Friday, July 19, 2013

Comic Reviews 7/19/13

Here In Bongo Congo

     Good King Leonardo is looking for some cool relief from this current stretch of mid-summer heat, so let's get right to it and see if this week's comics are cool enough to provide that relief!

Wild Blue Yonder #1
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Mike Raicht: Writer
Zach Howard: Art
Nelson Daniel: Colors

     IDW Publishing has recently released issue #1 of a new science fiction action-adventure comic book entitled Wild Blue Yonder.  This is a post-apocalyptic themed comic book; after civilization collapses from radiation and pollution, humanity's survivors assemble into two camps, an underclass of underground miners and a "privileged few" who live in massive airfleets and wage war on each other as they live on mountaintops and battle among the clouds.  The series is written by Mike Raicht with art by Zach Howard and colors by Nelson Daniel.

     Issue #1 introduces two interweaving sub-plots.  In the first storythread we're introduced to Cola, a young "good guy" fighter pilot and her dog/sidekick named Critter.  At a mountaintop bar, Cola recruits a young unemployed miner named Tug to be her new gunner, after which the two spend most of the issue in an extended aerial firefight against the forces of evil in this storyverse.  The second storythread introduces the bigger theme of the comic book, that of the war between Cola's extended family and friends who make-up the last surviving group of good guy fighters versus the huge armada of bad guys, led by a hard-nosed dictator named "The Judge."  Without spoiling any details, by issue's end, the good aviators have won their latest skirmish but not without The Judge patiently laying the groundwork for advancing his long-range schemes against this last band of hardy flying foes.

     I liked many aspects of this comic book, but in the end I'm giving it an average, mixed-bag positive review.  Three strong story elements stand-out on the plus side of this new title.  The art is mind-boggingly exquisite, with the visual team providing amazingly detailed aerial battle scenes that pull the reader into an almost 3-D reading experience.  Secondly, the personalities of the main characters are both interesting and heart-warming, including the young, brash female pilot Cola, her down-to-earth new sidekick Tug, the human-like dog Critter and their fighter buddy Scram.  Third, there's a neat mix of Rocketeer-style fighters in the mix (including the afrementioned Scram), who jetpack around the fighter planes adding an exhilarating dimension to the action sequences.

     On the downside of this new title, the emphasis on this being a post-apocalyptic, fall-of-civilization version of the future dampens much of the story logic.  The world is portrayed as just too much of a wreck to sustain the level of massive, constant air combat and colossal waste of dwindling resources that are applied to the full-throttle, all-out warfare of this series.  Even for the suspension of logic that's routinely allowed in the world of comic book publishing, much of this version of reality is a stretch for a science fiction fan to accept as doable even in a funny book world.

     In sum, I couldn't help but feel that the creative team got so wrapped-up in the visual beauty of what they were creating that they forgot to balance it with enough plot logic to make many adult readers willing to commit to being monthly fans of this storyverse.  That doesn't completely take away from the positive and entertaining aspects of this new series, it just keeps it, for now at least, from being a top-of-the-comic book pile success.  So bottom line, for some mindless, harmless mid-summertime comic book reading, by all means take Wild Blue Yonder out for a spin and see for yourself what you think of this "world of the future" new comic book series!

Suicide Squad #21
Publisher: D.C. Comics
Ales Kot: Writer
Patrick Zircher: Art
Jason Keith: Colors

     DC Comics is up to issue #21 of its latest Suicide Squad title.   This is the third incarnation of the Suicide Squad, which had its debut in 1959 in issue #25 of The Brave and The Bold.  The current team consists of a group of anti-hero supervillains who act as deniable assets for the U.S. government, carrying-out Black Ops assignments in exchange for an eventual commute of their prison sentences.  The team operates out of Belle Reve Penitentiary under the command of government agent Amanda Waller.  The title's creative team consists of writer Ales Kot with art by Patrick Zircher and colors by Jason Keith.

