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Comic Review: Archie in “Will You Marry Me?”

archie will u marry meTitle: Archie in “Will You Marry Me?”
Written by: Michael Uslan
Art by: Stan Goldberg
Published by: Archie Comics Publications
Release Date: March 31, 2010
Price: $14.95

Review:

I had been wanting to read this comic for years. I saw this issue around my comic shop after I got back into comics, but I never could afford it, so I just always said “one day.” But as luck would have it, this comic just happened to be the second book that came in my Archie Mystery Package!

This story includes two plot lines: one where Archie marries Veronica, the other where he marries Betty. I am more team Betty than Veronica, so I was initially worried that this comic would have Archie choose between the two.

Both follow the same plot: the gang graduates college, Archie proposes to the girl, everyone is a buzz about it, they get married very quickly, they move to New York for a job and stay out there for a year, but they can’t handle it and move back to Riverdale, Archie finds out his wife is pregnant, she has twins, and they live happily ever after.

The plots are interesting, but both stories felt very rushed.

Michael Uslan gave the readers no time to adjust the gang being young adults rather than teenagers, and on top of that there was no time to adjust to the proposal and all the emotions that came along with it. It was also very evident from these stories that the Ulsan favors Veronica over Betty, which made these stories less than enjoyable for me.

When Veronica is who Archie chooses, her story has the perfect ending. Her wedding is extravagant and their honeymoon is a dream! Everyone is ready to bend to make both of them happy, to the point where some of the characters were out of character.  The set-up to Archie’s proposal in this scenario was also very weird.  Archie seems to have no plan or motivation to get married, but when his parents give him a large sum in the form of the check, he immediately spends it on a ring for Veronica. Mr. Lodge, Veronica’s father, even gives Archie a job, and all seems perfect for the couple. But things weren’t so great for Betty in this comic, who gets a job in New York, then loses it. She also gets a boyfriend named Henry who looks just like Archie, but it doesn’t work out with him. Penniless, she still has the hope and drive to do better and is the maid of honor in Veronica’s wedding, later becoming the godmother to the couple’s twins.

When Betty is who Archie chooses, she gets a wedding at Pop Tate’s, and without Veronica’s financial help, she wouldn’t have even had a cake or a honeymoon. In general, Veronica faired much better than Betty in this scenerio. After Archie proposed to Betty, half of the conversations about the couple included things like “Why choose her when Veronica is rich?” and “Poor poor Veronica!” Betty loses her job in New York and they both end up becoming teachers back at Riverdale. When Betty has twins, Veronica is named the godmother of “Little Betty.” Veronica also ends up marrying Reggie, so she still is given a happy ending by the writer.

Why is there such a bias of Betty getting a not-as-good ending whereas Veronica gets a great one no matter what?

I would probably read this comic again for a quick read, but it’s fair to say that this is not my favorite Archie storyline.

 

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Comic Review: ‘Jughead: The Matchmakers’

juu Jughead: “The Matchmakers”

Synopsis: “Does Jughead stand  chance when his friends start playing Matchmaker?? Forsythe P. Jones, AKA Jughead, takes center stage as he and his new flame, Sandy Sanchez, turn Riverdale upside-down with their sudden romance! Suddenly, Jug has traded his trademark crown and is actually eating healthy and going on dates! Did his friends go too far when they set their friend up with Sandy?”

Written by: Melanie J. Morgan
Art by: Joe Staton
Published by: Archie Comic Publications
Release date: 2009
Price: $10.95

 

Review:

I was a little worried reading this story. Jughead is one of my favorite characters in the Archie universe and I never thought he would be able to fall in love with anyone. His character is aromantic/asexual, a fact that I hope will be explored more in Jughead. This story made my stomach churn a little bit as Jughead seemed to be written out of character, but thanks to a twist ending, I was ultimately okay with the the whole comic.

jdd141_7

I really liked Sandy Sanchez. I’m not sure if she’s in any other story, but I really liked her here. I love that shes a hardworking girl who keeps her eye on the prize: Ivy League. She also is super cute and I like her hair texture with her curly pigtails. I liked her characterization, and she would seem to be the opposite of Jughead if not for their flimsy “they both like double anchovy pizza” thing.

Sadly, I hated the art style in this comic. While looking up other reviews and explanations of the comic, many people commented that this is “more realistic look to Archie”, but to me, it looks like an anime knockoff done wrong. Some of the facial expressions were drawn really bad and the fully body shots of Archie made him look like Thor’s red head cousin. Nothing looked proportioned and the shading was bad.  There were shadows on people’s bodies that didn’t make any sense, the most common one being Jug’s long hair.

