Neorama Entertainment

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This Week In Comics 8/27/08

Sorry about getting to this so late. I had a hell of a night at my job. But they’re here – this week’s new release reviews.

We start the reviews off with Nova #16. This issue ties the Centurion, while investigating a possible Phalanx infestation, is pulled right into the Secret Invasion storyline. The space trooper must team up with one of the enemy, Kl,rt – the Super-Skrull. However, can he be trusted. And, sure, Nova’s been outnumbered before, but he stands against an entire fleet of Skrull warships. Oh, and did I mention Worldmind seems to be out of action for good?

Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning wrote this issue, kicking off Nova’s run in the Secret Invasion story. The story is solid and the dialog is strong. I should also mention the great character building work they did on Kl’rt. The artwork was provided by Wellington Alves and Geraldo Burges. Action packed and filled with great hero shots.

This is the first “cosmic” character I have ever been into and this issue is yet another reason why. Nova #16 gets 4/5 stars.

 

This weeks indie title comes from indie giant Dark Horse with Star Wars Legacy #27. Now, I am a Star Wars fan and could not pass up the opportunity to check out two Sith dueling to the death. Traveling into the Deep Core, master of Sith lore Darth Wyyrlok must find the knowledge needed to keep his master alive. And he must battle Lord Adeddu, an ancient who once kept himself alive through sheer force of will alone.

John Ostrander wrote the script and, as a fan of Star Wars, I can say he puts me right back into that immortal universe. Furthermore, he manages to turn a story about a Sith into an inspirational tale about confidence. The art by Omar Francia is top-notch and detailed extremely well. Brad Anderson colored the issue and did an equally spectacular job. Details added to Darth Wyyrlok’s ship remind me of the detail on the X-Wings when I first watch A New Hope (complete with rust and dirt).

A good read and an excellent exploration into Sith philosophy with very talented art and colors earns this issue 4/5 stars.

Finally, we have our DC title, Final Crisis: Superman Beyond #1 of 2. As Louis is dying in a hospital bed, Superman is approached by a super god seeking to recruit the man of steel in a fight against a “reality-spanning menace.” In return, the super god offers Superman the chance to save the life of the woman he loves. It is then that we embark on an adventure that spans across the various Earths of the DC Universe and are introduced to a disfunctional team of Supermen.

Written by Grant Morrison, he juggles the various versions of Superman well, though the dialog can get kind of cheesy. However, that’s part of the fun. Doug Mahnke penciled the art and though a few panels seem off, the action shots and most of the panels with Ultraman are intense. Colors were done by David Baron and he makes sure to use them to bring the story alive with everything from divinity to crazed anger.

A fun read, especially with seeing Supermen of so many Earths coming together. I give the first installment of this two part mini 4/5 stars.

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August 28, 2008 Posted by | Comic Books, dark horse, DC Comics, Marvel, Reviews, Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Cheap Box Review: Night of the Living Dead: Just A Girl

We’ve all seen them in our comic shops. They’re the cheap boxes, row after row of comics at discount prices because the titles in them just wouldn’t sell or their just not good enough for the showcase. Many people try to avoid them, I can’t get enough of them. Sure alot of the time you pull a dud. However, every once in a while, you pull a gem. Such was the case when I picked up this one-shot from Avatar.

Night of the Living Dead: Just A Girl takes us back to that old farmhouse in 1960, where a small group of frightened individuals holed up against a horde of zombies. For any of you who’ve never seen the original film, you’ve never seen a zombie film until you’ve seen this one. Those of you who have seen it will undoubtedly remember the little girl in the basement. Well, have you ever wondered what happened to her that turned her into a zombie or why she so violently killed her parents? Well this is a book you don’t want to miss.

Written by NotLD co-writer John Russo, I was hopeful that this would not be another crap story riding on the cult classic’s tail. I was not disappointed. Rather than twisting and ruining a story that I consider one the best social satires of our time, it added to it and explored a character that was left pretty unexplored in the movie.  Edison George provided the artwork for the tale, managing to strike a fine balance between story, character, and gore.

This book was an excellent find and I only paid half a dollar for it. Featuring a great story and detailed art, I give this book 4 of 5 stars.