     Issue #21 presents the final installment of a two-issue storyarc entitled "Discipline And Punish,"  and alternates two sub-plots.  In the briefer storythread that is set 17 days in the future and both starts and concludes the issue, we see members of the Suicide Squad battle a giant Frankenstein-like creation on the streets of Las Vegas.  The more dominent storyline fills the bulk of the issue, and presents a present-day revolt against both the Suicide Squad and Agent Waller by well-known Joker girlfriend Harley Quinn.

     After escaping the confinement of her Belle Reve prison cell, Harley runs amok throughout the prison, taking Agent Waller hostage while seriously wounding a Squad member.  Without spoiling too many details, the incident builds to a tense armed stand-off between Quinn and Squad member Jim Gordon, Jr., with Agent Waller perilously in the line of fire.  Quinn suddenly states that she wishes to negotiate a better prison commutation deal for the Squad via her hostage negotiation with Gordon, whereupon we're tossed back to that ongoing Vegas street battle set 17 days from the present time of the hostage stand-off.

     This comic book deserves a very positive review, albeit with one final significant point of criticism.  On the plus side, the art is excellent and the Suicide Squad team make-up is fun and entertaining, including the aforementioned Jim Gordon, Jr., introduced over the past few years in the Batman storyverse as the previously-unknown, criminally-insane son of Gotham City Police Commissioner Gordon.  Best of all in this issue is the presented personality of Harley Quinn; while various DC writers have each crafted their own take on her behavior, writer Ales Kot gives us a fresh and wonderful reinterpretation, cutting-back on the child-like innocence of her personality and emphasizing the stone-cold killer side of her criminal psychosis.  His dialogue for Quinn is flat-out great, peppering her language with sharp and creative street slang that makes her character all the more believable.

      The one glaring criticism is an odd lack of conclusion to either sub-plot in Kot's script.  This issue is the wrap-up segment of a two-part story, yet neither sub-plot concludes.  We're left hanging in the hostage stand-off sequence with Quinn's vague remark about wanting to "change the deal" on the Suicide Squad's Black Ops arrangement, and we're left in the very last story panel with the Las Vegas street battle still in full gear.  It just makes no sense to cut-off the story in mid-action for both storythreads and left me with a very dissatisfied feeling that the story didn't come to a proper and satisfying conclusion.  But the positive story elements outlined above are so strong that I happily still award this issue with a positive, thumbs-up review recommendation.  So by all means, get on-board with reading this very entertaining latest publishing incarnation of DC's long-running Suicide Squad!

Batman/Superman #1
Publisher: D.C. Comics
Greg Pak: Writer
Jae Lee & Ben Oliver: Art
June Chung & Daniel Brown: Colors

     DC Comics has just released issue #1 of its new Batman/Superman title within The New 52 umbrella of DC titles.  I was a big fan of the previous Batman/Superman title, which ran for many years, and as such wanted to review this latest version of pairing-up the two giants of the DC storyverse, Batman and Superman.  The new series is scripted by Greg Pak with Jae Lee and June Chung providing the artwork for the first 18 pages of the issue #1 story, while Ben Oliver and Daniel Brown create the visuals for pages 19 through 25.

     The kick-off multi-issue storyline is entitled "Crossworld," and provides a plotline that pairs the well-known main DC timestream with an alternate reality.  The alternate universe setting dominates most of the issue #1 story segment; in this timestream, both heroes are young adults and haven't met yet.  The plot is a murder mystery, as Clark Kent follows the trail of murdered Wayne Enterprises employees to Gotham City, meeting Bruce Wayne for the first time.  Action explodes as the pair unexpectedly come together during the next attempted murder.  Without being a detail spoiler, the killer is revealed to be a mystical evil spirit who unknowingly inhabits a person's body and commits the crimes.

