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STORE NEWS
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Review Date: 05/14/2010

Good King Leonardo has decreed that this week we review two new comic titles with an interesting science fiction element to each, along with a third review of the latest issue of a DC Comics standard:
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  DV8: Gods And Monsters #1
Publisher: Wildstorm Comics
Brian Wood: Writer
Rebekah Isaacs: Art
Carrie Strachan: Colors
 
      
     Wildstorm Comics has just published issue #1 of an eight-issue mini-series in follow-up to its 1990's "DV8" comic book title.  Similar to Wildstorm's "GEN" title, the 32-issue original DV8 series featured gentetically-enhanced humans.  In the DV8 plotline, the characters were selfish folks who didn't use their powers for good, but instead for their own self-centered interests or enjoyment.  The premise was to explore the idea that some folks with powers wouldn't use them for good or evil, but rather to make themselves selfishly happy.  This new DV8 limited series is scripted by veteran writer Brian Wood with art by Rebekah Isaacs and Carrie Strachan.

     Issue #1 is entitled "The Day I Tried To Live," and starts with the post-mission debriefing of Gem "Copycat" Antonelli.  Via an issue-long flashback, Gem recounts to an undisclosed interrogator how the DV8 team were dropped onto an alien planet populated by stone age human tribespeople.  The DV8 folk seem to have no memory of how or why they were sent to this planet.  They bicker among themselves, with the result that one-by-one they leave their DV8 group and ally themselves with one or another of the many native tribes of the planet.  By issue's end, Gem's flashback tale has proceeded to the point where each tribe is now led by of one the alien DV8 "Gods or Monsters," and all are ready to wage DV8-led war upon each other.

     Prior to reading this comic book, I knew nothing about Wildstorm's DV8 fiction concept.  I was very entertained by the blending of super-powered characters with a very science fiction, alien planet storyline.  There's no one better in today's comic book publishing world than Brian Wood in weaving a tale featuring ordinary, mainstream fiction people trying to deal with everyday life.  So it was a lot of fun to see Wood go outside of the writing envelope and expand beyond that genre into a very science fiction alien storyline, yet still bring to the plot his talent of instilling each of these DV8 characters with a very believable everyday human side to their personalities. 
I also found very intriguing the unsolved mystery of who is controlling the DV8 team by sending them to this planet and wiping their memories of why they are there.

     So a very positive thumbs-up for this new Wildstorm mini-series, which blends writer Brian Wood's literary fiction skills with some great art and a very entertaining science fiction/mystery storyline.

 
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  Astonishing Spider-Man & Wolverine #1
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Jason Aaron: Writer
Adam Kubert: Pencils
Mark Morales & Dexter Vines: Inks
Justin Ponsor: Colors
 
       Marvel Comics has just published issue #1 of a new six-issue miniseries starring Spider-Man and Wolverine.  The series is scripted by Jason Aaron with pencils by veteran artist Adam Kubert and inks/colors by Mark Morales, Dexter Vines and Justin Ponsor.

     This first issue installment of the multi-issue story arc is entitled "Another Fine Mess," and introduces a very science fiction-oriented tale featuring these two Marvel Superheros.  The first third of the plot sets-up the situation of Spidy and Wolverine for some unexplained reason being stuck together in the prehistoric past of Earth.  We learn that the two guys don't get along well, with Peter Parker having set-up a prehistoric lab on one side of a valley and Wolverine living across the valley as the leader of a primitive tribe.  The middle third of the tale portrays a modern-day mystery event that threw our heroes into the far past.  I won't breathe a word of these details to avoid being a story spoiler.  And the last third of the plotline finds our heroes realizing that the mega-asteroid event that killed the dinosaurs is arriving that day.  The issue ends with a dramatic bridge to issue #2, as the asteroid's impact has a very unexpected impact (no pun intended) on our two heroes.

