Friday, July 25, 2014

Comic Reviews 7/26/14

Here In Bongo Congo

     Good King Leonardo has decreed that as we're deep into the mid-summer comic book reading season, we review an eclectic mix of new comic books this week in order to advise you on some worthwhile beach-reading choices.  So let's get right to it and see how these varied comic books stack-up against each other:

Batman '66 Meets The Green Hornet #2
Publisher: D.C. Comics & Dynamite Entertainment
Kevin Smith & Ralph Garman: Writers
Ty Templeton: Art
Tony Avila: Colors

     DC Comics and Dynamite Entertainment have teamed-up to publish a six-issue mini-series which combines Batman '66 with The Green Hornet.  I've previously reviewed an issue of the popular Batman '66 title, in which the Adam West/Burt Ward 1960's campy television series-version of Batman and Robin star in new comic book adventures.  As such, I was curious to see how that well-produced title would fare in a team-up adventure with The Green Hornet and his sidekick Kato.  The mini-series is co-written by Kevin Smith and Ralph Garman with art by Ty Templeton and colors by Tony Avila.

     The current issue #2 kicks-off with the fast adventure of a cliffhanger scene from the end of issue #1, as our starring foursome are glued to the top of a high speed train by the villain they're jointly pursuing, the stamp collection-obsessed, supergluing General Gumm.  Without spoiling the details, each pair of heroes "unglues" in their own unique manner.  A squabble and separation ensues, as both hero pairs split-up for their own pursuit of General Glue.  A new sub-plot surprises us with General Glue himself teaming-up with Batman supervillain The Joker.  Again without being a detail spoiler, the plot shifts to detail Batman/Robin and The Green Hornet/Kato each using their distinct sleuthing styles and skills to simultaneously discover General Gumm's secret lair.  After the expected "Biff! Bam! Pow!" style fight scene made famous in the 1966 Batman television show, issue #2 ends on another cliffhanger, as General Gumm and The Joker capture sidekicks Robin and Kato for a tense "to be continued" stand-off between the good guys and baddies.

     I enjoyed Batman '66 immensely in my earlier positive review of that title and frankly loved this spin-off mini-series even more, for at least four worthwhile reasons.  First, the story dialogue is true to the cheesy wackiness of the original t.v. show scripting, even moreso than the main Batman '66 comic book series.  The comedy of everyone's comments, delivered in starchy, straight-faced monologues and droning conversations is a worthy sequel to the t.v. show.  My favorite goofball remark is a weird, serious quote of famed 1950's presidential candidate Adlai Stevenson delivered on page four by Batman as a lecture to Robin in the aftermath of their narrow train-gluing escape. The cheesiness of this scene alone is worth reading this comic book.  Secondly, campiness quality aside, the story itself is strongly-written and very entertaining, full of interesting mystery clues and plot twists that keep the reader absorbed into the adventure.  I've criticized Kevin Smith's writing in several previous comic book reviews, to the point where I avoid reading new Kevin Smith-scripted comics.  So I was pleased to see a return in this issue to a better Kevin Smith scripting effort.  Perhaps its due to his partnering with co-writer Ralph Garman or alternately a love for the old Batman '66 storytelling style. But irregardless of why, Smith and Garman succeed in delivering a top-notch reading experience in this series.

     Third, I was thrilled to read a new comic book that presents The Joker in the old-time Batman '66 campy stylings that acclaimed actor Cesar Romero created for the television identity of this well-known Batman mega-foe.  Again, in previous reviews I've criticized Joker portrayals in some modern-day comic books as too jaded and over-the-top in terms of torture, gore and bloodiness. If that's your reading preferences, fine.  But its nice to have the occasional old-school Joker to enjoy in a new comic book, and he's front-and-center in issue #2 of this mini-series.  The creative team does such a spot-on reconstruction of "The Joker '66" that it also serves as a wonderful homage to the late Cesar Romero himself and the particular acting gifts that he brought to his personal interpretation of this iconic Batman Family villain. Fourth and finally, I enjoyed the tension between our fearless foursome, as The Green Hornet and Kato stay within their well-known undercover villain personas without clueing Batman and Robin into their true crimefighting identities. It adds for some interesting plot possibilities as this series proceeds through the remaining four scheduled issues of this mini-series.

     So a positive tip-of-the-review-hat is well-deserved for the creative team, as well as both comic book publishers DC Comics and Dynamite Entertainment, for all working together to produce this high quality new comic book mini-series, that's both very entertaining in its own right as well as a wonderful tribute to the storytelling stylings of the 1960's pop culture versions of both Batman and The Green Hornet.

