South-Central Pennsylvania's Ultra-Hip Pop Culture Mecca™! Since its founding in 1988 by local fans Ned Senft and Bill Wahl, Comix Connection™ has served the Pennsylvania comic-reading community for over 25 years. From its humble beginnings in the old York Book Emporium in downtown York to its current globe-straddling locations in the West Manchester Mall in York and on the Carlisle Pike in Mechanicsburg, Comix Connection™ has always provided the very best in customer service, selection of neat stuff and attention to detail. Visit us today! Questions? Comments? Call or Email us! Of course, all images are © and ™ their respective copyright and trademark holders! No matter where you go, there you are.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Cody-Kenobi Reveiw#23: Crazy Eyes...

Warning!: Spoilers May Ensue

My Thoughts:
After my disappointment last week with Deadpool, I needed a little pick me up and I think I've found it--Batman: The Dark Knight #16. The last issue ended with Batman catching Scarecrow after he had attempted to immerse Gotham with his fear toxin. After Batman has made the cure with the antibodies of his own blood, he dispersed them throughout the problem areas in Gotham. Batman found Scarecrow and he was locked back into Arkham Asylum. I was wondering what villain would take the stage next, because we all know that Gotham will never know true peace. The villain this time, as you can probably tell from the cover, Mad hatter. The comic starts off with Batman flying from Wayne Manor in the Batplane to a crime scene where a kidnapping is taking place. People have been missing for weeks, and some turn up alive--and then again, some turn up dead. In the end, Batman saves the woman being taken. He isn't 100% sure who's behind the kidnapping. As we switch viewpoints, he realize that it's actually Mad Hatters doing. As far as I can tell, he needed the kidnappies for his "vision". What is that vision? Maybe we'll find out in the next issue, but as for now, beats me!

I would also like to point out that their is a new artist for this issue, Ethan Van Sciver. I feel that the Sciver's interpretation of Gotham and its caped crusader isn't as dark and gritty as David Finches (previous artist). Though its not the same, I feel that Sciver did a pretty great job over all. I was pretty impressed with the Mad Hatter, looking at his interpretation of the villain, you know its spot on right off the bat. Take one look at the Mad Hatter, and you think that guys bleeping nuts. Just look at those crazy eyes--reminds me of Mr. Deeds. So over all, congratulations on your first issue of the Dark Knight Mr. Sciver, you'll hear no complaints from me. I think it's alright to change the art up every now and then, keeps things fresh.

My Rating: 4.7 outa' 5

Till Next Time, The Tea's Just Fine.

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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Wednesday Highlights - 1/30/13

Here you go gang -- a brief look at just a few of the newly-arrived items on the shelves at Comix Connection this week:


AGRICOLA BELGIUM DECK EXPANSION 

-AVENGERS #4 NOW 

-BATMAN AND ROBIN ANNUAL #1


BATMAN UNLIMITED 6" NEW 52 BATGIRL, PENGUIN ACTION FIGURES

-BEFORE WATCHMEN DOLLAR BILL #1


RESTOCK -->> CAPTAIN AMERICA TEE CAPS NAVY T-SHIRT 


DC UNLIMITED 6" NEW 52 FLASH, HAWKMAN, SUPERMAN ACTION FIGURES 

-DOCTOR WHO PRISONERS OF TIME #1 (OF 12) 

-EMILY & THE STRANGERS #1 (OF 3) 

-GREEN LANTERN CORPS ANNUAL #1 (RISE) 

-INJUSTICE GODS AMONG US #1 

-INVINCIBLE #100 

-JACK KIRBY COLLECTOR #60 


MARVEL SELECT RHINO ACTION FIGURE 

-MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE ORIGIN OF HE MAN #1


ONE TRICK RIP OFF DEEP CUTS HARDCOVER BOOK

-PREVIEWS #293 FEBRUARY 2013

-SUPERBOY ANNUAL #1

-SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN #2 NOW

-TEEN TITANS #16 (DOTF)

And much more! C'mon in and see for yourself!

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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

I can't stop looking through these...

I recently ran across this huge set of photos on FLIKR...

Remeber Cyclamates?

Sadly, I do.

 From THE MUSEUM OF AMERICAN PACKAGING

 CLICK HERE to see them all!

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Monday, January 28, 2013

SUPES UP!

My pal Tom Hayes sent me the following:
I still can't find that bloody picture of my dad in the late 1940's with his Plastic Man surfboard, but I found a picture of Danny Dark, the voice actor, with his Superman board from the 1970's. I'm still going through boxes of photos; Plasboard may yet turn up....
Keep looking, Tom! I want to see a vintage Plastic Man surfboard! Too cool!

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Sunday, January 27, 2013

And now, your moment of Zen #723


I give you Compressorhead's version of BLITZKRIEG BOP:



You're welcome.

(More about Compressorhead HERE!

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Saturday, January 26, 2013

Coolest PC ever?

