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Friday, March 8, 2013

Comic Reviews 3/8/13

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: 0.1
Publisher: Marvel
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: Steve McNiven
Inker: John Dell
Colors: Justin Ponsor
Letters: Cory Petit
Price (USD): $3.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Super Hero

In case you are unaware there is a GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY movie coming out.
There have been previous iterations of the group starting with the classic team
first appearing in MARVEL SUPER HEROES #18 in 1969 in a story by Arnold Drake
and Gene Colan through the most recent version by Abnett, Lanning and Pelletier.
Characters from that version are in the movie and this new comic as well as a
new member - Iron Man! But first Bendis wanted to explore the story of Peter
Quill, the boy who would become Starlord, so this point-one issue is his origin
story. The story begins thirty years ago, before Peter was born. One evening the
current holder of the Starlord title crashed to Earth and was found and nursed
to health by a single girl called Meredith Quill living in a remote area.  The
story explores how they came to be friends and eventually lovers as he worked on
repairs to his ship. He is J'son of Spartax and the ruler there. His planet is
involved in a terrible war and he must return to fight and lead his people.
Inexplicably he leaves his weapon, one made especially for him alone, as a token
of his love for Meredith. We watch as ten years later her son from their union
is still bitter about never having a father, unaware of who or what he was. That
will change when the Badoon arrive to wipe out the Spartax royal bloodline. The
events that occur will shape his future for years to come, leading to the point
when he became Starlord himself.  To bridge this issue into the series the last
page reveals he has been telling his story to his teammates and their newest
addition. Their mission will be to protect Earth from the Badoon and any other
alien threat. I liked this story. As far as origin stories go it does not
actually show what happened to Peter between the aftermath of the attack until
the present when he is twenty years old and leading the Guardians. That story is
left for another day. For now this story tells the motivating circumstances that
changed his life at such an early age and set him on the path he is now on. The
art is spectacular and the dialogue is what you would expect from Brian Bendis.
I am impressed with the start and look forward to see where it goes from here.

Issue Number: 17
Title Story: The Way Home
Title Arc: Guerrilla Warfare
Publisher: DC
Writers: Francis Manapul & Brian Buccellato
Artist: Francis Manapul
Colors: Brian Buccellato
Letters: Carlos Mangual
Price (USD): $2.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Super Hero

I have been revisiting some of the New 52 I have not been reading all the time
and this week I decided to see what is happening in THE FLASH. It turns out this
is the final episode in a five-part arc involving Gorilla Grodd. There is no
recap at the start so we have to jump right into the final showdown between
Grodd and Flash. Along with a few civilians they are in the Speed Force dukeing
it out. Meanwhile Central City is encircled by some kind of force field keeping
out military forces. Inside at the arena a bunch of Grodd's apes are fighting
off the police and members of the Rogues. The civilians are being mind-
controlled by Grodd through the use of amplifying towers and the good guys know
they have to knock those towers out. And to mix things up Mirror Master is
looking on from Mirror World adding his aid as best he can. All the conflicts
are resolved, The Rogues are about to get a shake up and someone in Elias
Laboratories is shown to further a future plot. Speaking of future plots, the
last page reveals the return (into the New 52 continuity) of a famous Flash foe.
The story is good enough for what it is and it is hard to judge an entire arc
from just one part of it. Some of it is a mystery if you have not been following
along and the action is typical for this comic. On the down side I am not a fan
of Manapul's art at all. While the layouts are dynamic the actual line work is
not appealing to me. I don't just mean Barry's new look with small lines of
lightning flashing around him, it is just not consistent from panel to panel.
Some times the faces look rushed and other times there is good definition.  The
most interesting thing for me was Barry's non-involvement with Iris and the
obvious closer relation with a female cop he works with. So I would give this
one a low grade. Reading several issues at once could prove me wrong but I think
I will pass for now.

