Search This Blog

Sunday, November 4, 2012

comic reviews 11/2/12


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: KaBOOM!
Creator: Pendleton Ward
Writer: Joey Comeau
Artist: Mike Holmes
Colors: Zack Sterling
Letters: Steve Wands
Price (USD): $3.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: ALL AGES Humor – Cartoon Adaptation

The creators of ADVENTURE TIME, a very successful cartoon and comic book, now
bring you this comic full of offbeat humor and interesting characters. You get
the idea of what you are in for as the comic begins with the wrap up of their
latest adventure in the first two pages. They are somewhere in space and have
been tasked with solving the gender inequality of another civilization. The
ambassador to that civilization is a talking banana who is despondent by the
Warriors' constant irreverence. How the problem can be solved seems irreverent
as well but it actually works. The fun begins as they relax back at their secret
headquarters and we are introduced to the group. They are a somewhat normal
looking group of teenagers and the descriptions that introduce them are kind of
funny though it pushes a running gag about who is the bravest a bit too far. The
story is more a series of bits. The first has them baking cupcakes in the
kitchen while Danny makes the popcorn with his popcorn gun. The gag is that the
cupcakes will fight each other. Huh? Sure enough it is the green cupcake versus
the orange. It never really is a contest, as you will see. Soon they are joined
by the unofficial fifth Warrior, the female Plum who secretly sometimes has a
mermaid tail and has an ancient and wise second personality that lives in her
second brain. As you can see there is a lot of silliness going on. The gang
settles down to watch a movie, "The Zombie Food Court from Heck" followed by a
trailer for "Space Sharks." When Wallow has his turn he runs a love movie, which
gets the others angry because this was supposed to be scary movie night.  I
won't say this is my favorite kind of comic humor but it is amusing and will
appeal to a wide audience.

Back up story "Laser Sunday" by Ryan Pequin with Mirka Andolfo

This story has the team playing laser tag against a busload of second graders.
The plan is to team up against the kids before it becomes every man for himself.
Whoever wins gets to ride shotgun for a month. The plan has everyone excited and
it is a fun story as well.

The art is typical of the genre and it adds to the feel of a cartoon on paper.
If you are a fan of ADVENTURE TIME you will get a kick out of this one.

Issue Number: 1-SHOT
Framing Story by Joe Brusha, Ralph Tedesco, Raven Gregory & Pat Shand
Letters: Bernie Lee
Publisher: Zenescope
Price (USD): $5.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Horror
Mature – Comics on the Edge

Unlike the STEAMPUNK HALLOWEEN comic I reviewed this comic really is a bunch of
horror stories tied together with a framing sequence, "Myths & Urban Legends" by
Patrick Shand, Tiziano Zaffiri and Chandran Ponnusamy, that turns out to be a
horror story all its own. Three girls have left a costume party as one of the
group wants to have more of a thrilling evening. She drags her friend to a
cornfield with many pumpkin head scarecrows and proposes it is the proper
setting for telling scary stories. This leads into the rest of the issue as each
takes turns telling their particular stories.

"Island of Dolls" by Raven Gregory, Amin Amat and Jeff Balke
The first one is set in Mexico City in the 1950s. Don Julian leaves his home
after finding out his wife loves another. He finds seclusion on an island and
begins his life as a hermit. The serenity is disrupted one day when he hears a
little girl playing in the water nearby. She is crying because her doll has
floated away. He chooses to ignore it at first until he realizes something is
terribly wrong. He finds the little girl floating face down and is heartbroken
he ignored her. The horror comes later when he hears the girls voice in the
night calling for her dolly. He finds the doll and brings it to his home but the
voice does not stop. The voice is so compelling he soon spends all of his time
finding or buying dolls and soon his home and the island have dolls all over the
place. But it is the finale of the story that solves the mystery of the voice.

"Are You There?" by Pat Shand, Elias Martins and Jeff Balke
This one begins with a high school class about fairy tales and urban legends.
The teacher tasks the students to read about the kidney thief, Bloody Mary and
the killer in the back seat and report on what the moral would be – as there
were morals in Grimm's fairy tales. Right after the new girl Naru, a Japanese
person, finds the others in the girls room calling "Bloody Mary" into the
mirror. She is unfamiliar with the legend but introduces one of her own that is
similar. The Japanese legend says that the ghost of Hanako-san haunts public
rest rooms. If you call out "Are you there, Hanako-san" the story goes that she
will answer, "I am here." Then you better run or suffer the consequences. They
all try it, have a laugh and go on their way. But Naru will find there is more
to the legend than they thought.

