Saturday, May 31, 2014

I Reads You Review: THE AMAZING SPIDER MAN #1

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #1 (2014)
MARVEL COMICS – @Marvel

WRITER: Dan Slott
PENCILS: Humberto Ramos
INKS: Victor Olazaba
COLORS: Edgar Delgado
LETTERS: Chris Eliopoulos
COVER: Humberto Ramos
VARIANT COVERS: Marcos Martin; Ed McGuinness; Pop Mhan; Jerome Opeña; Skottie Young; Alex Ross
92pp, Color, $5.99 U.S. (June 2014)

Spider-Man is a Marvel Comics superhero.  Peter Parker was once a shy and retiring teenager.  He was a freelance photographer.  He has always been a science wiz.  Parker is the Amazing Spider-Man.  Then, the gods of comics fate allowed Spider-Man arch-villain, Doctor Octopus, to swap his brain into Parker’s body.  Doc Ock became the Superior Spider-Man.

Peter Parker’s brain is back in his body, and the core Spider-Man comic book series, The Amazing Spider-Man, is re-launched.  This All-New Marvel NOW series is brought to readers by writer Dan Slott, artists Humberto Ramos (pencils) and Victor Olazaba (inks), colorist Edgar Delgado and letterer Chris Eliopoulos.

The Amazing Spider-Man #1 (“Lucky to Be Alive”) opens with Spider-Man fighting a group of oddball, semi-super-villains.  He’s doing that for relaxation.  Now, that Parker is back in control of his body, he discovers that Doctor Octopus completed Parker’s PhD and started his own company, “Parker Industries.”  But the company is a bit of a mess.  And Parker apparently has girlfriend named Anna Maria Marconi.  Spider-Man is back, but so are the troubles of Peter Parker.

I don’t read Spider-Man comic books as much as I once did.  I have been planning on changing that, and The Amazing Spider-Man #1 – 2014 edition – convinces me that I should.  This new beginning features classic pile-on-Parker with some web-slinging, and while I won’t call this great, I find it to be a good read.  As for artist Humberto Ramos, I am enjoying his work, which seems more like the work of former imprint-mate, J. Scott Campbell, than ever before.

Back-up features credits:
WRITERS: Dan Slott, Christos Gage, Joe Caramagna, Peter David, Chris Yost
PENCILS: Javier Rodriguez, Giuseppe Camuncoli, Chris Eliopoulos, Will Sliney, David Baldeon, Ramon Perez
INKS: Alvaro Lopez, John Dell, Cam Smith, Chris Eliopoulos, Will Sliney, Jordi Tarragona, Ramon Perez
COLORS: Javier Rodriguez, Antonio Fabela, Jim Charalampidis, Rachelle Rosenberg, Ian Herring

There are six short stories featuring various characters from the world of Spider-Man, with one being a preview of a side-series comic book.  These stories are extras, and I like anything that makes a comic book a bigger issue than it normally is.

INHUMAN #1
WRITER: Charles Soule
ARTIST: Joe Madureira
COLORS: Marte Gracia
LETTERS: VC’s Clayton Cowles
COVER:  Joe Madureira and Marte Gracia

The Amazing Spider-Man #1 reprints the sold-out Inhuman #1 (Part 1: Genesis) by writer Charles Soule, artist Joe Madureira, colorist Marte Gracia, and letter Clayton Cowles.  Marvel Comics is re-inventing and revitalizing the Inhumans, a strain of humanity that began with genetic manipulation by visitors to Earth from an alien civilization (the Kree).

This first issue revitalizes my interest in the Inhumans, and I have not read an Inhumans comic book since Paul Jenkins’ 12-issue comic book series, The Inhumans, which was first published about 14 years ago.  This new comic book also offers some of Joe Madureira’s strongest art, in terms of storytelling and style, in over a decade.  This Inhuman #1 reprint is why I’m giving The Amazing Spider-Man #1 a high grade.

A-

Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux


The text is copyright © 2014 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this blog for syndication rights and fees.

Friday, May 30, 2014

I Reads You Review: MOON KNIGHT #2

MOON KNIGHT (2014) #2
MARVEL COMICS – @Marvel

WRITER: Warren Ellis
ARTIST/COVER: Declan Shalvey
COLORS: Jordie Bellaire
LETTERS: Chris Eliopoulos
COVER: Declan Shalvey and Jordie Bellaire
VARIANT COVER: Phil Noto
28pp, Color, $3.99 U.S. (July 2014 – second printing)

Rating: Parental Advisory

“Sniper”

Moon Knight, the Marvel Comics superhero character created by writer Doug Moench and artist Don Perlin, recently received a new eponymous comic book series.  [Moon Knight first appeared in Werewolf by Night #32 (cover dated: August 1975).]  Courtesy of writer Warren Ellis, artist Declan Shalvey, colorist Jordie Bellaire, and letterer Chris Eliopoulos, the 2014 Moon Knight comic book finds the title character taking on serial killers, spree killers, and other mass murders (so far).

Moon Knight #2 (“Sniper”) opens with a focus on eight individuals, who wind down after a long day at work.  But their pasts have come back possibly to haunt them.  Perhaps, Moon Knight can stop the haunting.

I just read Moon Knight #2, and I like it so much that I had to start writing this review right away.  That’s funny, because I did not care much for the first issue of the “All-New Marvel NOW!” Moon Knight.  Nothing:  I didn’t care for Warren Ellis’ script, nor was I feeling buzz word-hot artist Declan Shalvey or just-got-lots-of-Eisner-nominations colorist Jordie Bellaire (whose work I usually like).

Ellis’ story has a heartbreaking quality to it, but he is clever in how he manipulates through information.  By the end of the story, you might be having thoughts about how justice is served or, at least, least be thinking about blow back and real world issues.

Shalvey has a graphic style that would be right at home at alt-comix and art comics publishers like Top Shelf Productions and Drawn & Quarterly.  This time his compositions offer the striking visuals that they did not in the first issue.  Bellaire’s colors are evocative, creating mood and also giving the story a forceful sense of drama.

Shalvey and Ellis come together to create a story rhythm that is a beating heart, with a jazzy vibe that is part noir and part superhero comic book.  Half pantomime (without dialogue and exposition) and half sparsely worded, Moon Knight #2 is a unique read.  It bodes well for the next few issues, and I’m on board for more.

A

Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux


The text is copyright © 2014 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this blog for syndication rights and fees.