Black Science #3
Publisher: Image Comics
Rick Remender: Writer
Matteo Scalera: Art

     Image Comics is up to issue #5 of a new science fiction adventure series entitled "Black Science." This title is one of "Pete's Picks" at That's Entertainment and since I'm a science fiction writer, I decided to give it a review with a look at issue #3 (all five issues published to-date are available on the That's Entertainment new issues shelves). The series is written by Rick Remender with art by Matteo Scalera.

     A brief inside-the-front-cover narrative explains that scientist Grant McKay has created "the pillar" for his corporate employer, a device that allows travel between infinite alternate realities. By issue #3, Grant and a wide-ranging exploration team that includes his corporate boss, fellow staffers and Grant's family are in deep trouble in an alternate reality in which Grant is gravely wounded. The issue #3 story segment unfolds in three disconnected acts. Act One portrays in a brief flashback a pre-exploration conversation between Grant and a female fellow scientist with whom he's having an affair.  Act Two quickly throws the reader into the alternate reality crisis at-hand: in a world of high-tech armored Native American tribes fighting World War I-era German troops, Grant's team hazards their way through a battlefield in order to kidnap a high-tech Indian Shaman in a desperate effort to save Grant's life.  And in Act Three, we again flashback to the beginning of the reality-spanning adventure, with an extended scene in which the pillar device initially malfunctions, accidentally sending Grant and all of his wide-ranging support characters off into the "interdimensionsphere" for the adventure that unfolds in each monthly issue.

     As a science fiction reader and writer, I'm very critical and often leery of new attempts to infuse a science fiction theme into a fresh comic book title, mainly because so many such efforts result in tiresome rehashes of older, worn-out sci-fi themes and plots.  So I was extremely happy to discover that Black Science bucks that negative trend with a brand-new and interesting take on the alternate reality science fiction genre.  The comic hits a home run in three respects.  First, writer Rick Remender infuses his script with a strong balance of action adventure, characterization and science fiction elements.  The characterization of Grant and his fellow alternate reality explorers both anchor the plot and give it fiction-telling credibility.  The characters feel credibly realistic, with very real-world issues such as Grant's personal affair, his kids clearly figuring-out what's going on in that regard, the scheming among the corporate science team, etc.

     Secondly, the specifics of the alternate reality are both fresh and fun.  A hats-off is due to Remender for creating an interesting and absorbing alternate timelime in which high-tech enhanced Native American tribes are battling a World War I-style German army. Whether its explained in the previous two issues or future story installments, I'd love to know more about this reality: i.e., is the battle occurring in Europe at an alternate WW I battlefield or on the Great Plains of the U.S. against a German Army invasion? Third, the art style is appropriate and unique for this particular story. Artist Matteo Scalera's sketchy penciling style very effectively conveys the action scenes for this type of sci-fi adventuring; his rain-soaked Native American-German Army battlefield scenes are on par with any other comic book battlefront panels that I've ever read.

     So all-in-all, a very enthusiastic and positive thumbs-up review recommendation is well-deserved for this unique and entertaining science fiction adventuring comic book title.  I plan on backtracking to read issues #1 and #2, then continue on with future monthly issues and recommend that all fanboys and fangirls of sci-fi comic books do the same.  And an additional tip-of-the-review-hat is well-deserved to Pete at That's Entertainment for including this title in his "Pete's Picks" recommended reading list!

Daredevil #1
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Mark Waid: Writer
Chris Samnee: Art
Javier Rodriguez: Colors

      It's a big year for Daredevil comics, as Marvel has relocated our hero from his familiar home base of New York's Hell's Kitchen neighborhood for the streets of San Francisco. In addition, this year marks the 50th anniversary of Daredevil/Matt Murdock's comic book debut.  So let's do double-review duty with first a review of the issue #1 re-boot of DD relocating to San Francisco, followed by the review below of the 50th anniversary Daredevil tribute issue.  This new run of Daredevil is produced by the co-creating team of writer Mark Waid and artist Chris Samnee, with colors by Javier Rodriquez.