Check this out:

The Scan TARDIS, which has developed in conjunction with UK-based design house Head Cases, has been officially licensed by BBC WW Ltd and is a scale model of the time-travelling vehicle. It comprises 45 pieces of individually cut brushed aluminium which are painted with the official Pantone blue colour of the original TARDIS, creating a faithful reproduction of the original TARDIS. All the pieces are based on the original prop model and so recreate all the detail discerning Doctor Who fans would expect to see, from the blue beacon on the roof to the pewter door handle and period posters. The Scan TARDIS is 205 x 205 x 430mm so looks perfect on top of a desk or next to the TV in a living room.
Brought to you by the folks at Scan Computers... read more HERE!

I assume it's bigger on the inside.

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Friday, January 25, 2013

I forgot how funny this is

Since I recently re-watched WATCHMEN (who re-watches the WATCHMEN?) i was reminded of this hilarious cartoon spoof that came out back when the movie did... BEHOLD, Saturday Morning Watchmen: Too funny.

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Thursday, January 24, 2013

Cody-Kenobi Review #22: Slowstart for Deadpool Killistrated...


Warning!: Spoilers May Ensue

My Thoughts

Hello Everyone, seems like I haven't done this in a long time--so lets just get into it shall we? Deadpool Killustrated #1 wasn't as great as I thought it was going to be. You see I've been out of Deadpool for a month now and my addiction was strong, and this didn't really help that hunger. This issue and the coming issues take off where Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe left off. Deadpool has successfully killed, to my knowledge, all of the marvel heroes. He now thrust to kill classic literature characters that had inspired those heroes. The comic opens up to a gripping scene that grabs the reader, but then it goes into a flashback--for back story. While that is needed for understanding whats to come, I feel that it made the story drab, slow. Of course Deadpool has a few kills here and there, but those weren't enough to bring back my excitement for this issue. My only hope is that now that the back story is established, the next issue will be a lot more entertaining. (I did though, absolutely love the cover. It's superb, I really wish the whole comic was done with the same look)

In the end, my disappointment shines through...

My Rating: 2.8 outa' 5

Till Next Time, Call Me Ishmael.

Also, anyone that has read my other reviews--do you guys prefer the straight to the point review (like this), or my other reviews that have a few more sections (see Happy! review). Thanks!

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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Wednesday Highlights 1/23/13

Hey comic book fans... here's the latest sampling of what's on the shelves at Comix Connection this week:

-AVENGERS #3 NOW 


BATMAN ARKHAM CITY PLAY ARTS KAI BATMAN and CATWOMAN ACTION FIGURES 


DC BATMAN AUTOMOBILIA FIGURINE COLLECTION MAGAZINE #1 1989 BATMAN 


RESTOCK -->> DC SUPERHERO CHESS FIGURINE COLLECTION MAGAZINE #17 HARLEY QUINN 

-DEADPOOL #4 NOW 


DEADPOOL KILLUSTRATED #1 (OF 4) 


DOCTOR WHO TENTH DOCTOR PREVIEWS EXCLUSIVE GREY T-SHIRT

-FRANK CHO WOMEN HARDCOVER BOOK 02 

-GREEN LANTERN #16 (RISE) 

-GREEN LANTERN CORPS #16 (RISE) 

-GREEN LANTERN NEW GUARDIANS #16 (RISE) 

-JUSTICE LEAGUE #16


MARS ATTACKS TRANSFORMERS (ONE SHOT) 


MARVEL HEROCLIX AMAZING SPIDER-MAN


MY LITTLE PONY MY BAD BUTTON GREY T-SHIRT

-NIGHTWING #16 (DOTF) 

-RED HOOD AND THE OUTLAWS #16 (DOTF) 

-STAR TREK COUNTDOWN TO DARKNESS #1


STAR WARS OBI-WAN LIGHTSABER LAMP 

-UNCANNY AVENGERS #3 NOW 

-UNCANNY X-FORCE #1 NOW 

-YOUNG AVENGERS #1 NOW

 and much much more! C'mon in and see!

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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Sorry, no new post today, but I did get a car!

Wow, sorry everyone. No real post today. Sadly my 1995 Beater Buick Park Avenue dropped most of it's transmission early this morning on the way to UPS. With the help of my sister Karen, I managed to be back on the road behind the wheel of a 2002 Buick Century within five hours, at only the cost (for now) of the dead Buick as a trade-in. I love this country.    Behold the new Wahlmobile:


So long,1995 Beater Buick Park Avenue... you did manage to take the kids and I all the way to Key West last summer without a hitch, and for that I thank you. I hope your melted-down steel becomes something cool, like an Oscar award or a set of Wolfgnag Puck skillets, or Iron Man's left shin-guard.

Max and Lanie, Mallory Square, Key West Florida, under the only shade tree for a block.

You will be missed.

