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Home  >  Features  >  Number 1 Bullets Comic Reviews: July 27, 2016




Another week and our coverage of new number one issues is finally moving off the Marvel relaunch and is now full steam into the DC Rebirth event. We cover a new publisher for Mightyville with AVATAREX #1 from Graphic India along with PREDATOR VS JUDGE DREDD VS ALIENS #1, MECHANISM #1, TITANS #1, NIGHTWING #1, BATGIRL #1, and HAL JORDAN AND THE GREEN LANTERN CORP #1.



AVATAREX #1 (Graphic India)-

3.0 Stars

Grant Morrison is one of my favorite writers and when his name appeared on the credits for AVATAREX #1 from relatively unknown publisher Graphic India I knew I had to give it a shot. Avatarex is the 10th in a succession of supreme beings who are roused from their ancient slumber when our world is in peril only this time it is humanity itself that threatens our planet. What follows is a rather straightforward story about a powerful protector who must thwart a villain sent to Earth. However, the more I think about this issue the more I think Morrison is trying to lead readers in the wrong direction on purpose. Avatarex is a hero suffering from an extreme case of narcissism and an overabundance of power. The entire middle of the issue is spent listening to him boast about the fact that is a perfect being who cannot fail. He is informed that in order to serve humanity he must learn hubris and is therefore destined to be bound to a human soul to learn what it means to struggle and fail. Only time will tell if this is true as the narrative proceeds but the setting of the stage for this book seems a bit too thin for stories we have come to know from Grant Morrison. The art by Jeevan J. Kang is solid but rather flat. The majority of the issue takes place in one cold and mechanical space station so there is little life, color, or variety in the backgrounds. This is a rather mundane start for a Morrison book but I have a feeling there is greater depth to be explored as it moves on, if readers want to get in on the ground floor of a new mind bending book from one of the greatest authors of our time they should check this one out.



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IDW Publishing, Dark Horse Comics, and 2000 AD have come together for another grudge match of iconic properties in PREDATOR VS JUDGE DREDD VS ALIENS #1 by John Layman and Chris Mooneyham. The swamps of the Cursed Earth are going to be the setting for this showdown of bad asses. The narrative of the first issue moves extremely fast which is exactly as it should be for a cross over like that. Fans are going to pick this book up to watch their characters fight and a long build as to why they are fighting is not really needed. A lone predator has crashed on Earth and he and his ship are taken hostage by the twisted geneticist Dr. Reinstot. Using the Alien DNA found in one of the Predator's trophy cases the good Doctor has begun breeding the Xenomorph. The final addition to the mix is Dredd himself who has followed the robotic criminal Archbishop Emoji into the swamp help by Reinstot's men. And with that the stage is set for an all out brawl of epic proportions. The writing is fun and a bit over the top. Villains are super corny, Dredd himself is his usual gruff self, and there is nothing cooler than a robot bad guy who has an emoji for a face and can only speak in text message acronyms. The art by Mooneyham is really good, I especially like his take on the Predators and their weapons and armor. This book is fanboy fun distilled to it finest elements. If you like the idea of there characters fighting for a few issues then definitely pick this up. It is fun, silly, and bombastic in the best way.


TITANS #1 (DC Comics)-

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With the return of Wally West and the reuniting of the Titans in previous Rebirth issues TITANS #1 from DC Comics a new start to a more focused team book that highlights the long standing relationships between this characters. Writer Dan Abnett spends the majority of this first issue on laying the groundwork for these characters and why their interpersonal relationships are been so sorely missed. Wally West acts as the emotional anchor of this team and adds much needed levity to what has been a rather dour DC Universe over the last few years. Lilith has to use her mental powers to probe Wally's mind in an attempt to figure out who or what is the mysterious force that is behind the changes in the DC timeline. When she probes to hard she unwittingly unlocks a long dormant Flash villain who has apparently been hiding under a secret identity since the Flashpoint event. This issue was short on action and plot and heavy on character development. Abnett allows readers to get to know about the trust between Wally and Lilith, the leadership of Nightwing, the skeletons in Roy Harper's closet, and the funnier side of Donna Troy. Norm Rapmund and Brett Booth combined their talents for art and the result was a very well drawn issue. Clean pencil lines and heavy inks throughout the issue made it quite a treat for the eyes. TITANS #1 is a solid start to the new series but it lacked any "WOW" power. The villain reveal was extremely well done but other than that it was a book that focused on the connections between its core characters. If this team of Titans is one you felt affinity for or if these individual characters were important to you than I feel this issue will speak to you as it feels like a return to form. However for readers who were not Titans fans before picking this up there is not much to convert you and I would pass on it in favor some of the other Rebirth books that really stood out like Green Arrow or Superman.


