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Femforce 158

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Bigger and better than ever, this issue features 87 PAGES OF ALL-NEW, NEVER-BEFORE-SEEN story and art!! Beyond John Nadeau’s breathtaking digitally-painted cover, you’ll read the stunning conclusion to the long-running “Living In Synn” storyline, in a 24-page lead feature written by Mark Heike, with art by Rock Baker and Jeff Austin. Learn the REAL reason behind Synn’s loss of control, and see MS. VICTORY, STARDUST and NIGHTVEIL shrink to microscopic size to deal with it. You MAY be shocked to learn the cause of it all, and who saves the day in the end!! Then, it’s STORMY TEMPEST in the far-flung future, in the conclusion of the two-part adventure started in FF #156. It’s “A Big Hand For The Little Lady”, written by Bill Black, with art by Eric Coile and Scott Shriver. Intergalactic bounty hunter Clayton the Sleeper finally gets his! And in the aftermath of Synn’s rescue, NIGHTVEIL returns to her Everglades sanctum. Unable to leave well enough alone, her mystical meddling brings our world a new meanace, WAMPYR, the vampire sorceress, in “The Best of Intentions”, with a script by Mark Heike, and art by the team of Baker and Austin. And if ONE STORMY TEMPEST story in this issue was not enough, here’s another!! “Time Grows Short” wraps up the serial adventures of STORMY in the present-time, as written by Len Strazewski, with art by Scott Larson and Jeff Austin. Next, the quiet between cosmic adventures is no respit for TARA FREMONT, as she runs afoul of that giant-sized bad girl Marla(HUMONGA)Allison in “Big Temper”, written by Eric Johnson, pencilled by Dan Gorman and inked by Jeff Austin. Then, return to the war-torn days of the early 1940’s as DINOSAUR GIRL and her allies The War Birds must deal with a new threat to the Allied forces- giant prehistoric reptiles, in “Priorities Of War”, the 17-page first-half of an epic tale written and drawn by Rock Baker, with inks by Scott Shriver. And last- but certainly NOT least, Will Meugniot’s smash hit N.E.D.O.R. AGENTS series is back with it’s latest installment, “Lunar Trap For Pyrogirl”. With the ‘lectrical lass headed for the moon straight into an alien ambush, how can the rest of her teammates save her back in 1965? You’ll have to read the story to find out!! Written, penciled and inked by creator Will Meugniot, of course. BONUS- this issue features the first-ever cover appearance of the N.E.D.O.R. AGENTS, as the NA feature is being run as a flip-book with FEMFORCE, the back cover being N.E.D.O.R. AGENTS #0!! Seven stories in all- no ads OR reprints!! Standard comic book size, 92 pages, color covers with black and white interiors; saddle-stitched. Released in 2012.

12 Responses to "Femforce 158"

  1. jim johnston  January 20, 2012 at 3:50 pm

    F.F.#158 is available! That’s great news I’ve been looking forward to this one for what seems like an awfully long time.Now we all just/still have to wait till the Diamond people get around to delivering our copies(though I am sure the final product will be worth the -no matter long it takes to arrive.)

  2. Eric Johnson  January 20, 2012 at 9:24 pm

    I like the title reference of “A Big Hand For The Little Lady”, as that’s one of my favorite western movies.

    Woo-hoo! FF #158 is out. I’ve already got my Diamond order in long ago of course. Looking forward to seeing how this one turns out.

  3. Mark Holmes  February 15, 2012 at 11:15 pm

    Great issue! Beautiful covers on both sides. More FemForce stories and N.E.D.O.R #0. This issue is packed.

