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Friday, December 27, 2013

Comic Reviews 12/27/13


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: 2 (series finale)
Title Story: The End
Publisher: IDW
Creators: Gabriel Rodriguez & Joe Hill
Writer: Joe Hill
Artist: Gabriel Rodriguez
Colors: Jay Fotos
Letters: Robbie Robbins
Price (USD): $7.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Horror
MATURE – Comics on the Edge

The climax of the LOCKE & KEY series occurred in the previous issue. This one
ties up some loose ends, explores the effects of what has gone by and looks to
the future. Throughout the series there have been tragic losses mostly at the
hands of the villain, Lucas Dodge. As you might expect his end game was foiled,
though by the most unlikely character of the piece. Now Ty, the eldest of the
Locke children, is taking care of unfinished business and there is more than one
surprise left for this denouement. There are some satisfying moments in this
last chapter, not the least is the final fate of Dodge. Looking back on the
long-running saga I feel the same sense of wonder with this chapter as I did
with the first. Joe Hill has proven to be a master storyteller like his father,
Steven King. The characters have been developed fully and react in ways we do
not always suspect. Sometimes the meekest turn out to be the bravest and even
some not so nice people had redeeming qualities. Through it all the story
emphasizes the importance of family. Gabriel Rodriguez is an excellent artist
and Jay Fotos compliments the art with fine coloring. It is sometimes sad to see
a favorite series come to an end but the story that was meant to be told has
come to an end. Perhaps it will live again in the visual media and if it does
I’ll be there. I urge you to pick up the first trade paperback if you have not
tried this series. I think you will understand why it has become such a big hit.
It would also be a nice gift for your friends who enjoy good graphic novels.
Long time readers from the beginning should feel satisfied after reading the end
of the story. As a bonus Joe has provided some pictures of himself and the crew
at locations in Massachusetts that inspired some the art.

Issue Number: 1
Publisher: IDW
Originally published in 2000 AD
Writer: Dan Abnett
Artist: Andy Clarke
Colors: Chris Blythe
Letters: Ellie DeVille
Price (USD):$3.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Crime/Science Fiction
Mature – Comics on the Edge

This volume has two stories originally published in the British weekly comic
2000 AD. They feature two characters – Irishman Finnigan Sinister and Ramone
Dexter. They are hit men for hire in Downlode, a super-sized suburban sprawl
that used to be Western Europe.

“Money Shots” has the two gun-sharks hunting down their latest target, porn star
Buster Cherry. Right from the start you see this is going to be a not so serious
story as the two banter about great classics of adult films like Cassabonka and
The Whole Nine Inches. Once the members of the crew they barge in on hear they
are gun-sharks they each fear they are the target of the hit, for good reasons.
But, Buster is the star they finally find though he has a rather large Amazon
for a body guard. There is a twist to the story when we find out who actually
put the hit out on Buster. It is a whimsical tale told tongue-in-cheek as well
as in a few other places.

Unlike the nudity and innuendo diversions of the first story “Point Blanc” is a
more straight forward story that has the boys out on a snowy cold night hunting
down a bad guy with some high tech munitions. But there night is only beginning
when they get another offer for a cool million. The target is Edgardo Trager, an
off world narcotics baron. His fortress is a daunting one surrounded by water
but the big freeze has made it accessible via snowmobile. The story has a lot of
actions – missiles flying and robot war machines are everywhere. It is not so
much that the guys succeed in their job but how they do it that is the hook of
the story.  It is all in fun and the art is pleasing with brilliant coloring.
This is an entertaining comic for the money.

