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Home  >  Features  >  Number 1 Bullets Comic Reviews: May 18, 2016

NUMBER 1 BULLETS: 05-18-16

 

It’s another week and another set of new number one comics. Here is our take on MAE #1, CIVIL WAR II #0, FUTURE QUEST #1, ARCHANGEL #1, THE BIGGEST BANG #1, and BRUTAL NATURE #1.

 

 

MAE #1 (Dark Horse Comics)-

4.0 Stars

The latest release of Dark Horse Presents is MAE #1, an over sized first issue with story and art by Gene Ha. Mae is a young girl in rural Indiana whose sister vanished nine years ago. Gone without a trace except for the odd runes and talismans found in her room, Abbie has shown up all of a sudden telling tales of mystical creatures and portals to another dimension. They story is fantastical and even self referential as Abbie compares her travels to stories like The Chronicles of Narnia or The Wizard of Oz. Most will know Gene Ha for his art and this book might be some of the best work he as ever done. The detail and emotion is fantastic and the coloring imbues a painted quality to the art that really makes it pop. From cover to cover this book is absolutely beautiful. The story and writing is solid as well but it did lack a solid hook to pull new readers into the world. We get lots of time with Mae and her sister as well as small bits of secondary plots including nefarious creatures and local troublemakers but those secondary stories are barely touched upon so by the end of the issue I was left wondering what the true direction of the story is. With all that said this a fun read with a really interesting core concept and compelling characters. Personally I am going to give it at least one more issue to really pull me in and would recommend the first issue for all readers to take a chance on.

 

CIVIL WAR II #0 (Marvel Comics)-

5.0 Stars.gif

It is summer event time and Marvel is swinging for the fences with CIVIL WAR II #0 from Brian Michael Bendis and Olivier Coipel. Riding the recent Captain America: Civil War hype to its maximum potential this new event mini series will see the heroes divided once again along moral and ethical lines. Right out of the gate Bendis is in prime form with a beautifully written closing argument by She Hulk for a court case concerning a former villain being set up and judged not for who he is, but for who he used to be. Those worlds will come full circle by the end of this precursor to Civil War II. The ground work is also laid for a stressed out Captain Marvel who can never seem to get one step ahead of all the threats that Earth faces from day to day as well as the emergence of a new Inhuman who can see the future. This power to see what's coming mixed with a Captain Marvel who is desperate to be proactive will serve as the backbone for the stories to come over the next few months. The writing is solid and the storytelling is succinct. Unlike Secret Wars there is not 5 years of continuity to worry about, Civil War II is easily accessible to all readers whether they have started with all the new number one issues or if they are just jumping on board with the new summer event. The art by Coipel is great with clean lines and true emotion in the characters, especially She Hulk. Everything about this book feels like Marvel is putting its best foot forward and shooting for the fences. I would definitely recommend picking up the zero issue if you plan on reading the entire event.

 

FUTURE QUEST #1 ( DC Comics)-

5.0 Stars.gif

FUTURE QUEST #1 is the first of the Hanna-Barbara properties to get relaunched by DC comics. Written by Jeff Parker with art by Doc Shaner, FUTURE QUEST #1 is a universe melding title that finds the cast of Jonny Quest dealing with dimensional rifts that bring characters from Space Ghost, Galaxy Trio, and The Herculoids to Earth. This is an awesome mix of some of the best old Hanna-Barbara cartoons, even Jonny's dog Bandit finds room to shine. Yes, this book is steeped in nostalgia but looking past that it is still a good read with fun characters. The set up is rather slow but that makes sense considering the sheer volume of characters Parker is trying to bring together. Having the initial setup told in a classic Jonny Quest vs Dr. Zin framework is brilliant and allows for the slow introduction of other worlds as the plot moves along. The art combined with the storytelling really brings back the feel of the classic cartoon but with a dash of modern storytelling. My number one fear for this project when it was announced was that it would follow the 'gritty reboot' trend in an attempt to bring it to current audiences, however I am beyond pleased to state that that is not the case. From world design to characterizations to dialogue every thing about FUTURE QUEST #1 feels like a throwback to pulp adventure stories. The art by Doc Shaner is spot on but the fact that a fill in artist was needed already on issue number one is a not a good sign, hopefully Shaner can keep up with the project and avoid either delays or fragmented art styles. I think all readers should check out this first issue and it is a must read for anyone who grew up on the classic cartoons.

