Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Adam's Adventures: G.I. Joe: Cobra #4 (IDW Publishing) Review by Adam P.

Commanding Cobra

G.I. Joe: Cobra #4 closes out a four-part arc where a G.I. Joe spy named Chuckles attempts to infiltrate Cobra, and eradicate the organization from within. The tale works surprising well, as suspense and intrigue keep building throughout the story, until the comic concludes with some clever double and triple-crossing action.

The issue picks up with our hero Chuckles painstakingly planning his coup against Cobra. He has little respect for the Cobra rank and file around him (who in reality do not know Chuckles' secret allegiance) as his ample thought balloons demonstrate, with comments such as “He's a good kid, really. Too bad he has to die with the rest of them.” This sort of plot has been done a million times over in various video games, spy movies, novels and the like, so writers who use this idea must handle the material carefully, in order not to drift into cliché. Thankfully writer Christos Gage succeeds gracefully here, by crafting a totally unpretentious plot that seeks simply to tell a tale. We immediately identify with the protagonist despite his foibles.

The best feature of this issue is the modernization of the Cobra organization for the 21st century. This is done by introducing interesting conspiracy theories about civil and political unrest. The way Cobra counters the well-laid plans of Chuckles speaks to their prowess at perfectly controlling any environment in which they operate. The artwork suits the story perfectly, and adds the necessary ambiance to the proceedings. The variant cover by Howard Chaykin is also a nice touch.

Even though this issue ends on a tone of sad defiance, it makes me look forward to how things will unfold in the next chapter of G.I. Joe and Cobra's complex war. All I can say is GO JOE!


Adam P.

Review Co-Editor

Read More

Adam's Adventures: Young Allies 70th Anniversary Special #1 (Marvel Comics) Review by Adam P.

Blast from the Distant Past

We usually think of Marvel Comics as beginning in the early sixties with Spider-Man, Fantastic Four, X-Men and all the rest, but its roots can be traced back even further to the company called Timely Comics. Characters like Captain America, Bucky and the original Human Torch actually debuted at Timely Comics in the late thirties and early forties, which allow Marvel Comics to celebrate their 70th anniversary this year.

Marvel is thus releasing a number of 70th anniversary one-shots, putting the spotlight on those original heroes with new stories and reprints. The credits page of Young Allies 70th Anniversary Special #1 has an image from the 1941 cover of Young Allies #1 drawn by none other than Jack Kirby, showing Bucky giving a left hook to not only the Red Skull but Adolf Hitler himself. That’s pretty heavy stuff. We're also treated to some prose stories by Stan Lee that appeared during the war period.

The main feature, which is a new story by Roger Stern and Paolo Rivera, has Bucky (who is now Captain America) tracking down two of his former war comrades from the Young Allies, who are now in very old age, having not benefited from cryogenic freezing like he did. Although we see an adventure of these Young Allies from war-time Paris, the most interesting bits are seeing Bucky reminisce with his two old friends. One of them is on his death-bed, and the story-telling is remarkably poignant as the frailty of life is front and centre. The artwork is positively scrumptious, with deep shadows and sharp lines. It is a delightful style which eschews unnecessary detail without sacrificing realism.

Be forewarned, however, the fifteen pages of reprints are extremely juvenile and downright groan-worthy in parts. Their main value is to get a glimpse into the zeitgeist of the era rather than actually reading something enjoyable. They are also unbelievably patriotic, with Captain America and Bucky asking the youth of the nation to join their fan club, receive badges and help in the fight against spies and traitors. The theme of the reprints tends to be young children foiling evildoers with the help of Cap, which strikes the modern reader as unrealistic and downright dangerous. The main reprint, a seven-page feature where a junior science nut, a kid reporter and a pet monkey foil a kidnapping is too serious to be campy and too impossible to be enjoyable.

However, the tales must be read in their context, and understandably, children in wartime must have felt a strong desire to participate in stamping out the bad guys. I know I would have wanted to.
Adam P.
Review Co-Editor

Read More

iVerse and Dabel Brothers announce deal for mobile comic book content leading with The Warriors

THE WARRIORS are coming out to Play-e-aaaay! on the iphone.

Deal between Dabel Brothers & iVerse makes comics available for download on mobile devices.

Break out your brass knuckles and get ready to rumble, because THE WARRIORS is coming to a mobile device near you, through iVerse’s digital distribution network!

