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Friday, November 4, 2011

Comic Reviews 11/4/11

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 (of 6)
Title Story: From the Wreckage
Publisher: DC
Writer: Paul Levitz
Artist: Chris Batista & Marc Deering
Colors: Wes Hartman
Letters: Dezi Sienty
Cover Artist: Tom Feister
Price (USD): $2.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Super Hero

This mini-series is more than a standard retelling of the three original
Legionnaires saving RJ Brande's life and starting up the LSH. The story begins
before that event as the space fleet of the United Planets explores one of the
planets outside their borders. They find the inhabitants slaughter in a brutal
manner. More importantly there are remnants of technical devices all over unlike
anything they have seen before. When their own technician tries to examine it
back on the ship it explodes with deadly results. Clearly they need someone of
higher intelligence and more careful technique to decipher what these devices
are, why they explode and where they come from. SO they seek the help of the
planet Colu and they offer their mightiest thinker, Querl Dox aka Braniac 5. It
is also the story of three people, the Security Directorate of the UP - another
Coluan, a Naltorian with the gift of foresight and a human. They sift through
packets of knowledge from around the galaxy and use the alien foresight, high
intelligence and human instinct to advise the U.P. on their interpretations when
they find things of import. This massacre was one but another seems to be
imminent. Something will happen to R.J. Brande that will determine the fate of
many worlds. I like that the history of the beginning has not changed. Instead
we have different points of view of events surrounding and leading to it. We
also get to see two Legionnaires at the time – before they joined. Brainiac 5
figures strongly in the mystery and he meets Phantom Girl, Tinya Wazzo. It is
interesting to see a different story revolving around the public events – the
attempted assassination and later the forming of the Legion and induction of its
fourth member. Adding the second plot gives us a whole new story and some fill
in data on how some members met. The art is very good making it a delightful
journey for Legion fans of all ages.

Issue Number: 1
Title Arc: Hulk Asunder
Publisher: Marvel
Writer: Jason Aaron
Artist: Marc Silvestri with Michael Broussard
Inker: Joe Weems with Rick Basaldua and Sal Regla
Colors: Sunny Gho
Letters: Ed Dukeshire
Price (USD): $3.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Super Hero

I do not know how the last issue of the previous edition of this title ended so
I am looking at this comic as if the current status quo is something we have not
seen before - well the location anyway. If you read FEAR ITSELF you will know in
the last issue it was established that Bruce Banner and the Hulk are now
separate beings. Beyond that I don't know how the Hulk got to be where he is, or
Bruce either who also shows up in the end of this issue. The Hulk is somewhere
in an underground world with not only huge monsters that come out of molten lava
but also a community of much smaller people who have taken Hulk in and he in
turn has become their great hunter and provider. Here he is not a monster to
anyone. He has come here to find peace and yet he constantly broods for he knows
sooner or later someone will come to disturb the life he now has. Astute readers
will realize he knows what he is talking about. But who comes and why is a big
surprise. Meanwhile above on the planet, on an island somewhere is Bruce Banner.
I don't want to give away what he is up to though. Depending how you read the
dialogue he has with those around him you could say either he has gone off the
deep end or he has a mission he will not turn away from. There are a few hints
of what is to come that look pretty interesting. I find the story interesting
and certainly the type a new reader can pick up and understand without knowledge
of the recent past. Both Hulk and Banner are living among others unlike
themselves or anyone else in the world. Are they really two parts of the same
person? If so where will that lead? One thing is certain their fate is
intertwined. Silvestri has done a great job in both locations in bringing out
how different the flora and fauna is from the usual. His style is very dynamic
and fits the plot well. So far this is good enough to check out.

Issue Number: 1
Title Story: Welcome To the X-Men! Now Die!
Publisher: Marvel
Writer: Jason Aaron
Artist: Chris Bachalo
Inkers: Tim Townsend, Jaime Mendoza & Al Vey
Colors: Chris Bachalo
Letters: Rob Steen
Price (USD): $3.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Super Hero

