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Friday, March 16, 2012

Comic Reviews 3/16/12


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
Title Story: Peter and the Machine
Publisher: DC
Writer: Joshua Jackson
Artist: Jorge Jimenez
Colors: Randy Mayor
Letters: Wes Abbott
Cover Artist: Drew Johnson
Price (USD): $3.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Science Fiction/TV adaptation

Fans of the TV show FRINGE will want to pick up this comic written by the star
Joshua Jackson who plays Peter Bishop.  This first issue ties in with the
current season of the show as it explores Peter's attempt to save both universes
and thereby the Olivia he loves. Strangely enough it starts in Central Park in
the year 2026, fourteen years in the future. Peter and Walter are preparing to
begin their attempt at the ultimate solution. Here they have reconstructed the
machine that only Peter can activate, the machine Walter has dubbed Daisy. The
machine will be sent into the past through a wormhole overhead. It has been
calibrated to the wormhole's radiation and Peter's DNA. Walter expects Daisy to
break apart in the wormhole, scattering its parts across time. There are markers
broadcasting in each of these eras and when Peter follows he will be drawn to
the pieces, as they will be to him. He needs to place each piece on its marker
to complete the cycle. This will supposedly change the effects when Peter enters
the machine in 2011 creating a different future. Somehow Peter will make choices
in the past that will save everything, unlike the first time he used the machine
and the consequences were disastrous. Peter first lands in prehistoric times and
as predicted a piece of the machine is near where he landed. As he activates the
device that sends the first piece off to the future he himself transits time and
ends up in Greece in the year 356 BC. And so it goes time after time as he moves
forward to different places and times. He makes stops in Japan, Spain, China,
Tibet and others. Along the way he meets some locals and in a place called Hy-
Brasil he is saved by a man who knows more than we expected.  Through it all he
wonders if all he is doing will help or make things worse. That is the constant
theme throughout the story that features not only the familiar Observer who has
much to reveal to him, but the most disturbing may be when he meets himself.
This is a classic time-travel theme and does not give all the answers to what is
happening on the show but it does give us more insight into Peter and his
dilemma. The art is superb capturing the essence of the characters very nicely.
It is a must read for fans of the show.

Issue Number: 1
Title Story: Infinite Oppenheimers
Publisher: Image
Writer: Jonathan Hickman
Artist: Nick Pitarra
Colors: Cris Peter
Letters: Rus Wooton
Price (USD): $3.50
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Science Fiction

Though not all of us lived through it most of us are aware of the original
effort to build an atomic bomb code named the Manhattan Project. The chief
scientist on the project was Doctor Robert Oppenheimer. But what if there was
more about it than the public was told? What if that was not the only purpose?
Hence the title is plural. And speaking of plural, the subtitle "Infinite
Oppenheimers" is aptly chosen, as you will find out by the end of the first
issue. As Dr. Oppenheimer finds out when he joins the projects there is already
ongoing research - recovering mythological artifacts, the first attempt at
artificial intelligence using 150,000 computers and so on. He is told once they
have built the bomb he will have the resources to build anything he can
conceive. But the US is not alone in having unrevealed technology advanced for
its time. Part of this episode involves an attack on the facility by Japanese
robots controlled from far away. That incident shows us something more about the
good doctor that may not register at first. But along side the main plot and
inserted through the book is the history of Doctor Oppenheimer and his twin
brother Joseph starting from their conception. On those pages their stories are
told with Robert's story in blue tones horizontally across the top and Josephs
in red tint across the bottom. Like the coloring their lives went down
contrasting paths with Joseph leading a disturbed life and eventually ending up
in an institution for the mentally unfit. This is a very effective technique
that highlights not only the characters but also the unique art style of
Pitarra. If just the main plot was there you might consider this an imaginative
story of a certain genre. But adding in the biographical line feeds right into
the main plot and verifies that curious subtitle. Hickman has put a lot into
this first chapter that is worth reading more than once. This title should be
well received and I found it well worth the time and money.

