Area 52

Area 52      Six people pulling less-than-thrilling "guard-duty" over the most sophisticated military facility in history, in a part of Antarctica that's so cold, even GERMS can't survive. Doesn't sound like the setting for a very exciting sci-fi story, you say?

      Well, needless to say, things heat up rather quickly in issue one of the four-part mini-series Area 52, by Image Comics.

      And, of course, this being a science fiction tale, the "heat," as it were, involves a rather large menacing alien, bent on conquering the Earth.

      Sounds hum-drum, I know.  But the strengths of this story aren't found in the plot as much as art and characterization.

      Writer Brian Haberlin delivers the goods with his well-written characters as their interactions with each other, as well as a murderous alien, draw the reader in, while also eliciting a few chuckles.  Our "heroes" are cut more from the cloth of "real people," and their exploits, while sometimes heroic, are as often a comedy of errors.

Area 52      The pencil and ink work of Clayton Henry, while obviously influenced by the Japanese manga style, still manages to keep an air of individuality and uniqueness. Henry has a flair for character expressions and mechanical design; some of his tech is superb. 

      I suppose the "total fantasy" aspect of this story is also an attraction.  I mean, how great would it be to find that, in the midst of being hunted by an alien nightmare, you are sitting on a storehouse of dream-weaponry the likes of which no fanboy has even seen!  Sentient alien weapons, enhancement armor, matter converters...the Hammer of Thor!  What monster stands a chance?  How the U.S. Government ever obtains the likes of the Shield of Perseus, however, is never addressed.  Details, details....

      The long-and-short is, Area 52 is worth a look.  Parents might want to look before the kiddies, however, as there is a definite gore factor.

      Call 1-888-comicbook for the comic shop nearest you. Area 52 is published by Image Comics and weighs in at 32 pages and is priced at $2.95.

      Review by Mark Allen

Lights End Audio BookLight's End Audio Series

     Michael Vance has teamed with William Windom to present an incredible collection of SF and fantasy stories. Set in the eerie town of Light’s End, Maine, these stories have been called “[a] meshing of myth and reality, [of] stack details of place, an...unromantic vision of horror...” Light’s End is a gathering place for the worst in human nature.

     Mr. Windom's impressive experience has prepared him well for the telling of these scary tales. He is well known for his TV roles on Murder, She Wrote, Star Trek, The Twilight Zone, All In The Family, and Barney Miller. He also won an Emmy for his TV series My World…and Welcome to It. His movie roles in To Kill a Mockingbird and True Crime won him additional acclaim. His stage performances as James Thurber and Ernie Pyle have entertained thousands. He's performed in eighteen Broadway plays, countless radio shows, and several books-on-tape.

     Michael Vance's work is published in numerous magazines. He has appeared as a syndicated columnist and cartoonist in over 500 newspapers. His history book, Forbidden Adventure has been called a "benchmark in comics history”. Vance, best known for his Suspended Animation columns, briefly wrote the comic strip Alley Oop and his own strip for five years, Holiday Out. He also wrote comic books including Straw Men, Angel of Death, The Adventures of Captain Nemo, and Bloodtide. His work has appeared in comics anthologies, and he is listed in the Who's Who of American Comic Books. With novelists Mel Odom and R.A. Jones, he co-wrote Global Star, a world where babies born with bowling balls in their stomachs are common, and the New York Times is “trash journalism”.

Special Offer!

     Suspended Animation readers will be able to order a copy of Lights End Volume 1 personally autographed by both William Windom and Michael Vance. Volume 1 contains the stories "A Change of Heart" and "Cross Purposed."

     What are you waiting for? It's just $19.95 signed or $11.95 not, plus shipping.

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Write: 1427 S. Delaware Ave., Tulsa, OK, 74104. Or email Michael Vance.