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NUMBER ONE BULLETS: 08/20/14

 

This week, Joe Kach and Sam Moyerman take a look at the new first issues from Dark Horse, Dynamite, IDW, Image, and Valiant Comics to help you decide what new series to pick up! Delinquents, Strains, and Little Nemos are the winners this week.

Today's comics are Dark Horse Presents 2014 #1, The Strain: Night Eternal #1, Little Nemo: Return to Slumberland #1, Super Secret Crisis War: The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy #1, The Fade Out #1, The Delinquents #1, Justice, Inc. #1, and Steampunk Battlestar Galactica 1880 #1.

 

DARK HORSE PRESENTS 2014 #1

Dark Horse Presents 2014 #1 (Dark Horse): Since this is an anthology title, I'll review each chapter individually:

Big Guy and Rusty, The Boy Robot by Geoff Darrow:  On the one hand, it's the return of Big Guy and Rusty drawn by Darrow! On the other hand, no Frank Miller to write... While I was happy to see the duo back on the stands, and appreciated the social commentary regarding apathy Darrow was making, over-all this story fell pretty flat and seemed pointless. But, Darrow's art is so good, it still gets a 4 out of 5

Kabuki: The Psy-Chic by David Mack: And another creator returns to their creation! I've never been able to get into Mack's work on Kabuki, and it was no different here. The art was creative and inventive, but the story structure was very hard to follow. The narrative was tedious and confusing. There was an element introduced that I am sure will be interesting to Kabuki fans going forward. This story is either the semi-focused ramblings of a creator or the work of a mad genius. The Problem is I can't tell which. 2.5 out of 5. 

Resident Alien: The Sam Hain Mystery by Peter Hogan and Steve Parkhouse: This is a solid follow-up the last Resident Alien mini-series, which I never read, but still got into this tale. The Alien Icarus is back, on the run from the FBI after what seems to have been a bank robbery in the previous story. Now, Icarus is trying to pay it all back and move on with his life. To be honest, the tale was somewhat uneventful, but the art was great and I still found the writing engaging, so good stuff. 4 out of 5. 

Dream Gang by Brendan McCarthy: I appreciated the opening segment of this story, highlighting the mundane rituals we mostly find ourselves in day-to-day. But, I've seen that before, and the main character's escape into the dream world was confusing and odd, yet somehow predictable. 2 out of 5.

Wrestling with Demons by Jimmy Palmiotti, Justin Gray, and Andy Kuhn: Here we go.  It's a fresh take on the Horror Westen genre and it was a blast. Solid pacing and art, likable characters, and a set-up that makes so much sense, I am really surprised that this hasn't already been attempted. Ironically, it's the idea of what's to come that has me more excited than what was presented in the first chapter. I think I know where they're going with this and I can't wait to see it play out. 5 out of 5.

Sabretooth Swordsman: Colossal Casuals Crusade by Damon Gentry and Aaron Conley: Really weird title equals really weird story. While the idea of an Egyptian Warrior-like Sabretooth tiger going on adventures does sound appealing, in execution, this came off as more of a weird experiment. The art was hard to follow at times and there was little to no dialogue. For some reason, it reminded me of an old Popeye cartoon, but not in a good way. I wouldn't say this was a bad story, just sorta there. 3 out of 5. 

(Joe)

Overall: 3.5 out of 5

 

THE STRAIN: THE NIGHT ETERNAL #1

The Strain: The Night Eternal #1 (Dark Horse): The only thing I know about The Strain so far is: Guillermo Del Toro, Alien Vampires, and an eyeball billboard that was pissing off a lot of Los Angeles commuters. Turns out, The Night Eternal is actually the third of The Strain trilogy of novels. So, I was concerned that this adaptation by David Lapham and Mike Huddleston would be totally lost on me. Surprisingly, I really enjoyed it. Lapaham does a fantastic job of setting up his characters and the back-story without having to rely on heavy exposition and Huddleston's art is a perfect fit. While definitely a horror title, it also had a little bit of a Lost vibe. Really well done first issue that is actually a sequel and is new-reader friendly. (Joe)

4.5 out of 5

 

