Search This Blog

Monday, October 20, 2014

Comic Reviews 10/20/14


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: Image
Writer: Scott Snyder
Artist: Jock
Colors: Matt Hollingsworth
Letters: Clem Robins
Price (USD): $2.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Horror
MATURE - Comics on the Edge

This opening issue has two plots that are tied together by a similar occurrence.
The first and shortest takes place in 1919. A woman is trapped inside what
appears to be a hollow tree. She is injure on one ear and her nose looks like it
has been sliced off. She is calling to her young son to help get her out. She is
frantic saying, "They're coming." All Timothy wants to know is why she is in
there. She has an answer that does not explain much but it does help Timothy
decide what to do. The other plot is set in the present. Perhaps in the same
town as the earlier one. A teenage girl, Sail, is heading off to her first day
of school. The discussion with her dad starts off with a whimsical game they
play using imaginary characters to tell a story but eventually she gets around
to her fear for that day. What if the other kids already know about her?  There
is a secret from her past that only she and her family know the full details
about. That incident is revealed later in the book. Sail had been tormented by a
by a bully for a long time. As she is confronted in the woods things escalate
but Sail has unexpected help. As a result of what happened she has a reputation
that has followed her and her family even to a new town. The supernatural
element is involved in both plots but the reasons behind it all are still
clouded in mystery. Strange things are going on already - like the deer that
wandered into their house somehow. Snyder has begun his story with
characterization of the main players and lots of questions about what is going
on around them and why. It has something to do with a pledge in both cases and
of course there is the title of the book that hints at more. The art is
captivating and when the plot calls for it downright jarring. It is intriguing
enough to keep following for now. Knowing Snyder there is a big payoff coming.

Issue Number: 1
Title Story: Something Wicked
Title Arc: The Crucible
Publisher: Archie Comics
Writer: Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa
Artist: Robert Hack
Letters: Jack Morelli
Price (USD): $3.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Supernatural Fantasy
Teen +

If you have followed AFTERLIFE WITH ARCHIE you know the whole zombie plague
began as a result of Sabrina the teenage witch helping out Jughead by bringing
his beloved dog back from the dead. She was punished for that but this story
takes place much earlier than that. In fact it is Sabrina's origin story, at
least in this particular continuity. It begins she was only a year old. She was
the product of a forbidden marriage. Her father was a warlock and her mother a
human. It was time for the witches to take the daughter and raise her. It was
always inevitable and so was the ruination of the marriage, though not in a
normal way. Sabrina was raised by her father and his two sisters Aunts Zelda and
Hilda. When she was six he disappeared and so her aunts took over entirely. They
got Sabrina her own familiar, Salem the talking cat. As time went on the other
kids her age began to tease her when they found out she was a half breed and so
they all moved to Greendale, to another coven where Sabrina could have a fresh
start. These are the familiar characters from the familiar TV show, even cousin
Ambrose shows up. Sabrina makes new friends, even has her first crush. But this
is not a situation comedy. It is more light than dark but there are parts at the
beginning and end that remind us that this is not the normal Archie Universe.
Anything can happen and since this is basically a book about witches those
things could get wicked and scary. The last two pages remind us of that. As if
to draw a counterpoint to that ending we have a backup story by George Gladir
and Archie Comics legend Dan DeCarlo. It is a lighter look at the more classis
Sabrina, a sort of primer on her life in Greendale. She hides the fact that she
is a witch and creates a lot of mischief. It is a good filler piece and the art
is traditional Archie look. The art in the main story is not. It has lesser
defined lines relying on the painted colors for definition. It is not the most
attractive style in my opinion. If they wanted a sharp contrast from the
traditional Archie style they found it. It is not distracting from the story but
it is not as appealing as the art in most comics I read. Overall the book is a
solid and the plot carries through nicely. It should be an interesting take on a
familiar character in an alternate setting.

