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Welcome to Four-Color Bullet for the week of June 18, 2014.

Over at Marvel this week, the Owl sets up shop as San Francisco’s new crime boss, and the one guy who could help Daredevil take him down has switched sides, in Daredevil #4;  In the Original Sin tie-in, Nova #18, Sam sets out to help solve the murder of the Watcher, but is the Nova Corps’ youngest member getting in over his head?  And in this Original Sin tie-in, the Avengers are sent fifty years in the future, where they come face-to-face with the consequences of their actions, in Avengers #31.

On DC Comics’ side of the fence, Firestorm is in trouble, and the horrifying future is revealed to Plastique, in Futures’ End #7;  Harley gets more than her pride wounded when she starts a bar fight after a roller derby match, and she and Poison Ivy team up to find out who hired those assassins, in Harley Quinn #7; A great escape! Gumm’s death trap defeated! The Dynamic Duo, Green Hornet, and Kato parting ways?! In this week’s Batman ’66 Meets the Green Hornet #3.

The long-awaited, unedited, and complete adaptation of Harlan Ellison’s Star Trek episode,  The City on the Edge of Forever hits comic shop shelves today, from IDW.

From Valiant, the best Harbinger story ever continues, as the series makes its way to its bound-to-be-explosive 25th issue, in Harbinger #24.
And from Dark Horse this week, Dracula has double-crossed the team and he’s taken the Vampyr book … and Xander! Now, Buffy and the rest of the Scooby Gang have to get them both back before the Lord of Vampires figures out how to use the book for his own ends, in Buffy The Vampire Slayer: Season 10 #4.
Written by Jason Aaron Art by Mike Deodato Jr. MARVEL

Written by Jason Aaron
Art by Mike Deodato Jr.
MARVEL

Marvel’s murder mystery is halfway over and the questions just keep on coming. Last issue, Bucky went rogue and did the unthinkable, Moon Knight and Gamora are stranded in space, and now, the trail leads to one impossible suspect. This series just keeps getting better, turning into one of my must-reads every month. Jason Aaron’s writing is solid, and even though I’ve complained about Mike Deodato Jr.’s shadowy art, it works really well with this particular issue. And half of the reason I’m reading this is because of the pairings of investigative teams. I love that although Dr. Strange is Marvel’s expert on magic, he still needs the Punisher around for his ballistics expertise. And I’m not much for buying every tie-in to the series, but the ones I’ve read are actually really good. Still more questions than answers at this point, but I’m enjoying this event more than anything else Marvel’s done in the last year and a half. Just a really well done, thoughtfully crafted story. Here’s hoping the center holds.

Written by Harlan Ellison, David Tipton, and Scott Tipton Art by Juan Ortiz and J.K. Woodward IDW PUBLISHING

Written by Harlan Ellison, David Tipton, and Scott Tipton
Art by Juan Ortiz and J.K. Woodward
IDW PUBLISHING

Harlan Ellison’s classic Star Trek episode The City on the Edge of Forever is regarded as the best episode of the series by anyone who even remotely claims to be a Star Trek fan. But the version we’ve seen on television differs widely from Ellison’s original screenplay, and very few fans have ever had the chance to see the screenplay in its entirety, the way Ellison intended. Writers Scott and David Tipton, who are no strangers to IDW’s Star Trekverse, have adapted Ellison’s complete and unedited screenplay to comic book form.  Series artist J.K. Woodward does some amazing painted artwork, providing a much larger sense of wonder, especially to the mysterious entities guarding the time portal.

Ellison’s screenplay was edited for television to an episode length because it was just too long. The first issue of the comic adaptation, however,  goes much slower, and barely scratches the surface of what’s to come. But that is far from a complaint. I see it as a good thing, only because the actual episode moved too quickly, and we couldn’t really appreciate Kirk and Spock’s plight, or the moral dilemmas. Slowing it down, though, should provide lots of room for story and character development.
One final thing. Ellison cleans up something that always seemed … I don’t know … silly to me. In the original episode, McCoy injects himself with a drug that has him acting like a bumbling crackhead, practically falling all over himself through the time portal into 1930. In this version, he’s replaced by a lieutenant on the Enterprise who deserts the crew when he’s exposed as a drug dealer. So it’s easy to see why that particular scene didn’t make it into the episode, since Star Trek was Gene Roddenberry’s grand and unsullied vision of the future. No drug dealers allowed.
I think this one’s going to be good, and just different enough to keep die-hard fans of the original episode interested. There’s nothing more satisfying than reading a good story the way it’s supposed to be told.
And that is Four-Color Bullet for this week. Feel free to comment or email me at your leisure.  But before I go, it is with a heavy heart that I announce that one of my favorite books will be ending in September. IDW’s Ghostbusters will be ending with issue 20 as it concludes the Ghostbusters ’30th anniversary Mass Hysteria story. Readers of  Four-Color Bullet know that Ghostbusters  was consistently one of my favorites, and I am heartbroken to see it go. I, and the rest of the gang here at Krypton Radio, wish writer Erik Burnham, penciler Dan Schoening, and the rest of the Ghostbusters team at IDW the best as they move on to other projects.
Even with Ghostbusters ending, it’s still a good time to be a comics fan. See ya next week!
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