Friday, September 21, 2012

Comic Reviews 9/21/12

Here In Bongo Congo

     Good King Leonardo has found four interesting-looking new comics on the That's Entertainment new issues shelves, so let's get right to it and see what these new titles are all about:

The Phantom Stranger #0
Publisher: D.C. Comics
Dan Didio: Writer
Brent Anderson: Pencils
Scott Hanna: Inks
Jeremy Cox: Colors

     DC Comics has just relaunched perennial mysterious favorite The Phantom Stranger into his latest title within the latest crop of New 52 storylines.  As all Good DC Readers know, The Phantom Stranger is an occult-based character with Silver Age origins who has been represented by many creative teams in many comic book titles throughout the years.  His origin has always been an intriguing point of mystery within the DC Universe, with many hints being given, most of which place him as originating back in Biblical times.  The current title is scripted by Dan Didio with pencils by Brent Anderson, inks by Scott Hanna and colors by Jeremy Cox.

     Issue #0 is a stand-alone prequel tale entitled "A Stranger Among Us."  DC has finally rolled the origin dice with this tale, presenting an actual detailed origin story for this long-lasting DC Universe figure.  The plot alternates between two storythreads.  One sub-plot expands upon one of the previously-explored origin possibilties; taking the Biblical route, its clear without actually naming him that the Phantom Stranger was originally Judas Iscariot, who for his Biblical transgressions has been judged by a powerful Council of Wizards to wander through time, attempting to make amends until a certain level of tasks is completed.  A second sub-plot focuses on the origin of The Spectre, providing a different perspective on the often-told origin tale of that superhero which reveals a major role for The Phantom Stranger as he unwittingly helps to create his fellow paranormal DC character.

     I was attracted to reviewing this comic book due to its scripting by Dan Didio, an A-list DC writing veteran and current DC co-publisher, and I wasn't disappointed in the resulting product.  Didio has done an excellent job in fleshing-out the previously referenced thin details of this occult character's background and more fully explaining his reason for existence.  There are also two very effective plot elements connecting the Stranger to additional characters for future story progression within this title.  The first obviously is the Stranger's connection to creating The Spectre, an act which The Spectre clearly resents.  The second element connects The Stranger to two other damned people who are judged along with him before the Council of Wizards, one being Pandora of the classic fable and the second rumored among fandom to be Victor Sage, the original Question.

     So for the strong plotting quality detailed above, combined with a well-paced sense of storytelling and an approriate artistic style, a definite thumbs-up positive review recommendation is well-deserved for this latest worthy addition to the lengthy publishing lineage of DC's The Phantom Stranger.

Steed And Mrs. Peel #0
Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Mark Waid: Writer
Steve Bryant: Art
Ron Riley: Colors

     BOOM! Studios has just released issue #0 in a new title based on the popular 1960's British television show The Avengers.  For those of you too young to remember, the show and this comic book are not based on the Marvel superhero team!  The Avengers was a very popular British spy thriller series, starring Patrick Macnee as the dapper British Gentleman spy/crimefighter John Steed.  While he had a string of co-stars come and go throughout the series, his most popular spy partner was the young and lovely Mrs. Emma Peel, played by Diana Rigg.  This latest comic book incarnation of the series is scripted by well-known writer Mark Waid with art by Steve Bryant and colors by Ron Riley.

     The issue #0 stand-alone introductory tale is entitled "The Dead Future."  Set in 1966 London, the plot centers on our duo investigating a science fiction-themed crime pattern.  When accelerated aged murder victims pop-up around London, Steed and Mrs. Peel's investigation leads them to The New Hellfire Club, an old British wealthy men's club that has been redesigned to promote a sci-fi decor and theme.  Steed quickly stumbles upon a club-based scam in which an accelerated aging formula is used on captured intelligence officials in an elaborate attempt to con them out of espionage information.  Without spoiling any details, action ensues as Steed becomes the latest target of the scammers.  With Mrs. Peel in the mix of the spy action all works out in the end, setting the stage for next month's kick-off issue #1 adventure.