Jughead definitely looked the worst in this style, and to be frank, the only good looking part of the entire book was the cover. I know that sounds so awful, but this is not art that I enjoy.  The best looking character was Sandy, which made it weird to see her and Jughead holding hands, as he looked bad while Sandy looked really good.

Archie usually does a good job with alternate artists, but as far as I’m concerned, this comic is a pass.

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Unboxing: Archie Mystery Package!

I just received the Archie Mystery Package in my mailbox. The package is currently $14.99 without shipping. This is not a monthly box or anything like that and it shows when it comes to the packaging. It’s a one time deal, but they have quite a few selections for mystery packages with just of their Digests and Double Digests. I thought this one would be fun for a first time unboxing. They have a similar one like this for Sonic and Megaman, but since I’m not really into that, I went with a familiar face of Archie. You also have some bundles that are like the mystery packages, but you kind of have an idea of what you’re getting. If you’re interested in seeing those, the link for that is right here!

According to the Archie Comics site, you’re suppose to be getting forty dollars worth of magazines, digests, graphic novels, or comics. I was hoping to see if I got digests since those are my favorites of the Archie comics. I’m not sure if this is just a sale deal, since it does say that the regular price is forty dollars, but at around fifteen dollars, is it not worth to at least try and see what you got? You’ll have to watch the video to find out what my opinion of it was after opening the box. Don’t forget to subscribe to our Youtube channel for more unboxings!

You can find the Mystery Package here and you can see all items similar to this on the front page of Archie Comics!

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Comic Review: ‘Surface Tension’ Series (#1-#5)

This week the final issue of Surface Tension was released, bringing the 5-part mini-series written and illustrated by Jay Gunn and distributed by Titan Comics to an end. As such, we wanted to reflect back on the eco-thriller that featured everything from sea-sickness water zombies, to horrifying aqua monsters, to islanders in peril.

Surface Tension Issue #4
Surface Tension Issue #4

Since our February interview with Gunn, we have gushed about the four major reasons we loved issue #1, pondered the story’s mysteries in issue #2, and commended the series for keeping us guessing even after the midway point following issue #3.

Issue #4 gave us all of the answers to our questions, and some of my own predictions ended up being correct. Without spoiling too much, the series did raise the question on who was the bigger threat to planet earth: mankind or the “monsters.” However, there were some plot points I never would have guessed. It was revealed that the “monsters” themselves had a fascinating origin story, one that, quite frankly, could very well be possible for all we know. One complaint of mine is that while the story did a good job of building up the tension (ha, no pun intended) in issues 1-3, the denoument in issue #4 was too cut and dry (not another pun, I swear). The story unfolded using too much exposition. On one hand, I appreciated that everything was made clear, on the other hand, it lacked a certain amount of drama.

Surface Tension Issue #5
Surface Tension Issue #5

Issue #5 was the grand finale. I must say, this is where the drama returned! There’s a budding love triangle that ends up being surprisingly touching and several super hero-esque battles (whose action and movement were creatively illustrated, I might add). One scene I simply adored featured Super Megumi literally having the fate of mankind in her hands, as she holds Mary in her palm and debates whether or not wiping out the humans would be the best thing for the planet. The symbolism and art work accompanied the story nicely. At the end of the issue, I really felt like there was great closure… up until the last few pages. Gunn snuck in a twist that makes you wonder whether or not mankind got a happy ending.

Overally, I enjoyed the Surface Tension series. I found the characters to be interesting and morally ambiguous, and I genuinely cared about what would happen to them. The artwork was lovely, and I particularly enjoyed the whimsy of the monsters, the selkies (sea lion/humanoid/monster creatures that I want as a pet), the coral, and the scenes of the characters’ memories. Despite the occasional bit of foul language, the violence wasn’t overtly graphic, and the story was easy to follow along, making this a series I would recommend to everyone from a middle school student to my best adult buddy.

Did you read the final issue of Surface Tension? If so, let us know what you thought! And if not, well, weigh in anyway in the comments!

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Comic Review: ’21st Century Tank Girl’ #3

21st_Century_Tank_Girl#321st Century Tank Girl is back in issue #3. Like issue 1 and issue 2, #3 is a cornucopia of stories, posters, and quotes, each overflowing with an abundance of adventure and chaos for our favorite Australian renegade and her pals.

