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Friday, May 25, 2012

Comic Reviews 5/25/12


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: 6 (of 6)
Publisher: IDW
Creator: Joe Hill & Gabriel Rodriguez
Writer: Joe Hill
Artist: Gabriel Rodriguez
Colors: Jay Fotos
Letters: Robbie Robbins
Price (USD): $3.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Horror
MATURE READERS - Comics on the Edge

This is the finish of the arc that leads into the finale coming in August. From
the very beginning LOCKE & KEY has been a beautifully rendered story of the
Locke family coming to grips with amazing things connected to the family estate.
Over several mini-series we learned about the major secret of the keys of the
house. Each one has a special power. The Locke kids began to find these keys
after their father was murdered and they moved back to the old house. Unknown to
them the force behind the tragedy in their life was a former classmate of their
father's masquerading as a contemporary of their own under a new identity, his
youth preserved by the magic of the keys - thought it is a lot more complicated
than that. Dodge has befriended them with an ultimate goal in mind, to gain the
omega key that opens the door to another dimension. It is the key (double
meaning there) to how the keys are made. There have been deceptions, murders and
betrayals along the way. In this arc the two older Locke kids are unaware that
Dodge has taken over the body of their younger brother. They have found the key
to the grandfather clock which allows them to go back in time as spirits
watching as the past unfolds. They have gone back to the time when their father
was in high school and he and his friends discovered the secret of the keys and
used them among themselves and had amazing experiences. As the days to
graduation shortened they knew that they would soon no longer be able to use the
keys since they only worked for people before they matured into adulthood.
Rendell Locke suggested they explore the door opened only by the omega key. It
is the doorway to the other dimension. As this arc developed we saw what a
disastrous decision that was. In the final issue our time travelers watch to see
the final outcome of that decision, the tragedy that befalls the six friends and
the beginning of events that caused the problems they have faced in the present.
Joe Hill has been crafting an intricate plot that reaches a high point at the
end of this issue when the Locke kids return to the present. The final series
will bring it all together and I will be sure to stay to see the end. This may
not be an ideal point to join the story but it does provide vital information
for what is to come. I highly recommend the entire series.

Issue Number: 1
Publisher: Image/Top Cow
Writer: Robert Kirkman
Artist: Brian Stelfreeze
Colors: Sunny Gho
Letters: Troy Peteri
Price (USD): $2.99
Release Date:
Genre: Science Fiction

Once you read more of this issue you understand the opening scene a little
better. It is a high level meeting of a crime family. The head of the family is
explaining the delicacies of their new venture and asks his brother, Emil, to
explain how he gained leverage on some government employees to avoid problems.
As Emil rises he attempts to slit his brother's throat. Now the two are
struggling and the hired guns are told to stay out of it. To the reader it
appears that Emil is talking to himself but in reality he is talking to his
support staff in a remote laboratory. What has really happened is that a man
named Drake is in that lab in a big ball filled with liquid. The team has
developed a device called a Hardcore. It is fired into the base of an
unsuspecting target and embeds into the brainstem. Once it is activated Drake
can take over the words and actions of the target. The target is not harmed by
this but cannot control what is happening. The team is using this technology to
get bad guys using other bad guys as the fall guys. How Drake manages to get the
overweight and out of shape Emil to accomplish the mission is pretty inventive.
And Drake is dropped out of the Hardcore subject when the job is done and the
Hardcore dissolves without a trace but if he stays connected when that happens
he will suffer sever brain damage. That is the background of story about to
unfold. It seems that the man who developed the technology is no longer in the
program after being forced out by the government agency in control. He has a
devious plan for revenge and to regain control of the project away from the
government. The beginning of that plan will be a shock to Drake and a terrific
cliffhanger for the reader. It is an interesting plot and the first issue has
the right balance of exposition and action. The art is a bit different. While I
don't dislike it, it is not as appealing as other types in both line and
coloring. As a whole it is a solid comic worth trying.

