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BO'S WEDNESDAY HEADS UP: 071206
"These reviews are based on the Sneak Peek titles sent out by Marvel, DC & Image. 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: GHOST RIDER #1
Comic Review by:
Larry "Bocepheus" Evans
Writer: Daniel Way,  Artist: Mark Texeira/Javier Saltares

While Garth Ennis and Clayton Crain work on Ghost Rider: Spirits of Vengeance Marvel launches a new Ghost Rider series using two people who worked on one of the previous series-Texeira and Saltares. This new series begins with the Devil playing with the flame headed rider as he attempts another in a series of escapes from Hell. It seems that the Devil enjoys playing with Johnny’s head and a slug that GR encounters as well. Way has a lot of fun setting the relationship between the three up before the ending that has dead things coming up out of the water with one riding it. He has promised to explain and create a more static continuity for the character as well as explain the whole Johnny Blaze/Danny Ketch relationship which suggests that the two won’t be brothers this time around. Now if you remember the history of the character any Ghost Rider series always starts out hot (no pun intended) then somewhere along the way the book loses fans faster than Taste of Chicago right after it closes but this may have a chance since Way is hot at the moment and there is buzz around the movie after people saw the cool trailer. Tex has always been able to hit deadlines so the book should also come out on time and a book that arrives when it is supposed to in stores always has a shot at becoming a hit.

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!)
A MAN CALLED KEV #1 (of 4)
Comic Review by: Larry "Bocepheus" Evans
Writer:
Garth Ennis, Artist: Carlos Ezquerra

Fresh of his last limited series (or as fresh as Kev can be) misfit operative Kev Hawkins returns in another limited series that will have him saving the day even though he doesn’t want to. Ennis starts us off with a memory of Kev in Belfast when he was a soldier that shows a moment of growth before we end up in a public place. Here we see Kev meeting his new boss and being told he has 24 hours to leave the country or his career as a bodyguard and security consultant will be destroyed due to a Paris Hilton moment. Ennis introduces an older friend and sets up the adventure we will be following in the next few months while laughing at the funny bits and wincing at the extreme nature of the violence. The story is casual in its sense of layout but Garth is trying to reel us in by dropping a bread crumb here and there before connecting things on the path. The Ezquerra art is much cleaner than we are used to.

MSRP:  $2.99
Alternate Reality Price:  $2.54 (That's 15% OFF, All This Week!)
X-MEN #188
Comic Review by: Larry "Bocepheus" Evans
Writer:
Mike Carey, Artist: Chris Bachalo
 

Last week the Ed Brubaker/Billy Tan team took over Uncanny and this week the new team of Carey and Bachalo take over X-Men from Peter Milligan and Salvador Larocca and as was the debut last week this one is spectacular. We begin here in Mexico with the appearance of Victor Creed (Sabretooth) in a bar arranging passage and as the character he meets there comments Victor is of all things scared. Carey moves on from there with an action sequence that is drawn to perfection by Bachalo and shows that Rogue is a very dangerous and now reckless member of the team. That is followed with a reminder that the relationship between Scott Summers and Charles Xavier is nowhere close to where it one was as the mission seen earlier is discussed as well as a show of how powerful the threat the team will be up against. All of this leads to the arrival of Sabretooth at the Institute for what he says is sanctuary and we know from what we just read is anything but. It does give him a reason to be on the new team and makes us wonder just what/who they will be up against. There is a lot more action here than we would have expected from a Carey written book but as usual his dialogue is on the mark. Bachalo goes into overdrive with atmosphere and this is some of the best artwork he has ever produced. What’s interesting about the teams the new writers have come up with is that the mix doesn’t include who we would expect and seems to be avoiding having the teams bump up against one another with one in space, one dealing with threats in a different way and the Joss Whedon team fighting threats from within. For those of you who are wondering why Cable is on the cover and not inside the book I would guess he has no reason to be there yet and the figure in shadow on the wraparound cover is probably in the issue (using the theory of never introducing something you aren’t planning to use) but not ready to do anything yet.