  4. jim johnston  February 16, 2012 at 7:47 am

    Brought my Diamond ordered copies home today.I am hard at work on an in depth response and am resolved to comment on every deserving aspect of every story in this comic.I hope to have something significant to say soon.
    But for now a few early comments.#1 I agree with Mark. Both covers are great.#2Regarding the lead story on the Fem Force side-“Living in Syn The Conclusion”. Two points -I was totally caught by surprise by reason for and the resolution of Syn’s condition.-Next,I was really taken with the depth of humanity in this story exhibited by all the characters in this story , both “up front” and in the background.#3 “The Best of Intentions”. Great art in the first installment of a story that is conceptually really interesting. Nightveil, who is generally seen to be all powerful (and beyond human concerns) make a terrible mistake that puts the entire earth in peril,but if she stays to try and fix it she will be turning her back on her teacher and mentor who has also asked for her help in dealing with a dire situation on his home world.This is not the sort of thing you would expect to be facing “The Sorceress Supreme” which I think is very humanly insightful point that will help make for a really interesting story .Plus the story gives us a new take on the vampire mythos. #4-“A Big Hand For The Little Lady” A Stormy Tempest story set in the continuity of the AC Comics Stormy Tempest movies. This story is fast and fun and features a lot of action and is also rather clever.#5 “Times Grows Short” Another Stormy Tempest story This one is the latest installment in a series that is more grim and gritty than the previous entry .But it is important to note that these hard edges served a purpose in telling the story and that this installment ends on something of an optimistic note.#6″Big Temper -Tara vs. Marla”Humonga”Allison . A GTS.story that delivers the goods with great art and also makes the worthwhile point that you are more likely to win a fight if you rely on your brains rather than your fists.#7 “Priorities of War- the first installment of a Dinosaur Girl story that promises to introduce a whole bunch of new War-Bird heroines.(I really like that) Plus this this story features a very stirring segment,about which I will have more to say in the more “in depth” review.#8 “Lunar Trap for Pyro -Girl”.The N.E.D.O.R. Agents story Though it is relatively short the writer managed to pack an awful lot of good and detailed story into this entry Like wise there was a lot of great art in every panel of this story. I hope my up coming reviews do justice to these stories.

    • Eric Johnson  February 18, 2012 at 5:31 am

      Good thoughts on everything in the issue.

      Thanks for the kind words on “Big Temper”. And nice to see that the moral of the story (“fight with your brain”) shone through. :)

  5. Mark Holmes  February 16, 2012 at 1:23 pm

    I just wanted to add that AC’s “new talent” really came thru. Dan Gorman and Scott Shriver passed the test and delivered the goodies.

    • Dan Gorman  February 19, 2012 at 1:39 am

      I appreciate the comments Mark.. But I’d be nothing with out Mark Heike.. Eric Johnson and Jeff Austin. I just tried to keep up. :)

      • Eric Johnson  February 26, 2012 at 1:14 am

        By my evaluation, you are keeping up quite well.

        And it’s very odd to think of myself as someone who needs to be kept up with in this field… :)

