Dynamite has distinguished itself the past few years by carefully choosing projects and having virtually all of them look fantastic and be entertaining reads. This has been especially true of their licensed properties such as "

Zorro

," "

The Lone Ranger

" and "Battlestar Galactica."

So it is only fitting that their latest attempt to draw in fans looking for new adventures of a popular property features perhaps the most unstoppable icon of them all, in "Terminator: Revolution."

While sure to please hardcore fans, writer Simon Furman also makes the book accessible to readers unfamiliar with the franchise. He properly and succinctly introduces the main characters, gets us caught up on their backgrounds and lets us know what their missions and purposes are in the story.

The tale includes such "Terminator" staples as John Connor - who leads humanity against the deadly machines - and the evil Skynet, architect of both the Terminators and a dark future - a future Connor is determined to prevent.

As "Revolution" begins, the focus is on Tara Connor, John's wife, who is considered the heart and soul of the human resistance. Despite the hardships she has endured and horrors she has seen, she is determined to be a joyful person. The fact she realizes she is a prime target amplifies her desire to be happy today since tomorrow is far from promised.

She confronts humanity's tormentors and her would-be assassins with grit, determination and a simple philosophy: "Do unto them before they do unto you."

As the story progresses, Tara and the Resistance find themselves having to deal with a new threat, the T-Infinity, and the fact that time is not on their side when dealing with an enemy that cannot tire, age or die. Tara convinces everyone to band together for one major mission that carries a lot of risk but, if successful, could give humanity the advantage again and insure a safe future for all.

With respect for its source material, engaging characters, high stakes and kick-butt action sequences, "Terminator: Revolution" is a kick-butt title.

Unduly punished?

When "Punisher: War Zone" misfired at the box office last weekend, the usual predictable claptrap from some in the media was that perhaps comic-book movies have peaked and that the "trend" is over. These are pretty much the same people who have been predicting the comic-book movie's demise with every disappointing film since "Spider-Man" hit it big in 2002.

Of course, people have been predicting the end of "Star Trek" with every setback that franchise has endured for the past four decades and have been anticipating the demise of James Bond since before Sean Connery left.

When one considers what a monster year comic-book movies have had at the box office, those predicting a steep decline in their popularity because of the lackluster opening of "Punisher: War Zone" have even less credibility.

As the next few items should show, comic-book movies won't be extinct in Hollywood anytime soon. If anything, they should be growing in quality, number and appeal to the masses.

So how to explain the horrible opening weekend for Frank Castle?

Well, the weekend after Thanksgiving is usually slow for movie-ticket sales and the movie had no true stars to draw people to it.

Oh, and it seems very few fans or critics think the movie is any good. Comics Guy got some inclination that Marvel felt it had a turkey on its hands when at a con this summer, a panel on the movie was scheduled after the regular con hours and was only 30 minutes instead of an hour.

So, the formula is really simple. Make good movies with recognizable stars and successes like "The Dark Knight" and "Iron Man" will result. Make bad films and people will stay away.

From what Comics Guy has seen and heard, "The Spirit" looks ready to make comic-book movies red-hot again in 10 days. It looks fun, dazzling and more innovative and visually groundbreaking than "Sin City."

Stunning showing

For another example of the respect comic-book movies are accruing, consider that when the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced the 15 movies selected as semifinalists for the Oscar for best visual effects, four comic-book movies made the cut: "The Dark Knight," "Hellboy II: The Golden Army," "The Incredible Hulk" and "Iron Man."

Radical 'Sensation'

Radical Publisher/President Barry Levine is among those who see comic-book movies as hotter than ever. In fact, in a Los Angeles Times interview, he revealed he is banking on it.

"People were very dubious about us. They went, 'Here's another comic book company that is really a disguised motion picture company.' And, look, I never lied to anybody. If I got into this only to make comic books, I would have to be either an ultra, uber-fan or an idiot. I got into this business to create great content that would translate itself on a multimedia platform. Look, it's simple. I make comics. I want to make movies. It's like that tattoo on my arm I showed you, 'He who does not hope to win has already lost.' That's how I feel about my company."

"Right now in Hollywood, the rush is on, comic books are the new sensation and they are not going away," Levine continued. "What's happened already is impossible to ignore but what's happening now and what's going to happen next is even more interesting." *