Sunday, August 9, 2009

Comic Review: Hercules: The Knives of Kush #1 (Radical Comics) By Eddie R

More reality than Myth

Ever since the introduction of comics, there has been a version of the Greek hero Hercules in some forms or fashion. Either based on the myth, or modified to fit with the times, the Greek Demigod has had a constant presence in the comic world for well over 70 years. Different writers and artists have taken this classical character and placed him in some very unique situations. But for some reason, it seemed that unless the character was being used as a fantasy element, most of what was being written was very far away from where the son of Zeus originated, in classical Greek literature. This time around however, this is not the case.

Hercules: The Knives of Kush #1 opens with Hercules and his shipmates being attacked by Lycian pirates just off the shores of their true destination, Egypt. After a short, but decisive sea battle, they must abandon ship and swim to shore. Once there, they encounter a fierce battle taking place between Bandits and some rich Egyptian nobility. Seeing an opportunity, Hercules and his fellow crew mates dive into the action to help the Nobles, offering their services as mercenaries hopefully allowing them to gain safe passage through Egypt. But if the fates have their way, it may look like this meeting of two cultures is much more than what either side had bargained for.

As I read this book, I could see how the attention to detail, both in the art and the story, were being very true to the time period from where this story is taking place. I feel as if this story could be an untold chapter of the ancient tales of Hercules, with the way the characters have been portrayed here. But unfortunately, this incarnation of Hercules seems to be more of a man than a Demigod, which is refreshing to say the least, but it’s also a bit boring. I mean I am glad to see the character being portrayed as having brains and brawn, not just one or the other. But there seems to be something magical lacking which I feel I have grown very accustomed to (damn pop culture). I guess you could say I am used to this character being based more on myth, and to be surrounded by the mystical, not the literal.

The art for the book though is very rich. I have always enjoyed painted comics, and this one does not disappoint. The color pallet suits the time period for which the story takes place quite well, and the use of shadow and form only help enhance the experience, especially through the very graphic battle scenes.

If you would like to see a new take on an old character, and then by all means please give this series a try, but if you’re looking for more myth than man, I would suggest sticking with the version of Hercules you’re already familiar with.

Writer: Steve Moore
Artist: Chris Bolsen


On sale August 12th

Eddie R
Review Co- Editor

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Comics review: Star Trek: Alien Spotlight: Q (IDW Publishing) By Eddie R

Getting to know you..

What makes each of us unique? What driving force comes into play if you ask what qualities of the human race are the ones which make each of us stand out? Is it our experiences, faith, emotions, goals, or our determination? Scholars have been asking those exact same questions for centuries, and so has one noted alien within the Star trek Universe: the ever enigmatic Q.

In Star Trek: Alien Spotlight: Q, We join Picard, and the crew of the Enterprise E, just after finishing with an encounter with Borg, which has left Captain Picard a bit uneasy to say the least. On their way to the Vastak System for a diplomatic mission, a certain “friend” decides to pay Picard a visit. And his news (or revelation) is one which comes as no surprise to any Star trek Fan: Q still does not truly understand humanity.

Q has come to realize that for every attempt he has made thus far in understanding what makes us tick, it has been skewed in some way but the fact that everyone knew it was him, becoming a case of the observer being observed. But not this time around. And the lessons both Q and Picard get from this new experience will have both of them thinking twice about their views of each other, even if they won’t admit it.

The story feels like a typical episode from the final 2 seasons of ST: TNG. And to me that’s good. Many times I have felt out of sorts when reading comics dealing with the Next Gen crew, due to either the storyline or the art feeling out of place. I am glad to say both are matched here perfectly this time around.

My only complaint about the book though is it wrapped up too quickly for my taste. I would have liked to have seen more of a serious development with Q’s newest experiment on humanity. Kind of like a cause and effect scenario, where ones actions would lead to great consequences. Perhaps Q should have stuck it out more before ending it? Or perhaps Picard should have been less involved as an adviser to Q when dealing with the issues at hand, and let the chips fall where they may? Either way, the book was still an enjoyable read, and one worth picking up.

