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    by Published on 10-11-2011 04:00 AM
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    Shipping This Week: October 12, 2011


    DARK HORSE COMICS

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    by Published on 10-11-2011 02:48 AM
    Matthew Sturges, Luca Rossi, Esao Andrews, Bill Willingham, Tony Akins, Steven T. Seagle, Teddy Kristiansen, Inaki Miranda

    House of Mystery #42 (DC Comics/Vertigo)
    By Matthew Sturges, Luca Rossi, Esao Andrews, Bill Willingham, Tony Akins, Steven T. Seagle, Teddy Kristiansen, Inaki Miranda

    The two-part epilogue of House of Mystery – and with it, the series itself – reaches its conclusion this month. In issue #41, we followed the cast we grew to love and found out their various final fates. In this issue, we find out the destiny of the House of Mystery itself… kinda. In true style for this title, this book shows several pilgrims who arrive at the long-lost site of the House, each of which expresses his own theory or story about the nature of the House and its final fate. This really is a very fitting ending for the series. It makes for a strong punctuation mark on this long tale about stories itself, it brings in elements from its related series Sandman and The Dreaming (reminding us that, yes, those titles all do exist in the same world, and giving us a thirst and a hope that Vertigo finds a way to return to those concepts sooner rather than later), and it ends, of course, with one final mystery. This isn’t a book that should wrap everything up in a nice little bow, so ending the title with a question mark is just fine for me. Regular artist Luca Rossi does his fine work one last time, and Tony Akins and Teddy Kristiansen both jump in for well-done tales of the House in other realms. Inaki Miranda’s chapter, though, just shines. The characters are incredibly expressive and emotional, and the scenery is fantastic. Miranda is definitely a creator who should get a regular gig, and soon. I’m not happy this title is ending, but I’m glad to see Matthew Sturges bring it to an ending that feels natural, like it ended in its own time, which is a luxury far too many comics don’t get. In the end, the eight volumes of this series will stand up as a worthy part of the Vertigo library.
    ...
    by Published on 10-11-2011 02:35 AM
    Scott Snyder, Yanick Paquette

    Swamp Thing #2 (DC Comics)
    By Scott Snyder, Yanick Paquette

    Alec Holland, the man who was never really Swamp Thing, gets a visit… from Swamp Thing. Turns out even the creature that thought it was Swamp Thing wasn’t really the first, and now one of the previous champions of the Green is coming to Holland in the hopes of convincing him of the gravity of the threat to the world, and that he’s the only man who can save it. I was, admittedly, a little lukewarm towards the first issue of this series, but issue two goes a long way towards addressing my concerns. The “other” Swamp Thing that talks with Alec here does exactly what he needs to do – explain the situation to the point where even a brand-new reader should be able to grasp what’s going on, and sells that same brand-new reader on just how imperative it is that Alec accepts his destiny. Of course, he doesn’t quite convince Alec, but there wouldn’t be much drama if he did that already, would there? One thing I didn’t need convincing about was Yanick Paquette’s artwork – it was lovely in the first issue and it’s just as good now. The Swamp Things have a meaty, organic look to them that could just send a tendril right off the page and grab you (but won’t, because they’re the good guys). The book looks fantastic. After issue one, I was still on the fence about this book, but issue two is doing its job. I’m definitely in for the rest of this story arc, and if it satisfies me as much as this issue does, I’ll keep reading beyond.
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    by Published on 10-11-2011 02:22 AM
    Roger Langridge & Rachelle Rosenberg

    Snarked! #1 (Boom Studios!/kaboom!)
    By Roger Langridge & Rachelle Rosenberg

    In a kingdom far away, good King Rusty III has gone missing, and his unscrupulous advisors are planning to use his toddler son Rusty IV as a proxy to rule the kingdom. Rusty’s older sister Princess Scarlett steps in to save her brother and her father’s kingdom, but the two soon find themselves running from the advisors and into the care of Wilburforce J. Walrus and his partner, carpenter Clyde McDunk. The young pair must rely on the Walrus and the Carpenter to help save the Red King’s throne – even if it means going on a Snark hunt. Roger Langridge’s new series, picking up here right were the zero issue left off, is absolutely magnificent. Drawing on the mythology of Lewis Carroll’s Alice books, he’s crafted a fantasy world that feels familiar – we get the Cheshire Cat amongst the other Carroll concepts I’ve already mentioned – but at the same time is incredibly fresh and inventive. The artwork has a lovely animated quality to it – although I hate to use the comparison, these pages would be perfect translated to a cartoon. In this book, Langridge draws on the entire toolbox – great art, great characters, a wonderfully layered story, and even his skills as a poet. Snarked! has all the makings of a fantasy epic. It could be the next Bone if it finds its audience. The next great family comic book has finally arrived.
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    by Published on 10-11-2011 02:08 AM
    Paul Cornell, Miguel Sepulveda

