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Friday, April 4, 2014

Comic Reviews 4/4/14


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 (of 6)
Publisher: Boom! Studios
Creator: Neil Peart
Writer: Kevin J. Anderson
Artist: Nick Robles
Letters: Ed Dukeshire
Cover Artist: Hugh Syme
Price (USD): $3.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Fantasy

This story takes place in a very different world. It is the kind of society
where everything has its time and place - all overseen by someone called the
Watchmaker. The story is told in flashback by an old man. He remembers his youth
was a quiet perfect life... until he realized it wasn't enough. In fact everyone
around him seems very content with their life. Everyone has a place in the
community. He is the assistant apple orchard manager. Everything and everyone is
planned and managed by the Watchmaker. Even the weather and who marries whom and
when. But young Owen longs to see the world beyond, to someday hop a steamliner
and head out to see all of Albion. His fiancé does not share his wanderlust. But
even in a seemingly idyllic world all is not perfect. News comes from the
Watchmaker that a group known as the Wreckers waylaid a steamliner and elsewhere
the Anarchist bombed a portion of the railroad tracks. While these things are
disturbing they have little effect on the populace at large they indicate to the
reader that there are those who do not view the world of the Watchmaker as
idyllic. But this is the story about Owen. His life changes one evening when he
decides to hop that train and see what else is out there. He will eventually
make it to Crown City, home of the Watchmaker. And we see by looking over the
shoulder of the Watchmaker that Owen has gotten the attention of the man behind
the curtain. There is not enough in this first issue for us to understand where
the major plot is going. It is more exposition about this society with a little
about the main character and even less about the power behind it all. The
mention of anti-establishment operatives hints of things to come. It is not very
exciting as a start. If it piques your interest you will have to stick with it
for a while. The art is the highlight at this point as it is very well defined
and colored. We'll have to see more before making a recommendation.

Issue Number: 1
Publisher: Image
Writer: Chris Roberson
Artist: Paul Maybury
Colors: Paul Maybury with Jordan Gibson
Letters: John J. Hill
Price (USD): $2.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Sword & Sorcery/Fantasy
Mature - Comics on the Edge

While comics tell a story in word and pictures it is up to the writer and the
artist to make sure that the reader gets the information he needs to understand
and follow what is going on. This comic is broken up into three segments - three
separate stories really - each with its own characters and setting. They all
take place in different parts of this fantasy world of demons, foul creatures
and sea monsters. While each has its own plot and action sequences the big
picture is not really detailed until you get to the text piece in the back. That
I feel is not good structure, especially in a world specifically created for the
comic. As a reader I want to know as I go along why people are doing certain
things, which can be handled very easily with editorial text in the panels. I
don't want to be forced to read three pages of text at the end of the book
explaining what I should know once the illustrated portion is over. I feel the
book is flawed in this way, but that is just me. So without reading the text
first we see in the first section three travelers each one uniquely dressed
perhaps to denote their occupation or class. They come upon the dead bodies of
men slain in an apparent battle. The big guy among them, apparently a warrior of
some sort, wants to move on with their journey but the old blind man flexes his
apparent authority and declares they will dispose of the dead first. As the
young girl prepares the ritual of their order they see demons possess the dead
and begin to attack. The second story follows a group of warriors, horselords,
on a hunting expedition though it is not clear if the beasts they kill are game
or dangers to the population. While the second in command urges the leader to
let them return to court he has no desire to do that yet, even though his father
is very ill. The third story takes place on a ship. The three main characters
Commander Argus Mac Donnac of the Highland Scouts who is sworn to protect the
lady passenger Joslyn Evrendon, the appointed envoy from Queen Zarabet to the
court of the Great Rhan. The third is a young scientist suffering a bout of
seasickness and keeping himself safe while the others fight an enormous creature
that attacks the ship. Each segment is too short to do more than introduce the
characters and show some kind of conflict or plot point. Who they are and what
their beliefs are is mostly left for you to decipher. Reading the text helps
somewhat, mostly for the first two segments. The art is good enough so as not to
be a fault in the book. Maybury conveys what he needs to supplement the script
as it was laid out for him. The problem with some writers creating a whole new
world is that they know the details intimately but lack the ability to properly
inform the reader. Sort of like a software manual written by an engineer - they
assume a basic knowledge of the reader but often assume too much. This seems
like a harsh review and perhaps your experience will be different.