MSRP:  $2.99
Alternate Reality Price:  $2.54 (That's 15% OFF, All This Week!)
MARVEL ROUND UP…
Wolverine: Origins #4 contains a battle between Captain America and Logan over the fate of Nuke that is one of the most brutal ever. We learn here something that we didn’t know about the former Daredevil foe and when the issue ends we see that some of Logan’s friends decide to pay a visit…two of the Annihilation limited series end this week with Silver Surfer and Super Skrull. The Surfer ends with the returning of the status quo and him reporting to Galactus as a herald while kicking the crap out of Ravenous since he had already eliminated everyone in his path. The change does give the character purpose and suggests a less whiny but tougher Surfer. The Skrull regains his hero status among those who actually like the arrogant alien and as is the case in the books that are a part of Annihilation there is much violence and destruction…Marvel Adventures: Fantastic Four #14 is pretty entertaining as it has the team escaping death traps created by the Grandmaster…Squadron Supreme #5 shows the team laying waste to a town in the conclusion to the series first arc as a non mature readers book but when you read this it is hard to believe that. We learn more about the history of team member Edith here and what we learn suggests that she is going to be an issue someday as another player is introduced for the other side…Ms. Marvel #5 has her and Doctor Strange fighting one of her old foes before the events of Civil War arrive at the end of the issue. This book has been consistently good with the art getting better as the pages turn…Iron Man #10 shows us what is going on with Tony Stark after the events of the last issue and as the cover shows the Sentry decides to drop in for cake and juice. The writing team of the Knauf’s has done a great job keeping readers on their toes…Sensational Spider-Man #28 is drawn by Clayton Crain so even if the story sucked it would be good but the story is well done. We see the effect of the identity reveal on one of Peter Parker’s students and Doctor Octopus takes major offence of being beat up by a 15 year old whose aunt he once dated.


DC ROUND UP…
Firestorm #27 concludes the current arc and shows us a few things about the Firestorm matrix that we didn’t expect before showing us someone we would never expect. This is supposed to lead up to a storyline that writer Stuart Moore has been building up to for a year but somehow I find this title to be sort of just okay…American Virgin #5 starts the second arc of the title and I must say that for a book where the lead character is a virgin there is a lot of sex here. Warren Ellis believes that writer Steven Seagle is holding back here and the real star of the title is artist Becky Cloonan and I think he’s right but this book seems to be holding out for an audience that just isn’t there…100 Bullets #74 ends ‘The Wake’ and the issue is bloodier than most. This book is ending in 26 issues and here we see the pieces moving further along the board. Eduardo Risso has a lot of fun here beginning with a series of two page spreads and the Dave Johnson cover is worthy of a poster…Batman: LODK #208 has more great Ariel Olivetti Batman art along with a just okay Bruce Jones story. The sequences between Batman and the Penguin are some of the best one on one sequences out there but the battle between Batman and the steroid case on the cover is too off the wall and distracts from the story…Rokkin #1 is another addition to the new sword and sorcery line at Wildstorm. The art is very well done and the story does an incredible job telling us something we have been told countless times…The Next #1 (of 6) contains some of the worst art I have ever seen and a story that should have been better left untold. 

IMAGE ROUND UP…
Strange Girl #9 ends the initial chapter of the series and really did nothing for me to be honest which is why I don’t get the book. There is an audience for this title it just doesn’t include me…The Cryptics is from Steve Niles and Ben Roman. It contains the misadventures of weird looking kids and moments of sublime humor. The art is purposely cartoonish and I admit I laughed quite a few times…The Walking Dead #29 can’t be described as entertaining because this isn’t that kind of book but it is interesting and remains one of the best books Image does. The scheduling issues that cursed the book in the past seem to be more or less resolved with the book being closer to the solicitations than ever and as always Charlie Adlard proves to be the man here…Task Force 1 #1 ships from the Jim Valentino wing of Image (and yes, that wing seems to be getting bigger) and shows the forming of another team of heroes that will be forgotten a year from now…remember Hawaiian Dick: the Last Resort? Well the last issue finally ships this week so dig out those old issues so you can remember the story. Guns, ghosts, violence and uniquely colored art make the book worth buying even though they took the deadline out back and shot the hell out of it for hours, went to sleep, woke up and shot it some more.
 
"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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