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KIDS CORNER COMIC REVIEWS

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"Parents, we get dozen's of kid friendly titles in every week. Which ones are gem's and which ones aren't? That's what the reviews below are for. Every week our crack review staff picks through that weeks kids releases and reviews the titles you may be interested."

VERONICA #205
an ARCHIE COMIC Series
Review by: Deanna "Dee Kay" Bihlmayer
Release Date: 030911
Story: Dan Parent
Art: Dan Parent, Rich Koslowski, Jack Morelli, Digikore
MSRP: $2.99 (15% OFF during it's 1st Week of release only at Alternate Reality!)
ARCHIE'S SYNOPSIS:
Kevin Keller, star of the sold-out Veronica #202, is back! In "The Buddy System," Veronica and Kevin have become inseparable, but their constant contact is pushing away the most important person in Veronica's life. Can Kevin and the gang help Veronica remember one very important date before it ends the world's greatest friendship?
DEE KAY'S REVIEW:
For any one out there who loved the Archie comics growing up, you will not be disappointed. This book is still great for kids and especially any girl fan of Archie and his gang of friends. This week, Veronica has a new pal and his name is Kevin Keller. Kevin is not just a new character, first seen in issue #202, but it is the first time the Archie comics have included a gay character. If you have not seen the previous issue and do not pick up on the hints of Kevin’s sexuality, Archie puts it out there on page 11, so there is no misunderstanding.

The story line revolves around Betty being upset because Veronica hangs out with Kevin and forgets dates she is supposed to have with Betty. As Archie points out to Betty, he loves that Veronica is with Kevin. It means she is not with another boy, and since Kevin is gay, he is not hitting on her either. This does not make Betty feel any better. She feels left out, and honestly just a little jealous. Enter our favorite bumbler, Jughead, who is not so much an airhead as I remember from my younger reading days. He confronts Veronica and Kevin and helps them to see how they have hurt Betty’s feelings.

This is a great read, and I am happy to see that Archie Comics has decided to jump in with a gay high school character. Archie has always tried to keep up with the high school set, what is relevant, and with the addition of Kevin, they have done it again.

If you are still a Neanderthal, and think you or your child should not read a book with a character that happens to be gay, then this issue is not for you. Otherwise, pick one up. Archie Comics are still one of the most wholesome books a kid of any age can read and relate to high school life.
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ARCHIE & FRIENDS #153
an ARCHIE COMIC Series
Review by: Deanna "Dee Kay" Bihlmayer
Release Date: 031611
Story: Tom DeFalco, J. Torres, Tania del Rio, Ian Flynn
Art: Ron Frenz, Tim Levins, Giselle, Tania Del Rio
MSRP: $2.99 (15% OFF during it's 1st Week of release only at Alternate Reality!)
ARCHIE'S SYNOPSIS:
This April Fools Day it's Reggie's Revenge! The King of Pranks will be pranked when four brand new teams of writers and artists take on Reggie and the gang! Comic book legends join forces with Sabrina the Teenage Witch and Sonic the Hedgehog superstar comic writers for foolishly good fun!
DEE KAY'S REVIEW:
Who doesn’t like April Fool’s Day? Especially our favorite prankster Reggie! This issue has four separate stories by different writers and artists revolving around April 1st. Each separate story keeps to this theme, and they all do a great job of showing the fun of a few innocent pranks at school. The culmination of these stories is in the last story Reggie finally gets his.

This book is pure Reggie fun, with the whole high school gang, including the teachers, dreading the day, and wondering where Reggie is lurking. Reggie uses the same pranks we have all seen before, but some new ones too. Like, cupcakes iced with toothpaste! I have never seen that one before, but maybe you or your kids have. Of course, everyone is pranked, and then they are all looking for Reg. However, pure Reggie style he is hiding in plain sight, the detention room, which is where he usually is all the time, being the school troublemaker.

Archie comics are always a win/win in my book, wholesome fun and a good read. However, be careful!! Your child may get some new ideas to prank you on April Fool’s Day! Besides, you probably should remind them that this would not be a good idea at school. Teachers in their world probably are not as forgiving as Reggie’s teachers are. Other than that, pick up a copy for some good nostalgic laughs, or introduce your child to the wonderful world of Archie and the gang.
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BART SIMPSON COMICS #58
a BONGO COMIC Series
Review by: Deanna "Dee Kay" Bihlmayer
Release Date: 022311
Story & Art: Carol Lay
MSRP: $2.99 (15% OFF during it's 1st Week of release only at Alternate Reality!)
BONGO'S SYNOPSIS:
Bart attempts his most elaborate practical joke ever and becomes an Internet sensation with a little help from his friends... about 15 million of them! Then, Rod and Todd Flanders believe it is their mission to save Homer and Bart's souls. Plus: Sergio Aragonés "Maggie's Crib."
DEE KAY'S REVIEW:
This is really great book and is appropriate for any Simpson’s fan of any age. It's a very well written tale of Bart is up to his old pranks at school, all of which makes for a very funny story!

