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Thursday, December 20, 2012

Comic Reviews 12/20/12

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
Title Story: Worse Things
Publisher: Marvel
Writer: Dennis Hopeless
Artist: Kev Walker
Colors: Frank Martin
Letters: Joe Caramagna
Cover Artist: Dave Johnson
Price (USD): $2.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Super Hero

This maxi-series is under the Marvel Now! banner but it obviously won't be
around indefinitely. The premise revolves around the mad villain named Arcade.
He has abducted sixteen young heroes from around the world and brought them to
Murder World. They are Kid Briton, Darkhawk, Nico, Reptil, Nara, Cammi, Apex,
Anachronism, Bloodstone, Chase, Ryker, Juston, X-23, Red Raven, Hazmat and
Mettle. As you can see they range from members of the X-Men, Runaways, Avengers
Academy and others. As he holds them all helplessly suspended in mid air he
announces the reason they are there. In his usual flamboyant style he tells them
that they are cut off with no hope of rescue. Since he likes to watch people die
he has devised a game for them to play. They must fight each other to the death.
In thirty days only the last person standing will be allowed to leave. You can
imagine the immediate reaction among most of these kids - attack the captor.
They soon find out that at least here he is more than a villain, he is a god.
Try as they might they can't best him. Early in the book we are shown a scene
several days in the future as two of the teens are fighting each other for their
life. This gives away who will last at least to day 29 so I am not going to
spoil who they are. But are they the last two?  In a subplot we follow Hazmat
and Mettle, two members of Avengers academy who found love partly because Mettle
is one of probably a very few people that can even be in the same room with
Hazmat without her protective suit and not die. There is a reason we are focused
on these two initially and it is not a good one. This seems like a cruel premise
for a comic book. If the aptly named writer, Mr. Hopeless, follows through with
the stated plot through the end, a lot of young heroes will no longer be alive
in the Marvel Universe. Some will say it is a sick idea. Others can't help but
watch to see if it will actually play out to the end or if there is a magical
failsafe in the end. Either way the first issue is well plotted, sets up the
premise and then delivers the first casualty in Arcade's war. This issue has a
lot of action sequences and the art team does a great job with detail, layout
and coloring. It is too early to tell if this will excite enough people to buy
into it but I will for now.

Issue Number: 1
Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment
Creator: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Writers: Leah Moore & John Reppion
Artist: Matt Triano
Colors: Brennan Wagner
Letters: Simon Bowland
Cover Artist: Francesco Francavilla
Price (USD): $3.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Detective Mystery

This Sherlock Holmes tale takes place in Liverpool England in 1888. It opens
with Holmes and Watson solving one mystery and ends with another unfolding. The
purpose of this first chapter is to present the main characters to us in a way
that illustrates the master detective's abilities. Holmes and Watson help thwart
the escape of a man and woman at the docks seeking to get on a ship and get away
with their crimes. Not only do they have a direct hand in stopping them but also
Holmes correctly deduces details of their plans and makes some not so evident
revelations that of course turn out to be true.  This trend continues as the two
are delayed from departing on schedule and are invited to dine with an old
friend of Watson's at his club. As the dinner conversation turns to the veracity
of mediums and clairvoyants Holmes demonstrates through his powers of
observation that what seems to be impossible is merely a diversion from real
facts. This scene also puts our heroes in the proper place to get entwined in
the next mystery - a classic locked room murder. Who or what might be
responsible is hinted at in the title and by the exclamation outside by a member
of a startled crowd. It is a good start that gives us confidence in Holmes's
ability regardless of what seems to be an unexplainable or supernatural
occurrence. The art has the proper tone with exceptional coloring setting the
mood. If you are a fan of this famous detective I think you will enjoy the

Issue Number: 1
Tile Story: Nara Imperfect
Publisher: IDW
Creator: Chris Ryall & Sam Kieth
Writer: Chris Ryall
Artist: Sam Kieth
Letters: Robbie Robbins
Price (USD): $3.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Science Fiction
Mature - Comics on the Edge

