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Comic Review: Flash Gordon #2
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PS Hayes   |  @   |  
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Flash Gordon #2 banner

Flash Gordon #2
Written by Jeff Parker
Art by Evan Shaner
Colors by Jordie Bellaire
Letters by Simon Bowland
Packaged & Edits by Nate Cosby
Covers by Marc Laming, Roberto Castro, and Ken Haeser
Dynamite Entertainment
Release Date: May 21, 2014
Cover Price: $3.99

Flash Gordon #2 finds Flash, Dale, and Zarkoff really out of their element, and that’s saying something considering that they’re on a whole different planet in a whole different galaxy!!!

This is a very big turning point for me. This is the issue that writer Jeff Parker turns the corner and gets his own “books.” He’s such a great author that now he’s among the select few writers for me who, when referring to a comic book, I would call it a “Jeff Parker book.” The story here is great. Imagine a fish out of water story in a fish out of water series!!! Now THAT’S talent!

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Comic Review: Flash Gordon #1
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PS Hayes   |  @   |  
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Flash Gordon #1 cover by Gabriel Hardman

Flash Gordon #1
Written by Jeff Parker
Art by Evan Shaner
Colors by Jordie Bellaire
Letters by Simon Bowland
Edits by Nate Cosby
Covers by Gabriel Hardman, Jonathan Case, DeClan Shalvey, Marc Laming, Stephen Mooney, Ken Haeser
Dynamite Entertainment
Release Date: April 9, 2014
Cover A | Cover B
Cover Price: $3.99

Let’s be honest, I KNEW I was going to like Flash Gordon #1, but what I had NO idea about, was that I was going to absolutely LOVE it! Seriously, in one issue it’s all ready my favorite Flash comic since the 1980s.

OK, so you’re launching a comic series that is based on something that is, at it’s very core, FUN. Light-hearted. Lively. And, witty. So, your obvious choice? Jeff. Parker. The man who has written a ton of comics, none of which have made anyone want to shoot themselves in the head. He’s the guy who brought all the fun, charm, and wit out of the Batman ’66 TV show and put it into comic form! But, let’s stick to this book.

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Comic Review: Moon Knight #1
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PS Hayes   |  @   |  
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Moon Knight #1 cover by Declan ShalveyMoon Knight #1
Written by Warren Ellis
Art by Declan Shalvey
Colors by Jordie Bellaire
Covers by Declan Shalvey, Bill Sienkiewicz, Adi Granov, Skottie Young, and Katie Cook
Marvel Comics
Release Date: March 5, 2014
Cover Price: $3.99

Anyone who knows me know that I’m a HUGE Moon Knight fan. I’ve got every single issue from every single series that he was in. So, needless to say, I was more excited for Moon Knight #1 than anybody else on this planet. There was just one problem. I don’t usually like the writing of Warren Ellis.

Well, Warren Ellis proved me wrong with this book. He’s not writing like his usual self, and that threw me for a loop. Most often, when he takes on an already established character, he takes away everything that makes that character cool and spins him or her off in a totally different direction. Now, he does do that to some degree here, but he also leaves the core of who and what Moon Knight is. And, don’t worry, he even lets Moon Knight use his trademark crescent moon “moonarangs” or whatever they’re called. HE takes the character in a totally different direction than he’s ever been in before, but he makes it work and it somehow makes sense. I was very pleasantly surprised.

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Comic Review: Three #3
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Maximus Prime   |  
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Three #3 cover by Ryan Kelly and Jordie BellaireThree #3
Written by Kieron Gillen
Illustrated by Ryan Kelly
Colored by Jordie Bellaire
Lettered by Clayton Cowles
Cover by Ryan Kelly and Jordie Bellaire
Image Comics
Release Date: December 11, 2013
Cover Price: $2.99

In Three #3, events quickly begin to take shape. Three slaves are on the run; 300 from a failing nation are on the hunt; and an outcast seeks revenge. Writer Kieron Gillen, illustrator Ryan Kelly, and colorist Jordie Bellaire return with a new installment of this action-induced, ancient political thriller.

