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Home  >  Features  >  Number 1 Bullets Comic Reviews: November 4th, 2015

NUMBER 1 BULLETS: 11-4-15

 

It's another edition of Number 1 Bullets where we let you know which new series we think you should follow!

This week's batch: Call of Duty: Black Ops III #1, Joe Golem: Occult Detective #1, Unfollow #1, Cage Hero #1, Citizen Jack #1, Deadpool #1, Drax #1, Extraordinary X-Men #1, Hercules #1, Howard The Duck #1, Max Ride: Ultimate Flight #1, Nova #1, Vision #1, James Bond #1, Monstress #1, Exodus: The Life After #1, and Johnny Red #1.  

 

 

Call of Duty: Black Ops III #1 (Dark Horse Comics)-

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(W) Larry Hama (A) Marcelo Ferreira

Setting the stage for the latest installment of Activision's hit Call of Duty series of video games, Dark Horse Comics has released the first issue of the mini series designed to set the stage for the games single player campaign.  Written by Larry Hama of GI JOE fame, this issue sees a group of black ops soldiers in the near future sent to infiltrate a rouge group.  Call of Duty has always been rather over the top in regards to its action, and this book stays with that theme offering cover to cover action and firefights, but the dialogue is so pedantic it pulls the reader completely out of the story.  Its just too much nonsense tough guy military babbling as they stab and murder people for 22 pages with no real purpose.   Solid art by Marcelo Ferreria helps the case, but some of the action is movement is really rough and the paneling is chaotic making it hard to follow.  I cannot see anyone getting much out of this other than die hard Call of Duty fans heavily invested in the lore. (Geoff)

 

Joe Golem: Occult Detective #1 (Dark Horse Comics)-

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(W) Mike Mignola, Christopher Golden (A) Patric Reynolds

You know, this book has two things going for it right off the bat.  First is that I am a sucker for Golem stories.  A Jewish monster created to protect the small villages in Eastern Europe?  I mean, it just doesn't get any better for story ideas.  Second, as the story starts out half of Manhattan is sinking into the Atlantic Ocean after an Earthquake, turning "Lower Manhattan" into an American Venice.  Take that New York!  So how is the story itself, as written by horror maestro Mike Mignola and Christopher Golden and drawn by Patric Reynolds?  Well, it's okay.  There is a great deal taken for granted here in the story, NYC sinking into the water not the least of it.  There are mentions and images of the occult that are never explained.  Why did this old man have a Golem in his living room (Golems were supposed to turn back into mud when they left their village) and how did it go from opening its eyes to being a full blown human being?  These questions are somewhat distracting as you get into the meat of the story, which entails children being kidnapped/killed by strange sea creatures, but not nearly enough to keep you from wanting to read more.  One other special note must be made for Dave Stewart's exceptional colors, which match the theme and story so perfectly they are almost a character unto themselves. (Sam)

 

Unfollow #1 (DC/Vertigo Comics)-

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(W) Rob Williams (A) Michael Dowling (CA) Matt Taylor

The latest from Vertigo Comics is Unfollow, a story about social media and what people would do with sudden wealth and power.  Written by Rob Williams with art by Mike Dowling, the developer of the social media app Chitter is dying and has picked 140 users at random to inherit his wealth.  But was it really at random?  Who are these individuals chosen? A debutante, a kid from the bad side of town, a religious lunatic? What do they have in common?  This was a fun issue to read and while it did not answer any questions it did a good job of laying the framework for this event and how it is going to unfold.  There are secrets around every person and their motivations and I am looking forward to finding out what those are.  Good writing, interesting characters, an intriguing premise, and solid art make this a great first issue.  I am on board for issue two at least to see where this one is going. (Geoff)

 

Cage Hero #1 (Dynamite Entertainment)-

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(W) Kevin Eastman, Rik Hoskin (A/CA) Renato Rei

Kevin Eastman stretches his talents outside of Ninja Turtles to a high school wrestling army brat, but not just any brat, because there is something different and special about Ryder Stone.  Eastman is joined by Ian Parker for the story and creator credits here, but the scripting duties are handed over to Rik Hoskin.  And for the most part, Rik handles himself okay.  There's a lot to get in here, from a backstory of Ryder's grandfather in Vietnam, to Ryder's isolation in a new school, to the girl who seems to really like him but has a boyfriend of her own.  There are some questionable choices here that get stuffed into the story, how new is he to the school that he's already the star wrestler and on the front page of the school blog?  And being on the front page of the blog, how does he not have any friends?  Oh, and who in the world decides it's a good idea to pick on the star wrestler?  These parts are brought in to make the story move faster and only serve to provide questions if you linger too long on them, which the book hopes you won't.  The biggest problem though is at the end, because that one happens suddenly and ends the book so you have plenty of time to wonder why Cage Hero wasn't just used as a metaphor.  It really throws the book for a loop and your continued interest in the book depends on whether or not you'll accept it.  I didn't. (Sam)

