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NUMBER 1 BULLETS: 09-02-15

 

Welcome to another installment of the fan-favorite reviews column, Number 1 Bullets! Each week, we get our hands on as many first issues as possible and share our thoughts to let you know what new series to follow. Ladies rule this week, with Vampirella, Mockingbird, and a few witches leading the way!

This week's batch includes Toil and Trouble #1, Aliens/Vampirella #1, Swords of Sorrow: Miss Fury & Lady Rawhide #1, Danger Girl: Renegade #1, Plutona #1, Poseidon IX #1, Deadpool vs Thanos #1, Miracleman by Gaiman & Buckingham #1, and S.H.I.E.L.D. 50th Anniversary Special: Mockingbird #1. 

 

Danger Girl: Renegade #1 (IDW Publishing)-

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(W) Andy Hartnell (A) Stephen Molnar (CA) J. Scott Campbell
Abbey Chase is renowned across the globe as a brilliant young archeologist and (a bit less renowned) as a member of the super-secret spy organization known as Danger. But what set of circumstances lead Abbey to become who she is-who trained and shaped her into the remarkable person she is? Now, for the first time ever, Danger Girl readers will find out the answer to these questions and more... in Danger Girl: Renegade!

... or The Secret Origin of Abby Chase. This new Danger Girl mini-series takes place during two different times: one adventure following a teenage Abby as she treks the globe in search of her missing father; and another modern day, post-Danger Girl break-up diamond hunt starring Abby and a cast of diabolical characters. Danger Girl has always had a level of cheesecake fun and '60s camp, and that's no different here. Co-creator and writer Andy Hartnell keeps us firmly in the Danger Girl world from page one. Artist Molnar has a unique, Terry Dodson-ish take on the characters, though there are some panels that he appeared to struggle with. It's solid all the way through, but follows alot of expected beats. Don't expect any surprises, but it's definitely worth a read for Danger Girl fans and a decent jumping on point for new readers. (Joe)

 

Plutona #1 (Image Comics)-

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(W) Jeff Lemire (A/CA) Emi Lenox
A brand-new heartfelt super-hero series by JEFF LEMIRE (DESCENDER, Hawkeye) and amazing newcomer EMI LENOX!

Hey, a cute little fun comic. A group of high school misfits finds themselves bound together on a small adventure after running into Plutona, the city's super-defender. But their meeting is not under the best of circumstances. It's like a cross between Stand by Me, The Breakfast Club, and Powers. Jeff Lemire writes the kids well, each having their own unique voice. But I still felt like I've seen a lot of these guys before. The art works for the story, a mix of sketchy cartoons and light-hearted manga. This probably isn't Lemire's strongest work, but it's unmistakably him and fits right into the current Image Comics mold. Fans of the writer won't want to miss this. I'll give it another couple of issues. I hope it picks up just a bit. (Joe)

 

Poseidon IX #1 (Image Comics/Top Cow Productions)-

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(W) Tini Howard (A) Phillip Sevy (CA) Stjepan Sejic
FROM THE PAGES OF IXth GENERATION! Journey to Triton, where luxury is a cyborg's reward for worship of their God-King Poseidon. But in blue oceans lurks a sleeping terror-from before the Ascension, before even civilization as we know it!

Poseidon IX is the next entry in the IXth Generation one-shots from Top Cow.  Written by Tini Howard with art by Phillip Sevy, this latest installment follows the cyber god Poseidon and his fiefdom that rules over the seas.  We have seen these IXth Gen Gods as everything from cruel to curious, and with Poseidon we get the closest thing to benevolent.  Portrayed as a lover who seeks to enrich the lives of his people, his character actually seems to have empathy for the remaining humans in his charge.  Faced with a waking sea monster of immense power, Poseidon seeks the aid of fellow IXth Gen Apollo to subdue and eventually wrest the creature to his charge.  The art falls into that grey area of not great, but at the same time not bad, the story is conveyed well and the panels flow naturally and it is all very well-paced.  However, the backgrounds seem lacking in detail and the art does not bring much emotion to the face of our main character.  All that being said, I found this to be one of the more enjoyable entries to this series and look forward to see where the story picks up in the the latest issue of the on-going series from Top Cow, IXth Generation #5. (Geoff)

 

Deadpool vs. Thanos #1 (Marvel Comics)-

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(W) Tim Seeley (A) Elmo Bondoc (CA) Tradd Moore
We all know Thanos-the man who single-handedly made bejeweled gloves into THE deadly weapon of choice for mass murder. But did you know he shares an ex with Deadpool? No, not Vanessa-I refer to the cosmic "lady" known as DEATH. And when everyone in the universe stops dying, both of her former beaus take an interest. Can the pair overcome one's overwhelming hatred of and annoyance by the other? Or will Thanos finally let Deadpool die once and for all?