Helot slaves Klaros, Damar, and Terpander are on the run after their fatal encounter with a Spartan Ephor and his military envoy. Wondering whom Klaros really is – considering his excellent fighting skills and tracking knowledge – Damar and Terpander see it in their best interest to continue following his lead. On their trail is Spartan King Kleomenes II who begrudgingly leads an expedition of 300 Spartan soldiers. Meanwhile, sent back to Sparta for his cowardly act of running from the slaughter, Arimnestos is furious with his new-found title of “Trembler” and acts quickly and alone to restore his good name.

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Comic Review: Quantum and Woody #5
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Maximus Prime   |  
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Valiant Comics: Quantum and Woody #5 cover by Andrew RobinsonQuantum and Woody #5
Written by James Asmus
Illustrated by Ming Doyle
Colors by Jordie Bellaire
Lettered by Dave Lanphear
Covers by Andrew Robinson, Lee Garbett, David Lopez, and Mike McKone
Valiant Entertainment
Release Date: November 6, 2013
Cover Price: $3.99

James Asmus continues writing duties for Quantum and Woody #5 along with illustrator Ming Doyle and colorist Jordie Bellaire. Fresh off their first adventure, the two misfit brothers who’ve accidentally gained super powers are taking on life together — and this time they’ve brought a pet goat along for the ride!

Upon realizing that the bracelets Eric (secretly the superhero named Quantum) and Woody both wear force them to rejuvenate their powers every 24 hours or else they’ll perish, the brothers put aside their differences and move in together. Unfortunately for Eric, Woody — acting like an immature child as always — invites a beautiful clone of the evil scientist who killed their father to live with them. The two men soon begin to grasp the notion that having powers is quite the adjustment. Meanwhile, there are blatantly evil happenings going on all over the city and someone very close to Eric wishes to take advantage of his new found abilities.

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Comic Review: Numbercruncher #1
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TheRawrMonster   |  
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Numbercruncher #1Numbercruncher #1
Written by Si Spurrier
Art by PJ Holden
Colored by Jordie Bellaire
Lettered by Simon Bowland
Covers by Simon Parr
Titan Comics
Release Date: July 17, 2013
Cover Price: $3.99

Numbercruncher #1 is an extremely well-written comic. The writing flows well, and reads better than most other comics I have read. The story is a little boring, more so because it seems more like a prologue than its own story.

The main character, Bastard Zane, hates it in the afterlife. He works for the karmic accountancy. The afterlife is all about numbers, and the Divine Calculator, Zane’s boss, keeps it running smoothly. This is done by maintaining the smooth running of a “re-circulation” of souls, reincarnation.

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Comic Review: Tom Strong and The Planet Of Peril #1
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Waerloga69   |  @   |  
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Tom Strong And The Planet Of Peril #1Tom Strong And The Planet Of Peril #1
Written by Peter Hogan
Pencils by Chris Sprouse
Inks by Karl Story
Color by Jordie Bellaire
Letters by Todd Klein
Cover by Chris Sprouse and Karl Story
Vertigo Comics
Release Date: July 31, 2013
Cover Price: $2.99

Initially, I was astounded that this character was being produced by Vertigo Comics, renowned for it’s darker and more edgy comics. I was curious if the title character was going to be drastically changed from the earlier incarnations. But I was pleasantly surprised to find that most everything in Tom Strong And The Planet Of Peril #1 was the same as it was before. I was even more excited to see that this series picked up shortly after the last one ended.

I’ve not read everything Tom Strong has been in but I’m quite familiar with the hero. I’ve always felt he was akin to one of my favorite pulp heroes, Doc Savage. Much like the Man of Bronze, Tom has a certain aura about him that immediately commands respect and compliance. Both possess genius level intellects and are formidable physical specimens, as well. But unlike Savage, Tom Strong is a bit more than the perfect human, he’s a lot closer to a superhuman. First and foremost, he’s over a hundred years old and barely looks middle-aged. Other abilities include strength beyond that of a mortal and a constitution that rivals that of a demigod.All in all, he’s the epitome of a pulp action hero, even though he was created in 1999.

