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Comic Review: Magnus Robot Fighter #2
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Magnus Robot Fighter #2
Written by Fred Van Lente
Art by Corey Smith
Colors by Mauricio Wallace
Letters by Marshall Dillion
Covers by Gabriel Hardman, Jonathon Case, Emanuela Lupacchino, Stephen Sevogia, and Ken Haeser
Dynamite Entertainment
Release Date: April 9, 2014
Cover Price: $3.99

In my opinion, Magnus Robot Fighter #2 wasn’t as awesome as the first issue, making it just plain awesome instead of SUPER awesome.

Writer Fred Van Lente uses this issue mostly for world building purposes. Previously, we met Will Magnus, got to know him a little bit, and then he was whisked away to a whole different world where his job was to fight robots. In this issue, we find out more about that world, how it works, what the rules are, and why Magnus is deemed a pretty big threat by this society. In keeping with the spirit of the first issue, Van Lente includes TONS of action and some great bits of story, all the while slipping in bits and pieces of how this world functions, what the class sects are, and some general basic knowledge of what this world is about. All of these things, woven into a really smooth flowing story.

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Comic Review: Star Trek – Gold Key Archives, Volume 1
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Star Trek: Gold Key Archives, Volume 1
Hardcover | Kindle
Story by Dick Wood
Art by Nevio Zaccara and Alberto Giolitti
IDW Publishing
Release Date: April 15, 2014
Cover Price: $29.99

The first Star Trek comics began publication under the Poughkeepsie, NY-based Gold Key Comics (which at one point or another in time held the comic license to nearly every popular show on television, from The Avengers to Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea) in July 1967, three months after the television show’s debut season ended. Since it was never a ratings bonanza, Star Trek had to rely on support from fans and critics in order to stay on the air and the exploitation of the property in multi-media aided the cause immeasurably.

The Gold Key comic proved to be a hit with readers, ultimately running for 61 issues – a 62nd issue was planned but went unpublished – and helping to establish Star Trek as a viable property outside of the cathode ray box. Subsequent titles in the franchise would be released by Marvel, DC, and currently IDW Publishing. In Star Trek: Gold Key Archives Volume 1, IDW, which has owned the Trek comics license since November 2006, reprints the first six issues of the Gold Key run that were released from July 1967 to December 1969 and presents them in a single full-color hardcover volume, complete with the original photo covers.

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Comic Review: Korak, Son Of Tarzan, Vol. 2
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Korak, Son of Tarzan, Vol. 2
Hardcover
Written by Gaylord DuBois
Illustrated by Russ Manning
Dark Horse Comics
Release Date: September 17, 2013
Cover Price: $49.99

A list of comic book artists inspired by Russ Manning would be a long one, and the fact that San Diego Comic Con gives out an annual award in his name is testament to that influence. Truly, Manning is a comic artist’s “artist,” one whose influence clearly exceeds his stature. Thankfully, the Dark Horse reprints of his Edgar Rice Burroughs works, as well as his own Magnus Robot Fighter series, are rectifying that.

Korak, Son of Tarzan, Vol. 2 is the second Dark Horse volume collecting Manning’s Gold Key Korak comics, and as with the first volume, these are original stories, written by Gaylord Dubois. They’re fun, imaginative, and move along at a brisk pace. However, as with those previous volumes, this collection is really all about the art. Simply, Manning is one of the medium’s masters. His line work is confident and expressive, and his command of the human (and animal) form is right up there with the likes of Hal Foster. Clearly, there wasn’t anything he couldn’t draw, and when one compares him with numerous artists of today who rely on photographic reference, that distinction becomes much more impressive.

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