Issue Number: 29
Title Story: Flushed
Title Arc: Forever Evil
Publisher: DC
Writer: Matt Kindt
Artist: Jim Fern
Inker: Wayne Faucher
Colors: Brett Smith
Letters: Jared K. Fletcher
Price (USD): $2.99
Release Date: Now on Sale
Genre: Super Hero

With a dearth of new comics that caught my eye this week I decided to revisit
some ongoing titles to see what is going on. First up is a NEW 52 title that
supposedly is tied in to Forever Evil. I haven't read SUICIDE SQUAD in some
time. At this point Amanda Waller's team is the Unknown Soldier, Harley Quinn
(isn't she off on her own now?) Deadshot, Captain Boomerang, Jim Gordon's son
(forgot his first name and it isn't mentioned) and King Shark. This issue is
part of the ongoing arc that is the aftermath of the beginning of the Forever
Evil story. O.M.A.C. in the NEW 52 is Kevin Kho who was imprisoned in Belle Reve
but his mind has been invaded by the Thinker. Thinker has taken control of
O.M.A.C. and in the previous issue had a battle with Power Girl and Steel, who
have followed him back to Belle Reve to even the score. Amanda is in contact
with Kevin through her laptop urging him to take back control before she has to
use the Squad to dispose of O.M.A.C. through a dimensional portal from which
nothing or anyone has ever returned. Most of the issue is a battle between the
one-man-army and the various other characters. A couple of them will not survive
at the end. This is the wrap up of this arc and reveals that the team have new
type of nano-bombs in them now given her more control than ever. This is not bad
for an action issue, though I am still puzzled by Harley being around. The art
is decent and there is even some sacrifice and tragedy mixed in. The next issue
might be a better jump-on point for new readers.

Title: LETTER 44
Issue Number: 5
Publisher: Oni Press
Writer: Charles Soule
Artist: Alberto Jimenez
Colors: Dan Jackson
Letters: Shawn DePasquale
Price (USD): $3.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Science Fiction

I have written about the first issue of this comic and decided to see how it is
holding up. The basic plot is that the new president received the customary
letter from his predecessor on inauguration day and it revealed that the
government has been secretly working for years to investigate an object in space
that is obviously alien in origin. A team of soldiers and scientists are on a
secret space mission to the object while on Earth weapons too powerful to use in
any Earth war have been in development in case they are needed against the
unknown visitors. As the story began the space ship was about to begin their
exploration of the object, having gotten close enough to send in probes that
stop transmitting when they breached some kind of barrier around the object. But
the only danger is not in space. The President's Chief of Staff was attacked in
a way to make it look like an accident but he unexpectedly survived and informed
the president it was no accident. The current Chief of Staff is in on the
deception and in this issue the president is about to deal with him in a most
unorthodox way - send him on a world-wide tour of every US embassy basically to
get him out of the way and out of the loop. Meanwhile a special team of FBI
agents are on a special mission in the mountains forty-five minutes south of
Denver. They have discovered their objective - a replica of the White House deep
in one gorge and it is heavily guarded by professional mercenaries. Who they are
guarding and why the FBI is here is revealed in the last pages. Meanwhile, the
science fiction part of the plot moves forward deep in space. Major Drum and two
of his men have breached the barrier and crossed an energy wall that put them in
a forest contained within. We don't get to see the rest of the crew back on the
ship this issue. The guys in the alien forest have their hands full dealing with
strange floating objects that will soon have them fighting for their lives. To
really appreciate this part of the story you need to back up an issue or two but
you still get the gist of the scene depicted. Since the beginning we have been
waiting to get even a hint of what the alien purpose is and we are no closer
except it appears they are not friendly - and even that could be up to
interpretation. The political intrigue part of the story is fascinating as well.
It is a clever plot and the art team supports it well. This is still a good
comic and worth starting from the beginning if you can.

Issue Number: 2
Title Story: All Mankind
Publisher: Marvel
Writer: G. Willow Wilson
Artist: Adrian Alphona
Colors: Ian Herring
Letters: Joe Caramagna
Cover Artist: Jamie McKelvie
Price (USD): $2.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Super Hero