Issue Number: 1 (OF 5)
Publisher: Image
Creator: Jimmie Robinson
Colors: Paul Little
Price (USD): $3.50
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Action/Adventure

If you are Tyler Shainline, son of the most notorious hitman in the business
where do you go to school to carry on the family tradition?  The answer it seems
is the School of Five Weapons. Here they combine traditional education with
personal instruction in weapons. Tyler is starting his first day and soon learns
that each student must join a club, one of five, to master their choice of
weapons. They include guns, knives, the staff, archery and exotic weapons like
poison, garrote, blow darts, snake charming and some Ninja arts. Each club has a
teacher and a student class rep. Tyler first meets Jade the Blade of the Knife
club who is tasked with giving him the tour. They look in on her club first
being run by Mr. Sensei and then in order the Staff Club run by Mr. Log with the
rep Rick the Stick, Archery Club run by Ms. Featherwind and her rep Darryl the
Arrow, the Exotic Weapons Club is empty of students with only the teacher Ms.
L'Harma standing alone in a field, and the Gun Club essentially being run by the
rep Nat the Gat as the teacher Old John Boy is taking a nap. Tyler is not eager
to join any of the clubs, and would probably not want to join any if it was up
to him. That is the setting as the story begins. Later he meets the rep for the
Exotic Weapons club, Joon the Loon, rounding out the introductions. At first
look this seems like the whole school is loony. The class reps all have
exaggerated personalities and the teachers are peculiar in their own right. The
principal isn't much better as Tyler makes some frank observations about her to
the school nurse as he hatches a plot to chart his own course at the school. We
even find out that the reason he is here is not entirely to learn a deadly skill
when we look back two days as parents in their home are making the decision that
will change the entire family. Tyler is initially treated with kid gloves at the
school due to the notoriety of his father but it won't take him long to
antagonize both students and teachers alike from what we see in this first
chapter. This is a fun book with bits of humor throughout both in the dialogue
and the visuals. There is some mystery surrounding the school and there could be
outside threats later in the story. Tyler is instantly likeable since he is
apparently the only person that is near normal around the place. Robinson is
very accomplished in both writing and artwork so the whole package is
interesting.  This is something a little different from the norm and I recommend
you give it a try.

Issue Number: 2
Title Story: Strong Temptations - Strategic Movements - the Innocents Beguiled
Publisher: Marvel
Writer: Cullen Bunn
Artist: Matteo Lolli
Inker: Sean Parsons
Colors: Veronica Gandini
Letters: Joe Sabino
Cover Artist: Mike Del Mundo
Price (USD): $2.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Super Anti-Hero

I finally gave in to seeing what this Deadpool series was about. From the first
two covers I only guessed it would be a retelling of classic stories of
literature with Deadpool somehow mixed in. When I began reading this second
chapter I found it was more than that. It seems as though Deadpool has gained
access to the dimensional pocket worlds of the characters of fiction. He is on a
mission to kill those inspirational characters we all know because it is the
right thing to do, in his mind. He already knocked off Don Quixote and Moby Dick
and is about to do in Captain Ahab as the story resumes. As he slashes apart the
crew and is about to get Ahab when the Nautilus shows up and he scoots off to
more adventures. Each one is different and amusing, in a sick kind of way. In
this issue he confronts Tom Sawyer, Dracula, the Headless Horseman of Sleepy
Hollow and even Little Women. Is there no one to stop this madness? Of course
there is. In the opening scene we learn the reality of his situation. He was
sent into the world of fiction, the Ideaverse, and those who sent him
perpetuated the myth he is pursuing. But they realize the error they have made
and its drastic consequences and so are recruiting other classic characters of
fiction that might have a chance at stopping Deadpool. The leader will be a
certain well-known British detective from the 1890's and he will assemble his
own League of Extraordinary Gentlemen to oppose this unstoppable assassin. I'll
leave it to you see who these characters are. The art team does a very good job
on this script which calls for a lot of changes almost every other page. I
realize Deadpool is a unique character that may not appeal to many readers but I
find these stories a nice diversion combining both gratuitous blood fests with
wacky humor.