    Stormwatch #2 (DC Comics)
    By Paul Cornell, Miguel Sepulveda

    On board the Eye of the Storm, Adam One and Angie are monitoring the fact that the Moon is about to become the biggest threat in the universe. Back on Earth, the rest of the team’s effort to recruit Apollo was interrupted by an unexpected visitor – Midnighter, who has been watching Apollo himself and likes his style. The Martian Manhunter, seeing potential for them both, makes them an offer, just as the threat from space makes itself known on Earth. This issue is definitely a mixed bag. Miguel Sepulveda’s artwork is uniformly great – this is a wonderful-looking comic book with fantastic monsters and really great action. The characters stuff, also, works well. I like the interaction between Apollo and Midnighter, and this issue very clearly delineates the Martian Manhunter who works with the Justice League with the one we’re presented with here (both the same character, mind you, but working with very different facets of his personality). The problem is that the threat we’re facing, the Moon-monster or whatever it is, is still somewhat vague. Paul Cornell has proven himself more than capable of doing weird. On books like Captain Britain and MI 13, he’s made a strong case for doing weird better than anyone. But this book is straying a little too weird, and the next issue needs to snap things back into focus.
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    by Published on 10-11-2011 01:54 AM
    Raven Gregory, Martin Montiel, Novo Malgapo,Michael Garcia, Stanley Lau

    The Theater #1 (Zenescope Entertainment)
    By Raven Gregory, Martin Montiel, Novo Malgapo,Michael Garcia, Stanley Lau

    Welcome to The Theater, Zenecope’s newest horror anthology with a twist. In this first issue, we follow a young couple as they sit down for a quiet little horror movie… in a world that has fallen to a zombie apocalypse, a boy and his father are trying to survive. They’re getting by… until the father is bitten and the boy has to learn to cope in this world alone. The first issue here is pretty good. Raven Gregory weaves a good zombie tale, and the format of the series allows for any number of possible stories to be told. As is usually the case with Zenescope, we get a fantastic cover (the main one by Stanley Lau in particular, but the variants aren’t bad either), with adequate interiors. There are two different pencilers here, one for the framing sequence and one for the main story. Both of them are okay, but Michael Garcia’s colors really improve the main story. I like this issue, but Gregory has to be very careful not to stumble into the trap that caused Grimm Fairy Tales to fumble. Like that book, this appears to be a book with a framing sequence that allows for anthology-style stories each issue, while still building a long-term story. I like that concept very much, but GFT took entirely too long for the framing sequence to go anywhere – it was over two years of tease with no payoff. This issue is set-up, and that’s okay. But if the book goes longer than six issues without forward momentum, there’s a risk of losing readers. Fortunately, this opening issue is strong enough for me to follow the next few issues and see where it goes.
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    by Published on 10-11-2011 01:35 AM
    Scott McDaniel, John Rozum

    Static Shock #2 (DC Comics)
    By Scott McDaniel & John Rozum

    As Static investigates the death of a S.T.A.R. Labs pilot, he’s attacked by a villain that leaves him severely injured. The criminal gets away, and Static decides to look into some gang activity to get to the bottom of what’s really going on in New York. I didn’t like issue two of the new Static Shock quite as much as the first issue, and it’s mainly a matter of accessibility. Scott McDaniel and John Rozum are doing a good job selling us on the villains that want to take Static out, since he’s suddenly cramping their style in the Big Apple, and the action scenes are very well done. The problem comes in when the writers start giving shout-outs to the character’s past. Okay, bringing up Frieda is no big deal – we know Virgil recently moved and referencing the best friend he left behind is to be expected. Naming the science center for the late Dwayne McDuffie is a nice touch and will go totally unnoticed by those not in the know. Viril’s sister has a clone and – WHAT? The writers drop this in pretty much out of nowhere, as if it’s just a normal part of the family’s status quo. Admittedly, I didn’t read every issue of the character’s old series, so I’m assuming this isn’t something brand new, but if you’re new to the character this is one major curve ball to throw at the readers, something that absolutely has to be dealt with in some fashion. Beyond that, the rest of the book isn’t bad – Virgil comes across as a pretty typical teen, except for the superpowers and highly developed sense of civic responsibility, and I like the way McDaniel draws the character. Hopefully that speed bump will be taken care of before the book goes too much farther.
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    by Published on 10-10-2011 07:43 AM
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    Breaking Bad
    Episode 413 - Face Off
    October 9th, 2011
    10 PM, AMC


