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Friday, April 25, 2014

Comic Reviews 4/25/14


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
Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment
Writer & Letters: Frank J. Barbiere
Artist: Joe Bennett
Colors: Lauren Affe
Price (USD): $3.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Super Hero

Solar is one of those Gold Key characters being revived by Dynamite. I really
enjoyed the Valiant versions of the character so was eager to see how this
newest one would be. After reading this first issue it seems clear that the hero
we first see will be very different very soon. It does not start with an origin
of his powers, in fact he is already getting a reputation as a hero - that atom
guy. When he hears that he keeps saying, "I prefer Man of the Atom." But all is
not right with his powers. The issue opens with a typical situation where Solar
intercedes in a robbery situation with hostages. Everything seems to be going
his way as he spouts chemical equations that represent things he is doing, like
changing a gun into water. But then his power is suddenly out of control. A
myriad of equations flash through his mind and he can't stop them or the
reactions that ensue. Needless to say this is a disaster. Since we came into his
story sometime after his transformation we need to find out about the people in
his life at this point. He is indeed Phil Seleski and he works at Atom Valley
Industries where his son, Colin, is the CEO. Phil's Lab assistant, Dr. Preston,
is the only one who knows the secret of Solar and they purposely keep Colin away
from the lab. Phil is also estranged from his daughter Erica. It is strange then
that he would reach out to her at the time when he can't control what he has
become and there does not seem to be a clear way to change it. The whole
character structure is the twist on the original versions of this character. If
you have seen any advanced information on the next couple of issues you know
that Solar is going to be far removed from any previous versions real soon. I am
not sure how I feel about it so far. I like the part with the equations acting
as a visual presentation of how he plans to use his atomic power. I am not sure
what part Colin will play beyond his position of control of the company. It
seems like Erica will have a moment of reconciliation but the future will change
her life drastically. The art is pretty good in all aspects right up to the
dynamic ending double spread splash. I give this one a qualified recommendation
because it will take two or three issues to judge it properly.

Issue Number: 1
Title Story: Doomed
Publisher: Marvel
Writer: Joshua Hale Fialkov
Artists: Mario Guevara with Tom Grummett
Inker: Juan Vlasco
Colors: Rachelle Rosenberg
Letters: Joe Sabino
Cover Artist: Michael McKone & Rico Renzi
Price (USD): $3.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Super Hero

This is the Ultimate Universe after the Galactus event. It seems the after
effects of all that has transpired are going to be equally as dangerous and it
will take the best minds on Earth to cope with them. Hence we now have the
formation of this Earth's Future Foundation to exam the manifestation of
dimensional anomalies that have been occurring. This FF includes Susan Storm,
Tony Stark who funds the project, and Sam Wilson all of whom have higher than
average IQs. Phil Coulson is the field director and right now Danny Ketch, this
Universes' version of Machine Man, is aiding on technical issues. As I said the
FF is dealing with recurring phenomenon and the latest is the worst yet. There
has been a dimensional rift in the area of the devastation in New Jersey. As the
three enter the bubble created they find the humans that had been there are
turned into horrible monsters. They have to hold them off trying not to kill
them while they attempt to close the rift. Meanwhile Colson and Ketch are
debating about sending in another super genius, possibly the only other person
on the planet that can figure it all out. The fun part of this story is the path
we are lead down thinking we know who the mystery brain is, knowing the history
of the Ultimate Universe, only to be surprised at the end of the issue. It is a
good start in that sense though I felt the setup was rushed to get us there. I
think this series needs a little tuning to find its true path and maybe the new
player at the end of it will add that. Still I was satisfied for now and look
forward to seeing where it goes from here.