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Monday, January 21, 2013

Counter Monkey Review: TMNT - Secret History of the Foot Clan #1

WARNING:  May contain mild spoilers and will contain personal opinions.  (The views and opinions expressed in this review are solely of the individual(s) and are not the views of COMIX CONNECTION, its parent, affiliate, or subsidiary companies.)
I've checked, they don't have any of those.  Unless by "company" you mean "company: as in please hang out with me I am so, so very alone" in which case...no.  Stop asking.
The IDEA  (ongoing series spoiler alert! If you haven't read the current ongoing series...you have been warned!!)
Mutant anthropomorphic turtles, who are practiced in art of ninja...and teenage dudes...run rampant through the streets of NYC.  There are lots of people who are after them.  Angry resurrected ninjas, other furries...I mean mutants, grumpy scientists, evil brains, and loads of other folk.  They use their brotherhood (oh yeah, the are reincarnated brothers...like the human kind) their ninja skills, killer wit, and bodacious tag lines to fight all the baddies off.  Also, their biological father has been reincarnated into the form of a giant mutant rat.  Also know as an 'R.O.U.S." aka "Splinter."  There are also two kids of unknown age, Casey and April, who help the fellas out.

WriterMateus Santolouco & Erik Burnham

That said, this spin off mini-series, focuses on the origin of the hither-to, nefarious Foot Clan.  It takes place in the form of flashbacks from various sources.  A professor giving a lecture, Splinter...maybe Shredder himself?  And that professor, if you ask me, he might be more than he seems to be.  But that is just my opinion.

I'm really digging the various points of view continuing the overall narrative of the history of this secretive clan.  I can still hear the words of Judith Hoag in the '89 live action movie, "...the crime wave is reminiscent of something that happened years ago in Japan."

The writing is consistent with the current monthly title, and the characters feel the same.  The real divergence is the flashback sequences.  But again, it fits well.  Santolouco and Burnham are doing a fantastic job, and what they have put together has me hooked on a mini-series I was going to skip.

If you are a fan of the boys in green, in any iteration, but especially the current series, you will not want to miss out on this book!



ART (not including colors):  Mateus Santolouco
Adding not only his writing and storytelling to this project...Santolouco is providing the art.  And it is radical!

I mean he really gives a different feel and tone to the flashbacks versus the current story.  I feel like I'm watching a Japanese epic in this revealing story.  All the characters have their own persona and personalities clearly imagined on the page.  He brings a style and grace to the characters that I have been missing from the later issues of the ongoing series.

Just look at the image above and you can see vast differences in each of the turtles.  You can read personality, and character into each one.  Leo the protective and cautious oldest brother.  Raph the brawler.  Donnie's got the nurturing caretaker vibe going on and Mikey's got the youngest brother energy and enthusiasm.

The only complaint I will offer up about any of this.  It's minor...but major.  And it's just my opinion.  It doesn't spoil the book or the art.  I just don't like the over-customization of the guys' masks.  I think there is enough representation in the body language, and the other things they have worked into the art that the masks are kind of overkill.  But that's the only negative I will offer up.

I can't wait to grab the next issue after that awesome final page of #1


RESULTS:  4 out of 5   Bodacious Radical Gnarly Cowabungas!  

What?  You were expecting bossa nova?  Maybe Chevy Nova?  Just read the book dudelings!


-Jesse 'the scalp' Arnold

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Sunday, January 20, 2013

I got nothin' Part 392

Busy with the monthly orders and etc., so Here's a funny picture to fill the space:

You're welcome!

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Saturday, January 19, 2013

To Reach For the Stars and Find Yourself Wanting More?

A Review of Iron Man NOW # 5 by Counter Monkey Steve

Space...the final frontier. This is the location of the final Extremis kit, Tony Stark's mission continues: to find and destroy each kit to avenge the brutal murder of his friend Maya Hansen, the creator of the Extremis technology. Has someone used this final kit to go where no man has gone before?


Forgive the paraphrasing of Star Trek's famous opening dialogue. This issue of Iron Man NOW takes Tony Stark out into space, following a short flashback to his youth featuring a man who could have been Tony's mentor in the ways of science and civility and an even shorter conversation with dear Pepper Potts about why this Extremis kit was saved for last. Once in space, the flashback inevitably comes into play. The mentor featured in the flashback is the owner of the final Extremis kit. This man has used it to enhance the biology of himself and those aboard his space station. His crew is made up of a combination of scientists who have learned the art of thievery for the greater good and thieves who have become scientists. Everyone involved seeks to create a better form of humankind, a species that can walk the stars in its birthday suit without fear of decompression or death. This story ends as predicted, and the work aboard the space station is brought to an end. Tony lets the enhancements remain in place but encourages the scientists to work for what they want and avoid the easy path.

Tony returns to Earth, satisfied but saddened by his actions. He feels as though his friend can now rest in peace, but he wants to strive to take her work to the next level. Maya had wanted to share her work and her knowledge with all living things, and Tony feels that he has been thinking too small. After developing a new AI for his Iron Man armor and dressing himself in a new and improved suit built for space travel, Tony says his farewell to Earth and Pepper and sets off into space, acting as a prelude for the next story.