Wednesday, May 28, 2014

I Reads You Review: SCOOBY-DOO, Where Are You? #45

SCOOBY-DOO, WHERE ARE YOU? #45
DC COMICS – @DCComics

STORY: Georgia Ball, Darryl Taylor Kravitz, Robbie Busch
PENCILS: Dave Alvarez, Karen Matchette, Robert Pope
INKS: Dave Alvarez, Karen Matchette, Scott McRae
COLORS: Dave Alvarez; Heroic Age
LETTERS: Saida Temofonte, Randy Gentile, Brian Durniak
EDITOR: Kristy Quinn
COVER: Dave Alvarez
28pp, Color, $2.99 U.S. (July 2014)

Rated “E” for “Everyone”

Via subscription, I continue my journey through the current Scooby-Doo comic book series with the forty-fifth issue of Scooby-Doo, Where Are You?  Why is this happening, those of you who are new might ask?  I bought a subscription to Scooby-Doo, Where Are You? via a fundraiser held by my nephew’s school last year, which involved selling magazine subscriptions.

Scooby-Doo, Where Are You? #45 opens with “Scooby Slides into Danger” (written by Georgia Ball and drawn and colored by Dave Alvarez).  The Mystery Inc. gang visits the water park, Pudelnass (“the World’s Greatest Water Park”), for a day of sun without a mystery to solve.  The kids actually get to have the water park all to themselves.  Of course, it’s not that easy.  They have to solve the mystery of the mutant creature known as “the Primordial Ooze.”

As “The Freeloading Ghost” (written by Darryl Taylor Kravitz and drawn by Karen Matchette) opens, the Mystery Inc. kids have just solved a mystery.  However, there is some blowback because of their actions.  They have made a ghost homeless, and he expects housing from his accidental evictors.  Also, reality show shenanigans have the gang trying to capture “The Great Lire of Lagoona Beach” (written by Robbie Busch and drawn by Robert Pope and Scott McRae).

Scooby-Doo, Where Are You? #45 features the return of one of my favorite Scooby-Doo comic book artists, the fantastic Dave Alvarez.  There is a 3D quality to the combination of his compositions and coloring that remind me of my childhood experiences with “View Master.”

Of course, Scooby-Doo and friends have an established visual appearance, but Alvarez shows off his talent for cartooning the human head and face on the other characters.  Expressive and odd-looking, the supporting players of “Scooby Slides into Danger” have a striking visual look.  Plus, the story is also fun, and it is one that I would like to see adapted as one of those Scooby-Doo direct-to-DVD animated films.

The other two stories are reprints from the Scooby-Doo comic book series previous to this one (entitled, Scooby-Doo).  I love “The Freeloading Ghost.”  Can we get a revisit on that one?  As for Scooby-Doo, Where Are You? #45, it is one of the favorites of my subscription.  More Dave Alvarez, please.

A

Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux


The text is copyright © 2014 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this blog for syndication rights and fees.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

DC Comics from Diamond Distributors for May 28 2014

DC COMICS

MAR140242 ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN #13 $3.99
MAR140239 ALL STAR WESTERN #31 $3.99
MAR140181 AQUAMAN #31 $2.99
MAR140212 BATMAN #31 (ZERO YEAR) $3.99
MAR140214 BATMAN #31 COMBO PACK (ZERO YEAR) $4.99
MAR140211 BATMAN ETERNAL #8 $2.99
MAR140227 CATWOMAN #31 $2.99
FEB140253 CATWOMAN TP VOL 04 GOTHAM UNDERGROUND (N52) $17.99
MAR140289 DEAD BOY DETECTIVES #6 $2.99
FEB140288 FAIREST TP VOL 03 RETURN OF THE MAHARAJA (MR) $14.99
MAR140184 FLASH #31 $2.99
JAN140368 GIRL WHO PLAYED WITH FIRE HC (MR) $29.99
FEB140238 HE MAN AND THE MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE #13 $2.99
MAR140246 INJUSTICE GODS AMONG US YEAR TWO #5 $2.99
MAR140178 JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK #31 $3.99
MAR140238 LARFLEEZE #11 $2.99
MAR140168 NEW 52 FUTURES END #4 (WEEKLY) $2.99
FEB140159 NIGHTWING #30 (EVIL) (NOTE PRICE) $3.99
MAR140237 RED LANTERNS #31 $2.99
FEB140256 RED LANTERNS TP VOL 04 BLOOD BROTHERS (N52) $16.99
MAR140280 SANDMAN OVERTURE #2 SPECIAL EDITION (MR) $4.99
MAR140183 SECRET ORIGINS #2 $4.99
FEB140251 SHAZAM TP (N52) $16.99
FEB140161 SUICIDE SQUAD #30 (EVIL) $3.99
MAR140201 SUPERMAN #31 (DOOMED) $2.99
JAN140356 TALES OF THE BATMAN CARMINE INFANTINO HC $49.99

DC COMICS/DC COLLECTIBLES

NOV138235 DC COMICS NEW 52 JUSTICE LEAGUE 7 PACK AF BOX SET $99.95


Marvel Comics from Diamond Distributors for May 28 2014

MARVEL COMICS

MAR140704 ALL NEW INVADERS #5 $3.99
MAR140633 AVENGERS #30 SIN $3.99
MAR140760 AVENGERS ASSEMBLE TP FORGERIES OF JEALOUSY $16.99
MAR148202 CAPTAIN MARVEL #2 2ND PTG LOPEZ VAR ANMN $3.99
FEB140839 CATACLYSM HC ULTIMATES LAST STAND $49.99
MAR140636 DEADPOOL #29 SIN $3.99
MAR148203 DEADPOOL VS CARNAGE #2 2ND PTG FABRY VAR $3.99
MAR140782 DEVIL DINOSAUR BY JACK KIRBY TP COMPLETE COLLECTION $24.99
MAR140684 DEXTER DOWN UNDER #4 $3.99
MAR140674 DISNEY KINGDOMS SEEKERS OF WEIRD #5 $3.99
MAR140675 DISNEY KINGDOMS SEEKERS OF WEIRD #5 CROSBY IMAGINEER $3.99
MAR140724 FANTASTIC FOUR #5 $4.99
MAR140696 GIANT SIZE SPIDER-MAN #1 $4.99
FEB140835 GOTG ALL NEW X-MEN TRIAL OF JEAN GREY PREM HC $24.99
MAR140713 GUARDIANS OF GALAXY #15 $3.99
MAR140643 INHUMAN #2 ANMN $3.99
MAR148204 IRON FIST LIVING WEAPON #1 2ND PTG ANDREWS VAR ANMN $3.99
MAR140720 IRON MAN #26 $3.99
MAR140672 IRON PATRIOT #3 ANMN $3.99
MAR140777 MARVEL BOY TP NEW PTG $15.99
MAR140775 MARVEL FIRSTS TP VOL 02 1980S $44.99
MAR140784 MARVEL UNIVERSE ULT SPIDER-MAN DIGEST TP VOL 06 $9.99
MAR140726 MARVEL UNIVERSE ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #26 SYU $2.99
MAR140712 MARVELS GUARDIANS OF GALAXY PRELUDE #2 $2.99
MAR140634 MIGHTY AVENGERS #10 SIN $3.99
FEB140832 MIRACLEMAN PREM HC BOOK 01 DREAM OF FLYING DAVIS CVR $29.99
MAR140772 MMW INVINCIBLE IRON MAN TP VOL 03 $24.99
MAR140711 MS MARVEL #4 $2.99
MAR140776 OZ OZMA OF OZ TP $19.99
MAR140761 REVOLUTIONARY WAR TP $24.99
MAR148205 SHE-HULK #3 2ND PTG WADA VAR ANMN $2.99
MAR140692 THANOS ANNUAL #1 $4.99
MAR140714 THUNDERBOLTS #26 $2.99
MAR140688 UNCANNY AVENGERS #20 $3.99
MAR140705 WINTER SOLDIER BITTER MARCH #4 $3.99
MAR140743 WOLVERINE #7 $3.99


