Search This Blog

Friday, February 8, 2013

Comic Reviews 2/8/12

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: Batman Impossible
Publisher: DC
Creator: Bob Kane
Writer: Peter J. Tomasi
Artist: Ardian Syaf
Inker: Vicente Cifuentes
Colors: John Kalisz
Letters: Carlos M. Mangual
Cover Artist: Andy Kubert with Brad Anderson
Price (USD): $4.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Super Hero

This Annual appealed to me because it is not tied into the whole Death of the 
Family story arc. Plus the cover illustration with Damian dressed in a Batman 
outfit intrigued me. Bruce awakens after a night of doing the Batman thing to 
find his bags are packed for travel with Alfred on the jet. It seems Damian has 
left strict instructions that they be over International waters before he 
reveals why. Surprisingly Bruce is willing to go along with this because he 
feels Damian has been trying hard to engage Bruce and he does not want to hamper 
that effort. The video he left reveals that he is sending them on a scavenger 
hunt. The purpose was twofold. In putting it together Damian learned more about 
the family he now belongs to and he wants Bruce to reconnect with things he 
usually does not have time for. Supposedly he is traveling a step ahead of them 
as they head for London, their first stop. He will be moving on to the next 
location before they get there. In reality, he is still in Gotham, unknown to 
Bruce and Alfred. This is an attempt to reach out to his father on a more 
personal level while at the same time to prove himself on his own at home. The 
two plots move independently from each other. At each stop in Europe Bruce finds 
things related to his parents. He finds a painting done by his mother hanging in 
a London hotel, a honeymoon photo location in Barcelona, a marriage proposal 
etched in stone in Greece. Meanwhile Damian gets involved in a mystery in the 
city. Some one stole gas at a local gas station by chewing off the nozzle at the 
pump. Through the course of Bruce's travel Damian patrols as Batman, with side 
adventures against common criminals, to get to the person or thing behind the 
plot and put an end to it. The final reunion with his father is something they 
both enjoy. It is a wonderful story and helps to move their relationship closer. 
The art team does a wonderful job in bringing it to the page. If you like to 
read Batman stories that stand on their own this is a good one, if not a 
conventional one.

Issue Number: 1
Title Story: Part One
Publisher: DC
Writer: Tom Taylor
Artists: Jheremy Raapack, Mike S. Miller and Axel Gimenez
Inkers: Jheremy Raapack, Mike S. Miller and Narg Deering
Colors: Andrew Elder
Letters: Wes Abbott
Cover Artist: Jheremy Raapack and Tony Avina
Price (USD): $3.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Super Hero - Video Game Prequel

On the credits page there is a note that this story takes place before the start 
of the game. The game is the upcoming video game for multiple platforms 
involving several members of the Justice League and their enemies. This comic 
acts as a back-story for the game and might be of interest to those planning on 
buying it. For the rest of us it is a good "Elseworld" type story where 
continuity follows a different path than it does in the New 52. The one-page 
intro has Batman perched on a gargoyle above Gotham pondering what has happened 
in the last five years. This night there is no crime, no gunshots, no cries in 
the darkness, no wailing sirens. It is the silence of fear, for the world is now 
ruled by the iron fist of The Man of Steel.  How did this come to be?  The main 
story flashes back five years. Clark is married to Lois and she is now pregnant. 
Ever the intrepid reporter she is determined to continue her job over his 
protests. She plans to get the drop on a councilman taking a bribe with Jimmy 
along to get the pictures. Unfortunately this is really a trap set by the master 
villain in this chapter. Superman is distracted by the presence of Batman in his 
city. It seems some Kryptonite was stolen from Star Labs. As Batman investigates 
the scene a frantic Superman arrives announcing Lois's abduction and despite his 
super vision and hearing he cannot find her. This is the catalyst that will 
cause Batman to call in other members of the League. Wonder Woman, the Flash and 
Green Arrow (Hal Jordan) are quick to respond. Through their joint efforts they 
find the Scarecrow, a victim of the Joker's special gas and at the docks Wonder 
Woman gets the truth out of a local thug. The whole thing is a plot by the Joker 
who has stolen a submarine in a twisted plot that involves Lois, the Scarecrow's 
fear toxin, the Kryptonite and a nuclear warhead. This is one of those stories 
that highlight the madness of the Joker and the vulnerability of the world's 
greatest hero. We know from that opening something must have gone seriously 
wrong for Superman to be acting like a dictator. We just didn't know what until 
the last few pages of this issue. This is a tightly scripted plot that moves at 
a steady pace that builds slowly and then races to a horrifying conclusion. The 
art is fantastic as well. Whether or not this is tied into a video game makes no 
difference. It is a fantastic story that should appealed to all DC fans.

