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NUMBER ONE BULLETS: 10-08-2014

 

Joe and Geoff are back to review the new first issues from Dark Horse, Dynamite, Image, and Valiant Comics to help you decide what new series to pick up. Image knocks it out of the park this week with Birthright and Wytches!

This week's issues are Alien vs. Predator: Fire and Stone #1, Dead Squad #1, The October Faction #1, Birthright #1, Punks: The Comic #1, Wytches #1, Chaos: Bad Kitty One-Shot #1, Evil Ernie #1, Vampirella: Feary Tales #1, and X-O Manowar #0.

 

ALIEN VS PREDATOR: FIRE AND STONE #1

Alien vs. Predator: Fire and Stone #1 (Dark Horse)-

3

The latest number one in the Fire and Stone series from Dark Horse Comics bring the Alien and Predator franchises together for a new round of blood and mayhem.  Fire and Stone is set across multiple books and is an attempt to weave the narrative of the movie Prometheus into the existing Dark Horse Alien universe.  Written by Christopher Sebela, our story begins with the exodus from LV-233, the crash site of the vessel Prometheus.  In the Prometheus chapter of Fire and Stone, the explorers that went in search of the lost ship barely escaped with their lives. This story picks up while they prepare for the long sleep home ... only things don't go quite as anticipated.  Boarded by a passing Predator hunting party while being pursued by a mutated, out-of-control android, things on board the Geryon Armada quickly go from bad to worse.  The art by Ariel Olivetti is the best part of this title.  Really nice pencils with coloring that almost looks painted, the attention paid to the small details of this universe really stand out.  My love of all things Alien and Predator will no doubt keep my interest piqued for the remainder of the Fire and Stone books, but when viewed with a bit more objectivity, this story falls pretty flat.  For an opening chapter this book was not very gripping, I hope by the end this proves to be a decent plot instead of a book that exists solely to see two franchises square off against each other. (Geoff)

 

DEAD SQUAD #1

Dead Squad #1 (IDW)-

2

Matthew Federman and Stephen Scaia are the two minds behind the new number one from IDW Comics, Dead Squad.  Remember that old Van Damme movie Universal Soldier..? Yeah, that is pretty much what we have here.  Everything about this first issue just felt "by the numbers".  We have our tough guy soldier characters staging a daring freeway heist, a few pages of action and military lingo, and then our twist at the end from a commanding officer who sounds like he speaks in clips from Fox News.  Throw in some resurrection pseudo-science at the end and you have Dead Squad number one.  The art from Michael Montenat is serviceable, but muddy and very flat.  The action sequence was rather dynamic and used perspective well to create a sense of motion, but other than that, the art leaves a lot to be desired.  Perhaps the story picks up with some intrigue and science fiction as we move along, but as an introduction to a new world I found this issue rather lacking. (Geoff)

 

OCTOBER FACTION #1

The October Faction #1 (IDW)-

5

Back into the world of the macabre we go with the latest IDW horror comic from Steve Niles and Damien Worm.  The October Faction is a great start to a new series from mind behind 30 Days of Night, and Damien Worm's art is very reminiscent of Ben Templesmith.  The story starts out rather simply: a retired monster hunter and his family who live in the creepy house down the street.  His children are a witch and a warlock, and his wife is up to something suspicious with a mysterious box stashed away in a long forgotten storage unit.  The pacing of this issue was great and the cliffhanger at the end has me eagerly anticipating issue number two ... which is the best thing you can say for an issue number one.  (Geoff)

 

BIRTHRIGHT #1

Birthright #1 (Image)-

5

I went into this book completely blind and it blew me away.  After a few heart-breaking pages involving the loss of a child in the woods and the very real way in which the family falls apart, the story gets turned upside down and the stage is set for one of the more interesting alternate universe stories I have read.  Joshua Williamson weaves a great stage setting first issue mixing themes from Conan to Flash Gordon.  To say anything more about the plot would give away a great twist that totally took me by surprise, but trust me ... i'ts great.  Artist Andrei Bressan is really spectacular, whether it's a game of catch between a father and son or a demon king.  Stop reading this review and just go pick up this issue ... best number one of the week! (Geoff)

 