The issue begins when hungover party-goers go on a heist for God’s tighty whities (seriously). The story ran a bit long for my liking, but random drawings in the margins (including charicature cameos by Andy Warhol, a setient hamburger, and Cheech Marin) kept my interest when the somewhat predictable story could not. With a character as wacky as Tank Girl, I was surprised and somewhat disappointed that this story had so many “spy movie” tropes. I hope they were just paying homage and poking fun at the hokey genre, because otherwise there is no excuse for being cliche.

Other stories included a local Ma and Pa shop has been taken over by BALL-MART, a “cereal-ously” ridiculous problem when Booga trades in the group’s life savings to invest in Super-Krunchy Booga Flakes, and an Evel Knievel-esque stunt beautifully crafted to look like something straight out of the Sunday funnies.

While 21st Century Tank Girl #3 had some hits and misses, I still had fun reading the issue. I do recommend that you pick up a copy of the comic in stores, as it comes with a poster. Also, there were a few stand-alone pages with gorgeous art and inspiring quotes that were so empowering they deserve to be framed and hung!

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21st Century Tank Girl #3
WRITER: Alan Martin
ARTIST: Jamie Hewlett, Warwick Johnson-Caldwell, Phillip Bond, Jonathan Edwards, Brett Parson
COVER: Brett Parson
PUBLISHER: Titan Comics
PAGECOUNT: 32
COVER PRICE: $3.99
RELEASE DATE: August 12

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Comic Review: ‘Surface Tension #3’

Surface Tension #3 (the midway point in a 5-part ecological horror miniseries written/illustrated by Jay Gunn and distributed by Titan Comics) was released, and despite receiving a handy dandy electronic copy for my reviewing pleasure, I skipped over to my local comic book shop to pick up a hard copy. PDFs simply can’t compete with the vibrancy of ink on glossy pages or the crispness of leafing through a brand spanking new comic book. As I was purchasing the issue, the clerks asked what I thought of the series so far. “Weird, huh?” they quipped.

Surface-Tension_03_CoverYes, with premonitions of devastating tsunamis caused by eerie coral, frightening creatures (like a Creepy Fly Baby) attacking islanders, hypnosis sequences with lovely sherbet-colored panels, and fantastical transformations complete with new-found special powers like water juggling, Surface Tension #3 is definitely strange— but that’s not a bad thing. Actually, in a day and age when remakes are all the rage and everything is one giant recycled cliché, I’m more than okay with a little weirdness. (In fact, we even posted a blog about the 4 things we loved about the series after issue #1!)

As a good story teller should at the midway point, Gunn ups the ante, teasing readers by answering some questions while simultaneously introducing new mysteries. After perusing #2, we posted a blog about the 4 questions we had about the series thus far, and I am pretty sure I was 99.9% wrong on all my speculations. As someone who has a solid track record of predicting the ending of a movie from the trailer, I have to admit I’m thoroughly enjoying the surprises in Surface Tension. Not knowing what weird thing is going to happen next is precisely what keeps me reading the series!

SURFACE TENSION #3 (OF 5)
WRITER/ARTIST: Jay Gunn
PUBLISHER: Titan Comics
PAGE-COUNT: 32PP
PRICE: $3.99
ON SALE: July 29

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Comic Review: Surface Tension #2 by Jay Gunn

Surface Tension #2 (the second issue in a five-part sci-fi/horror/adventure mini-series created by Jay Gunn and published by Titan Comics) debuted recently, and rather than doing a standard ol’ review, we thought we’d get down to the nitty gritty and address the four questions readers are asking themselves after reading the issue. (Ahoy! Minor spoilers ahead!)

Who is Mystery Memory Man?

Surface-Tension_02_Cover_ALast issue, readers were introduced to Megumi, one of two people who suddenly returned from the sea after coming down with the mysterious “sea sickness” which drove people to the ocean in waves, quite literally. When she resurfaced, she had blue skin and no recollection of what happened.

In this issue, her memories start to come back, including one of her as a child in a hospital following a disaster at a chemical plant. In what was reminiscent of a scene from Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, a new, seemingly masked visitor now appears in her memories. Henceforth known as Mystery Memory Man (MMM)*, the stranger warns Meg that her memories are being used against her and ominously states that “everything is connected” before disappearing.

Who is MMM? How is he able to contact Meg through her mind? It seems like he’s trying to help her, but why? He promises they’ll meet again, leaving readers in suspense and yearning to learn more about him and his intentions.

