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Friday, March 30, 2012

Comic Reviews 3/30/12


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
Publisher: Marvel/Icon
Creators: Mark Millar & Leinil Yu
Writer: Mark Millar w/Nacho Vigalondo
Artist: Leinil Yu
Inker: Gerry Alanguilan
Colors: Sunny Gho
Letters: Clayton Cowles
Variant Cover Artist: Dave Gibbons
Price (USD): $2.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Super Villains

The premise of this comic is pretty straightforward. In fact it is spelled out
right on the cover - "There are too many Superheroes in America. Let's go
somewhere else." That is the plan for a bunch of villains who finally realized
why they keep getting caught. You may have seen the preview as a backup piece in
another comic. Johnny Bolt is one such villain with electric powers. The opening
scene shows his last failed getaway five years ago, which ends in a somewhat
humorous way. That is just a throw away scene to reinforce the idea that it is
almost impossible to pull a major crime in a large US city. Moving forward the
focus shifts to an old friend of Johnny's in Vegas. He is an older gent who is
having an unusual lucky streak at the roulette table - nine straight numbers in
a row. He is not a super - his thing was wearing a mask and using a ray gun. So
how is he able to continue winning?  That is the question the underworld owners
of the casino want to know. When they discover his secret they give Carmine an
ultimatum. That will lead him to find Johnny who just got released from jail and
is looking up his former fianc‚e Kasey. This will be the core of the group of
super crooks Johnny will assemble to pull the heist of the century. I like the
premise and the characterization so far. What seems a little comical on the
surface is not too outlandish so far. Having Carmine's fate as the impetus to
take action is clever and adds urgency to the master plan. Next time we will get
to meet the rest of the crew. There is another character introduced briefly this
issue that will no doubt play a major role later on. The art is very effective
as I expected it would be. This looks like a fun comic so far.

Issue Number: 1
Title Story: How It All Began!
Publisher: Archie Comics
Creator: Stan Lee
Writers: Tony Blake, Paul Jackson & Stan Lee
Artist: Alex Saviuk
Inker: Bob Smith
Colors: Tom Smith
Letters: John Workman
Price (USD): $2.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Super Hero

How could I resist a first issue super hero comic from Stan Lee? You might be
surprised that it also is being published by Archie Comics. Stan likes to be
innovative when he can and this time he is calling this comic "the world's first
reality comic book." What does that mean? He gives a hint on the first page,
which shows him at the keyboard telling the reader that he does not claim the
following story is true but he can "claim" it is fiction and get paid for
writing it. Then, halfway through the comic, we see him in the offices of Archie
Comics being told by the publisher that they would like him to write super hero
comics for them. Stan later is wondering if he has any more super hero stories
in him when his life intersects with the title characters of the comic. So, his
idea of a reality comic is a real person, himself, gets thrust into the plot
involving super hero type characters and writes a story as if this actually
happened to him. Seems to me I remember plenty of old comics that involved real
people, most of them comic book creators from either Marvel or DC. But Stan has
always been given to hyperbole. The fictional plot involves an intergalactic
police force known as the Star Marshals. Asoara, a female with wings and a
blaster is teamed with Vallor a male with super strength as they arrest the
formal Marshal turned vigilante Blastok, who can shoot laser blasts from his
fists. There are far too many pages of fighting but in the end Blastok is
captured and finds himself in a force field cell with four criminals. It is
clear from the cover that the 5 in the cell and the two Marshals are who will
become the Mighty Seven. Each has a power and an appropriate name. The prisoners
begin plotting a way out as the spaceship heads for the Star Marshal base on
Kring. There is also a subplot involving the upcoming nuptials between Asoara
and Vallor - he being more excited about the arranged pairing than she is. In
another subplot a group of high-powered scientists on Earth are working on a
device that will pre-empt earthquakes from happening but jealousy with lead to
sabotage and something more devastating next issue. It all begins to come
together as the issue ends, again with Stan getting his close encounter.  It has
some of the standard elements of a standard origin story. The character names
are chosen to indicate their powers mostly. How they will eventually become
comrades in arms is the plot challenge. It is fare enough for what it is and
should be fun for all ages, though those used to the more gritty comics of these
days may find it bland. The art is decent as well. It is a lighter fare than a
lot of the mainstream comics these days but still enjoyable. I like it better
than most of the recent titles Stan has been involved in lately.

Issue Number: One-Shot
Publisher: Dark Horse
Creator: Richard Corben
Letters: Clem Robins
Price (USD): $3.50
Release Date: NOW ON SALE - Previously serialized in DARK HORSE PRESENTS
Genre: Science Fiction
MATURE - Comics on the Edge

Dark Horse has started to present comics featured in their monthly anthology
series as stand alone comics. This one-shot is one such feature. Though I read
it already in DHP I decided to pick it up and see how a second reading of the
entire story holds up. I have always been attracted to Corben's art. In its pure
form done in black & white with grayscales it is instantly recognizable. It is
hard to describe in other terms but I like it a lot. So the story is on a
strange world and follows the travels of a man called Tugat. This is a world
that has zombie-like creatures called Deadlings, necromancers, and apparently
more than a few oversized humanoids with large appetites. Through the course of
the story the wandering Tugat loses his horse, gets attacked by Deadlings, is
saved by a large muscular female, gets tricked into helping her save her sister
only to once again lose his horse. His greed overtakes him at one point putting
him in a precarious position and the story comes somewhat full circle by the
end. Read in small chapters when it was serialized in DHP each part read fine on
its own. As a whole story it is a little better. Corben has been at this kind of
comic story for a long time and he is a master in the visual aspect of his
story. The plotting is up and down and has some really interesting moments. I
would read just about anything he puts out.

