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Friday, July 26, 2013

Comic Reviews 7/26/13


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: 259
Title Story: Part 3 of 6
Title Arc: The End of X-Factor
Publisher: Marvel
Writer: Peter David
Artist: Carmen Carnero
Inker: Jay Leisten
Colors: Matt Milla
Letters: Cory Petit
Cover Artist: David Yardin
Price (USD): $2.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Super Hero

This title is winding down to its finale. You may recall me mentioning my
preference for this comic over the other mutant titles. That is mainly due to
the writing of Peter David. Now that the tile is ending he is giving us a story
that still has relevance to the characters and their future. This is the third
part of the arc and features only Longshot, Rictor and Shatterstar. Prior to
this issue X-Factor was battling Mephisto when he apparently blasted Rictor and
Shatterstar out of existence. Well, that is really not Mephisto's style. He
actually sent them back in time to the Mojoverse where we catch up with Rictor
who has been forced to fight in the arena day after day for the amusement of
Mojo's audience. Of course with his powers he could easily break out but he has
no idea where to go if he did. So he bides his time and avoids killing anyone
waiting for the day the rebels will attack. Instead the day comes when his
latest opponent in the arena is Shatterstar without the memories of being
Rictor's teammate and lover. Fortunately Longshot and the rebels do show up
before the two can hurt each other. Unfortunately the time they are in happens
long before Longshot met them, or was even called Longshot. This story is set up
to reveal some major secrets never before revealed. Rictor is the vehicle for
the reader to find out the origin of Longshot, who he really is and what his
relationship is to Shatterstar. You might think you can guess but it is a bit
complicated. After another jump in time Rictor and Shatterstar meet Dazzler long
after she had met and married Longshot and she is about to give birth to. but
that would be telling.  This is a great story for long time fans of X-Factor as
well as very long time readers of the X-Men going way back to the debut of
Longshot. If Peter has this kind of relevance planned for the rest of the team
before the series ends it is going to be a terrific finish. The other part of
the appeal of X-Factor has been the artists Marvel has had working on it.
Carnero is the latest to do justice to the stories and characters in this long
running series. He handles the duties with his own style that is very appealing.
You don't have to worry about jumping into the story with this issue, as it is
really self-contained. I urge you to check it out.

Title: BATMAN '66
Issue Number: 1
Title Story: The Riddler's Ruse
Publisher: DC
Creator: Bob Kane
Writer: Jeff Parker
Artist: Jonathan Case
Colors: Jonathan Case
Letters: Wes Abbott
Cover Artist: Michael and Laura Allred
Price (USD): $3.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE

This series features all new stories based on the classic TV show from the
sixties. In order to accomplish this the art is purposely done in an older
style. Case does a good job capturing the essence of the actors playing the
various characters so I have no issue with the pencil and ink work. However the
coloring is flawed. In an attempt to provide broad swaths of areas in a
pixilated old-school style the effort is flawed. Perhaps it is in the production
phase but a lot of the colors bleed over where they shouldn't, as do the dots
and checkered patterns. It is distraction and I think the comic would be more
enjoyable with current methods. The story itself is a good one. It features the
Riddler attempting to steal certain artifacts the first of which is the Lady
Gotham statuette being presented to Commissioner Gordon in an open-air ceremony.
As the event is in full swing Riddler swoops down in a biplane and hooks the
statuette with his famous cane. Luckily Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson are
attending and it is not long before the dynamic duo appears. With a liberal
suspension of disbelief they launch the Batmobile off a ramp given them enough
height for Robin to hook the tail of the plane with a batarang rope so Batman
can pull himself up to fight the Riddler. This provides a lot of action and of
course what at first seems like a disaster turns out to be a pre-planned escape.
Naturally Riddler leaves a riddle behind for the caped crusader to solve. There
are two more artifacts that are connected in a unique way. One of them is a
statuette of a cat and you can guess who is also interested in that one. Like
the TV show Batman and Robin eventually solve the riddles and foil the plot. In
one particular scene we have a sequence that borrows from the TV show. Batman
and Robin are scaling a building and from one of the windows a "special guest"
engages them in conversation. I think the script and layout does justice in
emulating the old show however the production values are off and need to be
polished up for future issues. So this is a qualified yes for this comic.

