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  COMIC REVIEWS FOR THE MONTH OF: OCTOBER 2005
  13TH SON WORSE THING WAITING #1 (OF 4)
Writer/Artist: Kelley Jones
Review By: Larry "Bocepheus" Evans
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics  Shipped On: 102605
MSRP: .$2.99 each (15% OFF during it's 1st Week of release only at Alternate Reality!)
DARK HORSE'S SYNOPSIS:
Monsters fighting monsters! Monsters eating monsters! Monsters tearing monsters into little monster pieces! From one of comics' best and weirdest talents comes the creepiest new offering from Dark Horse's horror line-The 13th Son. Born to a young woman driven to insanity and black magic by the deaths of her previous children, the 13th Son is a creature like nothing this world has seen before. Humans are not his target. It's the other monsters who walk this world-the Wendigo, werewolves, ghouls, zombies, and vampires-who live in fear of his enormous and terrifying powers. And what those powers are setting into motion is a horror beyond your deepest, darkest nightmares.
BO'S REVIEW:
Jones made his major comic debut way back when on Marvelís Micronauts. He has a craggy, gloomy style that makes him suited for Batman and other shadowy folks. Over the years he has also began to make his way as a writer so here the folks at Dark Horse give him a shot at creating a new character-the 13th Son. Supposedly a character of legend the white faced one is summoned from myth to defeat evil and remind folks that he really does exist. The rebirth of the large one is tied into a story being worked on by Ezra Stone who is following such reappearances by a thing that should not exist and Jones tells both stories at the same time. We see the Son fighting beasts while Stone works on a story before seeing his new neighbor come home and create a whole mess of questions. Could it be that? Nah, thatís not possible. The issue zips along and is a lot of fun so why not give it a chance when it comes in on reorder?
  ADVENT RISING #1
Writers: Rob Worley/Bill Jemas/Donald Mustard  Artists:  Arthur Dela Cruz/Cliff Richard
Review By: Larry "Bocepheus" Evans
Publisher: 360ep Comics  Shipped On: 102605
MSRP: .$2.25 each (15% OFF during it's 1st Week of release only at Alternate Reality!)
360ep'S SYNOPSIS:
Based on the popular Advent Rising video game by Majesco, this prequel begins 10 years prior to the start of the video game. In the exciting first issue, readers get their first glimpse of Gideon and Ethan Wyeth - the heroes of Advent Rising - as they set off on their journey to save the human race from eradication by the Seekers.
BO'S REVIEW:
The man who helped revitalize Marvel, Bill Jemas is back with his new company 360ep. The first offering for this kind of comic company is an adaptation of the video game Advent Rising. The game involves teens on a new world looking for adventures and trying to get along. We get the usual new guy in school stuff combined with the fact that there are two brothers-one who is popular and one who is sort of just there. There are flying boards and hovering computers but what we get here is a story about getting along in a new place and dealing with it. The interstellar stuff is coming since we can see one of the brothers on the cover holding guns but the idea here is to just introduce us to the characters and hope that we will follow them until they get to that point. Kids and players of the game platform should get into this but I would guess that most will pass. BTW, 360ep is not a comic company- they make connections with people who want to do comics as well as other things so donít expect a new line of comics coming from all this.
  ARMY OF DARKNESS #1
Writer: James Kuhoric  Artist:  Sanford Greene
Review By: Larry "Bocepheus" Evans
Publisher: Dynamite Comics  Shipped On: 102605
MSRP: .$2.99 each (15% OFF during it's 1st Week of release only at Alternate Reality!)
DYNAMITE'S SYNOPSIS:
The Army of Darkness ongoing series is here and the first story arc features the crossover no one ever expected to see: Army of Darkness vs. Re-Animator! Ash Vs. West! Winner takes all! Following the exciting conclusion of Shop 'Til You Drop (Dead), this first issue finds Ash committed to Arkham Asylum. It's here that he runs afoul of a rather ghoulish and creepy Herbert West... and the battle of the century begins!
BO'S REVIEW:
The latest and probably last "Hey Bo" told you about the problems Dynamite was having getting books out and this first issue is one of the books that just couldnít seem to go from solicitation stage to rack stage. Well the book finally arrived and to fans of both characters it will be worth the wait. The limited series begins where we last left Ash with him killing tons of creatures at S-Mart. Now to the outside world it looks as if he killed a bunch of innocent folks and so the ends up getting committed to the facility staffed by the insane Herbert West. West has continued his experiments since the last direct to video special and here we see what crazy things he has been up to. A jail break of silly proportions happens and Ash is reunited with his favorite weapons before things get even worse. Itís all very silly and twisted and should make folks laugh a lot. Greeneís art is incredibly off center with chins the size of anvils attached to most and drool flying every where.
  FEAR AGENT #1
Writer: Rick Remender  Artist:  Tony Moore
Review By: Larry "Bocepheus" Evans
Publisher: Image Comics  Shipped On: 102605
MSRP: .$2.99 each (15% OFF during it's 1st Week of release only at Alternate Reality!)
