King: Mandrake the Magician #1 is the latest installment of Dynamite Entertainment’s miniseries starring all of King Features’ characters on their 100th anniversary. Previously, we’ve seen Flash Gordon, The Phantom, and even Jungle Jim! This time, the spotlight falls on Mandrake, and his turn in defending the Earth against the forces of evil. Will he succeed? Let’s find out!
Before Sesame Street and The Muppet Show existed, Jim Henson and his writing partner Jerry Juhl were still trying to find their way into bigger television markets. After finishing up their first television project Sam and Friends, as the foreword to this book explains, they began plotting out new programs and feature length films. One of the programs, a Thanksgiving Day special, never made it to the air. But enough of the original material survived and found its way into comic form.
The Musical Monsters of Turkey Hollow follows a young boy named Timmy who comes across a group of monsters that speak in music. They help him learn guitar, which astonishes his sister Ann as her lessons didn’t seem to be taking hold. They also cause a bit of strife for Timmy, and Mr. Sump uses them as an excuse to get Timmy’s family kicked off their farm so he can have it all to himself. Rabbles are roused, hijinks ensue, and at least two shots are fired (don’t worry, no one gets hurt) in this tale of friendship and song.
Lil Sonja #1 Written by Jim Zub
Art by Joel Carroll
Colors by Andrew Elder
Letters by Simon Bowland
Covers by Art Baltazar & Agnes Garbowska
Activity Sheet by Roger Langridge and Andrew Elder Dynamite Entertainment
Release Date: January 29, 2014
Cover Price: $3.99
Lil Sonja #1 is not only enjoyable for people who read the regular title, but it’s the PERFECT gateway for younger readers (both girls AND boys) to be introduced to the character. There’s only problem….
Writer Jim Zub pulls off a writing assignment that I can only assume was pretty daunting. Turn the She-Devil with a Sword into a playful little girl that goes on adventures. While clothed. Thankfully, he pulls it off quite successfully, all the while not dumbing down the character to make it unreadable for guys like me who’ve been reading Red Sonja since the early 1980s. It really is a classic “kid’s comic” like the old Harvey comics that could be read and enjoyed by both children AND their parents.
I’ve always likened the Paul McGann era of Doctor Who to be the transitional stage between Classic Who and Nu Who. Despite having only been in one television adventure, the McGann incarnation of the Doctor is interesting in that this 8th version of the Time Lord has had possibly more explorations in print than most of the other Doctors.
Despite my praising, I also often feel that McGann got the raw end of the stick in the Whoniverse – having only had one televised adventure and never since been given a chance to make an appearance in the modern series. (Come on, Steven Moffat; let him show up in a Multi Doctor story!!!)
So it was with great anticipation that I received the eighth issue of Doctor Who: Prisoners of Time, focusing on the McGann Doctor. Although it’s never specified how far along in his incarnation he is within the confines of this issue, the comic finds him arriving back in San Francisco in February 2000, to meet up with his companion from the TV movie, Grace.
Just like an old-fashioned short before a feature film, The Fez #1 by Roger Langridge (winner of both Harvey and Eisner Awards) offers up a sample-sized dose of action and laughs starring his charming title character.
This invisible (and yet somehow still dapper) hero doesn’t speak a single word in the mini-comic, but Landgridge has managed to fill The Fez with enough personality that he practically pops off of every page. The two vignettes showcased in this launch introduce a character that’s more chaotic neutral than your stereotypical action-adventure lead. In the first story, told from an enemy’s point of view, The Fez presumably rights a wrong and manages to nearly drive that foe bonkers during the process. Really, how could you not appreciate a hero who stalks his enemy (who may or may not be evil) and basically annoys him simply for his own pleasure?