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Friday, May 31, 2013

Comic Reviews 5/30/13


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: 1
Title Story: Riot Act
Publisher: DC
Writers: Art Baltazar and Franco
Artist: IG Guara
Inker: J.P. Mayer
Colors: Wil Quintana
Letters: Travis Lanham
Cover Artist: Amanda Conner with Paul Mounts
Price (USD): $2.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Super Hero

When DC starting promoting two NEW 52 titles some of the online sites framed
them as being based on the politics of the day. THE MOVEMENT featuring common
people with super powers taking control of things the government could not fix
as a metaphor for the 99% crowd.  And this title about the very rich is
therefore about the one-percenters. Well there is no doubt this is about super
rich kids as you can guess from the subtitle, "TEEN TRILLIONAIRES." Our
introduction to this class of people starts with Prince Mohammed Qahtanii. He is
the son of a very wealthy middle east noble. His father has always impressed on
him that his income must grow and his share price must increase. He has finally
decided to prove himself worthy to someday succeed his father but he will do it
his own way. So he is off on his own, with his chauffer-bodyguard, hoping to
make a deal with one of the world's richest teens, Commodore Murphy.  How rich
is he?  Well his nickname is "64" for the number of trillions he will get from
his trust fund when he turns 21. But he is not one of the idle rich. He makes
money faster than anyone funding big ideas and developing new technologies.
Mohammed's chance to meet Commodore is at one of his spontaneous events called
the POXPO or Pop-Up Expo. It is handled like a rave with participants given a
few days notice and then secretly sent the location. It is the chance for
exhibitors to showcase their ideas with the hope of funding. Mohammed is a bit
socially awkward but is befriended by Lucia Lynn "LL" Houston, from a very rich
oil family, and she helps him get acclimated. She is his entr‚e to Commodore
because her brother, J.P. Houston, is Commodore's best friend and partner. JP is
also a voice of reason as we learn that like most of the super rich there are
people that mean them harm. Commodore is playing with buying the right
technology to be super powered, like a teenage Iron Man idea. The other member
of 64's Green Team is his gal pal teen actress Cecilia Sunbeam. The basic plot
is Mohammed's father tried to buy Commodore's company and he turned it down. Now
Mohammed wants to give it a shot to prove himself. But what he learns Commodore
is not interested in the money selling the company will bring him because he
already has enough - a concept foreign to Mohammed's father. So most of the book
is introduction to all of these characters and what they are all about. While
Commodore is bonding with Mohammed, seeing a lot of his own past in his
situation, the whole party is about to be disrupted by an innocent mistake made
by the prince. Think of this issue as the first chapter in the origin of what
this group of teens will become. As I said there are bad people out there out to
get the rich, and not just to get rich themselves. When they show up it could
become a baptism of fire, or a premature end to it all. I like the characters as
they have developed so far. They are portrayed as good people with personalities
and the interaction is realistic. The art is pleasant in every aspect. While
this first arc deals with problems from an external threat that has to be dealt
with what the focus and direction will be down the road matters more to me. If
this is only going to be about self preservation of the super rich using high
tech I think it will get old quick.  Lets see what it is like a few issues down
the road.

Issue Number: 8 AU
Publisher: Marvel
Writers: Rick Remender & Gerry Duggan
Artist: Adam Kubert
Colors: Frank Martin
Letters: Cory Petit
Cover Artists: Cheung, Morales & Ponsor
Price (USD): $3.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Super Hero

