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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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for Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Comics & Stories 2

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving - to be followed by this year's MID-OHIO-CON [] - and here I am still "riding the wild turkey" trying to get ready for both.

Somewhere on my Brobdingnagian list of things to do is "make list of things to do for Thanksgiving" and "make list of things to do for Mid-Ohio-Con."

I'm making myself crazy, aren't I?

Our opening cover is from WALT DISNEY'S COMICS AND STORIES #2 [November, 1940]. I'm a bit uncomfortable with the idea of Donald hunting and eating a turkey. But not as uncomfortable as I am with this creepy Carl Barks cover from WALT DISNEY'S COMICS AND STORIES #135 [December, 1951]:

Comics & Stories 135

Now that's just wrong.

While I phone the Duckburg's Child Services department, let's see what else I have for you today.



Dead@17: Revolution 1

DEAD@17: REVOLUTION #1 [Viper; $2.95] continues the adventures of Nara Kilday, who was murdered at the tender age of 17 and then got better. Let me crib from the very helpful "The Story So Far" information on the inside front cover:

17-year-old Dara Kilday was brutally murdered, only to be brought back as one of the "Resurrected," those who are marked from birth to be reborn upon death. The Resurrected are given access to great heavenly powers to aid them in the fight against evil.

In this new series, a demon walks the Earth in human form and is running for president, something perfectly believable given our current lowering of standards for that office. He takes a bullet to the head in the opening pages of this issue, but I bet it won't even make him cranky.

Dara and her mentor are tracking the demon. They run into an secret demon-busting group known as "Heaven's Militia" who seem to share their mission.

I love the cover of this issue; it's eye-catching and stylish. I think creator/writer/artist Josh Howard is talented, though he's got a tendency to move the story at a fast pace in his early pages and then bring it to a halt with exposition as the issue draws to a close. In short, he needs to work on his pacing.

I like DEAD@17, but I don't love it. I can't shake the BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYING-HIGHLANDER vibe I get from the series. There's even a "Giles" surrogate in the form of her mentor. I do think it reads noticeably better in the collections than in the single-issue format. It's a good comic book, not a great one.

One last note before I make with the floating columnist heads. Tucked away among the ads at the back of the book is a short text piece - "Raw Feed" - by Greg Gatlin. It's funny stuff and I'm glad I spotted it hiding there.

DEAD@17: REVOLUTION #1 gets three out of five Tonys.

Tony Tony Tony



Jughead's Double Digest 108

JUGHEAD'S DOUBLE DIGEST #108 [Archie; $3.59] was better than the average issue of this good-bang-for-your-bucks title with some noteworthy stories. Among these were a pair of Jughead vs. Reggie battles, amusing wordplay ("The Tip Off"), a funny tale concerning chain letters, and a pleasant examination of Jughead's love for his home town. Good stuff.

The funniest story in the issue - "The Game" - was hilarious because it really shows its age. In the reprinted yarn, Jughead's science teacher lets him take home a computer so he can get hands-on experience. The thing looks like a souped-up Atari and doesn't seem to be good for much beyond playing games. Dude, the Riverdale kids probably all have Dells by now!

JUGHEAD'S DOUBLE DIGEST #108 gets four Tonys.

Tony Tony Tony Tony



In its November 28-December 4 issue, TV GUIDE includes a pair of comics collections among its gift suggestions:

ASTONISHING X-MEN, VOLUME 1: GIFTED (Marvel, $14.99) will bring good cheer to Buffyphiles pining for producer and writer Joss Whedon's pop-literate banter. GIFTED collects the first six issues of Whedon's take on Wolverine, Cyclops, and their fellow mutants. STAR WARS: CLONE WARS ADVENTURES VOLUMES 1 and 2 (Dark Horse; $6.95 each), based on the Emmy-winning Cartoon Network series, provide comic (book) relief for fans who just can't wait for next summer's "Revenge of the Sith."

The magazine also recommends stocking stuffers:

SAMURAI JACK and THE BATMAN action figures come in several flashing costumes and have enough accessories to make Barbie jealous.

Samurai Jack costs $7.99 and is available at:

The Batman figures run $6.99 to $10.99.

Got comics-related holiday gift suggestions? Send them to me and I'll run them in upcoming TOTs.



Even I can't be right all the time.

When I came up with the idea for a series of INTERNET DEATH MATCH poll questions, I thought the balloting would go through the roof. Instead, the questions generated the least interest of any questions we've run. Sigh.

Here are the not-even-close results:

Who has the better website, DC or Marvel Comics?


I didn't vote on this one because I don't frequent either of the websites.

Which is your favorite comics news site: NEWSARAMA or THE PULSE?

The Pulse.....31.51%

I also didn't vote on this one. I think they both do okay jobs, but that they also both have a tendency to give way too much coverage to stories that amount to press releases. There should be clearer lines of demarcation between actual news, press releases, and entertainment/opinion features.

Which is your favorite gossip/news column: ALL THE RAGE or LYING IN THE GUTTERS?

All the Rage.....12.68%

This is getting old. I didn't vote on this one either. I read both columns, but their flaws are manifest. Rich Johnston's self-promotion - as opposed to my own - grates on me. One gets the impression that he can be bought and cheaply. I probably give much the same impression, but I, at least, believe my being blackballed by a publisher or three gives me some credibility.

Over at ALL THE RAGE, I would like to see fewer interviews and more gossip. One can find all the puff-pieces one could desire by visiting Newsarama or The Pulse.

If you e-mail me [] with a suggestion for one of these Internet Death Match questions and I use it, what do you suppose you'll receive in return?

Kudos in my column.....35.21%
Small token of my affection.....8.45%

These results wounded me grievously, o ye of little faith! I was prepared to bestow much largesse on anyone who sent me poll questions and choices I could use. It's getting hard to dream up new questions for the TONY POLLS page every week and I could really use some help. Sigh.

This week's questions seem to be attracting more interest as voters are asked to choose one DC title and one Marvel title which they would recommend above all others. Both questions offer voters the opportunity of a write-in vote. If you would like to weigh in on these vital issues, head over to:

The questions will remain active until sometime after midnight on Sunday night.

Thanks for spending a part of your day with me. I'll be back tomorrow with a special Thanksgiving column.

Tony Isabella

<< 11/23/2004 | 11/24/2004 | 11/25/2004 >>

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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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.

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.

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?

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.

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?

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.

Please send material you would like me to review to:

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840 Damon Drive
Medina, OH 44256

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