IMAGE'S SYNOPSIS:
The Fear Agents are no more. Once known throughout the universe for driving three invading alien races from Earth, they stood as a testament to the strength of the human spirit. Now, Heath Huston drunkenly scuttles across the galaxy as an alien exterminator - the last of their ranks.
BO'S REVIEW:
This book was announced a long time ago and finally arrived on the racks this week. The story is an interstellar take starring an astronaut out and about exploring new worlds. This particular exploration has him searching on a world populated by almost human primates who somehow have something that a primate couldnít possibly have. The guy we follow on his adventure is Heath Huston and he is an alien exterminator who was part of a team called the Fear Agents. Since he is the last one we get the title we get. This entertaining first issue is an attempt to make science fiction tales fun again so it has at least accomplished that. Remender also does Sea of Red so if you like that title then you should enjoy this as well. Art is by Tony Moore, who did Battle Pope and some one shots with Robert Kirkman. His art isnít what you would call flashy but it sure gets the job done here.
  MR.NIGHT
Writer: Glenn Dakin Artist:  Phil Elliott
Review By: Larry "Bocepheus" Evans
Publisher: Slave Labor  Shipped On: 102605
MSRP: .$2.95 each (15% OFF during it's 1st Week of release only at Alternate Reality!)
SLAVE LABOR'S SYNOPSIS:
The Enemy of Mankind takes a holiday in Greece, holds a discourse on love and human relationships, meets Pythagoras and discovers that no man is a triangle. Glenn Dakin and Phil Elliott tour the lost horizons of the human mind and come back with presents for everybody.
BO'S REVIEW:
This black and white offering from Slave Labor contains two tales of the shadowy Mr. Night. Heís all black and wearing a pointy hat with a tendency to complain about everything. The first tale has him and a Ďfriendí on a vacation to Greece where he greets us by ralphing since he is surrounded by such useless beauty. We follow him and his companion on a conflicted quest-his friend wants to have fun and Night hates fun. The contrast makes the story funny and entertaining. The second story has Night having a crisis of confidence involving day to day life that most of us will be able to relate to. The final tale has Night and his friend Artie discussing the idea of lost love and the need for alcohol. We get further insight into the shadow figure and realize that just because a man is a walking shadow doesnít mean we canít understand him. Generally I have a marked distaste for black and white independent comics but this one shot is pretty cool in its own way.
  PURGATORI #1
Writer: Robert Rodi Artist:  Cliff Richards
Review By: Larry "Bocepheus" Evans
Publisher: Devils Due Comics  Shipped On: 102605
MSRP: .$2.95 each (15% OFF during it's 1st Week of release only at Alternate Reality!)
DEVILS DUE'S SYNOPSIS:
The World's Sexiest Vampire has returned - and Devil's Due has her! When human civilization was in its infancy, legend spoke of a woman cursed to walk the earth forever in a hideous form - a figure whose deadly beauty was irresistible to man and woman alike. A being who would eventually threaten the gods themselves!
BO'S REVIEW:
The folks who bought the carcass of Brian Pulidoís Chaos bring back the red demon Purgatori to comics by way of local publisher Devilís Due. Elektraís Robert Rodi took on the assignment of reintroducing us to her with a story taking place in Egypt, 1242 B.C. Rodi and artist Richards introduce us to a young girl who ends up dealing with a lot more than she bargained for on her quest to grow up too fast. The quest (which is filled with suggestive sex and hinted nudity) somehow results in the arrival of Purgatori who is on a quest of her own. The tale moves quickly and leaves us wondering why the two are connected as we follow. The next issue promises to give us the origin of our red winged lead so if we want to know we need to follow. In this incarnation Purgatori seems to be smaller breasted so this is indeed a new era for the character. That distinction could make former readers snub their noses at the title and return her to the land of forgotten characters.
  SEASON OF THE WITCH #1
Writer: Jai Nitz  Artist:  Kevin Sharpe
Review By: Larry "Bocepheus" Evans
Publisher: Image Comics  Shipped On: 102605
MSRP: .$3.50 each (15% OFF during it's 1st Week of release only at Alternate Reality!)
IMAGE'S SYNOPSIS:
"SPRING" Jessica Suddreth was a normal high school freshman until she was magically transported to the fairytale world of Asamondo. Once there she trains to be a Spell Sword, a mystical warrior, to lead the peasants against the tyrannical King Elian. The good news is she's the best Spell Sword ever. The bad news is she still has all the emotions and insecurities of a fourteen-year-old girl and her training includes chopping wood and washing clothes for the peasants. Now, high school doesn't seem so bad. Will she stay in Asamando and work through the hard knocks, or will the comforts of her old life call her home?
BO'S REVIEW:
This title is a fair example of what is known as a Ďwell told taleí. The story involves a young girl at William H. Burroughs high school (as if someone would name a school after the writer of Naked Lunch) who has (as some teens do) a rough life. She gets a bad grade on a test, the other kids have no use for her, her parents are semi interested in her and she feels better when she flies a kite. After a particularly sucky day at school she cries herself to sleep and then something magical happens. She gets sucked into a magical world and suddenly grows big breasts and has powers. Seems that the world she is whisked off to needed a champion and the village wizard picked her. After the usual catching up she learns of her new world and we leave with her getting herself into trouble that will lead us into future issues. This isnít a new story but Nitz makes it interesting. He chooses to have her narrate the start to make us relate to the character better then slightly plays with the conventions of her arrival to her new world. Sharpeís art is expressive. Fantasy fans should have fun with this book.
