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STORE NEWS
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  Review Date: 04/09/2010  

              Good King Leonardo has decreed that we review this week the following three Marvel comics and one D.C. comic:

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  Haunt #6
Publisher: Image Comics
Robert Kirkman: Writer
Greg Capullo: Pencils
Todd McFarlane & Danny Miki: Inks

 

 
       Image Comics has just published issue #6 in its Haunt title.  The comic book is the co-creation of writer Robert Kirkman and famed artist Todd McFarlane, with pencils by Greg Capullo and inks by Todd McFarlane and Danny Miki.  For the uninitiated, Haunt stars Catholic priest Daniel Kilgore and the ghost of his brother Kurt, a secret agent who is killed in the line of duty.  Kurt's ghost and Daniel somehow bond to form the superhero Haunt.  This title has gotten off to a popular start, with sales unusually high for a new independent comic, no doubt due to McFarlane's extensive personal fan base.

     Issue #6 is a stand-alone storyline in follow-up to the first 5-issue storyarc, which established the high-action spy thriller details which led to Kurt's death and his ghost combining with his live brother for the superhero situation.  This current issue is apparently a summarized re-telling of the tale from the perspective of Mirage, Kurt's female spy partner. Two sub-plots interweave, with the main plot giving us high action of Kurt and Mirage infiltrating an evil scientist's lair and stealing a secret research book, leading to Kurt's eventual death.  A secondary plot focuses on Mirage struggling to come to terms with Kurt's wife after his death, as the partners Kurt and Mirage were having a romantic affair in the first five-issue storyline.

     This comic series has been getting mixed reviews, and I can see why.  On the plus side, its a sharp, fast-paced and sexy spy thriller with very high quality penciling from the talented Greg Capullo, who is taking-over art duties starting with the current issue #6.  On the downside, its an overly-bloody comic book concept, with a lot of gratuitous violence that's so unnecessary that at times it gives the storyline a very amateur and unprofessional feel.  Its also extremely confusing to figure out the basic storyline in this issue.  It wasn't until I read a narrative at the end of the issue that I understood anything that was going on in this sidebar perspective of the main Haunt storyline.  Placing that narrative on page one would have made this comic a much more effective and understandable read.

     So I'm giving this issue #6 of Haunt a qualified thumbs-up.  This is an interesting high action spy thriller title that's too blood-soaked for my personal enjoyment and does lower the quality of the story, even if you're a fan of splatter.  But its more of an enjoyable read if you start by reading the end-of-the-issue narrative first, then back-pedal to the front of the issue in order to follow this sidebar tale through the eyes of Kurt's spy partner Mirage.  I'll review a future issue in the upcoming new multi-issue story arc to give you a review opinion of the main story concept of this beautifully-drawn high-action thriller comic book.

 
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  Deadpool: Merc With A Mouth #9
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Victor Gischler: Writer
Matt Milla: Colors
Bong Dazo: Pencils
Jose Pimentel: Inks

 

 
        Marvel has just released issue #9 in the Deadpool: Merc With A Mouth title, one of several Marvel titles starring Wade Wilson a.k.a the masked mercenary-for-hire known as Deadpool.  The issue is scripted by Victor Gischler with art by Matt Milla, Bong Dazo and Jose Pimental.  The character was created by Marvel in the early 1990's and eventually evolved into the comic parody that its known for today.  The "Merc With A Mouth" comic series pairs Deadpool with the bodyless "Headpool," the zombie head of an alternate universe Deadpool from a previous Deadpool comic book title.

     Issue #9 keeps the satire coming at the reader on full throttle, as Deadpool pairs-up with a pair of thong-clad hot female scientists in a visit to an alternate reality which is infested with a virus that turns everyone who comes into contact with it into (you guessed it) a human-eating zombie.  Sub-plots include the scientist-chicks working to discover a cure for the virus, Deadpool lusting after one of the thong-scientists, Deadpool trying to capture a zombie on behalf of the scientists, and on and on.  You get the drift of how this satire on zombie comics and fiction is structured.  The issue concludes on a nice cliffhanger dramatically bridging us toward next month's issue with an action event involving what else: more zombies!  There's also an iconic parody of the classic movie "The Graduate" in the poster-worthy cover of this issue, which combines the most famous scene from that movie with some Deadpool-style zombie-madness.

