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Monday, July 30, 2012

Comic Reviews 7/30/12


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
Writer: Kelly Sue DeConnick
Artist: Dexter Soy
Letters: Joe Caramagna
Price (USD): $2.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Super Hero

With this issue Carol Danvers sheds the name Ms. Marvel and becomes Captain Marvel with a new do and a new costume. The hair and costume are just a change of pace but the change in name comes a little harder after some prodding from Steve Rogers. This occurs after the mandatory fight the villain opening, that being the Absorbing Man. The first issue serves to get us into some of the background of Carol. What her motivations were in life are made moot when the change that gave her powers occurred. She has a childhood hero, her inspiration as a pilot. She reflects on first meeting her and how she motivated Carol to be the best she could be. We also meet another friend who is struggling with chemotherapy. While this is all interesting it makes for a pretty tame "super hero" comic. But I guess that is what DeConnick wants to do - get us to know Carol well, or at least her version. There is some humor when Captain Marvel spars with Spider-Man. Other highlights show us the true nature of that sash she is wearing and a slight change to the costume when she reaches the upper atmosphere. You might guess that I did not find this issue all that exciting. Part of it is the art. Dexter Soy does it all himself and while his layouts move the story well I am not fond of the line and coloring style. The action scenes in particular hit me as being blotchy. But in other scenes I saw the same effect - too many shades of tan in one face for example. I don't think I would enjoy a very good comic as much with this art. When it is on an average comic it would be enough to make me not want to come back for more. Your opinion may differ.

Issue Number: 1
Publisher: IDW
Writer: Andy Hartnell
Artist: John Royle
Inker: Phillip Moy
Colors: Romulo Fajardo Jr.
Letters: Neil Uyetake
Price (USD): $3.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: War/Action

Sometimes I pick up a comic that is not the type I would normally buy just to widen my reading experience. I would not normally read GI JOE style war comics or adventure comics whose appeal is hot females, not that there is anything wrong with either. I was curious to see how these two would mix though. Out of necessity in the plotting the first issue focuses on the Joes. While escorting a very important cargo plane the Joes are attacked by Cobra jets. Royle and Moy really shine the most in these aerial action sequences. They are steady throughout the rest of the book as well. The plot has the cargo plane being forced to land and the Joes forced to abandon two of their pilots, Scarlett and Flint, in hostile territory. After making it back to their carrier, the USS Flagg, the team has an unannounced visit from the President who suspends the Joes leaving any rescue operation to the Army Rangers. Naturally the Joes feel they have to do something but it is the females Jinx, Cover Girl and Lady Jaye who come up with a plan that will involve contacting Johnny Barracuda for some off the books help. Just to show us how difficult a rescue might be the book ends with a sequence following Scarlett and Flint and their fight for survival. This is a fun comic from my point of view. Naturally real life and death situations are not humorous but in comics like this one you have to allow for a bit of melodrama, female enemy agents hardly dressed for combat, and even a spy on the level of James Bond. Did I mention I like the art? I imagine next issue we will actually have the Danger Girl group deeply involved and it will be interesting to see them go up against Cobra.

Issue Number: 1 (of 4)
Title Story: In Space No One Can Hear You Die!
Publisher: Marvel
Writer: Frank Tieri
Artist: Mark Texeira
Letters: Clayton Cowles
Price (USD): $3.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Super Hero

I grabbed this one because I could not imagine why the Punisher would be traveling in space. After a few pages I realized what the promo blurb on the opening page, "One man's quest for vengeance across a galaxy different than our own!" really meant. This is one of those stories set in an alternate reality where Frank Castle has been hunting the Six-Fingered Hand, the intergalactic mafia, for eight years. He finally is on the right track when he runs up against a bunch of Sym-brood-ants, which are the brood taken over by Venom type symbiots. This provides an early fight scene and highlights this version of the Punisher's ability to use technology appropriate for a science fiction setting. He has a versatile robot sidekick named chip and an intelligent spaceship named Marie that helps him out of this jam. The Sym-brood-ant queen is only on of the six front men for the Six-Fingered Hand and Frank needs to get to the power behind them to avenge the murder of his family. This being an alternate reality be prepared to see familiar characters in very different roles. The tangle with the Sym-brood-ants leads him to a low-level drug dealer named Barracuda. It is Barracuda who will lead him to the other five - Dr. Octopus, Green Goblin, Magneto, The Red Skull and Ultron - though they are a lot different in this reality. But before he can get to them he will have to deal with their hit men - Sabretooth, Deadpool and The Leader. It is a wild story that moves quickly with lots of action and a bit of humor to change the pace when needed. The art is competent and appealing. For a change from the normal without need for continuity this is a decent escape.

Issue Number: 18
Title Story: Monkey Business
Publisher: DC
Writer: Greg Weisman
Artist: Christopher Jones
Colors: Zac Atkinson
Letters: Dezi Sienty
Price (USD): $2.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Super Hero/TV Adaptation

I've reviewed this title before and found it to be a decent comic based on the well-done cartoon seen on Cartoon Network. This is a slightly different group than other versions of the Teen Titans with Superboy, Wally West as Kid Flash, Dick Grayson as Robin, M'gann M'orzz - Miss Martian, Kaldurahm is Aqualad and Artemis Crock is the archer Artemis. A two-page recap at the beginning brings us up to speed on some past adventures including a run in with the Brain and his right hand gorilla Monsieur Mallah. Now the League has analyzed their reports and wants them to follow up with a trip to the Bwundan jungle in Africa where they suspect Brain has set up another Kobra-Venom operation. Weisman has captured the characters as portrayed on the TV show very well. Through Miss Martian's mind link we see the interaction among the group from Aqualad's angst over a lost love, Wally's flirting and Artemis' interest in starting something with Conner. At the crucial point Robin takes charge just as the Brain's Kobra-Venom enhanced apes move in. There is a lot of action and some tense moments that could spell doom for the teens. But one of their group will meet an unexpected ally in the final scene. This is a very good comic for all ages. It does the TV show justice in characterization, format and visually. As an added bonus there is a sneak preview of the GREEN LANTERN ANIMATED SERIES comic for fans of that show.  The whole thing is worth the price.