IDW Publishing from Diamond Distributors for May 28 2014

IDW PUBLISHING

MAR140444 24 #2 $3.99
MAR140455 CITY THE MIND IN THE MACHINE #4 $3.99
FEB140446 COMPLETE LITTLE ORPHAN ANNIE HC VOL 10 $49.99
MAR140372 GHOSTBUSTERS #16 $3.99
MAR140440 GODZILLA RULERS OF THE EARTH #12 $3.99
FEB140468 LOCKE & KEY HEAD GAMES DLX HC RED LABEL ED PI
MAR148156 MONSTER & MADMAN #1 2ND PTG $3.99
MAR140393 MY LITTLE PONY FRIENDSHIP IS MAGIC #19 $3.99
MAR140381 SAMURAI JACK #8 $3.99
MAR140367 STAR TREK ONGOING #33 $3.99
DEC138377 STAR TREK ONGOING HC VOL 02 OPERATION ANNIHILATE RED LABEL PI
MAR140415 TRANSFORMERS ROBOTS IN DISGUISE #29 DAWN O/T AUTOBOTS $3.99
MAR140404 X-FILES SEASON 10 #12 $3.99


Dark Horse Comics from Diamond Distributors for May 28 2014

DARK HORSE COMICS

MAR140043 CAPTAIN MIDNIGHT #11 $2.99
JAN140142 CAPTAIN MIDNIGHT TP VOL 02 BRAVE OLD WORLD $14.99
MAR140072 CONAN THE AVENGER #2 $3.50
JAN140192 EERIE ARCHIVES HC VOL 16 $49.99
MAR140035 ELFQUEST FINAL QUEST #3 $3.50
MAR140049 FURIOUS #5 $3.99
MAR140037 HALO ESCALATION #6 $3.99
MAR140074 KING CONAN CONQUEROR #4 $3.50
MAR140038 MASS EFFECT FOUNDATION #11 $3.99
MAR140057 MASSIVE #23 $3.50
MAR140058 MIND MGMT #22 $3.99
MAR140050 PARIAH #4 $3.99
JAN140154 RESIDENT ALIEN TP VOL 02 SUCIDE BLONDE $14.99
MAR140059 SERENITY LEAVES ON THE WIND #5 $3.50
JAN140131 SLEDGEHAMMER 44 TP VOL 01 $19.99
MAR140019 STAR WARS #8 LUCAS DRAFT $3.99
MAR140016 STAR WARS LEGACY II #15 $2.99
MAR140023 STAR WARS REBEL HEIST #2 HUGHES MAIN CVR $3.50
MAR140041 TOMB RAIDER #4 $3.50
MAR140052 VANDROID #4 $3.99


Image Comics from Diamond Distributors for May 28 2014

IMAGE COMICS

MAR140533 ADVENTURES OF APOCALYPSE AL TP VOL 01 $9.99
MAR140535 BLACK SCIENCE TP VOL 01 HOW TO FALL FOREVER (MR) $9.99
MAR140477 C.O.W.L. #1 (MR) $3.50
MAR140497 CHEW / REVIVAL #1 (MR) $4.99
JAN140550 CRAWL SPACE OVERSIZED OMNIBUS HC $49.99
MAR140566 DEAD BODY ROAD #6 (MR) $2.99
MAR148302 DEADLY CLASS #3 3RD PTG (MR) $3.50
MAR140567 DEADLY CLASS #5 (MR) $3.50
MAR140536 DRUMHELLAR TP VOL 01 BADLANDS AND BAD TRIPS (MR) $14.99
JAN140587 ELEPHANTMEN #57 (MR) $3.99
MAR140574 FUSE #4 (MR) $3.50
MAR140594 SEX #13 (MR) $2.99
FEB140628 SHELTERED #9 $2.99
MAR140600 SKULLKICKERS #27 $3.50
MAR148275 SOUTHERN BASTARDS #1 2ND PTG (MR) $3.50
MAR140601 SOUTHERN BASTARDS #2 (MR) $3.50
MAR140602 SOVEREIGN #3 (MR) $2.99
MAR140610 THIEF OF THIEVES #21 (MR) $2.99
MAR140475 TREES #1 (MR) $2.99
MAR140551 UMBRAL TP VOL 01 OUT O/T SHADOWS (MR) $9.99

IMAGE COMICS/MCFARLANE TOYS

FEB140649 TMP MLB SERIES 32 AF PI
FEB140654 TMP MLB SERIES 32 AROLDIS CHAPMAN AF PI
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FEB140650 TMP MLB SERIES 32 RICKY HENDERSON AF PI
FEB140651 TMP MLB SERIES 32 YADIER MOLINA AF PI
FEB140655 TMP MLB SERIES 32 YASIEL PUIG AF PI