I am always drawn to any comic drawn by Sam Kieth. His unique style has always
appealed to me though some may not like it. This science fiction drama set in a
dystopian future Japan gives him the opportunity to create things we could not
imagine. The lead character in this story, scientist/engineer Craig Mayerik,
lives at the Mt. Miywa Aerie atop the tallest genetically altered super tree in
the prefecture. These trees soar miles above the dying world below with cities
set on platforms set out at many levels on its massive trunk. The citizens in
those cities are the lucky ones but are not entirely self-sufficient. At times
The Fliers leave using jet packs created by Mayerik to scout for provisions that
are safe to bring back. When his wife pleads with him to pick up some provisions
and come home he decides that rather that go to the normal place to procure them
he will put on glider wings of his own design and like the Fliers scavenge for
provisions on the surface. Here he will see first hand what life is like for
those unfortunates doomed to eke out a living below. He is struck by the
progress of the devolution going on. He witnesses the horror of the Hollows,
radioactive burnt-out husks of beings who consume the life energy of the living.
The remains of once-proud Tokyo are overrun with them. The people that survive
do so by barricading themselves in tall building, fending off the occasional
attack with what seems like an unlikely weapon. When Craig has an accident he is
saved by some of the survivors. He interacts mostly with a young girl who claims
she has been waiting for him, or someone like him. She gives a cryptic note to
him seeming to form an alliance of sorts but the others are not so friendly.
Where all this will lead is not clear right now. We are introduced to this
strange place where much is yet to be explained. It seems to be a classic theme
of a dangerous world where two classes of people exist. One is constantly at
risk while the other lives above it all - literally and figuratively. This
unexpected out of the norm interaction will be the catalyst of the plot moving
forward. It is a fascinating premise that is all the more intriguing from the
visual depiction at the hands of Sam Kieth. It is worth a shot to see what

Issue Number: 3
Publisher: DC
Writers: Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray
Artist: Ted Naifeh
Colors: Randy Mayor
Letters: Wes Abbott
Price (USD): $3.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Super Hero

This is a third in a series of comics DC is putting out under the AMI-COMI
banner. They are all based on the women of the DC Universe reimagined. Think of
it as an alternate reality or Elseworld where familiar characters are started
over with a different history.  Although this one features Duela Dent, the
daughter of Harvey Dent who posed as Joker's daughter in the past reality, it
also has a number of DC females featured and promises more. In this version
Duela grew up with her criminal father, who does not have the Two-Face identity,
in an abandoned building. She was living a normal teenage life, comparatively
speaking, until one day she was attacked by bats in a remote section of the
condemned building. This changed everything for her. Her face was disfigured
around the mouth and healed with scars going off the corners like the Joker's
smile. Her father cut her hair and dyed it green. When her father met his death
after a botched robbery she vowed to follow his wishes by creating chaos dressed
in flamboyant steam punk style. Since her mission was to spread chaos she
attacked not only government and financial institutions but also criminal
enterprises. At first she was clandestine about it, which cause cops and
criminals to blame each other. But then a caped crusader appeared changing
things a bit. In this reality the major crime fighter is Batgirl who has a
female Robin as her partner. Other good gals to appear are all female as well -
Steel and Jessie Quick are called in to help when Batgirl is captured and the
story is continued in the next issue, which features Power Girl. Duela has
decided that with powered opposition she needs forces on her side as well. As
the main plot begins her crew consists of Cat Woman, Harley Quinn, Poison Ivy
and Cheetah. They are all working for Duela though Cat Woman shows a streak of
independence early on. Much of the issue deals with the dynamics of Duela's gang
and the first signs of it fracturing are met harshly.  Later as she gets the
upper hand we are introduced to another ally that has a floating invisible ship
from which they will plan their attack - a female Brainiac. The master plan will
have Brainiac draining the planet of all its collective knowledge reducing
mankind to savagery. The only thing that will be spared is Gotham City so that
Duela can rule it as she wishes. These are interesting characters with a plan,
and the book has some deception and a few good fight scenes. The art is well
suited for the concept and really adds to the alternate reality feel of things.
It is a fun comic that is well plotted and leads into another chapter at the
right point. On its own it is a good story but if you read it you will want to
get the next chapter when it hits the stands.