Issue Number: 1
Title Arc: Castles in the Sky
Publisher: Avatar
Creator: Garth Ennis
Writer: Garth Ennis
Artist: Matt Martin
Colors: Digikore Studios
Letters: Kurt Hathaway
Price (USD): $3.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: War Adventure
MATURE - Comics on the Edge

I generally enjoy most stories written by Garth Ennis. I find his war stories
particularly well done. When he gets away from the fantasy aspects of horror and
science fiction his ability to create realistic characters in true life settings
comes to the forefront. I was pleased to see this series starting because I knew
it would be worthwhile. A quick look at the art both on the cover and inside
shows that the folks at Avatar continue to maintain some of the best production
values in the industry. Matt Martin is a fine artist in every aspect. His
characters, attention to detail and flow from panel to panel makes a great story
come to life and Digikore keeps it grounded with spot on coloring. The first
issue is part one of a three issue arc. The story follows Sergeant Leonard
Wetmore from his journey across America to the ship in New York waiting to take
him to England and his first assignment of the war - as a gunner on a B-17
Flying Fortress. Garth goes into great detail about the ship, its specs and
history. He also eventually gets to a mission briefing and other details on how
the Army Air Corp is conducting their effort in this part of WWII. But this
story is also about characters and Leonard gets to see some of the countryside
before his first mission. Here he will meet a young boy and his widowed mom just
outside the base. It is clear this is not just thrown in for color. The boy has
a chip on his shoulder because his dad was killed in Sicily and he idolizes the
British soldiers. Because of that he also hates Yanks. The mother is grateful
for Leonard's effort to befriend the boy and it seems this sub plot will
continue to develop. I was expecting by the end to see the first action that
Leonard's plane and crew would get in to but Ennis threw a curve toward the end
of the issue. It is just another aspect of the reality of war and I won't spoil
it. This is a top notch comic that stands out and above other war comics in my
opinion. It is more about the people and the things they have to deal with day
to day more than the stress of battle, at least so far. I am enjoying it and you
will too.

Issue Number: 1
Title Story: Suicide King
Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment
Writers: Tim Seeley and Steve Seeley
Artist: Rafael Lanhellas
Colors: Mike Stefan
Letters: Marshall Dillon
Price (USD): $3.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Horror
MATURE - Comics on the Edge

I picked this one up on a whim, never having read an Evil Ernie comic. There is
a brief paragraph at the start to introduce the characters to new readers. Evil
Ernie was a man named Ernest Fairchild who died to save the world from the
vampire goddess named Purgatori. At some point he also assisted his beloved
Mistress Hel in her attempt to bring about Ragnarok, thus betraying his master
Lucifer.  Now he is back in Hell under constant torture for his transgression.
That is not much to go on considering the story starts very differently in the
real world as a good looking female comes into a remote bar in South Carolina
and proceeds to literally tear apart the few men hanging out there. She tells
one thug before he dies to give her regards to Mistress Hel. Her name is Carrion
Jane. As this issue develops we will see she is just one of a number of agents
of Mistress Hel slaughtering people on her behalf. They have lovely names like
Mr. Sloth, Wicked Walter, Skin & Bone and Deathlore. What her end game will be
is unclear. Meanwhile back in Hell Ernie is busy as Lucifer's assassin taking
care of two minor demons who are plotting to pick up the pieces after Hel
overthrows the Master. Lucifer offers Ernie a chance to be redeemed in his
master's eyes and get revenge by fighting against Hel and her new minions on
Earth. That is the basis of the plot. The first issue introduces these
characters as well as a female human Ernie will meet and take as his unwilling
ally when he once again returns to the world of the living to begin his task.
The most interesting aspect of Evil Ernie is this button that he wears - an evil
talking Smiley button. It is sort of a comic relief part of the story, at least
for me. This is not a bad book as far as the genre goes. The plot is clear on
who the bad guys are - basically they are all bad. So let's say who is on whose
side. Things are set in motion to begin a war. You get the feeling Evil Ernie
must be a real bad-ass if he is going up against five agents of Hel with only a
female human and a crazy button on his side. The art is impressive as well. It
has good flow, varied panel size and arrangement, and it is colored perfectly to
fit the various settings. I will not say I am a big fan of this type of story
but I found this comic well executed. Those who are into it will not be

Issue Number: 1
Publisher: Image
Writer: Michael Moreci
Artist: Vic Malhotra
Colors: Jordan Boyd
Letters: Ryan Ferrier
Price (USD): $3.50
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Science Fiction

