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Home  >  Features  >  Number One Bullet Reviews: April 22, 2015

NUMBER ONE BULLETS 04-22-15

 

We're back, Baby!

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. IDW and Image hit some high notes this week with Empire, Infinite Loop, and Beyond Belief!

This week, Sam Moyerman, Geoff Deen, Joe Kach, and Sommer K. review  Drones #1, Empire Uprising #1, Infinite Loop #1, Uncle Scrooge #1, Beyond Belief #1, and Kaptara #1.

 

 

Drones #1 (IDW)-

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(W) Chris Lewis (A) Bruno Oliveira (CA) Ramon Villalobos
"Two former predator drone operators face insurgency and insanity on the Las Vegas Strip in the surreal surroundings of the world's first terrorism-themed hotel!"

Okay. Remember what it was like before DVRs and you would turn on your television a bit late into that new show's debut and not have a full understanding of what's going on? And then for some reason, you're called away to do the dishes before the show ends so you don't quite catch how the episode wraps up? That's how I felt after reading this issue. There's definitely something here in this world of drone pilots that run wars these days, and life on the Las Vegas strip. There is something here ... I'm just not quite seeing it. I know it involves casinos, drone jets, fake terrorists, and pancakes, but how they all tie together? Hurm. The comic itself is well-executed, and well-drawn, albeit with a few panels where I wasn't quite sure what was happening. All-in-all, I think there's a cool story here worth following, but it was a bit of a wobbly first issue. And there's a slick cover by Ramon Villalobos that has pretty much nothing to do with the story inside. (Joe)

 

Empire Uprising #1 (IDW)-

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(W) Mark Waid (A/CA) Barry Kitson
"It's been a year since the events of the original Empire, and much has changed for Golgoth, the first super-villain to conquer the world. Can he hold onto his reign-and does he even want to?" 

It took too long to get this book. Not, it took too long as in "we don't care anymore," but it took too long as in, "damn, when will I ever get to read more Empire?!?!" Because the original tale was just that awesome. This book takes place one year after the events that ended the first one. It immediately hearkens back to the ending of the original series in commemorating the death of Emperor Golgoth's daughter with a three-minute worldwide silence. Two things of note - 1, Golgoth very clearly is lying to everyone about how his daughter died (seriously, go read the original!) and 2, you can be killed for even making a sound during the silence. The world at large continues to be indoctrinated into living in a world ruled by Golgoth. Students are taught of his benevolence. We, as readers, know the truth and we look forward to seeing the next plot to overthrow him. Well, after the one in this issue at least. (Sam)

 

Infinite Loop #1 (IDW)- 

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(W) Pierrick Colinet (A/CA) Elsa Charretier
"A dynamically graphic, science-fictiony, poetical, paradoxical wunderkind of a sexy, time-traveling, adventure-packed comic series begins here!"

A new number one ongoing title from IDW, The Infinite Loop is really a story about same-sex relationships and love, and how humanity seems to repeat the cycle of hate based on the foreign ideas of the 'new' throughout time. We learn, adapt, and accept ... only to stumble again one the same problem further down the road. The title, The Infinite Loop, could not be more fitting. Written by Pierrick Colinet with art by Elsa Charretier, the story is framed from the point of view of a time travel agent, tasked with sorting out paradoxes and anomalies that occur from the misuse of time travel technology. Teddy, our female protagonist, seems to come from an as yet undisclosed time in which love is suppressed to avoid the hate that it can bring to those who are different; this suppression of emotion is thrown into conflict at the end of issue one when she comes face-to-face with another woman seemingly out of time and the attraction is instantaneous. I thought this was a fun read and never once felt like I was being hit over the head with the plainly stated moral message about bigotry. Its all wrapped around a fun main character with an interesting Sci-Fi back drop. The art style is very reminiscent of Darwyn Cooke or Bruce Timm; simple colors with thick pencils and inks. Check this one out! I am curious to see where it goes as it left off on a solid cliffhanger. (Geoff

 

Uncle Scrooge #1 (IDW)-

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(W) Jonathan Gray, Rodolfo Cimino (A) Romano Scarpa (CA) Giorgio Cavazzano
"Wak! Disney's richest epic hero returns! In "The Wrath of Gigabeagle," the McDuck Money Bin meets a monster-sized Beagle Boy mech!" 

