Steven W. Alloway, Fanbase Press Contributor

Steven W. Alloway, Fanbase Press Contributor

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.

Love is in the air at Fanboy Comics! In this magical month of romance and enchantment, the FBC Staff and Contributors decided to take a moment to stop and smell the roses. In the week leading up to Valentine's Day, a few members of the Fanboy Comics crew will be sharing their very personal "Love Letters" with our readers, addressed to the ones that they adore the most.


Dear Hitchhiker’s Guide,

How do I love thee? I won’t count the ways, but if I did, you can bet there’d be 42. I’ve fallen in love with so many books in my life, more than I could ever count, but when someone asks me to list my favorites, I don’t even have to think about it. You’ll always be right at the top. You’ve been with me through good times and bad. Through Vogons and Pan Galactic Gargle Blasters. And, whenever I seem to be having tremendous difficulty with my lifestyle, you tell me “Don’t Panic,” and cheer me up like Eccentrica Gallumbits, the—OK, I’ll stop with the references now.

City: The Mind in the Machine #1 is an interesting beginning to what promises to be a fun series. Set in the near future, it depicts a security-obsessed San Francisco, under the constant watch of 40,000 cameras. It’s implied that this is practically Big Brother-level surveillance, and that it makes catching and prosecuting criminals a piece of cake—though, honestly, there are about 10 times that many CCTV cameras in present-day London.

As far as superheroes go, the original Captain Midnight was nothing special. I reviewed a collection of his adventures from the 1940s not long ago, and, while they were mildly entertaining, I was generally less than impressed. This new version, however, succeeds on all the levels where the original failed, and it got me invested in Captain Midnight and his adventures in a way that the original comic couldn’t.

Ladies and gentlemen, I am pleased to say that the Mr. Peabody and Sherman comic is back in full force. If you’ll recall, after a stellar beginning, the next couple of issues weren’t quite up to par. But, Issue #4 may very well be the best of the lot. The puns are terrible (in the best way), the stories are silly, the historical figures are clueless, and it’s packed with obscure references. I laughed and smiled my way through the whole thing.

Superman: Golden Age Sundays is a collection of Superman Sunday newspaper comics from 1943-1946.  Though, in many ways, the adventures are similar to the ones in the comic books of the day, they’re very different in terms of format.

If I had to sum up my feelings on The Illegitimates thus far in a single sentence, it would be, “Meh, decent enough;” however, that’s not quite enough for a review, so I’ll expand a bit.

Well, I’ve finally got what I wanted. My previous two reviews of the Peabody & Sherman comics both noted that one of the hallmarks of the original segment on Rocky & Bullwinkle was distinctly missing, and this third issue has it: famous historical figures behaving like clueless idiots. First, we have Archimedes being inundated with heavier and heavier objects while he obliviously tries to take a relaxing bath. Then, Isaac Newton has to have a whole orchard pelted at his head in order to discover gravity.

Doctor Solar: Man of the Atom sounds like a superhero name, followed by a descriptive nickname, like, “Superman: Man of Steel” or “Batman: The Caped Crusader.” But, in fact, that’s not the case here. The name of the superhero in this comic is, “The Man of the Atom,” and that name, in its entirety, is all anyone ever calls him, despite how awkward and, frankly, pretentious it sounds in general conversation. Whereas Dr. Solar is the name of his secret identity, a mild-mannered, brilliant-scientist-type person, who works in the top secret laboratory complex of Atom Valley, and who, apparently, has no first name. I would hope that if he does have one, it’s Adam, as it’s the only appropriate one for his character.

Misunderstanding Comics is a sort of parody/homage to Understanding Comics, the popular treatise by Scott McCloud on the art and style of the comic book medium. Misunderstanding focuses on exploiting that art and style in order to make boatloads of money. It explores reusing the same basic storylines over and over for years, pandering to your fans’ wish-fulfillment fantasies, and much more.

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