     I've been a fan of all of Marvel's previous Astonishing-type titles, because the company has always achieved its goal of presenting the standard Marvel heroes in unexpected and actual "astonishing" story circumstances.  This current "astonishing" title is no exception to that successful pattern.  This is a wonderful change-of-pace tale, weaving time travel science fiction, adventure, drama and Peter Parker's always present sarcastic wit (sharp but never too snarky) with exquisite art on the part of Kubert and his team.  I loved the little details that the creative team incorporate into the two hero's primitive world, from the physical environment that they've constructed for themselves to their clashing personality quirks.

     Two plotline mysteries have to be singled-out for reader attention.  The main mystery is well-introduced here, which is the question of why these guys ended-up in the past in the first place.  There's also an entertaining smaller mystery, regarding Peter Parker dreaming every night and obsessing every day about a beautiful mystery woman who comes to him in his dreams.  Combine these plot details with the multi-genre storyline and we've got ourselves one of the most entertaining mini-series to come along so far this year. So get over to That's Entertainment now and get onboard this excellent series from the very beginning with issue #1!

 
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  Wonder Woman #43
Publisher: D.C. Comics
Gail Simone: Writer
Nicola Scott and Fernando Dagnino: Pencils
Doug Hazlewood and Wayne Faucher: Inks
Brad Anderson: Colors
 
        The current Wonder Woman title is up to issue #43.  Veteran writer Gail Simone has had an accalimed scripting run on the comic book for some time now, and is joined in the latest issue by the art team of Nicola Scott, Fernando Dagnino, Doug Hazlewood, Wayne Faucher and Brad Anderson.  This latest issue is entitled "Blood Red and Bone Deep," and is part two of a three-issue story arc entitled "Wrath Of The Silver Serpent."

     This current installment in the ongoing story has two storylines.  The main plot thread pits Diana/Wonder Woman against the leader of an alien invasion of Earth, who is actually Astarte, the older sister of Wonder Woman's mother, Queen Hippolyta.  We learn through flashbacks that a planet-conquering alien race had kidnapped the wayward aunt in childhood, and now Astarte is leading the invading alien force in its efforts to conquer and disassemble Earth.  The second stroyline is adds an emotional element to the plot, as Wonder Woman forces Astarte to face her repressed childhood memories and resentments about being kidnapped and thus forgotten by the Amazons.  The issue ends with Wonder Woman agreeing to a one-on-one arena battle against the invading force's mightiest warrior, whose identity is an interesting and unexpected surprise.

     I've read about half of this current Wonder Woman title's forty-plus issues, and I'm always impressed with A-list writer Gail Simone's consistent ability to add fresh elements into both Wonder Woman's character and the story universe of this iconic Golden Age DC superhero.  Along those lines, Simone hits another narrative home run by introducing this long-lost "bad guy" aunt of Diana, full of resentment and anger for being lost from her family and world for a lifetime.  The back-and-forth dialogue between Diana and her aunt is very credible and makes for an entertaining tale in combination with the major action side of this Earth invasion story.  On a minor note, there's a fun, somewhat funny and way-too-brief appearance by the ancient Greek hero Achilles in this issue's major battle scene, also adding an entertaining element to this story.

     So there are a lot of good reasons to definitely add this current Wonder Woman story arc to your current reading list.  Its easy to jump into this story at the current midpoint, or just pick-up last month's issue #42 for part one of the tale, still available on the new "Boardwalk" current comics section of That's Entertainment.

 
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New Contest Announcement!!!

Good King Leonardo has decreed that we take a break this week from our last few trivia contests, and go back this week to putting our thinking caps on for one of our more creative-oriented contests.  So in honor of the upcoming conclusion of our favorite surreal television show "Lost," the Good King suggested that this week we offer you a surreal contest challenge.

Your contest challenge, if you choose to accept it, is to actually submit to the Bongo Congo panel of judges your suggestion for a contest question or a contest challenge.  In other words, you're suggesting a specific contest that we should run.  It can be an interesting trivia question, or it could be a creative challenge.  Not only will a winner be chosen from our entries to receive the first prize $10.00 gift certificate to That's Entertainment, but we'll also use your winning submittal for an actual upcoming contest.

 
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