August 27, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

What If You Were Batman

Thanks to Ironman2978 over at the Comic Book Resources Forum, I found this video on YouTube. It asks the question, what would happen if Batmen were your average middle class white collar guy. Now, I know this concept has been done before in alternate reality Batman comics, but (as far as I know) it has never been attempted in film. That is why I present this video to you. The cinematography is good and the plot is solid (also offering a nice twist on Alfred). The acting, though not award winning, is just as good as any straight to DVD movie. As Ironman2978 mentioned, I can see a sequel coming to this nice little fan film. I’m interested in where the filmmakers take the story and what their take on the Joker would be. So, without further ado… The Bat Man.

August 26, 2008 Posted by | DC Comics, Movies | , , , | Leave a comment

Comics ARE Literature Part 1

Growing up, I was always told that comics are not a valid literary genre. Just like novels were considered as trashy reading back in the Victorian era and before, comics do not garner the respect they deserve in today’s world. If you are a grown man or woman reading a comic book in a public place, you can rest assured that other adults will look at you as childish and immature. However, I must respectfully disagree. There are several books out there that challenge readers and ask them to think. This is the first in a series series of poststhat will explore some of the comic genre’s best graphic novels and stories. If you have any that you think should appear in this series, post it in the comments and we will definately consider it.

Buy me on Amazon

Buy me on Amazon

Allan Moore’s Watchmen is the first and probably the best of these books. Created in 1986 with art by Dave Gibbons, TIME MAGAZINE named it in their top 100 English-language novels from 1923-the present. It is part murder mystery, part sinster plot to create world peace, and all psychological. Since reading it, I have often asked myself how Allan Moore stayed sane while writing a plot that is so complex that you will be scratching your head until the very end… and end that will twist your mind in knots and leave you utterly speachless. If, after reading this book, you do not consider comics literature, then you don’t know what literature is. This is one of Neorama Entertainment’s 5/5 star books.

August 24, 2008 Posted by | Books, Comic Books, DC Comics, Reviews, Uncategorized | , , , , | 1 Comment

DC Gets Dark

Andy Khouri reported on Comic Book Resources yesterday that Warner Brothers’ president, Jeff Robinov, intends to explore the darker side of superheroes in films based on DC comics. This is in response to the recent success of the company’s record setting film, The Dark Knight, and the fact that Superman Returns wasn’t such a hot movie. This course of action has thus put a damper on the Superman/Batman movie, the Justice League movie, and a Superman sequel. Instead, the company intends on releasing about two films based on DC characters per year, portraying them as darkly as the character will allow, and using Marvel’s strategy of introducing each character individually with plans of making an eventual team movie. This means reintroducing Superman and retooling some of the other projects they had planned. Currently, they have Green Lantern, Flash, Green Arrow, and Wonder Woman movies in development, as well as a third Batman film.

However, I don’t think this is the solution for them. Honestly, Batman is their darkest character (aside from their Vertigo titles) and he’s still not as dark as he could be. Adopting Marvel’s strategy is a good idea… as long as they stick with keeping the same actors in the roles of the characters they are playing. Rather than making all the characters dark though, they should portray the character as they were meant to be portrayed. For Superman, I would introduce him much like they introduced Batman in Batman Begins with flashbacks shown between an present storyline. Instead of making him dark though, I would show him as someone who has grown to love humanity with an overwhelming desire to protect it. Superman Returns really just portrayed him as a two dimensional character who could do neat stuff. Oh, and could we get someone for him to pound on? And, while I like Jonathan and Ryan Nolan’s scripts for the Batman films, I would make them darker still and invite either Frank Miller or Allen Moore to write the third one. What about this title: “The Goddamn Batman?”

August 23, 2008 Posted by | Comic Books, DC Comics, Movies, News | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Afterthought Review: The Victorian Horrors of Old Mauch Chunk #1

I have long been a fan of Victorian era horror. Everything from Edgar Allen Poe to Bram Stoker and Mary Shelly. It is for this reason that I picked up ASGMC’s The Victorian Horrors of Old Mauch Chunk, a miniseries set in the town of Mauch Chunk, PA (now Jim Thorpe, PA). As a team of coal miners discover a cave that seems to have dug out of the ground rather than formed naturally. The Gerard Company, who owns the mine, convinces James Ashton, a scientist from Villanova University, to investigate the cave and strange happenings in the town. Upon his arrival, he is approached by a local crazy who implores Mr. Ashton to leave and take him as well. Before he can show the scientist documents that would reveal the mystery, the “addict” is killed and devoured by a dark winged creature. We are left with James wondering down the alley where the vagrant has just been slain.