Issue Number: 1
Publisher: IDW
Creator/Writer: JC De La Torre
Artist: Ray Dillon
Price (USD): $3.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Science Fiction/Fantasy

My first thoughts after reading this comic is that it is strangely familiar. We
have teenager Darien Connors who is a teen-aged intelligent nerd from Anytown,
USA. He is the target of the stereotypical jock bully, Tristan Campbell, because
he dared to be seen talking to Tristan's ex-girlfriend Gemma. Darien escapes the
fistfight in the school hallway but will have a bigger problem with Tristan
after school. Darien has only his father as we flash back three years ago. Dad
has been selected to make the first flight to Mars and will be gone for two
years. But as he made his approach to land on the red planet a year later
something went wrong. Communication was lost and a follow up probe confirmed a
crash site, the astronaut was lost. That brings us back to the present. While
Darien has some sympathy for the loss of both of his parents he is not going to
get off easy from the bullies at school. When they act on their threats he is
put in a stressful situation and that proves to be the catalyst that will reveal
secrets about Darien and his family that he was never told. In what appears to
be an alien abduction he is whisked into the sky and is told by the man standing
in the white room he has awoken in that he is from the royal family of another
planet. His father was actually Dalidor the Magnificent, the most powerful star
mage in the universe. He should have been training Darien for his destiny so the
"abductor", Arylos Star Mage of the Sarru Kishpu, is despondent that they are
all doomed. So Darien is supposed to be like a space Harry Potter and is about
to embark on the adventure of his life. It is kind of cool that a young kid
trying to fit in to a normal life learns he is descended from possibly the
greatest wizard of all and must embark on a journey of discovery to find his
destiny. On the other hand it is not a very original plot. The art is pretty
good and as far as the characterization goes we have sympathy for Darien and the
feeling he will find his way eventually. So I have mixed feelings. I am not
convinced his father actually perished as we did not actually see the crash. The
big question is if Darien is so important to the survival of the universe why
did his father keep his true legacy a secret?  It is convenient for the
immediate plot but does not follow logically. I might follow another issue or
two to see how it develops but beyond that I am not sure.

Issue Number: 1 (of 6)
Title Story: Wild Horses
Publisher: Boom! Studios
Creators/Writers: Claudio Sanchez & Chondra Echert
Artist: Daniel Bayliss
Colors: Adam Metcalf
Letters: Ed "Duke" Dukeshire
Price (USD): $3.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Super Hero

This is a story with two plots. The first is a typical super hero versus villain
plot. The bad guy is called the Horse, so called because he is a man with the
head of a horse, or at least a horse head mask. He was recently exonerated on
fourteen felony charges and is back in circulation. But his latest splash on the
news has him being held hostage in the Empire State Building by rival bad guys,
the Apocalypse 3, or so it would seem. The good guy in question is the Batman-
like hero called the Navigator. It is unclear why The Horse is being held or
whether the general public is in danger. Sure enough the Navigator arrives to
make his entry into the situation. But this is actually all a master plot by the
Horse who is testing the Navigator in a very bizarre way. The sub plot involves
a young boy who appears to be designing a super hero suit complete with built in
telescopic visor and radio receivers. Later he is putting together his own
version of a utility belt. It appears he is either the Navigator as a young boy
or a kid who wants to emulate him. Since there is no editorial comment or
indication of the time frame we are left to speculate. His final scene indicates
he may be living with an abusive father. It is a rather obtuse counterpoint to
the main story right now. The Horse himself is a more interesting character as
witnessed by his initial interaction with the Apocalypse 3 and later by the
confrontation with The Navigator. I did find the art compelling with a perfect
job of lettering from our friend Ed Dukeshire. The climax of the main plot is
explosive and logical but it leaves us wondering what happens next. You may find
it just enough mystery to be worth another shot at the second issue. I'll hold
off overall judgment until then.

Issue Number: 1
Title Story: Return of the Jaguar Men
Publisher: Moonstone
Creators: S.M. "Jerry" Iger and Will Eisner
Writer: David de Souza
Script: Steven de Souza
Artist: Jake Minor
Colors: James Brown
Letters: Bernie Lee
Cover Artist: Jake Minor & Rich Bonk
Price (USD): $3.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Jungle Adventure