Issue Number: 1
Publisher: Marvel
Writer: Dennis Hopeless
Artist: Salvador Larroca
Colors: Frank D'Armata
Letters: Joe Sabino
Price (USD): $3.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Super Hero

This spin off series has an interesting lineup considering all that has gone by
in the X-Universe in the past year. The cover shows them all lined up - Cable,
Forge, Domino, Colossus and Dr. Nemesis. This first issue begins fine enough
with the X-Force team less Forge apparently some unnamed facility leaving a
trail of bodies. They are confronted by the Uncanny X-Men; you know the new
lineup with Cap and Thor teamed with Havoc, Wolverine and others. Havoc's
reluctance to act first and ask questions later allows Cable and crew to escape.
There are other sub plots going on here as well. Cable is monitoring Hope's
progress as she tries to assimilate into a normal school. Cable with the help of
Forge has recovered from the techno-virus problem that was killing him but has
recurring headaches and dream visions. This issue features the father and
daughter reunion Hope was looking for but also brings out an omen of bad things
to come. The main plot driver seems to be Cable's physical problems, which both
Forge and Dr. Nemesis are working on. What that opening scene was all about is
never explained.  Are they really all mass killers now? This is all just too
jumbled up switching scenes often. Maybe this leads in from another comic before
it but that is never mentioned. Maybe a super x-fan gets all the nuances I am
missing but as a first issue it left me wanting better information to judge
things with. Though the art is good enough it doesn't change my opinion. Maybe
yours will be different.

Issue Number: 1 (of 2)
Publisher: Marvel/Disney
Adaptation of the Disney-Pixar movie
Writer: Charles Bazaldua
Layouts: Claudio Sciarrone
Pencils: Elisabetta Melaranci & Anna Merli
Inkers: Davide Zannetti & Sonia Matrone
Colors: Mara Damiani & Elena M. Naggi
Cover Artists: Lori Tyminski & Adrienne Brown
Price (USD): $2.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Animated Movie Adaptation

This comic is a two-part adaptation of the hit Disney/Pixar movie of the same
name. Why it is only coming out now is puzzling to me. I do not watch too many
animated features so I can truly judge this comic as a first time introduction
to the whole concept. In this imaginary world everything is run by clean
dependable energy generated by screaming kids. Monster Inc. exists to harness
that energy and keep the wheels of progress rolling. There is a whole system of
carefully matching scary but otherwise harmless monsters with kids that are
still innocent enough to be scared and their screams are collected carefully for
processing. On each shift the monsters line up at their transporter door that
will open into the appropriate child's room so they can scare the bejeezus out
of them. Each monster has a coach or personal trainer. There even is a
competition among the monsters to see who can set the record for collecting the
most screams. Heading the pack is the hero of the story, so to speak, Sullivan
who is ably aided by the one-eyed little green ball named Mike. His chief rival
is Randall, a multi-legged purple lizard monster. The monsters and the people
live in their separate realities. In fact the major rule at Monster inc.
headquarters is to never let a human cross over through a door. In fact the
monsters are so afraid of being contaminated even bringing back something
touched by humans will set off major alarms. The main plot reveals that Sullivan
is closing in on the scare record. Doing a favor for Mike he stays behind after
one shift and notices an active door. What he does next could spell disaster for
everyone. This is a fun story for all ages. Once you get used to the idea that
the main premise is that it is a good thing to scare kids you can suspend your
disbelief and enjoy the rest of the story. The characters are interesting and
the script brings a lot of humor to the whole situation. Although you have a
villain, Randall, he is motivated by jealously and is not hard-core evil. The
art is a fine animation style that is really polished. This is a delightful
comic that everyone can enjoy.


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 is Judge Dredd's first name?

He is Judge Joseph Dredd. The winner by the dice roll is Stu Cathell.

Here was your no prize question:
Who wrote Patsy Cline's big hit "Crazy."

Our fearless leader, Ken Carson, gets his spot in the no prize hall of fame for
knowing that "Crazy" was written by Willie Nelson.

Agent 99 is to Maxwell Smart, as Agent 13 is to.?

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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