Issue Number: 1
Publisher: Zenescope Entertainment
Creators: Mark L. Miller, Raven Gregory, Joe Brusha & Ralph Tedesco
Writer: Mark L. Miller
Artist: Carlos Granda
Colors: Liezl Buenaventura
Letters: Jim Campbell
Price (USD): $2.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Jungle Adventure
MATURE - Comics on the Edge

One look at the cover and you will realize this is not your father's Jungle
Book. In the usual fashion Zenescope creators take familiar classic stories and
retell them with a number of twists - usually involving beautiful women in
revealing outfits. That much you can gain from the cover. But as you start
reading the story within a very different kind of tale unfolds. The narration is
evidently Mowgli asking Mother Wolf to tell the story of how they got together.
Mother Wolf explains how things were different in two very different worlds. It
was a time of the Great Animal Battle of Kipling Island that had gone on for
ages. Several species fought each other for dominance. Mowgli was far away in an
elegant home, an innocent babe. But then the babe was snatched from its crib in
the night and brought to a ship with three other toddlers all being sold into
slavery. The two worlds collided when the rough seas forced the ship to crash on
the island - interrupting the conflict among the animals. The visual story shows
the two plots in intertwined panels up to the point of the crash when the two
become one. And it is at that point that the narrative departs from the truth.
For Mother Wolf never revealed that Mowgli had three companions preferring to
let Mowgli to believe she was a miracle child sent by providence to end a war.
Yes, in this version Mowgli is a girl. The fate of the other three is shown but
not related to Mowgli. We jump forward several years to see Mowgli has grown to
her teens under the care of Mother Wolf and the pack. I was pleasantly surprised
at the plot, scripting and composition. It is a delightful story that has great
promise and the usual high quality art makes it all the more enjoyable as most
of the cast are animals. If you normally pass by the Grimm line from Zenescope
you might want to take a closer look at THE JUNGLE BOOK. It is worth your time.

Issue Number: 1
Title Story: Get Ready
Title Arc: Life and Death and Other Card Tricks
Publisher: IDW
Writer: Mike Costa
Artist: Ryan Browne
Finishes: Jon Armstrong
Color Assist: Aaron Daly
Letters: Robbie Robbins
Price (USD): $3.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Fantasy
Mature - Comic on the Edge

If you like stories about magic you will like this one. It is set in a world
where magic is abundant. In fact it is the moving force for everything. The
introductory sequence is a school lecture hall and conveniently for the reader
the lecturer explains magic is used everywhere in daily life from incantations
to program a music box, to recharge the talisman for the family car, to the
charms and pocket conjurors common to everyone. He explains how magic is the
energy that exists naturally in the world and that the trade circle cast spells
that bind the energy to the machines and electronics to make them work. The
lecture also introduces us to one of the main characters, a teen named Ethan. He
is a bit of a rebel, though not criminal. He is curious about things and places
that are supposed to be off limits for kids. The other main player is a street
magician - the kind you and I are familiar with. He does card tricks and
convinces others he has telepathy. But why do this in a world of real magic? His
world and Ethan's intersect and that begins a new adventure of discovery for
Ethan. Though the first issue is mostly introductory it is full of useful
information and characterization. The artwork is colored nicely though I prefer
finer line-work. In all it is a decent effort and intriguing enough to stay with

Issue Number: 1
Publisher: Image/Shadowline
Plot: Alex Link & Riley Rossmo w/Noah Rossmo
Writer: Alex Link
Artist: Riley Rossmo
Letters: Kelly Tindall
Price (USD): $3.50
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Horror
MATURE - Comics on the Edge

Of all the comics for review this week this one has the least pleasing art in my
opinion. I am not talking about the capability of the artist, just my personal
view of the finished product - "eye of the beholder" criticism. The story is a
gruesome one. The main character is a former firefighter. Now he is a warden in
the forest watching for fires from a tower. This has not helped the relationship
with his wife. He is a pretty miserable feeling guy most of the time. But
something strange happens, a disease perhaps, that mutates people and animals
and sends them into berserker rages. That is the gist of what happens. However
the execution of the story is such a jumble of scenes that move back and forth
making it really hard to discern what the proper sequence is. I may be
interpreting it incorrectly but it seems like the writers know exactly when and
where each panel is set but have failed to convey that knowledge to the reader.
We get that our hero has several confrontations with animals and mutants or
zombies. In some he saves people, in others he is too late but the whole thing
is not coherent in a linear fashion. Or maybe it is but I can't see it. This is
supposed to be about zombies, and there are parts that appear to show it but if
I have that much trouble discerning things then they have lost me with the first


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 "The Adventures of Superman" TV series, when a mobster encased himself in an
Impenetrable cube to wait out a statute of limitations, what new power did
Superman try for the first time?

The answer was a trick that FLASH often used in the old days.  With total
molecular control Superman managed to walk through walls. This week the dice
smiled on Keith Martin.

Here was your no prize question:
What did George Nissen invent?

George P. Nissen invented the modern trampoline and made trampolining a
worldwide sport. In 1930, when George Nissen was a 16-year-old high school
gymnast, he began tinkering with an idea for a bouncing apparatus to train on.
But it wasn't until 1934 that Nissen and his University of Iowa tumbling coach
built a device that actually worked. Then, in 1937, when Nissen was traveling
the carnival circuit, he came across the Spanish word trampolin, which means
"diving board." Adding an "e" to the end, he trademarked the name for what was
to become a backyard family favorite.

Legion is the son of Charles Xavier.  In what title did he make his first

Here is your no prize question:
What president delivered the first presidential address on radio?

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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