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Friday, February 24, 2012

Comic Reviews 2/24/12

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 4)
Title Story: Throttle - part 1
Publisher: IDW
Creator: Joe Hill & Stephen King
Adapted by: Chris Ryall
Artist: Nelson Daniel
Letters: Robbie Robbins
Price (USD): $3.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Action Drama
Mature Readers - Comics on the Edge

There are three pages of text in the back worth reading that explains the
genesis of this title. The overall inspiration is from Richard Matheson's "Duel"
which originally was a novel and later made into the cult favorite movie
starring Dennis Weaver. It is the story of a beleaguered traveling salesman, I
can relate, being terrorized across the desert by an unseen trucker in a big
rig. When Steven King and his son Joe Hill were asked to contribute to an
anthology book honoring Matheson in 2009 they co-wrote "Throttle." Since then
Joe Hill has had tremendous success with LOCKE & KEY at IDW and in the course of
things approached Chief Creative Officer for IDW Chris Ryall about adapting
"Throttle" to a comic book. This evolved into the four issue series ROAD RAGE.
The first two will adapt "Throttle" and the last two will adapt the original
novel, not the movie, "Duel." Since "Duel" was the inspiration for "Throttle"
this first story takes a similar theme - motorists being attacked by an unseen
trucker in a big rig. But in this case the motorists are bikers, a gang called
The Tribe. As the story unfolds we learn that the one out front, Race, met a man
named Dean in Afghanistan. Six months ago Dean approached Race about setting up
a meth lab with Race, Vince and the others fronting the money to get it started.
As often happens the lab in a motor home blew up and the Tribe caught up with
Dean at his place packing to leave. Dean claimed the money blew up with the lab
but in the heat of the moment a fight broke out and Dean and his girl were
killed. Now Race is convinced that Dean gave some or most of the money to his
sister and they are on the road to her place planning to probably split up after
they get what they can. That is basically the set up to the background. Along
the way we learn more about the strained relationships in the gang and of course
the encounter with the trucker in a rather large tanker at one stop along the
way. It is shortly after that that the chase begins. The second half of the book
ramps up the tension and suspense on the road as the trucker reappears and makes
his move. Where it will end concludes next issue. This is a tense story that
builds momentum from just character development at first to straight action
toward the end. I really enjoyed the artwork by Daniel. He takes a lot of panels
to give some great visuals that add to the plot. King and Hill do justice to the
original theme and Ryall and the team put it together nicely. It is worth your

Issue Number: 6
Title Story: Renewal
Publisher: DC
Writer: Dan Didio
Artist: Jerry Ordway
Inkers: Ray McCarthy, Andy Lanning & Marlo Alquiza
Colors: Tony Avina
Letters: Travis Lanham
Cover Artist: Ryan Sook
Price (USD): $2.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Action/Adventure

This New 52 title is a showcase for DC characters that do not have their own
titles. It is a way to introduce those characters into the new DC Universe with
any changes or twists from the versions we have come to know. In the case of the
Challengers they are now the stars of a reality show featuring a team of
celebrities in a contest of wits and endurance as they battle the elements.
Producer June Robbins, romantically involved with the pilot Ace, is hoping to
revive the franchise after a dismal previous season. The usual names are on the
team - Maverick, Red and Rocky. The rest are not great celebrities - a starlet,
a young billionaire obsessed with his social media presence, a scientist and an
archeologist are along for the show. They are heading for the Himalayas and as
is familiar with previous origins there is a disaster as they crash.
Miraculously they all survive though Race is nowhere to be found. In fact the
rest awaken as guests of the monks in Nanda Parbat, a mystical hidden temple
familiar to DC fans. There is more than meets the eye with their hosts and some
cryptic warnings are given in their words and June's dreams. Even the
archeologist has a secret which he shares with June and that will play a big
part in there fate as they leave the monastery in hopes of finding Ace and
returning to their own civilization. As in the past someone was bound to say it
- they realize they are living on borrowed time. When I began I was off put by
the idea of the whole reality TV bit but it really only serves to bring the
characters together. Their actual adventures will be more along the lines of
what I am used to. They will face challenges of mysterious and even supernatural
nature. As the story develops the characters a fleshed out as we begin to relate
to the dynamic. The art is really good in all aspects. I look forward to the
second episode to see what happens next.