  SPAWN #150
Writer: David Hine  Artist:  Philip Tan
Review By: Larry "Bocepheus" Evans
Publisher: Image Comics  Shipped On: 102605
MSRP: .$4.99 each (15% OFF during it's 1st Week of release only at Alternate Reality!)
IMAGE'S SYNOPSIS:
"RANDOM PATTERNS," Part Three The groundbreaking 150th issue of Spawn is here, introducing a new creative team, a new enemy and a dark new beginning for the Hellspawn. #150 features a double-length story, and added editorial content and pinup art. Don't miss this incredible issue that will change the future of Spawn forever.
BO'S REVIEW:
Spawn finally made it to the magical number of #150 and with that we get the debut of a new creative team-District Xís Hine and Uncanny X-Menís Tan. In the last issue Spawn was drawn to Al Simmons (who he was before getting all decayed and such) grave where he then moved back to the alleys that he called home at one point. Hine returns us there will chilling words and a sky full of bats. From there he establishes a new status quo and begins his quest to make the McFarlane creation interesting again. This book has sort of meandered around since about #100 and here we see that there seems to be a goal in mind. We get new threats, cooking lessons from Twitch, rivers of blood and above all else an interest in reading another issue. Hine drops a lot of stuff in our laps all through this extra long issue and what we get should increase readership on this title and get it out on a (gasp) monthly basis. Tanís art is more detailed and effective than Angel Medinaís and that alone will make more pick this up.
  LOVELESS #1
Writer: Brian Azzarello  Artist:  Marcelo Frusin
Review By: Larry "Bocepheus" Evans
Publisher: DC/Vertigo Comics  Shipped On: 102605
MSRP: .$2.99 each (15% OFF during it's 1st Week of release only at Alternate Reality!)
DC/VERTIGO'S SYNOPSIS:
Fresh off his white-hot run on SUPERMAN, Eisner award-winning writer Brian Azzarello (100 BULLETS, BATMAN) has created a Western for the new millennium. Reuniting with HELLBLAZER artist Marcelo Frusin, Azzarello has fashioned a tough-as-nails monthly series that combines all the bloody action and atmosphere of a Sergio Leone film with the provocative storytelling of HBO's Deadwood. The extra-sized 40-page issue #1 is just $2.99; future issues are 32 pages.Wes Cutter is a wanted man running from a violent past - the horrors of the Civil War, a brutal stint in a Union prison camp, and the savage fallout of Reconstruction. Now he's on a quest for the one thing in short supply: peace. Joining Wes is his beautiful wife Ruth, a woman who has been to hell and back herself - and hides dark secrets of her own.The road they travel will be a bloody one, leaving a trail of bodies stretching from Missouri to the Pacific Ocean. This is a tale only Azzarello - the mind behind some of the hardest-hitting comics of the last decade - could tell.
BO'S REVIEW:
Both DC and Marvel have tried to return the Western to comics the last few years to little success. DC had the maxi-series the Kents, Marvel the bizarre Rawhide Kid and Red Skies but no one has tried an ongoing series until now. With 100 Bullets moving into the home stretch and his attempt at mainstream superhero work out of the way local boy Brian Azzarello with Hellblazer partner Frusin debut this week Loveless, the story about the Cutters. This western takes place after the Civil War, a time when the country was getting itself back together and reconciling with the fact that we had fought people who were our neighbors as well as friends. The story begins with a scene out of a Sergio Leone movie with the shadowy return of Wes Cutter, a man believed to be dead. The scene ends in violence and hints of more to come. Cutter and his mysterious traveling companion continue on into Blackwater where they are preceded by more death and mystery. With each encounter that leads Wes home we see that he is going to be an interesting person to follow as well as the shadowed figure that is with him. The identity of that person is revealed at the end as well as what Cutter is bringing back home on his mule. The language is harsh (imagine a Deadwood comic) so be prepared. A special mention should also be made about colorist Patricia Mulvihill. Her work is lush and meshes perfectly with Frusinís artwork. Now this being a Vertigo book we know that this is more than a western but what tone shift this book will take is hidden quite well. But when itís all over and done with the question is: will this book sell? Both creators have a following but neither has sold anything close to Jim Lee numbers. I would predict that the book will sell in the steady Fables numbers but not in the Preacher numbers that Vertigo has been looking for since that title ended. This is another in a series of perfect debuts from both DC and Marvel.
  SOLO #7
Writer/Artist: Mike Allred
Review By: Larry "Bocepheus" Evans
Publisher: DC Comics  Shipped On: 102605
MSRP: .$4.99 each (15% OFF during it's 1st Week of release only at Alternate Reality!)