I continue to say this, and I shall continue to do so: Kieron Gillen knows characters and the proper way to write them. His dialogue is always fantastic, and even when he finds himself  writing a "been there, done that" story like the one contained within the first five issues of Iron Man NOW, he manages to hold the readers' attention, It is because of Gillen that Greg Land's artwork works for this book. The art fits the story, and the art is enhanced by Leisten and Guru's efforts on Inking and Coloring. Well done. Thank you, Mr. Gillen. I will keep reading Iron Man NOW, and I eagerly await your Young Avengers NOW series. (Fans of great comics: RESERVE NOW!!!!)

I give this final issue for the first Iron Man NOW arc a 4.5 out of 5 and give the first arc as a whole a 4.75 out of 5. Improve and enhance your skills, Land. Avoid the tracing, please. Keep it up, Gillen.

Until next time: Set your eyes upon the stars in the here and the Marvel NOW!.

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Friday, January 18, 2013

Just plain AWESOME!

I recently received the following email from my old pal and longtime fan Tom Hayes:
Hey Bill -- Any more I have to have a shirt with a pocket so I can keep my glasses on me. (I am seriously considering stealing your look, however.) This means I had a closet full of comics-related t-shirts that I almost never wore. I decided to take a whole bunch of them and turn them into a quilt for Olivia. You may notice a preponderance of Green Lantern themes, and a certain green and gold shirt from our favorite comics store. Olivia absolutely loved it, by the way, and she said if you wanted to put a picture up on the store site, it's OK with her. Or not. Anyway --Tom
BEHOLD THE MOST AWESOME QUILT EVER IN THE HISTORY OF EXISTENCE:



You are one lucky daughter, Olivia, and you Tom (and your wife too) are some cool parents! Very very awesome!  Thanks for sharing!

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Thursday, January 17, 2013

Star Wars: An Old Hope

You know, Star Wars and I haven't really been on speaking terms for a while (we had a fight about Mandalorians, it got ugly, there was hair pulling...and trust me, when a cinnamon bun gets tugged, it's no joke). But now, thanks to Aaron Allston, Timothy Zahn, and now Brian Wood, we may start to be friends again. We say hello when we pass in the hallways, maybe even sit together at lunch...

By which I mean to say, if you're a Star Wars fan -- even a lapsed or casual one -- and you haven't read the new Star Wars comic yet, you really should!


This story starts less than a month after the destruction of the first Death Star. The Rebels are trying to find a new homes, because Yavin was nearly destroyed by the Death Star, and they haven't made it to Hoth yet -- but it looks like there may be a spy in their midst, and it's up to Princess Leia to find out! She'll be helped out by Luke Skywalker and, no doubt, by Han Solo and Chewbacca, C-3PO and R2-D2, and Wedge Antilles; who else will make the team, we'll have to wait for further issues to find out, and I for one cannot wait to see what happens!

You don't need to know anything about Star Wars beyond the movies, because most of the Expanded Universe hasn't even happened yet. If you do know the EU, you'll be excited to see people like Mon Mothma and Wedge Antilles in decent roles. And, no matter how well-versed you are in your Star Wars knowledge, you're bound to be excited by seeing so many X-Wings...and by one pilot's surprising versatility flying a ship that's always been her brother's claim to fame.

Before I jump to hyperspace, let me add one quick word about the artwork: this series has covers by Alex Ross, and those are of course beautiful. The interiors are being handled by Carlos D'anda, who I think does a very nice job. The art it loose and cartoony enough so that you don't feel like you're reading a book of photographs or traced images, but there's enough detail to anchor the story in the reality of Star Wars. The characters are recognizable as their actors (especially Han, who's difficult to draw well), the ships and weapons are technologically accurate, the Wookiee gratifyingly doesn't look anything like a teddy bear, and everything has that battered, used quality that has always so defined this galaxy far, far away. Jan Duursema remains my favorite Star Wars artist, but D'anda may well soon take second place on my list. I certainly look forward to seeing more from him -- and the last page of this first issue, without spoiling anything, was particularly great!

All-in-all, a lovely issue #1, and a great start to what will hopefully be a very long-running series indeed. It's selling fast, but there's a second print due out in the beginning of February, so don't hesitate to ask us to hold you one today!

(And if you need more incentive...the cover to issue #2 shows a particular familiar helmeted bounty hunter...)

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Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Wednesday Highlights - 1/15/13

Well here we are again for another brief look at what's on the shelves at Comix Connection this week. Let's get right to it!