The title of the comic is also the name of a space colony that was the dream of
billionaire Langford Skaargred. He spent his life and fortune to get it done. He
envisioned it as a tent post in a grander plan. It was supposed to be an example
of what man can accomplish and point the way to further exploration. It is on
the planet Dispater, a dwarf planet with surface area the size of India. It has
an abundance of water underground but there is also a unique mineral that men in
their wisdom found a way to refine into a hallucinogenic drug called Recall. The
planet sits on the cusp of an energy anomaly in the Andromeda galaxy. The
anomaly behaves like a black hole without the crippling gravitational effects.
It consumes light and energy, but its gravity is not so dense that it collapses
everything in its radius as a black hole does. And it does not prevent light
from escaping. This is the setting for the story and the first scene involves
the anomaly being used in what appears to be a nefarious manner. Whether it
plays a bigger part in the ongoing story remains to be seen. For now the main
plot revolves around characters on Dispater. Sonya Torin has been searching for
her sister Bekkah in the various bars and cheap hotels with little luck. She has
drawn the attention of certain people who would rather she not find her. Bekkah
appears to be one of three girl's missing from Gracie's and the owner will stop
at nothing to get them back. Meanwhile the people trying to stop Soyna from
finding her sister seem to be on the other side. Lucky for Sonya that Alex is in
the bar when Mr. Moscow's men make their move. He manages to save her in an
unorthodox fashion and is willing to help her find her sister. So at first blush
this appears to be more of a noir type story than a science fiction one. All of
the major characters save for Sonya are tainted more or less with crime and
underground activities. There is only a hint at the end that what is behind
Bekkah's disappearance is more diabolical than an underworld rivalry. The
characters are defined well but the bits and pieces of other plots and plans are
a bit vague as to their meaning in the big picture. The visual aspect of the
book is good enough to get the job done. I am not entirely sold on this title.
The structure is using the crime plot to advance things toward revelations much
further down the road. It may be worth an issue or two to see where it is going.

Issue Number: 1
Publisher: Image
Creators: Joshua Williamson & Andrei Bressan
Writer: Joshua Williamson
Artist: Andrei Bressan
Colors: Adriano Lucas
Letters: Pat Brosseau
Price (USD): $2.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Fantasy

The first third of this comic seems to be a tragic story of a family falling
apart. On his birthday young Mikey was playing ball with his dad in the park.
Mikey chased the ball into the woods and never came out. Soon the police are
called in and it is clear Mikey vanished. The following months are hard on
everyone. Theories range from kidnapping to accusations that the father somehow
killed his son. After a year only Mikey's brother has not given up hope. Aaron
the father however has been drinking heavily and has just been served with a
divorce petition from his wife who has already moved out. It is on that day that
Detective Brooks brings the family to the police station for a major break in
the case. They are interviewing a man they found wandering in the forest dressed
like a warrior from the Lord of the Rings. He has a fantastic story to tell and
the most amazing part of it is that he is actually the missing Mikey all grown
up. He tells how he somehow passed into another dimension where the world was
like a grand fantasy tale, complete with dragons, ogres, and an evil force of
nature called God King Lore. Lucky for Mikey he is found by the good guys and
eventually is told that his coming was told in prophecy. That he will be the one
to defeat Lore. His story ends many years later, time passes more quickly in
this land, when he fulfills the prophecy and defeats Lore. Now he is back
because a league of war criminals have escaped to Earth and he must hunt them
down before the infest Earth with Lore's bloody legacy. Apparently he is who he
says he is. The fingerprints match and the DNA test is forthcoming. Imagine how
you would react if a loved one disappeared for a year and then reappeared some
twenty years older? The father knew immediately this must be his son. The mother
and brother are more skeptical. It is an amazing story. I can see going forward
this can be structured with parallel plots. One in the present day will deal
with the implications of the family dynamic as well as those escaped criminals.
The other plot could follow Mikey as he begins his training as a boy destined to
be a hero. That could be interesting. However, there is another plot element I
have not revealed that could change everything and give the book a whole new
twist to it. I enjoyed this story right from the start and though the revelation
and explanation of what had happened to Mikey was handled well. Then the last
two pages threw me for a loop - not what I expected. This one has a lot of
promise story-wise. It has very nice art with terrific coloring. This one could
be another sleeper hit if handled correctly.


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:
What was the first comic title in which Superboy (Kon-el), Robin (Tim Drake),
and Impulse (Bart Allen) all worked together?

WITHOUT GROWNUPS was the answer.  Superboy, Robin and Impulse first appeared
together at the end of UNLIMITED ACCESS #3.

What card game are Aunt May and Uncle Ben playing when the intruder shows up in

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.

No comments:

Post a Comment