I had some reservations about the first issue of this comic so I decided to see
what happens next. Marvel's latest new hero is a sixteen-year-old whose family
emigrated from Pakistan. She is a fan of the Avengers, Captain Marvel in
particular, she is a good student but does not fit in with the cool kids in her
school in New Jersey. Her parents try to keep her on a tight leash. But as we
saw last issue it wasn't tight enough. She snuck out to join the other kids at a
party. This was the same night that the Terrigen Bomb went off and it turns out
that Kamala is one of the many who has Inhuman genes. That night she was
transformed, without the cocoon process, and now has the ability to control her
body - making limbs stretch or becoming larger or the size on an insect - and
who knows what else at this point. This being the second issue she is just
discovering, mostly by accident, what her body can do. At the time of her
transformation not only did her hair change from brown to blonde but her clothes
changed to a copy of an old Captain Marvel costume with a face mask to go with
it. It appears she is doing this subconsciously to emulate her idol. But her
night is not over yet. Before it is she will have to decide if she is a freak or
a hero when the girl who gives her the most grief at school is suddenly in need
of help. There is never any question the choice she will make and it stems from
her moral upbringing. This really is a classic teen hero story in the Marvel
tradition. Kamala is a misfit that is made fun of by cruel classmates and has
suddenly been given great power. Will she step up to the responsibility? Oh,
remember how I said she snuck out to party?  The home life is going to be
another big problem very soon. This is a very enjoyable comic. The art team does
a great job in bringing it all to life. It is not too late to get in on the fun.
This is bound to be a long-running favorite. 

Issue Number: 9
Publisher: Avatar
Creator: Jonathan Hickman
Writer: Mike Costa
Artist: Juan Frigeri/Fernando Heinz
Inker: Joe Luengo
Colors: Juan M. Rodriguez
Letters: Kurt Hathaway
Cover Artists: German Nobile/Jacen Burrows
Price (USD): $3.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Mythology/Fantasy
MATURE - Comics on the Edge

My final look at an ongoing series is now up to issue #9. For those of you who
are curious about this series I would suggest you might want to go back to issue
#7 to get the gist of the current arc. There is no recap page to bring you up to
speed on what has gone before, and a lot has. The series began as the gods of
the various pantheons - Greek, Norse, Egyptian, Hindu and others - made their
presence a physical one in the current world. What started as a division of
territory where each group would rule their portion of the world devolved into
an all-out war among the gods for dominance over the entire world with mankind
all but sitting on the sidelines. The human military had little effect in
stopping the gods from whatever they wanted to do. Toward the end of the first
arc the human underground developed a way to create their own all powerful
beings in a hope to begin to take back the world. They managed three such beings
using a process that combined the DNA of a god with a living human. These three
began their own war against the gods who had outlasted the others and in the end
only one survived, the newly minted Earth goddess Gaia. As the second arc began
it is some 150 years in the future and Gaia has solidified her control of
mankind. She is worshipped by many and has used her gifts to provide the bounty
of the Earth to the needy. She has her own system of priestesses that help carry
out the day to day organization of the new religion. Her godly appearance is
that of a half woman with red skin (on top) and a hooved animal from the waist
down. Sort of like a satyr. She can also take the appearance of her once human
female identity when she wishes. We saw recently when she roamed to a nearby
town in her human identity that her power still flowed into the ground and
plants sprung up at her feet as she walked. But there is still resistance to her
reign. Some part of mankind escaped the chaos into a parallel dimension and have
begun plotting ways to take back the world. The surviving gods are the lesser
among their own. The real powerful gods like Zeus, Odin, Thor, Ares and others
like them were all destroyed. Those surviving have retreated back to their
mythical realms like Asgard and Mt Olympus. But one among them has a plan he
wants to initiate and he will visit both these places to set it in motion. He is
not alone in this desire. In the back up story we have been following the
travels of Thanatos, who for the last fifteen centuries has been traveling
incognito among the humans and "sowing his seed" if you catch my meaning among
them. Well it turns out that Saci, the trickster god, also has a plan and
involved Thanatos right from the start. As I said this may not be a good jump on
issue but it does move things forward nicely. Hickman had this plot in mind all
along so if the first few issues did not interest you it was because the war
among the major pantheons was only a set up for what happens in the far future
after that. It has an interesting set of characters all drawn very well and
colored meticulously. It has a nice look and yes it does include nudity and
violence at some times. So I suggest you give it a try at #7 but to do it right
go back to #1. It is worth reading all of it to get to this point.