Issue Number: 100
Publisher: Image
Creator: Robert Kirkman & Cory Walker
Writer: Robert Kirkman
Artist: Ryan Ottley
Inker: Cliff Rathburn
Colors: John Rauch
Letters: Rus Wooton
Cover Artists:  Various (8 variants)
Price (USD): $3.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Super Hero

I am always interested in landmark issues. I've read a few issues of INVINCIBLE 
and decided to see what Kirkman cooked up for the hundredth issue. It starts off 
in a rather spectacular and gory splash page. It shows Dinosaurus crushing 
Invincible's head flat and then ripping him in half from head to toe, all of 
which is being broadcast live on television. It sure is an unusual start. This 
of course is not the real Mark Grayson. Dinosaurus arranged the whole thing so 
he could swap Mark through a dimensional gate with a perfect clone so that the 
world would think Invincible is dead. Evidently they had been working together 
but the story leading up to this issue led into a major disaster with all the 
coastal cities of the world under water. After Dinosaurus teleports away from 
the gruesome murder we see he really has Mark safely hidden and explains to him 
that now he can operate safely free from all encumbrances. He really believes 
Mark will go along with him, even though his plans to know have ended up in a 
major disaster. Mark wants to fix things, find some way to reverse the effects 
and get the oceans back to normal but Dinosaurus wants to move forward. There is 
a long dialogue between the two and the underlying theme is that the villain of 
the piece always believes he is the hero. Mark is faced with several problems. 
How does he convince or stop Dinosaurus?  How does he make the oceans recede? 
What does he do with his life after all that has happened?  Others are busy 
working on the ocean thing, and they believe Mark is dead. But that still leaves 
the other situations.   Clearly this is one issue at the end of a longer arc and 
it is meant to wrap up a major plot, which it does by the end. And it also 
launches into a couple more moving forward. The art is suitable for the genre 
and the coloring sets the whole thing in just the right tones. This is a well-
produced comic, which deserves to be read more widely than it is in a crowded 

Issue Number: 1
Publisher: IDW
Writers: Scott & David Tipton
Artist: Simon Fraser
Colors: Gary Caldwell
Letters: Tom B. Long
Price (USD): $3.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Science Fiction - TV adaptation

The BBC is celebrating 50 years of Dr. Who. The science fiction series has gone 
through a number of lead actors as part of the nature of the character. The 
Doctor is the last of his race. He is a Time Lord from the planet Galifrey. With 
his Tardis that appears on the outside like a London Police call box he can 
traverse through space and time. He usually has human companions he has 
befriended and you never know where he will take them next to show them the 
wonders of the universe. He has the unique ability when near death to regenerate 
a new body, always different from the last - thus the multiple actors that have 
played the part.  For the purposes of this series we begin with the character as 
portrayed by the first actor from 1963 through 1966, William Hartnell. In this 
story he has three companions, Ian, Barbara and Vicki. From the conversation we 
gather that at least one if not all of them are from the twenty-fifth century. 
They have traveled back to 1868 at the Royal College of Surgeons in London. They 
are there to take in a lecture by an old friend of the Doctor, Thomas Huxley, 
the famous biologist and defender of the ideas of Charles Darwin. Naturally it 
would not be Dr. Who without an adventure and sure enough they learn that two of 
Huxley's students have gone missing in the tunnels of the underground railroad. 
The Doctor insists that he and his friends aid in the search and that is the set 
up for what is to come. Before too long they are attacked by giant ants that the 
Doctor and his friends recognize as the Zarbi. The Zarbi's aggressive nature 
surprises the group since they last saw them on the planet Vortis where they 
freed the Zarbi from enslavement. As it turns out the Zarbi are once again being 
controlled by the Animus, a being that resembles a giant jellyfish. Not only 
does it control the Zarbi but also with specially designed collars it plans to 
enslave all of mankind.  This is just the type of predicament you come to expect 
in a Dr. Who story and the methods he and his friends use to defeat the enemies 
they meet are always unique. But is that the end of the story? The last panel 
reveals a new mystery to solve and the opening sequence, which at first seems to 
be homage to the history of the series is actually a foreboding of a more 
sinister enemy lurking in the wings. I have always enjoyed Dr. Who when I've 
seen it on TV. The IDW comics do a great job in both visual depiction of the 
character as well as the essence of his adventures. This title is no exception. 
Perhaps it will feature other versions of the Doctor as it moves forward. It 
matters not though to me. It is not how he looks but how he acts that is so 

Issue Number: 1
Title Story: The Beginning
Publisher: DC
Writer: Joshua Hale Fialkov
Artist: Ben Oliver
Colors: Jose Villaruba & Kathryn Layno
Letters: Saida Temofonte
Cover Artist: Ben Oliver
Price (USD): $2.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Fantasy