Issue Number: 11
Title Story: Part 6
Title Arc: To Drown The World
Publisher: DC
Writers: J.H. Williams III & W. Haden Blackman
Artist: Trevor McCarthy with Pere Perez
Colors: Guy Major
Letters: Todd Klein
Cover Artist: J.H. Williams III
Price (USD): $2.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Super Hero

This is not a jump-on comic. That is to say you can't easily pick up this issue and know what is going on and the editors do not give any kind of recap. Still it is not that difficult to follow even starting with part six of the story. Batwoman is confronting a man, a Shapeshifter who has killed a rival and commands three others who are holding several children hostage. One of those three, Maria, has powers over water with which she has surrounded the children. On command she raises a large wave to drown our heroine in this underground lair. In another scene a girl on life support, Bette, is clinging to life while an army colonel, Uncle Jake, pleads with her to come back to him. Meanwhile, the Detective Maggie Sawyer races to the scene of a massive underwater disruption by the pier to discover Agent Chase of the D.E.O. climbing out of the water claiming Batwoman screwed them. It would help to know what that means and for new readers who Bette is and how she got in her condition. Fortunately the story is not linear and we go back to the scene before to see why Chase made her claim. Batwoman will have to save Chase from the rising flood and avoid Killer Croc in the bargain as well. There is an interlude next day showing a scene between Maggie and Kate, who are also lovers, sharing some personal secrets and thoughts. If you did not know that Kate is Batwoman you would wonder why this scene was here. I think a short recap at the start would help, but then these stories are often structured to be collected later into trade paperbacks and such an insertion would take away from the flow in that format. Having said all that, this is a decent story with interesting villains, dangerous situations, misunderstandings among the players and both disheartening scenarios balanced by another that has a ray of hope. JH Williams is a good scripter and builder of characters and plot. The art is terrific every aspect. This issue is a good sample of his craft but you might want to start back a few issues if you want to get the full story.

Issue Number: 3
Publisher: Marvel/Icon
Writers: Mark Millar with Matthew Vaughn
Artist: Dave Gibbons
Inker: Andy Lanning
Colors: Angus McKie
Price (USD): $2.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Spy Thriller

I have been enjoying this title though it is a somewhat slow-paced plot. It is the story of Gary who lives in public housing with his mother and her abusive boyfriend. This leads to Gary messing up his own life until his Uncle Jack steps in. Jack is on Her Majesty's Secret Service. Maybe he sees himself in Gary and decides to direct Gary's energy in a more challenging direction. Up to this point he has managed to get Gary enrolled into the MI-6 program and sure enough in most areas Gary has proven his ability and intelligence. He has scored high in his powers of observation and surveillance. As he moves into field tests he really astounds everyone when in the grand theft auto test he brings back a Rolls Royce with very elite license plates. But this is spy school after all and to move into active status the candidates have to conduct covert operations which some would say are unethical. One such mission has Gary questioning whether to go through with it and afterwards he is still bothered by it. Since his life before consisted mostly of TV and video games his social skills are basic world knowledge are somewhat lacking. This will lead to an awkward situation in a social setting test leading to Gary reacting in a way that could get him in real trouble. The other major plot in the book involves Uncle Jack and his current mission. Celebrities, politicians and scientists are being kidnapped around the world. In Jack's portion of the book we follow him on a mission to China as he follows a lead. It affords Gibbons the opportunity to show off as Jack does a James Bond type action sequence. While this plot is important it has taken a back seat to the one about Gary. The two may merge down the road but for now they are separate. I like the scripting and the characters in this title. Gibbons of course does a great job. The opening scene this time is a lecture given by a professor on an alternate theory about the nature of climate change and what is causing it. It is interesting reading and ties in to the mystery kidnappings eventually. The question of who is doing it and why is the big mystery here and Millar is taking his time getting there.


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:
What spin-off mini-series did BONE spawn in December 1999?

"Stupid, Stupid Rat Tails: The Adventures of Big Johnson Bone #1 A Call to Adventure" not "Rose" is the correct answer. The winner is Gary Katzoff.

Here was your no prize question:
What was the first ever feature film to be made entirely with Computer Generated Imagery?

Toy Story is a 1995 American computer-animated comedy film released by Walt Disney Pictures. It is Pixar's first feature film as well as the first ever feature film to be made entirely with Computer Generated Imagery.

In the DAREDEVIL movie, a white character, Kingpin, is played by a black actor; somewhat like what happened in the old BATMAN TV series, when Eartha Kitt played Catwoman. This also happens in SMALLVILLE twice: who are the characters?

Here is your no prize question:

Where was the first purchase of land for a public park in the US made?

Folks, you never know who among the readers is knowledgeable about the question so

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