      This new comic has several strongpoints which are unfortunately dragged down by horrendous artwork; Steve Bryant's primative visual style takes away from a lot of the fun and squanders the opportunity to provide a potentially impressive artistic depiction of 1960's British mod/pop culture.  Bryant deserves a lengthy time-out in the comic book artist's penalty box just for his unattractive and sloppy drawings of the beautiful Diana Rigg as Mrs. Peel. However, Mark Waid's impressive script saves this comic book from the negative review list and elevates it up into an average decent comic book read.  A-lister Waid has the skill and most likely a fanboy devotion to the original television series that helps him to capture onto the comic book page the balanced blend of dry, British drollness and interesting spy thriller mystery/action that made the t.v. series both a hit and a continual cult treasure with devoted fans through the decades. 

     Positive review points also are deserved for the details of 1960's-era science fiction culture depicted in this issue, from bulky analog computers that spit-out ticker-tape information to the campy futuristic depiction of the year 2000 utilized in the elaborate intelligence scheme.  Its also interesting that a back-of-the-book narrative reveals that the London mod-era badguy Hellfire Club at the center of the plot is the original inspiration for its namesake in X-Men comics.  So while the art is a disappointment, Waid saves the day in giving us a worthwhile and very high grade storytelling that is well-worth gritting one's teeth a bit and tolerating visual disappointment in order to savor a very well-written homage to one of the great series spy thrillers of the 1960's television era.

Hawkeye #1
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Matt Fraction: Writer
David Aja: Art
Matt Hollingsworth: Colors

     Marvel Comics is up to issue #2 of its new Hawkeye title, in which the bow and arrow-slinging Avenger member stars solo.  I decided to review last month's issue #1 to get a good feel for the title's particular concept from its kick-off issue.  The new series is scripted by Matt Fraction with art by David Aja and colors by Matt Hollingsworth.

     Issue #1 establishes an entirely fresh perspective on the solo lifestyle of Hawkeye.  The focus in this initial storyarc is on the civilian side of Hawkeye's life as he recuperates from serious injury sustained in a bad fall.  However, even in civilian guise our hero gets embroiled in conflict.  Here its in the form of a Russian mob landlord pressuring to evict Hawkeye and his neighbors from their New York tenement building.  The story alternates between present-day and flashback segments of the plot, with the pressure and heavy-duty threats ratcheting-up to the eventual, unavoidable violent confrontation between the bad guy landlord, his gang and Hawkeye.  Without being a detail spoiler, by issue's end Hawkeye not only adequately resolves the issue but gains a dog sidekick as well for further man-and-dog adventures in upcoming issues.

      While this is a highly entertaining plot, even more impressive is the creative team's very fresh new perspective on the well-known Hawkeye storyverse.  Writer Matt Fraction comes at this character from a groundbreaking new angle, presenting Haweye as a day-to-day New Yorker civilian who somewhere off-camera functions at other times as an Avenger.  I don't think I've ever read a comic book that succeeds as much as this one in humanizing a superhero; while efforts such as Tim Sale's "Superman For All Seasons" and xxx xxx's "Thor The Mighty Avenger" made some degree of progress down this storytelling road, Fraction and crew take us much farther along this path.  The result is an absorbing tale balanced with beautiful artwork, absorbing storytelling and an enchanting element of light humor that pops-up at unexpected but very effective story moments.  A final perfect brushstroke is added with the character of Hawkeye's new dog, who goes through his own trials and tribulations that by issue's end make him as worthy a superhero as his human sidekick Hawkeye.

      In sum, Hawkeye is one of those unexpected high quality surprises that seem to show-up on the new issues comic book shelves from time-to-time just when you least expect it.  So savor this treat right now, and hope that Marvel keeps publishing this wonderful new title on a monthly basis for quite a long time.

Doctor Who Special 2012
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Miscellaneous Writers & Artists

     IDW Publishing has previewed its new Doctor Who title by releasing a one-shot Doctor Who Special 2012 comic book.  The oversized edition features a sampling of four new Doctor Who tales, each produced by a different creative team.  For the uninitiated, Doctor Who is the very long-running BBC-syndicated Science Fiction television series, starring the good doctor himself as the last of an immortal race known as Time Masters.  For decades, the show has featured a string of actors taking turns playing the good doctor, who uses his time portal to have adventures across space and time accompanied by a few human friends.