Comics, Magazines and Books from Diamond Distributors for May 28 2014

PREVIEWS PUBLICATIONS
APR140005 PREVIEWS #309 JUNE 2014 $4.50
APR140008 PREVIEWS #309 JUNE 2014 CUSTOMER ORDER FORM PI

COMICS & GRAPHIC NOVELS

FEB141404 ACG CLASSICS ADV INTO UNKNOWN SGN SLIPCASE ED COLL PACK $169.99
FEB141406 ACG CLASSICS COLL PACK FORBIDDEN WORLDS $129.99
NOV131205 ACG COLL WORKS ADV INTO UNKNOWN HC VOL 07 $47.99
MAR141169 AMATEURS GN $14.99
MAR141020 AMERIKA GN $20.00
APR141263 ATTACK ON TITAN COLOSSAL ED TP VOL 01 $59.99
MAR140934 BART SIMPSON COMICS #90 $2.99
MAR141340 BRASS SUN #1 $3.99
MAR141000 BRAVEST WARRIORS #20 MAIN CVRS $3.99
MAR141464 BTOOOM GN VOL 06 (MR) $11.99
MAR141225 CAGE OF EDEN GN VOL 14 $10.99
MAR140941 CLIVE BARKERS NIGHTBREED #1 (MR) $3.99
MAR140881 CROSSED BADLANDS #54 (MR) $3.99
MAR140884 CROSSED BADLANDS #54 FATAL FANTASY CVR (MR) $3.99
MAR140883 CROSSED BADLANDS #54 TORTURE CVR (MR) $3.99
MAR140882 CROSSED BADLANDS #54 WRAP CVR (MR) $3.99
MAR141076 DEJAH OF MARS #1 (MR) $3.99
MAR141078 DEJAH OF MARS #1 BLANK AUTHENTIX CVR (MR) $3.99
MAR141077 DEJAH OF MARS #1 ULTRA LTD RUBI RISQUE CVR (MR) PI
APR141187 DF AMAZING SPIDER MAN #1 SLOTT SGN $29.99
OCT131159 DF DEJAH THORIS TRIPLE SHOT $29.99
OCT131157 DF GUARDIANS O/T GALAXY HOLIDAY GIFT BONUS PACK $10.00
JAN131120 DF MY LITTLE PONY FRIENDSHIP IS MAGIC #1 REMARK ED $25.00
APR131112 DF X-FILES SEASON 10 #1 EXC HARRIS SGN ED PI
MAR141111 DOC SAVAGE ANNUAL 2014 $5.99
MAR141040 DOCTOR SPEKTOR #1 $3.99
FEB141426 DRAGONAR ACADEMY GN VOL 02 (MR) $12.99
MAR140800 DRY SPELL #1 (MR) $3.99
APR141172 EVERYWHERE ANTENNAS GN (MR) $19.95
MAR148325 EVIL EMPIRE #2 (2ND PTG) (MR) $3.99
MAR141215 FINAL INCAL DLX ED HC (MR) $99.95
MAR141216 FINAL INCAL ULTRA DLX ED HC (MR) $590.00
MAR140935 FUTURAMA COMICS #71 $2.99
MAR141540 GFT CODE RED TP VOL 01 $15.99
MAR141511 GFT NEVERLAND AGE OF DARKNESS #3 A CVR DESJARDINS $2.99
MAR141512 GFT NEVERLAND AGE OF DARKNESS #3 B CVR KROME $2.99
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MAR141267 GLACIAL PERIOD HC NEW PTG $22.99
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MAR140931 IN CROWD TP HIGH TIDE $14.99
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APR141173 PETTY THEFT GN (MR) $19.95
MAR141266 PHANTOMS OF THE LOUVRE HC $29.99
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APR141363 STAR TREK COMICS CLASSICS TP VOL 04 RETURN OF THE WORTHY $14.95
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FEB141224 WEAPON BROWN TP (MR) $22.99

MAGAZINES
SEP131555 BRICKJOURNAL #27 $8.95
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NOV131448 FANGORIA #333 $10.99
MAR141613 HORRORHOUND 2014 SPRING ANNUAL SPECIAL $5.00
DEC131468 MEGAMI MAR 2014 $16.60

BOOKS
FEB141589 ART OF JOHN HARRIS BEYOND THE HORIZON HC $34.95
MAR141570 CONSOLE WARS SEGA NINTENDO & BATTLE DEFINED GENERATION HC $28.99
MAR141562 EVERYBODY DIES CHILDRENS BOOK FOR GROWN UPS HC $14.99
MAR141553 LOST NOTEBOOKS HERMAN SCHULTHEIS & SECRETS OF DISNEY HC $75.00
MAR141568 NEIL GAIMAN ART OF NEIL GAIMAN VISUAL BIO HC $39.99
APR141174 THE WORN ARCHIVE SC (MR) $29.95
MAR142396 WARHAMMER 40K VULKAN LIVES MMPB $9.99
APR141565 YEARS BEST SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY SC 2014 ED $19.95


Monday, May 26, 2014

Sunday, May 25, 2014

I Reads You Review: A GAME OF THRONES #19

GEORGE R.R. MARTIN’S A GAME OF THRONES #19
DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT – @dynamitecomics

WRITER: George R.R. Martin
ADAPTATION: Daniel Abraham
ART: Tommy Patterson
COLORS: Ivan Nunes
LETTERS: Marshall Dillon
COVER: Mike S. Miller
32pp, Color, $3.99 U.S. (2014)

Dynamite Entertainment is currently producing a comic book adaptation of A Game of Thrones, the 1996 novel from science fiction and fantasy author, George R.R. Martin.  The novel is the first book in Martin’s best-selling A Song of Ice and Fire series of high fantasy novels.  That series is also the basis for the award-winning and popular HBO television series, “Game of Thrones.”

George R.R. Martin’s A Game of Thrones is a planned 24-issue comic book series.  Science fiction and fantasy novelist, Daniel Abraham, who sometimes collaborates with Martin on fiction, adapts the novel into comic book form.  Artist Tommy Patterson draws A Game of Thrones the comic book, with Ivan Nunes coloring the art.  I have read and reviewed A Game of Thrones the comic book series via three volumes of A Game of Thrones: The Graphic Novel, Bantam Books’ hardcover reprint of the Dynamite comic book series.

George R.R. Martin’s A Game of Thrones #19 opens with Lord Tyrion Lannister (the dwarf) in the company of his new allies, the mountain men, who are suspicious of him.  He has promised these warrior clansmen much.  Now, they ride to the Trident where Tyrion will meet his father, Lord Tywin Lannister, and try to complete the bargains he made.  Will Tywin go along with a son for whom he really does not care?

Meanwhile, Robb Stark, son of the imprisoned Lord Eddard Stark, marches to meet the Lannisters, but to reach them, he needs the Crossing which will take him to Riverrun.  However, Walder Frey, Lord of the Crossing, has not given his permission, allowing Stark’s forces to cross.  Now, Lady Catelyn Stark, wife of Eddard and mother of Robb, must find a way to make someone who is supposed to be an ally act like an ally.

Prior to reading A Game of Thrones: The Graphic Novel: Volume 1, I was not familiar with A Game of Thrones, although I had heard of the television series.  I did not even know that the novel was being adapted into comic book form until Random House sent me a review copy of the first graphic novel in early 2012.  Since I have enjoyed the graphic novel collections so much, I have been planning on reading individual issues of Dynamite Entertainment’s series.  As luck would have it, I happened to be visiting a comic book store the week George R.R. Martin’s A Game of Thrones #19 was released.  [A Game of Thrones: The Graphic Novel: Volume 3 concluded with issue #18]

As I have with the collections, I thoroughly enjoyed #19.  Daniel Abraham and Tommy Patterson are not producing a slap-dash licensed product.  This comic book is filled with the kind of character details that enrich the story.  It does not matter how big a scene is or how many characters are involved, Abraham makes every bit of dialogue matter and every scene important to moving the narrative.

Patterson’s compositions transport readers to another world.  It may not be anyone else version of A Game of Thrones, but Patterson makes you believe that his art is not just a depiction, but is an actual world brought to life.  Ivan Nunes’ colors add the extra bit of spark that makes the drama vivid.

George R.R. Martin’s A Game of Thrones #19 is not just a good fantasy comic book; it is a good comic book – period.  I wish other fantasy authors were so luck to have Daniel Abraham and Tommy Patterson adapting their novels to comic book form.