  6. Jimjohnston  March 24, 2012 at 6:15 am

    I wold like to say a few specific words about the “Priorities of War” story.
    I really liked this one.The art was good and the story was very satisfying.There were several aspects that I thought deserved specific comment and acknowledgement.
    #1-The splash page/ title page had the look of an old fashioned ” 1-sheet ” movie poster.(featuring ,as it did a “full size” Dinosaur -Girl towering her husband Rex and a bevy “War Birds”-some familiar some new( and even some airborne! )as they all charge in to what is sure to be a combat situation.It is a very striking image.
    As an aside and in an ideal world this illo would be the actual one-sheet for a live or CGI movie release of this story,from AC/Cult-Retro though I realize that this is to much to hope for right now .Still it never hurts to dream.
    #2- The 1st page has very cinematic feel about it, depicting a huge dinosaur causing panic and mayhem as it rampages through the water front /harbor of a major American city.In fact the image in the bottom left panel looks to be directly inspired by a scene from the movie “The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms”and this whole page puts me in mind of that movie.
    #3- The next 3 pages (#3-#5) depict Dino-girl bravely charging to the rescue and trying to subdue the giant saurian. however in spite of her size and strength the heroine has her hands full as the dinosaur knocks her down and nearly stomps her senseless.The dangerousness of her situation is nicely reflected in the concern Rex shows for his wife as he looks on (middle of the page panel -a very nice bit of story construction.)This sequence is noteworthy because it reminds us that in spite of her GTS. power Vi is only human and there is a limit to what she can do which, to my eyes really humanizes the character.
    #4- A new “War-Bird is introduced – code named “Woodpecker”(Donna to her friends)Her controlled demolition of a wharf is instrumental in the defeat of the dinosaur.She is a bright confident young lady who greets Dino-girl as an equal and does not seem intimidated by Vi’s GTS ability when they first meet and later takes charge on the conversation as she reveals the back story of the upcoming mission that will make up the rest of the adventure.Her War -Bird uniform is striking and she really looks good in her civilian garb(Page #7 – Bottom 1/2 of the page.)
    #5- We get to see a lot more War-Birds when action shifts to the South Pacific island that will be the location for action that makes up the rest of the story,though we do not not find out a lot about them ( I imagine that will happen in the upcoming adventures- One of them appears to be Russian.))
    #6 -The story takes on a much more somber tone when the action is moved to the island. Upon their arrival the single surviving American soldier tells the War-Birds how all his comrades were wiped out defending the island.The telling of this story and the heroines (and Rex’s) reaction to it is very effectively depicted in the big panel that makes up the top 1/2 of page #11 The facial expressions and stances of the characters is very well done. The mood of the story has been somewhat light -hearted up to this point,but when faced with the realities of war and sacrifices it requires of it’s participants and that those participants willing rose to that challenge leaves the War-Birds (and the reader) truly moved.
    #7- the next two panels on that page indicate that Donna/ Wood Pecker is attracted to the soldier (we learn that his name is Gary Carter.)Also it looks like Vi notices this . I really like this sort of intimate detail. I find that it “leavens”/lifts the mood of the story without trivializing it.
    #8-Then on the next page when Vi is called to go into her GTS mode and Gary is impressed. Donna some what ruefully notes that Dino-girl has” a
    way of making a girl feel that she does not measure up”.Her rather down cast reaction is in marked contrast to her earlier bright and confident attitude when she first encountered the GTS heroine.It could be that Donna ,noting Gary’s reaction to Dino-Girl ,wonders if the soldier might not be interested in her if there was some one like the GTS heroine around.This reaction really humanizes the character .Plus I really like that the character may be finding romance/love in the midst of the carnage and waste of war. I think that is a very positive thing.(I hope i am not too far off the mark in my observations.)
    #9-In the combat sequence that fallows (page #13-#17)the skill and courage and quick thinking and ability to work together of the War-birds is clearly demonstrated in the novel but effective way that they come up with to defeat an incoming flight of Japanese planes.(the airborne “Hootie”/ Night Eye is a great image-Page #14 big bottom panel).
    But to my mind the most noteworthy aspect of this sequence is the fact that Pvt. Carter recites the Lord’s Prayer as he man s an anti-aircraft gun to help bring down the attacking planes. There was nothing triumphant or self righteous about this prayer .Rather we see a soldier seeking strength in his faith to do a difficult and dangerous task. It was very impressive.
    I am very much looking forward to next chapter of this story (I hope I was not too far off base in my speculations.)

    • Rock Baker  March 30, 2012 at 7:42 pm

      Jim, thank you for your observations! Everything you mention seems in line with what I was thinking while drawing it (although the way I draw, it all flows so naturally, that I often don’t realize these nuances until you’ve pointed them out). The visual recall of THE BEAST FROM 20,000 FATHOMS (and THE GIANT BEHEMOTH) wasn’t really intentional, but I won’t deny the images of those films residing within my brain. The cop wasn’t intended as a direct reference to the battle with the Rhedosaurus, but rather was a logical event. There would be a police presence on the dock, so he’s on the scene.

      Your words are very kind, and I thank you, Jim. I hope part 2 measures up for you!

  7. Jimjohnston  April 7, 2012 at 3:11 am

    I would like to say a few brief words about the concluding chapter of the “Living in Syn” story arc which appears in this issue.