The book was created by Michael Bann and the story was created by Robert Canton and Michael Bann. Robert Canton wrote the script and does an excellent job of introducing the various aspects of the plot to us and smoothly introducing the characters. Allan Gallo provids highly detailed artwork with authentic architecture and clothing from the era and a growing sense of doom at the end. Michal Bann contributed what little color there is in the book. You see, the whole thing is done in black and white except for three panels splattered with blood. I get the feeling though that, as the story progresses, we will see a lot more of that deep crimson sprayed across that pages. Almost as an added bonus, many of the ads in the issue are Victorian in style, adding to the atmosphere of the story and making it feel like you are holding an authentic Penny Dreadful. I therefore offer this first issue of The Victorian Horrors of Old Mauch Chunk 4 out of 5 stars.

August 23, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

I See Monkeys

This post is inspired by my friend Kate. Hope it makes you laugh. Tonight I will be taking a look at primates in comics.

We start off with the upcoming Marvel Apes. This miniseries will feature the Gibbon finds himself transported to an alternate reality in which humans do not exist and primates run the world. We are advised that we will be meeting Spider-Monkey, Doc Ook, Iron Mandrill, Simian Torch, and the Ape-Vengers. From the looks of the artwork I found, we will also be seeing a howler monkey version of Wolverine. I’m looking forward to this one.

 

Next, we look at Guerillas from Image Comics. This mini focuses on a troop of Special Forces touring in the  Vietnam War. Here’s the twist – the troop is made up entirely of chimpanzees. The first issue is due out next week and it sounds like it is going to be one of the most interesting war comics yet. You can check out a preview here.

 

 

 

 

Within the DC Universe there exists a superintelligent, superstrong villain called Gorilla Grod. Wikipedia describes him as”

Gorilla Grodd is a hyper-intelligent telepathic gorilla with the power to control the minds of others. At one time he was nothing more than an average ape, but after an alien spacecraft crashes in his African home, Grodd and his troupe are imbued with super-intelligence by the ship’s pilot. Grodd and fellow gorilla Solovar also develop telepathic and telekinetic powers. Taking the alien as their leader, the gorillas construct a super advanced home named Gorilla City. The gorillas live in peace until their home is discovered by prying explorers. Grodd forces one of the explorers to kill the alien, and takes over Gorilla City, planning to conquer the world next. Solovar telepathically contacts Barry Allen to warn him of the evil gorilla’s plans, and Grodd is defeated. The villain manages return again and again to plague the Flash and his allies.

Perhaps no other franchise is more famous for its monkeys than Planet of the Apes. No stranger to comics, it has been carried by 13 publishers, including two Japanese manga adaptions, a UK adaption, a Agentine adaption, a Hugarian adaption, and a Filipino parody.

Buy it at Amazon

Buy it at Amazon

August 22, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

This Week In Comics

Before I start this weeks new release article, I would like to inform you that this blog will now be focusing on comic books and comic book related topics. This includes reviews, opinions, and even some how-to posts. Later on down the line, I’ll be able to provide you with interviews and coverage of events. Our entertainment products will still be largely diverse though, Including: comics, web shows, serial novels, and more. That said, here are your reviews.

Final Crisis: Legion of 3 Worlds #1: DC’s final crisis reaches the 31st century in the first issue of five in this miniseries. Carrying a grudge against the Legion of Superheroes, the Time Trapper has found the ultimate weapon to destroy them – Superboy Prime, an evil version of the boy of steel from a parallel Earth.

The there are various plots going on here at the same time, spanning from the United Planets aiming to disban the Legion to Superboy Prime coming to the 31st century and finding he’s been placed at the bottom of Superman’s list of villains. With everything going on, it is kind of confusing. However, writer Geoff Johns pulls it all together at the end and, instead of promising us four issues of royal rumble, he sets us up for what looks to be a strong character driven story. The artwork is very lively and detailed, with even small panels delivering a sense of grandeur. George Perez is at the top of his game here. I give this issue 4 out of 5 stars for strong writing and excellent art.

The Incredible Hercules #120: The “Sacred Invasion” continues in this “Secret Invasion” tie-in. Here’s the lowdown directly from Marvel: “Hercules leads the ragged remains of his God Squad into desperate battle with the unimaginably powerful Skrull pantheon — and if they lose, Earth dies!”

