller teleport to New Breed headquarters in Oblivion, Montana we meet
Morgan's female partner and companion, Norma. Unfortunately Norma is leaving and
that sets up a dilemma for the project. She is the most powerful woman on the
planet and has always backed up Silver Star. After she teleports they do not
know where she is and Morgan decides to converse with Tracy, a little girl who
never ages kept in a big metal box, by astral projection of some sort. When he
does this he is off the grid. Clearly Agent Walker is not pleased and Agent Dunn
has his hands full when a crisis arises, as he is unable to wake Silver Star.
The story appears to be geared to show us that even powered beings have problems
with the sub plot adding Dunn as a civilian sidekick of sorts who is also
fearless in action. The ending of the chapter adds another problem for Dunn and
Silver Star. It is not a bad story though I found it a bit forced on the
problems among the characters as new ones are added on the last page. The art is
passable but not all that appealing to me. It remains to be seen if the plot
will carry the series before I decide if it is worth my time.

Issue Number: 1
Title Story: Victory is Sacrifice
Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment
Creator: Jack Kirby
Writer: Sterling Gates w/Alex Ross
Artist: Wagner Reis
Colors: Inlight Studio
Letters: Simon Bowland
Cover Artist: Alex Ross
Price (USD): $3.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Super Hero

The next spin off form Kirby Genesis is CAPTAIN VICTORY and his Galactic
Rangers. As you might guess they are space-traveling police force that face off
against special dangers no one else can handle. Captain Victory's thing is that
he can survive death by having his consciousness transferred into a new body on
his ship. His archenemy is Batteron who seeks to expand his Shadow Empire across
the galaxy. After his latest reincarnation is complete Captain Victory beams to
the surface of the latest battle zone, the planet Kloon. His trusted lieutenant
Tarin, a man with the head of a lion, fills him in. Batteron uses his shadow
technology to take over the population turning them into his shadow puppets. The
entire population has been turned and now they have no choice but to rescue
their own and abandon the planet. Victory has to make a deadly choice in the
process. Through flashback sequences we learn he is really the grandson of
Blackmass, the ruler of the Shadow Empire. We see what he was subjected to as a
young man and how he came to turn his back on his legacy to fight for the good
guys. As an introduction to the character it is a better one than SILVER STAR.
We see the highlights of who he is, how he came to his present status and how
resolved in that quest. The story is pretty much self-contained and reads
easily. It will be interesting to see if Sterling Gates can take the concept of
a warrior that does not die and make more of it than an endless cycle. The art
is appealing as is the Alex Ross cover. It seems to be a good start but time
will tell if it goes anywhere.

Publisher: MAD Books/E.C. Publications
Creator: Antonio Prohias
Writer & Illustrator: Peter Kuper
Additional Material: Sergio Aragones
Price (USD): $9.99 Digest size
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Humor
All Ages

One of my favorite features in MAD MAGAZINE was always the Spy vs. Spy segments.
Nearly everyone has seen these sight gags about the black spy trying to get the
better of the white spy (the colors refer to their clothes not skin) and visa
versa. I always marveled at how many variations on the theme the creator,
Antonio Prohias, could come up with. And when we thought we had seen it all he
occasionally threw in a female gray spy that always got the better of the two
men. This digest-sized book is a compilation of past episodes in Mad as well as
some new material. Most of it is in color but some are black and white. Peter
Kuper has carried on the tradition and captured the essence of the perpetual
antagonists in both plot and visually. Most often on of the spies is hatching a
plot to somehow kill the other or steal his secrets. For example White puts a
fake mailbox over a trashcan where Black will mail his top-secret information to
spy headquarters. When he has finished White comes back and leans into the
trashcan to retrieve the package. Just then Black appears and pushes him in
closing the cover. But when he lifts the can he sees the bottom in missing and
it was over a manhole. White has made an escape and circled around to trap Black
in a carton, which is picked up and crushed by the garbage man. It is the
double, triple and sometimes quadruple double cross that makes the reader unsure
who will prevail until the very end. Sometimes it is a missile shot by one that
bounces off a fake window back at the shooter who in turn will have his own
method of turning it back again. The introduction of the Gray lady is a nice
touch that adds diversity even though we know she will always win in the end -
the fun is in the journey. It is all done with pictures and sound effects, there
is no dialogue. As an added bonus the pages taken from MAD will often have those
little cartoons along the borders - Marginal Madness - by the great Sergio
Aragones. But since they are reduced in size to fit the format they are a bit
hard to read for these aged eyes. But Sergio is so clever it is worth using a
magnifier to get your money's worth. This is one in a series of books collecting
the Spy vs. Spy adventures. It is well worth the price.
Issue Number: 1
Publisher: Marvel
Writer: Matt Fraction
Artist: Salvador Larroca
Colors: Frank D'Armata
Letters: Joe Caramagna
Price (USD): $3.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Super Hero