Issue Number: 30
Title Arc: Goblin Nation (part 4 of 5)
Publisher: Marvel
Plot: Dan Slott
Script: Christos Gage
Artist: Giuseppe Camuncoli
Inker: John Dell & Terry Pallot
Colors: Antonio Fabela
Letters: Chris Eliopoulos
Price (USD): $3.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Super Hero

When you first pick up this issue you might think you are getting a double-sized
comic for the regular price. But that little circle on the cover tells you that
it also includes the first issue of the ongoing title BLACK WIDOW. I am not sure
why they included it and I have already reviewed that comic so I won't comment
on it other than to say it is worth reading if you haven't already. You just
might decide to pick up the issues that have followed. The real payoff for your
hard-earned comic dollars is the Spider-Man story up front. If you are one of
those readers who did not like the whole idea that Doctor Octopus took over
Peter's body and became the Superior Spider-Man and have decided to wait until
Peter is back in his own title this April I will tell you it will be a mistake
not to pick up this issue and the next of THE SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN. Granted it is
the fourth chapter of the final five issue arc but the action in this
penultimate issue will make you cheer. There is text up front to catch you up on
what is going on. The Green Goblin has been terrorizing New York and has the
knowledge that Otto is the Superior Spider-Man. He has been going after anyone
connected to Spider-Man or Peter Parker and without knowing it he has kidnapped
the woman Otto loves, Anna Maria Marconi. Mayor Jameson believed Spider-Man has
been working with the Goblin and sent out a fleet of "Goblin Slayer" robots,
which the Goblin has already co-opted. As the story opens Spider-Man and his
2099 counterpart, trapped in our time, are battling them. It is during that
fight that Otto learns that Anna Maria is captive and so Superior Spider-Man
leaves Spider-Man 2099 on his own to race off to find his love. Of course it
must be a trap and Otto has lost the use of his Spiderbots to help find her. The
timely arrival of one of the minor goblins, Menace, gives him a lead to follow
and that will prove to be the catalyst that leads to a fateful decision you
don't want to miss. There is a lot going on in this story. Some of it will be
explored in the new series as evidenced by one panel in which the Avengers are
helping with the collateral damage caused by the war with the Goblin Slayers.
Cardiac has been exposed for his unauthorized medical procedures and Captain
America knows that Spider-Man was complicit and must be arrested for it. That
makes us ponder what Peter's future will be like once he regains his own body.
Let's face it Otto has been a dick in the role of both Peter Parker and Superior
Spider-man. How does Peter rectify the damage to his dual reputations? The
personal relationships will be a lot tougher to mend perhaps than those with the
other heroes. It is clear that when the new series begins it is not going to be
a fun time for the true web slinger. But for this issue the last panel is very
satisfying. You don't want to miss it!

Issue Number: 1-Shot
Publisher: Marvel
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: Joe Quinones
Colors: Rainier Beredo & Joe Quinones
Letters: Cory Petit
Cover Artist: Olivier Coipel with Marte Gracia
Price (USD): $3.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Super Hero

This comic is the epilogue to the ULTIMATE CATACLYSM story. Galactus had crossed
over into the Ultimate Universe and was getting down to the nitty gritty of
devouring the Ultimate Earth. In the climax of that story the Ultimates, Spider-
Man and the X-Men with the help of the terrorist Reed Richards of this world
succeeded in banishing him into the Negative Zone where he could do no harm.
Unfortunately Thor also was lost during that resolution and Captain America
perished in the battle. This one-shot picks up with the aftermath of those
events. It not only presents us with the tribute to the fallen comrades as the
heroes gather to mourn but also relates some things that will set up where
things are going in the Ultimate Universe. Many falsely guessed that the whole
Ultimate Universe would end when they first heard about the CATACLYSM story but
that is not the case. However, some things will be changing in the future. One
of the major things will be a new ULTIMATES team that is revealed and the very
end of this issue. There is also an extended sequence between the Invisible
Woman and Reed Richards. During the course of the Cataclysm event he visited the
616 Earth, one that had previously defeated Galactus, and saw what his life and
his legacy was in an alternate reality. But is he now a changed man? In another
sequence a few days before the funeral Foggy Nelson confronts Monica Chang in
the ruins of New Jersey to let her know that his firm will represent her in the
hearings that no doubt will be held. His grim prediction is that S.H.I.E.L.D.
will be disbanded and she may be the scapegoat. But it all comes down to the
Eulogy for Steve Rogers, President and hero, delivered by Tony Stark. There are
inspiring words and dire predictions of things to come. It is the finale of this
part of the Ultimate Universe and the birth of a new one rising from its ashes.
The Ultimate Universe was set up as one in which death means death and many have
died over the years without coming back, true to their word. There is a chance
we will see Thor again but Captain America has joined the list of those heroes
who won't be back, at least Steve Rogers won't. This is a good transition story
that will jump start the new beginning coming soon. The art team does a good job
stringing it all together in a way that compliments the plot and keeps the
characters real. I for one look forward to what comes next starting with
ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #200 this week.

