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BO'S WEDNESDAY HEADS UP: 092006

"BOCEPHEUS"
"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: BLADE #1
Comic Review by:
Larry "Bocepheus" Evans
Writer:  Marc Guggenheim,  Artist: Howard Chaykin

Blade #1 comes a week after the Spike TV series ended and where the series is a horror comic this version of Blade will be a major part of the Marvel Universe. We start things off in the middle of a fight between a vampire Spider-Man and the original vampire, Dracula. SHIELD is also involved but in the clean up effort but don’t worry they come back later. Marc Guggenheim mentions in the text page at the end of the issue that he will tell two stories each issue-the main one and one that fills in gaps in Blade’s past. The TV show has given Blade a name and that name is used here so it seems that there will be some synergy between the two even though both have a different focus. Howard Chaykin does the art and man, it looks sweet. Marvel seems to be very aware that in order for a regular Blade book to work it has to connect with more than just horror fans and this first issue suggests that that may make this version last awhile.

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MARVEL ROUND UP…
Exiles #86 has a cover that has the team face off against an army of versions of Wolverine that Paul Pelletier must have a had a great deal of fun drawing. The team drops in and disrupts the master plan of a big ghostly Wolverine before learning of their next mission that appears to be a hard one to get thru after we learn where it will happen…Sensational Spider-Man #30 has another amazing Clayton Crain cover and fair to middling interior art from Angel Medina. During the opening pages we get a good showing of what the Iron Spidey suit can do during a fight with Elektro before getting more details on the plans of the Chameleon. Also inside is a sequence that actually makes the bee based villain Swarm interesting…Wolverine #46 tells us more about the plans of the lame 90’s concept Damage Control and their involvement in the massacre in Connecticut. Marc Guggenheim and Humberto Ramos give us a story that shows multiple sides of Logan-savage, cunning and matter of fact on his role in the world. We see him move thru the issue like a force of nature that changes depending on the situation before getting an ending that places him in a very bad place. You can tell that Guggenheim comes from TV because he loves cliffhangers that make us pant for the next issue…Next Wave #8 shows us what the Mindless Ones have been doing since their release from the depths to serious as well as comic effect. The childhood of Bloodstone is revealed and tells us a lot about her disposition as she mows thru the goofy looking creatures. The Captain ends up taking on the thing responsible for their release while Dirk Anger makes funny noises in his quarters. The humor quotient is pushed way up here but so is the action which makes this another highly enjoyable issue…Moon Knight #5 will give you many visceral thrills so you need to be relaxed when you read it. When last issue ended the Taskmaster arrived to kill Marc Spector and here Charlie Hudson turns the character back into the major league bad ass he was when he was introduced. In a cool twist he goes back to the Commission to complain that he was misinformed about the situation they sent him into as Marc gets back to his status as a major league bad ass who seems to know only one word…X-Men: First Class #1 (of 8) is from Agents of Atlas writer Jeff Parker and Roger (I could kill on a monthly book if they gave me one) Cruz and will tell stories that happened involving the first group of X-Men. There is a major connection here between movie continuity and comic continuity expect for the character of Angel who remains as we have seen him in the original stories. Parker tells the story in two methods, one by conventional means and using a letter being written by Bobby Drake to his mom. We see here that the team had problems meshing in the early days but since I don’t think there was a plan to send them out on missions before they knew what they were doing that works here…Union Jack #1 (of 4) tells us what happened after Joey Chapman left Captain America after the end of the recently concluded Cap arc that took him to England. Here he is called into the office to deal with a threat involving a splinter cell of ex-AIM operatives that use super-villains that have been pulled from many heroes to destroy most of England. His team consists of SHIELD agent Valentina De La Fontaine, the Israeli artist Sabra and another version of the Arabian Knight. Deadshot’s Chris Gage and Mike Perkins show us a team that has problems getting along (Sabra and Arabian Knight have no like for one another for obvious reasons) but no problem fighting their enemies. After reading this issue the book comes off as a superhero version of queen & Country that will do much better.