     The final six pages of the issue shift the tale to our mainstream DC universe, as Superman is inexplicably teleported across realities to the mainstream Smallville.  Confused and outraged, he battles the mainstream-reality Batman until in a dramatic bridge to next month's issue #2, Pa Kent unexpectedly arrives on the scene to intervene and save Batman's life.  The issue's final story panel centers on the malevolent spirit-being relishing the chaos and plotting his next move against our heroes.

     This is a fresh addition to the many pairings of Batman and Superman over the years that works well in three respects.  First, its always fun to read a superhero comic book with alternate reality elements that refresh well-known facts about our heroes.  I enjoyed one particular commonality between the duo in the alternate universe, that both of those heroes lost their respective parents at a very young age.  I also liked that the pair are younger adult versions of themselves who aren't yet aware of each other's existence.  Secondly, the crossworlds concept is presented very well in this premier issue and offers a huge potential of various plotlines for upcoming issues.

     Third, a hats-off is due to whoever at DC made the decision to assign separate art teams to depict each of the two alternate realities.  The non-mainstream art is a very sharp-edged, non-traditional style that adds a very alien-like atmosphere to this alternate place and time, while the mainstream universe style, reminiscent of well-known comic book artist Phil Noto, roots this world in a more familiar comic book visual palette and establishes the sense that this is the mainstream, well-known world of our usual DC story-telling.

     On a minor constructive criticism note, there is some confusion here and there in the storytelling as to who or what is responsible for certain events playing-out.  I'm still not sure if the evil spirit-being plopped the alternate Superman and himself into the main DC world or whether they're both victims of circumstance.  But there's enough high quality entertaining stuff going-on throughout this issue to allow readers to relax about those confusing plot interludes and see just where the storytelling will take us as this multi-issue storyarc unfolds.  So a positive review recommendation is deserved for all Good DC Readers to take a seat on this alternate universe-hopping express and see where it all takes us for an entertaining ride of a read!

The Superior Foes Of Spider-Man #1
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Nick Spencer: Writer
Steve Lieber: Art
Rachelle Rosenberg: Colors

     Marvel Comics has recently published issue #1 of a new series entitled The Superior Foes Of Spider-Man.  The concept here is that five Spider-Man foes: Boomerang, Shocker, Overdrive, Speed Demon and the lone female Beetle, have joined forces as a new group called The Sinister Six (and yes, one of the lame running gags in this issue is that these hapless idiots do indeed realize that they have only five members).  The comic book is scripted by Nick Spencer with art by Steve Lieber and colors by Rachelle Rosenberg.

     The premier issue plot alternates between two sub-plots.  In the kick-off storythread, team leader Boomerang narrates an allegedly humorous story detailing his own origin as well as the details of how he formed the group.  The lengthier sub-plot details the group's present-day situation; with Boomerang in jail after being captured by Spider-Man, he directs the free members of the group in an elaborate effort to move stolen goods around, fulfill some group obligations to other bad guys and make some money on their own.  In a bridge to next month's issue, Boomerang is released from prison and its revealed that he's manipulating his dim-witted gang for his own selfish purposes.

     This new series is an attempt to provide the type of tongue-in-cheek, light satiric humor previously seen in such series as DC's "Formerly Known As The Justice League."  Unfortunately, it simply falls flat in trying to deliver that level of chuckle-humor.  No one is a more skilled writer than Formerly Known As The Justice League scripter Keith Giffen in delivering that type of quality, light-hearted farce; unfortunately, writer Nick Spencer is not in Keith Giffen's category, and try as he might the laughs are few and far between the mostly consistent flatness of this storyline.  While the artwork and style of narration is decent, it can't make-up for the cricket-chirping silence that results from the lack of consistent funniness in this comic book.

     So enough of the negative talk already, and let's just end this review with a "nice try pat-on-the-back" to the creative team and a review recommendation for all good fanboys and fangirls to take a pass on reading this new title.  If you really want to be entertained by a successful effort at Mad magazine-style superhero funniness, then by all means check-out the back issue bins and graphic novel reprint shelves at That's Entertainment for copies of the aforementioned excellent Formerly Known As The Justice League series.