This is the AGE OF ULTRON tie-in issue of UNCANNY AVENGERS. While other tie-ins
have mostly dealt with the initial part of the main event this one stays current
by dealing with the new status quo in the main book. You need to know, and will
find out if you don't know when you read the introduction, that in the main book
Wolverine tried to stop Ultron by traveling to the past and making sure he was
never created. The "present" is a much different world as the result of his
intervention and he cause many other side effects. While this story deals with
some of the members of this particular team of heroes as they find themselves in
this world changed for a second time it also involves the time-traveling
conqueror Kang working from the far future in 4145. He is on his own mission
using the abducted Apocalypse twins, Uriel and Eimin, children of the corrupted
X-Man Archangel, to mold the timestream to his own liking. Eimin is anxious to
please Kang and wants to go back in time to kill their enemies before they rise.
But Kang has a broader view what must be done and so he takes the twins back to
our present, in the Age of Ultron. He explains when Wolverine killed Hank Pym in
the past many things changed. The Avengers disbanded, the Vision was never
created, and Odin ceded the Earth to Morgana Le Fay after Thor was killed. He
gives them their mission. Colonel Steve Rogers must be killed in battle or he
will stand in the way of their future. That is the set up for the action to
come. From the other point of view we see Colonel America paying a visit to
Havock who along with his wife, Rogue, has taken refuge with the Morlocks after
stopping the mutant massacre. Steve wants to take Caliban back to stand trial
for murder that Havock and the others claim was self-defense. This is a courtesy
call to end things peacefully for the authorities above will send worse than a
friendly emissary if Steve goes back empty handed. Once all of this current
status has been established for the reader the twins make their move. There is
much confusion at first as to who is attacking and why but the Apocalypse twins
soon make it clear they will take no prisoners in fulfilling their mission. But
we also see that Eimin, may be dedicated in his belief to protect all mutants it
is an attitude that can be a weakness as well. The outcome may not be what is
expected when everything is done. Since it all takes place in this altered
timeline some of what happens may be erased at some point when the event is
over. For now the effects are devastating for all, including the twins. I do not
follow this title normally but this episode is pretty much a stand-alone story
that was interesting reading. Followers of the title may or may not get more out
of it.

Issue Number: 1
Title Story: Bite the Bullet
Publisher: IDW
Creator: Stephen Mooney
Price (USD): $3.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: WWII/Science Fiction

This war period adventure has an interesting mix of characters - an embittered
Irishman, a sexy British agent, a U.S. Marine Captain and a mysterious Japanese
operative. What brings this unlikely mix together?  That is the gist of the
first issue. It starts in the South Pacific in 1943 as Sergeant Tommy Flynn
leads his squad on a mission on one of many Japanese controlled islands. What
they find is a German encampment complete with planes and tanks. This is vital
information they need to get back to Command. Skirting around the Germans to
avoid contact they get way off their intended course and find something even
more astounding, dinosaurs. Now, just two months later, we find Flynn in a bar
in New York though it is not clear if he was discharged or went A.W.O.L. It is
here where the other three will seek him out. It is clear his recent experience
left him with no desire to get involved again with the war or even government
agents. What happened on that island has affected him greatly and has gotten the
attention of the allied command. Which brings us to the obvious question - why
are a British agent and a Marine working with a Japanese operative during WWII? 
The answer is left for another time.  What we have is a thrilling adventure that
has a historical setting but then mixes in the improbable likelihood of
dinosaurs. Are they part of the Nazi plot or just a coincidental presence? We
will have to wait and see where it all leads. I must commend Mr. Mooney for his
talent. He does it all in this comic and it all comes together nicely. His
artwork is very accomplished with all the elements pencil, ink and coloring all
coming together to advance the story visual in the proper compliment to the
dialogue. The script has the right feel to it as the characters in the various
situations are realistic and the subtle humor here and there adds to the
realism. I enjoyed this story so far and Mooney has left enough questions to
make me want more.

Issue Number: 1
Publisher: Image
Writer: Joe Casey
Artist: David Messina
Colors: Giovanna Niro
Letters: Rus Wooton
Price (USD): $2.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Super Hero
MATURE - Comics on the Edge

It is not often that you open a comic about a super hero to find the hero in his
civilian identity smoking dope in the very first panel. That is what his
roommate Terry finds as he walks in on a typical Wednesday, Jasper sitting on
the couch watching the news and getting high. But as Terry turns to take toke
himself Jasper has left abruptly. Clearly Terry does not know that Jasper is the
Bounce, a hero who can bounce around like a ball. He heard on the news that the
police chief and his family are being held hostage and sprang into action. But
it appears that his recreational diversion is about to mix with his heroics in
an unlikely way. Later while looking for the next new high he is finally
introduced to the person said to deliver the ultimate high. As it turns out that
person, going by the name of The Fog, is not selling some new street drug - he
is the drug. His power produces a mist that has an amazing effect when Jasper
inhales it. Messina and Niro try to convey the experience in a few panels, a
difficult thing to do in comics. But this is not just a high as a female voice
tells Jasper not to fear what he finds on the other side. Well the other side
just may be somewhere else, maybe not even in our dimension or time. In a sub
plot a government contractor is having a meeting with some military brass to
brief them on the progress of his work - something he refers to as the practical
application of extra-dimensional knowledge. The equipment he shows them looks
like something out of STAR GATE. Are these two things connected somehow?  We are
not sure at this point. This is obviously a different kind of heroic fiction.
Other than the fact that the Bounce did try to avert tragedy in the hostage
situation there is not much else to admire about him. Perhaps his drug habit
will lead him into something that will alter his whole perspective on his life.
That remains to be seen. It is an interesting concept and it is rendered nicely
though the flesh tones are a bit pale. It will take a while for things to really
start happening. It is probably worth it to stick around to see what happens.

