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Friday, October 3, 2014

Comic Reviews 10/3/14


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 5)
Publisher: Image
Creator: Larime Taylor
Colors: Jay Savage
Price (USD): $3.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Crime Drama
MATURE - Comics on the Edge

This number one is actually the second series about college freshman Zoey
Aarons. This is really one long story told in segments. To catch up new readers
there is a brief but inclusive recap on the inside cover. Basically Zoey is a
killer. Her first murder was at eighteen to avenge a friend driven to attempt
suicide. Off to college Zoey tried to control this urge to kill by hosting an
anonymous call-in show at the campus radio station. But she eventually gave in
to her impulses by killing a sorority queen and her boyfriend who were being
abusive to Zoey and her dorm mates. In an unrelated storyline her uncle is a
homicide detective in this college town who has been investigating a series of
murders of coeds. The killer leaves Polaroids at the crime scene as his
signature. What brings the two plots together is a Polaroid of Zoey's latest
killing she finds when she gets back to the radio studio. Larime likes to tell
his story is separate time sequences. The same is true for this new arc. The in-
continuity sequences follows the plot moving forward from the revelation that
the Polaroid killer revealed that he knows Zoey is also a killer and he has been
following her. On the one hand she is relieved there is someone else out there
like her, a killer that is. But the fact he has been following her is kind of
creepy. In an interesting plot development the killer, whose name is Rio, calls
in to her radio show. The script is really clever in this scene. While both are
using fake names the conversation is cleverly worded to bring out the fact that
the girl he is talking about is Zoey and that he wants to meet her. The other
plot segment takes place in the present some four months after the two have had
their face to face. Right now they are both tied up and being held at gun point
by the father of the girl Zoey killed. He clearly thinks the two were in on it
together and will likely kill them both. How they got there and whether they
will survive will be told over the course of the story arc. This is a
fascinating subject. It explores the motivations and rationalizations of
killers. What drives them in this case are very different things. These are not
the stereotypical psychopaths from some TV drama. I enjoy the series overall for
the depths that it goes to in exploring Zoey's personality. I also am still
amazed how Larime draws these characters using his mouth and a special computer
program due to the disability in his arms. The first series was done in black
and white so color is a new edition to this title. Unfortunately the color was
done by a stand-in at the last minute, and it shows. Larime's style is more
focused on the characters leaving the background to simpler shapes and less
detail. A good coloring would give depth to the background and sharpen the focus
on the people. The coloring here is minimal with only the people and their
clothes and a few objects filled in. the rest is basic line work with everything
the same color. Worse there seems to be a wash across most of the panels. It is
hard to describe but it looks like someone spilled something and tried to wipe
it off. It really distracts from the look of the book. Hopefully the next issue
will be an improvement.

Issue Number: One-Shot
Title Story: Pressure Point
Publisher: DC
Creator: Dan Jurgens
Writer: Dan Jurgens
Artists: Jurgens & Norm Rapmund, Will Conrad, Steve Lightle, Stephen Thompson &
Mark Irwin, Ron Frenz & Scott Hanna and Brett Booth.
Colors: John Kalisz
Letters: Taylor Esposito
Cover Artists: Jurgens, Rapmund & HI-FI
Price (USD): $3.99/$2.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Super Hero

One of the fan favorite characters before the NEW 52 was Booster Gold. He has
been seen very little in the NEW 52 lately but now he has a one shot that
promises we will be seeing more of him in the near future. This particular issue
is kind of quirky in that it poses more questions and very little solutions. As
the story of Booster has developed over the years he has been lately featured as
a time traveler. If you haven't read his latest adventures a quick check on
Wikipedia has a lot of detail about him and his relation to DC's other time
traveler Rip Hunter. But this is the NEW 52 where the focus of some books have
been gradually shifting to the other worlds in the multiverse. In this one-shot
we find Booster traveling through dimensions rather than time. Among the places
he visits are Earth 19, Earth 4 and Earth AD where Kommandi and company live.
But this is not a controlled journey. He is making these hops as if he is being
pushed from place to place. At each stop he naturally gets into conflicts with
others there because that is what happens in comic books. But there is a deeper
story here. Someone is trying to find the secret of Vanishing point, the place
out of space and time where Booster monitors the timelines. The story eventually
involves a younger Booster from another universe and his sister, Michelle. As
the story reaches its climax we are promised more to come in the WORLDS END
event coming up. This is not a bad story but to get the most out of it you will
have to be very conversant with Booster's history. It is really a tease for
things to come elsewhere. I don't think it is entirely needed to follow what is
going on in the NEW 52 FUTURES END overall story but it appears it will have
relevance in the future. The art is splendid with multiple artists being used to
illustrate the various alternate Earths involved. I think I will more enjoy the
upcoming appearance of Booster and Blue Beetle in JUSTICE LEAGUE 3000 as they
are supposedly going to be the pre-NEW 52 versions somehow flung into the future
before Beetles death - or maybe not. It is up to you to decide if this issue is
worth your time.

