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Friday, April 13, 2012

Comic Reviews 4/13/12


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 12)
Title Story: Round 1
Publisher: Marvel
Story: Jason Aaron, Brian Michael Bendis, Ed Brubaker, Jonathan Hickman & Matt
Script: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: John Romita Jr.
Inker: Scott Hanna
Colors: Laura Martin
Letters: Chris Eliopoulos
Cover Artist: Jim Cheung & Justin Ponsor
Price (USD): $3.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Super Hero

There are two things to take away from this first chapter of the big Marvel
event: Cyclops drew first and something is going on with Hope Summers. While the
cover is the classic face off of opposing sides the actual clash will not happen
until next time or in some crossover issue between now and then perhaps. What
does happen is the lead up wherein the opening shot is fired. The actual
beginning of the issue starts far off in space. It is not overtly stated if this
is in real time or sometime in the past but it clearly shows the awesome power
of the Phoenix first as another planet is devastated by that power. Speaking of
warning shots the arrival of a member of the Nova Corps at first appears to be
just that with the Avengers barely able to avert a disaster when he arrives. If
you read many Marvel comics you may have seen the preview excerpted from this
issue with Captain America and Iron Man briefing the National Security Counsel
on the approach of the Phoenix Force, which they are now tracking by its unique
energy signature. The other scenes are in Utopia that serves to further
delineate Scott's relationship with Hope and his expectations for her future.
This is hardly a pleasant exchange and its climax is the reason that Captain
America comes knocking. It is no secret that Scott feels hope can save his kind,
even restore it, with the Phoenix Force should it come while Cap wants to take
her into protective custody while others under his command race to stop the
Phoenix Force before it reaches Earth. So much of this issue sets up these
circumstances and features a lot of male posturing between these two leaders
before things get out of hand. And speaking of getting out of hand, what IS
going on with Hope? Something is not right, especially with Phoenix so far away
still. I am sure we will see that element develop very slowly over several
issues before it is explained. The best part of the art is Laura Martin's
coloring. JRJR does ok but I am not as found of his facial art on these
characters as I am from other artists. The coloring though, especially on the
space segments is spectacular. As a bonus you can download a special app to your
smart phone called the Marvel Augmented Reality App to add another dimension to
the experience. And of course they have included the code for a free digital
copy as well. So far I give it a B+ for plot and execution. I did not find it as
exciting as all the hype so far but that may change quickly. We'll see.

Issue Number: 63
Title Story: Revelations
Publisher: Image
Creator: Rob Liefeld
Writer: Alan Moore
Artists: Erik Larsen & Cory Hamscher
Colors: Steve Oliff
Letters: Chris Eliopoulos
Price (USD): $2.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Super Hero

Fans of Alan Moore's super hero comics will be delighted that Image is finally
finishing off his run on Liefeld's SUPREME, hence the numbering continuing from
where the series left off when it was suspended. It may be a little confusing
for some who have not read the previous issues (hit those back issue bins!) but
Once you get into it you will find a decent story. It starts with a comic book
drawn by Supreme's alter ego, Ethan Crane. In that comic called OMNIMAN the
Supreme analog is in another dimension with other versions of himself. As the
Rabbit Omniman, Rabbit Resolve explains they are previous versions of the hero
before being "revised". This catches the attention of the current or new Dax who
knows of just such a dimension called Daxia, where other versions of his evil
self reside. This gives him a grand idea about how to finally defeat Supreme and
soon he is off to Daxia to bring it to fruition. Meanwhile in Supreme's citadel,
his Fortress of Solitude, Diana Dane, his girlfriend is about to meet Suprema,
Supreme's sister. Diana was left alone when our hero flew off to an emergency.
As the book progresses we see the relationships between the three develop
unaware of what Dax is about to unleash on Earth. I like this story because it
is full of interesting characters, dozens of them. From the imaginary Omniverse
to the very real Daxia the entertainment value never stops with interesting
interactions and unique interpretations of heroes and villains. In the end it is
the growing relationship between Supreme and Diana that may be heading toward an
end we just can't see. This is not Superman and Lois so anything can happen.
Erik Larsen is the right choice to handle all these characters, as readers of
Savage Dragon would attest. The rest of the crew does an admirable job pulling
it all together. I am staying with it to the end.