Marvel has come out with a few epilogues to the FEAR ITSELF event. I call them
that, as they are different than the SHATTERED HEROES themes in some of the
regular titles. Even the numbering tries to tie them into happening right after
the last issue of FEAR ITSELF. During the event the Grey Gargoyle possessed one
of the hammers summoned by the Serpent. With it he turned the entire population
of Paris to stone. This seemed to be a major event in itself on the magnitude of
Genosha and the like. This book covers two confrontations by Tony Stark. One is
with the Gargoyle who is now a prisoner in a specially built chamber Stark
designed. The other is between Tony and Odin just before Thor's memorial is
held. The two are intertwined though the scenes with Gargoyle take place much
later. In flashback we see the people of Paris, as cold as statues, carefully
being gathered after the disaster as in the present Tony lectures about how
rather than an inescapable prison the Gargoyle deserves death. But it is the
meeting with Odin that is the crux of the plot. His basic premise is if Odin is
a god how could he have let this happen? The resolution may take some by
surprise - unlike me who had already read what it was that happens. Some may
call it a cop out while others may just figure it is what comics always do so it
is no big deal. I won't spoil it so you can decide for yourselves. In the
context of the characters and the dialogue it is well told, the only question is
whether it should have happened. Larroca does his usual terrific job and Tony
will continue in IRON MAN #510.

Issue Number: 1-SHOT
Publisher: Marvel
Writers: Adam Glass & Mike Benson
Artist: Dalibor Talajac
Colors: Jean-Francois Beaulieu
Letters: Dave Lanphear
Cover Artist: Marko Djurdjevic
Price (USD): $3.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Super Hero

Those of you who only became familiar with Luke Cage from the series ALIAS and
now the Avengers books may get a kick out of seeing his origin story retold. You
may even be shocked to see he once had hair and sported an Afro a metal headband
in his time as Hero for Hire. The story goes back to his roots as a gangbanger
who tried to move on from that life. His old partner Stryker took up with a
female acquaintance of Luke's and when he treated her badly she turned to Luke.
That set off Stryker. He had Luke framed for drug trafficking and Luke was sent
to prison. It is there that he eventually was asked to participate in
experiments in cell regeneration. During the process a vindictive guard messed
with the controls but instead of killing Luke it made him super strong and nigh
invulnerable. Luke made his escape and eventually began a new life. He
eventually has a turning point deciding to use his powers for good and
eventually get back at the man who framed him. The story may run fairly close to
the actual origin in his old title. It details how he became popular after
confronting the Rhino and his eventual showdown with Stryker. There is even an
interesting epilogue in the present as he returns to the old neighborhood and he
meets someone he once injured. It is a fitting wrap up to the story. I enjoyed
the story as a look back on what was one of Marvel's first attempts at a black
lead character. This retelling is fleshed out nicely for the new reader. I think
old fans will like it just as much.

Issue Number: 1
Title Story: Resist
Publisher: DC
Creator: Based on upcoming Massive Online Strategy Game from Trion Worlds
Writer: Ricardo Sanchez
Artist: Yvel Guichet
Colors: Carrie Strachan
Letters: Saida Temofonte
Cover Artist: Chris Sprouse, Karl Story & Zac Atkinson
Price (USD): $2.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Science fiction/Game adaptation

There seems to be more than a few comics out these days based on online and game
console video games. This latest one is based on an online game not yet out.
This is basically a war story that takes place in the not too distant future
when an organization called the Order of Nations has taken over the world. There
are people that resist though and the basis for the plot is one such group
called the Constitution Riders. One field commander in particular, Barret, is
the focus of the plot. He had to leave his pregnant wife behind in Idaho rather
than swear allegiance to the Order. Now he works under General Reid fighting the
good fight. Reid has promised him that soon they will turn their sites on Idaho
so he can liberate his family. But for now there are other fights to fight. The
opening scene is a rather prolonged battle as the Riders attack a convoy
carrying a large missile. It takes several pages of action showing us the level
of technology being used in this future war. Once this mission is a success
Barret hopes the incoming transmission from the general will be the green light
to turn to Idaho but it is instead is a desperate mission to try and keep the
resistance headquarters from being overrun until the place can be evacuated.
Through this new mission we learn that this future war is more complicated than
it seemed - that the Order is no the only problem Barret will have to fight.
This is an ok comic as far as war comics go. There is lots of fighting for those
who think that is the main purpose and the rival forces get some definition with
an added backup piece. I am not sure how well it will tie in with the game
coming out or if there will be any cross buying by gamers. There is really not
too much to hold my interest right now.


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:
Where did Defiant's "Warriors of Plasm" make their comic debut?

The Warriors of Plasm made their 1st appearance in an insert to Diamond
Previews #6 in June 1993, called PLASM #0. The winner by the dice is Keith

Here was your no prize question:
Who is credited with inventing the first true gasoline powered automobile?

On January 29, Karl Benz received the first patent (DRP No. 37435) for a gas-
fueled car. It was a three-wheeler; Benz built his first four-wheeled car in
1891. Benz & Cie., the company started by the inventor, became the world's
largest manufacturer of automobiles by 1900. Benz was the first inventor to
integrate an internal combustion engine with a chassis - designing both
together. Stan Hosmer beat everyone else with the right answer.

Which publisher forced Defiant to change the title to WARRIORS OF PLASM?

Here is your no prize question:
Who performed on the first CD for commercial release in the United States?

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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