    Like all the installments that preceded it a lot happens in this story. But like all those earlier adventures ,at no time does this story seem cluttered or crowded .Every thing that appears in the story is there for a good reason(it serves the story) and the action flows along nicely.
    In this chapter the real reason for Syn’s out of control powers is revealed . And though that reason is completely unexpected, it was entirely plausible( which to my mind is the mark of a very good story.)Also the story gave some unexpected but very interesting insights into the” character” of some of the characters.The art was great with some really stand out images.
    A few specific comments.
    #1 The splash page depicting the miniaturized Ms. Victory ,Night veil and Stardust on their “Fantastic Voyage” within Syn’s bloodstream was very effective , especially the apprehensive facial expressions on all three characters, which quietly remind the reader just how dangerous this situation is. That was a very effective detail in a very good piece of art.
    #2Page 2 middle horizontal panel -depicting She Cat holding the comatose Syn’s hand as she lies on the operating table . This gesture might seem, at first glance a little out of character for the Feline Fury but my eyes it depicts an individual who simply wants to do something (anything )to help her comrade (and friend though Jess might have a hard admitting that even to herself.)
    I like this image because it depicts a character who finds herself trapped in the image she has created for herself and has a hard time expressing or even acknowledging her feelings but she still is compelled to do something .
    #3 Pages 2-6 depicting the heroines in Syn’s bloodstream,being attacked by anti bodies and white blood cells as they try to make their way to Syn’s brain.This is a very good action sequence -the top left panel on page 3and the 4 panel sequence at the bottom of page 4and that claustrophobic image in the in the middle left panel on page 6 were all particularly effective.
    Also I like that simple force could not be used to overcome this difficulty and the solution required skill and finesse and cooperation
    #4 page 5 and page7 we see that She Cat is unable to cope with the tension and has to get away. When confronted by Tara she reveals that she truly does care about what happens to Syn but she can not stand having to simply stand by and not do anything.I think the frustration and stress she articulates in the panels in which she appears in this sequence are honest and authentic and really humanizes the character.
    #5- Page *The heroines arrive at Syn’s brain and locate the unnatural growth that is the reason for her out of control powers. In the middle left panel Dusty reacts in horror to what she ,alone sees much to her comrades confusion and distress(they don’t see any thing.) In the fallowing -middle right- panel,Laura and Joan exchange worried glances-perhaps wondering if her colleague is losing it as Mara looks on in sheer terror. The facial expressions in this panel are perfect and exactly catch and display what each heroine is feeling at that exact moment .This is my over-all favorite image in the entire story.
    #6 Page 9 The old Dark Ones are revealed as the secret villains of the story . They explain( bottom 1/4 page panel.) how the came be in Syn’s brain and how the escaped their apparent destruction in the previous story arc. Their method was elegant in it’s simplicity and deviousness.I thought it was a wonderful bit of story telling.
    #6 Pages 12-15 The heroines use all their power and strength against the Old Dark Ones but are completely unable to defeat them .I thought this was another bit of great story telling ,for it quietly demonstrates just how powerful these villains are.
    #Page 16-22 Syn’s unexpected appearance and her manifestation as a huge smiling face often dominating the panel like the sun in the sky was a wonderful image that appears through out this sequence.
    I really like that in this sequence Syn is invited to join up with the Old Dark Ones as an equal partner(page 17 top panel)but she refuses saying that she loves her universe and her friends and that even though it isn’t perfect it would not be right for her “mess with”the world/alter reality (She does acknowledge that she could)
    I am very impressed by the fact , that with this statement the writer makes the point that just because you can do something that that benefits yourself, that does not give you the right to do so .You have an obligation to consider how your actions will impact on others .
    I also note that in this sequence Syn is urged to destroy the Old Dark Ones because they are such a terrible danger .But Syn finds a way to contain these awful beings without killing them .Again a solution to problem was found that did not involve violence or force.I really like that.

    Even though it is revealed that it was Syn who devised and orchestrated the whole clever solution she still makes a point thanking Joan , Laura and Dusty for trying so hard and risking so much to save her.(page 22 bottom panel)
    #7 Page 22-23 A happy ending. Really liked Joann’s ecstatic smile as realizes that her husbands sight has been restored .Also I note that even as Night veil states that it was Syn’s powers that saved the day (Page 23 -top left panel), the Synotrophic Sweetheart responds by acknowledging the contributions of” you ,Joan and Dusty”I really like that the character always has others in mind and does not just think about her self.(page 23 top right panel)
    and then in the very next panel (middle left) she asks ” can we all go home now”?
    I’ve really gotta say that my hat goes off to a character who could have anything she could ever just by thinking about it, but all she wants is for every one to just go home together. And I’ve also really gotta say I am really in awe of a writer who understands just how important it is to be able to go home to (and with )the people you care about( and who care about you.)
    I hope I am not too far off base in my speculations and observations.

