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for Friday, January 30, 2009

Ultra: Seven Days

Ultra: Seven Days [Image; $17.99] collects the eight-issue series by the Luna Brothers into a sleek trade paperback. I'd never gotten around to reading the individual issues as they were published, but this book caught my eye and, once I started reading, it caught and kept my interest as well.

Pearl Penalosa (Ultra) is represented by Heroines, Inc, a super-hero management company. She's a Latina "rags to riches" success story, but is less lucky in love. Her friends are Jennifer Janus, a child of privilege who uses her fame as "Cowgirl" to support humanitarian causes, and Olivia Arancina, a model who is the latest super-heroine to use the name "Aphrodite." The book is written and drawn by the Luna Brothers, Joshua and Jonathan.

For the first half of the book, the focus is on Pearl and her quest to find true love, a journey that leads her to an unfortunate romance. Pearl is believable and likeable; it's easy for a reader to get involved in her life and root for her. The super-hero stuff is kept in the background, but, when it comes to the forefront of the story, the sequences are dramatic and shocking. These scenes feel as real as the more human ones.

The Luna Brothers do a terrific job. Their dialogue, storytelling, and drawing are smooth as silk. They deliver a satisfying story. Maybe there are more stories to be told with Pearl and her friends, but this tale ends very well indeed.

Wikipedia trivia:

In 2006, a pilot episode was made for a proposed Ultra television series. The pilot was produced by Barbara Hall. It featured Lena Headey as Ultra (renamed Penny Penalosa) and was directed by Helen Shaver. While CBS and the CW expressed an interest in the series, neither decided to carry it.

Their loss.

In addition to the story itself, Seven Days includes a number of text pieces, which purport to be taken from the magazines of Ultra's world, and print advertisements featuring the ladies with various products. They add texture to the work as a whole without distracting from it. Well done.

Ultra: Seven Days earns a full five out of five Tonys. It'd make a great gift for super-hero fans bored with those never-ending superhero serials from DC and Marvel.

Tony Tony Tony Tony Tony

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

Tony Isabella

<< 01/29/2009 | 01/30/2009 | 02/02/2009 >>

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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.

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