Issue Number: 1
Publisher: Image
Creator: Bryan Hitch
Inker: Paul Neary
Colors: Laura Martin
Letters: Chris Eliopoulos
Price (USD): $3.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Super Hero

After the first page of this comic you think you are reading yet another
alternate Earth that has a bunch of super heroes. In fact since it is drawn by
Bryan Hitch you would think this is another version of the Ultimates from the
character depictions and costume design. It starts with the Olympian, good
looking strong guy that can fly, taking a beating from an ugly behemoth called
Brute. This is all part of an attack coordinated by the big bad guy Brainchild
who soon calls down a horde of giant robots. But the Olympian is not without
allies. Soon a female Ant Man/Giant Man analog, Tiny Titan, joins the battle as
do the rest of the Olympians, black speedster Velocity, female archer Longbow,
super soldier Patriot and a wheelchair-bound man who has the technology to wrap
himself in a giant armor suit - think Tony Stark. As the Aven... er the Olympians
assemble to renew the attack Olympian calls out their catch phrase and suddenly
we realize this is the screening of the latest episode in the greatest super
hero franchise in history. These are not real heroes but actors in a movie. The
middle of the comic provides some insight into each of the actors. Chris
(Olympian) Reynolds' dad died in the 9/11 attack and he dedicates his work to
his memory. Danny (Patriot) West is a playboy doing all the stereotypical bad
boy stuff. Jenny (Tiny Titan) Sanchez appropriately advocates proper diet having
downsized four dress sizes. Jeremy Roberts really is crippled and advocates for
research into motor neuron diseases. The much younger Nichola (Longbow) Fox is
his protégé and Velocity is rap-star Leo Washington who also did the closing
credits song, "Real Heroes." So we get the whole idea by midway through the
book. The characters run the gamut from nice guy to bad boy, to spoiled actress.
They are all doing their best to be nice at the premiere event. But a giant
Devastator robot, like the ones in the movie, show up on the street and fan
delight soon turns to horror as it begins blasting things and people. As the
actors rush back inside the theater it is clear the robot is after them and they
are running out of places to go. This is the crux of the whole plot. Someone
purposely set this robot in motion to attack these movie stars and when they
finally make their escape they are going to find it hard to believe where they
are and why. More astonishing, the man who got them away from their predicament
has a fantastic story to tell and a request - he wants them to save the world. I
liked this book right from the start because I really enjoy Hitch's art. The set
up takes a while but it is not wasted because we learn a lot about each
character and some of their flaws. The deliberate parody of the Avengers does
not come off cheesy but makes it more comfortable to understand the premise by
portraying something we are familiar with. But going forward it will be a whole
different story.  These are not real heroes at all, they are actors performing
parts. Will they step up? And if so how can they possibly face real threats like
the one that crashed into Grauman's Chinese Theater? It looks like a fun story
and I'll be sticking with it.

Issue Number: 1
Title Story: The Most Important Person in the Universe
Publisher: Marvel
Writer: Dan Slott
Artist: Michael Allred
Colors: Laura Allred
Letters: Clayton Cowles
Price (USD): $3.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Super Hero

If you are a fan of Mike and Laura Allred's art you will probably pick up this
book for that alone. Mike has a unique style and Laura compliments it well with
her coloring. This beginning of yet another Silver Surfer series has a parallel
to the Dark Phoenix story. Where she snuffed out a sun wiping out an entire
planet of sentient life he does the reverse, restarts a dying sun to save the
beings on Brundlebus 3. They are grateful in their praise, instantly raising
monuments in his honor. But he does not seek praise or glory because saving even
a billion lives will not make up for his past sins as the herald of Galactus.
This scene serves to give us insight into his frame of mind these days. But he
was being observed by agents of the Impericon who have decided he will be their
champion. It is a place purposely hidden from Galactus over the ages so it is no
wonder the Surfer never heard of it. In fact it is impossible to describe
entirely in words. It is a massive planet so big that some of the taller
buildings have their own moons. Allred draws it as a mix of styles drawing from
Jack Kirby to MC Escher. The emissary who greets him is called the Incredulous
Zed and he explains that they have been selecting champions to save them from
the oncoming threat known as the Never Queen, a being of unimaginable power.
None of the previous champions succeeded although they were highly motivated. In
fact they have a machine that scans the candidate and reaches out through time
and space to find the one person in all of creation who means the most to the
candidate and then brings that person to the Impericon to use them as leverage -
motivation. There is a parallel plot through the book about two young girls
wishing upon a star, though they do not know at the time it is actually the
Surfer in the night sky. As there story continues the twins grow up to follow
different paths in life. While Eve is a world traveler visiting the great
wonders of the world her sister Dawn finds comfort in the most perfect place she
knows, a little seaside town in Massachusetts, Anchor Bay. While her sister
roams the world she is content to run the bed and breakfast with her father. Her
path will intersect with that of the Silver Surfer in a most unusual way. Things
are only beginning and already Slott has given us a couple of mysteries to
ponder. The premise seems a little far-fetched but it worth sticking around to
see where it heads. The visually stunning art really shines in this first issue
adding a whole other element to the story, as it should. I am looking forward to
whatever comes next.

