Review Date: Friday, June 27, 2014

Here in Bongo Congo

Good King Leonardo injured his wrist this past week, making it very difficult to type much.  So we're providing our loyal readers with just one new comic book review for this week, along with our current contest winner announcement and a new contest challenge announcement.  And we assure you that we'll definitely be back in two weeks with four new comic book reviews!
Infinity Man & The Forever People #1
Publisher: D.C. Comics
Keith Giffen and Dan Didio: Story & Art
Scott Koblish: Inks

     DC Comics recently published issue #1 of Infinity Man & The Forever People. For the uninitiated, The Forever People were the 1971 creation of comics pioneer Jack Kirby, published as one of several titles within Kirby's "Fourth World" storyverse, which established the New Genesis (good) versus Apokolips (evil) fictional concept.  The Forever People were a band of 1960's-style, New Genesis hippie-like teens sent Earth to help mankind.  They were able to summon Infinity Man to assist in their adventures.  This revival series is co-written and drawn by the A-list veteran team of Keith Giffen and Dan Didio, with inks by Scott Koblish.

     Issue #1 kicks-off a multi-issue storyline entitled "Planet Of The Humans." The entire story segment is a revised telling of The Forever People's origin. We meet four of the five team members (Serafina, Mark Moonrider, Dreamer Beautiful and Vykin) as they gather on New Genesis under The High Father's orders to head to Earth. After a few pages of arguing, all of which serves to help readers understand the various team member's personalities and quirks, the group Boom Tubes to Earth, where they link-up in Santa Monica, California with the fifth team member, Big Bear, and begin to settle-in for their mission of assistance.  The issue ends with a dramatic bridge to next month's issue #2 story segment, as the plot shifts to an African agricultural research facility, where baddies from Apokolips are beginning to raise havoc.

     Jack Kirby's Fourth World storyverse was a 1970's tour de force in the comic book publishing industry, breathing fresh artistic life and scripting creativity into a comics industry gone stale with traditional superhero story stylings.  As such, a revival of any of its iconic titles deserves only the best of creative efforts.  And thankfully, this creative team provides that mandatory highest production quality.  Veterans Keith Giffen and Dan Didio hit the bullseye with the perfect homage to Kirby's original series, in three respects. First, the artwork is a jaw-dropping replication of Kirby's unique visual stylings of his Fourth World storyverse. Secondly, the script for the revised original tale succeeds well in introducing new and old faithful readers alike to the personalities and specifics of this unique band of otherworldly adventuring flower children.

     Third and perhaps most importantly, Giffen and Didio pace the kick-off tale very properly. There's no need to rush right in and toss the reader hip-deep from the start into this brave new Fourth World. Instead, issue #1 serves as a primer, reaquainting us with the various players as well as the entire unique concept of the hippieverse of these unusual super-folk.  The concept of Infinity Man himself, summoned at times by the group, isn't even introduced yet in this premier issue.  And it all works well to orient us back into this unique and very entertaining segment of the DC Comics storytelling world.

     I also enjoyed the light humor infused throughout the narrative. The co-writers are well-known for their humorous story scripts and they bring that skill to bear very lightly but effectively in this story segment.  My one pet peeve is the decision to rename Kirby's original character "Beautiful Dreamer" as "Dreamer Beautiful." It feels very wrong, sounds like a verbal mistake and was the reading equivalent of hearing a scratch across a chalkboard.  I pray that a future issue will resolve the issue by having the character decide to reverse her name back to the proper poetic version.  But irregardless, a very enthusiastic thumbs-up positive review recommendation is well-deserved for this revival of an esteemed 1970's DC Comics franchise.

Contest Winner Announcement!!!

      Our latest contest challenged you to correctly identify which two 1970's-era Red Sox rookies had spectacular rookie season debuts, leading them to be nicknamed "The Gold Dust Twins."  We received several correct entries, so via a roll of the dice, our contest winner is (drumroll, please...) Erin O'Connor, who correctly identified Fred Lynn and eventual Hall-Of-Famer Jim Rice as the rookie outfielder Gold Dust Twins.  Congratulations to Erin, who wins our first prize $10.00 gift certificate to That's Entertainment!

New Contest Challenge Announcement!!!

     The Bongo Congo Panel of Contest Judges have decreed that its time to offer-up another contest question on the subject of the popular late night talk show "The Late, Late Show With Craig Ferguson," which airs weeknights on CBS at 12:37 a.m.  Your challenge is to e-mail us at Gordon_A@msn.com no later than Wednesday, July 9 with the correct answer to the following question: in a running gag on the show, what is the ficticious name of "The Late, Late Show..." when its rebroadcast in Japan? As always, in the event of multiple correct entries, our contest winner will be chosen via a roll-of-the-dice.  Please note that our $10.00 first prize gift certificate to That's Entertainment is redeemable for regular retail merchandise or in-store, ongoing specials, only.

That's all for now, so have two great injured left wrist-healing and comic book reading weeks and see you again on Friday, July 11 Here In Bongo Congo!

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