 

Citizen Jack #1 (Image Comics)-

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(W) Sam Humphries (A) Tommy Patterson

Sam Humphries and Tommy Patterson join together to tell us what we've known all along, that all politicians have made a deal with a demon to certify their own successes.  Jack Northworthy is a failure.  He failed at his hockey career, failed at being mayor, failed in his marriage, failed with his father, and, in the biggest disgrace of all, is a failure of a snowblower salesman in Minnesota, where it snows practically year round.  So he's not exactly the most popular person in the world and doesn't make good decisions, like his announcement video that gets him a dumb ass of the week award from national news.  But he's got a ace up his sleeve (even if it is a bathrobe he wears constantly) in a demon promising to make him a success.  This seems like a great idea for a comic and at times it really does hit on the right notes, but for a lot of it, Humphries can't decide how far to take the satire.  I mean, one of the news commentators is a humanoid dolphin named Cricket. Who cares who the President is when there are talking dolphins on political news shows?  The whole book is littered with decisions like that, that lessen the impact of the whole premise.  Still, it's a funny read and worth checking out. (Sam)

 

Deadpool #1 (Marvel Comics)-

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(W) Gerry Duggan (A) Mike Hawthorne

The Merc with the Mouth is back in Marvel's new relaunch of Deadpool, written by Gerry Duggan with art by Mike Hawthorne.  This book is a slightly different take on Deadpool than the more comedic and outlandish volume that preceded it, and for me that makes it far more enjoyable.  Deadpool has used his new fame as an Avenger to cash in on his merchandising rights and branch out his operations, hiring a group of mercs with a similar skill set and dressing them up in Deadpool uniforms.  Team Deadpool allows Wade to follow up on a personal vendetta of his own as he sets out to find out who killed his parents.  There are some very funny guest spots from Luke Cage, Matt Murdock, Sabertooth, and even Deadpool's wife....their reactions to his press conference were genuinely funny and brought the levity this book lives off of.  Solid art and an engaging story beyond random gags made this one of the best Deadpool books I have read in a long time, I really enjoyed it and would recommend it to anyone out there interested in jumping on the Deadpool bandwagon. (Geoff)

 

Drax #1 (Marvel Comics)-

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(W) CM Punk, Cullen Bunn (A) Scott Hepburn (CA) Humberto Ramos

Mavel Comics has given the Guardians of the Galaxy's most single minded member his own series, and it should not come as a shock to anyone that the first thing on his mind at the end of a mission is to kill Thanos.  Co-written by wrestling and UCF star CM Punk and Cullen Bunn, Drax is portrayed as the brawler that he is.  Rushing head first into trouble and relishing a good fight.  While I think I preferred the more subdued and metaphor lacking portrayal from the Guardians of the Galaxy movie, this version of Drax is fun as well in his rather comical grumpiness and hard edged attitude.  The art by Scott Hepburn is really well done and pops off the page with great colors and dynamic action.I love the "Drax is mad" face that pops up every few panels, this is one of those cases where the art is not the most amazing thing I have ever seen but it is paired with the writing and the character in such a way that it just fits perfectly.  Drax is not the best book from Marvel's relaunch, but it is a fun read as we get to see drax fight and stumble head first into trouble.  It's worth checking out the first issue to see if it clicks with you. (Geoff)

 

Extraordinary X-Men #1 (Marvel Comics)-

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(W) Jeff Lemire (A/CA) Humberto Ramos

The X-Men are back in their debut comic from Marvel's relaunch, Extraordinary X-Men.  This first X-Book out of the gates is headed by the all star team of Jeff Lemire and Humberto Ramos, two of my favorites so it is no real surprise that I loved this new start.  Storm and Magik are trying to bring the X-Men back together after the fallout of what Cyclops did, however that plot point still seems to be a mystery after the rather high note that Uncanny X-Men #600 ended on.  It is not a good time to be a mutant with world wide hate, the X-Pox, and Terrigen Mists sterilizing mutants world wide.  We meet up with young Jean, Colossus, and Nightcrawler, each having left for their own reasons and their individual journeys teased for later exploration.  Finally, it ends on the cliffhanger of why old man Logan is in out timeline.  This was a page turner from start to finish.  A new status quo, team members individual stories waiting to be fleshed out, how is old logan in the present, and just what the hell did Cyclops do?  This coupled with the amazing art of Ramos makes it one of the best titles from the relaunch, and its one X-men fans cannot afford to skip.  Bendis did an fantastic job on his Uncanny X-men and New X-men run and Lemire is is following up in style. (Geoff)

