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Home  >  Features  >  Number One Bullet Reviews: November 12, 2014

 

Number 1 Bullets: 11-12-14

 

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. Some solid offerings from Dark Horse and Dynamite today!

This week, Geoff Deen, Sam Moyerman, and Joe Kach review Grindhouse: Drive In, Bleed Out #1, Itty, Bitty Comics: The Mask #1, Resurrectionists #1, The Bigger Bang #1, Super Secret Crisis War - Codename: Kids Next Door #1, Drifter #1, Archer & Armstrong: The 1% #1, Django/Zorro #1, The Lone Ranger: Vindicated #1.

 

Grindhouse: Drive In, Bleed Out #1

Grindhouse; Drive In, Bleed Out #1 (Dark Horse)-

4 out of 5

Grindhouse stories in general aren't meant to win awards or have multiple layers of meaning. They are exploitation flicks-- slasher flicks that go for cheap thrills.  This book nails that.  It's incredibly violent. There are monsters coming after families on Christmas Eve. The reason they are targeting these families? We don't know. But we do know that these families have some monsters of their own. We don't know much else. We don't need much else.  Simple and effective. Alex De Campi nails it with her writing (and impressive lettering).  R.M Guera draws the scenes perfectly too. They are presented in their perfect, violent glory.  This is certainly not a book for everyone, but people who are fans of the genre will love this. (Sam)

 

Itty, Bitty Comics: The Mask #1

Itty, Bitty Comics: The Mask #1 (Dark Horse)-

3 out of 5

A new title from Dark Horse aimed at young readers, this new Mask book should be familiar to those of us that have seen the Jim Carrey movie of the same name.  This time it's zookeeper Herman Shazbert who stumbles across the mysterious item and purchases it as a gift for his wife ... only it is Grandma who gets a hold of it and crazy hi-jinks ensue.  The art style is very colorful and kinetic, with the same level of humor that is popular in today's current cartoons.  It reminds me of The Regular Show or the Tint Titans series [Editor's Note: It's because it's the same creators as Tiny Titans.] ... zany over-the-top action and jokes.  It is great subject material for children and I think it would keep them entertained, so bring junior to the comic shop with you this Wednesday and pick it up. (Geoff)

 

Resurrectionists #1

Resurrectionists #1 (Dark Horse)-

4.0-stars.gif

Are past lives real?  If they were real and you had the power to access them, in both directions, how would you use that power?  And who would want to use you?  These seem to be the questions posed by author Fred Van Lente and artist Maurizio Rosenzweig in the latest new ongoing title from Dark Horse Comics, Resurrectionists.  Jericho Way is an architect and a thief who shares a life with Tao, an architect from ancient Egypt; and both are in way over their heads.  This first issues does an excellent job of building a world complete with mysterious shadow groups, unwitting players, and long lost loves.  The art by Rosenzweig is a bit inconsistent when it comes to faces, but the action and illusion of depth in the page are superb.  Resurrectionists is a off to a great start and should definitely be something readers should be looking for on the shelf this Wednesday. (Geoff

 

The Bigger Bang #1

The Bigger Bang #1 (IDW)-

3 out of 5

The artwork for this book is really stand-out stuff.  The pencils and inks are notably "scratchy" giving it a somewhat unfinished quality.  Then it looks like they took the rough sketchwork and just colored over it.  The coloring is dark and gritty.  The characters are more cartoonish and playful.  And it all works brilliantly.  The story jumps around quite a bit for a first issue, which with the Sci-Fi outer space setting can be jarring. It might have been better to slow the pace down a little bit to give the reader a chance to keep pace.  The creators help out by making the characters based on simple and understood archetypes.  It doesn't solve all the problems of the book, but it helps.  The dialogue, especially the interplay between the main antagonist and his assistant, is quite good.  This is a book with a fun premise and almost unlimited potential for where to go. (Sam)

 

Super Secret Crisis War: Codename: Kids Next Door #1

Super Secret Crisis War - Codename: Kids Next Door #1 (IDW)-

3 out of 5

Bright colors, giant robots, larger than life characters, and a plot to make children's pee smell so bad from eating asparagus that parents will never inflict it upon them again ... yup, another interesting and fun young readers title from IDW.  Giant robots are looking for worthy combatants and our Super Soaker-wielding kids from KND (Kids Next Door) are the prime targets.  As with The Mask title I reviewed, this is aimed at the under 10 year old reading age and seems well suited for that age group.  Perhaps not as imaginative as The Mask while at the same time having a more complex story, maybe more suited for slightly older children than that title.  Definitely worth a look while browsing between Batman titles. (Geoff)