    Walter, you utter bastard. I just want to start this review with a flood of curse words, only a third of which I can say on this site. But the one I feel for here is Jesse, because his instincts were dead right, and he should have pulled the trigger when he had the chance. But he didn’t, and when Breaking Bad comes back for its final season, I fear he’s going to die - and it will be Walt pulling the trigger on him. There is no difference between Walter and Heisenberg anymore. He found his inner monster, and Walter is now indistinguishable from it. Walter, meet the Abyss - oh, I see you’ve met. Please entertain each other while I run screaming out the back door, will you?
    ...
    by Published on 10-10-2011 03:47 AM
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    Episode 240: Doctor WHO?
    by Blake M. Petit, Kenny Fanguy & Daniel Jacob

    Kenny and Daniel are back, and this week the boys take an episode-by-episode look at the second half of this season of Doctor Who. the guys talk about what they liked, what they didn't, and those low-hanging unanswered questions that we're going to have to wait ever so long to have answered. Kenny hasn't gotten his comics in a while, so Blake doubles up on his picks: Action Comics #2 and Mystic #3! Contact us with comments, suggestions, or anything else at Showcase@CXPulp.com!
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    by Published on 10-09-2011 07:55 AM
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    Supernatural
    Episode 703 - The Girl Next Door
    Aired October 7th, 2011
    9 PM, CW

    Well … this was different. And by that I mean very much the same as many other Supernatural episodes. Last week’s Supernatural went into truly creepy, different territory by ripping everything away from the brothers, and leaving Sam at the mercy of his delusions and Dean at the mercy of people who may or may not be possessed by Leviathan. It was a genuinely dark, great episode.

    And they took care of all the potential suspense within five minutes of this one. We were back to the status quo so fast I almost got whiplash. Not that they didn’t stick some promising interludes with Leviathan in here, it just seemed a little … weak, especially since we know they can do so much better.
    ...
    by Published on 10-08-2011 05:02 PM
    Writer: G. Willow Wilson
Pencils: David Lopez
Inks: Alvaro Lopez
Colors: Nathan Fairbairn
Letters: Jared K. Fletcher
Editor: Jeanine Schaefer
Cover Art: Amanda Conner & Paul Mounts
Publisher: Marvel Comics/CrossGen

    Review By: Blake M. Petit BlakeMPetit@gmail.com
    Quick Rating: Very Good
    Rating: T+

    Giselle’s rivalry with Felice grows more intense, and the Resistance gains a new weapon.

    Writer: G. Willow Wilson
    Pencils: David Lopez
    Inks: Alvaro Lopez
    Colors: Nathan Fairbairn
    Letters: Jared K. Fletcher
    Editor: Jeanine Schaefer
    Cover Art: Amanda Conner & Paul Mounts
    Publisher: Marvel Comics/CrossGen

    Neither of our girls are having a grand time of it. Genevive, still feeling spurned at how Giselle was chosen to be a magician’s apprentice over her, has fallen in with the Resistance. Giselle, meanwhile, is forced to prove herself not only to Master Alexander, but also to certain fellow apprentices who feel she hasn’t earned her spot amongst them.
    ...
    by Published on 10-08-2011 04:34 PM
    Writer: Jeff Lemire
Art: Travel Foreman
Colors: Lovern Kindzierski
Letters: Jared K. Fletcher
Editor: Joey Cavalieri
Cover Art: Travel Foreman & Lovern Kindzierski
Publisher: DC Comics

    Review By: Blake M. Petit BlakeMPetit@gmail.com
    Quick Rating: Very Good
    Title: Maps (The Hunt Part Two)
    Rating: T+

    As Maxine’s powers begin to manifest, Buddy seeks help for his daughter and himself.

    Writer: Jeff Lemire
    Art: Travel Foreman
    Colors: Lovern Kindzierski
    Letters: Jared K. Fletcher
    Editor: Joey Cavalieri
    Cover Art: Travel Foreman & Lovern Kindzierski
    Publisher: DC Comics

    Unlike her older brother, Maxine Baker was conceived after her father got his super powers, something that has long concerned her mother. Now, Max is developing powers of her own, and they seem to be far more horrific than those of her father: animating the corpses of dead animals for a start. With Max’s powers developing, a strange blood-red pattern of lines is appearing on Buddy’s skin… and only Max knows what it is.
    ...

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