Friday, November 03, 2006

StormQuest #4

StormQuest #4, February 1995, Caliber Press
writers: Tom & Mary Bierbaum
penciller: Willie Peppers
inker: Jerry Foley
letterer: Sacred Grounds Studio
colorists: Chris Riley & Bob Hickey
editor: Joe Martin

You don't know what it's like, okay? You don't know what it's like to wake up in an apartment full of comics you've already read, with a full day's schedule of errands to run and little time to accomplish them all ahead of you, and a self-imposed challenge to read and review a new-to-you issue on a daily basis, no breaks, for a year. On top of that, I'm planning a road trip to Arizona this weekend, departure time in just a few hours, and my schedule in the desert is booked until Sunday night's return. I don't have any comics to bring, and I doubt I'll get to a comic book store in time. This is crisis mode, people, and I'm not talking about the spacetime punching kind.

As I have before, this evening I read a comic book I have stashed a work from a batch donated over a year ago now, and since the pile is technically in my office, under my desk, unread or filed in my personal collection, I don't feel like it violates the must-be-new-to-me rule. In fact, when I first glanced at the cover of StormQuest #4, and flipped through its contents to make sure it was appropriate for the kids, I told myself that I undoubtedly never would read it. Little did I suspect that I would have to, to maintain the integrity of a geeky challenge I'd pose myself in the future. Anyway, I'm going for the bottom line review here, as I did a few weeks ago when I experienced some technical difficulties. Ahem:

BOTTOM LINE: StormQuest is one part Fantastic Four, one part Star Jammers, as the Storm family finds itself scattered among different time periods thanks to the destruction of the appropriately dubbed Time Stone. Fortunately, Dad's mistress has commandeered a time traveling vehicle and is bringing the family back together, and in this issue, they suit up as StormQuest for the first time. Merlin is in the mix, too, working some sort of mischievous magic, but I think his intentions are more romantic toward Mother Quest than anything. I was surprised that this issue was an entertaining read, but the Jim Lee/Rob Liefield impression with the pencils, the typically square-jawed, hollow-cheeked male archetypes, turned me off to following the family's further adventures in time. This series has no future with me, and since this is the only issue of the title I've ever seen, I assume I'm not the only one that felt that way.

Interestingly, a back-up tale in this issue features a fanboyishly written superhero tale that is the epitome of sheer unoriginality. A young hero that feels guilty for the death of his mother uses his powers of electricity to fight crime, and when the forefather of superheroism (Superior, is his name . . . yeah) takes him under his wing, the two confront the armored Dominion in a battle that costs Superior his powers and maybe even his life. Let me put this another way: Kyle Rayner and Superman fight Dr. Doom, Superman almost dies, and in a flash, gives Kyle his Kryptonian abilities on top of the whole ring thing the kid already has going for him. This is the story.

I'll tell you what. I'm going on a "storm quest" of my own. When this weekend is over, I'm storming the local comic shops in a quest for something fresh, new, and original. If I have time.

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