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

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for Tuesday, June 9, 2009


[This review was written in April.]

The third season of Primeval began airing in England in late March. If, like me, you are eagerly awaiting its arrival on American TV, you can fill part of the wait time with Primeval: Extinction Event by Dan Abnett [Titan Books; $12.95]. Abnett is a prolific writer of comics and other things, including "Sinister Dexter" for 2000 AD, Nova and Guardians of The Galaxy for Marvel, and, well, so many other things his bibliography would have its own zip code if he lived in the United States.

Extinction Event takes place after the second season of the TV series. Nick Cutter and his team are continuing to explore and contain the anomalies that have been opening holes in time and allowing deadly creatures from the past entrance into the present. The deadliest of those creatures is Helen Cutter, his villainous ex-wife. As in earlier Primeval novels, the anomalies have begun opening in other parts of the world besides England and, in this one, that "other parts" is Siberia.

After a way too visible anomaly encounter in England, Cutter, Abby, and Connor are abducted by Russian agents to investigate the largest and most sustained incursion. This could be the "big" one in every sense of the word: an anomaly that shows no sign of closing; many hundreds of creatures, including the most dangerous carnivores of all; and the dire possibility the anomaly will expose the present to one of the most destructive past events in history. Hence the title.

Abnett's story kept me turning the pages of this novel. He got the characters dead right, though I quibble a bit with his rather one-sided depiction of James Lester, the bureaucratic administrator of the team. Lester showed some unexpected moxie in one of the last second season episodes.

The action in this latest novel is appropriately hair-raising, the peril appropriately fearsome, and the supporting players a nice mix of scientists and soldiers, heroes and villains, good folks and very bad folks. It's a fun book that is worthy of the terrific TV show on which it is based.

Primeval: Extinction Event earns an impressive four out of five Tonys. I'm looking forward to the next book as much as I am the third season of the series.

Tony Tony Tony Tony



While writing the above review, I went to Wikipedia to double check some information. Big mistake.

Very close to the top of the entry are major spoilers to major events of the third season. I read them before I had a chance to recognize that was what they were.

I'm still looking forward to watching the third season, but I wish I had been able to experience those events without this prior warning. It's not really Wikipedia's bad, but I wanted to give you a heads up on these spoilers.



It's Tuesday...and that means new Tony Polls questions for your balloting entertainment. Like many of the questions I've asked over the years, these stem from my curiosity as to how well my answers compare to those of my readers.

This week:

From which of these online social networks (Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter) do you derive the most benefit or enjoyment?

How are you most likely to see a movie? Buying it? Going to the movie theater? Renting it from a local video store? Renting it from Netflix?

If you rent movies from Netflix, what plan are you on? One DVD out at a time? Two DVDs out at a time? Three DVDs out at a time? Four DVDs out at a time?

Because Sainted Wife Barb and I will be celebrating our 25th anniversary in Chicago next week, these poll questions will remain active until midnight, Monday night, June 23. You can vote on them by going to:

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

Tony Isabella

<< 06/08/2009 | 06/09/2009 | 06/10/2009 >>

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.

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