Issue Number: 1
Title Story: Who’s Your Daddy?
Publisher: IDW
Creator: Taran Killam
Writers: Marc Andreyko & Taran Killam
Artist: Kevin Sharpe
Inker: Diana Greenhalgh
Colors: Peter Pantazis
Letters: Thom Zahler
Price (USD): $3.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Espionage
Mature Readers – Comics on the Edge

The concept for this comic is an interesting one that relies heavily on the
James Bond type of spy. It is not so thinly veiled about it but the story is not
so much about a Bond clone but his offspring. If you are a fan of the old James
Bond movies then you know that at the end he almost always ends up in a romantic
situation with a beautiful woman somewhere in the world. Not to mention the
various hookups he manages along the way. Well, what if he was not always so
careful about using protection? Who knows how many kids he may have sired over
the years from say 1962 through the present? Jack Steele is our super spy and in
the present his luck has just run out, rather gruesomely, at the hands of the
most dangerous man in the world, Dannikor. The head of the secret agency Steele
worked for, Olympus, has a contingency plan. Steele was better than the next ten
agents combined. They will need a team of experts to take Dannikor down. And
that is just what Mr. Edwards has in mind. It seems the agency has been
anonymously nurturing and training the bastard children of Jack Steele for years
because they seem to have inherited his skills. They include Vin Darlington of
Texas – an expert marksman, master mechanic Kiken Kaze from Tokyo, an actual spy
from South Africa Saalinge M’Chumba, Leandros Antonio Caliestros of Spain who is
a martial-arts master with 7 black belts and the brains of the group is Charlie
Lordsley who actually works at Olympus and has an IQ off the charts. So this is
the team Edwards will send after Dannikor but by the end of the chapter we know
that with all his resources Dannikor already knows. As I said this is an
interesting concept if a bit far-fetched. The first issue is merely set up and
introduction to the key players though there are some cool action scenes of
Steele before his untimely end. As I said it may be a bit of a stretch but the
same story could be told with the characters not being half-siblings. It just
makes it all the more fun that they are. The art is really outstanding and
visually appealing. It remains to be seen if the plot can have some real depth
to it as it progresses. Either way it is a fun book to check out.

Issue Number: 1
Title Story: Hot in the City
Publisher: DC
Creator: Paul Dini & Bruce Timm
Writers: Amanda Conner & Jimmy Palmiotti
Artist: Chad Hardin
Colors: Alex Sinclair
Letters: John J. Hill
Cover Artists: Amanda Conner & Paul Mounts
Price (USD): $2.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Super Villain

I have already reviewed the zero issue of this series which was more of an out
of continuity creator jam fest of different looks at the lead character. Now
Conner and Palmiotti are getting down to the thick of the series as Harley
drives into New York on a motorcycle packed ten feet high with all her
belongings. Ok, first off when you see this you will see how ridiculous a
concept this is. There is no way a motorcycle would ever have the front wheel
touch the ground with that much weight behind the driver. It’s the whole willing
suspension of disbelief thing. And did I mention she has a talking beaver
strapped to the front fender? I don’t know where this little guy came from but
he is clearly here to provide a dialogue and more comic relief. And there is
plenty of it. The premise is that Harley inherited an apartment building on
Coney Island from a former patient. The bottom floor is commercial space
featuring a house of wax and a freak show. The rest of the building has
apartments for the tenants and a top floor for Harley. It is an ideal situation
except the rent won’t cover her costs. So Harley gets settled in and seeks out
gainful employment. Two prospective jobs are just right for her talents. One is
as a therapist at an assisted living home, the other as a rookie on a roller
derby team. If she can land both jobs and maybe raise the rent a little she
might just make it. That is if she survives the hit someone has put out on her
for a very large sum. I must say the beginning of this series has me interested.
There are some funny moments and some serious ones. Some folks I talked to do
not care for Harley’s new look but I am not such a big fan as they are so it
does not bother me. Since she actually started as a cartoon character some may
find a more realistic visual approach jarring. The plotting so far is
interesting and the art carries the story well. Though I admit I am still
puzzled by the talking beaver. I think it is a worthwhile effort so far and you
should check it out and decide for yourself. 

