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STORE NEWS
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Review Date: 01/15/2010

Good King Leonardo is in the mood for some variety in his comic book reading, and as such has decreed that this week we review the following eclectic mix of comic books:
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Cinderella #3
Publisher: D.C. Vertigo Comics
Chris Roberson: Writer
Shawn McManus: Art
Lee Loughridge: Colors

 
 

        
     Issue #3 is on the new comics shelf this week of D.C. Vertigo's Cinderella-From Fabletown With Love.  This mini-series is a spin-off of the well-known and very popular Fabletown Vertigo series and is scripted by Chris Roberson with art by Shawn McManus and Lee Loughridge.  I previously reviewed the very entertaining issue #1 of this comic and wanted to revisit this title in issue #3 to see how the storyline and quality is holding-up. 

     The plot obviously centers on the title character Cinderella, who in the Fabletown universe lives a double life as the proprietor of "The Glass Slipper" shoe store while secretly working as a glamorous international spy on behalf of Fabletown interests.  Issue #1 had established the plot of Cinderella spying in the Middle East in order to determine who is secretly releasing magical Fabletown artifacts into the general human population.  She quickly teams-up with Aladdin, who both helps her and is pursuing his own spy agenda.  A lighter secondary storyline focuses on humorous shenanigans back at the Glass Slipper, as the store manager Crispin manages to bumble his way through shoe shop adventures.

     Issue #3 advances the story as Cinderella and Aladdin both spar and are attracted to each other on a personal level, all the while tracking the mystery of the stolen artifacts around the world.  With the help of magical Fabletown spells and creatures, the pair track a huge inventory of magical articles to an abandoned oil rig in the North Sea, where the identity of the mysterious villain is revealed as a nice cliffhanger in anticipation of next month's issue #4.  The secondary, lighter shoe shop storyline is woven throughout the issue, as shop proprietor Crispin provides the well-known fable character Rapunzel with a pair of magical sneakers, which of course leads to unexpected problems.

     So far through the current issue #3, the Cinderella mini-series is holding-up to its initial high quality start.  Issue #3 is a very fun read, with lots of humor and quick dialogue built into both the espionage and shoe store plotlines.  As I mentioned in my issue #1 review, think of the television show "Sex & The City" with a James Bond-like espionage theme and you've got a handle on the atmosphere of this entertaining comic book.  The art team's work continues to shine, with a style of emotional facial expressions providing a perfect visual mix of humor and spy drama.  So a definite thumbs-up recommendation to read issue #3 of this series as an enjoyable stand-alone comic book story read, or to alternately backtrack and catch-up with both previous issues, which are still available on the That's Entertainment new issues shelves.

 
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What If? Daredevil Vs. Elektra #1
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Karl Bollers: Writer
Rafael Kayanan: Art
Lovern Kindzierski: Colors

 

 
 

          
     Marvel Comics has just released a one-shot issue What If? comic book starring Daredevil and Elektra.  The issue is written by Karl Bollers with art by Rafael Kayanan and Lovern Kindzierski.  I've previously referred in this column to the very popular Silver Age What If? comic title, in which Marvel published some very creative and intriguing alternate universe stories regarding various superhero characters and their basic Marvel Universe situations.  This one-shot examines what might have been if Matt Murdock/Daredevil had died when he saved the young Elektra Natchios's life.

    A one-page introduction gives the reader an excellent quick summary of the standard Elektra origin tale, of how Murdock rescued her from terrorists but failed to save the life of her father and fellow hostage, the Greek Ambassador.  In reaction to his death, Elektra started down the trail of her life which led her to become the rogue ninja assassin Elektra.  But what if that moment of rescue turned-out differently?  What if both hostages were rescued safe and sound, while instead Murdock died in the effort?

     The plot of What If? turns the entire Daredevil universe progression on its ear, starting from that fateful hostage rescue attempt. Elecktra reacts to Murdock's death by training as a ninja for good instead of the rogue assassin life, ultimately working for Nick Fury as a SHIELD operative alongside The Black Widow.  Murdock's super skills are noted by the shadowy ninja group The Hand, who resurrect his body back to life and install him as the devilish secret leader of their terrorist organization.  The plot leads us up to a major confrontation between the Elektra/SHIELD team and the Murdock/The Hand team, the results of which I won't breath a spoiler word of here in this review for fear of ruining the fun for potential readers.