     The creative team wastes no time tossing the reader head-first into a San Francisco action-adventure, as San Francisco Deputy Mayor Charlotte Hastert turns to Matt/Daredevil to find and rescue her kidnapped young daughter, resulting in three Daredevil actions. First, Matt uses his keen enhanced senses to find and rescue the girl. Secondly, in a very fast and extended action scene, he's pursued in their escape by two high-tech flying kidnappers. And third, Matt discovers that the girl is booby-trapped with a bomb. Without being a detail spoiler, Matt saves the day and the girl in a very creative and Daredevilish manner.  The issue concludes with further questions as to the kidnapping mastermind's identity and a tantalizing clue leading to the possibility of Matt's ill buddy Foggy Nelson entering the plot picture in issue #2.

     I gave a positive review earlier this year to the final issue of Daredevil's New York-based run, and at the time mentioned my happiness that the Waid-Samnee-Rodriquez creative team was committing to continued production of the Daredevil title in its new San Francisco setting.  That support is well-rewarded here with a very well-crafted and enjoyable kick-off issue of the new Daredevil title run.  In addition to the Waid-Samnee-Rodriquez trio bringing their well-known and successful style of story development and visual presentation to this new Daredevil run, two additional features make this new title a stand-out from the very get-go. First is the successful transplanting of the Daredevil setting to San Francisco.  As a neat twist, we're treated throughout the action-adventure getaway scene to Matt/Daredevil still not knowing his way around the new city, and having to rely on computer guidance from new law firm partner/girlfriend Kirsten McDuffie for moment-to-moment acrobatic directions. It makes a for a lot of reading fun and adds an interesting alternative to Matt's previous superconfidence when hopping around the New York City skyline.

     The second additional stand-out feature is the new twist of Matt partnering-up with his latest love interest/law firm partner Kirsten.  Its a new and interesting alternative to the familiar Matt/Foggy Nelson pairing, and should offer some interesting new storyline directions as this series proceeds. Kirsten's well-placed sense of humor also brings a lot of fun to the new Daredevil storyverse.  Foggy Nelson's struggle with cancer was a dramatic and effective plotthread in the previous series, and his hinted-at return to the scene in this new title run promises some interesting effects upon the new Matt/Kirsten partnership.  Finally, I just have to comment that its just plain neat to have Matt's superhero identity out in the open in Daredevil comics these days.  More than once in issue #1, folks in the story openly acknowledge Matt as Daredevil, adding a rare storytelling alternative to the usual secret identity element of superhero storytelling.  Combined with the San Francisco setting, it also serves as an effective metaphor for gay individuals being open regarding their personal identity as a parallel experience to Matt's outing of his superhero persona.

      So fear not, Daredevil fans, our hero and his new sidekick/main squeeze Kirsten are faring well in their new home city and if the quality of issue #1 is any indication, they should do well for quite awhile in having West Coast-based action-adventures produced by this A-list creative team trio!

Daredevil #36
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Various Writers & Artists

     As mentioned above, our second Daredevil comic book title review this week is Daredevil #36, which is the special, over-sized 50th anniversary Daredevil commemorative issue.  The issue features three brand-new Daredevil stories, each reflecting a story style and Daredevil characterization from different eras in the DD publishing history. The issue also kicks-off with a nice Daredevil tribute letter from new Daredevil editor Ellie Pyle, and features a neat anniversary cover gallery.

     The lead story is entitled "The King In Red" and is produced by the well-known current DD team of Mark Waid and Javier Rodriguez.  It's a future "what if?"-style tale, in which Matt Murdock is celebrating his 50th birthday with his someday young son, when a costumed baddie (who I won't spoil reveal) inflicts a blindness epidemic on most of the local San Francisco population. Both Matt's old buddy Foggy Nelson and his young son are key players in resolving the crisis. The second tale is written by Brian Michael Bendis and is actually a standard-format five-page short story, with side illustrations by Alex Maleev, with the plot structured as a letter from Daredevil's wife to their future child.

     The third story is entitled "The Last Will And Testament Of Mike Murdock" and is written and penciled by Karl and Kurt Kesel, with inks by Tom Palmer. Its a story that pays tribute to an earlier version of DD from Gene Colan's creative days, when Matt Murdock attempted to protect his costumed identity by creating a false twin brother named Mike Murdock.

     I'm giving this issue a mixed review, with a thumbs-up as a decent-enough standard Daredevil comic book but a thumbs-down as an anniversary tribute issue.  On the plus side, three full-length varied stories for only $4.99 is a great buy, and the lead tale by Waid and Rodriquez is as top-notch as it gets.  Its a fun futuristic tale just chock-full of Daredevil future storyverse elements that are very entertaining.  The relationship between Matt and his seemingly-neurotic young son is also heartfelt and ultimately very touching as it plays-out in the story plot.