Issue Number: 1
Publisher: Titan Comics
Writer: Izu
Artist: Patrick Pion
Layouts: Robin Recht
Colors: Digikore Studio
Cover Artists: Jean Bastide & Patrick Pion
Price (USD): $3.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Horror/Supernatural
MATURE - Comics on the Edge

The heart of the story begins a few pages in after some flash backs to the
experiences of Dante, one of the major characters. This story is built on a
world where demons are in the world secretly influencing humans, sapping their
vitality to their own ends. They come from the Limbo dimension or universe and
have elements in network TV, the police and global conglomerates. Their leader
is Mundus but humans know him as Kyle Ryder a corporate mogul and he is really a
king of the Demons. Their plan is going according to their timetable and it
won't be long until they sap all human energy. The lead character is Vergil. He
is one of two sons of the mating of a demon and an angel. Like the demons he has
the power to pass between worlds. He needs to find his way to the Hellfire
prison on the human world where his brother Dante is being held. Dante is the
key to human salvation. But Vergil will need help in finding the portal he can
use to access Hellfire.  For that he will need the right human accomplice and he
appears to have found her. Kat is a psychic that has been plagued by nightmares.
Unknown to her they are not nightmares. Her astral form has been leaving her
body and traveling to Limbo where she has witnessed the horrors of the demon
world. Vergil plans to have her imprisoned in Hellfire and then when her astral
form travels into limbo he will be able to follow her back. The only problem
with that is what happens to humans in Hellfire is not pleasant.  It took me a
while to grasp it all and understand the levels to this story. This type of
story is not something I normally get into and on the surface it is not overly
complex. The main problem I have with this comic is the lettering. I am used to
traditional sized lettering that almost all mainstream comics use. This comic
uses a much smaller size that requires closer reading and frankly looks odd
because the word balloons are so small. The result was a jarring effect and it
took away from the overall experience. So that is a downer and I cannot say I
would enjoy reading more issues but if you are a fan of this type of story check
it out and see what you think.


Issue Number: One-Shot
Publisher: Dark Horse
Writers: Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray
Artist: Tony Akins
Colors: Paul Mounts
Letters: Bill Tortolini
Price (USD): $2.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Science Fiction

This is another one of those comic stories previously presented in serial form
in the pages of DARK HORSE PRESENTS. Unlike most of those others it will not be
an ongoing comic for now. So if you already have those DHP issues there is
nothing new for you here. This is an adventure story that begins in 1958, as
some deep-sea explorers will make the first descent into the Challenger Deep, a
location at the southern end of the Mariana Trench. The crew of five is making
final preparations when an unfortunate accident sidelines Paul Barry with a
broken leg. Now he will have to monitor the attempt at a world record deep-sea
dive from the surface. The crew disappeared without a trace when some force
pulled them down to a depth beyond their intended goal. Now fifty-five years
later Paul has been taken back to that area because the ship has been found.
What is more miraculous is that the crew was in it and they have only aged one
day since they disappeared. They have a tale to tell about what happened after
they lost contact but cannot explain the lost 55 years. It will be something to
ponder another day as soon the rescue ship is attacked by giant cephalopod
unlike anything anyone has seen before. Could the return of the Sea Bastard
brought about this strange creature? What does it mean for the mankind?  This is
a decent action story with a bit of science fiction mixed in. It reminds me of
the Challengers of the Unknown in a way.  The art is slick and the pacing is
decent. I do hope the team picks up the story again because I would like to see
the next chapter.


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 do Miracle Dog and the killer of Izaya's wife have in common?

Steppenwolf was the name of the villain who killed Izaya's wife. Steppenwolf was
also the code word used to change Miracle Dog from a harmless mutt into Miracle
Dog and back again.

What comic book ran the original serialized origin of THE INHUMANS?

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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