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Home  >  Features  >  Number One Bullet Reviews: February 18, 2015

NUMBER ONE BULLETS: 02-18-15

 

Each week, we take a 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. Get read for some Dynamite Action with Green Hornet and a crazy, time-travel trip with Dark Horse!

This week, Joe Kach and Sam Moyerman review EI8HT #1, King: Mandrake the Magician #1, Legenderry: Green Hornet #1, Pathfinder: Origins #1, Secret Identities #1, and Sparks Nevada: Marshal on Mars #1.

 

EI8HT #1

 EI8HT #1 (Dark Horse)-

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"Welcome to the Meld, an inhospitable dimension in time where Joshua, a chrononaut, finds himself trapped. With no memory or feedback from the team of scientists that sent him, he can't count on anything but his heart and a stranger's voice to guide him to his destiny."

I love surprises. I was assigned this issue somewhat last minute and had no idea who was involved till I read the credits. Written and drawn by Mike Johnson and the very talented Raphael Albuquerque, EI8HT #1 sets the stage for a time-travel, Sci-Fi mystery. Our lead, Joshua, is sent back in time. We are not sure exactly why, nor what the compensation he is so eager to receive is, but we do know it involves someone named The Spear.  Gorgeous artwork with a very interesting color palette and almost perfect pacing for a first issue, EI8HT #1 is a winner. There are some interesting elements introduced, showing us that this isn't the sort of time-travel tale we may be used to. My main, and minor, complaint was that the dialogue could have used some work to give the characters more unique voices, but it did not detract from the story. Pick this up. (Joe)

 

SECRET IDENTITIES #1

Secret Identities #1 (Image)- 

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"Behind every mask is a secret ... The supergroup known as The Front Line have just invited new hero Crosswind to join them. But what they don't know is that Crosswind is a mole, sent to learn all their secrets. And the Front Line have LOTS of secrets. "

This book is superhero cliche heaven.  A new hero shows up to keep helping out the big team of heroes ... but he's really a spy! (Don't worry about this being spoiled, it happens very early in the book.) A major member of the team is the First Daughter who loves her father but hates the bureaucracy. Some team members are creepy; some have secret pasts; some have secret presents.  It's simply a book of ideas.  The artwork is good enough for a superhero book, it's bright and does well with the action.  If, over the course of the book, each storyline is given time to breath and come into its own, there could be something special here.  If it continues at the breakneck speed throwing cliches at the wall, it will be way too much to enjoy. (Sam)

 

SPARKS NEVADA #1

Spark Nevada: Marshal on Mars #1 (Image)-

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"Shine your astro spurs and don your robot fists! Justice rides a rocket steed across the crimson plains of the fourth planet, where one man brings fear to robots and aliens...and hope to humans who make this frontier planet their home. He is...SPARKS NEVADA: MARSHAL ON MARS!"

I will admit, I am a huge Thrilling Adventure Hour fan.  I've been listening to the podcast for the past few years.  So I'm predisposed to love this.  Written by the podcast creators Ben Acker and Ben Blacker, it tells an early tale in the history of Martian Space Marshall Sparks Nevada.  For those not in the know this is a space western that plays off all the tropes of the old classics, but puts them on Mars (and never fear fellow nerds, there is a role on the show played by Nathan Fillion). There is some real joy for fans of the podcast like myself in seeing these characters on the page.  One hopes it's not too insular to keep out new readers.  One also hopes that more things start to happen.  This book is a lot of setup.  The payoff at the end makes one thing it'll be amping up soon.  It will be nice of the Bens to take steps to give audiences something in the comic that they normally wouldn't get on a podcast; and they've cut their teeth on enough books recently to believe they will (and they include a joke about Spark's main catchphrase that let you know they get it). (Sam

 

MANDRAKE #1

King: Mandrake the Magician #1 (Dynamite)-

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"'It's time to put on a SHOW!' Welcome to the KING, full of IMPOSSIBLE TRICKERY and DEMONIC DESTRUCTION and HEARTBREAKING VILLAINY and WITCH DOCTORING and GLOBAL CATASTROPHE and SMIRKING SLEIGHT-OF-HAND and DAPPER DETERMINATION! Witness MAGICAL MYSTERY by Eisner-Award Winner ROGER LANGRIDGE (Thor the Mighty Avenger) and JEREMY TREECE (Marvel Zombies) with a connecting King cover by comic legend DARWYN COOKE!" 

The latest in Dynamite's offerings from the King's Syndicate line of characters, Mandrake the Magician #1 focus on the master of the mystical arts (in this universe) himself. Out of the King's Trio (Flash Gordon, The Phantom, and Mandrake), the Magician has always been the one that interested me the least. Unfortunately, this issue didn't do much to sway me. This is a first issue and already I felt like it was just treading water. The majority of the story takes place on a stage that doesn't really involve the over-all plot, and I am still not entirely sure what Mandrake is all about. The art by Jeremy Treece is pretty darn good and is this comic's saving grace. If you're following Dynamite's King line, then yeah, you're going to want this. Otherwise, put your money towards picking up Dynamite's lovely King's Watch mini-series for your Mandrake fill. (Joe)

 

LEGENDERRY: GREEN HORNET #1

Legenderry: Green Hornet #1 (Dynamite)-

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"From the pages of Bill Willingham's LEGENDERRY, it's Green Hornet and Kato, goggles-deep in an all-out steampunk gang war! We've got airships! Electric velocipedes! Semi-automatic blunderbusses! Each gang and gang lord is weirder than the last, beginning with the child psychopath who starts the war, the adorable and deadly "Little Lord Homicide." But who's pulling the boy's strings?"

Fun, fun, fun! I stated a few weeks ago that reviewing these Legenderry spin-offs from Dynamite may not be fair since i have not rad the main Legenderry tale. But, after reading this issue and last week's Red Sonja tie-in, I will be picking up the trade. I did not feel lost at all in this issue; it came off as a brand new adventure. There is a bit of a learning curve in understanding how all the charterers fit together in this world, but at the same time, who cares? Just enjoy the ride. The look and style of the Green Hornet and his pal Kato fit in very nicely in this Steampunk world, and the the mystery they find themselves sucked into works on multiple fronts. Crazy biker gangs, killer 'tweens, and creepy, costumed villains are all thrown into the mix and handled very well by writer Daryl Gregory and artist Brent Peeples. I'm definitely on board for issue #2. (Joe)

 

PATHFINDER: ORIGINS #1

Pathfinder: Origins #1 (Dynamite)-

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"An exciting new Pathfinder adventure begins! To prove themselves to the Pathfinder Society, Valeros the fighter and his companions must recount tales of their early exploits in a world beset by magic and evil.  In this issue, Valeros crosses swords with the brazen barbarian Amiri when both serve as hired guards escorting a doomed caravan through the treacherous Bloodsworn Vale. Sword and sorcery thrills from Pathfinder publisher Erik Mona and art from rising star Tom Garcia!"

I've never read anything Pathfinder-related and am really not sure what the over-all RPG is all about. That being said, that knowledge doesn't seem necessary to enjoy this tale. I assume each issue of Origins will address a different member of the group, and in this one we get a little background into the life of Valeros, the Conan-archetype. The story is enjoyable enough, and hits all the right fantasy tropes. But, not quite enough there for me to want to come back. However, if you're a fan of the Pathfinder saga, you're going to want to pick this up. It's solid. (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: February 11, 2015

Number One Bullet Reviews: February 4, 2015

Number One Bullet Reviews: January 28, 2015

 

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