Issue Number: 1 (of 6)
Title Story: The Village Fete
Publisher: Boom! Studios
Creators: Dan Abnett & I.N.J. Culbard
Writer: Dan Abnett
Artist: I.N.J. Culbard
Letters: I.N.J. Culbard
Price (USD): $3.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Anthropomorphic Fantasy

I like to pick up comics that are not the same old fare from most being
published today. This one caught my eye because the characters are all
anthropomorphic versions of people and the writer is Dan Abnett who usually
spins a good tale. This being a creator owned title means it does not rely on
past continuity so anyone can get right into it. The story is set in the village
of Lower Crowchurch, somewhere in England probably in the early 20th century. It
starts with two locals, Fawkes and Bodie, walking down a country lane and
partaking in some ale. They are known for getting into mischief and drinking too
much. They witness what they think is a falling star but when they hear a crash
they realize it is more than that and run to investigate. This is key to the
story later in the book. The central character appears to be Mr. Clive Slipaway,
a dog character, who recently moved into the town. He is greeted by the town
Solicitor Gilbert Arrant and a reporter for the local newspaper, Peter Minks.
They invite him to the local tavern where there will be a meeting to organize a
committee for the annual fete. It is at this meeting we get to meet some of the
other citizens of Lower Crowchurch and learn of Arrant's leadership in the fete
year after year. Eventually Mr. Slipaway shows up to Arrant's delight, as he
hopes to find something Clive can do to integrate into the population by working
on something at the festival. This serves to gather all the players together for
what comes next. Fawkes barges in declaring that Bodie is dead, burned by a
bright light coming from the crashed "star" and everyone needs to rally to
protect the town. The regulars take all this as the ramblings of the town drunk
but only Slipaway thinks there may be something to it. He knows he saw terror in
Fawkes eyes and words and so he convinces Arrant and Minks to help him
investigate. We see in the last few pages some of the danger that they and the
town will be facing. This is a clever tale with delightful characters and
pleasing art. At first I did not pay that much attention to the cover but
looking back I see I should have expected this would involve some sort of
extraterrestrial element. It is a six-issue story that is moving at a good pace.
It has light humor and mystery that blend well. It is definitely giving me what
I was looking for - a story I wouldn't find in the mainstream ongoing comics.

Issue Number: 1 (of 4)
Publisher: Dark Horse
Writer: Chris Roberson
Artist: Patric Reynolds
Colors: Dave Stewart
Letters: Nate Piekos
Cover Artist: David Palumbo - Variant: Fiona Staples
Price (USD): $3.50
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Science Fiction
Mature - Comics on the Edge

Dark Horse has a long history of publishing comics based on the ALIENS and
PREDATOR movie franchises. I did not realize until after I picked this comic up
that it is part of a longer story involving both those properties as well as
PROMETHEUS. The checklist in the back indicates this is the second chapter in
the overall FIRE AND STONE arc that links everything together. The first part
was PROMETHEUS #1 that came out earlier in September. FIRE AND STONE will
involve those two titles, PREDATOR and ALIENS vs. PREDATOR as they each run
their four-issue course over the next four months ending in February with
PROMETHEUS: OMEGA. Although this issue is the second part of the arc it is noted
that events take place before the events in PROMETHEUS: FIRE AND STONE #1. So I
noted that I could jump in with this issue and go back to that other title if I
choose to without missing much. However, the story is based on things that
happen after the story told in PROMETHEUS, the movie so we are provided with a
brief recap about the adventures of the crew of the Prometheus on the planet LV-
223. Key to that story is that they found horrifying proof that mankind is not
alone in the universe and only Dr. Elizabeth Shaw and a damaged android, David,
made it off the planet. Now it is decades later. No one has been back to LV-223
but there is a mining colony on nearby LV-426, aka Acheron, one of three moons
circling a planetoid in deep space. That is where the story begins. Unlike a lot
of ALIENS stories we are not seeing events that led up to an encounter with
those creatures. Instead we see the colony is being overrun by aliens. Three
characters stand out as key to their survival. Russell is an engineer, Genevieve
a greenhouse supervisor and teacher for the colony's children, and Nolan Cale is
a surveyor and prospector for the company. As people are fighting for survival
and loosing badly Cale herds them to the Onager, a low orbit shuttle meant to
ferry cargo to orbit and back. They must leave the surface to survive and with
limited supplies they will have to try and make it to one of the other moons and
signal for a starship to rescue them. The story in this first issue goes through
the desperate race to save as many as they can before they take off and the
tricky landing on the other moon that makes this journey a one-way trip. There
key elements of the plot I have not revealed that are vital to what happens in
the next three issues. How this story ties in to the other three titles of the
arc is not clear at this point. It reads like a stand-alone story and at this
point there is little hope the humans can survive long enough to be rescued. The
art is a bit muddy in the coloring, lots of brown tones are used. But it is
sufficient to advance the story visually. I have not seen enough here to get me
excited about this particular mini-series. So far it is a typical plot in a
different setting. Maybe as part of the larger arc it will have more
significance but that runs over seventeen comics in total so it is a big
investment to get to the punch line.