DC ROUND UP…
Krypto, the Superdog #1 comes out this week and the cartoon is somewhere way past horrible if you can believe that so don’t expect much better here…Shadowpact #5 as the team returning from their mission only to learn that everyone thought they were dead. There have been a great deal of changes since they entered the red dome and barbers all over the DCU rejoice as many of the team members are in dire need of haircuts. We follow the team as they reconnect with their lives as we meet a new threat for them to face…Claw #4 (of 6) is fresh off the announcement that the book has been cancelled so the death spiral has begun in earnest. Here the regular Claw learns more about his traveling companions and the deal they made to the buxom sorceress as the sole survivor of the attack on a village by the other Claw moves slowly towards vengeance. It doesn’t take a brain surgeon to figure out that everything will end up in the same place, just one to figure out who approved this book as a regular series…Birds of Prey #98’s cover pays homage to the introduction of the first Batgirl as the interior tale tries to figure out who the new one is. There is some great interpersonal byplay here between the members of the team as they take Sin out to the park while an assassin takes a limo ride out on the town looking for people in Batgirl outfits to kill after just getting out of prison…Deadman #2 has Brandon Cayce adjust to the fact that he is no longer dead but repeating parts of his life as he tries to understand what is going on. He wakes up a few times here and his days go differently as Bruce Jones beats us over the head with science reasons for his state, which nails down why this doesn’t work. The original used mysticism and religion to explain the character but mixed in a few action sequences to keep us awake while here the story is well told but not what we wanted about a character that worked only in small doses…Catwoman #59 actually has the new villain, the Film Freak do something and that makes the issue all the more entertaining. Holly is still in jail here for the murder of Black Mask so that means that Selina has to put the costume on again to help her. Will Pfeiffer give us an update on Slam Bradley while showing that Wildcat can be a baby sitter if he needs to be…Checkmate #7 brings in the Suicide Squad in a story guest penciled by Buffy artist Cliff Richard and that means the story is more action based than what we are used to. Here the Squad goes off the grid to involve them in the China situation in an issue that is muddy looking…Hellblazer #224 has Denise Mina hanging around for another arc involving everyone’s favorite cigarette smoking magic man, John Constantine. The demons that John’s friend, Evans let loose has taken over most of Scotland but for some reason are leaving them alone. We find out just what the full story is behind them (as John looks for smokes) before learning that things are going to really suck if John and his friends don’t get involved. If you didn’t know what Mina’s take on John is before this issue then you do now and man, she has him down cold.

IMAGE ROUND UP…
Hatter M #3 finally arrives after a long wait and even though I like Ben Templesmith this book leaves me disaffected for some reason. This is a variation on Alice In Wonderland that follows our big hated, but not really mad hatter who in this universe is a detective on a journey to avoid talking to a nosy reporter while making himself quite clear that he hates cats…Occult Crimes Taskforce #2 (of 4) continues the limited series co written by actress Rosario (Clerks 2) Dawson and drawn to perfection by Tony Shasteen. In this issue she goes after the villain we met last issue that drew into the special unit, the Soul Ripper. We learn more about the weapons the unit uses to catch strange beasties and get involved in another mystery as the issue progresses…Sea of Red #12 shows up and as the prior issues have been this book is too damn muddy looking to make it interesting. The story is sold but the dank, ragged drag thru the sewer art made this book too unattractive for readers to get into…Negative Burn #4 contains stories from Brian Bolland, Alex Campbell, Evan Dorkin, Keith Giffen and others to mostly good effect. We start off well with a Giffen/Denton story based during the Vietnam War that involves memories and monsters. The Bolland tale is another one page special that leads into a tale about a late night phone call from Marlon Brando that is written by Robert Grabe that leads us into a Milk & Cheese strip then some middling stories after that…The Walking Dead #31 begins with a man on the wall carrying a bad disposition called Martinez. He has a very important part to play in the story and his visit to the Governor leads into the dramatic opening. In the safe walls of the prison there is a fight planned for the night that will entertain the folks who believe they are safe from the zombie population outside the walls and that brings into fore some extreme violence and massive carnage. We see that things are going to change soon before we get a sneak peak of the Joe Casey/Charlie Adlard GN Rock Bottom that I was mildly interested in before reading this excerpt but now I am really looking forward to it.
"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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