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Friday, October 4, 2013

Comic Reviews 10-4-13


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: The Heist
Publisher: Marvel
Writer: Frank Tieri
Artist: Al Barrionuevo
Colors: Chris Sotomayor
Letters: Joe Caramagna
Cover Artist: Ale Garza & Andres Mossa
Price (USD): $3.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Super Hero

This is one of those tie-in mini-series to the INFINITY event. This one is
rather interesting because it deals with certain criminals as the Avengers leave
the planet. It starts from the point of view of two in particular – Blizzard and
Whirlwind. They watch as the Avengers leave the city and begin their plan to rob
the Wakandan National Bank in New York.  With their powers of cold and wind the
regular armored guards are no problem for them and soon they access the vault
hoping to grab a fortune in gold and diamonds. Imagine their surprise to find
Spymaster sitting in the now-empty vault. He was two steps ahead of everyone
else and is only here to offer the two low level super villains a job that will
be much more lucrative. It seems Spymaster is also aware that with the Avengers
off-planet there is an opportunity to pull off the heist of the century and he
is putting together a team to get it done. The people he is choosing to be in
his group will meet at The Black Market. This is a very secret night club that
only invited bad guys get entrance to. The only rules inside are no costumes, no
powers and no killing. Tieri spends a lot of time in this first chapter showing
the place, explaining what goes on and has Bliz and Whirl in their civilian garb
interacting with a couple of patrons for a while. The first is a not so friendly
run in with Constrictor with whom they trade barbs over who is less significant
a criminal. The other is with Firebrand, whom Whirlwind had a fling with and she
is still mad about being dumped. Eventually we get around to the meeting and
find out who else will be involved. The target of the heist is certainly a bold
one, but one of the players may not even make it out of the first meeting. This
is more of a story about what should be a logical assumption.  When the most
powerful heroes leave town the criminals would take chances they normally would
not. Spymaster makes a good ringleader and Blizzard and Whirlwind are given
enough characterization to make them interesting. Going forward you wonder if
this group will work well together but you feel at least these two will watch
out for each other. The art is pretty decent as well. I am not sure that this
title deserves to be $3.99 just because it has INFINITY in front of the name.
The plot does not have any effect on the main story, at least not yet anyway.
Still it is a fun book worth checking out.

Issue Number: 23.4 (Joker’s Daughter)
Title Story: The Meat and the Marrow
Publisher: DC
Writer: Ann Nocenti
Artist: Georges Jeanty
Inker: Dexter Vines
Colors: Michelle Madsen
Letters: Dezi Sienty
Cover Artist: Jason Fabok with Nathan Fairbairn
Price (USD): $2.99/$3.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Super Hero

There has been a lot of anticipation about the character featured in this entry
into the Villain Month title takeovers. Joker’s Daughter recently showed up in
BATGIRL #13, which sold out quickly and is fetching premium prices on eBay. I
missed that story so I decided to see if this story would fill me in on this new
character. Like several other Villain Month stories this one follows the
character in the present and it also tells her origin in flashbacks. Right up
front I will tell you that Duela is not really the Joker’s daughter. As we see
in her memories of early childhood she was a rather strange child with a very
dark side who made a mobile out of knives, trapped a spider in light bulb and
even hanged her pet bird. Clearly this disturbed her parents, her father mostly.
This lead to more rebellious actions and more verbal abuse from her father until
she ran away rather than let her parents send her away. Now she has decided to
find a place in the Gotham underworld, literally. The Nethers was a portion of
Gotham that was flooded to create the Gotham reservoir. Former residents, and
others seeking escape from life above ground now live in areas that are caves,
often accessible only from underneath through the flooded tunnels. This is at
least a thorough look at key points of Duela. She travels with a pet cat and as
she makes her way through the maze of tunnels and waterways she comes across two
things that will shape her persona. One is a piece of metal shaped like a
crescent that she attaches to a pole. This will become very significant later
on. The other thing she finds in the waters is the Joker’s face. If you don’t
know, earlier in the New 52 Joker’s skin was removed from his face. How that bit
of skin ended up in these waters is a mystery to me but Duela decides this is
what she needs to complete her new look – and she has reasons for hiding her
face. Most of the issue involves her finally meeting other people who live in
the Nethers. She learns that it is a very patriarchal society bordering on
caveman culture with the women hardly more than slaves to their mates. Duela
sees all this and makes it her calling to set things right, in her mind. She
will challenge the leader of the group and strangely enough the Joker mask will
factor into her ability to persuade others to her point of view. I’ll leave it
to you to find out why the crescent figures prominently in her plans. I had a
mixed reaction to this story. The background story is well plotted and Ann
Nocenti uses the device of her telling it one way but the actual events as shown
in the flashback were not as rosy as she says. Still, I think it is a stretch
for a girl, she is not a woman, of her size to be able to accomplish certain
things as called for in the plot. This character will be a part of the Batman
cannon now and will appear again in BATGIRL. Maybe that story will shed some
light on what I am not getting. I can’t fault the art at all, it is very good.
This is a real creepy and sad character and maybe that is what fans of Batman
villains like. Your thoughts may differ.