 

ARCHANGEL #1 (IDW Comics)-

5.0 Stars.gif

IDW comics and writer William Gibson have a smash hit scifi book on their hands in ARCHANGEL #1. Mixing time travel, government corruption, and World War 2; ARCHANGEL #1 has come flying out of the gates with an absolutely gripping thrill ride of a first issue. 2016 is not a happy place. Most of the major cities have fallen and what is left of the U.S. power structure has decided to send men back in time to change history. This is not an altruistic attempt to right wrongs but rather another chance to make sure the powers that be can stack the deck of history in their favor and destroy another world now that ours has been used up. Two marines are sent back to stop them but their crashed stealth fighter is mistaken for a downed UFO and things go from bad to worse. Gibson has written an amazingly compelling start to a story that feels like it belongs on the big screen. The art by Butch Guice is dark and moody and is a perfect match for the tone of the book. Heavy lines, lots of detail, and great character design convey a real sense of place in every panel. Never once did I not know where I was or who I was looking at. This is a gushing review and that is just fine, it is nice when every now and then a book that is not on your radar completely blows you away. Any science fiction fans should pick this book up from their local shops, I promise you will love it.

 

THE BIGGEST BANG #1 (IDW Comics)-

2.0 Stars.gif

Creators D.J. Kirkbride and Vassilis Gogtzilas bring the second volume chronicling the life of the super hero Cosmos to IDW in this weeks latest number one issue, THE BIGGEST BANG #1. Cosmos is an entity born out of death. His creation after the birth of the universe resulted in the death of his own. Cosmos now travels between universes trying to help those in need and make up for the great cost of his birth. In the previous volume Cosmos split his power to bring his friend Wyan back to life, now they travel the stars together. Wyan is dealing with the guilt of her former life as a warlord while Cosmos is facing new limits that are a result of his loss of power. My first thought when I finished this issue was that THE BIGGEST BANG #1 felt simple. Cosmos is good through and through and Wyan's redemption arc is something readers have seen over and over again in comics. Even Cosmos' new found power loss and the reflections that brings are the same tropes that Superman has covered for years. So what sets this book apart and why should readers care? Honestly, I cannot think of a good reason. It is definitely not the art which is sketchy to the point of being incomprehensible. I recognize that style is super subjective but I found nothing appealing in what I saw, it just seemed ugly. THE BIGGEST BANG #1 is not bad but it is not good either and with so many great creator owned titles coming out every week this issue just does not stack up.

BRUTAL NATURE #1 (IDW Comics)-

4.0 Stars.gif

Set during the Spanish colonization of the new world, BRUTAL NATURE #1 from IDW Comics tells the tale of the spiritual conflict between the old world and the new. Written by Luciano Saracino with art by Ariel Olivetti, BRUTAL NATURE #1 begins with a narration of how the jungle itself looks over the natives of the land. A young woman is saved by Ich, a shape shifting shaman seeking to save his people against the unending force of the Spanish. At the same time half a world away Sebastian de Loup is serving his own god as an agent of the Spanish inquisition. These two conflicting versions of god and faith are really the focal point of this series and it is handled in a really clever way. The conquistadors claim that the natives in the new world are the working with the Devil himself yet Sebastian de Loup appears to a literal agent of Satan. The book is rather morose and somber but really interesting and I am looking forward to see where they take the story. The idea of old gods versus new gods playing out in a more physical sense is a new and engrossing idea for a historical narrative. Finally, the art by Olivetti is simply breathtaking. The backgrounds are almost photo realistic and the character world is sublime. BRUTAL NATURE is a bit outside the box with its plot but the story is intriguing and the art is second to none, if you are looking for something a little different try it out and see if the first issue grabs you.

 

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: May 11, 2016

Number 1 Bullets Comic Reviews: May 4, 2016

Number 1 Bullets Comic Reviews: April 27, 2016

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