-
STORE NEWS
-
 
-

Review Date: 12/11/2009
    
-
-   -
  -  

Archie #603
Publisher: Archie Comic Publications, Inc.
Michael Uslan: Writer
Stan Goldberg: Pencils
Bob Smith: Inks

 
 

        
          Archie #603 is the fourth issue in the six-issue story arc on the marriage of Archie.  The previous three issues gave us a hypothetical future in which a post-college Archie marries brunette Veronica, while issue #603 is the first of three issues exploring Archie's potential marriage to everyone's favorite comic book blond, Betty.  The series is written by Michael Uslan with penciling by veteran Archie penciler Stan Goldberg and inks by Bob Smith.

     Following the same format of the first three issues of this story arc, this issue focuses on Archie and Betty's engagement, while the next two issues will address their wedding and early newlywed years, respectively.  The plot of issue #603 follows the same steps of issue #600's theme, just substituting Betty for Veronica in the fiance role.  Archie pops the question, Betty tearfully says yes, everyone in Riverdale gets very excited, and Veronica has issues with being jilted until she and Betty make-up.  The issue ends with an announcement that the wedding will be the focus of next month's issue.

     I found the sub-plot about the Betty/Veronica friction to be the most interesting part of this issue.  When the roles were reversed in issue #600, Betty withdrew in quiet hurt and pain, leading to an eventual heartfelt conversation with Veronica in which they both got over it and Betty agreed to be Maid-Of-Honor.  Writer Michael Uslan does a fine job in the issue #603 role reversal of showing how the two women's differing personalities lead to a different reaction.  Here, rich and spoiled Veronica throws a prolonged drama queen nasty fit, very expected given her personality.  Yet in the end, the underlying bonds of lifelong freindship between the two save the day, and Veronic accepts the situation, also agreeing to be Maid-Of-Honor at the upcoming wedding.

     As I mentioned in my review of issue #600, it will be very interesting to see how the creative team ends this story arc in upcoming issue #605.  Most likely, its all just a what-if fantasy and the Archie title will revert back in issue #606 to the old high-school dating triangle amongst our three comic book stars.  Irregardless, its still a lot of fun to see the similarities and differences between the two alternate reality versions of Archie's potential marriage.  So if you're a Betty fan like me, now's the time to jump-into the story arc with this first issue of the Archie-Betty marriage plot, but my advice is to also catch-up with the previous three issues of "The Marriage Of Archie" by reading those comic books, also available at That's Entertainment.

 
-   -
-
-   -
  -  

Spider-Woman #3
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Brian Michael Bendis: Writer
Alex Maleev: Artist

 
 

          
         Issue #3 is out this past week in the new Spider-Woman comic book title from Marvel Comics.  The tale is written by veteran Marvel writer Brian Michael Bendis with art by Alex Maleev.  Interestingly, a woman named Jolynn Carpenter is listed in the issue's credits as the "model for Spider-Woman/Jessica Drew."  A brief page one narrative explains to the reader that Spider-Woman, a.k.a. Jessica Drew is working for the planetary defense agency SWORD and is undercover in the island nation of Madripoor hunting Skrulls.  While fleeing local police, she encounters head terrorist Madame Hydra, who tries to convince Jessica to join her in the HYDRA terrorist organization.

     This latest issue picks-up at the beginning of the Jessica/Madame Hydra encounter.  Bendis's plot starts with a tense rooftop escape from the local police by the two women, followed by a very extended dialogue between the two, as they play a game of verbal cat-and-mouse.  While Jessica does her best not to be swayed by the pitch of Madame Hydra to join her evil cause, M.H. is extremely smooth in her attempt to sway Jessica that her Spider-Woman talents would best be put to use in serving the HYDRA cause, as her parents before her had done.  The issue ends in a very surprise cliffhanger which clearly will lead everyone back to directly dealing with the Skrulls in next month's issue.

     While the plot summary above sounds dry and boring even to me (and I wrote it!), in the hands of this A-plus creative team the verbal cat-and-mouse of this issue is actually a very compelling and tense page-turner.  Few current comic book writers are equal to, and none are better, than writer Bendis at taking a basic discussion between two characters and making it seem thrilling and action packed.  The narrative of Jessica's thoughts as she speaks with Madame Hydra ratchet-up the danger and tension panel-by-panel, as we learn just how risky a situation she's in by trying to verbally spar with the most dangerous terrorist on the planet.  Equal credit for this story atmosphere is due to artist Alex Maleev, whose graphics more resemble the color-tinting of actual photographs as much as the unique and very effective artistic style that it actually is.