The book is made up of one main story starring Bart and three mini stories bringing in the rest family. The main story plays out in two parts and really grabs the attention of the reader showcasing Bart at his prankster best. The other “skits” are cute too, especially the Rod & Todd Pray-Off. I think “bigger” kids will really get a kick out of it, I know I did! Like I said at the top: This book is fun for anyone from 6-60 and is highly recommended.
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YOUNG JUSTICE #1
a DC COMIC Series
Review by: Deanna "Dee Kay" Bihlmayer
Release Date: 021611
Story: Art Baltazar & Franco  Art: Mike Norton
MSRP: $2.99 (15% OFF during it's 1st Week of release only at Alternate Reality!)
DC'S SYNOPSIS:
Based on the highly anticipated, all-new hit animated show from Warner Bros. debuting in January on Cartoon Network! It's moving-in day for Superboy and Miss Martian as they choose their rooms at their new headquarters! But the Boy of Steel is haunted by the Cave's memories and strange visions of his past...
DEE KAY'S REVIEW:
In this second installment of Young Justice, titled "Haunted" and in it we find out that Wally West is Kid Flash. We are also fleetingly introduced to the Red Tornado, Martian Manhunter and Miss Martian, M’Gann M’orzz. After that, though the story falls a little flat. Now, it could well be it is a set-up issue for those to follow, but maybe issue #0 would have been the better place to do that. Like issue #0, this issue seems a little disjointed, and starts up in what seems like the midway point in the story line.

Superboy is left alone in the abandoned Justice League Cave, and then starts hearing and seeing things. Super heroes seem to come and go for no apparent reason, and do not really lend anything to the story. This story is lacking in plot and quite frankly, is boring and makes no sense.

I figured that I would give this series a second chance after being disappointed with issue #0, but instead of the story line getting better, it actually has gotten worse. It is worth picking up if your reader likes the cartoon network series, but if not, you should just skip it.
If you're in Grade School are you a Good Grades Club member? If not join today and get in-store discounts on all your purchases for each of the "A's" & "B's" on your report card!

SPONGEBOB COMICS #1
a BONGO COMICS Series
Review by: Deanna "Dee Kay" Bihlmayer
Release Date: 020911
Story: Graham Annable  Art: Gregg Schigiel
MSRP: $2.99 (15% OFF during it's 1st Week of release only at Alternate Reality!)
BONGO'S SYNOPSIS:
Are you ready for the comic book premiere of the world's most popular fry-cooking sponge?! This first issue is a whale of a collection of comics by talented indy, mainstream, and animation cartoonists - James Kochalka (Johnny Boo, American Elf), Hilary Barta (Fear Agent), Graham Annable (Grickle), Gregg Schigiel (X-Babies), Jacob Chabot (Mighty Skullboy Army, X-Babies), and more! In this issue: SpongeBob has a recurring nightmare about his favorite cereal; Squidward introduces music to the Krusty Krab; and Mermaid Man is freaked out by a fan who won't... stop... staring! Also: Patrick and SpongeBob team up for the most idiotic joke ever; SpongeBob learns to glow; and readers are invited to draw the absorbing one's new hairdo! All this, plus a page of SpongeFunnies by James Kochalka and a cover pinup, equals a ship-shape maiden voyage!
DEE KAY'S REVIEW:
This premiere issue is for any young reader who loves Sponge Bob Squarepants. There are stories, puzzles, and activities throughout. It even has a pullout poster to hang up in your room in the middle.

This is a great book for kids who are just starting out reading, who also like other activities to do in between. The stories are cute and engaging, and the activities are fun for any Sponge Bob lover. This is a great book for mom and dad to enjoy with their young reader.

Bongo Comics has done a great job with this premier issue for the younger set. This is a great book to pick up for your little Sponge Bob fan!
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SUPER HERO SQUAD SPECTACULAR #1
a MARVEL COMICS Special
Review by: Deanna "Dee Kay" Bihlmayer
Release Date: 020211
Story: Todd Dezago  Art: Marcelo Di Chiara
MSRP: $3.99 (15% OFF during it's 1st Week of release only at Alternate Reality!)
MARVEL'S SYNOPSIS:
It's a totally radical time-travel trip back to the 80s! The God-like entity known only as The BEYONDER sets his sights on the Squad...teleporting them to his own private Prison Planet to do battle with the Villains for his own amusement! Join the SQUADDIES in their first Epic-Length Event...THE SECRET WARS!
DEE KAY'S REVIEW:
This by far is the funniest book I have read in awhile. It also will be extremely hilarious if you grew up during the 80’s, which is the theme of this story. Even if you are not a child of the eighties, you will appreciate the humor in this book.