Issue Number: 2
Title Story: Lady Bug
Publisher: Image
Writer: Landry Q. Walker
Artist: Eric Jones
Colors: Michael Drake w/Derek Hunter
Letters: Richard Starkings & Jimmy Betancourt
Price (USD): $2.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Super Hero

I liked the first issue of this series enough to follow up with the second. This
is a future world where the adult superheroes left to fight a world threatening
danger in space and never returned. The sidekicks left behind were not ready for
this but will have to step up to fill the void, and may have to face that danger
from space if it arrives. In the first chapter one teenage sidekick decided that
since the adults with powers were gone that he could band together the rest that
are willing to run things himself. Luckily, the more altruistic teens banded
together to stop his foolish plan. This issue takes you deeper into the lives of
some of these young heroes. It is actually two separate plots this time. One
follows the female Yoshimi who has a jet pack and ray guns and also pilots a
giant robot. She has gone to Japan where she has some history. She will confront
the government security forces who want to capture her and submit her for
"Correction." The second plot is about the family history of the leader, Kid
Victory. He is like the Robin of this future world without a Batman. He has
taken the girl with wings, Lady Bug, to the estate and is showing her the secret
lair underneath. But the real reason they are here is behind a locked door. This
is the big secret he is showing her about his family. But more than that he is
seeking the remote backup of his father's memory before he disappeared. The
information there has great significance and will lead the kids to war. I found
the second issue just as interesting as the first. I have boiled down the basics
of the plot without giving away key plot points and hopefully conveyed my
interest in the way things are going. What I haven't told you about is the
opening scene. It is set some time in the near future and if it is what will
really happen then it is very depressing. When you add this on to the other two
segments it is a gripping story that makes you want more. The production values
are high as well. It was worth the second look.

Issue Number: 1
Publisher: Image   
Writer: Nathan Edmondson
Artist: Nic Klein
Letters: Jeff Powell
Price (USD): $3.50
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Spy Thriller

It begins in a restaurant in Brazil. We witness a murder by a sniper from a boat
in the harbor. That tells us right up front that there is danger and adventure
in this story. It is all the more a stark transition to the next scene set in
Milan, Italy as a ballerina, Quinn, rehearses for her performance with her
boyfriend Alan watching. They appear to be close couple; he greying at the
temples is older than her. They discuss changing their lifestyle, perhaps moving
to Greece as they enjoy a meal at their favorite spot. What appears to be a
normal joyful relationship is about to be shattered as Alan's past catches up
with him. For the first time he will have to reveal to Quinn that he was not
actually in the military at one time. He was actually an operative for a covert
organization - a sniper assassin. This no doubt has some connection to the
assassination we saw in the opening scene. Alan has to tell all to Quinn because
men are now chasing him and strangely enough someone is shooting his pursuers
from high above. He knows this is about his past but he is not prepared for the
shocker when he spots the sniper through binoculars. This comic is more than it
appeared to be at first. The slow development into the chase and revelations is
handled well. The twist at the end was unexpected but interesting. This will be
a story of Alan's struggle to protect his lover and unravel the mystery behind
the attempts on his life. So the story itself is spot on and enjoyable. The art
is adequate though I found the coloring dull though the pencil work is fine. The
finished comic is worth your time.

Issue Number: 1-SHOT
Publisher: Boom! Studios
Writer: Rich Johnston
Artist: Joshua Covey
Colors: Space Goat Productions & Cirque Studios
Letters: Steve Wands
Cover Artist: Mark Stafford
Price (USD): $3.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Parody

