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Home  >  Features  >  Number 1 Bullets Comic Reviews: August 31, 2016

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It has been a long time since there was a Number One Bullets article without entries from DC and Marvel but that is just the case for this week. Take a look at our thoughts on EDEN'S FALL #1, THE KILLER INSIDE ME #1, TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES UNIVERSE #1, WITCHFINDER: CITY OF THE DEAD #1, and WORLD OF TANKS: ROLL OUT #1.

 

 

EDEN'S FALL #1 (Image Comics)-

2.0 Stars

For all the success of the various creator owned series that have come from Image Comics it is inevitable there are going to be a few duds and unfortunately EDEN'S FALL #1 looks like one of those. Co-written by Matt Hawkins and Bryan Hill, Eden is a small town in Wyoming off the beaten path that acts as a safe haven for criminals looking to start over. Thornton is the town's newest resident but this nationalist terrorist brings with him a lot of attention from three off the books FBI agents hunting him on a personal vendetta. All of this backstory is told via three pages of exhaustive narration that really kills any momentum this book has right from the start. It reads like a recap page to fill readers in on volume one of the book... except there is no volume one. If a of this information was that important why not include it in the story? The rest of the comic is a straightforward undercover job that involves some clever tech and a cover story to try and get one of the agents into the town to locate Thornton. The only problem is that this is the most impulsive undercover agent of all time and he completely blows his cover in the first few hours. None of the characters are compelling and the FBI agents are portrayed as people so motivated to capture this man that they turned their back on the bureau but the reader is given absolutely nothing to back this up. The art by Atilio Rojo gets the job done adequately enough. The pencils are coloring are OK and neither subtract or add to the experience. EDEN'S FALL #1 is a pass, there is just nothing there to really recommend to readers especially when the shelves of the comic book store are crowded with awesome titles these days. 

 

THE KILLER INSIDE ME #1 (IDW Publishing)-

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Jim Thompson's classic novel about a ruthless good ole' boy from Texas is being adapted into a comic book miniseries for IDW Publishing by Devin Faraci with art by Vic Malhotra. Set in Central City, Lou Ford is a Sheriff's deputy with a violent secrete locked away in his past. A man far to smart for his own good who plays the simple people that surround him like a harp. A few smiles, some manners, and clever misdirection of speech is often more than enough to confuse the locals into doing what he wants. When an opportunity presents itself to manipulate those around him into aiding his revenge on the man he blames for his brother's death Lou puts his skills to the test to get all the pieces in place. This was a really captivating read that reminded me of films like Fargo or No Country for Old Men. Stories with lots of unique characters and many moving parts all centered around one central goal. Nobody in this book, especially Lou Ford, is anything close to a good person. They are all varying degrees of broken and that often makes for characters that are easier to relate to. Jim Thompson's original novel is one that is held in high acclaim and I think its translation to comics is off to a good start. The art by Vic Malhotra really shines in character work, action, and facial expression but lacks in background details. The individuals of the story are amazingly well drawn with a whole range of emotion but so many panels are backed with flat colors and a stark lack of detail. I do have to mention that Jason Millet on colors really helped out a great deal with soft tones that set the mood of certain pages and in many ways acted as the missing background art. If you are a fan of a more classic style of storytelling or a fan of the Coen Brothers movies I mentioned above I think you should take a look at this comic and try it out. You will know by the end of the first issue if it has grabbed you or not, I will definitely be picking up THE KILLER INSIDE ME #2.

 

TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES UNIVERSE #1 (IDW Publishing)-