Issue Number: 18
Title Story: Batgirl Beyond
Publisher: DC
Writer: Scott Peterson
Artist: Annie Wu
Colors: Andrew Elder
Letters: Saida Temofonte
Cover Artist: Annie Wu
Price (USD): $3.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Super Hero - TV Animation Adaptation

This latest comic based on the BATMAN BEYOND TV cartoon is up to #18. When I saw
the cover I decided to see how it is coming along. As far as I know this is the
first appearance of Batgirl Beyond in this universe. Barbara Gordon is the
Commissioner and has been investigating continued trouble in the Crown Point
section of Neo-Gotham. Continued trouble has escalated into a near full scale
riot. Something is not right. At one point she is caught outnumbered and is
about to take a bad beating when a new hero appears to even the odds. Back to
back Barbara and the Batgirl face off a dozen or so thugs. The conversation
afterward gives Barbara some clues that this is no ordinary gang war. Batgirl
reveals even old ladies and kids have gone nuts with rage lately. Something or
someone is affecting their behavior and it is up to Barbara to figure out who
and why. Though they don't really team up the plot moves in such a way so that
this is not their final meeting. Barbara can't condone Batgirl's methods but
finds them useful in cracking the case. The story ends with an alliance of sorts
and the final scene Barbara proves she is still a master detective. I really
enjoyed this story. It is as much fun to see two generations of the Batgirl
working together as it is with the old and new Batman in the Beyond Universe.
The older, wiser Barbara Gordon is tough but fair and still packs a punch. The
new Batgirl is fighting for what is right and like Terry is well trained for the
task at hand. The art is top notch making this a great addition to the Beyond

Back up story - "Undercloud: Extended Family
Written by Adam Beechen with art by Adam Archer and Andrew Elder
This Batman Beyond story features guest heroes the Metal Men. These are the
original characters. This is evidently a continuation of an ongoing plot where
Bruce, Terry and Terry's girlfriend Maxine are working to break a hacker network
known as Undercloud. As we join the action Maxine is hanging from a flying car
with the secret leader of the group passed out at the controls. The Metal Men
have been involved in the action and are there to rescue her as well as provide
protection to innocents, as a huge tower is about to collapse. This is the wrap
up of the arc so the whys and wherefores are in previous issues. What is cool
about this story is the revelation of why the Metal Men have appeared after a
long absence from the public eye. Bruce has a proposal for them as to how they
can put their talent and ability to good use. I am a fan of the Metal Men in
their original incarnation and this story does a good job in bringing them
forward in time.

Title: DAY MEN
Issue Number: 1
Publisher: Boom! Studios
Creator: Matt Gagnon
Writers: Matt Gagnon & Michael Alan Nelson
Artist: Brian Stelfreeze
Colors: Darrin Moore
Letters: Ed "The Duke" Dukeshire
Price (USD): $3.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Horror
MATURE - Comics on the Edge

"Day Men" is a term to describe human employees of the vampire families that
operate during the daylight hours. Most of the vampires are hundreds of years
old and are very wealthy. They can afford to have special operatives to do tasks
either beneath them, or hazardous because of their need to avoid sunlight. They
do things like, collect fees bargained for, pay off the local cops with bribes,
clean up "feeding" accidents, keep undesirable elements away from safe houses
that otherwise look abandoned and look after human play things the vampires take
from time to time without turning actually turning them into vampires. David
Reid is a Day Man for the Virgo family. His counterpart is Casey Kennedy. She
works the night shift at the Virgo estate. She essentially fills in the family
on what has been going on and gets instructions for David for the following day.
They meet each morning as she is ending her shift and he is just beginning his.
The latest task he is assigned will be the beginning of the major plot moving
forward. A wayward Virgo by the name of Nybor has spent the night at a vampire
pleasure den in what is considered neutral territory. The various vampire
families have an uneasy truce to not interfere or interact with each other. The
Dark Room is a dive that anyone can go for clandestine relationships. It seems
Nybor did not come back from his visit there and David has to retrieve him. What
he finds in Nybor's room could lead to serious problems for the family. A member
of the Ramses family is also there but she won't be coming home again. Unable to
get Nybor safely back to the mansion before sunrise David brings him to a safe
house in the trunk of his car to await sunset. But a Day Man for the Ramses saw
him at the Dark Room and it won't be long before the truth is known and
reprisals begin. I am not a big fan of vampire stories in general but this is a
different point of view about the genre that is intriguing. While David and his
like are "only" human they have skills and abilities to survive in some
unpleasant situations. David proves this in more than one situation though we
know that all Day Men eventually must move on, or get killed due to occupational
hazards. The major plot is just beginning and David's job is about to get a lot
harder. If there is a vampire war it will not just be vampire versus vampire but
also Day Men versus vampires and other Day Men. The art is superb showing off
Stelfreeze's ability to handle all types of characters, settings and lighting
moods. Boom has a winner with this series and I am anxious to see where it