A

www.DYNAMITE.com

Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux

The text is copyright © 2014 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this site for syndication rights and fees.


Friday, May 23, 2014

I Reads You Review: UNCANNY X-MEN in Days of Future Past

UNCANNY X-MEN IN DAYS OF FUTURE PAST
MARVEL COMICS – @Marvel

PLOT: Chris Claremont and John Byrne
STORY: Chris Claremont
PENCILS: John Byrne
INKS: Terry Austin
COLORS: Glynis Oliver
LETTERS: Tom Orzechowski
EDITORS: Louise Simonson (original), Gregory Wright (reprint)
EiC: Tom DeFalco
COVER: Jackson Guice and Scott Williams
ISBN: 0-87135-582-5; paperback (1989)
48pp, Color, $3.95 U.S., $5.00 CAN

One of the most famous stories ever published in an X-Men comic book is known as “Days of Future Past.”  The two-part story was originally published in The X-Men #141 (“Days of Future Past,” cover dated: January 1981) and #142 (“Mind Out of Time!” cover dated: February 1981).  The popularity of “Days of the Future Past” is affirmed in the fact that the story has been continued and retold and has also influenced and inspired other X-Men publications and stories in the decades since its original publication.  This story is also the basis for the shortly to be released film, X-Men: Days of Future Past (20th Century Fox, 2014).

“Days of Future Past” was the creation of writer Chris Claremont and artist John Byrne, who were both credited as the story’s “co-plotters,” with Claremont providing the script and Byrne providing the pencil art.  Their collaborators were Terry Austin (ink art), Glynis Oliver (colors), Tom Orzechowski (letters), and Louise Simonson (editor).

I first read the story ages ago.  It simultaneously stunned and thrilled me, so much so that I immediately reread it.  This story had it all:  a dystopian future, an assassination conspiracy, dead X-Men, X-Men in peril, X-Men murdered before my very eyes, Sentinels (which were then new to me), the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, and a superhero/super-villain battle.

The X-Men #141 also probably has one of the most famous (if not the most famous) X-Men comic book covers.  Over the years, I made reading “Days of Future Past” an annual event.  One of my repeat readings was courtesy of a 1989 single-issue reprint entitled, The Uncanny X-Men in Days of Future Past.  When I recently discovered that I no longer had a copy of this comic book, I bought one from Mile High Comics, during a sale.  Because of the new X-Men movie, I decided to read and review The Uncanny X-Men in Days of Future Past.

“Days of Future Past” alternates between the (then) present year of 1980, and the (then) future year of 2013.  The X-Men #141 (“Days of Future Past”) opens in the year 2013.  The story introduces a dystopian future North America that is ruled by the mutant-hunting Sentinels.  Mutants are incarcerated in internment camps, and people are classified by their genetics.  The Sentinels not only killed almost all the X-Men, but they also killed many superheroes, including the Fantastic Four.

We meet an adult Kate Pryde.  She is one of the last surviving X-Men, along with Wolverine, Storm, and Colossus.  Kate and the X-Men join Magneto, Franklin Richards (son of Reed Richards and Sue Storm of the Fantastic Four), and his girlfriend, a telepath named Rachel, in a seemingly-impossible plan to travel into the past and change the horrible era in which they live.

On the eve of a feared nuclear holocaust, Kate’s mind travels backward through time to posses the body of her younger self, Kitty Pryde.  There, she convinces the X-Men: Storm, Wolverine, Colossus, Nightcrawler and Angel that they must stop a plot by the newly reassembled Brotherhood of Evil Mutants:  Mystique, Destiny, Avalanche, Pyro, and Blob.  The Brotherhood plans to assassinate United States Senator Robert Kelly, a pivotal event in mutant–human history.

The X-Men #142 (“Mind Out of Time!”) finds the X-Men and the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants in a pitched battle in and around the Congressional building.  Meanwhile, in 2013, the few remaining X-Men make their last stand.

Apparently, Marvel Comics has designated that “Days of Future Past” takes place in Earth-811 in the Marvel “multiverse.”  When I first read “Days of Future Past,” I saw it as probably the real future for the X-Men.  I also saw it as the height of the X-Men run by the team of Chris Claremont, John Byrne and Terry Austin.  There would be no letdown, however, as this team would produce only one more issue of the X-Men after “Days of Future Past.”  Byrne exited the title to become both a writer and an artist, taking over the Fantastic Four.

As much as I have enjoyed reading the X-Men comic books that came after “Days of Future Past,” only a few have even come close to being as close to this Claremont-Byrne classic.  I think some people consider this Byrne’s best work as an artist.  For a long time, I agreed with that, but, as an artist, Byrne would go on to produce much more polished work, with a stronger sense of composition and design than what is found in his original X-Men run.  As a writer, I won’t compare his collaborative X-Men work with his work as a writer-artist on Fantastic Four and on various Superman titles.  Indeed, he was really good on those, too.

I think of X-Men #1 to #66; #94 to #143 (the final Claremont-Byrne-Austin); and Giant-Sized X-Men #1 to be the core of X-Men “mythology.”  Everything that springs after these issues is not quite fan fiction, but much of it seems like a vain attempt to replicate the Claremont-Byrne blueprint.  I think the reason why “Days of Future Past” means so much to me is because it marked the end of an extended run of what I see as the best and the most important of the X-Men.

From the publication of the first issue of The X-Men to “Days of Future Past,” the title introduced startling new concepts, offered gripping narratives full of drama, melodrama, and soap opera, and sometimes presented visionary graphics, graphical elements, and graphical storytelling.  Pretty much everything since “Days of Future Past” has been a rehash, a copy, or a slavishly inspired remake.

A+

Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux


The text is copyright © 2014 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this blog for syndication rights and fees.


I Reads You Review: X-MEN CLASSICS #1

X-MEN CLASSICS #1
MARVEL COMICS – @Marvel

WRITER: Roy Thomas
PENCILS: Neal Adams
INKS: Tom Palmer
LETTERS: Sam Rosen, Artie Simek
NEW MATERIAL: Mike Zeck and Tom Palmer
COLORS: Daina Graziunas
EDITORS: Stan Lee (original), Carl Potts and Ann Nocenti (reprint)
EiC: Jim Shooter
COVER:  Mike Zeck and Tom Palmer
48pp, Colors, $2.00 U.S., $2.25 CAN (December 1983)

One of my favorite comic book miniseries is actually a reprint series.  Originally published in late 1983 (with 1983 and 1984 cover dates), X-Men Classics reprinted writer Roy Thomas and artist Neal Adams’ celebrated run on The X-Men comic book series circa 1969-70.  Adams drew The X-Men #56-63 and #65, while Don Heck was the fill-in artist for #64.  X-Men Classics reprints The X-Men #56-63.

Already a freelancer for DC Comics, in 1969, Adams also began freelancing for Marvel Comics, where he penciled several issues of The X-Men.  In 1969, The X-Men comic book was on the verge of cancellation.  Adams joined Roy Thomas and inker Tom Palmer to produce acclaimed, award-winning work (the Alley Awards).