DC has taken over the HE-MAN comic franchise and already has run a number of 
mini-series based on the characters. There will soon be an ongoing HE-MAN title 
and so they have published this title on the origin of the lead character. This 
is a pretty simple story that tells of the quest for the Sword of Power once 
owned by King Grayskull himself. The story is told in disjointed fashion. In one 
group of sequences Prince Adam first grasps the sword and turns into He-Man to 
fight the evil Skeletor. In the other sequences we watch the events that led up 
to that point. Skeletor is determined to find the Power Sword and claim his 
dominance of all Eternia. In the dead of night he has entered the castle and all 
but Prince Adam have fallen under his spell. He compels Adam to take him to the 
sword to spare his family. As things go from bad to worse the Prince, rather his 
mind, is transported to the ancient Castle Grayskull by the sorceress whose 
charge was to await the day when a descendent of the king would come to defend 
the kingdom and indeed the world from one of his own blood. Adam is that 
champion and must take up the battle for the sake of all. So both Adam and 
Skeletor are from the bloodline of King Grayskull but their exact relationship 
to each other is only hinted at. This comic is all about setting the stage for 
what is to come. Skeletor's background is not told here but in another comic so 
how he came to look as he does and act as he does is not revealed. This is 
simply about the day that Adam first became He-Man and when he learned why it 
was fated to be. For anyone following all the books and anxiously awaiting for 
the ongoing series this will be a must to buy. By itself it is not all that 
exciting. It is somewhat predictable and has no real conflict resolution. The 
art is not up to par in my opinion. The line work is very jagged in places and 
the coloring is much too dark or blurry or both.  Visually I did not like it and 
am only modestly entertained by the story. Your mileage may vary.

Issue Number: One-Shot
Title Story: I Want To Be In Pictures
Publisher: DC
Creator: Moore & Gibbons
Writer: Len Wein
Artist: Steve Rude
Colors: Glen Whitmore
Letters: Steve Rude
Price (USD): $3.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Super Hero

It is only fair that one of the BEFORE WATCHMEN titles touches on the life of 
Dollar Bill. This one shot does that and more. It is actually the life of 
William Brady, Dollar Bill, from his childhood to his death. He grew up in a 
farming town in Nebraska and his athletic skills got him to Dartmouth College 
where he excelled in sports if not in academics. He planned on a future in the 
NFL but an injury on the field crashed all his hopes for that future. After he 
barely made the grades to graduate he headed for New York and decided he could 
make a living off his looks. He found he was not good enough for Broadway 
either. But following any lead for work brought him to an ad agency planning a 
campaign for National Bank. Some may not have caught it but the names of the 
partners of this agency are Dewey, Cheatem and Howe - a tip of the hat to the 
Three Stooges if ever there was one. Anyway, they are looking for someone to be 
the spokesperson for the bank. The only catch is they will have to wear a super 
hero costume - they will become Dollar Bill. With heroes making the news more 
and more they believe it will be the perfect marketing strategy, and they are 
right. So William becomes Dollar Bill and thus begins his acting career in a way 
he never imagined.  The story takes us through the rising success of the 
campaign and eventually his entry into the Minutemen. He explains to them he is 
not a real crime fighter, just an actor, but Dollar Bill is so well known they 
believe he will help raise the Minutemen's public profile so he is in. I won't 
bother to recap the rest. This is the story of a man who realizes his 
shortcomings and tries to overcome them. He has become a reluctant hero and 
through that experience learns some of the realities of life. This is a 
different kind of hero story. It has a beginning, middle and an end. Those have 
paid attention elsewhere know how the story ends for Dollar Bill. It is not so 
much about the ending, but the journey to get there. The script is very good in 
doing that and the art team handles the chores in fine fashion. It is no the 
most exciting title in the group but it is a satisfying story.


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 title from Malibu was purposely solicited for issues that would never be 
published to mask the true end of the run at issue #4?

The title was EXILES from Malibu and the plot from the beginning was to kill off 
all but one member, and thus end the title, with issue #4. The winner by the 
dice is Gregory Goding.

Here was your no prize question:
What was the first a cappella song to reach number one on the Billboard Hot 100 

"Don't Worry, Be Happy" is a song by musician Bobby McFerrin. Released in 
September 1988, it became the first a cappella song to reach number one on the 
Billboard Hot 100 chart.

Another Comic Book Character's first words.  Who said:
"But Hank, joining a counter demonstration isn't going to accomplish anything!  
All you're going to do is make trouble."

Here is your no prize question:
Among the major cities in the United States which is the windiest city?

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