Contest Winner Announcement!

     Our latest contest fantasized that our favorite home-away-from-home pop culture emporium That's Entertainment had a resident store cat, and challenged you to propose a genre-appropriate name of our "Comic Book Kitty".  And the contest winner is (drumroll, please)...Mike Dooley, who proposed the name T'Challa for the store cat.  For the uninitiated, T-Challa is the proper name of the Marvel Comics superhero The Black Panther.  We think that any storecat named T'Challa would protect That's Entertainment as fiercely as his namesake has protected his African Kingdom of Wakanda all these many years in Marvel Comics! Congratulations to Mike who wins our first prize $10.00 gift certificate to (where else) That's Entertainment!

New Contest Challenge Announcement!!!

     The Bongo Congo Panel Of Contest Judges offer-up a historical trivia contest for your consideration this week.  Its a historical fact that the city of Portland, Oregon was named after Portland, Maine by one of its pioneering founders, who immigrated from Portland, Maine and won the naming rights in a famous coin toss.  Your contest challenge is to e-mail us at no later than Wednesday, July 31 and tell us what other well-known New England city was the other potential name choice available in that infamous coin toss.  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 Red Sox watching (stay in first place, Red Sox!) and comic book reading weeks and see you again on Friday, August 2 Here In Bongo Congo!

Friday, July 5, 2013

Comic Reviews 7/5/13

Here In Bongo Congo

     Good King Leonardo is hip-deep in some fun summertime comic book reading.  But first, a quick summertime book reading announcement:

Ray Bradbury Tribute Story Collection Just Published!!!

    Whortleberry Press has just published "Dandelions Of Mars," it's eagerly-anticipated short story anthology in tribute to the late Science Fiction/Fantasy writer Ray Bradbury.  The collection features 24 short stories including my own short story entitled "Almost Home."  Summertime was one of Bradbury's favorite settings for his well-known tales and is the perfect time to read this new and entertaining collection.  Copies are available at and directly from the publisher at, so order your copy today!

     Now let's get right to it and see how our new comic book issues stack-up against each other:
Batman #21
Publisher: D.C. Comics
Scott Snyder: Writer
Greg Capullo: Pencils
Danny Miki: Inks
Fco Plascencia: Colors

     Issue #21 of Batman premieres a new multi-issue storyarc from acclaimed Batman writer Scott Snyder, kicking-off the much-anticipated "Zero Year" re-telling of Batman's origin story.  Snyder's script is visualized by penciler Greg Capullo with inks by Danny Miki and colors by Fco Plascencia.  The issue also includes a 6-page second story starring Batman in his Bruce Wayne civilian identity.  That story is co-written by Scott Snyder and James Tynion IV, with art by Rafael Albuquerque and colors by Dave McCaig.

     The new storyline is entitled "Secret City: Part One," reinterprets the well-known Batman origin details by setting them in a modern-day Gotham.  In this version of the events, its 2013 and the adult Bruce has yet to become The Batman.  We learn via flashbacks and present-day scenes that he's newly-returned to Gotham, having left Town after the childhood trauma of witnessing his parent's murder.  Two sub-plots alternate with the progression of the basic origin facts.  In one, an anonymous villain named The Red Hood is terrorizing the city with growing effectiveness, using blackmailed ordinary citizens as the shock-troops who make-up his Red Hood Gang.

     The second sub-plot centers on Bruce's uncle Philip Kane; as head of Wayne Enterprises, he attempts throughout the issue to pressure Bruce into succeeding him as head of the family business empire.  As Bruce is struggling to find a new personal identity (a search which we know will eventually lead him to become The Caped Crusader), he resists his uncle's pressure.  The story segment concludes in a dramatic bridge to next month's issue #2, as in a surprise reveal we learn that Uncle Philip's key business adviser is a very youthful version of one of the best-known Batman storyverse super-villains, prior to his eventual life of costumed badness.