"The Clown" by Raven Gregory, Marcelo Salaza and Jason Embury

Whenever a horror story starts with a babysitter you know things will go
horribly wrong. It starts off with a typical situation with the buxom high
school student looking after a couple of typical kids who warn her as she tucks
them in not to let the monster get her. But once the kids are in bed and Shawna
is watching TV she will find something very strange about this house.

"Jack The Lantern" by Dirk Manning, Andrea Errico and Erick Arciniega
The girl that brought here friends to the field tells the closing story. It
begins in 1789 on Halloween. There is a serial killer on the loose that
surprises his victims wearing a jack-o-lantern mask and he has been very busy.
This goes on for some time and a year later he is paid a surprise visit by the
devil himself. Without getting into the details Jack is desperate to save his
soul and so he makes a deal with the devil. But as is usually the case any deal
with the devil comes at a price. This particular case dooms Jack to a fate that
he can only escape from on one day a year, Halloween. Which brings us back to
the girls in the field on Halloween in the present. Heh, heh!

The anthology is a good mix of stories that are pretty decent and all have good
art. If you are into short horror stories this is a good collection.

Issue Number: 1
Publisher: IDW
Writers: Brea & Zane Grant
Artist: Eric J.
Letters: Neil Uyetake
Price (USD): $3.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Crime Drama
MATURE – Comics on the Edge

This mystery starts with a girl band called Doomed Earth as they wrap up a
rehearsal. Billy takes off while Mel and Kira head to the roof for a drink to
cool down. This affords us some insight into the characters before the action
starts. Later, as Mel is left alone she notices a man in the window across the
alley with a camera. If that is not startling enough she watches as a person in
a mask sneaks up behind him and slashes his eyes then his throat before grabbing
the camera and pushing him half out the window. Thinking the cameraman may still
be alive, Mel calls 911 and rushes over only to find her band mate, Billy, has
also entered the apartment. This begins a tense situation between the friends as
the cops arrive and they both are taken in for questioning. Mel does not know
what to think and when Billy slips her a photo album to hide from the cops she
gets more suspicious. Could Billy be the mystery attacker or someone connected
to the killer? What is in the album she doesn't want the cops to see? Mel has a
lot to struggle with at a time she is not feeling great about her life anyway.
It is too soon to tell if this will be a deep mystery or more of a story of
relationships, friendship and trust. He art is different enough from what I am
used to. There is fine definition in the characters and a stark coloring gives
it a unique look, it grows on you as you read. So far I like this book and am
interested to see where it will go next.

Issue Number: 1
Title Story: Sally Sno-Cones Gets Pinched
Publisher: IDW
Creator: Alan Robert
Price (USD): $3.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Horror
MATURE – Comics on the Edge
Characters based on the likenesses of Frank Vincent, Brea Grant and Marky Ramone

IDW is making a big deal about this comic having characters with likenesses of
three celebrities of some note. It is a unique gimmick but I don't know if that
would entice many people to buy the comic. For me the quality of the story and
art is what matters. In this case it is a creation of one man so it is his
proficiency that is on the line. The art is actually pretty decent. Robert has a
unique style that is very detailed in line work and backgrounds. He has a good
sense for layouts and the action flows well from panel to panel. The inking and
coloring is rather dark but that works well for this story set mostly in a jail
cell for the first half but it lightens up in the flashback sequences. The story
starts in the holding cell at the police station. In one cell we have Sally Sno-
Cones, a hit man for the local mob, a younger longhair named Cole Edwards also
in jail for murder and a blond covered in blood who recently sliced up her
boyfriend. She is Summer Rhodes. The three are getting on each others nerves and
the two guys come to blows, which only stops when a cop appears but once he gets
close enough he is revealed to be a zombie. How zombies came to be in this drama
has its beginnings in Sally's story, which he tells to the other two. His story
is all about a classic hit man for the mob. Rather than recap his career he
begins with a recent turn of events when the Don decided to save his own skin by
ratting out Sally to the feds. With 87 hits to his name there is a lot of dirt
that Sally is on the hook for that will be hard to hide. In going back to
destroy the evidence he finds that one of his victims, his brother-in-law who
pulled a big heist of a museum shipment but held back from giving the Don his
cut, is now a zombie. This has to do with that heist containing some kind of
voodoo witch mummy. And now several of the victims in cold storage are zombies.
This somehow will tie in with the stories of the other cellmates eventually. But
their main problem is they are locked in a cell and all the cops are now
zombies. They may never get out but in future issues we are going to hear Cole
and Summer tell their stories. It is not a bad start and certainly raises the
question if the story can possibly end well for these three. I found it
entertaining enough to be worth your consideration.