     The first featured tale is entitled "In-Fez-Station" and actually takes place in the present day.  Scripted by veteran Len Wein, the tale centers on a plot uncovered by Doctor Who in which his reptilian alien enemies The Slitheen implement a scheme to destroy mankind using the Moroccan hat known as the Fez.  Without spoiling any details, the Doctor obviously prevents the bad aliens from obliterating mankind.  The next three tales follow the television show format of time-traveling adventures.  Accompanied by the human married adventurers Amy and Rory Pond, the Doctor sets his time portal in these stories for 1992, 1962 and 1936, respectively.  Each of these tales presents a plot that mixes interaction with aliens (both good and bad), action-adventure and the Doctor ultimately solving the mystery or resolving the plot conflict with the use of his handy sonic screwdriver, an all-purpose device that apparently is useful for many purposes beyond merely installing screws!

     This is a fun and entertaining compilation of Doctor Who tales that serves very well the purpose of kicking-off IDW's new Doctor Who title series.  I liked the variety of artistic story presentations; while the four tales present completely different visual styles, there's a common goal here of providing both new and old Doctor Who fans with the three basic elements of the television series: time-travel adventure, interaction with good and bad aliens, and accompaniment of the Doctor by a few trusted ordinary human sidekicks.  The characters of Amy and Rory are very well fleshed-out in all four stories, serving as equal partners in the Doctor's adventures as opposed to serving as background or supportive characters.

     As a final positive review comment, my favorite tale is the first story featuring the alien attack utilizing Moroccan hats.  The humor is cute and there's a nice twist to the story resolution.  On one negative note, there is a side to Doctor Who's personality in these stories in which he seems to behave at times as more befuddled and eccentric than the character from the television series.  It seemed a bit overdone in this issue and hopefully will be reduced in upcoming tales within the regular monthly title.  But all-in-all, a positive review recommendation is well-deserved for this well-crafted and enjoyable primer for the new Doctor Who science fiction adventure series from IDW Publishing.

 Contest Winner Announcement!!!

     Our latest contest challenged you to think outside the box and suggest an unexpected role for one of your favorite comic book characters that could be explored in the future.  And our contest winner is (drumroll, please)...David McBarron, who writes "I don't know if this has been done, but what if Daredevil finally snapped and turned bad and took out the King Pin.  At which point, he would take over as the new King Pin of New York."  I'm not a regular reader of Daredevil, but even if its been done, its an intriguing original proposal by David and worthy of our contest. We'll forward David's idea to Marvel Comics and see how they react.  So congrats to our winner of the first prize $10.00 gift certificate to That's Entertainment!

New Contest Announcement!!!

     In honor of the science fiction theme of some of this week's comic book reviews, the Bongo Congo panel of contest judges has decreed that we offer a science fiction trivia challenge this week.  So your challenge is to e-mail us at no later than Wednesday, October 3 with the answer to the following trivia question: who was the very first character to actually speak a line of dialogue in the first Star Wars movie?  There's lots of well-known characters in that first movie and the rest of the series franchise, but one kicked it all off with the first words!  As always, in the event of multiple correct entries, our winner of the $10.00 first prize gift certificate to That's Entertainment will be chosen via a roll of the dice.  Please note that our first prize $10.00 gift certificate to That's Entertainment is redeemable for regular retail merchandise or in-store ongoing specials, only.

     That's all for now, so have two great Fall leaf-peeping and comic book reading weeks and see you again on Friday, October 5 Here In Bongo Congo!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Comic Reviews 9/7/12

Here In Bongo Congo

     Good King Leonardo has selected an eclectic variety of new comic books for us to review this week.  So let's get right to it and see for ouselves what these new issue titles are all about:

Before Watchmen: Dr. Manhattan #1
Publisher: D.C. Comics
J. Michael Straczynski: Writer
Adam Hughes: Art
Laura Martin: Colors

     DC Comics has expanded its stable of Before Watchmen titles by publishing issue #1 of a four-issue mini-series focusing on everybody's favorite blue-skinned scientist superhero, Dr. Manhattan.  For the uninitiated, we're currently in the middle of a DC mega-event which features a series of prequel comic titles to Alan Moore's acclaimed Watchmen comic series/graphic novel.  Each limited series centers on different characters from Watchmen, including Nite Owl, Silk Spectre, Ozymandias, Rorschach, The Minutemen and now Dr. Manhattan.  Again for non-Watchmen fans, Dr. Manhattan is scientist Dr. Jon Osterman, the victim of a 1950's science accident who can manipulate the laws of quantum mechanics to travel the timestream and to some degree manipulate probabilities and outcomes of events.

