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Y’all read the last review of Apocalypse Al that I wrote, right?  Issue #1?  What with me whining that I can’t afford to collect another comic, and here I am all in love and shizzle?  Well, I just read the 2nd comic of the four-part series, and the story has changed.  So, get ready for a consistent review of me raving about the ridiculously entertaining series.

Spy fiction can be difficult to do successfully. Its well-worn tropes make it difficult to play seriously, but its already over-the-top nature also makes it difficult to parody—or at least, difficult to parody well. It takes a lot of talent and careful effort to craft a compelling, entertaining spy story. Velvet has been succeeding in that task with flying colors, though, and I’m pleased to note that Issue #4 is no exception.

Dear Fanboy Comics Readers:

The good folks at OSSM Comics (Xenoglyphs, Monomyth, Separators) will soon be releasing their latest project, Thaniel, which was written and created by Omar Spahi (Xenoglyphs) and illustrated by Terry Huddleston.  The publisher has been very generous to the Fanboy Comics staff and has provided us with a sneak preview of Issue #2 in advance of the April 23rd release date!

Terminator Salvation: The Final Battle #4 from Dark Horse Comics continues the ongoing saga of John Connor in his final battle against Skynet. Penned by J.M. Straczynski, with art by Pete Woods, colors by Matthew Wilson and lettering by Nate Peikos of Blambot, this issue delves more deeply into who and what convicted serial killer Thomas Parnell becomes, or rather, is transformed into.

I just finished my preview of Veil, the comic Greg Rucka (writer who has written everything – if you don’t know him, I refer you to Google – he’s kind of a big deal) with art by Tony Fejzula.  Anyway, this comic got me thinking, and I’ll tell you about what.

When Fanboy Comics is not providing you with the latest in geek news and entertainment, the FBC staff hopes to offer our readers a myriad of opportunities to give back to the community. We love reading comics, watching movies, and playing video games, but we are never happier than when we are able to help others in need. With Geeks Care: How You Can Help, FBC will provide you a variety of causes that would greatly appreciate your time.

The latest installment of Geeks Care: How You Can Help highlights Bill Mantlo, a legendary comic book writer for Marvel in the '70s and '80s.  While readers may not be familiar with his name at first glance, the recent popularity of Marvel Studios' Guardians of the Galaxy film has brought Mantlo once again to the forefront, as he is the co-creator of Guardians character Rocket Raccoon.  Like many talented creators who no longer have the opportunity to work in the comic book industry and who do not own the rights to their well-known characters, Mantlo has no way to afford the continuing medical bills that have ravaged him since a debilitating brain injury nearly 20 years ago.  While wonderful organizations like The Hero Initiative exist to support comic book creators, writers, and artists in need, Mantlo's story is an all too common one, and even The Hero Initiative needs the help of fans like you to give back to those who have given us so much.

Binary Gray comes from independent comics publisher Assailant Comics, and I am glad I was introduced to this interesting title, and even more pleased to say how enjoyable and entertaining of a book it is. The more I read, the more I wanted to read more.  Collecting the first six issues of the series, available both in print and digital at assailantcomics.com, Binary Gray starts with a small idea and then opens out into a larger story and world, and the results are impressive.  Alex Gray leads a less-than-unique life as an IT guy at a nondescript office.  In fact, the only interesting thing about him is that he is living in the past, trapped inside a recurring emotional loop of tragedy over his father’s death, for which he partly blames himself.  There is no enjoyment in Alex’s existence until a work accident gives him the ability to communicate with electronics using his mind, turning his whole world upside down and bringing more excitement, possibility, hope, and danger into his life than he ever could have imagined.

Cupcake POW! is an ongoing webcomic (www.cupcakepow.com) by creator Jody Houser who has written stories for several comic anthologies, including Womanthology and Skin Crawling Comics. Several of the best strips were compiled into two fifty-ish page collections, so readers who prefer to view their digital media offline or in bigger chunks can check out the cream of the crop in one place. It’s self-proclaimed a “comic created for girls about the things that girls like,” but the wry, slightly twisted humor could easily tickle the fancy of non-girl types, as well. Despite being marketed as being for girls, some of the humor is at least 13+.

“For some reason, the stranger reminded me of a scarecrow that had crawled from its perch in the cornfield. Every few steps, he glanced over his shoulder . . . as if he expected to see someone following him.”

From the moment the brooding Cole Jensen arrives at their farmhouse, young Birdie has a bad feeling about him. But, it’s not until the slaughtered rats in their barn come back to life and start dancing that she realizes there may be more to him than meets the eye.

Broken Icon ComicsChosen and Forsaken explores the currently popular zombie apocalypse and adds their own twist to produce a story that feels fresh and exciting, even as it retreads staples of the genre.  I had the opportunity to read the digital trade paperback which combined the first four issues of the main storyline with issue zero, providing insight into the major characters’ lives before survival became the only important thing left. 

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