Deadpool is a hard character to get right, and I would argue few have done him well.  To get it right on that fine line of jokes, violence, and light-hearted banter is no easy task and breaking the fourth wall over and over again does not count.  In comes Tim Seeley to give it a try in the new number one issue from Marvel Comics: Deadpool vs Thanos.  His attempt definitely falls on the more ridiculous side of the Deadpool spectrum, whether or not that is a good thing is very subjective and up to the reader.  I found the story to be fun, but too silly to be really engaging.  The structure is all there, it is well-paced and fun to read with as sane of a plot as one could expect given the premise; but I just did not buy the key story beat of Deadpool and Thanos competing over Death's affections.  Even through all this theatrics, I still need a semblance of a coherent plot to hold on to, and I do not think this title provided that.  The art by Elmo Bondoc is very good and he does an excellent job of displaying emotion even through Deadpool's signature mask.  This is a hard review due to Deadpool's subjective nature, so in the end I will say that despite my criticisms, I did think the book was funny and enjoyable to read.  Pick it up off the rack at the comic shop and if you like the tone of the opening scene you will like the rest of it. (Geoff)

 

Miracleman by Gaiman & Buckingham #1 (Marvel Comics)-

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(W) Neil Gaiman (A/CA) Mark Buckingham
Neil Gaiman and Mark Buckingham's Age of Miracles begins! Two years have passed since the decimation of London. Miracleman presides over mankind's Golden Age from atop Olympus. Pilgrims climb its miles-high peak to petition their new god. Each carries hopes that are pure. The motives they conceal, however... Miracleman explores Infraspace in the opening chapter of "Retrieval," but just what, or who, is he looking for?

Well, that was ... interesting. That's the best way I can describe it. I go into each of these Miracleman reprints from Marvel with very high hopes, and usually, I let my expectations get the best of me. That was somewhat the case here. This issue starts off Neil Gaiman's run on the title with artist Mark Buckingham. It's rather well-written, reminding me very much of Alan Moore's run on Swamp Thing. Miracleman has elevated from her to God who now has the ability to grant people whatever they wish as long as they survive the journey through his temple. Like I said, the story is interesting, but not terribly exciting. The art is fitting, while also a bit dated (this issue is a reprint of classic Miracleman #17). Still, it's well-written an entertaining. If you're interested in reading more about Miracleman, whether it's a fresh start or a continuation of Moore's run, then I think you'll want to give this series a shot. (Joe)

 

Mockingbird: S.H.I.E.L.D. 50th Anniversary #1 (Marvel Comics)-

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(W) Chelsea Cain (A) Joëlle Jones (CA) Paul Renaud
Mockingbird has always been one of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s best agents, but what happens when someone close to her is murdered? Forced to take matters into her own hands, someone is bound to pay! New York Times Bestselling Author Chelsea Cain joins the Marvel Universe to tell a story of bloody revenge! Plus! A special bonus story by superstar young adult author, Margaret Stohl (Beautiful Creatures), writer for the upcoming YA novel, Black Widow: Forever Red!

The 50 Years of S.H.I.E.L.D. Anniversary promotion from Marvel Comics sees the release of Mockingbird #1.  Former Avenger and now Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., Bobbi Morse is out to investigate the death of her former biochemistry mentor.  This issue was a great read.  Written by Chelsea Cain with art by Joelle Jones, Mockingbird #1 brings some aspects of the S.H.I.E.L.D. television show into the established character from the comics, namely in the relation ship with Lance Hunter.  Their banter in this issue is lifted directly from the show and quite entertaining.  This issue also acts as a great introduction to the character for any new readers, with her history and on again/off again power set being brought up in well placed references throughout the story.  I really enjoyed the art and colors as well, all in all this was a fun read and an easy recommendation to all comic fans. (Geoff)

 

Aliens/Vampirella #1 (Dynamite Entertainment)-

4.0

(W) Corinna Bechko (A) Javier Garcia-Miranda (CA) Gabriel Hardman
Humans have begun to colonize Mars, but something ancient and sinister got there first. Now Vampirella is faced with a mystery only she can solve, and the bloody realization that some monsters should never be awakened. Writer Corinna Bechko says, "I've loved Alien since I first saw it as a kid on a crummy old TV in a well-lit room and got scared half to death anyway. Now that I have the chance to add a little corner to that universe I couldn't be happier. And pitting such an implacable horror against Vampirella? That's a meeting that definitely produces very fertile story-telling ground. The Alien franchise has always thrived with strong women in the lead. Smart, self-assured Vampirella is a joy to write for, even when she may have met her match."