I felt obligated to pick up this first issue and as with the HULK I have not
been reading the whole Schism and Regenesis arcs in the various X-books. I do
read about those events and know there are two sets of X-Men and this book
focuses on the group that left the west coat with Wolverine to start the Jean
Grey School for Higher Learning in Westchester County New York. With him are
Kitty Pride as the Headmistress and Hank McCoy as the Vice Principal. On staff
are Gambit, Rachel Grey, Rogue, Iceman, Cannonball, Chamber, Husk, Karma, Frenzy
and Doop. In what I find a bit comical Toad is the Janitor. Even the Professor
shows up the wish Logan well. In fact the text piece in the back gives a listing
of the various courses and extracurricular activities and Charles is listed as a
guest lecturer. The story begins as Logan and Kitty meet two representatives
from the New York State Department of Education to inspect the place. It is
apparent from their first words that the inspectors do not expect to find the
place acceptable. So most of the issue shows Logan and Kitty giving them the
tour, which is a good plot device to show us readers some of the things going on
as well. The younger mutants are like teenagers who aren't mutants – some are
conscientious, some are mischievous and others plain don't want to be there.
Hank is all wrapped up in getting the place operating properly. He has
incorporated a lot of alien technology provided by the Shi'ar. The outside has a
very futuristic look but everything is not running smoothly, which does not help
the effort to inspect the inspectors. For example there are reports of lava
bubbling up in some of the rooms. As you might expect everything that can go
wrong does go wrong but the big one is left until the end when the new Black
King of the Hellfire Club shows up to let Wolverine know he plans to destroy it
all. Well there is certainly a lot going on in one short issue and I found it
delightful. There is a constant flow of subtle and sarcastic humor that is
refreshing and all the while there are hints of something happening that is not
quit right. The end is a big bang. As I said the supporting text is also well
worth taking away from the story as they add to the knowledge we need about who
the players are and what the school is all about. The art supports the story
keeping everything moving along while giving us impressions of each character
and their emotions. I did not expect to like it this much but I find it a breath
of fresh air from some of the heavy plots and involved events of the recent
past. See if you agree.

Issue Number: 1
Publisher: Avatar
Writer: Garth Ennis
Artist: Mike Wolfer
Price (USD): $3.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Combat/Horror
MATURE – Comics on the Edge

You can always expect something different and gruesome from Garth Ennis. This
story starts routinely enough when a helicopter on a rescue mission crashes in
eastern Afghanistan. Not everyone survives and the pilot has an injured leg. Now
they have to be rescued but the chopper rolled over a cliff so the transponder
is not where they are. They know they have to keep moving and avoid the locals.
As they prepare to move we get to another scene. A Taliban encampment somewhere
nearby is set upon by some men or other humanoids dressed in tattered robes. All
the while there is a strange noise in the background, like pebbles rattling in a
tin can, as the Afghans fight for their lives but bullets seem to have no
effect. They are not just sliced but also disemboweled in a strange way. Shortly
thereafter one of the Taliban fleeing the scene runs into the downed Americans
and that begins the intersection of our good guys with the mysterious beings,
presumably the Stitched. Why they might be called this is evident when we
finally get to see one close up. They appear literally out of nowhere and the
strange noise is there when they are. We learn why near the end of the chapter
why they are called the Stitched. What we don't know is what they are and why
they are doing this. There are some violent and tense moments – as you would
expect from Ennis. The art is spectacular – a perfect match for this tale of
combat and horror. If you are into it, this is a thriller.

Issue Number: 1
Publisher: Image/Top Cow
Writers: Jeremy Haun & Jason A. Hurley
Artist: Jeremy Haun
Colors: John Rauch
Letters: Troy Peteri
Price (USD): $3.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Science Fiction

Here is another Top Cow Pilot Season title in contention to make it to a mini-
series. The theme of the story is about sexually transmitted disease. What is
different is that people actually want to catch this STD. You see the virus
physically changes the victims in a desirable way. Fat melts away, hair is
restored, skin conditions clear up and so on. The STD has been dubbed The
Beauty. The only apparent downside was a slight constant fever, considered a
minor trade off for a near perfect body. Now half the people have it or want it
and the other half hates it. Anti-Beauty cells have sprung up and some in the
movement have gotten violent. What might happen next? That is the setup for the
story. Being the lead in to a possible series not all the answers will be given.
The main character is a cop and his partner who head up the Beauty task force –
investigating Beauty related crimes. The latest one is a mystery. A Beauty on a
train suddenly combusted into fire – from the inside. Clues indicate this is not
a murder and our hero believes that the real side effects of Beauty are finally
manifesting. The story has some intrigue as government officials take over the
scene and body. There are also elements of the plot indicate some around the
main players have the disease. I am sure there is much more planned for this
crime thriller but unless it makes the grade we may never see it. I hope it


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:
First words of a character - could be a tough one.
Who said this in his comic
book debut?

"Say, who WERE the Masters of the Universe, anyway? And what were the secrets of
Castle Greyskull?"

Looks like I stumped you all on this one. It was Denny Meechum, known also as
Ninjak, who said that in his first words in a comic.

Here was your no prize question:
Which is the oldest car manufacturer still making cars in the US?

Buick was founded in 1899 as a car manufacturer. Ford Motor Company was not
started until June 1903.

THIS WEEK'S TRIVIA QUESTION: What was Harvey (Two-Face) Dent's original name when he first appeared?

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

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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