Adams not only penciled The X-Men, but he also colored and plotted the stories with Thomas.  Apparently, some comic book historians consider the Thomas-Adams-Palmer X-Men a highlight of that era (late 1960s to early 1970s) for Marvel Comics.  Adams’ work was popular, but it was too late to save The X-Men from cancellation with issue #66 (March 1970), and the title ended its initial run.

X-Men Classics #1 reprints The X-Men #56-58, in whole or in part.  It also features some new material, including a new splash page drawn by Mike Zeck and Tom Palmer, which summarizes the story leading up to the reprinted material.  Legendary X-Men artist, John Byrne, also provides an introductory piece for this series.

The X-Men, at the time of these stories, were Scott Summers/Cyclops, Jean Grey/Marvel Girl, Warren Worthington III/The Angel, Hank McCoy/The Beast, and Bobby Drake/IcemanX-Men Classics #1 opens with a summary of the connection between The Living Pharaoh/The Living Monolith and Alex Summers, Scott’s younger brother.  Beyond that melodrama, the story’s primary focus is the return of the mutant-hunting robots, the SentinelsLarry Trask is the son of Boliver Trask, the creator of the Sentinels.  Seeking revenge for his father’s death, which he blames on the X-Men, Larry restarts the Sentinels program.  One by one, the Sentinels kidnap the X-Men and other mutants with whom the X-Men had interacted (which at the time of this story arc’s original publication was a small number).

I have read the Roy Thomas-Neal Adams-Tom Palmer X-Men several times, mostly in reprint form, but I have read a few of the original issues.  I have never been disappointed.  Reading the series again for the first time in ages, I wondered if I would realize that my love of these classic X-Men comics was really about nostalgia.  That is not the case.  They were great superhero comics, and they remain so.

I think what Thomas and Adams created was their take on the soap opera theatrics of Stan Lee and the dynamism of Jack Kirby.  It as if the grand epic that was the Lee-Kirby Fantastic Four became a smaller epic, something like an intimately staged opera, in the pages of the X-Men.

Thomas has the characters scream dialogue, taking the saying, “wears his heart on his sleeve” as if it were some kind of comic book proverb.  Larry Trask practically vomits rage and the spirit of vengeance is in every one of his word balloons.  The X-Men yell at each other; to hell with discussion.  They command, demand, order, and bicker.  They are selfish and concerned about their own needs and interests.  At the same time, they are a family, constantly fighting to save one another from a world that wants to destroy them.

Neal Adams’ page design early in his career (and even later) was like a mosaic of broken, jagged, and angled panels united into a single page of narrative.  More diagonal and vertical than horizontal, the panels could be confusing.

There is another way of looking at Adams’ stylish and chaotic graphic design and graphical storytelling.  He was creating the illusion of life and movement in static images.  His art suggested 3D in what was clearly 2D.  That 3D, sense of movement makes Roy Thomas’ loud exposition even louder and makes the melodrama seem imperative and immediate, and maybe even genuine.  Pages 2 and 3 of The X-Men #57 form a splash page, in which Iceman seems to be flying off the page.

That splash page epitomizes the graphic and visual power of superhero comics.  It is not fantasy grounded in realism.  That power is a comic book in which the characters really seem to be exploding off the page.  And X-Men Classics is a great way to experience the master of explosive comic book art, Neal Adams.

A+

Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux


The text is copyright © 2014 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this blog for syndication rights and fees.



Wednesday, May 21, 2014

I Reads You Review: SUICIDE SQUAD: Amanda Waller #1

SUICIDE SQUAD: AMANDA WALLER #1
DC COMICS – @DCComics

WRITER: Jim Zub
PENCILS: André Coelho
INKS: Scott Hanna
COLORS: Andrew Dalhouse
LETTERS: Carlos M. Mangual
COVER: Giuseppe Camuncoli with Blond
48pp, Color, $4.99 U.S.

Rating “T+” Teen Plus

Amanda Waller created by John Ostrander and John Byrne

“Sacrifice in the Storm”

Dr. Amanda Blake Waller, or simply, “Amanda Waller,” is a DC Comics character.  Waller first appeared in Legends #1 (1986) and was created by John Ostrander and John Byrne.  [Ostrander plotted the series, while Len Wein wrote the script.]  Waller does not possess super-powers, but she has been and is a powerful ally/antagonist of the DC Comics superheroes, as well as being an antihero.

In The New 52, the restart of the DC Comics Universe, Waller is the commander of the Suicide Squad (or “Task Force X”), a team of super-villains.  Members of the squad take on risky missions in exchange for time served.  The team’s base of operations is Belle Reve Penitentiary, a special prison for meta-humans and super-villains located in Terrebonne Parish, Louisiana.  Waller chooses the Suicide Squad’s membership and basically has the power of life and death over those members.  The New 52 Amanda Waller is a slim, attractive young woman, whereas the original version of her was a portly, older African-American woman.

Suicide Squad: Amanda Waller #1 is a one-shot comic book set after the events depicted in Suicide Squad #24 (The New 52 series, of course).  Entitled “Sacrifice in the Storm,” the story finds Amanda Waller confronting a super-powered attacker and focuses on the decisions she has to make in order to save some lives.

The story opens with Waller traveling aboard a U.S. Air Force plane with a military escort.  She is negotiating the cooperation of Dr. Algot Issen, who has developed genetic testing equipment that not only classifies super-powered beings, but also offers the opportunity to control them.  However, an entity from Dr. Issen’s past, called Kriger-3, has come back for some payback.  Now, Waller has to make the tough decisions that will decide who dies and who survives … if anyone survives.

When a young actor is hot… well, let’s be honest… When a young white male actor starts getting hot, the major Hollywood studios/corporations (Warner Bros., FOX, Universal, etc.) will find a “star vehicle” for this hot stuff.  A “star vehicle” is some kind of action movie or comedy with an uncomplicated plot, but has an interesting idea (once called a “high concept”).  Basically, it’s a chance for YWM (young white male) to showcase whatever it is about him that might make him a movie star.

The movie will feature a young (usually) white actress as a sidekick slash arm candy slash girl who probably gives him some booty (off-screen or on-screen, depending on the rating).  This film will have a mixture of respected older actors, venerable character actors, and actors (regardless of age) who specialize in playing such supporting characters as best friends, sassy friend-girls, kooky coworkers, etc.

Disturbia was a star vehicle for Shia LaBeouf.  Most of the films in Channing Tatum’s filmography of the last six or seven years are star vehicles.  Enemy of the State was a star vehicle for Will Smith (one of the Negro exceptions in Hollywood).

Suicide Squad: Amanda Waller #1 could be seen as a star vehicle for a fictional character.  To be honest, I only picked up this comic book because I am a fan of writer Jim Zub’s work on IDW Publishing’s Samurai Jack comic book.  [And Black Jesus knows DC Comics acts as if it would kill them to hire a Black writer to write about a Black character.]