So, this had no business begin as good as it was. The Vampirella series from Dynamite has been pretty hit or miss, as have the various Aliens offerings from Dark Horse. And as we all know about crossovers, they generally tend to lave us wanting. That was certainly not the case here. It's the modern take on Vampirella, where she's more of a government agent than an extraterrestrial vigilante. She's called on a mission to Mars to investigate some strange occurrences. While there, she and a team of explorers run afoul of our Alien bug friends. The cool thing about these Aliens crossover stories is that the reader knows more than the characters. Vampi and team have no idea how deadly these face-huggers are, but we do an that sense of dread adds to the suspense. And that was an ending that I did not expect, but hoped for and it worked out nicely. It's a tight story with some solid, Joe Quesada-esque art. My only complaints are some rough dialogue in places and the art can sometimes get lost in itself. But, I would gladly recommend this title to pretty much anyone. (Joe)

 

Swords of Sorrow: Miss Fury & Lady Rawhide #1 (Dynamite Entertainment)-

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(W) Mikki Kendal (A) Ronilson Freire (CA) Mirka Andolfo
When everything is going wrong, sometimes the only person you can trust is a complete stranger. Can Miss Fury and Lady Rawhide put aside their differences long enough to figure out what's really going on?

Another week, and another Swords of Sorrow number one from Dynamite Comics.  This week the worlds of Miss Fury and Lady Rawhide cross paths, and to the shock and dismay of readers across the world, the two heroines must come to blows of misunderstanding before setting out on their journey to unravel the mystery of their reality-jumping foes.  I can feel my sarcasm with this series getting worse with each entry I read, but it has been a long time since a comic in this crossover has seemed like anything more than an excuse to make two women fight before teaming up and attacking a character from the Chaos line of comics.  Written by Mikki Kendall, this story sees our titular heroines facing off against Purgatori who seems to have become the go-to villain for these initial entries into the series.  The art by Ronilson Freire is not doing this issue any favors either.  To be honest, it's just not good.  Awkward anatomy and lumpy faces abound, set across boring and static back-drops.  With this issue following two of the most obscure characters from the Dynamite universe, this issue is an easy pass for all readers. (Geoff)

 

Toil and Trouble #1 (BOOM! Studios)-

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(W) Mairghread Scott (A) Kelly Matthews, Nichole Matthews (CA) Kyla Vanderklugt
What's to Love: Throw out your textbooks, this is not the Macbeth you remember. Mairghread Scott (Transformers: Windblade) and Kyla Vanderklugt (Jim Henson's The Storyteller: Witches) have reinvented Shakespeare's famous tragedy, but this time the power is in the hands of the three witches. These ladies aren't all "double, double, toil and trouble." They're the power controlling kings and the fate of Scotland. What It Is: The three fates-Riata, Cait, and Smertae-have always been guiding and protecting Scotland unseen, indirectly controlling the line of kings according to the old religion. When there is a disagreement in the sisterhood, Riata and Smertae will use men as pawns, and Smertae will direct Macbeth to a crown he was never meant to have.

Anyone who has been through high school English knows the phrase, "Toil and Trouble" from Shakespeare's Macbeth, and this latest number one issue from BOOM! Studios follows the three Witches of that tale and the curse they place on Macbeth.  Written by Mairghread Scott, Toil and Trouble is narrated from the point of view of Smertae, one of the three sisters who watch over the land.  She is greatly troubled over the manipulations of her choir and by issue's end has decided upon rash action that will test the tide of fate.  The issue is rather heavy with narration, but I felt it was so well done, it never felt out of place nor pulled me out of the story.  This also serves to ensure that any readers who may not know the basic plot of the play never feel lost.  The true shining point of this issue, however, is the art.  Drawn by Kelly and Nichole Matthews, the art in this comic is breathtaking.  Soft colors and beautiful pencils, it all fits together so well in its telling of a fantasy tale.  The entire issue is a pleasure to look at start to finish.  This is something readers should not miss, a really outstanding title from one of the smaller publishers that are often over looked. (Geoff)

 

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

 

More Reviews on MightyVille:   

Number One Bullet Reviews: August 26, 2015

MERCY: SHAKE THE WORLD - A MightyVille Review

Number One Bullet Reviews: August 19, 2015

 

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