     On the negative side, the second and third tales are barely average in story quality and don't deserve a place in a special 50th anniversary tribute issue.  There are enough great storytelling-telling possibilities for a half-century-old A-list Marvel superhero which could have been included instead of these two stories.  The short-story style Bendis tale is boring and represents the common feature of Bendis over-reaching for emotional effect, resulting in a sappy, treacly storytelling.  Even worse is the third tale; while I understand that the intent was to include a story reflecting a wacky, campy era in DD's publishing lineage, again the tale is boring and unfortunately pretty nonsensical even for an off-the-wall-satiric story.

     Its definitely worth reading this comic book for the excellent lead story and the editor's nice tribute column.  But it doesn't come near the mark of providing a memorable 50th anniversary special issue that Daredevil deserves after 50 years of publication.

Contest Winner Announcement!!!

     Our current contest challenged you to suggest a Boston sports trade that would bolster the winning chances of one of our professional Boston sports teams.  And our contest winner is (drumroll, please...) Keith Martin, who suggests that the Patriots should roll the dice and acquire Payton Manning to replace Quarterback Tom Brady. Wow, a bold move by Keith that would surely burn-up the phone lines to the Boston sports radio talk shows! Congratulations to Keith who wins our first prize $10.00 gift certificate to That's Entertainment!

New Contest Challenge Announcement!!!

     The Bongo Congo panel of contest judges have decreed that we stick to sports for our latest contest. As all good Red Sox fans know, David "Big Papi" Ortiz just this past week moved into 36th place on the all-time list of major league home run hitters when he hit his 453rd career home run.  Your challenge is to e-mail us at no later than Wednesday, August 6 and correctly tell us which famed former Red Sox player Big Papi just passed in moving into slot number 36 on that list.  Please note that our $10.00 first prize 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 Patriots pre-season training (Go Pats!) and comic book-reading weeks and see you again on Friday, August 8 Here In Bongo Congo!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Comic Reviews 7/11/14

Here In Bongo Congo

     Good King Leonardo's wrist injury is healing nicely enough to let him type comfortably again, so we can get back to our usual review load of four comic book reviews this week!  So let's get right to it and see how the following four new-issue comic books stack-up against each other:
Tomb Raider #1
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Gail Simone: Writer
Nicolas Daniel Selma: Pencils
Juan Gedeon: Inks
Michael Atiyeh: Colors

     Dark Horse Comics is currently publishing a new Tomb Raider comic book title, starring the well-known and very popular Lara Croft adventurer character from the well-known video game series and movie franchise.  The movies starred Angelina Jolie in the title role and remains the highest-grossing movie series based on a video game.  The new comic series is scripted by A-list veteran Gail Simone with pencils by Nicolas Daniel Selma, inks by Juan Gedeon and colors by Michael Atiyeh.

     Issue #1 centers on Lara and some adventure team colleagues struggling with the emotional aftermath of a disastrous island adventure (I assume featured in the latest video game series), in which most of her team died before rescue or escape.  While coping with her own nightmares as well as her female colleague Sam's post-island trauma, Lara receives a desperate plea for help from team member Jonah, a stoic Maori tribesman.  Lara travels to the southwest desert and confronts a terrified and seemingly delusional Jonah, who cryptically warns of a pending apocalyptic disaster which the team has supposedly unwittingly unleashed on the human race with its return from the island.  The issue ends in a dramatic bridge to issue #2, as part of the prophecy seems to come true when a nearby dam bursts, drowning Jonah with Lara barely surviving the flood.

     I greatly enjoyed the first two Town Raider movies back in the day and wanted to see how this comic book version compared to the movie interpretation.  The comic book is very different both in plotline and storyverse structure, but it does stand on its own as a solid and entertaining comic book read. Writer Gail Simone was charged with providing a plot with a very different personality style for Lara.  The omnipotent, seemingly superhero-like adventuress is replaced here with a Lara who's more real-world human, basically a 21-year-old young woman with the decision-making flaws and personal conflicts of a normal human being. This is more of a Peter Parker-style Lara Croft, with the same human-side relatability for the reader, thus drawing us more into empathizing with the story situation and identifying with the characters.

     A few key positive elements further add to the quality of this new series.  First and foremost is A-list writer Gail Simone's top-notch script, brimming with her signature style of providing quality dramatic dialogue and believable emotional situations.  The scenes in which Jonah sacrifices himself to the floodwaters over Lara's protests in order to save her life are classic Gail Simone at her scriptwriting best and as such alone are worth reading issue #1.  A hats-off is also due to the art team, which provides an effective minimalist style of penciling and colors reminiscent of popular comic artist Phil Noto.