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Comic Review: Womanthology: Space
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Maximus Prime   |  
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Womanthology: SpaceWomanthology: Space
Written by Bonnie Burton, Sandy King Carpenter, Alison Ross and Stephanie Hans, Ming Doyle, Stacie Ponder, Blair Butler, Joelle Sellner, Ellise Heiskell, Robin Furth, Rachel Edidin, Jennifer de Guzman, Jody Houser, Devin Grayson, Christine Ellis, Barbara Randall Kesel, Allison Pang, Laura Morley, Cecil Castellucci, and Kiala Kazebee

Illustrated by Jessica Hickman, Tanja Wooten, Stephanie Hans, Jordie Bellaire, Stacie Ponder, Alicia Fernandez, Jean Kang, Maarta Laiho, Carli Idhe, Sophia Foster-Dimino, Leigh Dragoon, Sally Thompson and Kathryn Layno, Lindsay Walker, Elva Wang, Diana Nock, Chrissie Zullo, Sara Richard, Kel McDonald, and Isabelle Melancon

Colored by Jordie Bellaire and Ronda Pattison

Lettered by Rachel Deering, Robbie Robbins, Amauri Osorio, and Isabelle Melancon

Cover by Renae DeLiz
Series Edited by Mariah Huehner
Collection Edited by Justin Eisinger and Alonzo Simon
IDW Publishing
Release Date: June 5, 2013
Cover Price: $24.99

Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem that women receive enough of the limelight within the comic book industry; thankfully, artist Renae DeLiz (The Last Unicorn) came up with a fantastic way to showcase a variety of fantastic female talent and IDW jumped on board. Womanthology: Space is the collected addition of the first five issues of the monthly ongoing series of the same name. Building off of the success of DeLiz’s first venture with the graphic novel Womanthology: Heroic, Womanthology: Space is an amalgamation of short comics with the overarching theme of “space” created solely by established and up-and-coming female creators. Check out my impressions of some of the best and worst that this anthology has to offer!

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Comic Review: Comeback
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Maximus Prime   |  
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ComebackComeback
Trade Paperback
Written by Ed Brisson
Illustrated by Michael Walsh
Colored by Jordie Bellaire
Cover by Michael Walsh
Image Comics
Release Date: May 8, 2013
Cover Price: $14.99

I love a good time travel story; especially one that can offer up a few unique aspects to said genre. Comeback is one such book. Written by Ed Brisson with art by Michael Walsh, Comeback combines an array of classic time travel notions mixed with original ideas into one captivating thrill of a ride.

Reconnect is a time travel organization that helps affluent individuals — because this type of business does not come cheap — to save loved ones; but there is more to the institute than even their own employees know. Two months after Kelly, the wife of an extremely wealthy man, dies in an automobile accident, he hires Reconnect to go back in time to save her life. Mark and Seth, Reconnect’s top two operatives are sent back to get the job done. While in the past, it is revealed to Mark through an email sent from present time that their mission has been compromised and to trust no one. Stuck in a previous timeline, their regular assignment quickly takes a fateful turn when the FBI — both in the past and present — gathers information about Reconnect to bring down their illegal operation. To make matters worse, someone whom Mark and Seth are both very close to might in fact be the FBI’s informant.

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Comics Review: Mara #3
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Spartacus!   |  
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Mara #3Mara #3
Written by Brian Wood
Art by Ming Doyle
Colors by Jordie Bellaire
Image Comics
Release Date: March 6, 2013
Cover Price: $2.99

There’s this familiar feeling I got after reading the first two issues of the Image Comics series Mara that I couldn’t put my finger on, which is funny because the premise of the book – a beautiful athlete in the future competes in professional volleyball – has been praised for being unique. And it certainly is, but I realized that the book was reminding me of David Foster Wallace’s notorious tome Infinite Jest, the 1,100 page novel being set largely in a tennis academy where young people train to compete in a media landscape vastly different then the one we know. The novel and the comic also have a captivating protagonist with some sort of shameful secret and peripherally circling both of them are an array of bizarre human beings with their own askewed political agendas. Look, it’s far, far from a being a perfect parallel, like I said, but there’s just something there that brings it to my mind.

Now with Mara, things take a much different turn (let me quickly throw up a **SPOILER WARNING** for issues 1 and 2 for this upcoming paragraph)…

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