LITTLE NEMO: RETURN TO SLUMBERLAND

Little Nemo: Return to Slumberland #1 (IDW): For anyone who was worried about how anyone could update and translate Windsor McCay’s landmark Sunday comic strip into modern comic book format while retaining proper respect to the original work and not losing the modern storytelling of comics, you can rest easy.  This is a brilliant book.  The artwork is absolutely stunning.  The script and storytelling are top notch.  And yes, there are the classic “wake up panels” that McCay made so famous.  They play a little bit with the artform here, not as much as McCay did, but there is plenty of room to grow on this.  Seriously people, read this book! (Sam)

4 out of 5

 

THE GRIM ADVENTURES OF BILLY AND MANDY #1

Super Secret Crisis War: The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy #1 (IDW): I’ll admit I have no idea who the characters were in this story.  I have no idea who was crossing over from another book or why.  You know what?  It didn’t matter.  This book was fun and funny.  It makes me want to go out and experience the characters more.  The writing and artwork never tried to be more than they had to be, with the pace matching the spirit and theme of the book completely. The end piece adds a little more to knowledge of the overall story, but it is mostly unnecessary, unless you really wanted Mojo Jojo in the book. Still a really fun book. (Sam)

3 out of 5

 

THE FADE OUT #1

The Fade Out (Image): Writer Ed Brubaker and artist Sean Phillips are already back in the monthly game after the wrap-up of Fatale last month. The Fade Out is an enjoyable read set in the early days of Hollywood, and even though I liked it more than I thought i would, it still felt very derivative of Satellite Sam (there was even a blowjob thrown in for good measure). The characters are not uninteresting, and it was a smooth read. If you generally like their stuff, you'll enjoy this a lot. Phillips doesn't try anything new here, but his artwork is appropriate for the story and the era it is set in. This is definitely more Brubaker's Noir niche than horror. (Sam)

3 out of 5

 

THE DELINQUENTS #1

The Delinquents #1 (Valiant): Ding, ding, ding! Another Valiant winner! James Asmus and Fred Van Lente share writing chores (with Kano on art) and team up the two Valiant Universe comedy pairs into one adventure, and the results are stellar. And this says a lot since Quantum and Woody never actually meet up with Archer and Armstrong in the issue. The set-up hearkens back to an 80's adventure flick (with the necessary Archer and Armstrong-ized twist)  and I see some globetrotting in our heroes near future. This book is also very accessible considering both pair of characters already have around 30 issues under their belts. But, new readers will not feel lost here. A damn near perfect start to a team-up adventure, with my only minor gripe being that it was a bit light on the action. Still, Valiant fan or not, I think you'll dig this, Hobo-lovers. (Joe)

4.5 out of 5

 

JUSTICE, INC #1

Justice, Inc. #1 (Dynamite): Ooof.  This book showed so much promise:  Classic pulp character team-up coupled with a writer who we know loves them so much he included a reference in the end.  Sadly, it just falls flat.  The story seems simple enough with Doc Savage being transported through time back to 1939, but it’s unnecessarily complex in both storytelling and artwork. There are sequences that are impossible to follow (I dare anyone who reads it not to ask, “Wait, didn’t he get on the plane last page?”) because the storytellers try to get a little too fancy and a number of the attempts at witticism and winks fall completely flat (did anyone really need to know where Marvel got their name?).  There is some promise here based on the characters, but this was not what I wanted from this book at all. (Sam)

1 out of 5

 

STEAMPUNK BATTLESTAR GALACTICA 1880 #1

Steampunk Battlestar Galactica 1880 #1 (Dynamite): Does anyone know why this had 1880 in the title?  The book doesn’t take place on Earth and has no references whatsoever to the time.  The story here is nicely done and the artwork is good enough and flows nicely, the problem is the complete and utter lack of any real steampunk elements.  There are some small nods in the artwork, but there are way too many scenes that are close-ups or medium scale shots.  We don’t get one big establishing shot to show us the scope of the steampunk. It’s just kind of there.  The good news is that there are more steampunk elements added at the very end of the book, so it’s possible that we’ll get more in the rest of the series and this issue was used primarily as set up. (Sam)

2 out of 5

 

Don't just take our word for it! Pick up the comics yourself and let us know what you think.

 

More Number One Bullets on MightyVille:

Number One Bullets: August 13, 2014

Number One Bullets: August 6, 2014

Number One Bullets: July 30, 2014

 

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