Issue Number: 1
Title Arc: The Purloined Leader
Publisher: Oni Press
Writer: Chris Roberson
Artist: Scott Kowalchuk
Colors: Dan Jackson
Letters: Ed Brisson
Cover Artist: Mike & Laura Allred
Price (USD): $3.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Super Hero

The story is set sometime in the sixties. This covert group of operatives work
behind the scenes to thwart powerful people the public is unaware about. The
Strangers are Verity Mills who has super speed and more, Michael Kono who has
electrical powers and their strong man is Sandoval. The leader is Absalom Quince
who is in a wheelchair. (Hmm.) The opening scene gives us a brief conflict with
Miss Styx and her beauty queen cultists who had planned to cast a spell over
live TV. It introduces the group and gives us a sample of their power. The main
plot involves a small island country in the Caribbean called Hidalgo. The
democratically elected president has forged strong ties with the US. But
suddenly he cut off all ties, banned US ships and declared martial law. Quince
is suspicious of this and close examination of television footage reveals the
presence of known operatives of the evil organization known as O.C.C.U.L.T. He
does not know what they hope to gain on this otherwise insignificant country but
it can't be good. So the team will go in undercover. Verity will pose as a
flight attendant on a French airline and Michael will be a rep for the power
generator manufacturer to the island on the same flight. Sandoval will slip in
on a fishing boat. When they arrive they find that the locals are being used as
manual labor in a mine but what they are searching for is unknown. Sandoval will
try to see what is up down there while Verity will slip into the palace with
Michael's help.  Let us say everything doesn't go as planned. This is not a bad
story though you might think it is just another black ops story of people with
powers. No explanation is given on the background of O.C.C.U.L.T. or what the
acronym stands for, but they are definitely up to no good. This assignment won't
be a pushover for the Strangers. The art is a unique style that mimics Allred
slightly. Oni is doing something unusual by releasing both issue #1 AND #2 at
the same time. I suggest you try the first issue before buying the second.

Issue Number: 1
Publisher: Dark Horse
Writers: Mike Gagerman & Andrew Waller
Story: Etan Cohen
Artist: Evan Shaner
Colors: Dan Jackson
Letters: Nate Piekos
Cover Artist: Juan Doe
Price (USD): $3.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Horror
MATURE - Comics on the Edge

Sometimes the cover of a comic is not entirely reflective of the story or
characters within. In this case the two lead characters of the comic, Nick and
Tree, are depicted with evil stares and fangs bared. Yes they are vampires but
their disposition is far from the classic take on vampires. They are buddies who
work as bounty hunters. This provides them with enough money to buy black market
blood so they don't have to resort to preying on the living. Now they are very
old and should have amassed a fortune by now but as we see in several flashbacks
they guys are fun loving but not too smart when it comes to controlling their
finances. In fact the flash backs are frequent in this comic. They are usually
just one panel to illustrate some dumb things they have done or silly plans they
made. It spices up the story with a little humor. So the guys make it through
the days doing what they do to earn cash. The latest argument among them is the
fact that Rick has a girl friend and the guys have a pact not to stay involved
for any length of time. The main plot is about a more ruthless vampire who plans
to resurrect one of the most powerful vampires of all times, Quadilla, who had
the power to mind control other vampires. First he acquires Quadilla's ashes and
brings them to Vegas where the proper human host is anxiously awaiting to become
the new incarnation of the vampire before he himself dies of cancer. But there
is one more thing they need to carry out the ceremony during the equinox. The
human first has to be bitten by a descendent of Quadilla. That explains the
cover and why the nasty looking goons are trying to capture our two happy go
lucky vampires. Rick has the right bloodline. This is a fair enough plot and the
writers manage to fill in most of the details while providing an entertaining
subplot that builds the characterization of the main players. I like that the
comic has a lighter tone even though the bad guys are quite serious about what
they are trying to do. Think of this as a buddy comic set in Las Vegas in which
the likable antagonists get into lots of trouble but always manage to prevail.
It is worth checking out. 


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:

Which main DC character said this in a #1 issue?
"Quiet or papa spank!"
Batman said that in BATMAN #1. No winner this week.

Here was your no prize question:
Who was Zelda of "The Legend of Zelda" named after?

Zelda was named after the wife of F. Scott Fitzgerald.

In legal terms, what is unique about the term "Super-Heroes"?

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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