  8. Jimjohnston  May 22, 2012 at 7:36 am

    I’d like to say a few words about the “The Best of Intentions ” Story.
    I thought this one was really note worthy.The art was excellent (as usual)
    The splash page is dominated by a big central image of Night Veil, depicted in a traditional ” Sorceress Supreme ” stance, – a levitating lotus posture with her iconic “Cloak of Darkness”spread out and displayed to full effect behind her. It is a truly striking image.
    But what really struck me was the story as it was unfolded on that page and how it presented the main character ,Night Veil.
    That character is generally considered to be all powerful and omnipotent and beyond simple human concerns and cares.But the story starts off by showing that, far from being remote or indifferent, the character is beset with self doubts. She is castigating herself for not spotting The “Old Dark Ones(ODO)grand scheme(as revealed in the just completed “Living in Syn”story arc)As she wonders if she can still trust herself and her abilities, she is approached by by her mentor ,Azagoth Who urges her to return to the mystic realm of Dark Dhagor and attend to her long neglected duties there.She puts him off , wanting to first make sure that the earth is truly safe from the threat of the ODO.
    Thus do we see that the character is faced with competing responsibilities (lots to do and not enough time to accomplish it all )and a nagging fear that she might not be up to the job. This is not unlike what the rest of us in the “Real World “some times are faced with.
    And all that is covered on the first page.
    To my eyes that is a very skillful bit of story telling.
    Then as the story proceeds Laura , in attempting to make sure that the the earth is completely safe from the ODO, inadvertently releases a new and even more deadly entity upon the world.She immediately tries to vanquish this new danger , put soon learns to her dismay that”Wampyer” is apparently even stronger and more powerful than she is . This new entity easily (and contemptuously) shrugs off Night veil’s mystical attacks. and when Laura tries a physical attack “Wampyer stops her “dead in her tracks ” with one hand. ( this is very effectively depicted in the bottom right panel on page 5)
    This entire fight sequence is clearly and effectively depicted on Pages 3,4, and 5. Also Laura’s dismay ,anger , and frustration at being so easily defeated is effectively displayed in small but intense panels on these pages.
    Likewise , on page 6 when Wampyr announces that she will go after Night Veil’s Fem Force comrades if the Mystic Maiden opposes the evil entities activities on earth(and demonstrates what will happen to them if she does.) Laura’s fear and concern for her friends is plain to see.( lower left side vertical panel)
    Though the art in this sequence was very well done , what I was most impressed with was the way that this part of the story demonstrated how when you are trying to repair a situation, things can easily go disastrously wrong in ways you could not expect and that they might not be easily remedied no matter how hard you try. Again,this is an all too common real world situation that Night Veil faces and is effectively rendered here.
    As an aside I do want to mention that Wampyr’s tactic of putting the innocent at risk is the one sure way to give a true heroine,like Night Veil pause. She does not care about herself , but she does not want others to come to harm because of her.That is another piece of excellent story telling.
    Also I do want to state that I thought that Laura’s resolve to deal with this crisis alone and not seek anyone’s help was a very ” realistic “human” reaction The sequence on pages 7,8, and 9 which reveal the back story and origin of this new villain are very well done
    I thought that the character’s image as rendered in the last panel on page 9 really caught that awful” sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach when you realize just how bad things are AND it’s all your fault” sensation.I thought this was another excellent piece of work.
    I especially like that Laura was able to see the parallels between her present predicament an earlier time when her reckless use of her powers created a similar situation . That bit of continuity was a nice and welcome touch.
    To sum up .For all her abilies and knowledge and power , in this story we that the characteris over burdened and can make mistakes and get things wrong and not be able to fix it and be unable to ask for help , just like the rest of us in the real world. To my eyes by so doing the writer has made the character into one that is very human and real and easy to care about and want to know “what happens next ”
    And that is what makes it such a good story.
    Finally I hope I am not too far off base in my speculations and observations and conclusions.

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