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NUMBER 1 BULLETS: 06-03-2015

 

Each week, we take a look at the new first issues from Dark Horse, Dynamite, IDW, Image, 12-Gauge, and Valiant Comics and share our thoughts to let you know what we think you should pick up. Take flight with Airboy and The Avenger today!

This week, Geoff Deen and Joe Kach review Age of Reptiles: Ancient Egyptians #1, Airboy #1, Covenant #1, and Justice Inc: The Avenger #1.

 

 

Age of Reptiles: Ancient Egyptians #1 (Dark Horse)-

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(W/A/CA) Ricardo Delgado
Ricardo Delgado's gorgeous and brutal Age of Reptiles series returns, marking a bold new direction in wordless storytelling! The steaming swamps of Cretaceous Africa teem with prehistoric life and primordial danger in a tale filled with villains, victims, and one of the most dangerous and unpredictable protagonists ever created: the lonely antihero Spinosaurus aegyptiacus!

Ricardo Delgado's Age of Reptiles is definitely unique.  The best part of the book is the art, it is simply fantastic.  Great dinosaur images and the entire story is conveyed without dialogue and it flows perfectly.  However, there is really not much of a story to be found at all.  We are treated to a visually stunning series of images following a wayward Spinosaurus as he travels the late Cretaceous Period looking for food and fighting off rivals, the only problem is that is the end of it.  I was assuming by the end of the first issue there would be some sort of setup to get the audience to care for the creature, or at least have a purpose for following him.  Yet there is nothing, and that is a disappointment.  Oh, and Dinosaurs are not reptiles... (Geoff)

 

Airboy #1 (Image)-

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(W) James Robinson (A/CA) Greg Hinkle
Worlds and minds explode in a brand-new series! When acclaimed comics author JAMES ROBINSON (Starman, Fantastic Four) is hired to write a reboot of the 1940s action hero Airboy, he's reluctant to do yet another Golden Age reboot. Just what the hell has happened to his career-?! His marriage?! His life?! Hey, it's nothing that a drink can't fix. It's after one such night of debauchery with artist GREG HINKLE that the project really comes into its own. Quite literally. Because Airboy himself appears to set the two depraved comic book creators on the straight and narrow. But is the task too much for our hero? 

What an uncomfortable breath of fresh air! I have read quite a few comics in my day where my reaction was, "Well, that was certainly unexpected." And here, James Robinson's Airboy is probably at the top of that list. One part drug-fueled San Francisco adventure, and one part an exercise in overcoming writers' insecurity, this issue contains everything that would make Bacchus himself give a double take. It's brutally honest, uncomfortably funny, and a very entertaining read. This was my first exposure to Greg Hinkle's artwork and I really liked what I saw. He's got a bit of that "hipster" Daniel Clowes in him, with a more animated spin. While I'll be the first to admit that this isn't for everyone (definitely NOT kids!), I thoroughly enjoyed it. My only complaint: Airboy is barely in it, but that's bound to change in #2. (Joe)

 

The Covenant #1 (Image)-

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(W) Rob Liefeld (A) Matt Horak (CA) Rob Liefeld
In ancient times there was no weapon more devastating than The Ark of The Covenant, containing a power that collapsed enemy nations and destroyed hostile invaders. The Philistine army, led by General Thane, seeks to crush the Israelites as they populate the surrounding territories. A bold move on the field of battle robs the Israelites of their mythical weapon, empowering their most deadly enemy. A young priest, Samuel, determines to steal back the Ark and assembled a group of mercenaries to aid him in the most daring raid in history. An untold tale of the Bible that shifted the balance of power in history.

Written by Rob Liefeld with art by Matt Horak, The Covenant is a new number one from Image Comics based heavily on biblical lore.  Central to the plot is the Ark of the Covenant, familiar to any who have seen Raiders of the Lost Ark.  The story and design are the same, heralded as the one true weapon of the Hebrew Army.  Our story is a rather simple set up: it's the Hebrews of Shiloh vs. the Philistines who worship the Snake God, Dagon.  The art is decent, one of those styles that does not leap out at you as having great backgrounds or character work, but at the same time there is nothing offensive about it.  Overall, I found the comic to be boring.  Lots of exposition, lots of characters, lots of bible back story ... yet with no real hook to draw the reader in.  We are givin a side we are meant to root for and the evil snake people are are meant to be rooted against; good vs bad, black and white.  Perhaps the story will find depths as it progresses, but the first issue just fell flat. (Geoff)

 

Justice, Inc: The Avenger #1 (Dynamite)-

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(W) Mark Waid (A) Ronilson Freire (CA) Alex Ross & Various
Meet Richard Henry Benson - the Avenger! His pallid features forever deadened by a criminal act, he is the ultimate master of disguise and uses his skills to mete out retribution to those who would prey on the innocent! But can even Benson triumph over an Invisible Man...? Fan-favorite writer Mark Waid - who is hotter than ever thanks to his work on Daredevil and Star Wars: Princess Leia - brings his personal favorite pulp hero back to comics with all-new, explosive adventures!

Pulp Awesomeness!!  This new number one from Mark Waid and Ronilson Freire is a fantastic read on so many levels.  A mix of noir and pulp writing, set in a time that resembles the 1940's but not explicitly stated, with an art style that matches the tone and the setting perfectly.  Richard Benson leads a diverse group of adventurers setting things right in the world as The Avenger, and leader of Justice, Inc.  Mark Waid shines in this issue with fantastic narration that fits this book so very well.  Normally I am not a fan of exposition, but this does not feel like that at all; instead it reads like and old noir detective novel.  The narration is used to add a sense of place and purpose on top of the art, never once feeling like it is there to help explain the art.  Speaking of art, this book is beautiful!  Stop reading this review and pick this book up at your local shop, it's a must read. (Geoff)

 

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

 

More Reviews on MightyVille:   

Number One Bullet Reviews: May 27, 2015

Number One Bullet Reviews: May 20, 2015

Number One Bullet Reviews: May 13, 2015

 

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