    The issue #1 storyline is entitled "What's In The Box?" and alternates between three sub-plots.  One storythread is a basic background primer on Jon himself, alternating scenes from various stages of his life, as such briefing the reader on the childhood, teen year and adult episodes of his life that molded the stoic personality that readers came to know in the original 1980's Watchmen series.  A brief second storythread connects this title to events also unfolding in the other Before Watchmen titles, as Dr. Manhattan slightly alters probability events to assure that his attraction to Silk Spectre blossoms into romance.  Our third sub-plot follows Dr. Manhattan in a risky experiment in which he timetravels back to observe the accident that created his altered state of being.  The issue ends in a surprise cliffhanger, as the good Doctor discovers a shocking difference in the accident completely at odds with his original experience.

     As a regular reader of most of the Before Watchmen titles, I've found the quality of those other titles ranging from average to above average, with none of them approaching the classic narrative and literary quality of Moore's original series.  But if anyone could near that level of storytelling greatness its A-plus writer J. Michael Straczynski and sure enough, he's pulled himself pretty darn close to Moore's writing level with this new series.  While the other series writers seek instead to add their own perspective to the Watchmen universe, Straczynski rolls the dice and immerses himself right into Alan Moore's take on Dr. Manhattan as a haunted and tragic story figure.  The same melancholy riffs on the nature of life and being are here, mixed-in with the soap opera issues that Manhattan, Silk Spectre and the rest of the Watchmen crew experience, all played-out against the tense, ticking backdrop of impending universal doom.

     Straczynski and the art team pull-off this Moore-like storytelling approach so well that in my opinion, one could read this issue and assume that Alan Moore himself had written this particular prequel.  While Moore most likely would be furious to read that observation given his well-publicized opposition to DC's prequel publishing event, that's a complement to this creative team that's very well-deserved.  Its also worth noting that of the four Before Watchmen titles that I'm currently reading, this series succeeds the most as both a stand-alone read and a component within the overall multi-title series narrative.

     So enough already with my praise!  Dr. Manhattan is by far the best piece of the Before Watchmen universe, so my review advice is to either focus on this title if you're selectively choosing among the series titles or alternately, savor this title amongst all of the titles as another major product from the keyboard of J. Michael Straczynski, proving once again that he's in a rare league of his own at the very top of today's comic book writing profession.

Young Justice #18
Publisher: D.C. Comics
Greg Weisman: Writer
Christopher Jones: Art
Zac Atkinson: Colors

     DC's Young Justice comic book title is up to issue #18 this month.  The series is a kid-friendly comic book counterpart to the Cartoon Network television show featuring a teenaged version of the Justice League.  The team make-up includes Superboy, Robin/Dick Grayson, Kid Flash, Aqualad, Miss Martian and a female teen Green Arrow-type named Artemis Crock.  The series is scripted by Greg Weisman with art by Christopher Jones and colors by Zac Atkinson.

     The current multi-issue story arc is entitled "Monkey Business" and features an ongoing confrontation between the teen heroes and The Brain, a giant villainous superbrain (naturally!) who's assisted in his bad deeds by a bunch of scientifically-enhanced, super-intelligent gorillas including our old Flash storyverse friend Gorilla Grodd.  After a three-page introductory visual summary of the story to-date, the superteens get into an issue-long extended jungle battle with the bad guys.  After much back-and-forth maneuvering, the supergorrillas manage to capture most of the team, with the exception of Miss Martian and Superboy's pet wolf (named "Wolf," of course).  The issue concludes in an interesting twist of a bridge to next month's installment, as it appears that there are cracks in the unity of the villains, with Gorilla Grodd unexpectedly attempting to ally with the on-the-run Miss Martian against The Brain.