-ALL NEW X-MEN #6 NOW


AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 20OZ CERAMIC STEIN 


AMAZING SPIDER-MAN ORIGIN STORY, CAPTAIN AMERICA JOINS THE MIGHTY AVENGERS, MIGHTY AVENGERS AN ORIGIN STORY HARDCOVER BOOKS 

-BATGIRL #16 (DOTF) 

-BATMAN #16 (DOTF) 

-BATMAN AND ROBIN #16 (DOTF) 


BLACK BEETLE #1 (OF 4) 

-CAPTAIN AMERICA #3 NOW 


CLASSIC MARVEL FIGURE COLLECTION MAGAZINE #190 VANCE ASTRO, #191 CONSTRICTOR, SPECIAL GIANT MAN 


DC SUPERHERO CHESS FIGURE COLLECTION MAGAZINE #22 RED HOOD, #23 BATWING 

-INDESTRUCTIBLE HULK #3 NOW

-LIL DEPRESSED BOY #15

-MARS ATTACKS REAL GHOSTBUSTERS (ONE SHOT)


ONE TRICK RIP OFF DEEP CUTS HARDCOVER BOOK

-SAGA #9 

-SAVAGE WOLVERINE #1 NOW 


USS ENTERPRISE BOTTLE OPENER KEYCHAIN 

-TODD THE UGLIEST KID ON EARTH #1 (OF 4) 

-TRANSFORMERS SPOTLIGHT THUNDERCRACKER #1

 and so much more! Check it out!

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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Lovecraft...To the Extremis! A Review of Iron Man NOW # 4 By Counter Monkey Steve


So far, Kieron Gillen has written a fascinating story for Tony Stark. Take away the fact that we have seen this story before in a different manner for Iron Man, and you have an interesting exploration of Tony Stark's character. You are invited to see firsthand how far Tony is willing to go to avenge a fallen friend. Readers are treated to a display of strategy, stealth, and total decimation, with the final topic covered in this very issue, the fourth issue of Iron Man NOW,

We start the issue off with a a short prelude that introduces this issue's threat. Apparently, Tony might have to take a trip to Paris. For those who have been reading Iron Man comics for at least a few years, you know that the last time an Iron Man story took us to Paris, things did not go so well. Let's hope things fare better this time around.

Following the prelude, we see Tony sending another one of his conquests off, with Pepper looking on with contempt and exasperation. She wonders if all the women have begun to look alike, to which Tony responds that she looks nothing like the women he has bedded lately, as she is a redhead and not a blonde. To avoid bludgeoning her friend with something heavy, Pepper asks about the search for the remaining Extremis enhanciles. Tony responds by telling her that he must journey to Paris and destroy a total of thirteen Extremis infused devices. Concern does not attach itself to Pepper's conscience for long, as Tony takes the opportunity as a challenge and shows off his new and improved "battle armor" Iron Man uniform, a larger than life suit with a deadly arsenal. Off to Paris Stark flies.

Long story short: Tony finds that thirteen young women have been infused with the Extremis technology and then were made to be brainwashed by a Lovecraftian style cult. Begrudgingly, Tony kills 12 of the young women, as he finds that they have been transformed into irreversible killing machines. One woman survives the onslaught but appears to be tame and unaltered, with the exception of her skin. Tony returns home after leaving the woman in the care of the Raft prison's psychiatric ward. He neglects to tell Pepper so as not to worry her or cause her to feel sorrow for what had to be done. The issue ends with Tony saying that his life would feel empty without Pepper in it. Cute.

Once again, Gillen's script is not a problem. The story is interesting enough that it keeps me reading and will keep me reading the series. Land's art is as it is but still works for the story. Leisten and Guru have no trouble contributing to the book by enhancing Land's art as much as possible. I will keep reading, but I pray that we are not "treated" to another "Iron Man must track down stolen technology" story for at least another decade.

I give this issue 4 Extremis kits out of 5. Again, Land's artwork drags the issue down. It works for the story, but I have seen better artwork accompanying Gillen's writing. This series is not essential, but anything written by Kieron Gillen is well worth reading. His dialogue still manages to soar.

Until next time: kick back and enjoy some martinis with Tony Stark watching in the here and the Marvel NOW!.

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Monday, January 14, 2013

Manga Minute Mondays Part 4 - Hellsing

Manga Minute Monday Part 4

Moving on from noir, I instead want to discuss a medium that is very near and dear to my heart: manga. Manga is the Japanese equivalent of comic books, and more often than not a new chapter of each manga series will release at the same rate as each issue of a comic book series, if not faster. There are magazines, such as WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP, that actually publish a chapter each of sometimes 20 different manga series each week. Imagine a phone book sized comic collection that is released every week! That's a lot of reading! Manga is a deeply ingrained part of the Japanese culture, and within the past decade especially, it has exploded in popularity in the United States, along with its animated counterpart anime. Series such as DRAGON BALL, NARUTO, ONE PIECE, BLEACH, and more are household names. Each month, I am going to discuss a particular manga that I recommend. Not every series recommended is kid appropriate, but that doesn't mean they aren't still great series. This month, I want to talk about a series that has recently seen a revival in popularity thanks to a new release of its anime: HELLSING.