Issue Number: 1-SHOT
Publisher: DC
Writer: Rob Williams
Artist: Trevor Hairsine
Colors: Antonio Fabela
Letters: Travis Lanham
Cover Artist: Fiona Staples
Price (USD): $3.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Horror/Supernatural
Mature – Comics on the Edge

DC has done number of one-shot comics with older characters under the National
Comics banner. The latest is MADAME X. Mima is an expert in the use of the Tarot
cards and their magic properties give her visions of the future. The story is
set in New Orleans where she works as a consultant for a prestigious law firm. A
local city councilman who ran on an anti-voodoo platform has been murdered. The
so-called "Voodoo Queen of New Orleans" has come to the firm, as she is sure she
will be charged with the crime. Recently she cursed the councilman while
drenching he and his wife in blood in front of TV cameras. After that Councilman
Meachum's campaign against her and her city in the swamps intensified. So she
sent him a heavily cursed ancient voodoo knife as a statement. It was that knife
that was found buried in his chest. The queen views Mima as a sister. Mima's
once celebrated career was ruined when she accurately predicted a very rich man
would be robbed. When it happened he responded by suing Mima and discrediting
her with his power. But Mima does not believe in Voodoo though she knows magic
is real. Still it falls on her and her colleagues to investigate the case and
prove their client innocent. Madame X uses the power of her cards to lead the
team to the mysterious voodoo city in the swamp and will eventually discover why
Meachum was really killed and by whom. It is a decent tale with a well-scripted
plot. The art is above par and works well to provide visuals that the dialogue
does not describe. The ending is a bit enigmatic. This is likely done on purpose
so as to leave open the possibility of a regular series down the road. From what
I saw in this issue it would be a good idea.

Issue Number: 32
Title Arc: End Times
Publisher: Marvel
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artists: Mike Mayhew & Brandon Peterson
Colors: Jason Keith
Letters: Cory Petit
Cover Artist: Brandon Peterson
Price (USD): $3.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Super Hero

Brian Bendis is wrapping up his long run on THE AVENGERS and NEW AVENGERS with
an arc aptly titled END TIMES. It began with a repentant Wonder Man asking for
forgiveness in trying to turn people against the Avengers. In the last issue we
saw a women, her face wrapped in cloth so only her eyes showed, who was in some
foreign land, city, or planet and in dire need. In the end she pulled out an
Avengers membership card and activated its signal beacon. But who is this
mysterious Avenger, if she even is one? That is the question Hank Pym poses to
Tony Stark notifies him. You would think that such a device is coded for the
particular member it was issued to and you would be right. But this is an older
card that was not made that way – it is an old-school card. So this is either a
presumably dead past member or someone using the card. That is the logical
conclusion except Tony has traced the signal to the Microverse. I am tempted to
tell you who the mystery woman is but I do not want to spoil the fun. There is
an interlude scene of her getting captured and then mysteriously escaping from
plain sight, which is a big clue as to her identity. Needless to say the
Avengers assemble at the place where they can enter the Microverse at the point
of the signal. This location is another big clue. In the end Iron Man, Thor,
Captain America and Hank Pym are the ones that follow the signal to its source.
They successfully find the woman and will have to face a major force of power in
this microscopic land if any of them are to return home. After all the drama of
AvX this is a more entertaining story that has moments of humor Bendis does so
well. It is also a story with an element of hope and a promise of an eventual
happy ending. I think most fans of the series will welcome the revelation in
this issue and will be patiently waiting for the next issue, as I am.


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:
This one is for small press fans of the last two decades. In what comic feature
do the cats Stan and Ollie hang out?

Innocent Bystander by Gary Sassaman, its own comic and then a feature in
"Geeksville", was the answer. The winner by the dice is Gary Katzoff.

Here is your no prize question:
What is the fastest growing plant on earth?

Bamboo has been measured surging skyward as fast as 39 inches in a 24-hour
period due to their unique rhizome-dependent system.

In the Milestone title BLOOD SYNDICATE, from what two gangs did the members that
formed the group come?

Who was the first recording artist to have three consecutive double albums reach
number one on the Billboard pop charts?

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.

No comments:

Post a Comment