     My one constructive criticism is that this premier issue could use a brief introductory narrative to orient the newbie reader (like myself) to the current world of the Tomb Raider franchise. I wasn't able to determine on my own whether or not the traumatic island misadventure referenced throughout the issue is based either on the current video game or a previous limited-edition comic book series, and Wikipedia was no help in clarifying the matter.  But the storytelling and visual presentation are so strong and entertaining that this lack of backstory clarity doesn't diminish the reading enjoyment.

     So all-in-all, a positive review recommendation is well-deserved for this new addition to the wide inventory of previously-published Lara Croft/Tomb Raider comic book titles.  The new Tomb Raider series is definitely an enjoyable keeper for both newcomers and dedicated Lara Croft/Tomb Raider fans alike!

Bravest Warriors (Impossibear Special) #1
Publisher: Kaboom!
 Various Writers & Artists

     The Kaboom! kids-oriented imprint of Boom! Studios has published a Bravest Warriors over-sized one-shot special issue starring the character Impossibear in five new stories.  For the uninitiated, Bravest Warriors is based on the animated television series that features a team of four teenaged heroes-for-hire who, along with semi-cuddly friends such as Impossibear and Catbug,  zip around the universe saving adorable, cuddly aliens from harm. The series is the creation of acclaimed Adventure Time creator Pendleton Ward.  The five tales in this one-shot special are the creation of various writers and artists.

     This special issue kicks-off with a story entitled "Drop The Beat," in which Impossibear strives to overcome numerous interruptions from the Bravest Warriors cast in order to listen to his latest music purchase in peace.  "Impossi-Bagel" revolves around a bagel-oriented beach picnic gone awry, while "Save Us" portrays Impossibear and Catbug sending the Bravest Warriors off on a fake adventure so that the pair can indulge in some sleazy partying.  The plottheme of "Night Trap" is roommates filching each other's food from their shared refrigerator, while "Whiz Biz" centers on Impossibear interacting with an alien fish culture that abhors peeing in their own ocean (I kid you not!).

     Going into this read, I was marginally aware of many critics praising this storyverse, along with its companion title Adventure Time, for its surprisingly effective literary quality. A New Yorker Magazine article this past year positively analyzed Adventure Time as if it was an American literary classic. After reading these five stories, I can see why the praise is well-deserved.  Each tale is constructed with a balanced blend of kid-reader entertainment and adult-level inside humor and social commentary.  The result is a very fresh and original cast of characters and story situations that carve-out a high quality and very unique niche in the current comic book and animated television industries.

     Two particular positive elements deserve a review shout-out. The first is the personality of Impossibear himself, constructed as a grouchy aging teddy-bear-with-a-hidden-warm-heart.  Picture character actor Wilfred Brimley as an animated bear and you get the picture.  Secondly, an acknowledgement is well-deserved for the guts of the various creative teams to feature some very adult issues and themes in a tasteful and positive manner.  I won't be a spoiler and identify any in particular, suffice to say that I can see why the animated series has received several prestigious award nominations for this storytelling approach.

     So in sum, a positive review recommendation is well-deserved for this very unique and entertaining comic book series that works for readers of all ages.  And if you're a Bravest Warriors newbie like me, this particular one-shot Impossibear Special is a great place to initially dip your reading toe into the Bravest Warriors publishing storyverse.

Figment #1
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Jim Zub: Writer
Filipe Andrade: Art
Jean-Francois Beaulieu: Colors

     Marvel Comics recently published issue #1 of a new comic book series entitled Figment.  The series is apparently a crossover from a Disney theme park experience.  The new title is scripted by Jim Zub with art by Filipe Andrade and colors by Jean-Francois Beaulieu.  Four "Walt Disney Imagineers" are also listed in the creative team credits.

      The series seems to be a storyverse mash-up between Steampunk fiction and a Disney tiny flying cartoon dragon character named Figment. Issue #1 is the kick-off installment of a multi-issue storyarc entitled "Journey Into Imagination."  The year and setting are 1910 London, where we're quickly introduced to Victorian scientist Blarion Mercurial, who labors unappreciated at The Academy Scientifica-Lucidus.  While his assignment is cheap energy research, Blarion's pet project/passion is a big steampunk device he's created, with which he hopes to "harness the mind's energy." Long story short, the machine taps into a childhood memory and voila, a tiny Disney-style talking dragon appears from said memory.  The issue ends in a dramatic bridge to next month's issue #2, as the experiment also creates a space/time rift, which appears to toss Blarion and Figment into a far-off, wondrous magical land.

