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Home  >  Features  >  Number 1 Bullets Comic Reviews: February 3, 2016

NUMBER 1 BULLETS: 02-03-16

 

It's a new month with a new Number 1 Bullets for February 3rd, 2016. This week, Joe and Geoff take a look at Dreaming Eagles #1, Mirror #1, I, Mage #1, Deadpool and the Mercs for Money #1, Spider-Man #1, and Dejah Thoris #1. 

 

 

Dreaming Eagles #1 (Aftershock Comics)-

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Aftershock Comics continues its roll out of solid titles with A-list creators this month with Dreaming Eagles #1, another WWII story from Garth Ennis.  Ennis' talent for writing compelling stories about individual soldiers and airmen in WWII is second to none, but with Dreaming Eagles he uses the story of the famous Tuskegee Airmen to not only tell a story about the trial of war, but also the civil rights issues America faced in the 1960's.  We are introduced to Mr. Atkinson, shop owner and father in 1966; P-51 pilot in 1943.  He is conflicted by his son's use of violence for retribution of oppression and the knowledge of the violence he himself committed in the name of justice during The War.  Is using violence to fight Hitler and kill Nazis any different than using violence to fight white supremacists and stop racial oppression? It is an interesting question and Ennis handles it with a deft touch, which is impressive coming from a writer who is often quite blunt with his ideas on sensitive issues.  The art by Simon Coleby is great and his skill with drawing WWII aircrafts is sublime. He even got the nose cone spin pattern right on the German Focke-wulf 190.  This was a good read and another great entry into the stable of engrossing WWII stories from Garth Ennis. (Geoff)

 

Mirror #1 (Image Comics)-

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Mirror #1 is a trip into the fantastical from Image Comics.  Written by Emma Rios with art by Hwei Lim, Mirror is set in a new colony that is abundant with magic, though the lands the new arrivals came from seems to devoid of it.  Having found this new source of power, man does what man does best, and seeks to exploit it.  We meet Ivan as a young man and a dog named Sera, only this puppy grows into a human/dog hybrid and her relationship with Ivan takes a turn to the romantic.  Admittedly, at this point I thought I wan in store for some internet furry horror show straight out of the depths of 4chan, but the book does not dwell on the romance and instead sees the pair separated and time is forwarded 30 years.  Ivan now leads this colony and more magic beasts are being experimented on to find new soldiers for the war effort against his will, leading him to initiate a great sacrifice for their freedom.  Rios gets very solid character building out of just one issue.  Kazbek is Ivan's mentor/father figure and the driving force for the exploitation of magic, but he is not a mustache twirling villain. While his views are at odds with Ivan's, he shows genuine concern for him and comes from a position that the treatment of these creatures is a necessary evil ... an equivocation many are guilty of today.  The art by Lim looks like painted watercolors over pencils and is beautiful at some points while incoherent at others.  It makes for beautiful pictures, but the panel work is hard to follow scene to scene.  This is a solid start to an interesting story, though the art and setting are new the themes and plot are not unique. Magic, abuse of power, and magical creatures are a common staple in fantasy lore so Mirror will need to set it self apart in the next few issues if it wants to be something truly special.  (Geoff)

 

Spider-Man #1 (Marvel Comics)-

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It seems that the only good thing about the Ultimate Comics Universe survived and Marvel Comics has his debut this month in Spider-Man #1.  The team of Brian Michael Bendis and Sara Pichelli are back to see what kind of trouble they can line up for Miles Morales.  The transition to the main Marvel Universe seems to have been pretty smooth for Miles: his pal Ganke is still there and it seems that his mother and father are both alive and living together happily.  The same cannot be said for the city of New York however. A demon named Blackheart has arrived and taken out the major players of The Avengers and its up to Miles to stop him.  Bendis continues his seemingly endless run of Spider-Man with the same perfect balance of action, heart, and witty quips.  My only complaint would be that as a first issue this will leave readers completely new to the character of Mile Morales a bit out of the loop as we dive into the deep end right away.  The art by Sara Pichelli is as great as it has always been for this character and I like the fact that it seems Miles and Ganke have been aged a few years.  Finally, we close on a great splash page of a face to face meeting of Peter Parker and Miles and I cannot wait to see where this goes. This is an easy one to recommend, this book is as great as it always has been. (Geoff)