HELLSING is a 10 volume series written and drawn by Kouta Hirano. It is unique in that much of the series takes place in London, England. The majority of manga and anime series are set in Japan. London itself becomes an important character during the length of this series, but obviously, living entities make up the actual cast. We'll get to that in a minute. Breaking down the plot for this series can be done in 5 words: BEST VAMPIRE MANGA SERIES EVER! The series begins at a brisk pace and rarely slows down. The series does not sacrifice characterization for action and manages to find an easy balance between the two. The series focuses on the Hellsing organization, a supernatural agency assembled by the monarchy to protect the country against other worldly entities such as vampires, werewolves, ghouls, and demons. As the series progresses, readers are shown that there is a greater evil at work. As the evil makes its presence known, the stakes get higher, and $#@% hits the fan. Our main cast of characters will be introduced week to week in this column. Column 4 will focus on some of the main foes that Alucard must face down from the Millennium group before the final confrontation with the Major.

"Just what in the world is Millennium?!", you ask. Did you forget to read the third colum? *sigh* Well, to explain that, I need to reference World War II. Adolf Hitler's Nazi party sought to found a new kingdom. They would call this kingdom the Thousand Year Reich. A millennium equals one thousand years. The Millennium group was, in Hellsing, one of Hitler's various attempts to prolong his rule through experimentation. Millennium dealt specifically with the supernatural and the occult. Alucard and Walter were said to have completely decimated Millennium and brought their organization to an end, but it appears that this was an exaggeration.


Jan and Luke Valentine




Let's start off with some of the lowest of the low in Millennium's ranks.

Jan and Luke Valentine are two brothers who fancy themselves to be more powerful than they actually are. Yes, their arrogance far outweighs their actual power. These brothers had the audacity to attack the Hellsing manor in full force, hoping for an easy victory, With them, they brought an entire bus of ghouls and their own special brand of charm.


Jan believes himself to be quite the comedian and enhances his speech using the age old dialect of the gentleman. Translation: He spouts expletives excessively and makes as many adult and crude gestures as possible as often as he can. Though powerful in his own right when compared to your average human, he still sheathes his vampiric powers and allows the army of ghouls that follow his every order to do all the heavy lifting. He takes great joy in watching the decimation of Hellsing's forces...until he encounters Walter and Seras in the hallways of the manor. Even Sir Integra and the Convention of 12, the organization that allows Hellsing the authority into supernatural matters that it does possess and also grants Hellsing its government funds, manage to get a few good shots in at Jan before he meets his end. The only true contribution that Jan makes to Hellsing as a series, besides all of his over the top humor and violence, is the reveal of the word "Millennium" in an attempt to have his final word frustrate Hellsing. He goes out with a mystery...and a middle finger.


Luke is more refined than Jan, but he is also more arrogant. Where Jan races towards his death without a care in the world, Luke believes nothing can send him into the next world, even when he is at his lowest, Luke sees himself as Alucard's end and does not hesitate to invade his inner sanctum. After Alucard tests Luke's abilities, he turns on his charm and literally unleashes the dog of the underworld upon him. Seriously. Alucard releases some of the blocks on his power and transforms part of his body into what is best described as a Hellhound. Luke ends up as dog food, but he reappears unexpectedly later in the series as one of Alucard's many familiars.




Rest in peace, Valentine Brothers. You are equally amusing but also equally hopeless. Nothing could save you from your own doom.


Tubalcain Alhambra AKA The Dandy Man


Hellsing is a series full of rich and colorful locations. From the wonderfully historical land of Great Britain, to the Ermerald Isle of Ireland, Hellsing takes you where the stories decides it is necessary.


Following Hitler's complete and total defeat and cowardly suicide, many members of the fallen Nazi party fled to different areas of the world. In Hellsing, we venture to Argentina, one of the many countries that was used as a base of operations for a potential revitalization of the Third Reich. Alucard is ordered by his master to travel to Argentina with Seras Victoria and Pip Bernadette, a new addition to the Hellsing organization at the time and the leader of the Wild geese mercenary team, to eliminate any and all traces of Millennium. Alucard travels under the guise of a businessman in order to avoid alerting Millennium to his presence and to keep the general public in the dark. It would not bode well for the average man on the street to know that supernatural beings and Nazis bent on the extermination of life exist.


Unfortunately for our heroes, there appears to be a mole within the Hellsing organization or within the Convention of 12, Alucard is identified within hours of his arrival, The entire police force is revealed to have been convinced to cooperate with Millennium with the promise of eternal life. Tubalcain Alhambra AKA The Dandy Man arrives on the scene and issues a challenge to Alucard, after sending an entire SWAT team to their deaths, of course. The Dandy Man is one Millennium's most gifted lieutenants, but despite this fact, he feared defeat at Alucard's hand. He intentionally sent the SWAT team after Alucard in an attempt to weaken him. Uh...yeah. That plan did not work out the way he had planned.