     DC markets the segment of its title inventory which includes Young Justice as comic books that are kid-friendly yet entertaining for readers of all ages.  I agreed with this pitch when I previously reviewed the "Batman: The Brave & The Bold" title and I agree even more after reading Young Justice #18.  This title has a bunch of good stuff going for it.  First-up is the writing skill of Greg Weisman, who gives us a story with a pitch-perfect blend of teen humor and comic book drama.  The television cartoon visual style of Jones and Atkinson also fits very well to this type of young teen comic book storytelling.  I also was impressed with the seamless weaving of old and new DC storyverse elements into this tale.  Entertaining old-school story elements included the featuring of Flash storyverse supergorillas (for which I have a major fan weakness!) along with secondary character use of Batman and Captain Marvel as mentors to the team.  Regarding new elements, I enjoyed the prominence of Miss Martian and Artemis in this series, who as female teenaged heroes embodied more loose, realworld teenlike personalities than their stodgy male senior counterparts.

     So a double thumbs-up positive review recommendation for Young Justice, both as an excellent comic book series for younger readers and also for living-up to its expectations as a comic book that truly can be enjoyed by fanboys and fangirls of all reading ages, from young kid to old adult and everyone in between!

Phantom Lady & Doll Man #1
Publisher: D.C. Comics
Justin Gray & Jimmy Palmiotti: Writers
Cat Staggs: Pencils
Tom Derenick: Inks
Jason Wright: Colors

     DC Comics has just published issue #1 of a four-issue mini-series starring Phantom Lady and Doll Man.  Both characters originated back in the earliest days of the Golden Age of comics.   While there have been a zillion different versions over the decades of these two costumed heroes, its interesting to note that Doll Man was created in 1939 by the legendary Will Eisner and as such predated DC's The Atom as the first shrinking comic book superhero.  This latest title pairs the duo in a storyline scripted by the team of Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti, with pencils by Cat Staggs, inks by Tom Derenick and colors by Jason Wright.

    The multi-issue story arc is entitled "Chasing Shadows" and alternates between flashback and present-day scenes to present the storyline.  Phantom Lady is Jennifer Bender, who as a child witnessed her parents murder at the hands of a Metropolis crime boss.  Now a young adult, Jennifer has infiltrated the ranks of the crime boss's family by dating one of his violently looney sons.  To make a long story short, Jennifer's cover is blown, whereupon her female best friend is badly beaten as a warning to her; Jennider flees to her male buddy Dane, who in this title is a loner scientist working to create his shrinking technology.  When the gangsters track down and retaliate further against Jennifer, Dan's shrinking machine accidentally works on him, with his newly-discovered ability primed and ready for use in next month's issue #2.

     My initial reaction to this comic was to consider giving it a mixed, albeit slightly positive review.  But after mulling it over for a day or so, I shifted to a more-deserved thumbs-down negative recommendation, for a few reasons.  My biggest peeve is the decision of the writing team to paint Jennifer as a weak victim in this storyline.  Here's a woman who demonstrates some real superpowers abilities, but consistently behaves in her personal life as an emotionally-abused, mousy victim of a gangster boyfriend.  It also creeps me out that she's willing to sleep with a murderer to get closer to avenging her dead parents.  Throughout the issue, there's an over-the-top, non-stop barrage of physical and emotional abuse of Jennifer and her girlfriend at the hands of these serial killers to the point where an eventual flowering of her superhero persona in upcoming issues just doesn't connect with the overall approach to this storyline.

     While I'm a fan of many comic books scripted by the Gray-Palmiotti writing duo, once in awhile the pair goes off the beaten path to pursue what they no doubt feel is dramatic storytelling edginess, but instead produces a product that tanks into a cheesy, flat story.  Mix into my criticisms above some unbearably flat dialogue between Jennifer and Dane in which he whines about wanting them to be more than "just friends" and you can sort this title into the cheesy-flat pile of the Gray-Palmiotti story inventory.  And that's a shame, because these two iconic, early-Golden Age superhero characters deserve better storytelling treatment than the third-rate dialogue and story convolution that's rampant throughout this latest Phantom Lady-Doll Man presentation.

Justice League #12
Publisher: D.C. Comics
Geoff Johns: Writer
Jim Lee: Pencils
Many Inkers & Colorists

     I recently read that Justice League is one of the most popular superhero comic titles currently being published, so I decided to review the current issue #12.  The latest team membership is fairly traditional and includes Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Green Lantern, The Flash and someone called Cyborg.  The current plot is written by Geoff Johns with pencils by Jim Lee.  Oddly, fourteen different artists share the credits for each producing a portion of this issue's inking and coloring.

