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KIDS CORNER REVIEWS FOR: JULY 2007

"COMICBOOK MAN"
"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."

MARVEL ADVENTURES IRON MAN #3
a Marvel Comics ongoing series

Comic Review by:
Jim "Good Old JR" Rutkowski
Release Date:
072507

What is it with Marvel? This is a company that has been in the comic business for some 50 years. But making a decent childrenís comic seems to elude them. I donít believe that Iíve given a positive review to a Marvel Kidís book in quite some time. Itíd a head-scratcher to me. Marvel Adventures does nothing to change that either. This is so unimaginative and by-the-numbers that I found myself bored with a 26 page comic. Iron Man, in this issue, does battle withÖ.wait for itÖ.Plantman!! Stop me if youíve heard this before. Please stop me!! Plantman is a creature that cannot abide humanity because we destroy nature. Ok. That concept was stale back in the 70ís. The writer does not even have the chops to play this as a parody. It is written as though it were Ibsen. The artwork here is just as finely tuned as the writing. There are one of two perspectives in literally every panel: either you are looking up at the characters from 3 feet below the waistline or 3 feet above their heads looking down. The intrinsically poor quality of the book forced to look closer at other elements of content and I realized that every page of ads were for some piece of ridiculous Marvel merchandise. Marvel bottled water, Marvel underwear, Marvel toys, sleepwear, beddingÖ..on and on. So the comic basically exists as a way to market trinkets. Marvel Comics: the hose of cynicism. Not recommended for adults, children or pets.

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SHAZAM THE MONSTER SOCIETY OF EVIL #4 (OF 4)
a DC Comics mini-series

Comic Review by:
Jim "Good Old JR" Rutkowski
Release Date:
071807

After a disappointing third issue, Jeff Smith recovers to end his Captain Marvel miniseries on a real high note. This series did something for me that has not happened for quite some time. It gave me the same sense of fun that reading comics provided when I was a kid. Smithís series is pure comic- book enjoyment. Some may criticize the series for being too kiddie-ish in that the action is not done in dark violent tones or that the sentiment is piled on too thick. I disagree. Too many times in comics and film, the action is too relentless. It becomes action without excitement. In Shazam, the action is whimsical but is always engaging and imaginative. There is sentiment in the book as well. But it is done with the intent of providing a real sense of family and the notion that we need one another to get through whatever obstacles life hurls at us. I felt real nostalgia reading Smithís series. Comics in general are company comodities that are more commerce than creativity. But every once in a great while, a creator will put his finger on the pulse of what the comic medium is capable of. They were designed to spark the imagination, that sense of wonder we all have and maybe, in some way provide a moral compass for children before it is all lost to the cynicism that comes with growing up. Jeff Smithís Shazam will take you back to those days and make you wish they could be around forever. Donít just buy this series for your kids. Buy it for yourself. Very highly recommended.

MSRP: $5.99, Alternate Reality Price: $2.54 (That's 15% OFF, All This Week!)
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TICK'S COMIC CON EXTRAVAGANZA
a NEC Comics one-shot

Comic Review by:
Jim "Good Old JR" Rutkowski
Release Date:
071107

Yep. Ben Edlund brings back the big blue guy and his sidekick Arthur for a new story that takes place at a comic book convention. The convention itself is a thinly veiled take on San Diego's yearly behemoth. The story centers around a group of real superheroes that are attending the con. While at their signing booth, they argue about who's action figure is the best, the merits of sidekicks and assorted other things that one would expect superheroes to discuss. During all of this, Tick is approached by a TV producer that wants to make a series out of his exploits. The one stipulation is that Arthur's character will not be included. At first, the Tick seems fine with this until he realizes that a hero is nothing without his sidekick pal. Personally, I'm not sure I agree with that sentiment but so be it. After a scuffle with a professional wrestler who is also at the convention, the Tick turns down the TV offer and ends up taking an offer to appear in comic books instead. Along with trusty Arthur. Unfortunately, this book is light on laughs. The convention setting is an easy target for comedy that has already been done to death in every medium. The jokes are obvious and the underlying sentiment seems forced. The art is fine but this book is in need of a large dose of creative spark. I'm sorry to say, not recommended.

MSRP: $3.95, Alternate Reality Price: $3.35 (That's 15% OFF, All This Week!)
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 foe each of the "A's" & "B's" on your report card!

FANTASTIC FOUR AND POWER PACK #1
a Marvel Comics mini series

Comic Review by:
Jim "Good Old JR" Rutkowski
Release Date:
070507

Marvelís latest attempt to keep the Power Pack concept alive, fails to connect on virtually all creative levels. This is another case of a writer trying to reach a young audience through, what he thinks, is hip dialogue. Unfortunately, it ends up sounding like a writer trying to write hip dialogue. The premise has the Pack in school trying there best to blend in and finding it to be easier said then done. They learn the obligatory valuable lesson when Franklin Richards joins the school. Through Franklin, the rest of the super kids realize the difficulties of being the social standouts. This is tired material that even kids will be bored with. The art is anime inspired, which seems to be the standard in most kids comics these days. But there just is not enough here to entertain even the smallest of children. Not recommended.

MSRP: $2.99, Alternate Reality Price: $2.54 (That's 15% OFF, All This Week!)
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 foe each of the "A's" & "B's" on your report card!
"Comic books are Reader-Breeders. Kids love them and while they aren't looking they're also learning how to read!"

All Books/Characters pictured herein are © Copyright 2007 by their respective owners. No rights given or implied by Alternate Reality, Incorporated.

Reviews © 2007 Alternate Reality, Inc.

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