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Review Date: 08/15/2008

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Action #867
Written by Geoff Johns
Art by Gary Frank & Jon Sibal
Cover by Frank

This is the comic line that began it all, of course, way back in 1939 with the debut of Superman.  It's still considered the flagship of the D.C. line, with D.C. honoring the title's heritage by preserved the numbering continuity all the way through the current issue #867.  I'm giving away my age by recalling how back in junior high we were all excited with the issuance of Action #400!  I can't wait to see issue #1000 hit the store shelves about 11 years from now, a numbering milestone first in the history of comics.
     Issue #867 is part 2 of a multi-issue story arc entitled Brainiac-HIde and Seek.  Highly-respected writer Geoff Johns has been plotting Action Comics for about a year now, with Gary Frank pencilling and Jon Sibal inking.  This creative team definitely has their act together, if issue #867 is an indication.
     Superman and his cousin Supergirl (Kara Zor-El) are currently co-starring in Action.  It's an excellent team-up, with Johns writing some very believable, natural human dialogue between the pair, as in this issue they advance a multi-issue storyline of taking on long-time Superman Family nemesis Brainiac.
     Credit has to be given to Geoff Johns for putting a very fresh spin on the often-repeated Brainiac-Superman conflict.  This issue is mostly a set-up for the rest of the story arc, with Superman and Supergirl searching for Brainiac all the while recounting his evil past deeds.  The creative spin to this plot is that Superman and Supergirl actually have no idea that Brainiac shrunk and stole the famous Kryptonian city of Kandor.  It's intriguing listening to Kara Zor-El tell her cousin of the "famous Kryptonian story" of how Brainiac once made the city disappear, but no one's sure what exactly happened to it. 
     I think it's going to be a lot of fun seeing the pair obviously discover the truth to the Kandor mystery as this story arc unfolds over the next few issues, and they meet their fellow Kryptonians in the famed Bottle of Kandor.  The art is also great in this series, so an all-around strong recommendation to check-out the current stroy line in this classic D.C. title.

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Army@Love Second Season #1

  D.C.'s Vertigo Line comic Army @ Love had an initial 12-issue run in the past year; after a few months hiatus, its back with the 13th issue listed as "Second Season Issue #1."  And that's a very accurate way for Vertigo to approach this series, as more than any comic book out there right now, reading this comic feels like watching an HBO or Showtime t.v. series.  This is definitely not your father's war comic!
     The comic is an incredibly wild and wacky take on the ongoing Iraq and Afganistan wars.  The continuing storyline is set "a few years fron now" in the fictional country of Afbaghistan, as the U.S. has outsourced the war to private corporate America.  It's a wild soap opera of a comic full of pop media references, sexual intrigue and very accurate satire on our current foreign policy and general political climate in America.
     The creative team behind this comic is Rick Veitch as writer, with inks by Gary Erskine and color by Brian Miller.  There's been a lot of media accolades given to Veitch in the past year for the strong vein of dark humor that he mixes into every issue of Army@Love, and its well-deserved.  He also very skillfully weaves together multiple sub-plots, ranging from such extremes as the war setting itself, Yeti territory in the Himalayas and suburban life in Edgefield, New Jersey, of all places.  The key here is that it all works, and you really want to come back for more of this roller coaster media blitz of a ride in each and every issue.
     Just a reminder, this is a Vertigo Line comic for mature readers only, not suitable for the kids.  But I'm convinced that the entire comic series is really a visual set of t.v. scripts for a cable series on this title, so everyone will most likely see this on the small screen at some point in the future.

 Contest Winner!

Last week we opened our contest seeking your suggestions for who should be cast as Wonder Woman and Wonder Girl in the possible upcoming movie.  And the winner is...(drumroll please)...Dan MacInnes with his suggestion of casting Evangeline Lilly from Lost as Wonder Woman and Amanda Bynes as Wonder Girl.  Great suggestions, Dan, you win from the good folks at That's Entertainment a Wonder Woman graphic novel.

Check-out my next column for another contest.  Keep those e-mails coming to Gordon_A@msn.com.

 
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