“iVerse is excited to be working with Dabel Brothers,” said iVerse founder Michael Murphey. “THE WARRIORS comics they have created are fantastic, and will make for a great entry point for people that may love the film, but maybe haven’t read a comic in years…or ever. There is a lot of potential to reach new comic readers with this and other Dabel digital releases.”

Based on the classic novel by Sol Yurick, THE WARRIORS, from Paramount Pictures and now in its 30th anniversary year, tells the story of a New York gang of the same name, framed for killing a rival gang leader who tried to unite all gangs in the area. The film chronicles their journey back to their home turf in Coney Island as they travel through hostile gang territory.

Beginning July 15th, THE WARRIORS comics will be available on Apple’s iPhone and iPod touch, and Google’s Android Mobile Devices through iVerse Media’s digital distribution technology.

First up will be the hit THE WARRIORS comic book movie adaptation, written by David Atchison, with art by Chris Dibari. Following that will be THE WARRIORS: “Jailbreak,” which tells the story of what happens after the movie ends, crafted by the creative team of writer Erik Henriksen and artists Herb Apon and Todd Herman.

The first issue of each will be available for download for free, with subsequent issues available for 99 cents each. The comics will be available for download the week after each issue ships to stores.

Downloading the digital comics couldn’t be simpler. iPhone and iPod Touch owners can search for the “THE WARRIORS” in the App Store located directly on their phone, or in iTunes on their PC or Mac. With a few touches the digital comic will be downloaded directly onto their device. Google Android users will follow the same steps using Google’s “Android Marketplace.”

“Dabel Brothers Publishing is one of the most creative comic publishing companies out there, and they continue to push the envelope not only on content, but also into new mediums,” said Michael Corcoran, president, Paramount Licensing Inc. “The mobile platform will continue to grow in importance for traditional publishers, and we are delighted to see THE WARRIORS as one of the early properties to tap this new medium!”

“We’ve been having a blast working with Paramount on these comics, so we’re thrilled to be able to sign this deal with iVerse, and get our comics out there to perhaps an audience who hasn’t been exposed to our work, or maybe even THE WARRIORS, before,” said vice president Les Dabel. “We’re also finalizing deals on some of our other titles as well, so you can expect to see more Dabel books via iVerse soon.”

Be sure to check for more WARRIORS and iVerse-related updates!


Read More

Comic Explosion: Aliens #1 (Dark Horse Comics) Review By Oliver C.

A Great Start for a Great Comic

ALIENS #1 Dark Horse Comics

I’ve always loved the Alien series, and this new comic by dark horse has really brought back some not-so-far-away memories. I finished this short comic book in only a matter of minutes, but it was so good I went back to read it again.

There are two available covers: the daylight cover and the night time cover. And it’s slightly cheaper than the other comics at my local store ($3.50) as well as thicker. The book itself is very over-loaded with ads though.

This was a regular read through observing our everyday heroes do their work. And like most comics, this one kept me reading and left my eyebrows half an inch higher than they usually are at the end. Not much excitement is printed inside this comic, but it is full of surprises. I think this is a great start for this new exciting series, and I hope to read even better books of this series in the future.

Aliens #1 was great and I would recommend it to any fan of the Alien series, or if you just like to read comics.


Oliver C.

Read More

Rudy's Realm: Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

Starring Shia LaBeouf, Megan Fox, Josh Duhamel with the voices of Peter Cullen and Frank Welker

The sequel to the 2007 box office hit is filled with more action, robots, and story then its predecessor.

The movie opens with a small history lesson that robots from the planet Cybertron have been coming to Earth since the dawn of man followed quickly with an Autobot/Decepticon battle in China, two years after the events of the original movie, headed by Major Lennox (Josh Duhmael) and Optimus Prime. When one of the Decepticons mentions the Fallen to Optimus, he and Major Lennox try to bring this to the attention of the Major's superiors until a Presidential Liaison interferes.

At the same time, Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf) is preparing to leave home for college while his girlfriend Mikaela (Megan Fox) works in an auto garage with her father. While packing, Sam stumbles on a splinter of the AllSpark which fills his mind with Cybertronian writing and creates a mini-Decepticon kitchen appliance army that Bumblebee makes quick work of. After moving into his dorm room Sam meets his roommate Leo, who runs a conspiracy theory website, and his friends as they're posting Optimus' battle in China but they get hacked seconds later by "RoboWarrior".

