The Zone

    (Ultimate Sports, 2004)
™ and © Ultimate Sports Entertainment

Part of a family of four licensed NBA–themed comics, The Zone focuses on a subset of the “Ultimate Sports Force,” a group of all-star cagers that have been granted superpowers by “The Orb” (which, fortuitously enough, resembles a glowing basketball). Featuring stars such as Carmelo Anthony, Karl Malone and Rasheed Wallace, the team protects citizens from the forces of evil while providing valuable tips on socialization and proper peer relationships to the reader. In this issue, a squad of powerful robotic vehicles is stolen from the scientist who developed them, and the USF must come to the rescue before all of downtown Chicago is looted. The fact that the inventor's estranged older son and helpful younger son are named Cam and Abel give some early clues to the careful reader and reinforce the importance of parental and filial bonds.

— Joe Trela

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