A God like character, Beyonder, who thinks it would be great if he had all the Super Heroes and villains in cage matches for his personal entertainment, kidnaps the Super Hero Squad and villains for just that reason. In the Beyonder’s world is everything a person could think of that was popular in the 1980’s. He wears the clothes; he speaks in song lyrics from the eighties and so on.

Obviously, Beyonder’s world is all fun for him, but the Super Hero’s need to get home to fight crime; besides they are tired from fighting battles that no one can really win. The Super Hero’s even get the villains to help them, because if both sides don’t agree on the plan Beyonder is not going to go for it.

This book really had some original dialogue and again, the eighties theme was genius, who doesn’t love Miami Vice, Pat Benatar, and Pac-Man? This is appropriate for all ages, and well worth picking up for your kids or even just for yourself, it is a great read!
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SPIDER-MAN #10
a MARVEL COMICS ongoing series
Review by: Deanna "Dee Kay" Bihlmayer
Release Date: 012611
Story: Paul Tobin  Art: Matteo Lolli  Inks: Terry Pallot
MSRP: $2.99 (15% OFF during it's 1st Week of release only at Alternate Reality!)
MARVEL'S SYNOPSIS:
Spider-Man becomes a teacher for super hero-in-training Chili Storm... the Lynx! But is it all a publicity stunt for her modeling career, and what happens when the deadly Scorpion crashes class?
DEE KAY'S REVIEW:
A new adventure for Peter Parker that is appropriate for all ages. The reader still finds Spider-Man wanted by the police and believed to be a bad man, and all Spidey wants to do is help those in need like always. What is different with this story is that he has a woman in super hero training tagging along. Her name is Lynx and in all reality, she is a model who wants to help people, and believes that being a super hero is the way to go. One problem: she decides her super hero should take a cab to the scene of crimes, which upsets Peter to know end. When Spider-Man and the Lynx get to a fire where people are trapped and need help, he finds out the next day that the Lynx is only in it for publicity and has an adventure strip in a modeling magazine called “Poser.” I did find the name of the magazine funny with its double meaning. In this adventure strip though, Spidey looks like a bumbling fool and the Lynx like the savior, which is not the way the fire rescue actually played out. Remember the taxi? Well, the driver finds Spidey and his Lynx cohort and tells them that there is activity going on with another fire and Scorpion. This is what Spider-Man is waiting for; he has realized Scorpion is using fires to divert attention from robberies he is pulling off. Spider-Man finds himself the hero and loved by police in the next installment of “Poser’s” adventure strip, and realizes that Lynx and the cabbie were helpful to him after all.

I found this to be a good read; it is appropriate for children of any age. I am not a Spider-Man admirer, but I did enjoy this story line quite a bit. I liked the added dimension of other characters, and Peter Parker having to learn new ways to avail himself to the public and that friends can turn up in some unconventional ways when you need them most.
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YOUNG JUSTICE #0
a DC COMICS ongoing series
Review by: Deanna "Dee Kay" Bihlmayer
Release Date: 011911
Story: Kevin Hopps & Greg Weisman
Art: Mike Norton
MSRP: $2.99 (15% OFF during it's 1st Week of release only at Alternate Reality!)
DC'S SYNOPSIS:
Based on the upcoming hit animated show from Warner Bros. debuting on Cartoon Network! Robin, Superboy, Kid Flash and Aqualad star in this explosive issue kickstarting an all-new ongoing series! They're four young superheroes learning how to be a team...and maybe doing a bit of growing up along the way - but only just a little bit!
DEE KAY'S REVIEW:
Young Justice is seen on the Cartoon Network. I have not seen the show, so I do not know if this book follows along with the show or is a stand-alone series on its own. With that in mind and this being the series beginning, I was a little confused with the storyline. I am not sure who Wally is supposed to be, he's wearing a Flash type costume so maybe he's Flash Boy. The book never tells the reader, just hints at him being fast, occasionally somewhat lazy and slow and how he likes to play hero even when told to stay out of trouble by Batman himself. On the other hand Superboy is a bit terse and somewhat rude to adults but that could be because he's a clone, although why he would be angry is anyone’s guess.

In the story Wally and Superboy go to the mall to get some clothes since Supes were all torn up in some sort of explosion or fight. This is also not explained but is assumed that it happened before all of Young Justice got themselves in hot water with Batman and the Justice League. Anyway, while at the mall a pair of twins starts causing trouble and to the rescue, wearing bandanas and looking more like bandits than superheroes, are Wally and Superboy. Unfortunately they have their hands full, so thankfully when the Flash and Superman show up all is made right in the world but the boys are reminded of that whole don’t get into trouble until Batman calls for you speech. The reader must wait until next time to find out who will be joining the four super tots in their training.