     The current tale is entitled "Rescue From Within" and is being marketed as including a big first kiss in DC's long history between iconic A-listers Superman and Wonder Woman.  There are three sub-plots that weave around each other to move this storyline forward toward the conclusion's expected "super smooch."  Without being a detail spoiler, there's a battle scene and ongoing conflict between the Justice Leagers and an ordinary journalist who becomes possessed by evil spirits that empower him with superpowered abilities.  A second plot thread features Wonder Woman's former boyfriend Colonel Steve Trevor, who represents the team as their liaison with the media and the government.  A third sub-plot dominates the second half of the issue; after enduring public backlash against the team in follow-up to their most recent public battles, the League has a dramatic, multi-page meeting to hash-out their problems.  The issue ends on a double dramatic note, as one team member resigns as a public relations move to protect the team, while Superman and Wonder Woman feel lonely and have a bonding conversation that leads to that kiss.

     This is an interesting Justice League storyline.  While nothing classic or mega-event is going-on, there are three elements that make the issue a very solid read.  The first is the well-crafted dialogue and strong artwork; writer Johns and penciler Lee balance the story very well among all members of the League, giving us a tale that nicely features everyone dealing with the story situation as a working superteam.  Secondly, I liked the storythread in which the team struggles to deal with their rapidly declining image among the general populace.  There's an intriguing debate among the members as to whether superheros should just go about their world-saving business or prioritize improving their likability and comfort factor with the general population. 

     And third is the issue of "the big kiss."  While it might seem somewhat overblown in today's more explicit pop culture environment, it is interesting that as far as I know, there's never been any real romantic development between these two characters over the many decades of the DC universe.  It would be fun for this little plot element to grow into something more serious between the pair; I personally would like DC to throw the dice and echo the old Batman/daughter-of-Ras Al Ghul soap opera, a romance which produced the bratty Damian Robin.  Can you imagine a bratty Superkid as the son of Superman and Wonder Woman?!  Chances are this smooch ain't going anywhere in terms of major DC universe soap opera shenanigans, but its still fun to speculate and it adds a nice story element to this title. 

     On a final review note, there's a nice three-page back-of-the-book preview of upcoming story developments in this title, including a neat two-page spread introducing a rival Justice League that will challenge this traditional team make-up.  I was very intrigued by the make-up of the second team, which presents a nice mix of older and more recent DC superheroes, along with one well-known character who's often a villainess (guess who!).  So by all means check-out the many goings-on in this enjoyable latest issue of Justice League.

Contest Winner Announcement!!!

     Our latest contest was posted in light of our Red Sox missing this year's upcoming Major League Baseball postseason play-offs.  We challenged you to tell us what other MLB team you'd be rooting for to make the play-offs.  And our winner is (drumroll, please)...Gregory Goding, who tells us that he'd like the Washington, D.C.-based Nationals to win because "they've been miserable dating back to their days as the (Montreal) Expos.  Also, they built their team mainly through the draft which is more acceptable than buying a team like the Yankees and both LA teams have done."  Some good analysis and reasoning by Gregory as to why this non-Red Sox team deserves its turn at the championship podium.  So congratulations to Gregory who wins our first-prize $10.00 gift certificate to That's Entertainment!

New Contest Challenge Announcement!!!

     Its time to put our creative thinking caps back on with a new comic book-based contest.  So let's play "What If."  In the Justice League comic book review above, we mentioned that it would be fun for DC to roll the dice, having Superman and Wonder Woman's romance blossom to the point where they have a Superkid, a la the bratty Batman progeny Damien/Robin.  Your challenge this week is to e-mail us at no later than Wednesday, September 19 and pitch to us your own idea for an unexpected comic book character/story development that you'd like to see.  Take a risk here, propose some hero or story character(s) unexpectedly dying, changing identities, behaving or doing something completely unexpected and out-of-character, etc.  Maybe you have an idea for a good guy to become a villain or vice-versa. You get the picture!

     We'll not only choose a winner of our first prize $10.00 gift certificate to That's Entertainment, but we'll forward any interesting ideas to the respective publishers and maybe you'll eventually see your creative idea in a published storyline!  Please note that our first prize $10.00 gift certificate to That's Entertainment is redeemable for regular retail merchandise or in-store ongoing specials, only.

     That's all for now, so have two great NFL watching (Go Patriots!) and comic book reading weeks and see you again on Friday, September 21 Here In Bongo Congo!