To say this is a parody of the Avengers movie would be incorrect. This is really
a parody of those characters with a different plot to drive the story. Rich
Johnston and Boom! have already put out separate one-shots with Rich's take on
Iron Man, Thor and Captain America. It is helpful to read those comics first
though not essential. After the opening scene establishing the fact that
President Ahmadinejad of Iran is about to test a Gamma Bomb we switch to the
gathering of the Avengefuls. The Nick Fury character is now the Hoff (David
Hasslehoff) and he is bringing Captain American Idol up to speed on the
technology of 2012. Hoff introduces him to Iron Muslim, Islamic terrorist turned
darling of the liberal media, Thor leader of the Church of Scienthorology, and
minor characters Robin Hoodeye and Internet Widow. Like lots of parodies there
are running gags. In this one it is Caps lack of political correctness and
sensitivity him being from the 40's. Hoff is constantly telling him not to talk
about blacks, women, Germans, or any other group he may just have offended. But
the big plot has them going to Iran to try and stop the Gamma Bomb. You may have
noticed I have yet to mention a Hulk character. That is about to change as the
Gamma Bomb goes off. Ahmadinejad found the remains of Osama Bin Laden. The team
has its hands full trying to fight off an army of Iron Muslims let alone a
hulked up terrorist. Eventually the action will shift back to New York for the
grand finale and a very special guest star. If you take it for what it is this
is a decent comic. This type of humor does not appeal to all but I found it
entertaining. There are plenty of gags related to the comic and movie business
and pop culture in general. The art has a "just cartoonish enough" quality to
set the proper mood. This is racked with the AVENGERS comics and is a pleasant

Issue Number: 1
Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment
Writer: Dan Brereton
Artist: Jean Diaz
Colors: Alex Guimaraes
Letters: Marshall Dillon
Price (USD): $3.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Horror
Mature - Comics on the Edge

I have not read a Vampirella comic in a while and saw this #1 issue of a mini-
series on the rack. To me any Vampirella story should have a combination of
decent bad girl art and better than average horror adventure. In the art
department on this one Diaz and Guimaraes are a good team. The characters and
scenery are well defined and the purposely posed panels of Vampirella in her
traditional costume play up the female charms of our heroine. But of course this
is a horror comic so it is not about charm. Vampirella is a vampire herself
though she spends her time fighting evil wherever she finds it. Originally she
came from another world and I am not sure if that has been retconned over the
years. Regardless of her origin, she is tracking down a very particular vampire
named Hector in Arkansas. She finally catches up to him in a small town but as
she goes for the kill he is rescued by comrades who fend off Vampirella with
silver buckshot. Fortunately for her the former sheriff, Aaron "Shooter" Burr,
saw the incident and wants to help her. It seems Shooter has been after Hector
following a string of murders and the disappearance of Carrie Harridan. He
promised that girl's parents he would bring Carrie home. So the unlikely duo
team up to track Hector and hopefully find Carrie. Along the way Vampirella
relays how she had gotten information about a place Hector was likely heading
to. It is called the Red Room where men and monsters have cage matches to the
death. Hector has been building up his reputation to get included in the
activities at the Red Room and his saviors this evening are likely taking him
there. At this point you can almost guess where the plot will be going. At some
point there will be fighting in the cage. At some point Vampirella will be
fighting in the cage. At some point she will be fighting Hector. At some point
they will find Carrie. I guess I am saying I enjoyed this issue more for the
quality of the art than the rather predictable story itself.


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
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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 Publishing did a series of the CLASSICS ILLUSTRATED books.
Who illustrated the first issue of that series?

Gahan Wilson illustrated the first First CLASSICS ILLUSTRATED. Kevin Browne is
the winner by the dice roll.

Here is your no prize question:
What was the first number one single for Elvis Presley?

"Heartbreak Hotel" is a song recorded by American rock and roll musician Elvis
Presley. It was released as a single on January 27, 1956, Presley's first on his
new record label RCA Victor. The single topped Billboard's Top 100 chart for
seven weeks, was number one on the Country and Western chart and reached number
five on the R&B chart, becoming Presley's first million-seller, and the best-
selling single of 1956.

Gerald Grice killed Blair Royce.
Who killed Gerald Grice?

Here is your no prize question:
Which president signed the law making it legal to brew beer in the home?

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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