Anyway, I think Amanda Waller makes an excellent choice to star in her own series or occasional miniseries, one-shot, or original graphic novel, especially if Jim Zub were the writer.  Zub’s story focuses on Waller, but is also told in the context of Suicide Squad’s central idea – imprisoning super-villains and sending them on deadly missions no one else would take and Waller’s part in that.

Zub sends Waller on a mission that is dangerous in every sense of the word.  To live, she has to make some brutal choices, and no, I won’t spoil the story by listing them.  I can say that to stay alive, Waller has to go to the heart of darkness and his cousin, ugly.  I am not saying that this is great work.  In some ways, it is merely professionally executed – nothing particularly special.  However, this story does mix internal character conflict and explosive superhero action quite well.

The art by André Coelho (pencils), Scott Hanna (inks) and Andrew Dalhouse (colors) is good.  The colors heighten the drama and beauty of the compositions with its clean line and “exacto” inking.  The storytelling, however, rests on Jim Zub’s efforts, so I hope we get more Suicide Squad: Amanda Waller, with the right storyteller.

B+

Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux

The text is copyright © 2014 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this blog for syndication rights and fees.



Tuesday, May 20, 2014

DC Comics from Diamond Distributors for May 21 2014

DC COMICS

MAR140281 AMERICAN VAMPIRE SECOND CYCLE #3 (MR) $2.99
JAN140355 BATGIRL HC VOL 04 WANTED (N52) $24.99
FEB140247 BATGIRL TP VOL 03 DEATH OF THE FAMILY (N52) $16.99
MAR140244 BATMAN 66 #11 $3.99
MAR140218 BATMAN AND FRANKENSTEIN #31 $2.99
MAR140243 BATMAN BEYOND UNIVERSE #10 $3.99
FEB140258 BATMAN DEATHBLOW AFTER THE FIRE TP $14.99
MAR140210 BATMAN ETERNAL #7 $2.99
MAR140205 BATMAN SUPERMAN #11 $3.99
MAR140207 BATMAN SUPERMAN #11 COMBO PACK $4.99
MAR140220 BATWOMAN #31 $2.99
MAR140226 BIRDS OF PREY #31 $2.99
JAN140326 BLACK CANARY AND ZATANNA BLOODSPELL HC $22.99
FEB140292 EX MACHINA TP BOOK 02 (MR) $19.99
JAN140237 FOREVER EVIL #7 $4.99
JAN140242 FOREVER EVIL #7 COMBO PACK $5.99
MAR140236 GREEN LANTERN NEW GUARDIANS #31 $2.99
MAR140224 HARLEY QUINN #6 $2.99
FEB140149 JUSTICE LEAGUE #30 (EVIL) $3.99
FEB140151 JUSTICE LEAGUE #30 COMBO PACK (EVIL) $4.99
FEB140152 JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #14 (EVIL) $3.99
FEB140154 JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #14 COMBO PACK (EVIL) $4.99
FEB140255 MOVEMENT TP VOL 01 CLASS WARFARE (N52) $14.99
MAR140167 NEW 52 FUTURES END #3 (WEEKLY) $2.99
MAR140229 RED HOOD AND THE OUTLAWS #31 $2.99
MAR140248 SCRIBBLENAUTS UNMASKED CRISIS OF IMAGINATION #5 $2.99
FEB140262 SHOWCASE PRESENTS SUPER FRIENDS TP VOL 01 $19.99
MAR140230 SINESTRO #2 $2.99
MAR140204 SUPERGIRL #31 $2.99
MAR140189 TRINITY OF SIN PANDORA #11 $2.99
MAR140294 UNWRITTEN VOL 2 APOCALYPSE #5 (MR) $3.99
MAR140194 WONDER WOMAN #31 $2.99


Marvel Comics from Diamond Distributors for May 21 2014

MARVEL COMICS

FEB140847 A PLUS X TP VOL 03 EQUALS OUTSTANDING $17.99
MAR140671 ALL NEW DOOP #2 ANMN $3.99
MAR148148 ALL NEW GHOST RIDER #2 2ND PTG MOORE VAR $3.99
MAR140732 ALL NEW X-FACTOR #8 $3.99
FEB140846 ALL NEW X-MEN TP VOL 03 OUT OF THEIR DEPTH $19.99
MAR140641 AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #2 ANMN $3.99
FEB140863 AMAZING SPIDER-MAN EPIC COLLECTION TP GHOSTS OF PAST $34.99
MAR140730 AMAZING X-MEN #7 $3.99
MAR140687 AVENGERS WORLD #6 $3.99
MAR140652 DAREDEVIL #3 ANMN $3.99
MAR140744 DEADPOOL ANNUAL #2 $4.99
FEB140851 DEADPOOL TP VOL 04 DEADPOOL VS SHIELD $15.99
MAR140658 ELEKTRA #2 ANMN $3.99
MAR140656 HULK #3 ANMN $3.99
FEB140858 IMMORTAL IRON FIST COMPLETE COLLECTION TP VOL 02 $39.99
FEB140855 LONGSHOT SAVES MARVEL UNIVERSE TP $14.99
MAR140666 MAGNETO #4 ANMN $3.99
FEB140853 MARVEL KNIGHTS HULK TP TRANSFORME $14.99
MAR140680 MIRACLEMAN #6 $4.99
MAR140721 NOVA #17 $3.99
FEB140848 NOVA TP VOL 03 NOVA CORPSE $16.99
MAR140627 ORIGINAL SIN #2 $3.99
OCT130740 POWERS BUREAU #10 (MR) $3.95
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MAR140708 THOR GOD OF THUNDER #22 $3.99
MAR140700 ULTIMATE FF #2 $3.99
MAR140737 UNCANNY X-MEN #21 $3.99
MAR140741 WOLVERINE AND X-MEN #4 $3.99
FEB140859 X-FACTOR BY PETER DAVID TP VOL 02 COMPLETE COLLECTION $34.99
MAR140729 X-MEN #14 $3.99


IDW Publishing from Diamond Distributors for May 21 2014

IDW PUBLISHING

MAR140453 7TH SWORD #2 $3.99
MAR140450 DANGER GIRL MAYDAY #2 $3.99
MAR140387 DEXTERS LABORATORY #2 $3.99
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MAR140457 INDESTRUCTIBLE #6 $3.99
MAR140396 LITTLEST PET SHOP #1 $3.99
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MAR140390 MY LITTLE PONY FRIENDS FOREVER #5 $3.99
MAR140375 POPEYE CLASSICS ONGOING #22 $3.99
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MAR140452 STAR MAGE #2 $3.99
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MAR140341 TMNT 30TH ANNIVERSARY SPECIAL $7.99
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MAR140425 TRANSFORMERS ROBOTS IN DISGUISE TP VOL 01 NEW PTG $19.99
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MAR140402 V-WARS #2 $3.99