Issue Number: 1
Title Arc: Engines of Vengeance
Publisher: Marvel
Writer: Felipe Smith
Artist: Tradd Moore
Colors: Nelson Daniel & Val Staples
Letters: Joe Caramagna
Price (USD): $3.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Super Hero

This is a new beginning for Ghost Rider. I don't even know what happened to the
last one but so far it does not have any bearing on this new series. This one is
all about a different character. He is Robbie Reyes who works as a mechanic to
earn enough to support himself and his crippled brother Gabe. They survive in a
crime-ridden area of town the best that they can. Robbie even tries to shelter
Gabe from the violence, not always successfully. One fate-filled day Robbie
decides to gamble with a customer's car and take it to an illegal drag race in
hopes of winning the fifty grand offered to the winner. But the cops finding out
about the race is not the only thing Robbie should worry about but the people
who are looking for that particular car. Yes this is the origin story. Robbie
does make the transition by the end of the issue but instead of a flaming
motorcycle his transportation is the muscle car he was driving. How and why he
suddenly became the Rider is not revealed. What is the supernatural force or
being behind it all?  Stay tuned for more developments. My first impression of
this comic is that I am not very enthused about it. It is a beginning that
invokes sympathy for the main character and his lot in life. Then he makes an
ill-advised choice and that changes him forever. The art is different. It is
very professional but not that appealing to me. This is just a subjective
conclusion and your opinion may differ. Whether or not this new version of Ghost
Rider is a hit depends on the comic readers out there. I was not impressed
enough to continue.

Issue Number: 1
Title Story: Unbreakable
Publisher: Marvel
Writer: Ales Kot
Artist: Garry Brown
Colors: Jim Charalampidis
Letters: Clayton Cowles
Price (USD): $3.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Super Hero

This is one of those comics that starts with our hero in a dire situation for a
few pages and then steps back a couple of days to show the story start to
progress to that point. Most Marvel fans know about James Rhodes a former
military man who became Tony Stark's right hand man donning the War Machine
armor. Now he has a new suit of armor, in Red, White and Blue and protects the
homeland as Iron Patriot. But as the plot develops we see there are people in
power who do not want him doing this job and will stoop to blackmail and even
kidnapping to change his course. Meanwhile Rhodey's home life needs some work.
His father is not a fan of his chosen occupation and is constantly badgering
Rhodey to give up the super hero gig and spend more time at home with his
orphaned niece, Lila. While the general public accepts there new hero after his
first press conference the smear campaign begins right after it. Even Lila takes
to the Internet to defend her uncle. While these are hints about a bigger plot
the main story moves forward as Rhodey heads off to New Orleans to face a major
threat - giant blob creatures attacking oil rigs and ships. We never really get
back to that opening scene but Iron patriot has other things to worry about
anyway. I am not aware if any of the events to led up to the status quo as
depicted in this issue are contained in previous issue of IRON MAN or other
comics. Reading it fresh here things seems jumbled and not very clear how it all
fits together. The only thing clear is the family unit is strong and they all
care for each other. The intrigue part makes little sense right now and will
require hanging around for a while to see what it is all about. That is probably
by design but it is not a style I warm up to. The art is passable but not
outstanding. I don't think the complete product is something I want to stay with
hoping for a big payoff in a few or several issues.


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:

John Jakes is a western and Civil War novels writer. Michael Moorcock is a
fantasy writer. James Cawthorn is a comic book artist. What comic book character
do they have in common?

The character all these creators wrote or plotted was CONAN. The winner by the
dice roll is David McBarron.

Which grade school classmate did Scott McCloud "UNDERSTANDING COMICS" credit
with turning him on to comic books?

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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