Issue Number: 1 (of 7)
Title Story: The Gatherers
Title Arc: 250 Minutes
Publisher: DC
Creator: Marv Wolfman & Gene Colan
Writer: Marv Wolfman
Artist: Tom Mandrake
Colors: Wes Hartman
Letters: Wes Abbott
Cover Artist: Leonardo Manco & Wes Hartmen
Price (USD): $2.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Horror/Supernatural

I never have read any of the original NIGHT FORCE comics by Wolfman and Colan so
this will be about first impressions. I do not even know if all or any of the
characters are from that series. It begins with an attempted drowning of a
college coed on the coast of Hilton Head Island. The first hint of supernatural
elements show up in visions she has while gasping for air, as she is held
underwater. Luckily Sgt. Duffy of the Hilton Head Police received a call and
arrived in time to save her, though the offender escaped. The officer and the
victim, Zoe, will soon be drawn literally into the web of Baron Winters in his
mansion in DC. This is a story with sinister forces working behind the scene.
Each side has pawns being used without knowledge of the big picture. Before it
is over we will see more visions of strange beings, disembodied spirits, a
serial killer in the wrong place at the wrong time, and the death of one of
those pawns. There is a master plan at work and even Duffy's role in it all is
suspect by the end of this chapter. I won't say I understand it all, but then it
is plotted that way so as to slowly reveal the bigger picture and the role each
has to play in it. It involves sinister forces, magic and even a very
intelligent leopard named Merlin. Mandrake frames the story with excellent
layouts that enhance the story and Hartman's colors do it justice. For a first
issue I found it engaging. Fans of this genre will surely enjoy it.

Issue Number: 1 (of 4)
Publisher: Boom!
Creator: Grace Randolph
Writer: Grace Randolph
Artist: Russell Dauterman
Colors: Gabriel Cassata
Letters: Steve Wands
Cover Artist: Ale Garza & Nei Ruffino
Price (USD): $3.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Super Hero

As you might guess from the title this is a story about super heroes in the
suburbs. Actually it is their own private suburban neighborhood set up so they
all can have a secure place for their families while off on missions as the Meta
Legion. The Superman analogue, isn't there always one, is called Sovereign. His
live-in girlfriend, Helen, is a semi-reformed super-villain and drug addict who
is not behind bars because, well, Sovereign likes her. There are a lot of
characters involved in this story, each with their own unique quirks or flaws.
There is an Amazonian type warrior Batu who has a normal husband and two kids.
The daughter is expected to manifest powers soon and is constantly being trained
by the mother. The older leader of the group, Marine Omega has been very ill and
being tended to by his wife of thirty years. Just joining the group and moving
into the neighborhood is Bulldog, Marine's Omega's trusty sidekick, and his
wife. She is a nurse and could be critical to the plot as one scene suggests.
Night Fox and his wife Alexis are having problems after she caught him with
another hero, a man. She is confiding in Helen about the problem. And of course
there are no secrets from Sovereign with his enhanced senses. Then there is Dion
with at least the power of microscopic vision as Cosmic Champion a member of the
Cosmic Corps. This first issue serves to introduce all of these characters and
give us a little look at their relations as they relate to their mates and team
members. The occasion is the arrival of Bulldog and his wife and a party is held
in his honor. The action will begin next issue as the team is given a mission.
However, one subplot is revealed in the end that will surely be the major focus
of the mini-series. I am not sure if yet another comic deconstructing the super
hero genre is needed. Most of these characters are flawed to one degree or
another and you just know tragedy will occur sooner or later. With so many
characters it is hard to focus on who will be the key individual in the big
picture. With only four issues this series is no doubt going to shift into high
gear next time. With very appealing art and more than one subplot it will be
interesting to see where this will lead.