*Truthfully, we don’t even know if it’s a man. Heck, we don’t even know if it’s HUMAN. But for all intents and purposes, we’ll stick with MMM.

What is up with that sea monster?

Issue #2 upped the scare factor by showcasing a gnarly creature that surfaced from the water and crept onto land, blurting out strange, robot-esque phrases like “the flesh needs to be reconnected” and “evolve new flesh.” Visually, he’s frightening with his glowing red eyes and rows of teeth – definitely the thing of nightmares. The sea monster appears to be on a hunt, possibly for Meg and Ryan, and is willing to kill anything in its way. But what is it? Can it change its form? What does it want? All questions I pondered as I read in horror. I predict a game of cat-and-mouse in the issues to follow.

Who is worse: man or the monsters?

Surface_Tension_2_preview2A memory of a disaster at a chemical plant. Humans attacking others out of fear. Armed guards and threats of violence. Fish returning to the water near where the mysterious coral and monsters appear. All of these things are sprinkled throughout the issue, suggesting that while humans are destroying the planet with waste and cruelty, the mysterious coral (and corresponding monsters) might actually be helping the planet. Perhaps the “monsters” aren’t really terrible at all, but rather see mankind as a threat to Earth and are just trying to protect the world?

Sure, 99% of the human population has to go, but isn’t that a small price to pay to preserve an entire planet? While I’m not entirely sure that’s the direction the story will go, I do feel like it has potential to bring up deep issues about mankind, our existence on this planet, and the kind of legacy we’ll leave when we (inevitably) become an endangered species – or worse, go extinct. Worth noting: Surface Tension has been heavily promoted as an “eco-thriller,” but the emphasis on the environment is approached in an interesting way that’s understandable without being off-putting to conservatives/global warming deniers/my dad.

WHAT DOES “EVERYTHING IS CONNECTED” MEAN?!

What. Does. It. Mean? This phrase was used in Issue #1 and again in the second and seems to be the major theme of the series, though its significance and meaning isn’t quite clear yet. Is mankind connected to the monsters? Are mankind and the monsters one and the same? What are your predictions, GeekGirl World?

It seems like the first two issues of the series are full of questions, and I can’t wait to read the second half of the series to learn more. Be sure to pick up Surface Tension #2, available at your favorite comic book store now! You can even purchase a hard copy or a digital copy online!

SURFACE TENSION #2
WRITER/ARTIST: Jay Gunn
PUBLISHER: Titan Comics
ISSUES IN SERIES: 2 (OF 5)
PAGE-COUNT: 32 pp
PRICE: $3.99
RELEASE DATE: June 24

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COMIC REVIEW: 21st Century Tank Girl #1

Things you need to know: Tank Girl is rude. She’s crude. She cusses. She smokes. She jokes about erections. She makes Star Trek references. She’s the most wanted outlaw in Australia and wears brown underwear. Basically, I want her to my best friend. However, her story is probably not appropriate for children, bores, or prudes. You have been warned, though if Tank Girl were real, she would never apologize for her behavior.

802f0d2d-4dc4-402e-a35f-b82e93a2bc3b21st Century Tank Girl is quite literally Tank Girl today. But let’s travel back in time to when it all started: last century, writer Alan Martin and artist Jamie Hewlett (co-producer of our favorite virtual band, Gorillaz) introduced the world to Tank Girl. Her story originated as a comic in the late 1980s and was even turned into a movie in 1995! Flash forward to June 10, 2015: she’s back with a new series of anarchic adventures brought to us by Titan Comics, Martin, Hewlett, and a slew of other artists and collaborators.

Issue #1 was a smorgasbord of her escapades, including a space exploit with a fun twist about the lengths Tank Girl will go to in order to achieve personal greatness; a bloody war story told primarily through onomatopoeias; a game show for death row inmates, where the winner gets a reduced sentence of life in prison… if she can avoid Zombie Hitler; and character spotlights highlighting adventures with friends.
166ae34b-aed4-4cf3-b4e2-940588e5cd7dThe art, like the stories, is also varied. With each new artist and collaborator comes a unique visual take on Tank Girl. In some stories, the panels are colored more vibrantly in deep, rich hues, like the fun and whimsy of a punk-rocker’s mohawk. Others are splashes of orange and red, making the reader feel she’s under a heat lamp during a dire situation. All of the styles are eye-catching, captivating, and fun. Still, amidst all the changes, Tank Girl continues to be very much herself: strong, tough, and a survivor.