DC/VERTIGO'S SYNOPSIS:
Fresh off his white-hot run on SUPERMAN, Eisner award-winning writer Brian Azzarello (100 BULLETS, BATMAN) has created a Western for the new millennium. Reuniting with HELLBLAZER artist Marcelo Frusin, Azzarello has fashioned a tough-as-nails monthly series that combines all the bloody action and atmosphere of a Sergio Leone film with the provocative storytelling of HBO's Deadwood. The extra-sized 40-page issue #1 is just $2.99; future issues are 32 pages.Wes Cutter is a wanted man running from a violent past - the horrors of the Civil War, a brutal stint in a Union prison camp, and the savage fallout of Reconstruction. Now he's on a quest for the one thing in short supply: peace. Joining Wes is his beautiful wife Ruth, a woman who has been to hell and back herself - and hides dark secrets of her own.The road they travel will be a bloody one, leaving a trail of bodies stretching from Missouri to the Pacific Ocean. This is a tale only Azzarello - the mind behind some of the hardest-hitting comics of the last decade - could tell.
BO'S REVIEW:
Writer/Artist:
Mike Allred gets his shot at filling the pages of Solo this time around and as is the custom of reviewing an issue we will look at each story and see what works and what doesnít. We begin with two single pages involving a Metal Men Pin Up page and Bizarro telling us to not read this issue because Allred hates us but letís go in anyway. You would assume that the Metal Men page is here because at one point he was going to do a MM limited series with Evan Dorkin and figured why waste the page. The first story is special and involves Hourman who takes his Miraclo pill then finds he has no crime to stop. We watch him pace and do various super and non superhero things to burn off the energy he gets while laughing all the way. The second story is even sillier and deals with the Titans and the Doom Patrol who end up hanging out in the same apartment building. It all turns into a big party (with a fight) and even has a drunken Bat-mite. Our third tale takes us back to the silly Adam West Batman days. Everyone looks the way they did on the TV show but Allred adds a subversive element to this tale. He plays with the different interpretations of Batman and even though the humor level is muted as opposed to the first two stories this one is the most effective. The next tale is a two pager involving a wager between members of the New Gods that is okay but nothing special. We finish up with a silent tale involving two friends on their way to their club house after picking up some comics. It serves as an excuse for Allred to draw a lot of 60ís superheroes while conveying his love for that era. This issue of Solo is mostly hits with only slight misses. I think it would be a good policy to alternate issues from established names with names that are well known by comic folks but not general fans (such as the artist who did the previous issue). You have to believe that this title isnít a big profit book for DC but something done because the editors thought it would be a good idea.
  GIANT MONSTER #1
Writer: Steve Niles Artist:  Nat Jones
Review By: Larry "Bocepheus" Evans
Publisher: Boom Studios,   Shipped On: 101905
MSRP: .$6.99 each (15% OFF during it's 1st Week of release only at Alternate Reality!)
BOOM'S SYNOPSIS:
The year is 2013. Astronaut Don Maggert's first solo manned space flight has him disappear in the grip of an intergalactic horror. Returning to earth, he's been transformed into something that will throw the entire planet into peril! Featuring oversized Kaiji action and giant monster throwdowns!
BO'S REVIEW:
Steve Niles apparently has no need for sleep because he seems to be writing at least a book a week these days. This time around he works with the new Boom Studios (Hero Squared) to do his version of wellÖa giant monster. This isnít a Godzilla tale but more in the nature of those 50ís science fiction films in which something horrible happened to the main character and we sat at the edges of our seats seeing whether the creature was to be killed or saved. (Okay, we saw these films long after they were scary and thought they were just stupid but our parents didnít so letís leave them their illusions) The giant monster here is astronaut Don Maggert and he is on his way home from a successful mission as the first man to go solo on the space station. He seems like a regular guy who has a sense of humor and a need to get home to repair things with his wife. He also wants to be able to do something without the whole world watching him. Now as these things usually happen as he heads towards Earth something breaches the hull of the shuttle he is piloting and thatís where the fun begins. As he is being absorbed by some disgusting parasite we spend time on Earth watching the reaction of the ground crew, the military and his wife all of which are worried as well as confused. The transformation is slow and Niles uses narration to make us feel sorry for Don as he changes into something that is big, craggy and hungry as hell. You can feel that Niles is having fun with this story and imagine that when he was a little kid plopped in front of the TV he was laughing and pooping his pants watching the movies that inspired this. The art on this is from his Spawn: The Dark Ages partner Jones (who also worked on Fused) and its detailed but murky pencil work meshes well with the story being told. Now it does say that the story is going to be continued at the end but donít expect the next issue for a bit.
  CAPTAIN ATOM: ARMAGEDDON #1 (of 9)
Writer:  Will Pfeifer  Artist:  Guiseppe Camuncoli
Review By: Larry "Bocepheus" Evans
Publisher: DC/Wildstorm Comics,   Shipped On: 101905
MSRP: .$2.99 each (15% OFF during it's 1st Week of release only at Alternate Reality!)