     For all of the many years that Deadpool has been featured in the Marvel universe, I've never read a single story featuring this character.  I'm pleased to report that I was blown away by the extremely high quality of the satire in at least this particular issue.  This issue is a very entertaining and highly funny riff on so many different comic book and general fiction themes, including superheros, supervillains, zombies, hot-looking women scientists in thongs, etc. with a fast-paced dialogue style in the tradition of the best of graphic-based satire, including an obvious strong influence by the late great team of Mad Magazine pioneers Harvey Kurtzman and Will Elder.  The art team's style is the perfect form of cartooniness that best delivers this kind of crazy stuff.  So enough said already: stop reading this review and get over to That's Entertainment to get your hands on this top notch parody that puts the "comic" in comic book (ouch!)!

 
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  She-Hulk Sensational #1 (One-Shot)
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Various Writers & Artists

 

 

 
       Marvel Comics is honoring the 30th anniversary of She-Hulk with a large-size one-shot commemorative comic book.  Comic book pioneer Stan Lee created She-Hulk back in 1980 as Jennifer Walters, cousin of Bruce Banner/The Hulk, who gained her Hulk abilities after receiving a blood transfusion from cousin Bruce.  She's been a solid staple of the Marvel universe for a generation now, appearing in various superhero team comics as well as several of her own titles.  Most memorable was the two-year run of She-Hulk that started in 2004, in which writer Dan Slott created a perfect blend of campy humor and social satire as Jennifer worked as a lawyer in a firm that specialized in legal representation for both superheroes and supervillains.  It was a great take on the fact that lawyers will represent either side of an issue as long as the client is a paying client.

     This one-shot issue presents three anniversary stories starring She-Hulk.  The lead story is entitled "The She-Hulk Story That's A Riff On Christmas Carol."  Written by Peter David with art by Jonboy Meyers, its an entertaining tale in which Walters is depressed about being a 30-year comic character, and is visited by creator Stan Lee, followed by the ghosts of She-Hulks past, present and future.  The second story is entitled "Ladies Night" and is written by Brian Reed with a large art team.  Its an action-oriented tale in which She-Hulk teams with Ms. Marvel and Spider-Woman in a story involving a connection between local bank robbers and the world terrorist group HYDRA.  The issue is rounded-out with a third untitled tale written by veteran writer John Byrne with art by Byrne and Glynis Oliver.

     While the Christmas Carol satire in the first story is cute and well-presented, its the second story in the issue that really shines.  Both the general story plot and the interaction between the three female superhero characters is first-rate, with a nice balance between action and dialogue that pulls the reader in for a very entertaining read.  The third story created by John Byrne is referred to in a page-one narrative as "a memorable gem" reprinted from a past She-Hulk issue and is just plain horrifying as a stiff and plainly weird attempt to be satiric and utterly failing.  My first reaction was embarrassment for Byrne in the reprinting of this dud.  But in hindsight, I think its not a bad idea to include such a piece of failed historical schtick in this issue, if only to contrast with the first two true gem stories of this issue, in order to show how far we've come in evolving comic book story quality from some past periods of poor quality production.  So a definite recommendation to enjoy the first two stories in this issue as a worthy anniversary tribute to She-Hulk/Jennifer Walters.

 
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Contest Winner Announcement!!!

Our latest contest challenge was for you to tell us what comic book or books you would bring with you as necessary for your sanity if trapped on a "Lost" or "Gilligan"-style deserted island.  Ken from That's Entertainment selected Action Comics #1.  Given the rarity and value of that treasure, Ken would have to be trapped on Fantasy Island in order to have Action #1 with him! 

We have two contest winners this week and they are (drumroll, please)...Gordon Dupuis and Ray Loughlin III.  Gordon Dupuis tells us that he would bring with him the complete run of Neil Gaiman's Sandman, and if he wasn't rescued by the time he read the 10th or 11th issue, he'd start to write a volume of Sandman fan fiction.

Ray Loughlin III tells us that his first choice would be to have a "how to" comic book with him that would tell him how to get off of the island, so he could get back to That's Entertainment to buy all the comic books that he wants.  But if that wasn't possible, he'd go the classic route and relax in deserted isle splendor with some Batman/Joker comic books because those are his favorite. 

Good entries, Gordon and Ray, and congratulations on each winning the contest prize of a $10.00 gift certificate to That's Entertainment!

     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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