Combat between Alucard and Alhambra commences outside of Alucard's hotel and advances to the roof, with the deaths of a few onlookers occurring between blows. Alhambra's weapon of choice draws a similarity to the X-Men's raging Cajun, Gambit. He uses weaponized playing cards. These cards do not explode, however, They have been developed to The Dandy Man's specifications and are sharpened to a point so insignificant that a microscope must be used to see it. Despite this, The Dandy Man stands no chance against Alucard and is punished for his failure, bursting into something akin to hellfire upon the Major's command to the Doctor. This does not prevent Alucard from adding him to his arsenal as a familiar as he slowly but surely absorbs Alhambra by drinking his blood.


Fare thee well, Dandy Man. You were just dealt a very poor hand.


Next week: The Millennium has arrived, Let's keep it going,


HELLSING is an absolutely amazing series, both in terms of the manga and the anime. Kouta Hirano wrote what I consider to be the best addition to vampire lore in the past 50 years. I highly recommend it to anyone just looking for a fantastic jaunt through the realm of the supernatural or anyone looking for a great story to read. The manga is only 10 volumes long and has completed its release in the United States, thanks to Dark Horse. The anime version I would recommend is called HELLSING ULTIMATE and has just seen a new Blu-Ray/DVD Combo release, thanks to FUNimation Entertainment. There are two sets thus far: one contains volumes I-IV and the other V-VIII. IX saw its release in Japan in January 2012 and X, the final volume  in this absolutely amazing epic, followed on December 26, 2012, meaning we will see a release in Fall 2013 at the earliest. Whichever format you prefer, you are in for one HELLsing of a ride.



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Counter Monkey Review - Morbius #1 AND! New Avengers #1 by Jesse "the scalp" Arnold

WARNING:  May contain mild spoilers and will contain personal opinions.  (The views and opinions expressed in this review are solely of the individual(s) and are not the views of COMIX CONNECTION, its parent, affiliate, or subsidiary companies.)  I've checked, they don't have any of those.  Unless by "affiliate" you mean "actuary" in which case, I have no idea what that is without looking it up.


Morbius: The Living Vampire
Well, if you haven't picked up Morbius #0, I mean Amazing Spider-Man #699.1, let me tell you what you missed...nothing that can't be caught up on in this issue.  Maybe a pinch of drama.  Michael Morbius, a once sickly child, cured himself of his disease and mopes around New York  NOW!    He's a good guy, but he's a bad guy...I'm as confused about his allegiance as he and the writers seem to be.  He looks like a really pasty Chris Angel (is he still around...or are my pop culture references waning?)  Morbi is usually depicted as having that piggish-bat nose...even on the cover...but inside he's got the full cartilage going on his beak.

He's escaped the superpower prison "the Raft" and is hanging about New York with some unspecified business to attend to.  So, he takes the advice of a homeless guy(?) and goes to Brownsville to "lay low" for a few days.  So he gets picked on and gets involved trying to be salt of the earth.

It doesn't go well for him.  And as far as my attention span goes...I won't be finding out what happened.  With all of the characters in Marvel's stable, and potential for new plots and arcs out there...Morbius made the  NOW!   list.  If you read this, and it gets better, let me know!  I don't mind being told I was wrong.  Especially if it's somewhere you don't expect.

I don't have much to say about the artwork.  It wasn't bad, but it didn't capture my attention either.  I will say I'm glad he's out of his pointy collared get up.  At least for the time being.  For my money, I'd sooner read his little adventure in 2011/12's "Legion of Monsters" Mini-series, with Elsa Bloodstone.

Results2 out of 5  Poor Decisions After Escaping Prison 


New AvengersThe first page really captures my attention.  I want to find the story it's taken from.  It's a gathering of what you could assume are the smartest and brightest men in the Marvel Universe.  The "Illuminati."  And they are challenged by Black Panter, who tells them to walk away from what they are about to do.  It's quite a powerful scene.

 NOW!  we cut to Wakanda, home of Black Panther, as some young folk with tribal garb...and high tech gear seem to be finishing a contest of some kind.  Black Panther shows up and gives them a great speech about how they are the future and all that graduation type stuff.  Then, horrible things start to happen as some sort of portal opens and some sort of intergalactic wrecking crew lead by a woman designated "Black Swan" asks BP a threatening question.

I have to say, I wasn't expecting this issue to really do anything for me.  But the art and writing really got my attention.  I'm really curious to see what happens next and if the Illuminati are going to stick to their apparent "boys club" roster or will they open up to the ranks of really smart Marvel gals out there.

The story is what grabs me more in this book.  The art is good, and I may come to grow to love it...but I'm not there yet.  There is a character revealed in the final pages that I'm beginning to wonder if Marvel is giving this guy a break or if they plan on turning him into the next Wolverine.  As much as I love the little Canuck...let some teams stand on their own, and keep him grumpy and slashy.

Results
3.25 out of 5  Framed Marvel U Degrees/Doctorates 


Maybe...Morbius should join them smart fellas on the New Avengers?