DC/WILDSTORM'S SYNOPSIS:
One of the DCU's mightiest champions explodes straight from the pages of SUPERMAN/BATMAN and into the WildStorm Universe! But will the local heroes welcome Captain Atom with open arms or attack him, fearing him as the latest threat to their universe? Join Will Pfeifer (CATWOMAN, BLOOD OF THE DEMON), Giuseppe Camuncoli (THE INTIMATES, BATMAN) and Sandra Hope (ROBIN) as they explore the differences between both universes through the eyes of Captain Atom and begin a story that could lead to Armageddon in the WildStorm Universe!
BO'S REVIEW:
Captain Atom has had a hard time gaining acceptance in the DCU. Bought along with a number of other Charleton characters he was given a book a long time ago that sold decently but not so much that the book is still being published. The recently cancelled Breach was supposed to be a re-launch of the character but DC decided that there were other plans for the character. The last time we saw Atom he was saving the world inside a giant Superman/Batman robot and thatís where we find him here. Former Aquaman writer Pfeifer doesnít start there though he starts in the Wildstorm Universe where we see the death of a different version of two well known characters before we join Atom on his path to the Kryptonite asteroid heading towards Earth. Pfeifer uses the scene to smartly recap Atomís origin and let the uninformed in on just how he became cased in permanent armor. The sequence also serves to remind us of the lack of acceptance of Atom in the DCU. Heís a powerful hero but not the most powerful, a permanent member of the ĎBí team. Once he does his death mission though weird things start happening. First a time glitch then he falls to Earth in a spectacular fashion, then things get really weird. It seems that he or someone like him has been there before but the revelations of how are saved for future issues. The tale is well written and serves the purpose of drawing us in enough to make us look for the following installment. Art is by Intimatesí Camuncoli and is quite effective. It is the hope of DC that the Italian artist gain a solid following here in the States so I hope that there are enough Atom fans out there to aid him on that goal.
  NICK FURY'S HOWLING COMMANDOS #1
Writer:  Keith Giffen   Artist:  Eduardo Francisco
Review By: Larry "Bocepheus" Evans
Publisher: Marvel Comics,   Shipped On: 101905
MSRP: $2.99 each (15% OFF during it's 1st Week of release only at Alternate Reality!)
MARVEL'S SYNOPSIS:
When the supernatural proves too difficult and dangerous for SHIELD, Nick Fury fights fire with fire! Introducing the top secret weapon in the battle against other worldly threats, the HOWLING COMMANDOS, a special covert "shock and awe" unit made up of Marvel's greatest horror characters. Join Warwolf, the Living Mummy, Frankenstein, the Zombie, Vampire by Night and a whole army of the macabre in this fantastic first issue! This series will have far reaching ramifications in the Marvel Universe!
BO'S REVIEW:
To those who are wondering this project is tenuously connected to this monthís Marvel Monsters Group event even though this was in the works before information of that project was let out. There is also confusion on whether this is a regular series or a limited one hence the question mark after the issue number. I have heard both and when I get a clear answer I'll let you know. We meet the newest version of the Commandos during a mission and there we get a hint of the nature of the evil they have been enlisted to fight while seeing what they can do. The team consists of the new Vampire by Night, Nina Price, the 50ís character Gorilla-Man, a new character called Warwolf and new versions of the Mummy, Frankenstein and the Zombie. They work for a division of SHIELD naturally called Area 13 and are under the command of Dum Dum Dugan (who filled essentially the same role in Marvel's Godzilla comic way back when). After the slam bang opening we get introduced to Nick Fury and the new commander of the team the ever popular Clay Quartermain. Once the duo reach the mountain base Giffen uses the set up to explain what is going on and why this team needs to exist at all. And being a Giffen written title the book alternates from serious to bizarre in less than the time it takes your eye to register what you just read. That schizophrenic quality combined with the extreme muscle art of Francisco suggests that this will be a guilty pleasure for most folks and one way or the other the book will last 6 issues then continue as a series of limited series until Marvel just gives up.
  SHE HULK #1
Writer:  Dan Slott   Artist:  Juan Bobillo
Review By: Larry "Bocepheus" Evans
Publisher: Marvel Comics,   Shipped On: 101905
MSRP: $2.99 each (15% OFF during it's 1st Week of release only at Alternate Reality!)