Issue Number: 1
Publisher: Image
Writer: Kurtis J. Wiebe
Artist: Roc Upchurch
Letters: Ed Brisson
Price (USD): $3.50
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Fantasy
Mature – Comics on the Edge

This story is set in a fantasy realm with elves, dwarves, and other relatively
peaceful species along with goblins, ogres and the usual foul mythical
creatures. The town of Palisade is a place where the different “good” races live
in relative peaceful coexistence.  But like any other population there are
troublesome elements. One in particular are the title characters of the book,
the Rat Queens. Betty, Hanna, Dee and Violet are a rowdy bunch that often get
into bar fights, the latest of which have landed them in the local jail. The
town has had enough of this behavior so the mayor has hit on a scheme to stop
them and other rowdy “gangs” once and for all. The five groups currently in
custody are told they must each perform a task. If they fail they are banished
from the town forever. Peaches have to sack a bandit camp on the outskirts, the
Four Daves have to deal with the restless dead in the cemetery. The Brother
Ponies have to slay the one-armed ogre and the Obsidian Darkness must clean the
toilets at the Winding Pass Barracks. The Rat Queens are assigned the job of
getting rid of the goblins in Hindman Cave. That is the set up but most of the
story is about the Rat Queens. Fortunately, in my opinion, there is a fair
amount of humor among these ladies that makes the story more interesting. Most
of it supplied by the diminutive Betty who is a smidgen, sort of a hafling with
pointed ears that stick out horizontally. Hannah appears to be an elf with
magical training, while Dee and Violet are humans. The banter between the group
members is the highlight of the story. But there is also a serious side to the
story. For some reason a mysterious figure in black is out to get our girls and
has already attacked the Obsidian Darkness. The why and the wherefores are not
revealed adding to the anticipation of a larger plot to follow. The artwork is
pretty appealing. Roc has a talent with facial expressions that help add depth
to the characters. It is not an outstanding product but it is better than
average and very entertaining.

Issue Number: 1
Title Story: Suzie Down in the Quiet
Publisher: Image
Writer: Matt Fraction
Artist: Chip Zdarsky
Color Flatting: Becka Kinzie
Price (USD): $3.50
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Science Fiction
MATURE – Sex and Nudity

I got a kick out of the back cover, which states boldly, “FOR MATURE READERS
Having read some of the pre-press for this comic I was intrigued by the premise.
Suzie learned at a young age that when she had sex, specifically when she had an orgasm,
that time would stop around her. She discovered this accidentally while in the bathtub,
trying to escape the wailings of her drunken mother, still grieving the untimely
death of her husband. As time went on in her teen years she tried to discover if
this was something everyone experienced and like other teens began exploring her
own sexuality. This is the most interesting part of the story. Fraction is
showing us his versatility by getting away from the normal super hero stuff he
is noted for. He challenges Chip Zdarsky with a script that jumps from different
times in Suzie’s life, has her adult character in some of those scenes breaking
the third wall and even has a scene where Suzie is getting sex education in the
girl’s room from a classmate who draws crude stick figures of various sexual
positions. Zdarsky does a bang up job (pardon the pun) through it all with well
thought out layouts and great pencil and ink work. The main story is about the
present as Suzie runs into a boy and discovers for the first time that she is
not the only one with her unique ability. What they will do with that discovery
is hinted at by the title of the comic. This is definitely for mature readers
but I found the nudity and sex essential to the story and appropriate without
trying to be titillating. I am interested to see where Fraction will take this
comic now that the basic premise is dealt with and the main characters are
established. If you are not offended by the visual content you might want to
check it out.

Issue Number: 1
Based on a film treatment by Digger T. Mesch
Publisher: IDW
Creators: Joshua Ortega & Digger T. Mesch
Writer: Joshua Ortega
Artist: Qing Ping Mui
Colors: Blond
Letters: Tom B. Long
Price (USD): $3.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Horror
Mature – Comics on the Edge