Issue Number: 13
Title Story: .and the Penalty
Publisher: DC
Writer: Greg Weisman
Artist: Christopher Jones
Inker: Dan Davis
Colors: Zac Atkinson
Letters: Dezi Sienty
Price (USD): $2.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Super Hero/Cartoon Adaptation

With the cartoon series starting up again in March I decided to take a look at
the comic again. There are two plots in this one. For those who are not familiar
this book is not set in the main DC Universe - let's call it the cartoon
Universe though it is also not the same as the Teen Titans cartoon. Anyway, in
this version the group is sanctioned by the Justice League under their guidance.
It is led by a new Aqualad and includes Superboy - the Conner Kent clone of
Superman and Lex, M'Gann the Miss Martian, Wally (Kid Flash) West, Dick (Robin)
Grayson and Green Arrow's ward Artemus. The main plot follows the team on their
latest mission. Aqualad is under strict instructions from Batman. After their
first encounter with Clayface he is told to track and locate Clayface but do not
engage him. This is another test of Aqualad's leadership ability that seems to
be lacking lately. He is torn between his desire to be a part of the good fight
on the surface world and what and who he left behind in Atlantis. The other plot
is a bit brief and will no doubt lead into a larger story later. Artemis has
been sent into faked custody of the court so she can gain information on a
larger plot involving Icicle Jr., the son of the former colleague of her own
criminal dad. She gains information but is not pleased with the assignment. The
action this issue centers on the main team and their two encounters with
Clayface. At the end Aqualad will have to make a major decision. There are
traces of the plots that tie in with previous episodes of the TV show. The art
team has translated the cartoon likenesses admirably. Like most of the DC Kids
line this is a perfect comic for younger readers and older fans can enjoy it as

Issue Number: 679.1
Title Story: @UatuJackson Watches
Publisher: Marvel
Writers: Dan Slott & Chris Yost
Artist: Mathew Clark
Inker: Tom Palmer
Colors: Rob Schwager
Letters: Joe Caramagna
Cover Artist: John Tyler Christopher
Price (USD): $2.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Super Hero

The cover of this issue caught my eye because it is just Spider-Man set against
a blue background but the normal dark blue parts of his costume is the exact
same hue as the background so only the red, white and black parts are seen. It
is a very clever concept. When I saw this was also a point-one issue I decided
to check it out. Not being a regular follower of all those Spider-Man comics I
lose track of his latest circumstances rather quickly. So, to catch up, Peter
now works for Horizon Labs as part of a team of seven smarter than most
"scientists" working each in their own lab and together to come up with ideas
for amazing inventions. Most are younger like Peter, Uatu, Grady, Bella and
Sajani. There is an older member called Jurgen Muntz and the seventh member is
isolated in his lab - his identity known only to the boss, Max Modell. The story
starts off as a narrative by Uatu Jackson, a young black female, on her blog
discussing most of the above details. We look back weeks ago to the whole Spider
Island event and see these Horizon geniuses have been working on a cure while
trying to figure out who is in Lab Six. Even the famous Reed Richards is
involved in the process. The team does not know but I guess regular readers of
Spider-Man do know that the mystery man is Morbius. This is a pretty high
security facility but Peter has managed to create his own secret entrance so he
can come and go as Spider-Man is needed. The plot this issue has Uatu teaming up
with Peter to solve the mystery of the other lab resident. Peter on his own, as
Spider-Man decides go the extra step when his Spider sense alerts him and
crashes into Lab 6 to avert a perceived disaster. I like the Uatu character who
is a bit obsessed with supernatural beings and how to defeat them. There are a
couple of cute jokes played off her name, the same as the famous Watcher, like
the name of her blog and at one point she spouts, "My name is Uatu. Watch this!"
I found this a good point one issue as it enlightened me to what Peter is up to
these days and added a little information on the supporting cast at the lab. The
Morbius presence is logical when you find out what he is doing there and the
ending leads into a future plot that should prove interesting. The art is really
good as expected. This issue pretty much stands alone and offers a good jump on
point for new or lapsed readers.

