Archive for the ‘Thanksgiving’ Category

JSA Classified #33

December 8, 2010 1 comment

December 30, 2007

JSA Classified #33 (DC Comics)
By Junior Thomas, Staz Johnson, Mike Norton, Scott Kolins

This two-part Green Lantern story wraps up pretty well this issue. Vandal Savage’s attack on Thanksgiving has led to the immortal stealing much of the Starheart power from Alan Scott, using the life-essense of a nearby child to create a “puppet” for his attack — a duplicate of Alan’s deceased daughter, Jade. Alan is forced to face his own child while Savage makes his play. This was a decent enough story, if not a great one. Alan Scott is still one of the best characters in DC’s old guard, but Vandal Savage is a bit played out as an enemy. While Jade’s story packs some nice emotion, the reader doesn’t really believe there’s a chance she’ll return here. I liked this issue, and the Christmas Eve epilogue is nice enough, but I’m really more looking forward to next issue’s Hourman/Liberty Belle story.
Rating: 7/10


Chew #15

December 5, 2010 Leave a comment

December 5, 2010

Title: Just Desserts Part 5
John Layman
Rob Guillory
Rob Guillory w/assists by Steven Struble
John Layman
Rob Guillory
Image Comics

On Thanksgiving, Savoy sits down to a particularly gruesome dish, while Tony comes home to the most uncomfortable Thanksgiving ever. This issue expands the cast of this book considerably, introducing us to Tony’s entire (rather large) family, and quickly establishing the bizarre family dynamics that rule over Casa Del Chu.

Previously, of course, we’ve encountered Tony’s older brother, but this issue brings in a pair of sisters, another brother, and more, all of whom come with their own baggage and gripes, some of which are aimed at Tony directly. You’d think things would get better when John and Amelia join the party, but things quickly get even more uncomfortable and, consequently, hilarious. Perhaps it’s just because so many of our own families are hopelessly dysfunctional, but seeing any group with as many issues as the Chus have makes our own problems seem a little less crazy.

The climax of this issue is a tad confusing at first, to be honest, because it’s a little unclear whether we’re seeing some sort of funky sound effect or if the phenomenon in the sky is actually visible (a legitimate problem in comic books), but the context of the final page makes it clear that the Chu clan can actually see the same thing that we all can, and it’s probably not a good thing, judging by the looks on their faces. It’s an odd place to end the volume, but if cliffhangering is good enough for we monthly readers, then dammit, it’s about time some of those “wait for the trade”-ers got a taste of the same medicine.

Rob Guillory’s designs for the Chus are wonderful. Each character has his or her own unique look that immediately sets them off from the rest of the family, while at the same time keeping certain familial traits and characteristics that clearly show that they’re all related. The facial expressions, particularly on the last page, are priceless, and tell the story of the characters emotionally very well. And let’s hear it for a fantastic tri-fold cover, the perfect compliment for this horrifyingly satisfying Thanksgiving tale.

Rating: 8/10

JSA #54

November 25, 2010 Leave a comment

November 9, 2003

Quick Rating: Very Good
Title: Virtue, Vice and Pumkpin Pie

The Justice Society and Justice League again try to enjoy a Thanksgiving without incident. It wouldn’t be much of a story if they succeeded, would it?

Writer: Geoff Johns
Pencils: Don Kramer
Inks: Keith Champagne
Colors: John Kalisz
Letters: Jared K. Fletcher
Editor: Peter Tomasi
Cover Art: Carlos Pacheco & Jesus Merino
Publisher: DC Comics

In a sort-of-sequel to last year’s JLA/JSA: Virtue and Vice graphic novel (which is not required reading for this issue), the two superhero teams, along with several members of their extended families, again come together in the hopes of a peaceful Thanksgiving dinner. Johns takes a real chance in this issue, splicing scenes of straight comedy in with scenes of real character development and progression of several subplots. It makes for a highly entertaining read. Some scenes, such as the interaction between Impulse and Jakeem Thunder (this issue clearly takes place before the current Teen Titans series, which is a little odd since Johns writes both books, but that’s a minor quibble) are laugh out loud funny. Some, like Stargirl’s reaction to the seating arrangements, make you smack your forehead in exasperation.

Some are just really good – Dr. Mid-Nite’s confrontation with Black Canary, the obvious attraction between Hourman and Jesse Quick… the big plus this title has over its sister book, JLA, is that Johns is the sole custodian of most of these characters, and therefore has much more freedom to develop them as characters, delve into their personal lives, and tell really great stories. Even with that particular handcuff on him, this book makes me wish DC would give him a crack at the regular JLA title.

Kramer’s artwork is good, but seeing the artwork of the original Virtue and Vice team of Carlos Pacheco and Jesus Merino on the cover makes you wish they could have done the whole book. Their work on Arrowsmith these days is spectacular, and they really should be full-time on a major title.