Issue Number: One-Shot
Title Story: Haunted
Publisher: DC
Writer: Dan Jurgens
Artist: Lee Weeks
Colors: Dave McCaig
Letters: Travis Lanham
Price (USD): $3.99/$2.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Super Hero

I reviewed the ACTION COMICS: FUTURES END one-shot recently. This title, like
the rest of the one-shots in September, takes place in that time five years in
the future. We know Superman has gone off to Africa to help feed the poor
through growing crops but from the one-shots I have read as well as the weekly
FUTURES END. We still are not sure why he abandoned his role as the premier
super hero in the US. But here still is a Superman in Metropolis though he has
been hiding his identity under a helmet. Not too long ago, in FUTURES END #17,
Lois Lane discovered that the stand-in for Kal El is actually Shazam, aka Billy
Batson. Being a reporter she reported that Shazam is the one in the Superman
suit wearing a mask, though she did not reveal his secret identity. The gist of
this comic is the confrontation between Billy and Lois after the facts have been
revealed, why Billy is doing this in the first place, the consequences the
revelation is having, and what Billy will decide to do going forward. As a
result of the revelation there are some who criticize Shazam for pretending to
be Superman, even though he is doing all he can to protect the citizens of
Metropolis and stop the bad guys. Now that the world knows it is actually Shazam
there is one bad guy in particular who is out to get him after finding out
Shazam did not die in the Earth War. That provides the action for this issue.
But the real story is the conversation between Lois and Billy. Despite his anger
that she blew his cover she convinces him to let her know why he was
masquerading of the Man of Steel. He tells her why he owed it to Superman to
carry on his work but has no knowledge of where Kal El has gone to. As I said
the story ends with another change as Billy decides how best to serve that debt
going forward. This is a good use of the one-shot to supplement the weekly
series. Rather than take up time in the main book these key events are told
here. It makes for a good story and has a logical conclusion. Superman does
appear in his own title but only in flashback but that does not detract from the
enjoyment. It is not critical to read this to follow FUTURES END going forward
but it does fill in the blanks not revealed elsewhere.

Issue Number: One-Shot
Title Story: Crappily Ever After
Publisher: DC
Creator: Paul Dini & Bruce Timm
Writers: Jimmy Palmiotti & Amanda Conner
Artist: Chad Hardin
Colors: Alex Sinclair
Letters: John J. Hill
Cover Artists: Amanda Conner & Paul Mounts
Price (USD): $3.99/$2.99
Release Date: NOW ON SALE
Genre: Humorous Super Villain

Unlike the SUPERMAN one-shot reviewed above this entry has little if anything to
do with the main FUTURES END story. In fact if they left out the first panel
with the editorial blurb, "Five years from now", in the corner the story could
be taking place in the present. If you only want plots with relevance to the
overall event than this one-shot will not fit that need. However, if you are a
Harley fan or just enjoy an occasional whimsical story set in the DC universe
than this one is for you. It starts with the premise that Harley is having
herself shipped to the Bahamas in a crate to save on air fare for this vacation.
What could possibly go wrong? Sure enough the plane crashes and she finds
herself stranded on an island with what little she can salvage from the
wreckage. This being lighter fare it is filled with lots of humor. One of the
first chuckles is her finding a soccer ball and deciding to paint a face on it
and give it a name, in homage to a famous movie. A lot of the rest comes from
her conversations with the skull of her pet Bernie that she now is wearing
around her neck. Well, soon she finds she is not alone as local tribesmen reveal
themselves and surprisingly refer to her as their Most Awesome Goddess. After a
lot of food and entertainment the chief reveals they will escort her in the
morning to meet their god-king near the volcano off in the distance. It won't
take you long, looking at the chief's headgear, to realize who their god-king
actually is. It is no spoiler that he is The Joker. The plot involves his story,
what he has been up to five years in the future, as well as the happy reunion.
It gets more absurd as Joker tells her they are to be married that night though
they are both surprised by a twist the natives put on the "wedding." As I said
this is a very whimsical comic, perhaps more so than the regular monthly issues
of this title. But it is very enjoyable because of that clever whit and strong
art. For Harley fans it is a must get. For the rest of us it is a pleasant


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
please but guess as often as you like.

Last week's trivia question:
Steven Grant wrote a JFK conspiracy comic published by Dark Horse. What company
originally published the first issue?

Vortex first published Steven Grant's BADLANDS before Dark Horse picked it up
and ran the entire series.

We all know Steve Ditko was the first penciller in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN. Who was
the second?

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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