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Home  >  Features  >  Number 1 Bullets Comic Reviews: October 12, 2016

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We missed last week but you can blame hurricane Matthew for that! Now we have a super sized Number One Bullets to catch you up on the new series that have come out in October. We take a look at CANNIBAL #1, GREEN VALLEY #1, INTERTWINED #1, ROMULUS #1, MOONSHINE #1, REBORN #1, DEATH OF X #1, CHAMPIONS #1, SHADE THE CHANGING GIRL #1, JESSICA JONES #1, and CAGE #1.

 

 

CANNIBAL #1 (Image Comics)-

3.0 Stars

Image Comics is heading into the deep south with CANNIBAL #1 from the creative team of J. Young and Brian Buccellato. In a twist on the zombie genre CANNIBAL #1 is set in a world in which an over reactive vaccine causes those affected to crave human flesh. There are no undead and these affected individuals still have all of their higher brain functions but are still forced to murder to abate their primal need for cannibalism. In the small town of Willow, FL life is still lived the way it has been for years with not a single case of the flesh eaters until tonight. When a young boy is torn apart the town rallies and decides to take it upon themselves to hunt down the poor soul who is responsible. There is the potential for this to be a really cool book with a character driver focus, a cool setting, and an interesting problem lurking in the background but the first issue did not hook me at all. There are three to four characters that share the spotlight but none of them stand out or grab the reader's attention. The issue just feels muddled with no real direction. There is the overall plot concerning the murder of the boy as well as some family tension but the family tension is not explored and the death of the young man is just a lightning rod to get the locals mad. Matias Bergara provides strong pencils in a rough style that suits the tone of the story but the character art blurs together and I had a hard time telling who was who at points and that is a huge offence in a first issue. The color pallet is very one note with characters blending into the background art further adding to the confusion. There also seems to be some editorial problems with one panel not leading into the next, almost as if word balloons were out of place. Overall this was a very disappointing creator owned book from Image. The talent and the idea is there but this title suffers from poor execution. Hopefully the next few issue with straighten out the story telling but as a stand alone review this first issues falls short.

 

GREEN VALLEY #1 (Image Comics)-

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Max Landis has been telling a great Superman story over at DC Comics with his American Alien mini series and now he is bringing his creator owned title GREEN VALLEY #1 to Image Comics. Set in the middle ages in the fictional kingdom of Kelodia, 4 stalwart knights defend the kingdom and its people against a barbarian horde. With the battle won life moves on and for Sir Bertwald that means putting a life of violence behind him and settling down with his new wife. His new world of peace comes crashing down in violence as the castle is sacked in the middle of the night and his wife murdered by the same barbarians he thought had been vanquished earlier. The first issue is used exclusively for character and world building with the cliffhanger motivation for revenge being left to the very last page. With that said there is very little in this first issue to grab a reader's attention. The four knights are you standard heroes, the old knight finding love and wishing to retire is nothing new, and the wild barbarians are a cliched foe as any. Add to this a really odd decision to make the knights speak to each other with a very modern dialect that would be more appropriate for teenagers talking to their friends than honored knights of the middle ages. It was extremely off putting and really clashed with the rest of the world in which the book is set. The at by Giuseppe Camuncoli is extremely good with clean lines and characters capable of a wide range of emotions. With how good Landis can be and with how strong the art is it is a shame this first issue fell rather flat for me. I just cannot get past the odd dialogue and the fact that there was nothing in the first issue to grab me other than a knight's revenge, which alone is a story I have read so many times that I will be passing on the second issue of GREEN VALLEY.

 

INTERTWINED #1 (Dynamite Entertainment)-

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Fabrice Sapolsky and Fred Pham Chuong are the creative team bringing kung fu comics to Dynamite Entertainment with INTERTWINED #1. The five cycles that rule the universe have become unbalanced and ground zero for the disturbance is New York City. Jin Juan is a young martial arts student in China who is somehow connected to these events happening half a world away. The death of his uncle has left him business to attend to in New York but before he can even make it to the airport he is attacked and kidnapped only to awake on the deck of a small ship just off Liberty Island. How are his dreams connected to the powerful Wu Xing forces? How does his uncle's death play into events? Why kidnap him only to have him awaken in the very city he was attempting to get to? These are all questions that will bring readers back for issue two, but only if they decide to continue reading because despite the intrigue there is nothing about this book that will be bringing me back for more. The dialogue is overly written and spelled out. It feels like the author does not have enough faith in the artist to convey his story and thus relies on overly explained conversations and spelled out motives. The real problem for me with this first issue is that I just do not care. There is nothing here that makes me as a reader care about Jin Juan, there is no hook. The issue reads like a series of random events without any real reason behind them. With so many awesome books coming out each week a new series from a unproven creative team really needs to hit hard with a first issue that makes me want to read the second one right away, that is not the case with INTERTWINED #1.

