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Home  >  Features  >  Number One Bullet Reviews: September 9, 2015

NUMBER 1 BULLETS: 09-09-15

 

The Force Awakens in today's Number 1 Bullets! Each week, we review as many new first issues as is Inhumanly possible and let you know which new series we think you should follow. Lots of good stuff this week, with Star Wars leading the way!

This week's stack is Tyson Hesse's Diesel #1, Mirror's Edge: Exordium #1, Harley Quinn: Road Trip Special #1, Alice Cooper vs Chaos #1, Super Angry Birds #1, Atomic Robo and The Ring of Fire #1, TET #1, Head Lopper #1, Star Wars: Shattered Empire #1, and Quake: S.H.I.E.L.D. 50th Anniversary Special #1.

 

 

Tyson Hesse's Diesel #1 (BOOM! Studios)-

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(W/A/CA) Tyson Hesse
Diandra Diesel isn't very good at anything. The daughter of the late Tungston Diesel, she has yet to live up to her father's great reputation. Her childhood rival has inherited control of her family's airship and left Diandra the only job she's qualified for: picking up the trash. But all that changes when a mysterious flying engine crashes into Diesel's life and takes her on a journey through the skies.

Hey, I liked this a lot more than I thought I would! Coming from BOOM! Box, this title is definitely geared towards a younger audience, so I wasn't sure how it would play out. But it should certainly appeal to all the fun-loving adults out there. The first thing that caught my eye was the art-style, a nice blend of classic Anime and Disney attributes that's very easy on the eye. The color palette worked remarkably well. While the idea of a young girl struggling to gorw into the mold her family set for her is nothing new, the take here is fresh and inspiring. The side characters are more of a treat than the main, which speaks to Hesse's ability to create unique characters in a unique world. Like I said, this series may be aimed at children, but whether you're 3 or 30, do yourself a favor and pick up the first issue. (Joe)

 

Mirror's Edge: Exordium #1 (Dark Horse Comics)-

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(W) Christofer Emgard (A) Mattias Haggstrom, Robert Sammelin (CA) Robert Sammelin
Leading up to the events of the highly anticipated new Mirror's Edge game comes an exhilarating comic prequel that delves into the story of Faith, one of the most celebrated heroines in video games! Dare to enter the fast-paced, high-stakes world of life on the mirror's edge!  

With a sequel to the original Mirror's Edge video game recently announced, it is not a surprise to see Dark Horse Comics bringing back this series in comic book form.  Written by Christofer Emgard with art by Mattais Haggstrom and Robert Sammelin, Exordium reunites readers with Faith, the young runner who spends her life scampering across the rooftops to spread free information against the wishes of the new corporate overlords.  The first thing that comes to mind when reading this issue is whether or not is conveys the sense of speed portrayed in the video game, something that is very hard to do in comic book form.  The answer is ... not really.  Mirror's Edge was always a case of game-play over story, and when the comic attempts to reverse those roles by promoting Faith's backstory over action it, loses its forward momentum.  The story is not bad, but it's not very gripping either.  Corporate bad guys, shady underworld bosses, and an orphan looking for answers.  None of these are new or original which left me with the feeling of, "Why should I continue?"  There is definitely something here for fans of the game who want to get more back story for Faith and her world, but as a comic attempting to stand on its own it feels a bit thin. (Geoff)

 

Harley Quinn: Road Trip Special #1 (DC Comics)-

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(W) Amanda Conner, Jimmy Palmiotti (A) Bret Blevins & Various (CA) Amanda Conner
It's the great American summer tradition, but you've never seen a road trip quite like this before! Harley, Ivy, and Catwoman are burning rubber across the U.S. of A! We recommend you all stay off the roads for the month of August, just to be safe.

Thelma and Louise meets the Gotham City Sirens in this fun, '80s-style action-comedy special. Told very much in the vein of the current Harley Quinn series keeps up the fun and zany, but makes a few sacrifices. The art really stands out here. Bret Blevins brings his classic The Trouble With Girls art-style here and it works well, adding just the right mix of cheesecake and dynamics. It's quite good! The story accomplishes what it sets out to do: Tell a zany, over-the-top story starring three of Gotham's most famous citizens. The problem is, some moments were too zany, too over-the-top, and took me out of the story. And some of the characters were written as far more cartoonish than they appear in other titles. Still, this is Harley's world and we're all living in it, and this one-shot proves that nicely. (Joe)

 

Alice Cooper vs. Chaos #1 (Dynamite Entertainment)-

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(W) Tim Seeley, Jim Terry (A) Jim Terry (CA) Joyce Chin
It's the ultimate heavy metal crossover as the original shock rocker meets the original death metal comic book universe! Bizarre nightmares are plaguing Evil Ernie, Chastity and Purgatori, and though the hate each other's guts, they may have to join the teen monster team called The Chosen to find the one and only Alice Cooper! Co-writer Tim Seeley says, "I'm excited to work with my friend Jim Terry on the perfect mash-up of our favorite things. Dynamite is a great place to make crossovers, and this one will be pure metal. Raise your devil hand, fiends."

