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Tony's Online Tips
Reviews and commentary by Tony Isabella
"America's Most Beloved Comic-Book Writer & Columnist"

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TONY'S ONLINE TIPS
for Thursday, August 5, 2004

Your friendly neighborhood Tipster has fallen and he can't get up. Okay, that's not entirely true.

I *have* fallen slightly behind schedule because of unusual demands on my time in other areas of my life. I'll pause for the perfectly understandable gasp of amazement from those of you who didn't actually believe I had a life.

Don't fret, my frantic ones. I wouldn't dream of leaving you utterly TOT-less even for a day. So, today, you just get one short review. Tomorrow, I'll be back up to speed.

Here's the review. Don't blink or you'll miss it.

Dr. Chaos

Forcewerks came out swinging on Free Comic Book Day. I'd not given high marks to the publisher's "B.A.B.E. Force" comics in the past, but I was impressed by the care and enthusiasm they put into DR. CHAOS' COMIC CORNUCOPIA, a sampler issue which flipped over to reveal the B.A.B.E. FORCE: JURASSIC TRAILER PARK PREQUEL, a prequel - well, duh, Isabella - to the mini-series which will be on sale in comics shops this month.

Some of writer Kurt Kushin's concepts are pretty funny, even bordering on brilliant. A villain who plans to conquer the world through lower prices for the consumer. A suburban mall security guard who moonlights as a secret agent. A demented villainess, the sister of the "lower prices" mastermind. But, too often, the art and the execution don't live up to his ideas.

The best thing in this flip-book sampler was the solo story starring security guard "Edison" Jones, a church-going man with a sense of duty and a sense of humor. Artist Robert Villabona did a decent job telling the story in a straightforward manner. I also enjoyed the sampler's text pieces, which included a Playboy-style interview with Dr. Chaos and an advice column written by his sister Helga. Funny stuff.

What I liked least were the two "B.A.B.E. Force" stories. The clueless, overly destructive heroines don't amuse me. Just as bad, the artist of the tales doesn't appear to grasp basic storytelling concepts. On one page, the action moves from panel 2 (upper right) to panels 4 and 5 (the lower tier) and then back up to panel 3 (the middle tier).

There is a reason it's called *sequential* art.

The sampler shows promise, but Forcewerks needs to work on and correct these B.A.B.E. Force weaknesses before I'd feel comfortable recommending the title to others.

This one picks up two out of five Tonys.

Tony Tony

B.A.B.E. Force

That's all for now. Thanks for spending part of your day with me. I'll be back tomorrow with lots more stuff.

Tony Isabella

<< 08/04/2004 | 08/05/2004 | 08/06/2004 >>

Discuss this column with me at my Message Board. Also, read Heroes and Villains: Real and Imagined and view my Amazon Wish List.

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THE "TONY" SCALE

Zero Tonys
ZERO: Burn your money before buying any comic receiving this rating. It doesn't *necessarily* mean there's absolutely nothing of value here - though it *could* - but whatever value it might possess shrinks into insignificance before its overall awfulness.

Tony
ONE: Buy something else. Maybe I found something which wasn't completely dreadful in the item, but not enough for me to recommend it when there are better comics available. I only want what's best for you, my children.

TonyTony
TWO: Basic judgment call. I found some value, but not enough to recommend it. My review should give you enough info to decide if you want to take a chance on it. Are you feeling lucky today, punk? Well, are you?

TonyTonyTony
THREE: This denotes something I find perfectly respectable. There are better books out there, but I wouldn't regret buying this item. Based on my review, you should be able to determine if it's of interest to you. Let the Force guide you.

TonyTonyTonyTony
FOUR: I recommend anything earning this rating. Unless you don't like the genre, subject matter, or past work of the creators, I believe you'll enjoy this item. Isn't it uncanny how I can look right into your soul that way?

TonyTonyTonyTonyTony
FIVE: Anything getting this rating is among the best comicdom has to offer. You should buy/read this, even if the genre/subject matter doesn't appeal to you. It's for your own good. Me, I live for comics and books this good...but not in a pathetic "Comic-Book Guy" sort of way.



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