 

Deadpool: Mercs for Money #1 (Marvel Comics)-

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Guess what?! Another week and another Deadpool book from Marvel Comics.  This time its Cullen Bunn and Salva Espin at the helm to see what kind of antics Wade Wilson can get into.  Teaming up with a group of D-list heroes to steal a decommissioned S.H.I.E.L.D. robot that holds sensitive information on the world super criminals, Deadpool: Mercs for Money is full of the mix of action and quips readers have come to expect from his various titles.  The only problem is that this is a boring and formulaic read.  The book is not bad, nor is the art, nor is the writing ... but it is also not good. That fact coupled with the glut of Deadpool books in the market means that there is no reason to pick this one up.  The cast of characters surrounding Deadpool are not interesting and they are not funny. The entire book is just trying way too hard.  If you are interested in Deadpool, especially with the movie coming up, I would suggest you read the main Deadpool title from Marvel or the recent Deadpool: The Art of War mini-series. Both are far better than this cash in. (Geoff)

 

I, Mage #1 (Action Lab Entertainment)-

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Action Lab Comics newest release is the first issue of I, Mage, by Gary Turner and Carlos E. Gomez.  Set upon a world governed by magic, a sorcerer and his apprentice stumble across a young boy who appears to be lost in time.  The mixing of established fantasy lore with a child and his robot protector born out of futuristic science fiction makes for an interesting wrinkle in what started out as another tried and true story about Wizards and Dragons.  There is not much more to the first issue other than some world building and character introduction, but the cast is small and we spend enough time with them to have a good idea of where they stand by the time the last page is reached.  It is only when the boy's science-based technology stops a Lich King attack that the Mages take notice and realize there is more to this than just a lost child.  The art by Gomez is simple, but effective.  The panel work is easy to follow and he has a cartoony style that allows for very emotive characters.  The backgrounds and effects are lacking, but not to the detriment of the story.  The issue closes with a fun D&D stats page for one of the Mages which is a nice touch and fun to look at, it was when I read that I realized the entire book has a very D&D feel to it.  I, Mage falls into that "fun but not amazing" category. The closest thing it reminded me of was Battlechasers from Joe Madureia, only with far less spectacular art. (Geoff)

 

Dejah Thoris #1 (Dynamite Entertainment)-

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Dynamite Entertainment reboots Dejah Thoris once again, this time by Frank Barbiere and Francesco Manna (under the watchful eye of Gail Simone). Honestly, this felt like a 0 issue: a prolonged set-up that was a bit tedious to sit through. We open with a significant scene setting the stage for Dejah's next adventure, but then quickly flash back to trite boredom. But what really bothered me was how out of character the main protagonists acted. I admit to not following the Dynamite run of John Carter closely, but bad things happen here and both Carter and Dejah stand aside and sort of let them happen. John Carter doesn't throw a single punch when his wife is dragged away to prison by thugs he doesn't know? Really? I understand this is a revisionist take on the character to widen her appeal, but I certainly did not see the fierce warriors I was expecting. A bit of a letdown. That said, I enjoyed Manna's artwork. It was a like a rougher version of the Dodsons. With a bit more time, Manna could really take off. (Joe)

 

Don't just take our word for it. Read the books yourself and let us know what you thought!

 

More Reviews on MightyVille:  

Number 1 Bullets Comic Reviews: January 20 & 27, 2016

Number 1 Bullets Comic Reviews: January 13, 2016

Number 1 Bullets Comic Reviews: January 6, 2016

 

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