I went into this with low expectations, and they somewhat panned out. The story itself, the idea that in order to prevent Hell on Earth, the characters of the Chaos Universe need to kill Alice Cooper, as decreed by Purgatori. Why? I have no idea, but I'm assuming that'll be explained in later issues. The dialogue and the art is where things fall apart. Some very overblown lines, leaps in logic, and amateurish art leave me with a "pass" on this one, unless you're a fan of Cooper or the Chaos characters. (Joe)

 

Super Angry Birds #1 (IDW Publishing)-

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(W) Jeff Parker (A/CA) Ron Randall
It's everyone's favorite furious fowl as you've never seen them before! A new group of would-be heroes, with powers beyond mortal birds, fight a covert war against King Pig and his minions. They are the Super Angry Birds!

I understand this is a comic based on a popular video games that is more-or-less geared for children (though based on the people I've seen playing the game, I am not sure how true that is). Remember back in the day how you could get a free comic with a pizza at Pizza Hut? Or an insert into a comic where some basketball players team up with the X-Men? Those were better than this. Considering the creative team of Jeff Parker and Ron Randall, both men with some serious comic book clout under their belts, this issue was odd, pointless, and not very fun. It was actually a fairly convoluted story considering that it was meant to be. It felt lazy and rushed, and only hit on certain beats mandated by either the publisher or the game developers. Unless you're a huge fan of the Angry Birds franchise, I'd say go for something else. (Joe)

 

Atomic Robo and the Ring of Fire #1 (IDW Publishing)-

4.5 stars

(W) Brian Clevinger (A/CA) Scott Wegener
Atomic Robo disappeared two years ago when Tesladyne was invaded by Majestic 12 and transformed into ULTRA, a task force leveraging the U.S. surveillance and military industries against scientific pursuits deemed to be hazardous. Now, the few remaining Action Scientists finally have a plan to find Robo, but they've got to dive deep into ULTRA territory to do it! (And meanwhile, giant monsters from the sea might destroy all of civilization.)

This was my first step into the world of Atomic Robo. And I gotta say ... I was impressed. Especially considering the titular character was pretty much absent the whole tale. Focusing mainly on the supporting cast, the story read very much like a Japanese-fueled adventure with western sensibilities. The band gets back together after some time of to face a new threat, but where's Atomic Robo when you need him? Let's find out together. the art worked perfectly, the pacing and clever dialogue spot on. So, not only does this issue make me want to keep reading, it also makes me want to go back and read what has come before. Luckily, all are available for free online at atomic-robo.com, including the follow up to this issue! (Joe)

 

TET #1 (IDW Publishing)-

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(W) Paul Allor (A/CA) Paul Tucker
Eugene Smith is desperate to leave Vietnam behind, and begin a new life with the woman he loves. But when a fellow Marine is brutally murdered, Eugene’s plans are thrown away, forever. All’s fair in love and war, right? Writer Paul Allor and artist Paul Tucker present an extraordinary, heartfelt story of hard-boiled crime and star-crossed romance, set at the height of the Vietnam War and the decades that followed.

War stories come in two flavors in my opinion: The first is the over-the-top action hero movie, and the other paints war as the ugly thing it is, with no winners and only losers.  TET, the newest number one from from IDW, is the latter.  Written by Paul Allor, TET follows a GI by the name of Eugene in Vietnam, 1968.  As far as things in war can go, he has it relatively easy.  Translation duty in the city, a beautiful young women he wants to take home and marry, and friends to call his own.  However, with the murder of his friend things begin to unravel, and the historic Tet Offensive that closes the first issue is sure to make things worse.  Allor writes the hell out of this book, it's fantastic.  Eugene's voice is great, optimistic with an ever-present cloud of doubt that hangs from his first ugly days in country.  The investigation into the murder of his friend is bringing the reality of Vietnam to the surface and watching him navigate through the realities of what is happening and about to happen makes for great reading.  The only negative of this comic is the art by Paul Tucker.  I just don't like it: Messy with thick line work and weak details, poorly drawn faces, and bland backgrounds.  However, with that said this is still a solid recommendation and a great comic with a good story to tell. (Geoff)

 

Faster Than Light #1 (Image Comics)-

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(W/A/CA) Brian Haberlin
In the very near future we discover the secret of faster-than-light travel. Suddenly the universe is wide open to us, but are we ready for it? With all the idealism of the original Star Trek and the grit and immediacy of Gravity, the story of humanity's first thrilling and terrifying adventures to the stars takes flight!  

