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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 Thursday, January 4, 2007

TOT is going short form today, something that will happen on occasion as I juggle multiple writing projects. For example, on my "to do" list as I write this are four columns of varying lengths, prep work for a fifth column, pulling together the research for a one-off comics script, and sending a request to the small board of advisors I've gathered to, well, advise me on what I hope will turn out to be my major project of 2007.

It's a good life if you don't weaken!



Front Line 7


Online comics fandom may be hopelessly biased in favor of DC, but I think Marvel's Civil War was the most exciting super-hero event of 2006, which is why I'm determined to catch up on the story before the end of the month.

Civil War: Front Line #7 [$2.99] arrived in comic shops the week of October 11. In this issue, Paul Jenkins ties together his three ongoing serials. In "Embedded" (drawn by Ramon Bachs and John Lucas), Daily Bugle reporter Ben Urich is investigating Tony Stark's ties to the Green Goblin, but he's also on the scene for the Jack Ruby-esque shooting of Robbie "Speedball" Baldwin as the reviled young hero prepared to address Congress. We also learn that Norman Osborn - the Goblin - has an ally unknown to Stark or the government. In "The Accused" (drawn by Steve Lieber), we see the shooting from Robbie's point-of-view and that of the She-Hulk, who's trying to get him to the hospital. In "Sleeper Cell" (drawn by Lee Weeks), the Goblin slaughters the Atlanteans who Wonder Man has been shadowing. Wrapping up the ish is another moody vignette contrasting the attack on the Atlanteans with the carnage of World War I. It's drawn by Eduardo Barreto.

The most notable scene in this issue is a conversation between writer Sally Floyd, who is being held illegally by the government, and Congressman Eugene Sykes, who supported mutant and superhuman registration. In an overall event that has been biased against the pro-registration side, Jenkins still manages to portray Sykes as a good and even honorable man, albeit one who is tragically wrong in the positions he supports. I hope we haven't see that last of the congressman in this title and others.

Civil War: Front Line #7 is another fine issue of what has become my favorite super-hero book. It earns the full five out of five Tonys.

Tony Tony Tony Tony Tony



Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse and Blotman in Blotman Returns

Starting this week, "Tony's Other Online Tips" will run every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at the Comics Buyer's Guide CBGXtra forums. For Monday's TOOT, I reviewed Marvel's Runaways Vol. 4: True Believers [$7.99]. For Wednesday, I wrote about Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse and Blotman in Blotman Returns [$5.99] from Gemstone Publishing. You can read these and the rest of my exclusive-to-CBGXtra reviews at:

Want to hear more Tony? J.J. Lanza of the Fist Full of Comics and Games interviewed me at Mid-Ohio-Con. You can listen to that interview, which was posted on December 19 here:

Unfrozen caveman comic-book writer that I am, I haven't been able to listen to it yet. I hoping my kids will take mercy on me and show me how to do it.



Godzilla. Gorgo. Kong. Even sock puppet Reptilicus. I love the "Kaiju" (giant monsters) and, when I see them referenced in the newspaper comic strips and panels, I save them to share with you. First up today is Dave Coverly's Speed Bump panel from March 20 of last year:

Speed Bump

Then we have Hilary B. Price's Rhymes with Orange from March 25 of last year:

Rhymes with Orange

Finally, an installment of one of my all-time favorite strips, Mother Goose and Grimm by Pulitzer-winning cartoonist Mike Peters. This one is from April 9 of last year:

Mother Goose and Grimm

More big "Kaiju in the Comics" laughs to come.

Thanks for spending a part of your day with me. I'll be back tomorrow with more stuff.

Tony Isabella

<< 01/03/2007 | 01/04/2007 | 01/05/2007 >>

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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