Dark Horse Comics from Diamond Distributors for May 21 2014

DARK HORSE COMICS

MAR140040 1 FOR $1 DRAGON AGE SILENT GROVE #1 $1.00
MAR140098 AXE COP AMERICAN CHOPPERS #1 $3.99
MAR140081 BPRD HELL ON EARTH #119 $3.50
MAR140044 BRAIN BOY MEN FROM GESTALT #1 $2.99
MAR140076 BTVS SEASON 10 #3 MAIN CVR $3.50
MAR140047 DARK HORSE PRESENTS #36 (MR) $7.99
JAN140156 MIND MGMT HC VOL 03 HOME MAKER $19.99
JAN140195 SAVAGE SWORD OF CONAN TP VOL 16 $19.99
MAR140018 STAR WARS DARTH MAUL SON OF DATHOMIR #1 $3.50
JAN140182 STAR WARS LEGACY II TP VOL 02 OUTCASTS BROKEN RING $19.99
MAR140039 WITCHER #3 $3.99


Image Comics from Diamond Distributors for May 21 2014

IMAGE COMICS

MAR140613 A VOICE IN THE DARK #7 (MR) $3.99
MAR140563 ARTIFACTS #37 $3.99
FEB140598 EAST OF WEST #12 $3.50
MAR140575 GHOSTED #10 (MR) $2.99
FEB140476 INVINCIBLE #111 (MR) $2.99
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MAR140470 MPH #1 CVR C BLANK $2.99
OCT130611 PROPHET #44 $3.99
DEC130590 ROCKET GIRL #5 $3.50
MAR140517 SAGA #19 (MR) $2.99
MAR140611 UNDERTOW #4 CVR A TRAKHANOV (MR) $2.99
MAR140612 UNDERTOW #4 CVR B WYATT (MR) $2.99
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MAR140614 ZERO #8 (MR) $2.99


Comics, Magazines and Books from Diamond Distributors for May 21 2014

COMICS & GRAPHIC NOVELS

MAR140988 ADVENTURE TIME #28 MAIN CVRS $3.99
MAR141224 AIR GEAR OMNIBUS GN VOL 03 (MR) $19.99
JAN141263 AMY DEVLIN MYSTERY HC VOL 03 LOST AND FOUND $19.99
FEB140927 ARCHIE FUNHOUSE DOUBLE DIGEST #5 $3.99
JAN141146 BATTLESTAR GALACTICA #11 $3.99
MAR141279 BENNY BREAKIRON HC VOL 04 UNCLE PLACID $11.99
FEB141346 BUCKAROO BANZAI TP VOL 01 RETURN OF THE SCREW NEW PTG $15.95
FEB141347 BUCKAROO BANZAI TP VOL 02 NO MATTER WHERE YOU GO $16.95
MAR141298 BUNKER #4 $3.99
MAR140954 CLIVE BARKERS NEXT TESTAMENT TP VOL 01 (MR) $14.99
FEB141417 DEVLIN WAUGH SWIMMING IN BLOOD TP (UK ED) (MR) $33.99
APR141188 DF AMAZING SPIDER MAN #1 ULTRA RARE DODSON $19.62
JAN141331 FIRST KINGDOM HC VOL 04 (MR) $24.99
MAR148182 FLASH GORDON #1 2ND PTG $3.99
MAR141070 FLASH GORDON #2 $3.99
MAR141071 FLASH GORDON #2 80TH ANNV CASTRO CVR $3.99
MAR141454 GANGSTA GN VOL 02 (MR) $12.99
MAR141536 GFT ASCENSION #4 A CVR PANTALENA $3.99
MAR141537 GFT ASCENSION #4 B CVR MYCHAELS $3.99
MAR141538 GFT ASCENSION #4 C CVR GARZA $3.99
MAR141520 GFT GODSTORM HERCULES PAYNE #2 A CVR SEJIC $3.99
MAR141521 GFT GODSTORM HERCULES PAYNE #2 B CVR LAISO $3.99
MAR141522 GFT GODSTORM HERCULES PAYNE #2 C CVR CUCCA $3.99
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Monday, May 19, 2014

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Review: SOUTHERN HOSPITALITY

SOUTHERN HOSPITALITY
APPROBATION COMICS

WRITER/CREATOR: Bart A. Thompson – @ApproBAT
ARTIST/COVER: Kevin Richardson
COLORS: Russell Vincent Yu
LETTERS: Bart A. Thompson
EDITOR: John P. Ward
84pp, Color, $19.99 U.S. paperback (2014)

Several years ago, Bart A. Thompson created and wrote and horror comics anthology series entitled, The Evil Inside (Approbation Comics).  The Evil Inside #1 opened with the short story, “Southern Hospitality.”  Thompson eventually reworked that short story as an original horror graphic novel, also entitled Southern Hospitality.  As a bonus, the new graphic novel reprints the original story in color for the first time.

Southern Hospitality focuses on two groups of travelers that unite after crossing paths only to cross paths with a brutal scythe-wielding killer in rural Alabama.  Southern Hospitality is one of the few original graphic novels that is based on an original slasher horror concept and is not a licensed comic book based on a property that originated in other media (film, video games, books, etc.).

Southern Hospitality opens as Pebble Collins, California lingerie supermodel, and her boyfriend, Zach, drive through Boons Creek, Alabama.  They are on their way to an industry party in Florida.  They never make it.

A week later, New York City co-workers, Todd and Nate, have stopped in Louisville, Kentucky on their way to Florida.  The two thirty-something guys meet three young women:  Rebecca, Irene, and Chrissy on a road trip to Florida.  The three friends are stranded after their car broke down.  Nate and Rebecca convince their friends that the two groups should unite as a quintet for the trip.  These five companions also travel to Boons Creek, where they find the locals strange, even unfriendly and danger.

On the surface, it seems as if nothing is original in Southern Hospitality.  After all, the notion of star-crossed companions on a horror movie road trip appeared as recently as the 2013 Texas Chainsaw Massacre reboot, Texas Chainsaw.  What is original is Thompson’s approach to characters and dialogue.  He mixes Quentin Tarantino-like banter with characters that would fit in a screwball comedy, which makes for a lively story.  Also, the story’s execution and resolution are the opposite of what one would expect from this familiar slasher horror scenario.

While not a draftsman and lacking in polished compositional skills, artist Kevin Richardson is a good storyteller, and his art captures both the story’s brutal and comic natures.  Richardson knows when the story means business (screaming, running, and dying) and when Thompson is being humorous.

I wish Thompson and Richardson would deliver a Southern Hospitality sequel, but I realize that (1) there would be a new cast and (2) maybe there is nothing in the story that needs a revisit.  I want one anyway, and readers looking for an original horror comic book will want to experience some Southern Hospitality.

A-

www.ApprobationComics.com
www.AlexThompsonWriter.com

Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux

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