MARVEL'S SYNOPSIS:
The surprise hit from last year is BACK in a new ONGOING series! Join She-Hulk as she deals with the bizarre legal problems of the Marvel U.! Strange twists, exciting adventures, and lots of one, two, and three-part stories guest-starring all of your favorite Marvel Characters! See why Aint it Cool News says, "SHE-HULK is the best comic Marvel publishes today." And in this first issue, She-Hulk isn't the only one returning. Get ready, True Believer! Because it's NOT a dream, NOT a hoax, and NOT HOUSE OF M... HAWKEYE'S BACK! We kid you not! So why is Clint Barton giving Jen Walters such a hard time? And how is his fate tied in to She-Hulk's latest case? Well...you're just going to have to check out SHE-HULK #1 to find out! With guest appearances by THE NEW AVENGERS and CASSIE LANG (TITAN, from YOUNG AVENGERS)
BO'S REVIEW:
Ed Brubaker started something when he and Wildstorm brought back the low selling Sleeper and dubbed it ĎSeason Twoí. The inspiration came from various HBO series (Deadwood, Soprano's, Six Feet Under, etc). The seasons are ten to twelve episodes then we wait a year or so for another one. The British also make shows last six or seven episodes then end (as is the case with MI-5). Now all of this is a roundabout and clumsy way of letting you know that She-Hulk is back. The last incarnation was funny/entertaining/exciting/low selling but the folks that have a say in things at Marvel (like Dan Slott) said "What the Hell" and so here we go again for another round. In the last run the law firm Jennifer Walters worked for had an exploding building problem but when we start here new digs have been built and after a morning adventure in which she cant get her powers to work we follow her to a new day one. Things have changed within the firm, people are getting used to the new building and Jen gets herself saddled with a client who has an interesting defense to say the least. With Slott at the helm thatís only the start of things. We get a guest appearance by some members of the Young Avengers (one of them being the new Vision) that lead to a battle and some laughs before finishing up with jury selection that involves someone who used to be dead. The story here is immensely enjoyable and composed of small hilarious moments surrounding major funny ones. Bobillo has a unique style that grows on you as each page is turned.
  the KEEP #1 (of 4)
Writer:  F. Paul Wilson  Artist: Matthew Clark
Review By: Larry "Bocepheus" Evans
Publisher: IDW Comics,   Shipped On: 101205
MSRP: .$3.99 each (15% OFF during it's 1st Week of release only at Alternate Reality!)
IDW'S SYNOPSIS:
The keep had stood empty in the Transylvanian Alps for 500 years. No one knew who built it, or why. But on the eve of WW II, German soldiers move in and awaken something - something hungry... something as merciless as the SS einsatzkommandos accompanying them. Noted horror writer F. Paul Wilson adapts his own New York Times bestselling novel and is joined by Matthew Smith (Hellboy) on art in this, the first installment of the story that the Providence Journal called, "A battle between good and evil that staggers the imagination, with an ending as exciting as any horror fan could wish!"
BO'S REVIEW:
One of my favorite filmmakers is local boy Michael Mann but this limited series returns to the place of his biggest mistake. After dazzling us with "Thief", Mann decided to direct an adaptation of F. Paul Wilsonís The Keep. The story involved Naziís inside a castle that accidentally release a greater evil and have to try to stay alive. Making the Naziís sympathetic was one problem and the crappy effects work used in the film was another. It opened and died without much notice until just recently when it was released on DVD. The failure of the film bothered the novelist Wilson to the point that he wanted the story retold (but as a comic) and the fine folks at IDW took him up on his offer. This first issue tells us why the men are there (and naturally has them being warned not to do what they end up doing) and fills in much more than the film did about the history of "The Keep". Wilson keeps the evil off page, a decision that increases tension and interest. Matthew Clark does a wonderful job penciling the issue and his art is enhanced by the decision to color the limited series in blue tones and white. This is the kind of stuff that IDW does well and if you are in the mood for some well written horror right before Halloween then take a chance and pick this up
  INFINITE CRISIS #1 (of 6)
Writer: Geoff Johns  Artists: Phil Jimenez & Andy Lanning
Review By: Larry "Bocepheus" Evans
Publisher: DC Comics,   Shipped On: 101205
MSRP: .$3.99 each (15% OFF during it's 1st Week of release only at Alternate Reality!)
DC'S SYNOPSIS:
It's finally here: the comics event so massive that it built over the first half of 2005, through COUNTDOWN, DAY OF VENGEANCE, RANN/THANAGAR WAR, VILLAINS UNITED and THE OMAC PROJECT! Prepare for the dawn of the DCU's darkest day in INFINITE CRISIS, a 7-issue miniseries written by Geoff Johns (GREEN LANTERN, JSA) with art by Phil Jimenez (OTHERWORLD, Uncanny X-Men) & Andy Lanning (OTHERWORLD) and covers by George Perez (CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS) and Jim Lee (BATMAN, SUPERMAN) & Sandra hope! Surrounded by their most fearsome enemies, the world's greatest heroes are divided within and without. DC's icons - Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman - are joined by Nightwing, Supergirl, Donna Troy, Superboy, Robin, Wonder Girl, Green Lantern, the Flash and more as they face their most dire hour. What happens next will destroy friendships and lives, dictating the direction of the universe for the next generation! Years in the making, the greatest event to hit the DCU in over two decades is about to explode - don't miss out!
BO'S REVIEW:
With the final issue of Villains United also shipping this week the event that will change the DCU for the next few years has begun. There is no way to review this without revealing spoilers so if you havenít read any of the books that has led up to this go read them then come back and read this. The villains know the secret identities of the major heroes, the Martian Manhunter is missing and the entire world knows that Wonder Woman killed Max Lord. This issue begins with an explosion and narration by persons unseen until the shocking last page. The big three are in the remains of the exploded Watchtower discussing the new status quo while being watched from not only the shadows but from somewhere that allows our narrators to see all that is occurring on this particular Earth. We then leave that location to witness Donna Troy assembling the team she will need to make things right. Johns and Jimenez dance all over the place here and Jimenez gets to contribute some awesome two page spreads that touch on threads seen in the limited series that got us to this point. Each page is filled with carnage and devastation but the worst takes place back on the Watchtower where the three heroes that form the foundation of the DCU seem to have turned their backs on one another and as Greg Rucka stated in an interview-when the big three donít get along the DCU suffers. Once everything is said and done and all seems to be lost then we finally discover who is watching all this and the revelation is damn spectacular. The book comes with two covers-one by Jim Lee and one by George Perez so pick the one you want.