     In Scott Snyder's skilled scripting hands, the result is a shining gem of a fresh update for some overly-familiar Batman story facts and themes.  His unique mix of multiple timeframe flash-arounds and quickly alternating story segments tightly come together into an intriguing mix of very old and very new Batman story elements for the alternate-history version of Batman's origins.  There are too many specific examples to list or spoil in this review, but as one typical example, my favorite small updated item is the revision to the well-known supervillain working for Uncle Phillip.  He's unexpectedly presented as a youthful and eccentric mad-genius of a management consultant; picture Sheldon Cooper from The Big Bang Theory starting to slip into super-villain mode and you have a good picture of the re-tailoring of this very familiar character.  And no, it's not The Joker, that would be too easy for Snyder!  To his credit, he gives us a villain both familiar and unfamiliar in the new clothing of his altered identity.

     As a final review comment, the secondary six-page Bruce Wayne tale is average in quality compared to the lead story, but serves as a nice, more traditional storytelling balance to the major Batman storyverse revisions presented in the main tale.  In sum, our trust in A-list writer Scott Snyder is well-rewarded with this excellent kick-off to the "New 52" make-over of the Batman origin storyline.  So get-on down to That's Entertainment and get-onboard the latest Batman make-over with issue #21 of Batman!

The X-Files-Season 10 #1
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Joe Harris: Writer
Michael Walsh: Art
Jordie Bellaire: Colors

     IDW Publishing has just published issue #1 of a new X-Files comic book title.  Just about every pop-culture fanboy and fangirl on the planet is already familiar with the popular  1993-2001 t.v. series and two movies, which starred David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson as FBI agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully, who had paranormal adventures as they investigated the FBI's spooky "X-Files."  This new comic book series is overseen by original television series creator Chris Carter and is scripted by Joe Harris with art by Michael Walsh and colors by Jordie Bellaire.

     Issue #1 kicks-off a five-part multi-issue story arc entitled "Believers," with a plotline that continues the character's lives after the end of the television series.  The story interweaves two sub-plots. One storythread lays-out Mulder and Scully's present-day lives.  In follow-up to the concluding events of the t.v. show, they're living post-FBI lives with new identities, which allows Scully to practice medicine in Virginia as "Dr. Blake."  The second storyline dominates the issue, as a robed cult of occult-powered folk work to hunt-down Scully.  Without being a detail spoiler, the cult's pursuit of Scully pulls their old ally FBI Assistant Director Skinner back into their lives.  The drama is ratcheted-up as the creepy group mind-manipulates a young girl patient of Scully's to lead them to her.  It all ends in a dramatic bridge to issue #2, as Scully is severely wounded and captured by the cult, just as Mulder and Skinner comprehend exactly what's going-on.

     This new X-Files series is a huge improvement over the previous Topps Comics series, which was published while the old T.V, show was still airing. That series featured very wooden artwork and dull scripts which mimicked the style of the show without any significant story continuity over time.  The new series succeeds by taking the exact opposite approach, on four counts.  First, creator Chris Carter and writer Joe Harris actually continue the evolution of the character's lives into a new, comic book-based Season 10 of the show, evolving the post-FBI lives of our two heroes.  Secondly, the plotline is fresh and entertaining, mixing the old X-Files spooky-adventuring back into Mulder and Sculley's new lives in a believable manner.  Third, the artwork is fresh and high quality, with the visual team providing an animation-like style that works very well for the theme of this series. 

     Fourth and most importantly, the creative team does a fantastic job infusing the story with the old personality quirks and characteristics of our favorite X-Files characters.  In the short span of issue #1, we're treated to the familiar elements of Mulder's eccentricities (evoking the neighborhood kids into referencing his old "Spooky Mulder" nickname), Dana's dogged faithfulness to current and lost people in her life, and Skinner's Eagle Scout-like devotion to both "the greater good" and the needs of his two old friends/comrades-in-arms.  The result is a wonderfully entertaining return in comic book form of the flavor and familiarity of the television-series X-Files, one that's not to be missed.