As someone who was unfamiliar with Tank Girl prior, I thought 21st Century Tank Girl was a great introduction to a spunky and exciting character, and I can’t wait to see what kind of mischief she gets into next. Be sure to pick up a copy of 21st Century Tank Girl at your local comic book story, and keep an eye out for issue 2, which will be released by Titan Comics on July 8, 2015.

21st Century Tank Girl #1
Story By​: Alan Martin
Art By: ​Jamie Hewlett, Warwick Johnson-Cadwell, Philip Bond, Jonathan Edwards, Brett Parson, Jim Mahfood, Craig Knowles
32​pp​ / FC / $3.99 / on sale: June 10

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Comic Review: Surface Tension #1 by Jay Gunn

Surface Tension #1, the first issue in a 5 part sci-fi/horror/adventure mini-series created by Jay Gunn and published by Titan Comics, debuts today and there are 4 major reasons I love it:

4) THE TITLE!

thumbnailThe title “Surface Tension is perfect because it cleverly, succinctly, and accurately describes the story in two-folds. First, there is literally tension on the surface of the British channel island of Breith as the townsfolk strain to rebuild and survive after a strange “sea-sickness” causes the majority of the world’s population to make a zombie-esque mecca into the ocean. Things get stranger when a year later two people return from the ocean, with teal skin and no memory of what has happened. This turn of events leads to confusion on the island, as the townspeople try to figure out what is happening.

Second, in its most basic definition, the scientific term “surface tension” is described as an effect where the surface of a liquid is strong. Going further, it is a “property of the surface of a liquid that allows it to resist an external force.” Did you ever do the experiment where you put drops of water on a penny, expecting to see water splash about, only to find it forms a bubble or “skin” of water on good ol’ Honest Abe’s face? Surface tension! It seems the title is also hinting at the strength and power of the mystery in the sea, and the way it which it has changed the people who are returning from its watery depths.

3) THE SUSPENSE!

Issue #1 is filled with quandaries that left me scratching my head and anxiously turning the page looking for answers: What caused the sea-sickness? Why are people returning now? Is this deliverance? Should they be quarantined? These are the questions our characters begin asking one another, and it’s completely in line with what the reader is pondering also. Additionally, the first issue ends with a major cliff-hanger, and it looks like things are about to get more dangerous for the people of Breith. I can not wait to see what happens next!

2) THE CHARACTERS!

10369594_589420794518003_5156077523524982521_nI am a young 20-something blessed to be living in a diverse, metropolitan city where I have friends of all walks of life: varying age groups, ethnicities, and socio-economic backgrounds. However, rarely is that kind of diversity present in literature. In graphic novels, it’s nearly non-existent. (I will save that rant for another day.) However, Gunn does an excellent job of capturing layered and diverse characters, without relying on stereotypes or clichés.

I am particularly pleased that two of the main characters in the first issue are women. First we have Mary: a former nurse, quasi-new-age meditating hippie, and caring problem-solver whose instinct is to help others in her community. Then we have Megumi, a former biologist and environmentalist who has experienced horror and loss, and is one of the first people to return from the sea. The women are different ages and ethnicities, but their commitment to figuring out what it going on unites them, and the two clearly care for one another and rely on each other. Gunn has hinted that Mary and Megumi’s ideologies are different, and that may create conflict between the two later. However, for now, their interaction is real and genuine.

Side note: I also love that while there is nudity in the novel (like when Megumi’s nude body emerges from the ocean), the women are not overtly sexualized. Marvel and DC definitely have a thing or two to learn from Gunn on how to appropriately draw women!

1) THE AUTHOR!

In February, GeekGirl World had the opportunity to chat with writer and author Jay Gunn about his life, his work, and zombies (naturally). We were all completely enchanted by his eloquent and thoughtful responses, and I remember very vividly thinking, “If his writing and art are anything like his interview, Surface Tension will be amazing.” I am so glad to report that the first issue was just as beautiful (both in text and in art) as I hoped it would be. I will continue to follow Gunn’s work on his Facebook page, and look forward to reading the rest of the series via Titan Comics. Surface Tension #1 debuts today, and I urge you all to support Gunn’s work by purchasing a copy.

SURFACE TENSION #1
WRITER/ARTIST: Jay Gunn
PUBLISHER: Titan Comics
ISSUES IN SERIES: 1 (OF 5)
PAGE-COUNT: 40pp
PRICE: $3.99
RELEASE DATE: May​ 27

 

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