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Serving as a companion book to the main TMNT ongoing series, TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES UNIVERSE #1 from IDW Publishing was introduced to allow more room for storytelling and character expansion in an already crowded ninja turtles world. Written by turtles alum Paul Allor with art by Damian Couceiro this first issue picks up with Shredder and Krang having been defeated and a new mutant on the scene breaking into the Baxter Stockman's laboratory. The turtles are there as well with April but this new mutant is the real threat. A government task force lead by Agent Bishop is out to rid New York of the rising mutant menace and the turtles are public enemy number one. What ensues is an action packed issue with just enough clever banter to keep it light. Think "The Raid" and you will have an idea of where this book is headed. The new scorpion mutant, the turtles, and the unlikely duo of April and Baxter Stockman all locked into a building with heavily armed government agents hunting them down. I have always been a fringe fan of the Ninja Turtles knowing just enough to be interested but I never took the deep dive into their world. I loved this comic. I do not read the main series from IDW and it did not matter at all. I picked up the status quo of the world from the first few pages and knew enough of the characters to know who was who and from there on the story was rolling right along. The banter between the turtles was great, the new mutant introduced was unique and fun, and the setup of having to fight their way out of a trap was a great one. Damian Couceiro killed it on art as well. His work features a slightly stylized take on the characters while not crossing the line into cartooning. My only criticism of the art would the the number of panels featuring no background detail at all, just flat colors. This happened a bit too much for my liking and those kind of panels take me out of the story. This book was a nice surprise to read and totally sucked me in, I do not know if I will continue after this first arc when the book moves off to tell side stories of other characters in the universe but for now I am in to see this story play out. This is a book that readers of the current TMNT series should definitely pick up and new readers who might be interested in a turtles story without all the continuity baggage should check it out as well.

 

WITCHFINDER: CITY OF THE DEAD #1 (Dark Horse Comics)-

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From the world of Hellboy comes the latest miniseries for Dark Horse Comics from creators Mike Mignola, Chris Roberson, and Ben Stenbeck. WITCHFINDER: CITY OF THE DEAD #1 follows Britain's favorite professor of the occult Sir Edward Grey as he embarks on another quest that draws him into the darkest corners of the world. Bodies are rising up from the grave and Grey is on the case albeit rather reluctantly. While his last adventure left him rather drained Sir Edward would not dismiss a request for his expertise and he soon finds himself embroiled in a mystery with Zombies and the return of occult rival August Swain. With all these pieces moving like a puzzle in this first issue it might sound rather impenetrable but that could not be further from the case. BPRD and Hellboy are two titles saturated with continuity but the Witchfinder series is extremely friendly to new readers. No foreknowledge of Edward Grey is needed and all that you need to know about the world is spelled out within the first few pages. This series exists in that larger world but it does not depend on it. Ben Stenbeck's art evokes that of Mike Mignola without copying it. Colors and use of blacks are similar but it definitely stands on it own to create a slightly stylized macabre comic that is quite pleasing to the eye. This was a very enjoyable read and one that fans new to the world of Mike Mignola should really check out.

 

WORLD OF TANKS: ROLL OUT #1 (Dark Horse Comics)-

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Dark Horse Comics' attempt to cash in on Garth Ennis' stellar track record with WWII war comics crashes and burns in WORLD OF TANKS: ROLL OUT #1. World of Tanks is a popular free to play game for the PC that allows players to customize their tanks and bring them into large multiplayer battles online. There is no narrative structure to this game and thus it is a property with a well established name that also has a completely clean slate when it comes to storytelling. Enter Garth Ennis who for years has been writing fantastic WWII based mini series under the War Stories banner across multiple publishers. Unfortunately this odd mix of those two elements did not work out in WORLD OF TANKS: ROLL OUT #1. What usually makes the War Stories books so good is the characters Ennis creates. These often flawed and sometimes funny individuals are then set a task in a world rife with violence and death and often the outcome is not a happy storybook ending. That group of characters to latch onto is completely absent in this comic. From cover to cover we barely get to know two German tank drivers and a British tank commander and his driver. Neither group is fleshed out or unique in any way, there is nothing in this book that distinguishes either side or makes these individuals people we want to care about. There is some battle jargon, a thin story for each side, and a rather lackluster tank engagement to close out the issue on what I would call the weakest first issue cliffhanger of the week. The art by Carlos Ezquerra is not doing the book any favors. Well drawn tanks with lots of detail are the best thing I can say about this book but the character and background art just feels messy. Faces change from panel to panel making dialogue hard to follow and the muddy ink work really distracts from the overall look of the book. There are so many great Garth Ennis War Stories titles out there for readers to check out and thus there is no reason to buy into this licensed attempt and grabbing a piece of that spotlight.

 

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: August 24, 2016

Number 1 Bullets Comic Reviews: August 17, 2016

Number 1 Bullets Comic Reviews: August 10, 2016

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