When the Decepticon Soundwave melds with a US government satellite, he discovers the location of Megatron and the government protected piece of the AllSpark. He sends Ravage to the location and retrieves the AllSpark allowing the Constructicons to enter the Abyss Megatron had been buried in and revive him. Megatron returns to his base where Starscream had taken command in his death. After usurping control, Megatron speaks with his master, The Fallen, who tells him the only way to create more Energon, the life blood of the Transformers, is to use a machine left on Earth millenia ago which will destroy the sun and all life on Earth in the process. But the only way to find the machine is through the information stuck in Sam's mind.

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen is a great sequel with all the elements of a Michael Bay film one comes to expect: Big explosions, fast cars and the ever present 360 degree camera turn. Bay knows his formula and follows it to excellent results. He gives fans the return of favorites like Optimus Prime, Bumblebee and Starscream along with new additions like Arcee, Soundwave and Devastator. And old school fans get a bonus by hearing Soundwave voiced by the same man who was not only the original voice in the cartoon but he was also the original voice of Megatron as well. The movie was two and a half hours long but didn't drag for a minute. My only complaint would be the twin cars, Skids and Mudflap, did the movie really need two jive talking cars, one of which sports a gold tooth? Other then that this was a great popcorn flick.

Rudy T.

Read More

Wizard World 09 - A Look Back

Wizard World Philadelphia has been going strong since it started in 2002, and this year it just got better.

Spat Oktan, the new Convention Coordinator, really did a great job reorganizing Wizard World. With Heroes Convention going on the same week and San Diego only a month away, Philly was exciting and as informative as ever. Even though there was lack of comic publishers, Spat just did an incredible just pulling it all together.

Guests ranging from Garth Ennis & Steve Dillon of the comic world to Ray Park & Kristanna Loken of movies & TV, to Jesse Falcon & the Four Horsemen of the toy world.

The panels were very informative and fun. And the convention overall was very family friendly.

Things ran extremely smooth. And with the advent of bracelets instead of necklaces, there was no way for people to sneak in & out of the con.

With the way thing ran, I'm really looking forward to Wizard World Chicago and the Big Apple Con in NYC.

And today Gareb Shamus, CEO of Wizard Entertainment, just purchased Toronto Comicon, which mean another incredible con. Read the details here.

Below are some pictures of the event.

Brian Isaacs
Executive Editor/Owner


Read More

Dark Reign Descends on Comic Shops Today!

This week Norman Osborn’s Dark Reign has reached a monumental scale fulfilling his personal agenda, and the Marvel Universe must accept change.

Norman is the man in control; now he’s after the west coast’s most valuable team, the X-Men, in Dark Avengers/Uncanny X-Men Utopia! Eisner-nominated writer Matt Fraction and legendary X-Men artist Marc Silvestri present the summer event no comic fan can miss! Norman’s Dark Avengers have one mission, and that is to eliminate the Uncanny X-Men! In Dark Wolverine #75 , highly-anticipated writing team Daniel Way and Marjorie Liu, along with rising star artist Giuseppe Camuncoli, present Daken’s life as a Dark Avenger; but has Norman Osborn recruited a feral sensing backstabber? The Dark Avengers are here to serve and protect America in Dark Avengers #6 written by Eisner Award winner Brian Michael Bendis and illustrious artist Mike Deodato! When you have a team of former super-villains, can they put their differences aside?

If you’re a Dark Reign fan, you can’t miss all the Dark Reign titles on sale today including; Dark Reign: Lethal Legion #1 (by Frank Tieri & Mateus Santolouco), Dark Reign: The Sinister Spider-Man #1 (by Brian Reed & Barry Kitson), Dark Reign: Zodiac #1 (by Joe Casey & Nathan Fox).

Marvel urges retailers to check all orders on all Dark Reign tie-ins, as they continue to sell out and generate buzz!

Pencils & Cover by MARC SILVESTRI
Variant Cover by SIMONE BIANCHI
Variant Cover by JAE LEE
Rated T+ …$3.99

Parental Advisory …$3.99

Pencils & Cover by MIKE DEODATO
Variant Cover by RAFA SANDOVAL
Rated T+ …$3.99

Written by FRANK TIERI
Rated T+ ...$3.99

Written by BRIAN REED
Penciled by BARRY KITSON
Rated T+ …$3.99

Written by Joe Casey
Pencils and Cover by NATHAN FOX
Rated T+ …$3.99


Read More