NIGHTWING #1 (DC Comics)-

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Dick Grayson is back and sporting the long missed blue and black costume in NIGHTWING #1 from DC Comics. Author Tim Seeley picks up after the Rebirth issue which found Dick taking off on his own in an attempt to infiltrate the Parliament of Owls by being a double agent. The Owls are using Dick as one of their assassins and believe they hold power over him by threatening Damian Wayne's life but that threat has been negated and now he is using his position to learn as much as he can about the organization. Nightwing's reluctance to take lives results in a confrontation with a new villain who quickly demonstrates that Dick is not the best he can be. Seeley writes a confident and enthusiastic Dick Grayson who is now out on his own away from Spiral and away from Gotham. It it this overconfidence that makes his beating at the hands of Raptor such a big event as the end of the issue. The pencils by Javier Fernandez are incredibly clean with really well done panel work in the action scenes. Nightwing is known for his acrobatics and movement and that is on full display in the art and the panel composition. The continuation of the Parliament of Owls story is nice to see but I really could have done without yet another new talon-esque villain. The rogues gallery for the bat family is so deep it would have been nice to see a new take on an old classic. Quality art and writing will make this a fun read for Nightwing fans but those who are not invested in the character already will not find much here that will grab them and pique their interest.


BATGIRL #1 (DC Comics)-

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Barbara Gordon has left Burnside on a globe trotting adventure in BATGIRL #1 from DC Comics. Written by Hope Larson this new take on Batgirl has taken her on the road to seek out training from an old Japanese super hero known as Fruit Bat. While in Japan Barbra runs into Kai, an old friend from Chicago and their light hearted banter is completely natural and allows some much needed character moments from Batgirl that were missing in her recent Burnside stories. Larson writes a Batgirl who is smart, charming, and independent while still being warm and gregarious. Her quest in Japan is not about searching for a long lost myth but rather one of showing respect and admiration for the culture. As good as the writing was the art by Rafael Albuquerque is the real show stealer here. Absolutely stunning pencils, pacing, panel work, and action make BATGIRL #1 one of the best looking books of the Rebirth event. With a less animated look and a more zoomed out feel this comic really showcases Batgirls fighting ability in a way that the Batgirl of Burnside run never did. Special care is also taken to showcase her photographic memory as she skillfully takes on her opponent. BATGIRL #1 is the comic of the week by far and is a must read book. This is a far more engrossing and entertaining take on character than the recently released Killing Joke movie so if you are looking for a Batgirl fix please pick up this issue.



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Ever since Geoff Johns left Green Lantern the book has been adrift but DC Comics seeks to course correct with HAL JORDAN AND THE GREEN LANTERN CORP #1. Robert Venditti is still on writing duties but it feels as though this re-launch has given him a much needed boost in creativity and storytelling. Hal Jordan is the last of the Green Lanterns once again and has forged a new ring for himself to aid him in his fight both against the criminal element of the universe as well as the new protectors of the cosmos, the Sinestro Corp. Sinestro has taken War World and infused himself with the Paralax entity and now seeks to impose his version of order over the entire galaxy. This newly powerful and determined Sinestro is reflected perfectly in the resurgent, resolute, and fearless Hal Jordan. One of DC Comics greatest hero/villain match ups is rekindled as the lone hero faces off against the entire might of the power of fear. There is a slight downgrade in art as Rafa Sandoval takes over from Ethan Van Sciver. His pencils are still clean and sharp but it lacks the detail of Ethan's work and is definitely noticeable having just come off the amazingly drawn Rebirth issue. Even with a decline in art this is still the best issue of Green Lantern since Geoff Johns departure. Whether or not Venditti can keep it up remains to be seen but as a Green Lantern fan I am hoping he can. Those who have been disappointed by the latest adventures of Hal Jordan should give this book a shot even though the writer is still the same. I feel that Venditti has the possibility to really shine with this fresh start.


MECHANISM #1 (/Image Comics)-

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It would not be a number one bullets review article without another new creator owned title from Image Comics and this week it is MECHANISM #1 written and drawn by Raffaele Ienco. In a rainy and post apocalyptic future the world has been devastated by unrelenting hordes of strange creatures referred to as Geckos. These green faceless killers drop from satellites high in the atmosphere that not only seem to produce the monsters but also affect the weather patterns on the planet to keep it in a perpetual rain cycle that is advantageous to the creatures. Ienco’s story somewhat clumsily shifts between three main plot elements to establish the world. The old soldier foraging for food in the condemned city, the two cops and their prototype android observer, and the android creator who is seeking a new solution to the Gecko problem. The world is extremely interesting and remarkable well fleshed out for a first issue and I am glad to say none of it is done through boring narration. While the comic does feel fragmented from the constant transitions they work in such a way that the three different perspectives allow the author to give us all the information we need to know what is going on. The main thrust appears to be the new prototype android and what role it will play in humanity's future. Saviour or destroyer? The ambiguity of its purpose is what is going to make sure I pick up issue number two. The art in this comic is beyond pretty. Ienco’s pencils are fantastic with great character work, stunning landscapes, and creepy monsters. I think this is a really solid first issue that only suffers from uneven pacing. If you are a fan of the recent creator owned work that has been pouring out of Image Comics than give this first issue a shot and see if it 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: July 20, 2016  

Number 1 Bullets Comic Reviews: June 22, 2016

Number 1 Bullets Comic Reviews: June 29, 2016

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