GRIMM FAIRY TALES 2023 SWIMSUIT EDITION ZENESCOPE
Much like the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition was in the 1980’s, Zenescope’s take on the pinup is always on target. One of the best parts of the business model here is that there is a story included in the issue. A short tale to drop some future storyline ideas that will be coming up in the near future. However, no one is going to buy the arguement that you are flipping through this edition for the articles! And as they do every year, Zenescope digs deep into their talented art crew for some of the best images of characters for current titles. With the likes of Eric Basaldua, Josh Burns, Keith Garvey, and Alfredo Reyes on art duty this one is bound to be a success. However, the best image award this year has to go to Jyn Leonard for her Liesel Van Helsing at Never Never Beach. Not because the amazing cheescake image but for the creepy yet eyecatching ship in the backround. And then to let Sanju Nivangune attack it with his boundless color pallet was a stroke of genius. 9 out of 10 Grahams.
WORLD’S FINEST: TEEN TITANS #1 DC COMICS
Mark Waid continues to his worth to DC Comics with this jaw-dropping spin-off from the hugely popular Batman/Superman World’s Finest series. These are the Teen Titans of my youth. The original cast (plus Bumblebee and Golden Eagle) are back to being teenagers again and Waid’s got this down pat. From the interactions with their mentors, to their problems as a group, he captures not only being a teenager but being a teenage super-hero. And while Waid continues his blatent disreguard for continuity (and bless him for that!) he still highlights the relationships between hero and sidekick. So of the best scenes in the book are the various reactions from Batman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Aquaman, and Green Arrow as they listen and ask questions. And any storyteller who can have me trying to Google search a character named Hi-Lo because I swear he was a henchmen character in the Silver Age and some new character just dreamed up for this issue, is worth his weight in gold. A definite 10 out of 10 Grahams.
KNIGHT TERRORS ZATANNA #1 DC COMICS
Oh look yet another DC maxi-series that will change the face of the DC Universe as we know it! And all I have to do is commit myself to reading dozens of extra comic titles so I can get the full story. Time after time, major comic companies keep buying into this “Next Big Thing” philosophy. It’s as if they don’t even know how to create a comic that has a beginning, middle, and end all in the same issue. Remember the good old days, when Superman could fight Lex Luthor and not have to call in the heroes of the Multiverse to help him? So having to pick a title from these 101 pieces of a story, I figured my best bet was Zatanna. And least I had a vested interest in the character. Unfortunately, the mistress of word magic isn’t given much to do here except try to hold her own and face down her past ghosts. And poor Robotman, he seems as lost as we are. I can’r blame writer Dennis Culver or artist David Baldeon as I don’t know what they were instructed to create by the head office. All I know is that Knight Terrors certainly frieghtened me away. 4 out of 10 Grahams.
NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD REVENANCE #4 AMERICAN MYTHOLOGY
And so our story concludes just as the last scene in the original film plays out. The best part of this book is that they didn’t try to change or revamp the classic film but added more detail and expanded character developement. I think the most interesting idea put forth here is that Barbara’s brother Johnny survived the initial attack at the beginning of the movie and almost made it to the house before the zombie hoards got him. Making him that much more tragic. Writers S.A. Check and James Kuhoric do a fine job sticking with the ideas from the film. I give it an 8 out of 10 Grahams.
SVENGOOLIE LOST IN TIME #1 FMP/METV COMICS
Classic horror host Svengoolie in comic form?! 10 out of 10 Grahams! Easiest review I ever had to do! Rich Koz has been a icon of local Chicago television since he rose from the ashes of Screaming Yellow Theatre on June 16th, 1979. Sitting down to watch In the Year 2889 with this corny goof made me want to return the following week for him showing Dracula’s Daughter. And his initial run ended on Jun. 25, 1986 with the Supersonic Man. But those 8 years endured him to not only us Chicagoans but to the horror host fandom from around the world. And so he returns and returns and now he’s on METV and has got his own comic! With a great story written by Rich Koz, Chris Faulkner, and Jim Roche (with a little help from Franco Aureliani). The story which features the Svengoolie set in detail reminds me of the old Claypoole Elvira comics of the 1990’s. Featuring sidekicks, staff members, and corporate television execs, this was drawn with love by some big name artists like Jill Thompson, Art Balthazar, Christopher Jones and Bill Morrison! All edited by Dan Didio! This is a labor of love for all ages! So like I was saying, 10 out of 10 Grahams!