     While I'm a huge fan of alternate reality concepts, I'm also picky and don't automatically enjoy every What If-type storyline.  As such, I was thrilled to experience the very high quality of this particular What If? effort. Beyond just flipping Murdock and Elecktra into alternative good vs. evil roles, what makes this story shine is writer Karl Bollers's effort and success in giving us alternate versions of so many of the standard support characters in the Daredevil universe.  Practically every page gives us an alternate revelation on a popular Daredevil support character; from Murdock's martial arts mentor Stick alternatively mentoring Elektra, to Matt's murdering of many prominent standard Daredevil foes, to the interesting alternate lifepath that sidekick Foggy Nelson follows in this tale, the story gives us very credible and interesting ripples of an alternate reality emanating from the proposed different version of that one hostage rescue moment that kicked-off the Daredevil-Elecktra relationship.

     Two quick and final comments to add onto an enthusiastic thumbs-up are the wonderful artwork in this issue, including some very creative and original page lay-outs, along with a fun second story feature that gives us four one-page, goofy Mad magazine-style parodies of this What If? story idea.  In sum, my only review complaint is that this issue is a one-shot edition.  My suggestion is for all of you good Bongo Congo readers out there to e-mail Marvel Comics and urge them to continue this successful resurrection of the What If? title concept with more issues of alternate Marvel might-have-beens!

 
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Jericho #1
Publisher: DDP
Dan Shotz & Robert Levine: Writers
 Alejandro F. Giraldo: Art

 
 

          
     Issue #1 of what's sub-titled as "Season 3" of the Jericho comic book has just been published by DDP, with a script by Dan Shotz and Robert Levine, with art by Alejandro F. Giraldo.  The comic title is based on the former CBS television drama of the same name, which was a science fiction story centering on the residents of Jericho, Kansas dealing with the break-up of the United States as we know it in the aftermath of several American cities being destroyed by nuclear terrorism.

     There's not much to say to describe the story in this issue. The first several pages of the comic book rehash the general concept of the television show, explaining the break-up of the U.S., as the eastern half of the country stays with our federal government and the western states declare themselves as a separate U.S.  The second half of the comic details discussion and intrigue around both new countries trying to woo Texas into supporting them politically and militarily against the other side.  A few of the main characters from the Jericho t.v. show are featured as dealing with various players in this game of national intrigue, and the issue culminates in an airstrike against Texas by the western state's air force as a warning not to oppose them.

     While I enjoyed the quality of the Jericho television show, unfortunately this comic book isn't worth the read.  This is one of those t.v. show-based comics that is published mainly as a marketing promo for the t.v. show, either to gain attention for dvd sales or to get the show back on the air.  Rather than giving us a normal storyline and comic book narrative, this issue is more of a general overview of a television episode storyboard concept, most likely from an episode script which never made it into production before the show was canceled.  The result is a marketing promo for watching the t.v. show rather than an enjoyable story in the form of a comic book.  So an unfortunate thumbs-down for this generic ad for the Jericho t.v. series.  If you're looking for a decent comic book based on a science fiction t.v. show, I'd suggest spending your $3.99 on one of the several decent Battlestar Galactica comic book titles available on the That's Entertainment new issues shelves.

 
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Comic Book Contest Reminder!!!

Just a reminder that you have until this coming Wednesday, January 20 to e-mail us at Gordon_A@msn.com with your entry for our current ongoing contest.  Your challenge is to pitch to us which you prefer, either the superpowered superheros (i.e. Superman, Spider-Man) or the brainy human-skilled type of hero (i.e., Batman, Hawkeye). 
Give us an example or two of the heroes whom you like in your chosen category.

Remember, first prize is a $10.00 gift certificate to That's Entertainment, so e-mail your entry to us now!

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

 
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