     I'm giving this comic book a mixed, albeit thumbs-up average quality review.  For younger readers, its a fun new series featuring a Disney talking dragon who will no doubt have many entertaining adventures in upcoming issues within that strange faraway land. But for adult readers, I doubt if this comic book series can hold the attention of, or provide reading satisfaction for the average full-grown fanboy or fangirl.  It just feels too cutesy-Disney with the tiny talking dragon.  Secondly, the Steampunk/Disney mash-up just doesn't work for me as a baby boomer reader.  The two styles of storyverse feel much too incompatible and jarring as a fictional combination.

     Third, this series badly needs a brief front-page narrative that explains just where the heck in the Disney theme park culture this dragon fits. I had no idea if the steampunk story element is also a Disney product or an addition to the Figment franchise for this comic book series. It would add a lot to the reading experience to provide a full understanding of the nature of this comic book series.  So all-in-all, a mixed recommendation: by all means, this comic book is a fun and interesting read for young and teen readers, but adults most likely would find it a bit too childish and kiddy-oriented for the average adult reading palate.

Guardians Of The Galaxy: Galaxy's Most Wanted #1
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Will Corona Pilgrim: Writer
Andrea Di Vito: Art
Laura Villari: Colors

     In coordination with this summer's anticipated Guardians Of The Galaxy movie, Marvel Comics recently published issue #1 of a comic book entitled Guardians Of The Galaxy: Galaxy's Most Wanted. For the uninitiated, the title refers to a group of space-faring adventurers. The team was originally created by Arnold Drake and Gene Colan in the 1960's and revived/revised by Marvel in 2008.  The current comic book is written by Will Corona Pilgrim with art by Andrea Di Vito and colors by Laura Villari.

     The issue #1 tale features two of the current team members, the sentient, trigger-happy raccoon named Rocket Raccoon and the large, tree-like team member known as Groot.  The plot is very simple and fast-moving: when the pair try their hands at bounty-hunting at a spaceport, the table is turned when a hunted criminal puts-out a fake bounty on Rocket Raccoon.  Hijinks ensue as our duo deal with the immense manhunt of Rocket Raccoon, before eventually everything is straightened out and our boys get on with their lives.

     This comic book deserves an average-quality positive review recommendation.  On the plus side, its a decent introduction for new readers to meet two of the Guardians members, and the shoot'em up Spaceport antics have a fun and entertaining action quality.  However, I was surprised with the overly simplistic and thin plotline. And I quickly tired of Groot endlessly repeating his only uttered line, "I am Groot!" every time that he was required to speak.  With the summer movie in the offing, I did expect a storyline that featured the entire team. And its also unclear as to whether or not this comic book is a one-shot title or the start of a new monthly series (I suspect its a one-shot). But for all I know, there are other Guardians titles out there that promote the wider team and connect more to the upcoming film.

     As a final review comment, the main feature story is followed by two reprint tales from old issues of Thor, featuring traditional Guardians players from their first 1960's-onward formation. So all-in-all, readers will certainly get their money's worth in checking out this very affordable three-story issue featuring Marvel's latest heroes to hit the silver screen!

Contest Winner Announcement!!!

     For the first time in a very long time, we didn't have a winner for our latest contest, which challenged readers to tell us in the running gag on The Late, Late Show With Craig Ferguson, what does Craig claim his show is called when broadcast in Japan.  The correct answer is "Super Happy Fun Time Hour With Robot And Old Man!"  Perhaps it was just too obscure a question for readers to find.  But it was worth a try!

New Contest Challenge!!!

     The Bongo Congo Panel Of Contest Judges realize that all good Boston sports fans are in the summer doldrums right now with our Red Sox dwelling in the cellar of the American League East Division standings.  Our other three major sports teams are also in the midst of annual off-season re-building efforts.  So your contest challenge this week is to e-mail us at no later than Wednesday, July 23 and give us a suggestion of a personnel move that you think any one of our four Boston teams-the Red Sox, Patriots, Celtics or Bruins-should make to improve their team. You could recommend one or more trades, acquisitions, etc. Just pitch to us a player or players that you'd like to see added to one of the teams or traded away to strengthen the team's chances .  Who knows, maybe the team will use your idea!  Please note that our $10.00 first prize 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 a great two mid-summer humidity and comic book reading weeks and see you again on Friday, July 25 Here In Bongo Congo!