Issue Number: 1
Publisher: Image
Writer: Landry Q. Walker
Artist: Eric Jones
Colors: Michael "Rusty" Drake
Letters: Richard Starkings & Jimmy Betancourt
Price (USD): $2.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Super Hero

The premise of this comic is straightforward. Three months ago the world's
greatest heroes were summoned to space to fight the ultimate evil. The universe
was in deadly peril. They never came back. What they left behind where all the
sidekicks and progeny and a lot of bad guys. The story picks up with three young
heroes planning their move against another teen with powers. Apollo is probably
now the most powerful person left behind. He has decided to consolidate as many
of the others under his leadership. Those who choose not to follow are being
dealt with. He has gathered all who will come to an arena for a series of
battles. The strongest will be invited to join him. The rest better stay out of
his way. He looks for allegiance and worship. The Danger Club trio is led by Kid
Vigilante - a sort of Robin character. Backing him up are Jack, Fearless, with
his weapons and Ivan the teen Magician. Kid Vigilante's plan is straightforward
if not foolhardy. He will challenge the invulnerable Apollo while the others
hold off Apollo's allies. Cut off the head and the army will scatter. Well he
has a coupe of tricks up his sleeve, not the least of which is Yoshimi and her
robot who are off on a mission to the moon. This opening issue introduces the
characters in fine fashion. It highlights their resolve and considerable
experience despite their age. This group has not compromised their ideals in the
absence of the heroes everyone in the world looked up to. They are out to prove
that there is a right way and a wrong way to fill the gap left behind and plan
to lead by example. The characterization is good and the artwork stands out as
well. If our heroes live through this encounter can they unite those willing to
live by the hero code? The bigger question is can they prevail against the
ultimate evil if it indeed wiped out all their mentors?  That remains to be

Issue Number: 1
Publisher: Boom! Studios
Creator: Ben Silverman & Jimmy Fox
Writer: Sam Humphries
Artist: Jerry Gaylord
Inker: Penelope Gaylord
Colors: Nolan Woodard
Letters: Ed "The Duke" Dukeshire
Cover Artist: Various
Price (USD): $1.00
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Horror/Humor

I am always glad to see a first issue offered for only a dollar. It is worthy to
continue it will make money in the long run so why not expand the initial
audience with a bargain introduction? The setting is the San Diego Comi-Con. The
central players are the self-named Wrecking Crew - four fan boys and a fan girl
who planned long ago to meet here on the first day every year. Each has followed
different paths, some more successfully than others. Rob blew his relationship
with Jenna and works in a video store. Kyle is the jerk of the crew and is not
on good terms with Rob. He is also one of Jenna's exes.  He plans to humiliate
Rob in front of the crowd. Burger is the fat guy that everyone likes. Jenna is
hanging out with I-Mac who is the hunk, but not very smooth. He thinks he has a
chance with her but that is not what is going on. A series of scenes reveals
what we need to know about how this group interacts. And then in the second half
the zombies attack. Where did they come from? Why are they invading Comic-Con?
Is this a country or even worldwide epidemic? Who knows? Who cares? There is
murder and mayhem as the action ensues and of course the most unlikely turn out
to be the most heroic. While this is not really an original premise - a group of
people with strained relationships among themselves pull together against a
common threat - the characters make it interesting for the time being. The art
team handles it very well and the script flows naturally with appropriate humor
along the way. I wouldn't call any of these "fanboys" stereotypes. By that I
mean they are more like the fans I know - regular people who share their
hobbies. The story could go anywhere at this point and so far it is a fun ride.

