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Fringe No. 1




New to the tube this fall is producer J.J. Abrams' highly hyped "Fringe," a strange-science series which desperately wants to become the next "X-Files." It hasn't comes close yet, but mythology-expanding moves like this tie-in comic book may help.

As the first of a six-part series, the premiere issue of "Fringe" is an anthology split in halves. The first begins a story to be continued, while the second is self-contained. Art is terrific throughout.

"Like Minds" follows the show's eccentric, mentally askew Professor Walter Bishop back to his early-Seventies days teaching at Harvard, where he begins experimenting on mind-data transference. It stops on a note of mystery, and you want to see it keep playing out.

Next is "The Prisoner," which keys off the pilot's opening of the government agents in love. In this story, she receives a phone call from him, while he's in prison "¦ but he's supposed to be dead. How? Thematically, there's a link to "Like Minds" that explains it all.

No mere piece of commerce, "Fringe" the comic book delivers, perhaps even more so than its source material. While half a dozen issues should be enough to satiate readers, potential exists for far more.

"?Rod Lott

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