Issue Number: 1
Publisher: IDW
Creator: Dave Stevens
Writer: Roger Langridge
Artist: J Bone
Colors: Jordie Bellaire
Letters: Tom B. Long
Price (USD): $3.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Action/Adventure

IDW has been putting out new series featuring The Rocketeer. This latest mini-
series involves his girlfriend Betty yearning to share in his adventures. When
Cliff shuts down that idea she gives him the cold shoulder. That sets up her
state of mind for a decision later on. She gets a phone call from her roommate,
Dahlia, who is in a panic. Betty becomes concerned when the call is cut off.
Dahlia is a newspaper reporter on the lead to a big scoop involving a missing
scientist and an inspirational speaker going by the name of Otto Rune. Well,
after Cliff's rebuff Betty decides to do some sleuthing of her own. The other
plot follows Cliff during the same day. Some of his day is on the lighter side.
As he rushes to be on time for his date with Betty he runs into one delay after
the other, and these situations add a touch of humor to the plot. He also is
plagued by a couple of thugs who want the jet pack. I always enjoy these
stories. They are set in a time when the country was on the brink of war;
coincidently super hero comics were just starting to make a splash. The whole
cast of regular characters are likable and the plots provide action and
adventure usually involving criminals and/or spies. This one, as the title
suggests, involves something more that may or may not be a real monster. Then
there is Betty, designed after pop icon Batty Page. She is a bright part of the
cast and adds some class and sexiness to the mix. But most of the time she also
gets in too deep, becoming a damsel in distress. The art in this particular
series is well done. It is not done to mimic Steven's art but it has an appeal
all its own. IDW does justice to the legacy of this character and his friends.

Issue Number: 3
Publisher: YOE Comics/IDW
Cover Artist: Tony Mortellaro
Price (USD): $3.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Classic Horror Comics

This series features stories reprinted from the horror comics of the 1950s -
to those days on occasion. Even I am too young to have read these first time
around (hard to believe, right?) but I still appreciate their place in comic
history. There is a good mix of stories in this volume. In "Hangman's Horror"
the corrupt politicians running an English hamlet frame a political rival for
murder. As he is about to be hanged he swears to return to avenge his death. As
you might guess his ghost indeed returns. The charm of this story is how he
accomplishes this with each of the rivals. "The Thing In the Pool" is about an
overbearing boss who is outraged that his secretary is leaving to get married.
He comes up with a plan to exact revenge on the couple involving a house he
constructed over a pool with a prehistoric monster lurking in its depths. In
"The Eyes In His Hand" a young boy is good marble player but becomes even better
when he accidentally acquires a glass eye from the evil man trying to force the
boy's mom to marry him. Like all these stories there is a good twist at the end.
"The Haunt From the Sea" is about a young lady who is shipwrecked when her
sailboat runs aground on a seemingly deserted island. It turns out she is not
alone and soon she is being held by a lagoon creature who has amorous feelings
for her. This is one of those tragic stories with a ray of hope just before the
end. Probably one of my favorites is the last story called "One Man's Poison"
attributed to Ross Andru. It is about an elderly couple who live far from town
and are secretly vampires. They have survived near the town without bothering
the locals by feeding off of the occasional traveling salesman that came by. But
when none show for a long time they cannot help themselves and so the ice
deliveryman becomes their victim. This is a big mistake as it arouses the
suspicion of the local sheriff who comes up with a plan to fix the situation.
Some of the reproductions are a bit grainy but the essence of the stories still
comes through.


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:
First words of a character - who uttered this line in their comic book debut?
"A card trick. How positively dreary."

The person who said this was: Giselle from the Crossgen's premier title, Mystic
#1 in the original CrossGen series. No winner this time.

Here was your no prize question:
According to Guinness what is the record number of children born by one woman?

The greatest number of children born to one woman is 69. The 'lucky' lady was a
Russian peasant who gave birth to 16 pairs of twins, seven sets of triplets and
four sets of quadruplets between 1725 and 1765.

A more recent quote, "Wow. That ain't nice at all. I think an apology of some
sort is due." Who uttered those words as his first dialogue in a comic book?

Here is your no prize question:
What was the first major Oscar contest to end in an exact tie?

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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