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NUMBER 1 BULLETS: 11-5-14

 

Each week, we take an early look at the new first issues from Dark Horse, Dynamite, IDW, Image, and Valiant Comics to share our thoughts and let you know what we think you should pick up.  Top contenders this week are Image and Valiant with their Tooth & Claw and Eternal Warrior offerings!

This week, Geoff Deen, Sam Moyerman, and Joe Kach review Ghost Fleet #1, American Legends #1, The Humans #1, Penny Dora and the Wishing Box #1, Tooth & Claw #1, Eternal Warrior: Days of Steel #1, and John Carter: Warlord of Mars #1. 

 

GHOST FLEET #1

Ghost Fleet #1 (Dark Horse)-

3 out of 5

If there was one way to describe this book, it would be the word “nevermind”.  But in the way you would use it to cede an argument, when you look at the person you are disagreeing with and just decide the fight isn't worth it.  “Nevermind,” you say and wave off your disagreement.  That’s exactly what you have to do with this book.  It makes absolutely no sense.  I've read it twice to make sure. And yet, it’s kind of bad-ass.  In the same way a Michael Bay movie is bad-ass.  Why does it open with Andrew Jackson in the Battle of New Orleans?  No idea.  But the battle has some cool sequences.  It goes in a million places from that opening (including a very graphic shot of a man getting run over by a truck).  It answers the questions “What are you?” and “Where are you going?” with “everything” and “everywhere.” I almost feel an obligation to keep reading it now... (Sam)

 

AMERICAN LEGENDS #1

American Legends #1 (Top Cow/Image)-

2 out of 5

Written by Bill and Zachary Schwartz with art by Studio Hive, American Legends #1 brings together icons from American history such as Davy Crockett and Mike Fink for an adventure in the newly purchased Louisiana Territory.  I think the concept is pretty engaging even if it does feel a bit too close to The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.  However, the first issue is a mess of forced character engagements that totally brought me out of the story over and over again.  The plot moves from panel to panel with almost no flow, it felt very disjointed.  Unfortunately, the art does not fare much better.  The images are extremely static, completely devoid of any sense of motion.  I feel like this title was a good idea at the onset, but lacked the inspiration to see it truly develop into a gripping story. (Geoff)

 

THE HUMANS #1

The Humans #1 (Image)-

1 out of 5

A Chimpanzee version of Sons of Anarchy?  Okay ... I guess.  The Humans #1, written by Keenan Marshall Keller with art by Tom Neely, is exactly what it appears to be on the on the surface, at least for the first issue:  Biker gang chimps mourning a fallen comrade.  I find this issue hard to review because it is honestly one of the strangest books I have ever read.  There is a panel sequence involving a Orangutan getting a blow job behind a tree from a large breasted female biker Chimpanzee, where do I go with that?  Objectively the art is pretty solid, but even for a comic like this, there needs to be some story and a very thin tale of "Chimp biker gangs at war" does not do enough to overcome the weird.  We are left with a cliffhanger of a long lost gang member returning, but because this character has no introduction nor was he referenced in the proceeding 20 pages, why are we supposed to care?  I am all for weird comics, but they at least need a point or a hook to draw you in. Unfortunately, The Humans offers nothing more than monkey boobs. (Geoff)

 

PENNY DORA #1

Penny Dora and The Wishing Box #1 (Image)-

2.0-stars.gif

Hidden inside this book there is something fun and imaginative.  But just like the titular Wishing Box, those portions of the book don't get opened nearly enough. This is the case of a book where the writer, in this case Michael Stock, had a clear vision of where the first issue was supposed to end, but kept finding himself needing to fill more space to get there.  Everytime the book builds towards something, it lets you down and starts the process all over again. By the time you get to the end you're so tired of being let down that no matter what they did finally reveal would not be enough to sate an cat's appetite (there's wit in that statement for whoever reads the book) and frankly, it wouldn't have been enough even without all the stalling.  The book is trying to feel like a fairy tale, but it desperately needs to pick up the pace. (Sam)

 

TOOTH & CLAW #1

Tooth & Claw #1 (Image)-

5 out of 5

This 48-page, double issue from Image Comics is the latest new number one from writer Kurt BusieK and artist Benjamin Dewey.  This is a very interesting tale of magic and science in a world populated by anthropomorphic characters.  The politics of this world have established a society wherein certain species have access to a limited source of magic and like high in the clouds, while others are stranded on the terrestrial planet below.  Is it Earth?  That question is hard to answer from the first issue but I enjoy the mystery.  A problem is soon made clear to the reader, this source of magic is finite ... and running out.  Desperate measures must be taken to reach into the past and bring back the one who introduced magic into this land long ago, but who or what exactly are they summoning?  The characters voices are real an earnest, the politics are interesting, and the art is absolutely amazing.  This is great read, go pick it up! (Geoff)

 

ETERNAL WARRIOR: DAYS OF STEEL #1

 Eternal Warrior: Days of Steel #1 (Valiant)-

4.5 out of 5

 The Fist and Steel of Earth is back in the new Days of Steel mini-series from Peter Milligan and Cary Nord, and I loved this issue. I've been a fan of the Eternal Warrior saga since the early days of Valiant in the 1990s, and this brought me right back. Gilad Anni-Padda, the Eternal Warrior,  takes his cues from the Geomancer, and he does as he is asked without question. But what happens when he starts to ask some questions? In the middle of an identity crisis, Gilad is tasked with protecting a child, a child destined for something great. Or is he? This isn't Milligan's first dance at Valaint, but it is his first run on this title and he handles it deftly. Nord's artwork is superb as usual, but falters a little bit when colored, giving it a blurry feel. An almost perfect set-up issue, it just suffers a little bit from falling into a "save this kid for unknown reasons" story trope. Still, Valiant fan or not, you'll dig this issue. A little bit fantasy, a little bit western, a little bit hard-boiled action, and a sense of humor throughout. (Joe)

 

JOHN CARTER: WARLORD OF MARS #1

John Carter: Warlord of Mars #1 (Dynamite)-

3.5 out of 5

Dynamite returns to the world of Mars, this time with the full blessing of the Edgar Rice Burroughs estate. Ron Marz takes the writing reigns with artist Abishek Malsuni, and the two do a good job introducing or re-introducing readers to the Red World of Barsoom and its inhabitants. If you have little to no familiarity with John Carter or his universe, you'll be okay: there's plenty of exposition to get you caught up, a bit too much, actually. Marz also introduces an interesting, if not predictable, twist that I am surprised has not been attempted before. Malsuni's art is quite nice, with all the characters rendered in heavy detail. While this is not the best comic book in the wrold, it's also not a bad one for those looking into classic fantasy tales. And of course, lest we forget this is a Dynmaite comic, our main lead in this issue is Dejah Thoris, Princess of Mars, and all the anatomical correctness that comes with.  (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 Bullet Reviews: October 29, 2014

Number One Bullet Reviews: October 22, 2014

Number One Bullet Reviews: October 15, 2014

 

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