PUNKS: THE COMIC #1

Punks: The Comic #1 (Image)-

1

Well, that book was interesting.  I read it, though I am not really sure what I just read.  A human skull, Abe Lincoln, a fist, and a dog all together in an apartment being random while suffering from some sort of social anxiety and awkwardness ... I think that is the best description I can come up with for this title.  It was definitely interesting and quirky, but I cannot really say I enjoyed it.  I think the best part of this book is the art by Kody Chamerlain- the entire book looks like it was made from cutting and pasting pictures together and it really does work in the sense that it conveys the randomness of the narrative.  Go to the comic shop, grab it off the shelf, and flip through the title ... if what you see makes you smile or if you find teenage randomness funny, then pick it up and give it a shot.  As for me, this one just missed the mark. (Geoff)

 

WYTCHES #1

Wytches #1 (Image)-

5

It's written by Scott Snyder. It's drawn by Jock. It's colored by Matt Hollingsworth. If that's not enough to get you to by this first issue, then nothing else I say will. Wytches is downright scary on a number of levels, while also touching and shocking. And this is all based on one issue. This is Snyder's take on the "witch" paradigm and it's both exactly what you would expect and also not at all. This is a "must buy" and my favorite book of the week. (Joe)

 

CHAOS: BAD KITTY #1

Chaos: Bad Kitty One-Shot #1 (Dynamite)-

4

Well, I enjoyed this far more than I thought I would. Bad Kitty was a fun, 70s grindhouse-style, over-the-top revenge flick disguised as a Chaos Comics revival one-shot from Dynamite. I never read the original Bad Kitty, so I'm not sure how close this ties in to the older stuff, but it doesn't really matter. With a very interesting lead character (with some serious, albeit entertaining mental issues) in a solid, simple story, writer J.C. Spence and Dynamite veteran artist Carlos Rafael do a great job introducing us to the character and her world, while also keeping up just the right level of violence and "cheez" that you'd expect from a Chaos title. I was surprised by this one and you probably will be too. (Joe)

 

EVIL ERNIE #1

Evil Ernie #1 (Dynamite)-

2.5

Tim and Steve Seeley bring us the new number one from Dynamite Comics in Evil Ernie, another entry into the "demons and hot chicks" Chaos line.  However, this title's focus on Ernie has toned town the gratuitous "skin show" most of these titles revel in, and the results are for the better.  Ernie is being tortured in Hell for his actions in relation to Hel, whom he betrayed Lucifer for ... but now Ernie is being offered the one thing he wants more, and that is revenge.  Thrust back into the world, this number one issue sets up Ernie's mission to take down Hel's new lovers who are tormenting souls on the mortal plane.  The art by Rafael Lanhellas is quite good and keeps the same tone set by the other Chaos titles. While I don't think his penciling is the best, the use of colors in this book really help it along.  Readers that are following this line from Dynamite should pick this title up as it is picks up where we last found Evil Ernie, but I cannot really recommend it new readers.  It is steep in back story and anyone coming into it fresh will feel pretty lost. (Geoff)

 

VAMPIRELLA: FEARY TALES #1

Vampirella: Feary Tales #1 (Dynamite)-

2.5-stars.gif

I'll admit I have a soft spot in my heart for Vampirella (no pun intended). I did enjoy her classic tales from the 60's and 70's, and even the more recent stories from Harris Comics and Dynamite. So I thought I'd be more into this anthology tale, spearheaded by writer Nancy A. Collins, which takes Vampirella from "our world" and pulls her into the comic book-based shenanigans of her past. I understood what the creators were going for here, taking Vampi and bringing her back to her classic, Eerie Tales-type stories, based on horror folklore. There's even the omniscient narrator, who Vampirella is able to converse with. But it didn't work for me. The stories were too goofy, characters undeveloped, and there doesn't seem like there's an real stakes here. If you're a big Vampirella fan, or enjoyed those ol' Eerie Tales stories, then go ahead and pick this up. Otherwise, you may want to look elsewhere. (Joe)

 

X-O MANOWAR #0

X-O Manowar #0 (Valiant)-

3.0-stars.gif

This isn't so much a first issue as it is a jumping on point. Writer Robert Venditti and artist Clay Mann bring us a direct follow-up from last week's Armor Hunters: Aftermath #1, furthering Aric's rise to public spotlight as a member of Unity and G.A.T.E. In doing so, they tie in a tale from Aric's past under the boot of the Roman Army, which is where the "#0" part of all this fits in. The issue was fine, nothing great, but not bad. It felt a little shoe-horned and unnecessary, as I didn't feel the flashback was all that consequential. Still, if you're looking to pick up X-O Manowar going forward and haven't yet, this would be a good place to start. (Joe)

 

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: October 1, 2014

Number One Bullets: September 24, 2014

Number One Bullets: September 17, 2014

 

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