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Home  >  Features  >  Number One Bullet Reviews: February 4, 2015

NUMBER 1 BULLETS: 02-04-15

 

Each week, we take an early look at the new first issues from Dark Horse, Dynamite, IDW, Image, and Valiant Comics and share our thoughts to let you know what we think you should pick up. There's some Nameless Stray Bullets going Postal out there!

This week, Joe Kach, Sam Moyerman, and Geoff Deen review Nameless #1, Postal #1, Rat God #1, The Goon: Once Upon a Hard Time #1, King: Jungle Jim #1, Stray Bullets: Sunshine and Roses #1, Imperium #1, and Legenderry: Vampirella #1. 

 

 

THE GOON: ONCE UPON A HARD TIME #1

The Goon: Once Upon a Hard Time #1 (Dark Horse)-

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The Once Upon a Hard Time arc of The Goon begins with this new number one, art and story by Eric Powell.  While it is listed as a new number 1, it is in fact issue #50 of The Goon, something I discovered after feeling very lost for 22 pages.  However, even while I was utterly lost regarding the circumstances that led to Goon's dour state of mind, this issue was still a very good read.  A very interesting mix of fantasy and gritty mob justice, The Goon is an odd protagonist to root for ... but he is also a fun protagonist to root for.  Art is simple, but solid and conveys emotion and mood extremely well.  The use of color is subtle and makes me wish other black and white books like The Walking Dead used the same method of slight colorization to bring out emotion and action.  I think recommending this book to existing fans of The Goon is preaching to the choir, but for new readers I would recommend going back at least one arc to find out what leads to the rather tragic state of mind we find him in. (Geoff)

 

RAT GOD #1

Rat God #1 (Dark Horse)-

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Let's get this part out of the way quickly: this book is gorgeous.  There's a reason Richard Corben is an Eisner Hall of Famer.  His work here is emblematic of his whole career, beautifully illustrated.  If you are a Corben fan, you'll find a lot to like here.  If you aren't familiar with his work however, this might not be the book to start with due to its disjointed storytelling.  There seem to be two distinct tales here, but the jump between them is jarring and there's nothing, at least so far, to connect them.  In fact, the first one just seems to end for no real reason.  The second tale also seems to go in a few different directions at once with no real and true motivation.  Each individual piece is fine, but together there is no connectivity.  It makes for a disjointed read and detracts from the overall piece. Still, it's damn pretty. (Sam)

 

NAMELESS #1

Nameless #1 (Image)-

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I can probably count the things I understood in this book on one hand.  What world is this taking place in?  Is it a dream world?  Are there aliens?  What is causing people to kill each other?  There are no answers and every page written by Grant Morrison and wonderfully illustrated by Chris Burnham only provide more confusion and more questions.  But gotdamn if this isn't one of the coolest books I've ever read despite that.  Part of the reason it works is that this crazy world makes complete sense to the characters going through it.  Nothing fazes the Nameless lead character.  Not the fish headed men coming to kill him.  Not the lady in the veil.  Not even the quick flips between dream and reality or the constantly shifting locale.  He takes it on headfirst and handles his business.  In other words, this is a Grant Morrison book, plain and simple.  And working with frequent collaborator Burnham makes it all the more familiar to the reader. (Sam)

 

POSTAL #1

Postal #1 (Image/Top Cow)-

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Of all the books to really nail being a great first issue, I never thought Postal would be it.  This was a very good book.  It is very well paced from start to finish, with an interesting choice for a lead narrator, and a fun reveal of the premise halfway through the book.  It's so well done it changes the book dynamically and really makes it something worth reading. There are so many analogies to make towards this book, so many fun combinations of established archetypes. If there is one downside to the book is that the artwork is best described as "ordinary".  But otherwise there is no reason not to read it. (Sam)

 

STRAY BULLETS: SUNSHINE & ROSES #1

Stray Bullets: Sunshine and Roses #1 (Image)-

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This was my first introduction into the Stray Bullets series by David Lapham.  With the stories for individual arcs set from the '70s to the '90s and covering a wide cast of characters, jumping in is not very hard.  This number one issue starts a new arc focusing on a new player in town, Kretchmeyer.  Seduction, murder, and mayhem follow in quick order when he comes to town and the story is very well-woven, featuring a large assortment of characters that are immediately identifiable to the reader even if they are new to the series.  Simple black and white art with excellent facial features makes it easy to know who is who right away, never once did I feel lost in the plot.  This was a really great read and I not only will I be picking up the next issue but I am going to go back and pick up the collected trades that came before it.  This one is easy to recommend for all readers. (Geoff)

 

IMPERIUM #1

Imperium #1 (Valiant)-

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I'm not quite sure how to review this issue. It continues the Valiant tradition of solid "comicbooking" (I just made that up, but it fits!), but something's missing. This sequel (more or less) to Harbinger is brought to use by regular writer Joshua Dysart and veteran artist Doug Braithwaite (who illustrated Justice, my favorite Justice League story of all time). It picks up where Harbinger: Omegas left off, this time following Toyo Harada and his team of Harbingers who will pave the way for a glorious future by any means necessary. Of all the Valiant titles, Harbinger's been my least favorite, and unfortunately, this issue follows suit. Don't get me wrong, the dialogue and captions are very well-written, and the art is solid, but the whole thing doesn't quite come together. There's some clever storytelling opening this issue, but some readers may feel a bit cheated by it, and by the end, I didn't feel the need to find out what happens next. I'd recommend this to anyone following the Harbinger saga or the Valiant die-hards, but outside of that, there's some other Valiant titles you may be more keen on. (Joe)

 

KING: JUNGLE JIM #1

King: Jungle Jim #1 (Dynamite)-

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Springing out of the eight-issue Flash Gordon series and the preceding Kings Watch mini, Jungle Jim seeks to save another world ravaged by the ruthless Ming the Merciless.  Written by Paul Tobin with art by Sandy Jarrell, this issue brings the long standing character back into the spotlight in an interesting pulp story of rebellion and courage against all odds.  I cannot tell when reading this if the stiff dialogue is an homage to the older comics of the '30s and '40s or if its just unimaginative.  It takes more than a gay soldier and an alcoholic leading woman to make a comic modern.  The art is solid and the landscapes are very well done, nothing that will blow you away, but it is not the art that pulls this story down.  I would recommend this title to readers who have enjoyed the recent King and Flash Gordon books or the various Warlords of Mars series, but for readers who are not invested in the old pulp comics source material, there is not much here to recommend. (Geoff)

 

LEGENDERRY: VAMPIRELLA #1

Legenderry: Vampirella #1 (Dynamite)-

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I don't know what I just read. I probably should have read the Legenderry mini-series before going into this, but things didn't work out that way. Writer David Avallone does a decent enough job with the dialogue and themes of this Steampunk world. However, the plot just doesn't come together. Artist David Cabrera handles the script well, and does a good job with the backgrounds and the mood, but the characters are fairly generic. What was most disappointing is I don't think there were any actual Vampires in this comic and I am still not really sure what Vampi is up to in this world, other than kicking lots of ass (which was cool). This may not be a fair review having not read the foundation to this story, but based on this issue alone, I can't see myself recommending this to many people. The cover by Steampunk master Joe Benitez is pretty awesome, though. (Joe)

 

Don't just take our word for it ... pick up the issues yourself and share your thoughts below!

 

More Number One Bullet reviews on MightyVille: 

Number One Bullet Reviews: January 28, 2015

Number One Bullet Reviews: January 21, 2015

Number One Bullet Reviews: January 14, 2015

 

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