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Home  >  Features  >  Number 1 Bullets Comic Reviews: March 2, 2016

NUMBER 1 BULLETS: 03-02-16

 

Geoff takes a look at a new batch of first issues, this time it's BLACK WIDOW #1, ARMY OF DARKNESS: FURY ROAD #1, AVENGERS STANDOFF: ASSAULT ON PLEASANT HILL ALPHA #1, PREDATOR: LIFE AND DEATH #1, and THE DISCIPLINE #1!

 

 

PREDATOR: LIFE AND DEATH #1 (Dark Horse Comics)-

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Dark Horse Comics is starting another cross over event for their ALIEN and PREDATOR franchise and it kicks off with PREDATOR: LIFE AND DEATH, written by Dan Abnett with art by Brian Thies.  The setup is pretty standard fare for this franchise: the company has sent the Colonial Marines out to an as yet uncharted planet and they run into two Predators as well as a downed Engineer vessel.  It does not take long until the pulse rifles are firing and the green blood is flying.  The world these comics exist in is great fun but I wish there were not so many beats that feel as if they were pulled straight from the films.  Yes, I saw ALIENS; no, I do not need the line "but its a dry heat" to remember what franchise I am reading.  The art by Thies is solid and keeps with the tone of the art that has become the standard for this universe.  Slightly dark and muted with enough gore to keep it interesting and fantastic vehicle and ship design.  A fun, quick-paced book from start to finish that hits all the notes fans of the franchise have come to love. While it is not a standout comic it is still a fun read.

 

AVENGERS STANDOFF: ASSAULT ON PLEASANT HILL ALPHA #1 (Marvel Comics)- 

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It's spring crossover event time at Marvel Comics and it kicks off with ASSAULT ON PLEASANT HILL ALPHA #1.  Featuring Nick Spencer and Jesus Saiz, Alpha sets the stage for the action to continue in AVENGERS, NEW AVENGERS, CAPTAIN AMERICA, and other Marvel titles that deal directly with either The Avengers or S.H.I.E.LD.  The Winter Soldier has uncovered a secret that Maria Hill and S.H.I.E.L.D. have been hiding: the fact that they are using elements of a shattered Cosmic Cube to alter the minds and appearances of super villains to turn them into compliant members of a secluded community called Pleasant Hill.  However, once Steve Rodgers finds out, he and Bucky blow the lid off the whole things, only to find out that it is too late and the villains are aware of their mental imprisonment.  The setup for this crossover is good and the art is solid, but nothing about it grabs me as a reader and it does not help that the crossover is strung between some of the weakest titles of the Marvel relaunch.  Also of note is that the stakes don't seem very high; so the bad guys were hanging out in the Marvel version of Stepford, Connecticut ... whats so bad about that?  As prisons go, I am kinda on Maria Hill's side on this one.  Also, the introduction of a small child who is literally the sentient embodiment of a Cosmic Cube is a bit silly.  In the end, it is a well-crafted story technically, but it has little to no heart, no stakes, and I am just not interested in it.  It also hinges on the tension between Sam Wilson and Steve Rogers, tension set up in the first arc of the new CAPTAIN AMERICA title that is one of if not thee worst titles in the relaunch.

 

BLACK WIDOW #1 (Marvel Comics)-

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Another relaunch from Marvel Comics, this new BLACK WIDOW series is coming on the heels of a phenomenal run by Edmondson and Noto.  However, hopes are high because the same team that brought us the most recent DAREDEVIL series, Mark Waid and Chris Samnee, are taking over.  This entire issue was an awesome roller coaster of action, from cover to cover it is a giant chase scene of Natasha escaping a S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier with some as yet unknown item.  It felt like I was reading storyboards for an action scene from a Hollywood blockbuster action flick, except those storyboards were drawn by the amazing Chris Samnee.  There is not too much more to say on this first issue other than it was one of the best to come out of the Marvel relaunch.  With little to no dialogue, Waid lets Samnee's pencils do the talking for Natasha and the way she handles herself is fantastic.  The frenetic action is punctuated by small interludes where we as readers can see the exasperation on her face of pure exhaustion as well as eyes that let us know she does not want to be doing any of this, but that she must.  Go pick this issue up, it's great.

 

THE DISCIPLINE #1 (Image Comics)-

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The newest creator owned series from Image Comics lands this week with THE DISCIPLINE #1 from author Peter Milligan and artist Leandro Fernandez.  Melissa is a bored housewife stuck in a loveless and sexless marriage when she is approached by a strange man who seems to know exactly what she is craving.  Her desire to feel alive again drives her to be rash and take actions she never thought she would, but she cannot help herself.  What started out as a sexual rendezvous becomes a nightmare when all she knows about her world is shattered right before her eyes.  I rarely believe comic books handle sex well, it is often juvenile or crass,  but this book was sexy.  It read like a thriller with a heavy dose of sex appeal; the wanting of the main character is palpable and that mixed with her naivete made me as a reader really root for her to get into all kinds of trouble.  The pencils by Fernandez were really well done, the amount of emotion conveyed to the reader just from Melissa's face alone was enough to know her mind without the accompanying narrative.  The colors were rather flat, but it felt more like a design choice as opposed to a lack of production value.  I really enjoyed this first issue and want to see where this demonic sexual mystery is going.

 

ARMY OF DARKNESS: FURIOUS ROAD #1 (Dynamite Entertainment)-

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Dynamite Comics is back with a BOOM-stick in their latest number one release, ARMY OF DARKNESS: FURIOUS ROAD.  Written by Nancy A. Collins, readers are introduced to a dark world in which the Deadites have finally taken over, but this forsaken wasteland is now without its own protectors.  A rag tag group of fighters including a take on Frankenstein's monster as well as Eva, the daughter of Dracula, have teamed up with the last of humanity to drive the Deadites back to where they came from.  The only catch is that they need the Necronomicon Ex-Mortis, and this sacred text cannot be found at any library or tomb but rather the last place one would look; the local S-Mart.  Upon meeting up with an older Ash, the group dynamics are tested in the only way they can be in comic books: our heroes fight it out until common ground is reached.  THE EVIL DEAD universe is a fun place to tell over the top stories and FURIOUS ROAD did not disappoint.  Any comic that teams up the daughter of Dracula with a machine gun-wielding nun is okay in my book.  The dialogue is snappy and Ash himself is suitably cantankerous.  The art by Kewber Ball is really good all around in this issue, from character work to vehicles to action to Ash himself.  It all just works.  While new readers to THE EVIL DEAD universe might feel a bit lost as to who these people are it is not like they are extremely deep to start with, and it is easy to catch up.  Fans of the series will feel right at home.  Check this one out, its good.

 

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

 

More Reviews on MightyVille:

Number 1 Bullets Comic Reviews: February 24, 2016

Number 1 Bullets Comic Reviews: February 10 & 17, 2016

Number 1 Bullets Comic Reviews: February 3, 2016

 

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