While writers Greg Pak and Fred Van Lente do well at depicting the fanaticism and arrogance of the Skrull. However, the portrayal of Herc and the other gods seems a little melodramatic and forced. Rafa Sandoval provides the pencils and I am actually left wanting. I mean Hercules is an epic level character and the art should reflect that. However, it lacks the majesty of titles like Thor or the epic levels of The Incredible Hulk. I therefore rate this issue 3 out of 5 stars even though, with a little work it could reach constant 4s.

 

The Helm #2: Every comic fan has fantasized about having some great superpowers. In fact the most popular superheroes are usually branded for geeks through their average lives. Examples include Superman and his geeky cover identity Clark Kent or Spider-Man and his science nerd “normal life” as Peter Parker. The Helm also brands itselfto this crowd, but I think it is more accurate as to what would actually happen if one of us got powers. Here’s the synopsis from Dark Horse: “The Helm, an enchanted artifact of countless legendary heroes, has learned that its latest Chosen One is a chubby, unemployed fantasy addict . . . who lives in his mother’s basement. Defying all odds, however, Matt Blurdy managed both to defeat a bloodthirsty hobgoblin and thwart the Helm’s scheme to have him killed. Now the hero’s training begins in earnest: workouts, retrieval of a magic flaming sword, battles with wraiths, and a showdown with a sorcerer in mortal combat. But when the media starts reporting Matt’s victories as murders, an old flame reenters the picture, and true darkness looms on the horizon, even a replica Highlander trench coat might not be enough to save Matt’s hide!”

Jim Hardison is writing this series and writing it well. Filled with action, humor, and fantasy – it leaves little to want. The relationship between Matt and the Helm is probably one of the best love-hate relationships I’ve read. Furthermore, the fact that the main character happens to be a geek instead of being forced into the part, makes it all the more endearing. Bart Sears draws the book and his style works well with the story being told. I especially like the talent he displays when utilizing facial expressions to add to the story. The colors by Dan Jackson work well with the art, despite their lack of great detail, creating a neat little package with the writing and drawings. I give this issue 4 out of 5 stars, and hope that this is not the last mini about Matt and the Helm.

August 21, 2008 Posted by | Comic Books, Reviews | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Around the Net Today

Thought I’d share some great videos from old YouTube today. Some you may have seen, others you may not have. Either way, enjoy.

This is just hilarious. If anything deserves hydrolics, it’s an ice cream truck.

Does anyone realize that this little boxy R2D2 looking thing is the world’s first cyborg?

This guy is an amazing writer, and probably the best comic book writer ever.

And a show like this wouldn’t be complete without some Star Wars humors.

August 20, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Warning: Devil Weed WILL Make You KILL

Every once in a while I come across a rare gem that I just have to share with you. Dope Fiends of the Zombie Cafe is one such gem. Released way back in 2004, this digest-sized book tells the tale of what happens when radioactive carrots and ‘dope’ falls into the hands of local youngsters in a small town. A tribute to cult classic movies from the 1930s, all the way up to the 1980s. It all begins when a elementary class takes a trip to the Centerville Federal Agricultural Research Facility (C-FARF for short) and they all get radioactive carrots as momentos of the trip. After eating the carrots, they all turn into brain-hunting zombies. The same happens in a local beatnik bar where ‘dope’ grown on an abandoned farm near C-FARF is being smoked like candy. What ensues is a fun and campy adventure of strange beatiality jokes, dismemberment, and education about zombie rabbits.

Sean Frost penned this outlandish tale and described it as Reefer Madness meets Village of Giants and Night of the Living Dead. And while the writing will not be winning an Eisner, it is fun the whole way through. The artwork by Rafer Roberts is comic strip in style, but fits in well with the story being told. I am especially fond of the tribute to the Archie characters.

I give this little gem a 4 out of 5 stars. Unfortunately, the publisher (Hula Cat Comics) seems to be out of business. There has not been any activity on their website since 2005. I also checked on Amazon and Ebay. No one seems to have this book available. My copy came from a little table my local comic shop keeps of indie titles. Keep your eyes open for this one. It probably won’t be worth a fortune anytime soon, but it’s more than worth the $3.00 cover price in fun.

August 19, 2008 Posted by | Comic Books, Reviews | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment