To be honest, this week was kind of light. There was only one new comic and a reprint. (The third was more like an illustrated prose than a comic, and I’m still waiting to see the Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen movie before I read the adaptation.) As I write this I’m planning to see the Disney/Pixar Up movie this weekend. It looks like a fun flick. But in the meantime let’s look at the offering put up for the discriminating reader, such as myself.

Spoiler-free versions of all my reviews are available at ComiXology.

The Muppet Show #3 (Boom! May 2009)

The Muppet Show #3

PUBLISHER: Boom! Kids (May 2009)

WRITER/ARTIST/COVERS “A” & “B”: Roger Langridge

(cover “A” shown at left)

COLORS: Digikore Studios

LETTERER: Deron Bennett

EDITOR: Paul Morrissey

“ULTIMATE COMICS” & “HEROES CON” COVER: David Alvarez

An insurance agent arrives to inspect the theater. He won’t be able to clear the renewal without knowing what species everybody is, which spells trouble for Gonzo. Or rather, for Scooter, who must figure out what species he is. While the answer is never revealed, the gang find a somewhat more radical means to get the renewal. (Such as letting the agent get a first hand look at how safe Gonzo’s stunts really are. Of course, Gonzo ends up in the hospital.)

Classic skits include “Bear on Patrol”, another “Pigs in Space”, and the aforementioned Gonzo stunt. Original skits include a ballet with Gonzo and the chickens, and Gonzo again as “Gumshoe McGurk: Private Eye”.

What they got right: I do like seeing Gonzo get his own focus issue, and it kind of makes me wish the series would continue. The final spotlight will be on Miss Piggy (probably for obvious reasons), but I wouldn’t mind seeing some of the others get their focus, like Scooter, Dr. Teeth and the band, Rolf (I’m sure Rolf’s would be most interesting, although I couldn’t say why), and the other supporting cast regulars. Granted, Animal’s might cause a few nightmares. Also, a couple of cameos in the “Gumshoe McGurk” skit.

What they got wrong: Gonzo ends up in all but the classic skits (except for the stunt at the end), which Kermit and Fozzie never seemed to. Also, I thought the Gonzo origin was done in Muppets From Space, so even if you reject that as just another Muppet movie (which would mean all the other “Gonzos” still came from somewhere in the Muppetverse), it still didn’t need to be addressed. I would have rather found out why Gonzo does all these crazy stunts when he’s more Super Dave than Evil Knievel.

And yes, I’m still harping on the Kermit character model, since even the Muppet Robin Hood artist uses it. I made a little comparison to prove my point.

kermit_compare

At left, the design used in the Boom! Studios comic. At right, an old toy I have based on the actual Muppet.

Now my version may be a toy, but it’s a dead ringer for the actual Muppet, and I don’t have to rip off someone else’s site. Everyone wins. Notice that the Boom! version is shorter vertically and longer horizontally. It just bugs me, is all.

Recommendation: It may not be the insight into Gonzo I was hoping for, but it’s still a good story with a touching moment at the end. A sure bet.

EXTRA: Roger Langridge was the subject of an article at ComiXology this week.

Doctor Who Classics: Series 2 #7

Doctor Who Classics: Series 2#7

(collects comics from Doctor Who Magazine #67-69, 1982)

ORIGINAL PUBLISHER: Marvel UK

REPRINTER: IDW (June 2009)

WRITER: Steve Parkhouse

ARTIST: Dave Gibbons

EDITOR: Alan McKenzie

IDW COLORIST: Charlie Kirchoff

IDW EDITOR: Denton J. Tipton

DESIGNER: Amauri Osorio

“The Tides of Time” conclude as the “higher evolutionaries” are able to locate where Melanicus has hidden the Event Synthesizer. The Doctor and Justin find him in an old church on Earth, which is pretty much wiped out thanks to the “Millennium Wars”. Our heroes confront Melanicus, with Shayde shooting him and Sir Justin stabbing him. Shayde gets to go home, but Sir Justin turns into a statue. Or was he always a statue? With the Synthesizer back under the Prime Mover’s control, time is restored, the Wars never happened (makes you wonder where he was during the Time War, doesn’t it?), and the Doctor finds himself in a restored version of the church during his cricket game. St. Justinian’s Parish Church to be exact.

The second story, “Stars Fell on Stockbridge” finds a UFO nut who stumbles on the TARDIS and just happens to also be able to detect a derelict starship orbiting the Earth. There’s a presence aboard the ship, and the Doctor accidentally frees it. However, it’s not a threat, and the ship harmlessly burns up in the atmosphere, but the nut uses it to gain a bit of respect from the locals.

What they got right: Although the story itself is a bit odd, the ending is rather satisfying, and a rare example of the “Magic Reset Button” properly used. (Although a story set post Millennium Wars might be interesting, some status quos should remain.) The second story has many the good qualities of the new series episode “Love and Monsters”, without the exploration of the world of Doctor Who. It reminds us that until Russel T’s concepts, Earth is mostly unaware of the outer universe, so anyone who even tried talking of actual other planets would probably be seen as being a UFO nut themselves. I wonder if Sarah Jane is the only companion who had trouble re-adjusting to a boring old Earth life?

What they got wrong: Using other Whoniverse-based comic stories, like personal favorite “Abslom Daak: Dalek Killer“, Marvel US did a better job spreading the stories out in their comics than IDW does, and comics had more pages back in those days. I wouldn’t mind seeing those comics, and ones I’ve only seen in other collections, like the Daleks’ own comic strip.

Recommendation: A satisfying end to one arc, and a fun little stand-alone. Worth getting, and I hope more Shayde stories are re-printed.

The Phantom: Generation #2

The Phantom: Generations #2

PUBLISHER: Moonstone (2009)

STORY: Tom DeFalco

ARTIST: Don Hudson

COLORIST: Renato Guerra

PHANTOM GROUP EDITOR: Mike Bullock

PHANTOM CONSULTANT: Ed Rhodes

COVER ART: Doug Klauba

COVER COLORS: Jason Millett

COVER DESIGN/LOGOS: Anthony Schivano

PREPRESS/LAYOUT: Erik Enervold

The Second Phantom must rescue Marabella Colón, the daughter of a Spanish noble (whose grandfather was Christopher Columbus, whom the first Phantom’s father once served as cabin boy for) from a group of pirates building a fort on the Bangallan coast. Complicating matters is the fact that the locals in that region have had it with the pirates and are planning to wipe the pirates out. The whole time Kit worries if he is able to carry on in his father’s place, and I’m betting getting nabbed by the pirates didn’t help. Kit ends up using the native attack as cover to get himself and Marabella to safety. She has decided not to allow herself to be given in marriage to a man she doesn’t love by her father.

What they got right: As in the previous version, the art is well done, and the story holds your attention if you don’t mind reading text instead of a comic. I don’t recall ever reading a story of the second Phantom, so that alone gets my attention. We get a brief glimpse as to what every Phantom must go through: being sure he is worthy of carrying on the mantle of the Ghost Who Walks, which I’m sure gets harder with every generation.

What they got wrong: OK, so the whole series is a set of illustrated booklets. Fine, I’ll deal. However, last issue was written as if it was taken straight out of the Chronicles themselves, while this just feels like another, although enjoyable, story. I probably would have enjoyed it more as a comic or a Chronicles entry, but I still liked it. However, I feel like there’s an epilogue missing. We really don’t get a resolution to Phantom 2’s insecurities, even briefly. I guess those of us not at Ed Rhodes’ level of knowledge of Phantom lore (can’t say about DeFalco) are supposed to assume that Marabella end up being the mother of the third Phantom, but some kind of evidence that something connection was made between the two.

Recommendation: An epilogue page should be made for the inevitable trade, but otherwise it’s a good Phantom story, and worth checking out.

Best Scene of the Week

The Muppet Show #3

best_1stjune09_thumb

"And those last words would haunt me long past his funeral". (click image for full scene)

Not that there was a lot of choice. It would have been difficult to use a scene from The Phantom: Generations, and Doctor Who Classics is a reprint, and therefore disqualified under my rules for the Best Scene award. Tomorrow, the overdue monthly pull list will be posted.

About ShadowWing Tronix

A would be comic writer looking to organize his living space as well as his thoughts. So I have a blog for each goal. :)

One response »

  1. james says:

    great post…I love the muppets.. thanks

    Like

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