The character of Sheena has been around for a long time. But since this is a new
series you are not expected to know any past history or continuity. The setting
is somewhere in the jungle of South America. There is an archeological dig where
the members are excited. They have unearthed an ancient figurine based on the
fabled jaguar men of Val Verde - cats who walk as men. They believe they have
found their ancient temple buried for a thousand years. There are college
students involved in the dig and a number of personal conflicts are revealed
along the way. In another plot elsewhere we follow Sheena, who in her civilian
guise acquired the property, formerly held by a drug lord, and allowed the dig
to go forward. But this night her attention is elsewhere. A group of villagers
are about to be enslaved by a gang and Sheena must come to their rescue. But
soon she will be drawn to the dig site as will the local military for different
reasons. It is there that everyone will see what has just taken down one of the
members of the dig. Despite the decent art work on this comic I found it lacking
coherent structure in plotting. It kept jumping back and forth and adding
threads that had little or no bearing on either characterization or plot
advancement. Some of the pieces are fine as they stand on their own but they
don't come together well. I can't say it is terrible but I can say I am not
interested enough to read another issue.

Issue Number: 1
Title Story: Blackest Day, Brightest Night
Publisher: DC
Writer: Cullen Bunn
Artist: Dale Eaglesham
Colors: Jason Wright
Letters: Dezi Sienty
Price (USD): $2.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Super Hero

There are several Green Lantern books now and like most series with multiple
titles some characters break off into their own titles some times. The problem
is even though it is a new title it still carries with it continuity baggage
from previous appearances of the characters especially if the multiple books
crossover a lot as do the GL titles. As a new reader hoping to jump on to a new
series it is important to be able to grasp the motivation of the main character
and understand the major plot on its own merits. Anyone with basic DC Universe
knowledge knows about Sinestro being a former Green Lantern and now the former
leader of the Yellow Lanterns. As the story begins Sinestro is on some forgotten
planet in a form of self-exile and at first it seems like a death wish. This
place was once the home to a sect of monks who long since have perished from the
savage beasts of the land. Sinestro has been fighting them off and on but
recognizes they are adapting to his methods and it is getting harder to drive
them off. What appears will be his final battle is interrupted by Lyssa Drak,
the Lore Keeper of the Yellow Lanterns. Ok. I am lost already. But it is
somewhat explained that she keeps the knowledge of the destroyed Book of
Parallax within and upon her body. What she has come to do is to get Sinestro to
give up his exile. She bring word that members of his destroyed people, the
Korugans, yet live. She can aid him in recharging his ring and this is the kind
of motivation he needs to get back into action. But the challenge of finding his
lost race is not the only one he will face. In his absence from the Sinestro
Corp, Arkillo has taken the role as leader and is preparing the Corp to go to
war with the Green Lantern. In order to fulfill the first task he will have to
take back control of the Corp. So getting back to my initial statements. I think
this first issue fulfills the needs of the new reader. Though it does build on
past continuity the story it is telling is mostly new and the past is meant to
help us understand the current status quo and why people are doing certain
things. The art meets the higher standards of the higher profile books from DC
also. While I am not a hard core fan of the GL books I would give this one a
recommendation as worth giving a try.


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:

Who is Brandy, of LIBERTY MEADOWS, modeled after? (Correct answer must be
complete - more than one person is involved.)

Quoting Frank Cho himself:

"She's based on Lynda Carter, Bettie Page, Candy Loving, and 2 girls from my
high school, who, one of them particularly, looked like Brandy." The winner by
the dice is Keith Martin.

Here was your no prize question:
Which country is the largest country having only one time zone?

China, a country that is of roughly similar size to the continental United
States, has one time zone: Beijing Standard Time. China hasn't always had one
time zone. In 1912, the year after the collapse of the Qing Dynasty, the newly
empowered Republic of China established five different time zones in the
country, ranging from five and a half to eight and a half hours past Greenwich
Mean Time. But in 1949, as the Communist Party consolidated control of the
country, Chairman Mao Zedong decreed that all of China would henceforth be on
Beijing time for the purposes of national unity.


What successful comedic leading man of the movies in the 30's and 40's did C.C.
Beck use as a model for his CAPTAIN MARVEL?

Here is your no prize question:
Where was the first street in the US that was illuminated by gas lights?

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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