November 2011

Flash Gordon: Invasion of the Red Sword #6

by Alan Rapp on November 30, 2011

in Comics

flash-gordon-invasion-of-red-sword-6-coverFlash Gordon: The Invasion of the Red Sword ends here. I’ve found the latest mini-series from Ardden Entertainment more frustrating than the first but it’s had just enough moments to make me pick up the final issue which finds Flash Gordon uniting the various factions of Mongo to drive the Earth soldiers known as the Red Sword off of Mongo and back to Earth.

Once again the comic relies far too much on paragraphs of exposition and dialogue, especially from Flash and Zarkov. The actual battle only takes place on a few scatter panels between character discussions of the situation and flashbacks to Zarkov’s past and his connection with the leader of the Red Sword.

It’s not a great conclusion, but it does wrap up the main story as well as lay the foundation for the next mini-series which looks to have more of Ming and Queen Azura. Hit-and-Miss.

[Ardden Entertainment, $3.99]

  • Title: Covert Affairs – What’s the Frequency Kenneth?
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While keeping up appearances at her Smithsonian cover Annie (Piper Perabo) is approached by an agent (Tony Curran) of MI6, who, not knowing who Annie really works for, tries to recruit her to work for the British Government. Annie takes an immediate shine to Kenneth (Curran) and, with Joan’s (Kari Matchett) approval, gets her first taste of life as a double-agent.

[click to continue…]

Secret Avengers #19

by Alan Rapp on November 30, 2011

in Comics

secret-avengers-19-coverCaptain America, Sharon Carter, Moon Knight, and Black Widow go undercover in the East European city of Symkaria to uncover the source of what they believe to be the black market sale of Super Soldier Serum to the Shadow Council. What they uncover, however, is far more interesting.

It turns out the mysterious weapon being sold isn’t a drug at all, but magical properties of ancient creatures which can possess and enhance a person’s abilities, strength, and skill.

Intriguing story by writer Warren Ellis, and I like the twist when the team finds something they weren’t expecting. There’s also a nice scene between Black Widow and Agent 13 about whether they can trust the word of a guy who believes he’s empowered by an Egyptian god when he tells them the soldiers are possessed.

Warren Ellis is proving to be a good match for this book. I’ve only been disappointed with one of the issues since he took on the title, and I’m looking forward to see what else he might have in store for this team. Worth a look.

[Marvel, $3.99]

Usagi Yojimbo #142

by Alan Rapp on November 29, 2011

in Comics

usagi-yojimbo-142-coverThe rabbit ronin’s wanderings lead him to cross paths with a quartet of ice runners who he finds under attack by a gang of bandits.

After lending his help Usagi Yojimbo learns the from the remaining ice runners that they are carrying ice from the frozen mountains (in the middle of summer) for their Lord Ito who will present the ice as his gift to Lord Hijiki who will be visiting the province the following day.

Not only is the honor of the their lord at stake, but the Lord Ito has made a wager with Lord Motooka on his clan’s ability to deliver the ice, and, as Usagi knows far too well, Motooka doesn’t mind playing dirty.

Usagi offers his assistance to the remaining runners. Although he isn’t able to save their lives when they are attacked again, he is able to deliver the ice and save their clan’s honor.

Another great tale by artist and writer Stan Sakai. Worth a look.

[Dark Horse, $3.50]

Annihilators: Earthfall #3

by Alan Rapp on November 29, 2011

in Comics

annihilators-earthfall-3-coverNow that the Annihilators and Avengers have stopped beating the snot out of each other and taken down the base of the Universal Church of Truth on Earth they’re faced with a new problem. The Magnus has been reborn, his essence has been implanted in a group of human children and grows more powerful every second.

The two team’s quibbling on moral grounds about what to do with the children leads to even great problems when the Magnus imprints himself on 30% of the U.S. population and an army of Templeships show up to collect their deities.

Rocket Raccoon and Groot get the short end of the stick again, only earning a total of five pages here which sees the pair jumping through various simulations run by Mojo. (The ads for Rocket Raccoon and Groot action figures are a nice touch. Maybe someone at Marvel should actually get on that.)

With only one issue left it looks like both stories (even if the second isn’t being given as many pages as I’d like) look set to go out with a bang. Worth a look.

[Marvel, $3.99]