Title: GLORY
Issue Number: 23
Title Story: The Way It Was
Title Arc: Once and Future
Publisher: Image
Creator: Rob Liefeld
Writer: Joe Keatinge
Artist: Ross Campbell
Colors: Ms,shatia Hamilton
Letters: Douglas Sherwood
Price (USD): $2.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Super Hero

This is another one of the titles originally created by Rob Liefeld that stopped
publication long ago. Image is restarting them with the original numbering and
so GLORY begins with #23. PROPHET is already out. BLOODSTRIKE and SUPREME will
resume with their original numbering in March and April respectively. This title
starts off better than Prophet did in that it explores the origin of Glory from
before her birth. Her mother was the queen of a warrior clan so advanced humans
would call them gods and her father was the king of a savage people we might
call demons. They had been at war for eons for reasons long forgotten. To make a
lasting peace the two united and gave birth to Glory who was trained from
childhood to rule both sides and destroy either if they broke the truce. After
hundreds of years she decided to defy her calling and come to Earth to aid them
in becoming greater than they are. She aided the allies during WWII but takes no
orders from anyone, even Supreme who was worried about her intentions and lack
of respect for authority. She went missing years ago and the story picks up with
a young girl who from the age of seven had dreams of Glory's adventures. She was
somehow connected to her over the years and then after Glory vanished the dreams
became repeats of previous adventures. With a budding career in journalism in
her future Riley decided to do her thesis on Glory and begins tracking down
leads to what happened to her hero. The trail leads her to France where perhaps
by chance she meets Gloria West who has some answers in an amazing story. She
also will get a foreboding of what is to come. This is a really nice way to
reintroduce the character and build a supporting cast for the future. The art is
very stylish and the finishes make it visually pleasing. I never read the
original series but this reboot has gotten my attention. I think it may develop
into a worthy offering.

Issue Number: 2
Title Story: Various
Publisher: Kaboom!
Creator: Charles M. Schulz
Cover Artists: Vicki Scott, Paige Braddock & Nina Kester - Variant by Schulz
Price (USD): $3.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Humor/Comic Strip Adaptation

After reading the infamous zero issue I decided to see how this series is doing
after a couple of issues. The theme is mostly seasonal with a couple stories set
in winter and another about Valentine's Day.

"Snowball's Chance" by Justin Thompson, Vicki Scott & Paige Braddock has Lucy
planning a snowball attack on good old Charlie Brown. Her efforts at first seem
out of the norm until the very end.

"Avalanche" by Vicki Scott, Bob Scott & Paige Braddock has little dialogue as
Charlie Brown shovels a path to Snoopy's dog house after a heavy snow. The punch
line comes as Snoopy pays it forward shoveling to his bird buddy Woodstock's

"Heart Attack" by Vicki Scott, Bob Scott & Alexis E. Fajardo is the Valentine
story with Charlie Brown trying to compose one for the little red-haired girl.
This story more than the others captures the essence of the character - his
optimism, derision by others and his eventually resignation about his own

"Umbrella Fella" by Shane Houghton, Matt Whitlock & Lisa Moore has Lucy bullying
younger brother Linus. They are at the library when a major rain storm begins
and she off course wants Linus to go home to get an umbrella so she won't get
wet. She holds his blanket hostage so Linus must find inventive ways to stay dry
until he can retrieve the umbrella.

Classic Peanuts strips by Charles M. Schulz w/colors by Justin Thompson & Alexis
E. Fajardo fill out the issue here and there reminding us of the breadth of
ideas that the strip entertained us with over the years. It is nice to see the
characters in full color and the newer contributions do justice to the source
material. This is a fun comic for all ages and a real treat to PEANUTS fans both
young and old.


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 DC ONE MILLION stories took place in which century?

The century was the 853rd Century. The winner this time is Stephen Kostrzewa.

Here is your no prize question:
Who holds record for most Academy Awards for acting?

A timely trivia question - Katharine Hepburn holds the distinction of the most
acting wins with four Leading Actress Oscars. Tied with three awards for lead
and/or supporting acting are Ingrid Bergman, Jack Nicholson and Walter Brennan.

In the history of the Justice League of America who was the first non-founding
member to be recruited?

Here is your no prize question:
Which rock song holds the record for the most sheet music copies ever sold?

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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