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  COMIC REVIEWS FOR THE MONTH OF: MARCH 2002
  PATH #1
Writers: Ron Marz  Artist: Bart Sears
Review By: Larry "Bocepheus" Evans
Publisher:  Crossgen Comics,   Shipped On: 032702
MSRP: .$2.95 each (15% OFF during it's 1st Week of release only at Alternate Reality!)
CROSSGEN'S SYNOPSIS:
Brother to a slain warlord, a humble monk possesses a weapon with the power to slay gods... but can he bring himself to use it? Ron Marz and Bart Sears join forces in the first issue of CrossGen's latest monthly title, a tale of all-out samurai action set on a feudal world.
BO'S REVIEW:
The latest addition to the CrossGen line continues the promise of last month's prequel. Our hero, Obo-san's purpose is to avenge the death of his brother at the hands of the Gods that killed him. He has a weapon at his disposal that allows him to kill what was inviolable. Marz's story will please fans of martial arts movies as well as the more serious Chinese operas. Bart Sears continues to reform his style with this issue. His characters are more realistically built and he like Ruse artist Butch Guice fills the book with double page spreads. I enjoyed the prequel and this first issue but I am becoming concerned with the rapid growth of the line; here's hoping quantity doesn't exceed quality.
  MARVEL KNIGHTS VOLUME 2 #1
Writers: John Figueroa Artist: Alberto Ponticelli
Review By: Larry "Bocepheus" Evans
Publisher: Marvel Comics,   Shipped On: 032702
MSRP: .$2.99 each (15% OFF during it's 1st Week of release only at Alternate Reality!)
MARVEL'S SYNOPSIS:
The Brothers Grace - multi-billionaire European businessmen who happen to be addicted to plastic surgery - are moving into the vacuum left by the Kingpin's absence. Under the direction of their evil majordomo, Mr. Tune, the Brothers' personal army begins their absorption of every criminal enterprise in the city! North Korean police detective (and S.H.I.E.L.D. undercover agent) Sgt. Helen Kim has been assigned to assist Black Widow, but will her personal vendetta against the Brothers get in the way of our urban avengers? Desecration, animal sacrifice, plastic surgery, and European independent filmmaking - yep, the new MARVEL KNIGHTS has it all!
BO'S REVIEW:
The re-launch of the MK title is grimmer, more atmospheric and more ground level than the cancelled Chuck Dixon/ Ed Barretto version. Their version was too mainstream super heroic to make any dent sales wise to a buying public who could get that from Avengers or the JLA.

New writer John Figueroa impressed MK editor Stuart Moore with his take on the group so not long after giving Dixon the boot he let the new guy revive the series. Figueroa brought along potential superstar penciller Alberto Ponticelli who was fresh off of drawing the Blade 2 movie adaptation and the combination gave us this impressive first issue.

The first issue introduces the nefarious Brothers Grace who will give the beleaguered Kingpin a run for his money in his weakened state. This story shows us right away how much trouble the two will be for the city of New York. Figueroa also eliminates one of the elements of the previous series by having Punisher fight alongside Daredevil but continue their mutual antagonism.

Ponticelli's work is superb here; his style is similar to Leo Manco or Daredevil penciller Alex Maleev. He loves shadows and makes each character look distinctive.