  MARVEL MONSTERS WHERE MONSTERS DWELL
Writers: Keith Giffen/Peter David/Jeff Parker
Artists:
Mike Allred/Arnold Pander/Russell Braun
Review By: Larry "Bocepheus" Evans
Publisher: Marvel Comics,   Shipped On: 101205
MSRP: .$3.99 each (15% OFF during it's 1st Week of release only at Alternate Reality!)
MARVEL'S SYNOPSIS:
Take a time machine back to the age of classic monsters in this incredible special featuring three new tales of magnificent creatures, aliens and beasts. Witness the terror of Monstrollo, the horror of Manoo and the fright of Bombu! Plus a classic tale from the Marvel vaults, ďI Was Trapped By TitanoĒ from Tales to Astonish #10, July 1960 by Jack Kirby/Joe Sinnott.
BO'S REVIEW:
The Marvel Monsters Group event continues this week with an anthology of monster tales by three pretty talented folks. The first story from Giffen and Allred concerns the monster known as Bombu, who discovers that attacking Earth is more troublesome than he/she/it thought. He is being chatted with by a superior who fills us in on the many successes Bombu has had in conquering worlds until now. After being chastised and encouraged the mighty alien is returned to Earth and well, things donít get much better for him/she/it. The subsequent invasion is a bit on the frustrating side and saying anymore will ruin the jokes so Iíll be quiet now. I will say that it is damn funny though. The second story from David and Pander (who drew Grendel arc years back) tells the story of a down on his luck movie producer who has a friend called Monstrollo, an actual big alien who in an old Marvel tale defended Earth from harm. Everyone thinks heís nuts and he canít get any meetings but then he runs across an actress friend of his who will work with him to get him back to being a Ďbig man in this towní. This doesnít work out either but suddenly over canned pasta and beer he gets help from those aliens. We end things with him being handled by a new agent, one who tends to get his calls answered. Itís not as funny as the first story but if you know anything on how Hollywood works then you may pop a stitch laughing. The final new story is from Parker (Interman) and newcomer Braun and itís a typical monster story that borrows a lot from an old Twilight Zone episode but with a funny conclusion page that reminds us that it would have been on TV at one time. The classic story that fills out the issue involves a giant crab monster called Titano that ends the way all the stories of the time ended with a Ďwhat thení moment that suggests another story. Not a funny tale but it wasnít supposed to be. This installment is of the same high quality as Devil Dinosaur and if you wanted to gamble on something funny then these are the books for you.
  FABLES #42
Writer:  Bill Willingham  Artist:  Mark Buckingham
Review By: Larry "Bocepheus" Evans
Publisher: DC/Vertigo Comics,   Shipped On: 101205
MSRP: .$2.75 each (15% OFF during it's 1st Week of release only at Alternate Reality!)
DC/VERTIGO'S SYNOPSIS:
Arabian Nights (and Days), Chapter One: Broken English. In the first issue of the 4-part "Arabian Nights (and Days)," wayward foreigners have started showing up in Fabletown ó much to the dismay of the longtime residents. These new Fables are not European and are in danger of throwing the comfortably Eurocentric Fabletown into chaos. Once more, Prince Charming is in over his head and must call on the help of a Fable character not seen in these pages for far too long.
BO'S REVIEW:
The characters of the Arabian Knights enter the world of the Fables in the first part of one of the most ornate issues I have ever read. Willingham begins things with the arrival of Sinbad (in a long limo that has way too many people inside) outside Prince Charming, the Mayorís complex. We see from the start that things are going to be problematic because the characters just sit outside wondering why no one has come out to greet them. The prince has had a rough night and sitting in his office listening to complaints doesnít help him much. Flycatcher, the janitor finally goes outside and asks the folks in the limo what they want and that gets them into the building as well as the story. They donít speak English (well they do, but no one seems to understand them) and were apparently supposed to have been met by Mowgli, the Jungle Boy but he seems to be otherwise engaged. Hilarious communications problems continue as we get caught up in the saga of Little Red Riding Hood and see that Mowgli is on the hunt for Bigby Wolf but isnít close to finding him. Someone is found to communicate with Sinbad and his flock so we end the day with sleep, questions and a passionate kiss that will lead us into the next issue and even further, the identity of the Adversary. Willingham gives us a wonderful story but Buckingham goes insane with creativity and fills every page with art on top and on the sides of art. You would think it would be a distraction but it isnít. The issue also has a sneak peek of the new series Testament from Douglas Rushkoff and Liam Sharp that will tell stories from the Bible but in a modern day setting. The peek looks interesting but I am not sure of the commercial appeal of the project.