     My one constructive criticism is the confusion over the personal relationship between Mulder and Scully.  It's very grey as to whether or not these two are a married couple in this new series. They are undercover as "Dr. and Mr. Blake," but still have the cool detachment toward each other of FBI working partners, even calling each other Mulder and Scully.  The creators either have to clarify that their new identities are just a convenient false-front, or alternately show some real, couples-like affection between the pair.  Once that issue is cleared-up one way or the other, the series can then be 100% focused on the new and continuing adventures of our favorite FBI para-normal sleuths.  So don't miss-out on reading this fresh and fun new X-Files comic book series from its very start!

Danger Girl: Trinity #3
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Andy Hartnell: Writer
Stephen Molnar, Harvey Tolibao & John Royle: Art
Philip Moy & Andrew Pepoy: Inks
Romulo Fajardo: Colors

     IDW Publishing's latest Danger Girl comic book title is currently up to issue #3.  For the uninitiated, the series follows the James Bond-style, globe-spanning espionage adventures of the femme fatale threesome of American Abbey Chase, Australian Sydney Savage and Brit Silicon Valerie, along with their Charlie's Angels-like handler, a former British Secret Service Agent named Deuce.  This new Danger Girl: Trinity title is scripted by series creator Andy Hartnell, with the visual gimmick that the script's adventure sub-plots is illustrated by a different set of artists.

     A brief inside-the-front-cover narrative informs us that in the previous two issues, Sydney has been pursued through the streets of London, a new team member named Sonya is being chased through a jungle setting and Abbey has been abducted and dropped into an adventure in Egypt.  The current issue #3 picks-up on two of those three storythreads. In the first half of the issue, we're tossed into the extremely fast-action of Sonya's Congo jungle adventure, as she's pursued through said jungle by horse-riding bounty hunters hot on her heels as she flees with a fugitive.  Without spoiling any details, the sub-plot peaks with an attempt by the fleeing pair to pull-off a wild jungle airport take-off.  Sub-plot number two reveals that Abbey has been captured by a bad guy and forced to utilize her field skills in obtaining an ancient buried Egyptian royal artifact.  Again, without spoiling any of the fun details, the underground adventure climaxes with an Indiana Jones-style cliffhanger bridge to next month's issue #4 story segment.

     I'm a big fan of IDW's multiple Danger Girl titles, having given a positive review a few years ago to one of the early issues from the original storyline.  As such, I'm happy to report that the current title and storyline has lost none of the positive elements that have made this comic book series such an entertaining read.  Danger Girl: Trinity nicely balances the three key elements essential to the spy-sleuth genre of fast-paced action-adventure, credible plot narrative and a sexy artistic style that makes this female spy-sleuthing team concept succeed as an enjoyable comic book read.  The gimmick of alternating art teams presenting each of the team member's separate story segments is interesting, but artist Stephen Molnar's eight-page opening segment depicting Sonya's Congo adventure outshines the rest of the issue; Molnar utilizes more of a television animation cartoony-style that seems best-suited to this title and in my opinion should be adopted for all further upcoming issues of this series.

     Similar to the X-Files review above, I have only one minor constructive criticism of this story, and that's the lack of explanation of just who the heck is Danger Girl team member Sonya. While I can't find any on-line IDW explanation identifying this addition to the original team, both her personality-style and Molnar's wonderful visual technique of emphasizing her various comic facial expressions quickly made her my favorite member of the Danger Girl action team.  So whether you're already a fan of this series like me or a newbie just looking for some fun,  good-looking female espionage agent summertime reading entertainment, Danger Girl: Trinity #3 fits the bill!