Writer (s): Scott Tipton & David Tipton
Artist: Elena Casagrande


Eddie R
Review Co-Editor

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Toy News: Mezco Toys”R”Us Exclusive Hellboy Mez-Itz Inducted Into Geppi’s Toy Museum

The world famous Geppi's Entertainment Museum has a new edition to its collection; Mezco’s Toys”R”Us exclusive Hellboy Mez-Itz figure.

Mezco, one of the first US companies to produce urban vinyl toys, unveiled its new line of six inch tall Mez-Itz figures at the International Toy Fair in New York in February and they are now available in stores. The first series, or “seriesOne” as Mezco is calling it, is exclusive to toy retailing superstar Toys”R”Us and consists of Hellboy and Abe Sapien as seen in the recent film Hellboy 2:
Hellboy And The Golden Army.

Mezco Toyz has long been a fan of preserving and displaying prototypes whenever possible. Several of Mezco’s King Kong, Hellboy, Family Guy, South Park, and Cinema Of Fear prototypes and concept sketches are displayed at The Museum Of The Moving Image as well at at the Museum Of Comic Art. So why Geppi’s Entertainment Museum? Its all thanks to the persistence of the museum’s Registar says Mezco’s Director Of Special Projects, Mike Drake. “Andy Hershberger from Geppi’s is very persistent.
He had seen our product displayed at other institutions and was very eager to display a bit of Mezco at Geppi’s Entertainment Museum. Once we learned more about the museum it became apparent that Geppi’s and Mezco would be a perfect fit!” says Drake.

Mezco has given the museum both a prototype “test shot” of the Hellboy Mez-Itz figure as well as a finished piece. They will be displayed together in the museum along with concept sketches of the design. “This is our first donation to Geppi’s, but given the positive reaction we have received, it will not be the last!” said Drake.

Geppi's Entertainment Museum (GEM) is a journey through 250 years of American pop culture, located in historic Camden Station at Camden Yards in Baltimore Maryland, just a few blocks from the city's famed Inner Harbor. The museum exhibits nearly 6,000 pop culture artifacts including comics, toys, dolls, games and memorabilia of every conceivable category. For more information on the museum visit:

For information on Mezco’s Toys”R”Us Exclusive Hellboy Mez-Itz visit:


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Movie Review: G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra by Rudy T.

G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra

The 80's Cartoon Classic bursts onto the big screen.

G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra is an origin story telling how Duke (Channing Tatum) and Ripcord (Marlon Wayans) join the organization. Duke and Ripcord are entrusted to guard and deliver nanobite warheads for NATO until their unit is attacked by The Baroness, who nearly escapes with the warheads until the Joes arrive. Duke refuses to give the warheads over to the Joes until General Hawk (Dennis Quaid) agrees to allow him to deliver the weapons to their base aka The Pit. Once there, General Hawk thanks Duke and Ripcord for the delivery but says they aren't needed anymore and begins to ask the Joes who were in battle if they knew who was trying to steal the warheads; which they don't but Duke uses his past with the Baroness to allow himself and Ripcord onto the team.As this is happening, weapons dealer James McCullen is preparing for a way to regain the warheads he's sold to NATO and use them to spark a war. He uses a tracking device to allow the Baroness and Storm Shadow to find the Pit and recover the warheads. With the weapons back in Cobra's hands, can G.I. Joe rise to the challenge and stop them in time?

As a child of the 80's G.I. Joe was one of my favorite cartoons as a kid. I had the figures and saw the animated movie so when I heard there was a live action movie coming out I was all about seeing it opening night. The story was solid enough, this being the first in a franchise they have to establish who's who, back stories etc; but my only problem came from the some of the CGI. I'm aware that the vehicles shown aren't real but it shouldn't be obvious. Ray Park (X-Men, StarWars: The Phantom Menace) turned out a great performance as G.I. Joe's mute ninja Snake Eyes, never overshadowing the other actors but commanding the screen during his action packed battles. Director Stephen Sommers (The Mummy) strength showed most while filming the flashback scenes of Duke in a war zone and if kept in that vein would be good for the sequel. All in all, a good summer popcorn movie.

Directed by: Stephen Sommers
Starring: Channing Tatum, Dennis Quaid, Marlon Wayans, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt


Rudy T.
Staff Reviewer

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