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Sunday, January 13, 2013

Counter Monkey Review - Aquaman #15 by Jesse "the scalp" Arnold

WARNING:  May contain mild spoilers and will contain personal opinions.  (The views and opinions expressed in this review are solely of the individual(s) and are not the views of COMIX CONNECTION, its parent, affiliate, or subsidiary companies.)
I've checked, they don't have any of those.  Unless by "subsidiary" you mean "subliminal messaging" in which case, yes I would like to buy twelve of those.
The IDEA
Arthur Curry (and now I'm hungry for Thai food,) is part man, part aqua.  No.  That's not it.  He's part human, part Atlantean.  He's King of the Seven Seas, kinda like Posiedon or Neptune depending on your mythology of choice...only not really like them at all.  He talks to fish, kinda.  He eats seafood (no, that's not cannibalism.)  He swims pretty fast, and he's strong.  And likes to sling around a giant golden trident with more than three points.  And he's doing it all   NOW!    Nope.  Wrong.  He's doing it all...New 52 (or have they dropped that now?)

WriterGeoff Johns
Hmm.  What can I say about Johns.  Well, I think I'm finally reading a story that I'm interested in.  Scratch that.  I've loved what he's been doing since The New 52 launch and his work on Aquaman up to now.  The first story arc especially.  The 2nd one "The Others," had me a little confused (as most of Johns work seems to do,) but it was still good, and I shall reread it all in one sitting at some point to uncloud the waters, as it were.

But for some reason, John's seems to be really good with this character.  I like where both Aquaman and Justice League #15 are taking us for this Throne of Atlantis story arc.  But I'll leave the League comments for a separate review.

For now, lets say Johns has a good grasp on the fish king, and I think he's got a great comeback already well underway.



PENCILS:  Ardian Syaf
I'm impressed.  I can't think of anything I've really looked at that Syaf has done.  But my attention is captured.  I really like his style.  It's a nice replacement for the departing Reis (who isn't completely leaving the watery royal, just taking over pencils on Justice League!)

Syaf has nice clean lines and is a good companion to Reis, in keeping a similar look and weight to the book.  Which works out really well for the Aquaman/Justice League crossover going on in the current and upcoming issues, "Throne of Atlantis."

While I've been impressed with the writing thus far, the art seems to be capturing my attention now.  I like Reis' work, but something in Syaf just gives me that little nudge over the like line.  (However Reis seems to have turned it up a notch or two on JL!)

Whatever the super pressure, super cold, depths of the ocean have for our fearless, and most awkwardly costumed hero...I'll be there.


RESULTS:  4 out of 5   Overuse of Scalemail Armor Awards   It's late, what can I say...

Just keep swimming, just keep swimming...

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Saturday, January 12, 2013

Cody-Kenobi Review #21, Happy! Holidays


WARNING!: Spoilers May Ensue
This Comic Is For Mature Audiences, Readers Discretion is Advised.

Bland Broad Overview:
On a train, pretty busy train actually. Pretty sure Christmas is close, everyone needs to get to their destination. Nick wants to go one place, but Happy wants him another. The past is revealed, and shows the years of wear and tear of a hard life. "His cheatin ways." Back to reality, bombshell information leaked. Nicks true purpose is at hand.

My Thoughts:You know, I had two other Marvel comics I could have reviewed, but they didn't give me the feel for the holidays. Now an on the edge ex-cop, and an imaginary horse, gets me in the spirit. Wouldn't a child snatching Santa Claus get you in the spirit too? That story continues in Happy! issue 3 of 4, and what a story its been. A ex-cop on the run and an blue horse trying to get that cop to do something good for a change. Nick's just out for himself, and cares about nobody else. He wants to get away to save his own skin, and could care less about the little girl Happy is trying to have him save. An argument between Nick and Happy ensues, (no one else can see Happy) and Nick shows Happy how truly UNhappy people are. This seems to drain Happy's energy and he disappears, but not before telling Nick that go buy the comic to find out.

This comic has turned from the "what the heck?" comic to "man this is great stuff." After you have a good idea about the story, a nice mental map of the story, you truly become engulfed. Unfortunately, for me, theirs only one issue left in the series--but publishers save the best for last, right? The artwork (Darick Robertson) is nice, this is the kind of art I like to see in a comic! The colors (Tony Avina) are what really bring the world to life though, I really like the contrast between the gritty, dirty Nick and the cartoony, giddy, blue horse Happy. The colors (as with Nick) give this world some grit, which shows the darker side of the environment and story. The dialogue (Grant Morrison--Writer; Simon Bowland--Letterer) is just as important as the colors in this comic. Of course this helps a reader understand the comic, but just the use of language by characters gives the reader a better view on the person as a whole. I had no qualms with anything in this comic, I think everything went as smoothy as it needs to go for the story to come to an end. One of my favorite Image comics thus far,  I just hope this last issue rips apart my remaining questions for the series, and they end it off right! (Drew Gill--Designer; Rian Hughes--Variant Cover, You guys rock too!)

My Rating: 4.8 outa' 5

Favorite Panel:
 

Seems Legit...


Till Next Time, This Is Cody-Kenobi on the Beat. Happy Holidays Everyone!

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