Daredevil: Dark Knights #1
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Lee Weeks: Writer & Artist
Lee Loughridge: Colors

     Marvel Comics has recently published issue #1 of a new, eight-issue limited series entitled "Daredevil: Dark Knights."  The game plan is to present three stories over the span of the series that explore blind attorney Matt Murdock/Daredevil's roles as both a crusading attorney for the downtrodden and as a vigilante of his beloved Hell's Kitchen neighborhood in New York City.  All three tales will take place outside of the ongoing storyverse within the main Daredevil comic book title.  This new series is scripted and drawn by veteran Daredevil creator Lee Weeks with colors by Lee Loughridge.

     Issue #1 kicks-off the first, three-issue tale entitled "Angels Unaware,"  consisting of two alternating sub-plots that unfold during a East Coast mega-blizzard.  In the briefer storyline, a little girl awaits a life-saving organ tansplant while a medivac helicopter crew bravely battles the storm to try and complete the delivery.  The longer, dominating plothread focuses on Daredevil himself; after being knocked unconscious in a street mugging, Matt awakens in a semi-amnesiatic state in the same hospital as the little girl.  Most of the issue portrays Matt trying to clear his head and regain his short-term memory while while the hospital staff tries to figure-out his identity and help him with the sensory overload resulting from his proximity to hundreds of people within the hospital.

     Without revealing too much as a detail spoiler, suffice to say that on a parallel track to Matt regaining control over his super-senses, two good-hearted hospital employees stumble across his true identity as Daredevil. In a very dramatic bridge to issue #2, the storythreads combine as the helicopter crashes in the storm and Matt/Daredevl is assisted by his two new confidants in beginning a brave solo trek to the crashsite in a race-against-time to try and save the little girl's life.

     It's not an exaggeration to state that this new Daredevil series is an instant classic in the making.  Writer/artist Lee Weeks is one of the most acclaimed of Daredevil creators, best known for his exemplary "Last Rites" Daredevil storyline of the early 1990's.  Weeks is considered by many Daredevil fans as the successor to Frank Miller among Daredevil creators and rightly so: he brings a very strong "Milleresque" feel to this new series, regarding the particular style of the story narrative, visuals and theme of the tale.  Weeks successfully returns Murdock/Daredevil to his classic storyverse roots in this tale, with an plot emphasis on personal honor, sacrifice and traditional superhero commitment to the greater good of the community and the downtrodden.

     The result of this creative effort is a comic book that strongly represents the heritage of the Daredevil comic book world while offering a fresh storyline and interpretation of this long-running Marvel superhero character.  I think the best final complement for this new title is simply that in the best of ways, this comic is an entertaining and high-quality throwback to both Miller's 1980's run and Weeks's own early-1990's run on Daredevil.  So an obvious thumbs-up positive review recommendation is well-deserved for this excellent and high quality new Daredevil series.

Contest Winner Announcement!!!

     Our latest contest challenged you to correctly tell us which one of the 50 U.S. state flags is the only two-sided state flag in the country.  And our contest winner is (drumroll, please)...Erin O'Connor, who correctly tells us that Oregon is the state with the two-sided flag.  We also asked if anyone could identify the t.v. series that this fact was featured in.  The answer is an episode of The Big Bang Theory, in which Shelton Cooper presented this factoid in his podcast documentary "Fun With Flags"!  Congratulations to Erin, who wins our $10.00 first prize gift certificate to That's Entertainment!

New Contest Challenge Announcement!!!

     The Bongo Congo Panel Of Contest Judges offers-up a new contest this week featuring our favorite home-away-from-home pop culture emporium itself, That's Entertainment!  As you know, many businesses such as bookstores, for example, and even public libraries often have a house cat that lives on the premises.  We recently wondered if in theory (and only in theory!) That's Entertainment had an official store cat to patrol the store premises, what would be an appropriate name for the "That's Entertainment" housecat!  For example, we think that one good name might be "Robin," given that the cat would be the faithful sidekick to the store staff.  So your challenge is to e-mail us at no later than Wednesday, July 17 with your proposal to name that hypothetical store cat!  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 mid-season Red Sox watching (go first-place Red Sox!) and comic book reading weeks and see you again on Friday, July 19 Here In Bongo Congo!