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BO'S WEDNESDAY HEADS UP: 022206
"These reviews are based on the Sneak Peek titles sent out by Marvel & DC. It's not everything that's shipping for the week, but it is a real good cross-section of this weeks releases. Check the bottom of the page (after you read my reviews) for a link to some SNEAKY PEEKIES of future titles"
BOOK OF THE WEEK: STORM #1 (of 6)
Comic Review by:
Larry "Bocepheus" Evans
Writer: Eric Jerome Dickey,  Artist: David Yardin

In case you have been living on a desert island for the past few months there is a big wedding coming in the Marvel Universe. The Black Panther and Storm are tying the knot after being connected loosely for the past few years. In the current Panther arc he is looking for a wife and when everything is said and done he is going to pick Storm. In this first issue we start back when Ororo was a street urchin with a talent for picking pockets and TíChalla was a young prince wandering the world during what the Australians call a Ďwalkaboutí. She is being challenged to steal a camera from an American and in doing so we see one of the first manifestations of her powers. That little display makes her a hunted person but before we get to the serious part of the hunt we spend time getting to know her parents and see why she is where she is. We have always gotten bits and pieces of her younger days but here we get the full story not the abridged one. Dickey doesnít tell this as a comic but as if it was one of his novels. We havenít met TíChalla yet but can assume that he will appear in the following issue and make an adventure out of her survival. This book is going to get a lot of press and may draw folks into comic shops that wouldnít even consider it and for that the company should be commended. Yardin came from the independent scene and worked on the acclaimed but low selling District X and this project should serve as a launching pad for even better things. He doesnít have a flashy style and seems to be better suited for non action type books.

MSRP:  $2.99
Alternate Reality Price:  $2.54 (That's 15% OFF, All This Week!)
CAPTAIN AMERICA #15
Comic Review by: Larry "Bocepheus" Evans
Writer:
Ed Brubaker, Artist: Mike Perkins

Fresh from the conclusion of the Winter Soldier arc Steve Epting gets a breather this issue (and by doing so gets the title back on schedule) and the next with a story that comes off as one of the strangest love stories seen since those rewrites of old Marvel romance titles that have shipped all this month. We begin the issue with newsreel footage being narrated by people who were probably never considered by narrators when the stuff was shot. One of the folks chatting when he should have been eating popcorn is Crossbones and the other happens to be Synthia Schmidt, the daughter of the Red Skull. In case you forgot her (and most probably have) she was the product of a relationship between the Skull and Mother Night from the Isle of Exiles. We see here that the Skull wasnít exactly happy that he had a daughter (a sexist Nazi, who would have believed it) and relive her origin as Crossbones attempts to break her SHIELD reprogramming. The story is pretty tense and also serves as a history lesson about a character that never made that much of an impression previously. Cap is here only in flashbacks and memory spurts but after the events of the last few issues I think he needed a break anyway. Of course the story ends with her returning to her old self but itís told in a way that makes it fresh anyway. Brubaker has stated that he is a huge Cap fan and here he continues to astonish with his mastery of Steve Rogers history. Perkins (last seen on the low selling limited series Spellbinders) serves admirably as a replacement for Epting and should be on the short list for taking over the title full time along with Lee Weeks. There is enough of a similarity between the three artists to give readers a sense of continuity even thought there isnít any. The cover has a heading that tells us that the title was named Wizardís best series of 2005 and you will have a hard time convincing people that it isnít.

MSRP:  $2.99
Alternate Reality Price:  $2.54 (That's 15% OFF, All This Week!)
CATWOMAN #52
Comic Review by: Larry "Bocepheus" Evans
Writer:
Will Pfeiffer, Artist: Pete Woods
 

The last Catwoman before OYL ships this week and the creative team uses the issue to wrap things up before changing everything that we have gotten used to. In the last few issues we have learned that Selina had gotten the Zatanna treatment, Slam Bradley had been kidnapped, his son was flying around in a rocket suit, the West End had a nasty Black Mask infection and when this issue begins Selina is seeing red. Slam has been dropped off at the hospital with a message left in an unusual place and Black Mask is showing that no one in Catwomanís life is safe which leads to what is hinted on the cover. The issue moves along with a smooth quickness until the final battle between Selina and Mask which brings us back to the start of the issue right before everything begins to change. The final page of the story is the one being copied in most in most of the DCU titles this month even though the setup to why is inside the delayed Infinite Crisis #5. Pete Woods does his usual high quality job on art and even though I enjoyed the story the fact that the events contained within can have no real impact on the title since we are going to jump ahead one year in a month. DCís writers have the freedom to do whatever they want because nothing that happens in these pre-OYL issues has an effect on the following yearís worth of books. Itís sort of like getting a check for a million dollars then getting hit by a bus.

MSRP:  $2.50
Alternate Reality Price:  $2.12 (That's 15% OFF, All This Week!)
WARLORD #1
Comic Review by: Larry "Bocepheus" Evans
Writer:
Bruce Jones, Artist: Bart Sears

 
Mike Grellís creation Travis Morgan is reborn in the first issue of a brand new Warlord series. This one has no connection to previous incarnations but shares the same elements. Morgan is a test pilot who accidentally ends up in a hidden land while on a mission. The land he ends up in is called Skartaris and using a time honored method once he arrives he gets to kill something. Jones parallels his mission with the day to day barbarism in Shamballah. There we meet Tara, the daughter of the king and her betrothed who ends up in one of them gladiator things to his misfortune. We alternate between Travis going down and a prayer for a great warrior to arrive before things get really brutal and we are left with an impending showdown with Morgan and the lowlife who hacked and clashed Taraís man. Jones does open things up a lot more than Grell did when he introduced the character during the 70ís but never really makes a case for why we need another incarnation of the character. He does appear to be cheating a bit since we see a statue of someone who bears a striking resemblance to Morgan but I fear that he wonít get much of a chance to get that much into that aspect. A while back Bart Sears was a huge deal in comics. Then he wasnít and he he moved down to Florida, sort of re-invented himself and became a big deal again which got him a Marvel deal and now a DC one. While he worked at Crossgen he went back to his old style but added a few twists. Here he seems to be drawing the book with his toes because he relies on too much black shading and seems to believe that being less polished is supposed to be attractive. If someone smacks him on the head and knocks some sense into him the book may have a better chance to survive but if not he may have a bright future wearing paper hats.

MSRP: $2.99
1st DAY SALE Price: $1.79 (That's 40% OFF, Wednesday Only!)
Alternate Reality Price:
$2.54 (That's 15% OFF, All This Week!)
"See, I told you I'd be down here. We've got a bunch of SNEAKY PEEKIES of future MARVEL, DC and IMAGE titles right HERE"

All Books/Characters pictured herein are © Copyright 2006 by their respective owners. No rights given or implied by Alternate Reality, Incorporated.

Reviews © 2006 Alternate Reality, Inc.

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