Holiday-themed comics always run the risk of becoming too schmaltzy. This one doesn’t. It just tells a good, sweet and solid superhero comedy.

Rating: 8/10

PVP (2003 Series) #21

November 24, 2010 Leave a comment

December 28, 2005

Quick Rating: Great

Let’s go LARPing!

Writer: Scott Kurtz
Art: Scott Kurtz
Cover Art: Scott Kurtz
Publisher: Image Comics

Another bundle of PVP strips this month, and Scott Kurtz takes us straight through the holidays with four stories, all of which are a lot of fun. First up, Cole recruits the PVP gang – along with Fanboy – to join in a Live Action RolePlaying (LARP) game. Each of them selecting characters based on their outstanding attributes (“Ninja!”), they head out for an afternoon of fun… until a few other role-playing groups stumble into the park. This is a good old-fashioned PVP story – a geek situation mixed with a sitcom set up with a fantastic, hysterical punchline. When I hit the strip that set up the conclusion of the story, even having read this before on, I still nearly bust a gut laughing.

Afterwards, Kurtz gives us three short stories that gets us through the end-of-the-year Holiday Trifecta. In a Halloween tale, Cole not only gets bitten by a werewolf, but winds up infecting almost the entire staff – except for a jealous Francis, who actually wants to get bitten. Next are a few short pages where Skull holds a drawing to see which of his co-workers gets to take him home for Thanksgiving. (Here’s a hint – all of the pieces of paper in the hat say Brent Sienna.)

And finally we have last year’s Christmas storyline, when Brent and Cole challenge each other to see who has the most holiday spirit, leading straight up into the world’s worst Christmas pageant. Fortunately for us, it’s also one of the funniest. This issue also gives us my all-time favorite PVP quote – a despondent Brent, trying to escape the Christmas music, declaring, “You Kringled my iPod.”


This issue really is PVP at its best. A great lead story with funny, funny jokes leading up to a wonderful climax, then a bunch of short stories, each with a lot of yucks in their own right. Plus, each issue is really well self-contained I love this comic, and this issue is a perfect example of why.

Rating: 9/10

JSA Classified #32

November 21, 2010 Leave a comment

JSA Classified #32 (DC Comics)
By Junior Thomas, Staz Johnson & Scott Kolins

It’s a week late for Thanksgiving, but it look like DC managed to work in the JSA’s annual adventure after all. Green Lantern is depressed at the idea of facing another holiday without his daughter, Jade, but decides to join in with the Flash and Wildcat as they take a ride in the Thanksgiving Day Parade. The parade gets shaken up, though, when Solomon Grundy attacks. Thomas plays nicely with Alan scott’s emotions here, using a very real depression that most anyone can relate to as the anchor for his story. The only weak point is in a choice of villains that feels slightly overdone — although when you consider how few truly legendary JSA villains are still up and around, I suppose it’s unavoidable. And it’s certainly an improvement from the last arc on this book. Not great, but for a Thanksgiving story, it’s not bad.

Rating: 7/10

PVP (2003 Series) #12

October 4, 2010 Leave a comment

December 10, 2004

Quick Rating: Very Good

It’s Halloween (and Thanksgiving) at PVP!

Writer: Scott Kurtz
Art: Scott Kurtz
Cover Art: Scott Kurtz
Publisher: Image Comics

PVP recovers nicely from last issue’s rather… creepy… climax, and it’s making up for lost time, trying to catch up. So yeah, it’s the Halloween issue late, but it comes only a few weeks after last issue, which was right on the heels of the one before it. Scott Kurtz is clearly serious about bringing this book on a monthly schedule.

PVP Magazine’s Jade Fontaine throws a Halloween party every year, much to the chagrin of her boyfriend, Brent Sienna. This year’s party has a few uninvited guests, though – aliens out to study human life. Instead of humans, though, they get Brent.

Kurtz follows up this story with a few Thanksgiving quickies, then a second (and even funnier) story about Brent feeding Jade a smoothie spiked with an aphrodisiac, with predictably funny results. Kurtz always packs a ton of comedy into these comics, and as always, he skewers a ton of sources. From pop culture (from Hellboy to ALF to I Dream of Jeannie to Anime), to trends sucker in the gullible. He’s got his favorite targets, and he has no problem with pounding ‘em.

Aaron Williams returns with a few more pages of Full Frontal Nerdity. This strip is starting to grow on me – at first it didn’t really seem distinct from any of a dozen other gamer comic strips, but the characters are amusing and the gimmick of having one character only exist through his webcam has really helped make the strip original. I’d like to see longer stories in this series – the four strips here are amusing, but one can’t help but feel there are more jokes that didn’t fit in.

I have to say, I felt terrible about panning PVP last issue, it’s normally one of my favorite comics. This month it’s back. This is the PVP I know and love. Now if only Kurtz can somehow squeeze out the Christmas issue in the next couple of weeks.

Rating: 8/10