Issue Number: 1
Publisher: Image
Title Story: The World They Made
Title Arc: Last Days On Earth
Creator: Keatinge & Szymanowicz
Writer: Joe Keatinge
Artist: Andre Szymanowicz
Colors: Jason Lewis
Letters: Douglas E. Sherwood
Price (USD): $2.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Super Hero

This Image comic is already up to its second issue but I decided to begin with
the first issue to get it from the beginning. First my hat is off to the editor
who decided to do the inside front cover this way. Below the logo is the boldly
lettered, "PREVIOUSLY." and below that is just empty white space and lots of it.
This is the first issue, there is no previously so why not show that? I liked
it. The main character is Benjamin Day, the son of a combat veteran.  He is
enrolled in Kurtzberg University an elite school for brilliant students with
powers. His story is somewhat of a mystery. When his father was in the Mid East
war he was taken prisoner. It looked like he would be executed but he was saved
by the sudden appearance of a band of super heroes. They not only ended the war
but also changed the world. Twenty years later life has improved for everyone on
the planet. Some people are even being born with powers. Ben is very strong for
example. He is also constantly in trouble for getting into fights off campus.
His girl friend Sarah tries to coach him into better behavior but the person
with the most influence on his life is his mother, mysteriously never seen on
panel. His parents are keeping something secret from him. He also has a tattoo
of a barcode on the back of his neck that just appeared overnight. The really
strange thing occurs at the end of the book when three females, apparently with
powers of their own, appear on campus to deliver an ominous message and yet
another mystery. This is one of those stories that give minimal information
about the main plot to start, opting to spend time on developing the characters
and setting the scene for what is to come. Just from the little bits revealed so
far I could tell there will be a lot of exposition in the future. It is not a
bad comic and the art team does a better than average job so far. If they get
into the meat of it next time this title could take off. I just might pick up
the second issue right away to see what develops.

Issue Number: 2
Publisher: Boom! Studios
Creator: Grace Randolph
Writer: Grace Randolph
Artist: Russell Dauterman
Colors: Gabriel Cassata
Letters: Steve Wands
Cover Artist: Peter V. Nguyen
Price (USD): $3.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Super Hero

There is no series recap at the beginning of this issue. I reviewed the first
issue when it came out. While it seemed interesting it has a lot of characters
it what appears to be more of a soap opera than a super hero story. But then as
a professional writer often said on the message boards comics really are very
much like soap operas, especially the ongoing titles not written in short arcs
for the trade paperback market. In this case a bunch of heroes all live in the
same suburban neighborhood especially constructed for the privacy and safety of
their families. The newest recruit is Rob, a sort of super soldier and sidekick
of the field leader Mike who is bedridden though it appears he is slowly being
poisoned. In fact every one of the families has its secrets. The Batman analogue
was caught by his wife while he was embracing his sidekick. The female Amazon
warrior is tough on her daughter and barely acknowledges her son. The Superman
analogue, Sovereign, is shacking up with a former female villain and so on. It
really has the soap opera elements. But now the team is going out on a mission
that everyone, even the families, feels is a trap. Robots are attacking the UN.
The key to moving the underlying plot appears to be Rob's wife Eve. She is a
nurse who not only sees things differently than others but is also disliked by
Mike's wife for her own reasons. In fact almost the entire issue show Eve
interacting with the different families at one time or another. This issue has a
major confrontation and a secret revealed among two of the kids. It is moving
along with a pace but is structured to be read from the start. So if you haven't
tried it yet start with the first issue. I am still undecided if this comic will
be worth staying for the payoff. But I recently read it has been changed from a
mini-series to an ongoing so I guess it is doing well. You will have to decide
on your own.


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 best-selling comic series did the Nobel Prize-winning chemist Chaim
Rosenzweig appear?
The series is the LEFT BEHIND graphic novels. The winner this time is Gregory

Here was your no prize question:
Tom Hanks' "Bosom Buddy" Peter Scolari had a cameo as a celebrity in a film
written and directed by Hanks. Can you name the movie?

The movie was "That Thing You Do". Later when Steven Spielberg was making
"Saving Private Ryan" he put Hanks in charge of the boot camp the actors had to
endure before filming began. When Hanks said he did not think he could manage
Steven told him to just do that thing you do.

What Title and issue number marked the first appearance of Captain Universe?

Here is your no prize question:
Who was the first Postmaster General under the United States Constitution?

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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