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Preview: King: Prince Valiant #4

King: Prince Valiant #4

Nate Cosby (w)
Ron Salas (a)
Jonathan Lau (c)
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FC • 32 pages • $3.99
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The entire universe is in peril. Trillions of lives at stake. There’s an omniscient and omnipotent darkness coming. It has never lost a battle. But don’t worry…Prince Valiant has a sword…

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Preview: King: Mandrake the Magician #4

King: Mandrake the Magician #4

Roger Langridge (w)
Felipe Cunha (a)
Jonathan Lau (c)
FC • 32 pages • $3.99 • Teen+
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The world’s greatest magician MUST stop the galaxy’s most powerful demon from crushing the world. To be clear: This is a completely impossible task, but by golly, MANDRAKE’S GONNA TRY!

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Preview: Turok: Dinosaur Hunter Vol. 3 TP

Turok: Dinosaur Hunter Vol. 3 TP

writer: Greg Pak, Paul Tobin
artists: Lee Ferguson, Ruairi Coleman, Stephen Downey. Felipe Cunha
cover: Bart Sears
FC • 128 pages • $16.99 • Teen+

Life is difficult for Turok in the “civilized” England of the 1200s, where he’s treated as a savage despite being able to tame dinosaurs better than anyone. But a murder conspiracy against one of his allies will send the hunter deep into Sherwood Forest, and back in his natural element. In his attempt to survive this struggle for power, Turok starts to learn why dinosaurs still exist… while the Sheriff of Nottingham gathers crusaders, archers, and a menagerie of thunder lizards to wipe out Turok’s merry men!

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Preview: King: The Phantom #4

King: The Phantom #4

Brian Clevinger (w)
Ryan Cody (a)
Jonathan Lau (c)
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FC • 32 pages • $3.99 • Teen+
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The Phantom x 2! The new Walker heir has (begrudgingly) accepted the purple, just in time for final showdown with Singh and his entire organization! There will be lots. And lots. And lots and lots and LOTS of bad guys with skull ring scars on their faces.

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Preview: King: Jungle Jim #4

King: Jungle Jim #4

Paul Tobin (w)
Sandy Jarrell (a)
Jonathan Lau (c)
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FC • 32 pages • $3.99 • Teen+
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The chips are down and there’s only one thing Jim can do to save the day: HE GOTTA GET THE JUNGLE (hic) DRUNK! Jump on for (hic) humongous battles filled with lasers and (hic) Beast-Men and Hawkmen and Snake-Ladies and seriously, Jim gets the jungle (hic) drunk.

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Preview: King: Flash Gordon #4

King: Flash Gordon #4

Ben Acker, Ben Blacker (w)
Lee Ferguson, Felipe Cunha (a)
Jonathan Lau (c)
FC • 32 pages • $3.99 • Teen+
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ALL-OUT UNDERWATER WAR! Ming is willing to destroy an entire planet to kill Flash! Will our heroes be able to raise an army in time to destroy the Merciless’ plan…or is this the end of The Man From Earth?

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Preview: King: Jungle Jim #3

King: Jungle Jim #3

Paul Tobin (w)
Sandy Jarrell (a)
Declan Shalvey (c)
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The chips are down and there’s only one thing Jim can do to save the day: HE GOTTA GET THE JUNGLE (hic) DRUNK! Jump on for (hic) humongous battles filled with lasers and (hic) Beast-Men and Hawkmen and Snake-Ladies and seriously, Jim gets the jungle (hic) drunk.

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Review: Flash Gordon Holiday Special

FlashHoliday2014-Cov-A-ShanerChristmas somewhat fails in an application to the cosmos.  The origin of Christmas is from a hijacking by early members of the Christian church.  What was an observance of the solstice for previous religions was easily enough stolen and repurposed for the birth of the prophet, which historians believe was at least two weeks later (closer to what Orthodox worshippers observe.)  This leaves the solstice being more of an astronomical irregularity, and on the cosmic scale, it is mostly unimportant at the specific time at which planet Earth is exactly at the point where its rotation and axis being offset by 23.5 degrees matches the point in its revolution when this is most directly over that difference.  So too is Christmas a social phenomenon, not necessarily observed by Christians, but one which is obviously not going to be observed by alien species that have never been in contact with humans.

These are the challenges that the Flash Gordon Holiday Special faces, and although it does lack some of the relevance, the creative teams do their best to mix the cosmos with the festivities.  By far the weakest of the three entries in this special is the first, which tries to match the holidays of an alien planet to those of Earth.  Although it is a worthy enough attempt, it is still a bit of a misfire, as Flash live through various puns of Christmas traditions.  Much better are the following two stories, the middle one dealing with Hanukah and the final one dealing with New Year’s Eve celebrations.  The story dealing with Hanukah is a smarter approach to incorporating in the stories of the Christmas with those of the cosmos.  A lone alien stranded on Earth finds a strange friendship with a Jewish family, when that family needed it the most.  The best story of the group is the last, focusing on Dale Arden and her continued failures to have a good time on New Year’s Eve, a common enough failure for people with high expectations for this day.  It revisits some of her failures and then shows how she is happiest.

What could have been a mismatch in terms of context, content and concept ends up being a nice enough issue dealing with the holiday season. While at times it does feel like a bit of a reach to make this relevant, it fits in nicely.  Flash Gordon is after all a pulp character from another time, and so some of the anachronistic Christmas practices also don’t really feel out of place here.  Those looking for a nice and quaint holiday themed issue will find it here, but those liking neither science fiction nor the holidays might find this a bit taxing.

Story: Dan McCoy, Elliot Kalan, and Stuart Wellington Art: Joseph Cooper, Lara Margarida and Stephen Downey
Story: 7.7 Art: 7.7 Overall: 7.7 Recommendation: Read

Dynamite provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Preview: Flash Gordon Holiday Special 2014

Flash Gordon Holiday Special 2014

Elliott Kalan, Dan McCoy, Stuart Wellington (w)
Stephen Downey, Lara Margarida, Joseph Cooper (a)
Evan Shaner, Ken Haeser (c)
FC • 40 pages • $5.99 • Teen+

DECK THE GALACTIC HALLS! You’re getting THREE titanic tales for the price of one, by the triple-team of Elliott Kalan, Dan McCoy and Stuart Wellington from The Daily Show and the hit podcast, The Flop House! Flash and Zarkov head back to Arboria to teach their alien friends about Christmas, only to find that Arboria…already knows what Christmas is? Then a tale on Earth, featuring an abandoned Beast-Man helped by a Jewish family during Hanukkah! And finally, Dale Arden rings in the new year on the violent and horrifically frigid Frigia!

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Preview: Turok: Dinosaur Hunter #10

Turok: Dinosaur Hunter #10

Greg Pak, Paul Tobin (w)
Felipe Cunha, Stephen Downey, Lee Ferguson (a)
Bart Sears (c)
FC • 32 pages • $3.99 • Teen+
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Life is difficult for Turok in the “civilized” Great Britain of the 1200s, where he’s treated as a “savage” despite being able to tame dinosaurs better than anyone. But a murder conspiracy against one of his allies will send the dinosaur hunter deep within Sherwood Forest, and back into his element. High action and intrigue courtesy of Greg Pak (Batman/Superman, Action Comics), Eisner-Winner Paul Tobin (Bandette, Colder) and Mirko Colak (Conan)!

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Almost American
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