Issue Number: 14
Title Story: Resolution
Publisher: Marvel
Writer: Kieron Gillen
Artists: Jamie McKelvie & Matthew Wilson, Emma Vieceli & Lee Loughridge,
Christian Ward, Annie Wu and Jordie Bellaire
Letters: Clayton Cowles
Cover Artists: Jamie McKelvie & Matthew Wilson
Price (USD): $2.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Super Hero

This issue may not be a good jump on point as it comes at the end of an arc
pitting the Young Avengers against their alternate dimension counterparts.
According to the recap some relationships were broken, some restored and Loki,
who was complicit in some of the bad happenings, took a powder at the end. Now
it is New Year’s Eve and Hawkeye (young female), Hulking, Marvel boy, Miss
America, Prodigy and Wiccan are going to attend a party for some much needed
downtime. First Hawkeye and Miss America have a small heart-to-heart before the
join the after party with lots of people beside the Young Avengers. Wiccan and
Prodigy sort things out and after talking with Miss America Billy decides on
what to do. The best part of the story is a flashback to ten years earlier as
Princess America at the time relives fateful events in her life. The final
confrontation is between Noh-Varr and Kate (Miss America) who deal with the
events of the more recent past. The end is more upbeat as a surprise attendee
lifts Kate’s spirits. As I said it might not be the best jump on point but it is
not so involved in an ongoing plot that you can’t get the gist of things. The
hardest part is the art since there are four different art teams on the book.
Whether this was by design or expediency is not mentioned. It does not matter
all that much though the flashback sequence is a big switch to a more animated
style. There is still more to come next issue, which will no doubt lead into the
next arc. It is unclear if Loki will be around in the future since he will have
his own title coming up.  I would have to see a couple more issues to judge if
the series is something worth getting into. You can judge for yourself.

Issue Number:  1
Publisher: Marvel
Writers: Ben Acker & Ben Blacker
Artist: Matteo Lolli
Colors: James Campbell
Letters: Joe Sabino
Cover Artists: Carlo Barberi & Edger Delgado
Price (USD): $4.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Super Hero

I enjoyed a recent issue of the book that tied into the INFINITY event and
decided the annual would be a decent done-in-one issue to sample. These
Thunderbolts are headed up by Thunderbolt Ross, the Red Hulk. His team consists
of Punisher, Deadpool, Venom, Red Leader and Elektra. They are sort of a covert
team that seeks out evil to eradicate. This self-contained story begins with a
rather jarring image – that is Doctor Strange in the window of the Sanctum
Santorum wearing nothing but his cloak and a pair of blue jockey shorts sporting
an evil grin. The message is that he has gone rogue and cast an ever-expanding
spell that bends reality. Anyone who gets into the range of the spell gets
pleasant. Rival gangs are now working together to help the community, heroes and
villains are sharing ice cream together and the spell is expanding
geometrically. Ross’s solution is that they kill Strange. Since he is magic they
will need magic to combat him. The plot takes members of the team to various
locations to “borrow” magical weapons. They jaunt from Bloodstone Manor, to
Jotunheim and even one of Doctor Druid’s caches. In the end they have a Top hat
of Wonder, an elfin cloak, Milfour’s Dragon helm and other weapons they hope
will be enough. You can bet Strange will have an army of mystical beast on his
side if the spell itself is not enough to turn the heroes pleasant. The
resolution features the true nature of the problem and an unexpected weapon that
saves the day. It is a fast-paced story that has lots of action and plenty of
humor courtesy of Deadpool. There is even homage to a famous movie scene at the
very end. I found it very enjoyable and the art pleasant. I enjoy these annuals
when they are not tied into a special event or ongoing plot. This one is no


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:

James Robinson's title character for the Ultraverse line was very different from
the others title characters.  How was he different?

FIREARM, though he never really went by that name, had no "Ultra" powers like
Prime, Hardcase, or the others.

Here is your no prize question:

Which candy bar is the best-selling of all time?

Originally introduced to the public in 1930 by Franklin and Ethel Mars, the
Snickers bar was named after their family horse. When that horse died they named
a candy bar after it. The original Snickers bars were sold for a nickel. Based
on studies, it is the best selling candy of all time with yearly worldwide sales
at $2 billion.


Which of the COMIC'S GREATEST WORLD main characters made his/her initial comic
debut in a non CGW comic?

Here is your no prize question:

What is the most popular flowering plant in the US?

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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