     So a well-respectful thumbs-up recommendation for this fresh and intriguing approach to Spider-Woman and her current complex predicament in the Marvel Universe.

 
-   -
--
-   -
  -  

Dark Avengers Annual #1
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Brian Michael Bendis: Writer
Chris Bachalo: Penciler
Tim Townsend, Jaime Mendoza & Al Vey: Inks
Antonio Fabela & Chris Bachalo: Colors

 
 

          
         Marvel wraps-up its 2009 publication of the Dark Avengers title with the issuance this week of Dark Avengers Annual #1.  The creative team on this issue includes writer Brian Michael Bendis along with a large team of artists.  A page one narrative updates the reader that Kree warrior Noh-Varr, a.k.a. Marvel Boy, had been participating in the guise of Captain Marvel as part of Norman Osborn's Dark Avengers team.  Marvel Boy recently had fled the team upon discovering that most of his fellow Dark Avengers are actually insane villains disguised by Osborn as heroes.

     The plot of Annual #1 juggles three sub-plots focusing on Marvel Boy on the run.  One storyline has Noh-Varr painstakingly assembling the technology required to contact the Kree Empire to ask what his mission on Earth should now be.  A second sub-plot introduces Noh-Varr to a punk teenaged girl, leading them both to consider starting a relationship.  The third storythread is very action-oriented as Marvel Boy has a major fight with Dark Avengers member The Sentry and barely escapes with heroic assistance from his human potential girlfriend.  The story includes the key element of Noh-Varr successfully contacting The Kree Empire, resulting in his leaders empowering him to function as a new Captain Marvel-type hero on Earth.

     This Dark Avengers first annual issue succeeds for three reasons.  First, writer Bendis gives us the usual top-notch quality dialogue and story details that we've come to expect from him.  We shouldn't take for granted Bendis's impressive ability to carry so many various titles and scripts in the manner that he currently does every month for Marvel's Avengers-related comic books.  I particularly enjoyed his humanizing of the alien Marvel Boy through his interaction with the Earth girl, a character who holds a lot of interesting potential for future Avengers issues featuring Noh-Varr.  Secondly, the artistic team is excellent, bringing the story to life with wonderful visual skill.  Its rare to come across a story such as this one which portrays so effective a balance between its large-scale high-action fight scenes alongside scenes of the quiet little emotional moments between people.  Third, without being a surprise spoiler, the final page of the story gives us a fantastic full-page, one panel major Marvel Universe Avengers story surprise, which is being explored in more detail in another current Marvel title.

     The 32-page main story in Annual #1 is followed by a 6-page preview from the January 2010 issue #1 of the upcoming four-issue "Seige" Marvel mini-series, which focuses on confrontation between the pairing of Norman Osborn and Loki versus Thor and his friends.  This preview focuses on Thor's friend Volstagg and gives us a brief taste of what looks to be a very entertaining mini-series.

 
-   -

New Contest Announcement!!!

If you've ever wanted to be in comics (or movies or television, for that matter), this new contest is for you!  The idea for this contest came from the true story that back in the 1980's a cousin of mine had a writer friend at DC Comics, who as a personal joke wrote said cousin into an issue of Superman, resulting in Superman confronting a mad scientist named "(cousin's name)" who was drawn to look like him in real-life.

As such, the Bongo Congo panel of contest judges want you to literally put yourself in the comics by e-mailing us at Gordon_A@msn.com and telling us if you had such a gutsy writer friend, which comic title would you want to be inserted into, why did you choose this title, and finally, would you be a good guy or a villain in your "Trip Through The Looking Glass" into your Wonderland comic book world.  The contest winner will receive a $10.00 gift certificate to That's Entertainment.  And who knows, maybe the real-world publisher of your comic title will decide that your fantasy trip is worthy to be in print!

That's all for now, so have a great comic book reading week and see you again next week Here In Bongo Congo!

 
-
 
-


© 2011 - 2015, 2016 All rights reserved. Materials may not be reproduced without express permission from the author.