 

Drifter #1

Drifter #1 (Image)-

2 out of 5

There's a clever book in here somewhere.  A space pilot crash lands on a strange world, where it seems like drifters have set up their own little colony.  There's a medic, a priest, a few drunks, and some would be murderer.  I just wish there was any sort of flow to it.  Dialogue just seems to happen, where it's more important for it to be witty or gritty than it is for it to flow properly and actually make sense.  The artwork is well done and the coloring makes the wasteland Sci-Fi setting really stand out.  The scope for this is quite grand.  For Sci-Fi fans, this could be one they really latch on to.  For everyone else, it might be best to see if they can work out the kinks first.  There's enough there to warrant another look. (Sam)

 

Archer & Armstrong: The 1% #1

Archer & Armstrong: The 1% #1 (Valiant)-

4 out of 5

Fred Van Lente created the team of corporate villainy known as "The 1%" in Archer & Armstrong as part of his "one-man war on bullsh!t." As readers know, Archer and Armstrong did their part and took down the 1% earlier in the series, though their scheming never actually ended. Here, writer Ray Fawkes and artist Joe Eisma bring us the next chapter in the saga of The 1%, this time focusing on their even more ruthless and debaucherous offspring: The next generation of The 1%, and they are hilariously terrifying. This one-shot does a great job setting up what seems to be the next chapter in the Archer & Armstrong saga, though where it goes from here, I am not sure. Fawkes fantastically takes a somewhat seen-before scenario and turns it on its head in a way that can only be done in Archer & Armstrong. Artist Joe Eisma does a great job with the art, as usual, but his characters do come off a little stiff and two-dimensional at times. This is a great read, but if you're not already familiar with the Archer & Armstrong story-line, then you may be a little lost. (Joe)

 

Django/Zorro #1

Django/Zorro #1 (Dynamite)-

4 out of 5

This bizarre coupling was arguably my most anticipated character crossover in quite some time. And this opening issue hit all the right nails on the head and got the story rolling remarkably well. That being said, it should have been better. We get a great set-up: And aged Zorro meets a wandering Django and the two being a partnership. Django's just doing his bounty-hunter thing, but what is it that Zorro needs from the man once they get to Phoenix, AZ? And therein lies the crux of our mystery. Like I said, this is a great issue, but with both powerhouses Quentin Tarantino and Matt Wagner at the writing reigns, I was expecting more. The dialogue was fine, but was missing the depth and snappy banter that these two writers have been known for.  Some of the interactions between Zorro and the handful of outlaws they run into felt a bit cliched. As for the artwork, much like most of Dynamite's Westerns, fits the book well, but also fairly generic. I would have liked to see a bit more creativity out of the action, like that found in the Django Unchained film. Still, a good read and a series I will certainly be following and so should you. This gets four stars, but it should have been five! (Joe)

 

The Lone Ranger: Vindicated #1

The Lone Ranger: Vindicated #1 (Dynamite)-

4 out of 5

The initial 24-issue run of The Lone Ranger was my favorite thing being published by Dynamite.  When I heard that writer Justin Gray was moving on from chronicling the adventuress of Jonah Hex in All-Star Western and launching a new Lone Ranger title, I was thrilled. And luckily, I wasn't too disappointed. Vindicated is off to a solid start, bringing in new characters and a new town into Lone Ranger and Tonto's world. What is seemingly a simple case taken on by the duo is about to grow into something much larger. By placing The Ranger and Tonto in a new setting, the creative team is able to re-start things with somewhat of a blank slate. The artwork by Rey Villegas is fine; nothing spectacular, but serves the story well. While the tale lacks the epic scope of the original Dynamite run, and doesn't quite hold the originality of All-Star Western, this is still a great opening to what I'm sure will be a kick-ass Western when all is said and done. (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: November 5, 2014

Number One Bullet Reviews: October 29, 2014

Number One Bullet Reviews: October 22, 2014

 

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