Uncle Scrooge is a new #1 from IDW, though it's a continuation of the previous run of comics from Disney's previous publishers. (It's a little odd that Marvel's not publishing these comics, but also pretty cool.) This first issue reminded me of Saturday mornings of old, watching cartoons with my kid brother, singing along to the theme songs. There's more than one story here ... in fact, it's 50 pages, so you definitely get your money's worth. The (duck) tales are pretty silly, and center around Scrooge's greed and compulsion to protect his riches. There's lots of insults, along with the senseless, cartoon violence we've come to expect from classic Donald Duck cartoons- rather than the newer, tame versions we get these days. The art is fun and simple, and also typical of the old school Disney we've come to know and love, full of adorable characters. This is pretty much what you'd expect from an old Disney cartoon, back when it was okay to laugh at someone being bonked over the head with a large, blunt object, or blown up by a carefully placed land mine. If you're a fan of old Disney cartoons and looking for a goofy, mindless read; or if you happen to be around 10 years old and are reading this review, this comic is for you!. (Sommer)

 

Beyond Belief #1 (Image)-

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(W) Ben Acker, Ben Blacker (A/CA) Phil Hester
"Based on the hit Nerdist podcast! It's time to send the little ones to dream land, and set your radio's dial to "SPOOKY." Steel yourself for mysterious suspense in...BEYOND BELIEF! Meet Frank and Sadie Doyle, toast of the upper crust! Headliners on the society pages. And oh yes...THEY SEE GHOSTS! Who cares what evil lurks in the hearts of men...unless evil's carrying the martini tray!" 

I'll admit, I was worried about this book. I am a huge fan of The Thrilling Adventure Hour podcast and like most listeners, Beyond Belief is my clear favorite portion. But I was worried that so much of what made the podcast work was the two stars of the show: Paul F. Tomkins and Paget Brewster, who have voiced Frank and Sadie Doyle for over a decade. I should have known not to worry. With Ben Acker and Ben Blacker writing the book (after creating and writing the characters for their entirety - minus two stories by Ed Brubaker and Len Wein), the characters voices still ring true. Phil Hester is nearly perfect for the book, too, with his blend of humor and darkness. I'm sure it helps me to have Paul and Paget's voices in my head when I read the dialogue, but I'm nearly positive it will work no matter who you envision as the leads. The Doyles love to drink, spout witticisms, and solve supernatural mysteries and that's fun no matter who it is doing the talking. Get on board people. (Sam

 

Kaptara #1 (Image)-

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(W) Chip Zdarsky (A/CA) Kagan McLeod
"A space expedition goes horribly wrong because if it didn't there would be no story! Reluctant explorer Keith Kanga and his crew crash land on KAPTARA, a world filled with danger and weird danger and dangerous weirdos! And if he can't survive then earth, the place where YOU live, is doomed!"  

I have read Kaptara, a new number one comic from Image, twice now, and I still cannot quite tell what tone it is going for. Written by Chip Zdarsky with art by Kagan McLeod, Kaptara begins as an earnest space exploration comic. A diverse crew demonstrating believable tension on a mission to Mars with a focus on a sarcastic scientist who does not quite seem to fit in with the rest of the our cast of characters. What follows is a well crafted crash to an alien planet, an escape from monsters, and an eventual rescue from a group that looks straight out a Flash Gordon serial. The action and storytelling is well done and expertly paced, but at the same time it feels disjointed. Three situations of extreme peril and our sheltered sarcastic protagonist does not seem to be phased by it at all. I cannot tell if he is being written as extremely brave or stunningly naive. The art also fluctuates between impressively drawn characters with faces drawn so well they convey emotion without dialogue to alien backdrops and monsters that look sloppy and unimaginative. With all that said, I did find the premise fun even if it was cliched. Here's to hoping issue two brings some new ideas to this well-worn story of a human crash-landing on a strange alien world and getting drawn into its own political drama. (Geoff)

 

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

 

More Reviews on MightyVille:  

BLOODSHOT REBORN #1 - A MightyVille Advance Review

ARCHIE VS. PREDATOR #1 - A MightyVille Advance Review

Number One Bullet Reviews: February 18, 2015

 

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