  FRIENDLY NEIGHBORHOOD SPIDER-MAN #1
Writer:  Peter David   Artist:  Mike Wieringo
Review By: Larry "Bocepheus" Evans
Publisher: Marvel Comics,   Shipped On: 101205
MSRP: $2.99 each (15% OFF during it's 1st Week of release only at Alternate Reality!)
MARVEL'S SYNOPSIS:
This is it! The start of the 4-month Spider-Man event that crosses over all three core Spider books and promises to forever change the lives of Peter Parker and everyone close to him! Haunted by unsettling dreams. Disturbed by a growing sense of dread. Convinced that people are out to get him. A portrait of someone on the edge of a nervous breakdown? Nah. Simply a typical day for Peter Parker, as your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man has to contend with a new and deadly opponent named Tracer, self-defense lessons with Captain America, and some disturbing news that will change his life in a distinctly negative manner. Part 1 (of 12)
BO'S REVIEW:
The newest Spider-Man title arrives this week and also serves as the introduction to ďThe OtherĒ that will take place in all the Spidey titles for the next few months. All of the issues will have a special trade dress and cover color scheme (red starts us off) and David will write this months books, Reginald Hudlin next months, J. Michael Straczynski the following month then each will finish the story in their respective books. The event begins with a recurring dream that Peter Parker has concerning Morlun and death. We have seen that Peter has been having problems lately with inconsistent powers and blackouts but are not really sure why (although we do have a clue). David introduces a new villain here, the Tracer and the actions used in encountering him set things further in motion. We also get a flashback involving a workout between Peter, MJ and Cap that give us a hint on how this story will end. The sequence works perfectly because we see what happens when superheroes live together-they help each other get better. David also introduces Dr. Castillo, a character that patches up superheroes when they get shot or stabbed or worse. There have been issues of comics that have shown costumed ones being admitted into regular hospitals but that was always a risky thing. The first thing that happens when you are admitted into a trauma unit is they take off everything before they examine you and a mask would be the first thing to go. The character shows us that David is a reader of comics as well as a writer because a fan would have come up with something or someone like this. Her findings propel us into the next issue as does the appearance of someone we believed was dead-Morlun. This arc is supposed to bring a permanent change to Spider-Man and if you picked up or even glanced thru the sketchbook you will see that evolution is truly inevitable. Wieringo does a stunning job on this issue and shows that he is one of the premium artists for the character.
  ESCAPE OF THE LIVING DEAD #1 (OF 5)
Writer:  John Russo  Artist:  Mike Wolfer/Dheeraj Verma
Review By: Larry "Bocepheus" Evans
Publisher: Avatar Comics,   Shipped On: 100505
MSRP: .$3.99 each (15% OFF during it's 1st Week of release only at Alternate Reality!)
AVATAR'S SYNOPSIS:
The writer of the classic film Night Of The Living Dead brings his all-new, never-before-seen zombie masterpiece to comics! 1971: It's been three years since the bloodsoaked night that the dead rose from their graves, attacking and devouring the living. Now, the legacy of that horrific and unexplained event is about to be unleashed once again upon an unsuspecting world... But this time, there may be no escape for those in the terrifying clutches of the cannibalistic, living dead! Hidden within the concrete walls of a secret medical research lab, someone has been studying the last remaining undead remnants of the marauding zombie army. Unleashed by the untimely intervention of a group of roadweary bikers looking for an easy score, the walking dead renew their gutripping campaign of terror. As each member of a rural community dies in the grotesque feeding frenzy of the zombies, so does the nightmare army grow, as halfeaten victims rise up to join the ranks of the undead. Can anything possibly contain the contagion being spread by the Escape Of The Living Dead?
BO'S REVIEW:
The man who co-wrote Night of the Living Dead (Russo) wanders into the comic aisle with a 6-issue limited series from Avatar to scare us a bit before Halloween. We begin our story in 1971 outside a decaying and closed medical research center where some idiots decide to break in. The facility is, of course, filled with zombies and the intruders are policemen who are there to shoot them in the head to eliminate them. They also come across the doctor who runs the facility and as he bleeds out he warns them that their deeds may be for naught in a horror teaser moment that leads us back into town. Russo introduces citizens of the town and two lowlifes who bring the zombie threat back to the town by picking the wrong truck to steal. Their act sets everything in motion for an attack and gives Russo and Verma an excuse to toss in some nudity. Folks of this era donít have a clue about this but nudity was a major part of horror films in the 70ís and part of the 80ís so the sequence fits perfectly. Itís a nicely done story that gets us comfortable and catches us up on the history of the George Romero film while bringing us up to speed on this new story. Regular Avatar penciller Wolfer does the layouts (or thumbnail sketches) for the issue and new guy Verma does a nice job on every aspect of artwork.

All Books/Characters pictured herein are © Copyright 2005 by their respective owners. No rights given or implied by Alternate Reality, Incorporated.

Reviews © 2009 Alternate Reality, Inc.

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