 

Hercules #1 (Marvel Comics)-

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(W) Dan Abnett (A) Luke Ross (CA) Clay Mann

Hercules never felt like a character that really belonged in the Marvel Universe With that in mind I picked up this new number one issue with trepidation yet was surprised at how good it was.  My first sign should have been the writer, Dan Abnett of Guardians of the Galaxy and Wild's End fame.  He took the idea of Hercules not fitting in the Marvel Universe and ran with it to spectacular results.  Establishing the character as an immortal who has been a hero for many thousands of years, Herc really does not fit in, and he knows it.  He lives a simple life renting an apartment in Manhattan and still accepts offerings from those who seek his labor.  When two young boys come seeking his aid in a matter too small for even the police, Hercules takes up their cause only to find a daemon of the ancient world at the center of it.  Something from the old world is stirring and this battle was the first of more to come, and it will take the world's first super hero to deal with a threat as old as he is.  The art by Luke Ross was excellent and complimented the story telling, a special note to the colorist of this issue because the soft color pallet really stood out.  This was another surprise hit from the Marvel relaunch, I only hope they can keep up this level of quality.  Abnett has taken a D-list character and in 22-pages convinced me to stick around for the first arc, don't miss this one. (Geoff)

 

Howard The Duck #1 (Marvel Comics)- 

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(W) Chip Zdarsky (A/CA) Joe Quinones

Ever since the post-credits on Guardian of the Galaxy, Marvel Comics seems determined to bring Howard the Duck back into the mainstream, and while last year's limited run really did nothing for me, I found this relaunch to be a fun read.  Written by Chip Zdarsky with art by Joe Quinones, this issue pics up were the last series left off.  Howard is stuck in our universe and trying to make the best of it, but to him it just sucks.  With that in mind he seeks the help of Dr. Strange to try to find a way to get back to his dimension leading him to a run in with Titania and The Wizard.  Howard the Duck cannot work without snark, and this book has it in droves and it works.  The best thing I can say about the writing is that it is genuinely funny, it works in a way that Squirrel Girl does not.  Howard is a sarcastic ass who is drastically out of his element and his grumpy quips make me chuckle.  The art by Quinones is fun because he has a very normal style without over the top proportions or action, and yet the main focus is a humanoid duck.  The whole thing just works and its a fun read so give it a shot, while its the same team from the previous series it just feels like a better take with a bit more snark. (Geoff

 

Max Ride: Ultimate Flight #1 (Marvel Comics)-

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(W) Jody Houser (A) R.B. Silva (CA) Yasmine Putri

Adapted from James Patterson's novel of the same name, Marvel's Max Ride has been adapted for comics by Jody Houser and RB Silva.  Max and her flock are a group of young teenagers who have been lied to and experimented on all theirs lives, only to eventually escape and fly off in a bid for freedom.  Hunted by the Erasers, a group of genetically engineered prison guards, the flock almost makes a get away but when when of them in wounded it lands the group in the care of FBI agent Anne Walker.  Max has found a home and someone who actually wants to care for her flock for the first time, but are they truly safe?  When looking at this title the first thing to realize is that it is the equivalent of a young readers novel like Twilight or Harry Potter.  The villains are diabolical, the Erasers are over the top, and our lead protagonist is a young teen girl with the weight of the world on her shoulders.  Its all rather cliche, overly dramatic, and a bit silly for me but then again I am not the intended audience.  The art is great and the book is a quick read with good pacing, this is a great pickup for young girls looking for something at the comic book store. (Geoff)

 

Nova #1 (Marvel Comics)-

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(W) Sean Ryan (A) Cory Smith (CA) Humberto Ramos

Sam Alexander is back as Nova in this relaunch from Marvel Comics, but this time he has backup!  Written by Sean Ryan with art by Cory Smith, this new number one issue sees Sam fighting side by side with his father Jesse and his restored Nova powers.  This was a fairly light issue with Sam dealing with school, friends, and being Nova while his father seems to be struggling with his Nova helmet and his powers.  In fact, it was all a bit sickly sweet until the final page wherein it is revealed that Jesse Alexander is not who we think he is.  The art by Cory Smith is good but does not have anything that really sets it apart, it neither adds or distracts from the story.  As for story, I feel like nothing of significance happened at all until the last page and while it was a great cliffhanger I want more out of my introduction issue than a one panel shocker.  In the end, this book did not make a good first impression; there was just nothing there to hook me for the second issue. (Geoff