Brian Haberlin, former Spawn co-writer and colorist, comes back to Image Comics with a new creator-owned title set in the farthest Sci-Fi regions of space. Faster Than Light space travel has been invented and a special crew has been gathered for an interstellar mission. The art works fine, albeit a bit rough. It was hard to tell who was who at times. The story was pretty good as presented, but slightly misconstructed. As I was reading it, I felt really lost as to what was motivating a lot of these people and their plans. I thought I had pieced it together, but then I read the story summary on the back cover which cleared things up and showed that my initial deductions were inaccurate. And that's not a good thing. If the premise isn't nailed down by the first issue, then that will work against the longer story. I'm curious to see where things go, but hope the pacing and structure improve a bit. (Joe)

 

Head Lopper #1 (Image Comics)-

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(W/A/CA) Andrew MacLean
Action. Adventure. Fantasy. Decapitation! ApocalyptiGirl creator ANDREW MACLEAN brings this critically acclaimed indie hit to Image Comics! The dark humored quarterly adventure begins with a double-sized first issue, with eighty pages of story and a premium pin-up gallery for the regular price of just $5.99!

Andrew MacLean provides both words and arts for the latest #1 issue from Image Comics, Head Lopper.  Norgal is a warrior, a swordsman, and the son of the Minotaur; as well a a man of very very few words.  Opening with a silent action scene that spans almost half the length of the first issue is a bold move ... that is a lot of space that could be used for establishing character and setting and is instead spent fighting a dragon.  I can see how this, in its own way, can be seen as a way to tell us what kind of warrior Norgal is, but with simple art and no motivation for his actions it fell completely flat for me.  In fact, by the end of the issue, I still know nothing about the world or the main character, and thus have little to no desire to be brought back for issue #2.  There is an art to cold opens and minimal first issues that are intended to grab the reader with just enough to leave them wanting more ... this comics does none of that.  A fantasy world, a barbarian, and the head of a witch in a bag he carries is, quite literally, all I got from this issue and that is not enough to make me want to continue.  Amazing art would save an issue like this, but the art is simple at best and boring at worst.  There is just nothing here, and that makes it hard to recommend to readers.  In the end I think this one is a pass. (Geoff)

 

Star Wars: Shattered Empire #1 (Marvel Comics)-

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(W) Greg Rucka (A) Marco Checchetto (CA) Phil Noto
For the first time in the new Star Wars canon, journey with us into the time after the end of Return of the Jedi! Writer Greg Rucka (PUNISHER, WOLVERINE, Gotham Central) and artist Marco Checchetto (AVENGERS WORLD, PUNISHER) take us past the destruction of the second Death Star into the chaos of a Shattered Empire.

The relaunch of the Star Wars comics from Marvel have been a real hit, and now that we are closing in on the release of The Force Awakens this Christmas, we get our first entry into the new expanded universe that begins with the end of Return of the Jedi.  Written by Greg Rucka with art by Marco Checchetto, Shattered Empire follows the final battle over Endor from the perspective of Shara Bey, ace A-wing pilot.  After a beautifully drawn space battle, she meets up with her husband Res Dameron, and any Star Wars fan that is paying attention will recognize that is that last name of The Force Awakens X-Wing pilot, Poe Dameron.  Thus the first hint of the next trilogy is laid.  The comic was fantastic cover-to-cover.  Great writing, fantastic banter, and a delicate use of established characters while keeping the focus on those that are new.  The art lives up to the storytelling with a truly epic space battle and perfectly rendered Star Wars vehicles that are burned into all of our imaginations.  This is a comic that cannot be missed; not only is is amazingly written and drawn, but it also is the beginning of the story for the most anticipated movie of the year. (Geoff)

 

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

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(W) Matthew Rosenberg, Patrick Kindlon (A) Daniel Warren Johnson (CA) David Nakayama
Family reunion! Learn why Quake makes the perfect agent for S.H.I.E.L.D....When a group of Inhumans get involved, Quake finds out exactly how far she'll go to finish a mission.

Another one-shot in the 50th anniversary of S.H.I.E.L.D., Quake serves to re-introduce readers to a character that has been on the sidelines of the Marvel Universe for a few years now.  Whether she is going by Skye or Daisy Johnson, Quake is now a character that exists in both the Marvel Comics Universe as well as the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and this issue serves to bring those two depictions of the character together.  Written by Matthew Roseberg and Patrick Kindlon, our story picks up shortly after the events depicted in Jonathan Hickman's Secret Warriors comic, which saw Nick Fury establish a team with Quake for doing his dirty work.  Daisy is not exactly trusted by her follow S.H.I.E.L.D agents and is thrown in with the Avengers for a high-profile mission, only to disobey when confronted with an Inhuman from her past.  This was a great issue to read and a lot of fun, an interesting look at how S.H.I.E.L.D. agents view the Avengers and the level they operate on.  It also gave us another look at Daisy and how her comic book persona is being shaped by events in the MCU.  Well-paced storytelling with solid art by Daniel Warren Johnson makes this an easy book to recommend to fans, especially those looking forward to the next season of Marvels Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (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: September 2, 2015

Number One Bullet Reviews: August 26, 2015

Number One Bullet Reviews: August 19, 2015 

 

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