This is a book for any age, and the story line was still good, even though, the writers must have believed that any one who reads this is already familiar with the characters, and where they come from. One assumes that is probably based on their belief that any one who picks up this book is already a fan of the television series. Therefore, watching the series probably would be helpful with the story line of the book, but it is still worth picking up for a new take on younger members of the Justice League like Robin and Aqualad and their friends. I hope that the reader will also find out why Superboy is so needy for Superman’s approval, and why Superman seems to ignore his existence.
If you're in Grade School are you a Good Grades Club member? If not join today and get in-store discounts on all your purchases for each of the "A's" & "B's" on your report card!

THOR MIGHTY AVENGER #8
a MARVEL COMICS ongoing series
Review by: Deanna "Dee Kay" Bihlmayer
Release Date: 011211
Story: Roger Langridge
Art: Chris Samnee
MSRP: $2.99 (15% OFF during it's 1st Week of release only at Alternate Reality!)
MARVEL'S SYNOPSIS:
Grab the book that ComicsBulletin.com says "just keeps getting better and better, and it started out great." Our hot-headed Asgardian has battled his way through a sea of robots...but he never expected there to be a MAN inside one of them! It's THOR and IRON MAN together, for the very first time!
DEE KAY'S REVIEW:
This is the final installment of this series of Thor books. With that said, if you have not picked up the first seven issues, you should. This last installment has Thor kidnapped and Iron Man must go to the rescue, because this is the early days of the Marvel Universe and no one else is available.

In this issue, Thor is trying once again to prove himself to the public, who are not so sure about his intentions. In the midst of all this, he and his hammer are kidnapped by Bots controlled by a faceless evil scientist. Iron Man comes to help him, but Thor thinks he is a machine like the Bots who are holding him hostage and starts fighting Iron Man but soon realizes he is there to help.

This book has a great story line, and well worth picking up the whole series. If you have already read issue #1-7 you will be pleased with how this series finishes off. It's a good read for children of all ages and can easily be enjoyed by young and old alike. The formula of the lead character's make up hasn’t changed much over the years, and personally, I like my super heroes to be and do exactly what I expect. In the Thor tradition, this has a lot of action and with the addition of Iron Man, there is a lot of the Tony Stark wit.

Again, pick up this issue and pick up the rest of the series if you haven’t already done so.
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MEGAMIND:
BAD, BLUE & BRILLIANT #1 of 4
an APE ENTERTAINMENT mini-series
Review by: Deanna "Dee Kay" Bihlmayer
Release Date: 010511
Story: Jason M. Burns, Quinn Johnson, Jesse Leon Mc Cann  
Art: Fernando Peniche, Tina Francisco
MSRP: $3.95 (15% OFF during it's 1st Week of release only at Alternate Reality!)
APE'S SYNOPSIS:
With the prom just around the corner, Megamind hatches a plan to usurp the imminent prom king, Metro Dude, but when his dastardly deed takes a self-destructive turn, he's forced to challenge his teenaged nemesis to a dance off in front of the entire class, ultimately usurping himself.
DEE KAY'S REVIEW:
This issue of Megamind has three separate stories and all are aimed at readers both young and old alike. The Megamind character is a very likable and all three stories are a fun read.

The first story revolves around prom and Megamind in high school with Metro Dude and of course Minion (an exchange student from Schnitzel). Megamind has a plan to humiliate Metro Dude (naturally) and make himself the ruler of the school if not the world. Of course evil plans very seldom work out as planned, and this one is no exception. The narrative is easy to follow, and is fun for young readers as well as older ones.

Story number two: Minion’s day off part 1, we will see what happens when Minion is not there to help Megamind. Unfortunately without Minion, Megamind is hopeless to even find his razor and shave himself without causing mayhem across the city. We'll have to wait until next issue to see if Megamind can fix what he broke (this is the only one of the three stories to be continued in the next issue). Will Minion save the day? Stay tuned.

Finally, in the third story Megamind needs to get to the DVD rental store or he is going to have a huge late fee. One problem, he can’t find the car, why, because it is invisible. So, whom does Megamind need to get help from? Of course, Minion! Really what kind of Supervillian/Surperhero would he be without him?

So, to encapsulate this issue: having three stories is great to keep the reader interested and having one story continue on in the next, will have you waiting for the next issue to arrive at your local comic book store. This is a definite must for any one who loved the Megamind movie.
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All Books/Characters pictured herein are © Copyright 2011 by their respective owners. No rights given or implied by Alternate Reality, Incorporated.

Reviews © 2011 Alternate Reality, Inc.

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