It was only a matter of time before someone would come up with another twist on
zombies. It probably has already been done but I am not aware of it. The “Other”
referred to in the title are animals. In this story it is the animals who are
turning into zombies after they are killed. Like many zombie stories the
infestation begins in one area or a few areas and then spreads. This plot begins
with two separate incidents of zombie animals. The opening scene is actually not
the first one but it is the one that gets national attention. A three man
hunting party in Texas celebrates bagging a deer. The older man who took the
shot is a famous politician whom you will figure out if you catch a small clue
in the dialogue. Later in the issue word reaches the president about the deaths
of the hunters and another infestation in Louisiana. It is the situation in
Kenner Louisiana that is the focus of most of this issue. The action centers
around a small family and their activities leading up to the zombie duck attack
– yes that’s right, ducks! There are several pages in the small farm house
showing a pre-teen Tommy, who has been so sick he can’t keep down his food.
Whether that has any bearing on the infestation remains to be seen. Meanwhile
his older brother Az has been out until early in the morning with his band
mates. He told his girlfriend they would be practicing a new direction for the
band but in reality we see that they went to a local duck farm to slaughter the
birds for their blood. It appears this is a part of some voodoo ritual they plan
to carry out. But what will happen when the ducks rise from the dead and attack.
I mean, how bad can it be since ducks have no teeth? The best part of this comic
is the art. It is finely detailed with good perspective and layouts. The colors
by Blond are spectacular. I can’t give as much praise for the plot. We have the
drama going on with Az and his friends, Tommy’s illness is strongly emphasized
along with mention of a special necklace he owns that belonged to his
grandmother, there are other scenes showing Az’s girlfriend at work as a
stripper. Each one of these seem over long as far as advancing the plot. The
only likeable character is Tommy. It is hard to see how a major story will come
out of this. I would be hesitant to get the second issue because the first did
not give me enough to care about. Maybe I am missing something. See if you

Issue Number: 36
Title Story: Part 5
Title Arc: Battle of the Atom
Publisher: Marvel
Writer: Jason Aaron
Artist: Giuseppe Camuncoli
Inker: Andrew Currie
Colors: Matt Milla with Edgar Delgado
Letters: Clayton Cowles
Cover Artist: Arthur Adams & Peter Steigerwald
Price (USD): $3.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Super Hero

This is another one of the titles involved in this X-Men crossover event that I
do not normally read. I found that I am now wanting to stay with the whole story
so as not to miss key elements along the way. If you haven’t been keeping up and
don’t want to know major plot points of this issue then turn away now. It is
just too complex to explain without giving out some details. So we have the
problem created by the original X-Men coming forward to the present at the
request of the current day Beast hoping to prevent the problems facing all the
mutants today by giving the younger X-Men knowledge of their future. Maybe they
can help bring the fractured mutant groups closer together. The faction lead by
Scott Summers (Uncanny X-Men) are sought out by the authorities as they try to
recruit emerging mutants before the government gets to them. Wolverine leads the
others at the Jean Grey School. Most of the adults, er, present day X-Men have
concluded the originals have to go back to the past. Jean has realized if they
go back the professor will realize they have knowledge of the future and will
wipe the memories from their minds. She does not want to be forced back and
convinces young Scott to run away with her. They eventually find their way to
the remains of Utopia where older Scott and his group are. Young Angel had
decided to join older Scott’s band rather than stay at the school with the
others. To complicate things further a group of X-Men from the future showed up
two chapters ago and they also demand the young X-Men return to their own time
period. Among them the one dressed as Xorn was revealed to be an older Jean
Grey. We can only assume that this Jean is the younger Jean who never returned
to the past and so is part of this future group. Clearly she realizes her
mistake in not returning to the past and so she has come to the present, her
relative past, to convince herself to go back to the past! (My teeth hurt just
talking about this stuff.) As the story resumes in this issue future Jean is in
a psychic stand-off with young Jean, Emma and her Cuckoos. Wolverine is also
there with the mix of future and current X-Men who have been looking for young
Scott and Jean. This contest of the minds is the first real battle of the event,
in my opinion. Some of the others get into minor scuffles but this is the big
event. The outcome has a major impact moving forward and frankly I did not see
this coming. That only leaves young Bobby and Hank back at the Jean Grey School
waiting for everyone to return. They have been sitting on the sidelines mostly
but that is about to change as Magik appears suddenly to tell them that they
must accompany her to the future. She feels there is something about these
future X-Men that is not right, something hidden.  The three will try to find
out for themselves as they teleport to the Jean Grey School of the future only
to find, (are you ready for it?), yet ANOTHER group of future X-Men. There comes
a point in comic book franchises as the legacy is passed to creator after
creator where the original vision is lost along the way. While these multitude
of books do very well financially something is lost along the way. Over the
years many new characters have been added until there are too many to keep track
of. Now it seems like the premise of this event was a good one yet we find even
more characters are being added as not all of these people from the future are
older versions of the current day characters. There is so much happening here
with time travel it feels like a twisted knot that will be never untied.
Furthermore, if the original X-Men do go back to the past does that mean that
their title, THE ALL NEW X-MEN, will be cancelled?  I don’t think that is going
to happen. So I am still wondering if this whole thing will somehow have a
meaningful resolution after all ten parts play out. IF at the end everyone ends
up in the same places they were when the whole thing started it will have been a
big waste of time and money. Five more parts to go for these guys to do
something that has more relevance than that.


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 comic book featured the first appearance of Doctor Doom outside of

Dr. Doom appeared in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #5. No winner this week.

Here is your no prize question:
Which celebrity is featured in the very last scene of the classic comedy movie

The last scene has Hennie Youngman still waiting for the cab driver (Robert
Hays) since the beginning of the movie.

What do the letters in the logo of the comic book publisher IDW stand for?

Here is your no prize question:
The word laser is actually an acronym. What does L.A.S.E.R. stand for?

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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