The membership in the group will probably remain at the current level-Punisher, Daredevil, Black Widow and the non-powered government agent.
  CATWOMAN #5
Writers: Ed Brubaker  Artist: Brad Rader/Cameron Stewart
Review By: Larry "Bocepheus" Evans
Publisher: DC Comics,   Shipped On: 032702
MSRP: .$2.50 each (15% OFF during it's 1st Week of release only at Alternate Reality!)
DC'S SYNOPSIS:
Slam Bradley, the man who led readers to the missing Selina Kyle in DETECTIVE COMICS, returns! While Catwoman is investigating a drug ring involving local children, Slam is on the trail of some corrupt cops. So what do the two cases have to do with one another? Considering this is Gotham, you do the math.
BO'S REVIEW:
This single-issue tale continues the evolution of Selina Kyle from master thief to a leather clad Robin Hood. The story by Ed Brubaker also shows why this new series is flying off the racks. It involves drug running in the East End. He shows us who is behind it, how things work and how this character is going to be a major thorn in her side until he's dealt with in a permanent manner. Brubaker also reintroduces to the supporting cast long time DC character Slam Bradley to help Selina. The story is pretty grim & the Brad Rader/Cameron Stewart art matches the grim tone. The combination reminded me a lot of the work of Mike Allred. Rader worked on the Batman Animated series and he will stick around for a few issues until inker Stewart takes over full time.
  VAMPIRELLA #7
Writers: John Smith  Artist: Dawn Brown
Review By: Larry "Bocepheus" Evans
Publisher: Harris Comics,   Shipped On: 032002
MSRP: .$2.99 each (15% OFF during it's 1st Week of release only at Alternate Reality!)
HARRIS' SYNOPSIS:
In part one of "Hungry Ghosts," Vampirella's past begins to haunt her. With a peculiar circus aiding her, she enters a haunted house that no one has left alive. Also included is part one of the long-awaited return of Pantha by Mark Millar and Mark Texeira.
BO'S REVIEW:
Little Red Hot creator/penciller/small blonde cutie Dawn Brown joins the Vampirella team for the next four issues starting here with this on time issue. She and writer John (Yes, it's my real name) Smith give us a tale that places Vampi at a carnival where she is once again compelled to go to Red House. The House has been mentioned as a source of evil in previous issues but Vampi hasn't actually seen it yet so Smith has been building it up into something we should look forward to.
 
At the carnival she encounters the name-lamed magician Harry Krishna and more evil creatures that at tale's end seem to make Vampi encounter the House sometime during the next three issues. The Vampi story is pretty short but effective. Dawn Brown's art didn't do much for me so I never bought an issue of Little Red Hot but here she seems to have learned a few things in Harrisland.

The bulk of the issue, however, is filled with the return of Pantha in a tale that seems to have no plot but plenty of sensuous art involving the leopard bikini wearing Pantha. You'll pant, you'll salivate but the story will leave you scratching your head in confusion.
  HAWKMAN #1
Writers: Geoff Johns & James Robinson  Artist: Rags Morales
Review By: Larry "Bocepheus" Evans
Publisher: DC Comics,   Shipped On: 030602
MSRP: .$2.50 each (15% OFF during it's 1st Week of release only at Alternate Reality!)
DC'S SYNOPSIS:
A new series starring the Winged Wonder debuts, as Hawkman and Hawkgirl set up in their new stomping ground of St. Roch, Louisiana. The question is who's stomping on whom? They've set themselves up as allies to a failing museum, only to find they're underdogs fighting against a corrupt city government and a madman who will hire anyone to eliminate them. This issue ignites an explosive international adventure through tombs, temples and treasure!
BO'S REVIEW:
The latest attempt to launch a Hawkman series debuts with a high quality effort that if maintained could actually be a success. Initial JSA team Geoff Johns & James Robinson will co-write the series in the same manner they did with that title.

Most if the problems with Hawkman surrounded his convoluted continuity, which always tweaked his origins but tended to confuse the hell out of readers who grew up with the Gardner Fox version or started with the Tim Truman mini-series. Johns straightened out things considerably during a JSA arc that tossed most of the reinvention concepts and settled on Hawkman and Shiera being born during over a hundred years ago in Egypt, encountering a spaceship with introduced them to Nth metal and them dying and being reincarnated a number of times. Usually the two end up together but this time Shiera isn't buying it and that will be causes of tension during the series until Johns/Robinson decide to settle the issue.

This time around the Hawks have moved from Chicago to another one of those invented cities that DC loves to use. I guess that the closest real world city you could come up with is St. Paul, Minnesota.

The artwork this time around is by former Hourman artist Rags Morales and initial JSA inker Michael Bair inks him. This is the best combination DC could have come up with because the collaboration is spectacular.

All Books/Characters pictured herein are Copyright 2002 by their respective owners. No rights given or implied by Alternate Reality, Incorporated.

Reviews 2009 Alternate Reality, Inc.

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