 

Vision #1 (Marvel Comics)-

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(W) Tom King (A) Gabriel Hernandez Walta (CA) Mike Del Mundo

There are books you put at the bottom of your pile because you feel they are the least interesting titles to come out that day, and it's awesome when its that book that turns out to be one of the best.  For me this week, that title was The Vision #1 from Marvel Comics.  Written by Tom King with art by Gabriel Hernandez Walta, The Vision brings the breakout character from the latest Avengers movie to the suburbs of Virginia. The Vision has wiped clean his emotional memories for a clean start and taken a job advising the President of the United States on the state of super human affairs ... and in fitting with the tradition of government employees in DC he has decided to move his newly constructed family to the suburbs of northern Virginia.  The emotionally detached inner monologue that narrates this book is so well done, it conveys the new emotionless Vision perfectly as he goes through his normal day to day life trying to fit in with humanity.  Initially I was really put off by the idea of Vision creating a family, but it works so well.  From his kids immaturity to the subtle look his wife gives to the present in their house from the Scarlet Witch.  There is something not quite right with Vision or his new family, we are clearly given the idea he crossed some line especially at the end of the issue when Reaper arrives at his house and chaos ensues.  What did he steal from Simon? Whose brain image is the Vision's wife modeled after?  The story telling is complimented by fantastic art, especially the facial emotions ... its just fantastic work.  Everyone should check this out, the first issue really grabbed me and I think readers should not skip this over. (Geoff)

 

Exodus: The Life After #1 (ONI Press)-

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(W) Joshua Hale Fialkov (A/CA) Gabo

Thankfully the first arc of this story is recapped on the opening page.  It requires you not to overthink things and stresses that quite nicely ("Yes, THAT Hemingway"). I'm glad to have had that recap page too.  Without it this book would have been damn near impossible to follow.  With it however?  The book is damn near perfect.  Sure there are still some items that I don't quite get, a few characters here and there or some reference to what came before, but this book has everything.  Espionage, forgotten identity, statements about religious theory (but not quite going too far after religion itself), action, humor (oh the humor), exceptional characters and dialogue ... This Fialkov guy really knows how a write a good book.  The artwork by Gabo really makes everything work perfectly too, he blends all those elements together and spits out artwork to match.  It's a testament to his skill that he can keep up with what Fialkov has written.  He paces it brilliantly and shows within the first few pages that he's not afraid to stretch himself with panel and page design.  I'd do more of a recap of the book but it's something you just have to read.  And while you do that I'm going to go find the original series.  I feel shamed that I missed it.  (Sam)

 

Johnny Red #1 (Titan Comics)-

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(W) Garth Ennis (A) Keith Burns

Garth Ennis continues his love for World War II war comics in Johnny Red, this time being published by Titan Comics.  While researching the history of a refurbished Hawker Hurricane fighter plane, the reader is treated to the story of a British ace pilot flying for the Russians over Stalingrad and the mysterious circumstance that lead to presence in that part of the war.  Ennis excels at these stories and Johnny Red is no exception.  The in flight dialogue of the fighter pilots is fantastic banter and Johnny Red himself is an engaging character from the start.  However, the true highlight of the book is the art from Keith Burns.  World War II aviation has always been an interest of mine, and this book might be one of the best visual depictions of WWII dog fights I have ever seen.  The action is fast paced and you can easily see the dynamics of the air engagements.  A great read and another hit from Garth Ennis, check this one out. (Geoff)

 

 

The Hangman #1 (Archie/Dark Circle Comics)-

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(W) Frank Tieri (A) Feliz Ruiz (CA) Tim Bradstreet

 

Klaus #1 (BOOM! Studios)-

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(W) Grant Morrison (A/CA) Dan Mora

 

James Bond: Vargr #1 (Dynamite Entertainment)-

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(W) Warren Ellis (A/CA) Jason Masters

 

Monstress #1 (Image Comics)-

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(W) Marjorie Liu (A/CA) Sana Takeda

 

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

 

More Reviews on MightyVille: 

Number 1 Bullets Comic Reviews: October 28, 2015

Number 1 Bullets Comics Reviews: October 14, 2015

Number 1 Bullets Comic Reviews: October 7, 2015

 

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