Issue Number: 1
Publisher: Marvel
Writer: David Lapham
Artist: Roberto de la Torre
Colors: Lee Loughridge
Letters: Chris Eliopoulos
Cover Artist: Humberto Ramos & Dean White
Price (USD): $2.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Super Hero

For those of you who did not read to the prelude to this story in the pages of
UNCANNY X-FORCE there is a brief recap of the situation as it now stands in this
future alternate world established by Apocalypse and now run by a changed
Wolverine now known as Weapon Omega. He is tainted by the Apocalypse seed and is
as ruthless a dictator as his predecessor. His former wife, Jean Grey, was
working with the human resistance in a ploy that failed, resulting in the loss
of her mutant powers. She and a powerless Sabertooth are now allied with the X-
terminated, and underground group of humans attempting to save humanity from
extinction at the hands of the ruling mutants. In that lead in story the main
base of the resistance was wiped out along with the city of St. Petersburg but
the small band of humans escaped and now Logan is bent on hunting them down. The
central figure and leader is William Stryker now known as Prophet. They will
fight on with their major objective being the death of Logan. But this is more
than just a team using hit and run guerrilla tactics. They also have moles
inside the mutant population working with them. As they search for any knowledge
or technology that will help the cause they rescue a human from the normal earth
who has valuable information that will lead them to another enclave. The person
in charge there will be key to the next chapter. I enjoy these stories of
alternate realities where familiar characters go down different paths. So far
the story is engaging and the alliance shows not everyone is on the same page
but still are united in the ultimate cause. The art is good enough though I
prefer cleaner pencil and coloring. Still it is a worthy project worth staying
with to see what develops.

Issue Number: 1
Title Story: Wide Awake
Title Arc: Prince of Thieves
Publisher: DC/Vertigo
Creator: Bill Willingham
Writer: Bill Willingham
Artist: Phil Jimenez
Inker: Andy Lanning
Colors: Andrew Dalhouse
Letters: Todd Klein
Cover Artist: Adam Hughes
Price (USD): $2.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Fantasy
Mature Readers - Comics on the Edge

You may guess from the story title that this first chapter in the spin-off from
FABLES features not one of the "Fairest" but another character, Ali Baba. It
begins with him finding a magic bottle in the ashen ruins of a city devastated
by the war between the Fables and the forces of the Adversary. Instead of a
D'jinn that can grant him wishes once released he instead meets a lowly bottle
imp calling himself Jonah Panghammer. His specialty is gathering knowledge, it
flows to him naturally. While he must serve Ali Baba as a condition of his
freedom he won't be doing any magic. But his knowledge may prove useful as he
assures his master that he can lead him to the great treasure looted from the
city. At his point, unknown to the duo, another is following them. He is Captain
Oakheart, a wooden soldier formerly in service to the Emperor. With the war over
he has fashioned a new mission, to hunt down those who are after the spoils of
war. The trail leads to a goblin encampment where Jonah reveals the nature of
the great treasure they have capture and what Ali Baba must do to obtain it. I
won't reveal what it is or his role in it all but the final sequence finally
ties in with the main theme of the book as we meet one of the Fairest. I have
followed Willingham's work for decades and latched on to FABLES from the start.
He has created a whole universe where characters only in books in our world are
very real and cross genres of all type to co-exist here. Amazingly he keeps
finding new areas to explore and characters to populate them. This story has
captured me, as did the rest of the FABLES stories. The art is spectacular and
colored brilliantly, topped off by a nice cover by Adam Hughes. You do not have
to be a long-time fan of FABLES to get into it so I suggest you give this
affordable comic a try.


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:
In what title did Marvel's Celestials first appear?

The Celestials first appeared in THE ETERNALS #2. Nearly everyone said issue #1
but all we wanted was the title anyway. The winner by the dice is David

Here was your no prize question:
Which is the tallest waterfall in the world?

The tallest waterfall in the world is Salto Angel in Venezuela. It is 3,212 feet
high. The water drops more than twice the height of the Empire State Building
and 15 times that of Niagara Falls. The no prize is also awarded to David

In what title did Barbara Gordon first appear as Oracle?

Here is your no prize question:
What candy bar was named after its inventor's family horse?

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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