 

ROMULUS #1 (Image Comics)-

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The last warrior of a secret sect dating back through the ages has found herself on the wrong side of history in ROMULUS #1 from Image Comics. Written by Bryan Hill, ROMULUS #1 is the story of Ashtar. A young woman raised to be a wolf of Romulus, a secret power that has influenced the world for over two thousand years. The girls are raised from birth to be formidable warriors and act as the assassins of the organization. When Ashtar, her mother, and the rest of the wolves are rendered obsolete by genetically enhanced male assassins the culling begins leaving Ashtar alone in her fight against the organization that has given her life purpose for the last eighteen years. On the surface Romulus is a cool idea for a comic book. A secret organization, badass female warrior, and a plot for revenge... all the ingredients for a fun action series. However, therein lies the problem... the book is just too generic. Having read so many new number one issues over the last few years I have found that bad art and poor scripting can be overlooked if the idea at the core of the book is solid but nothing can get the taste of a generic comic out of my mouth. The foundation for a good story is here. Hill does a good job of painting a picture of Romulus and Ashtar via narration and setting the stage for the world while Nelson Blake II provides clean but static pencils. The problem is that it is all just good enough and thus nothing stands out as unique. The lone female bad ass up against the world is a worn out plot line and without a major twist in the first arc I don't see this book gaining enough traction to maintain strong sales. There are so many good books out there to check out that I think it is safe to skip this one and just keep an ear out as to whether or not it finds its niche in the coming months.

 

MOONSHINE #1 (Image Comics)-

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Brian Azzarello and Eduardo Risso have teamed up again to bring MOONSHINE #1 to Image Comics. The team that was responsible for 100 Bullets, one of the best long series comic books I have ever read, are back and this time they are tackling the criminal world that surrounded the bootlegging and speakeasies of the prohibition era. Lou Pirlo is trying to move up in the mob and has been sent on a mission to the hills of West Virginia to secure distribution rights for Hiram Holt's moonshine. The only problem is that Holt knows how good his booze is and he already has a deal in place, so why get into business with some city boys and all the trouble they bring? Throw in a hint of some back woods supernatural mythology and you have the recipe for a dark and moody story that this creative team excels at. The characters Azzarello has crafted and great and clearly established in only one issue. Lou Pirlo is calm and collected but his vice is booze and now he is on a mission in hostile territory dealing with dangerous people who are the source of his weakness. His boss Joe Masseria is the text book unhinged gangster who will not take no for an answer. That brings us to Hiram Holt, at first glance a backwoods redneck who could not count to ten if he tried, but looks can be deceiving and so is Holt. Smarter than he should be and a master of his craft, he is truly not a person to mess with. The whole ensemble works so well and the characters play off each other with disarming ease. It is these stories about slightly not so normal people that Azzarello thrives on and after one issue I have very high hopes for how this title will play out. Risso is excellent on art as always using dark thick lines and lots of black shadows and silhouettes to create a ominous atmosphere that lets readers know that this part of the world is not a safe or happy place. This is a great team on a new title and the first issue already has its hooks in me. MOONSHINE is going on the pull list for sure and you should add it to yours as well.

 

REBORN #1 (Image Comics)-

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Another title from Image Comics and another all star creative team up with Mark Millar and Greg Capullo's REBORN #1. Bonnie Black is an old woman at the end of her life. She faces the reality of her death while dwelling on those that she has lost. Her mother and father, her husband, her dog. All have passed before her and she does not believe in any form of heaven or spiritual renewal. However, she could never have guessed what would really happen when she died. Seemingly reborn into the middle of a science fiction battle of men versus monsters, Bonnie is now a young champion of her people but even that is nothing compared to the sight of her father killing a dragon with a battle axe. This is crazy Mark Millar high concept science fiction and it is great. Millar sets a rather somber tone in this opening issue only to blast the doors wide open in the final act. Themes of loneliness, death, and lack of faith surround Bonnie's character as an old woman in a nursing care facility. She has seen all those who she has loved pass away and finds no solace in any form of an afterlife which makes her rebirth into a scifi hell on Earth that much better. Greg Capullo moves on from his stellar run on Batman and right into another stunning example of his art. REBORN #1 is beautiful to look at from cover to cover with fantastic characters and landscapes that are all teeming with detail. The story idea is fresh and new and the first issue ends on a great cliffhanger that will being readers back for more. Millar is killing it right now with these six to eight issue mini series books like Empress and Jupiter's Legacy and it looks as though Reborn is going to fit in with those other works quite nicely. This is an easy book to recommend so just go check it out. Millar is reaching peak form and Capullo is coming off of a career making run and is also at the top of his game.

 

DEATH OF X #1 (Marvel Comics)-

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It is finally here! Readers have been asking "What did Cyclops do?" ever since the post Secret Wars time skip implied something terrible happened between the mutants and the inhumans and now we get to find out what that was in DEATH OF X #1 from Marvel Comics. The writing team of Jeff Lemire and Charles Soule have been working on this project for the last year and X-men fans desperate for some answers will most likely read this and say... "is what they came up with?". The story presented is the first issue is fine but absolutely nothing new can be gleaned from it. The X-men discover that the terrigen mist is responsible for the deaths of mutants on Muir Island while the Inhumans celebrate the birth of one of their own as the cloud covers Japan. On one side we have Cyclops vowing yet again to do anything it takes to protect mutants while Crystal is on the other side stating that she will do anything it takes to ensure the safe hatching of new inhumans. With only four issues in this mini series I found it an odd decision to spend the entire oversized first issue on nothing more than setup. The setup was already in place. The first arc of both Extraordinary X-men and Uncanny X-men dealt with the fallout of mutants from the terrigen mist. Readers already know all of this so why waste so much time rehashing that which has been established for months? The art by Aaron Kuder is overall very good with the exception of some really ugly faces. This book is big set pieces from start to finish and all of it looks fantastic. I am an X-men fan first and foremost when it comes to the Marvel Universe and have been waiting for this book to come out since All New All Different Marvel started and I am a bit disappointed. The writing is ok except for the over abundant use of people's code names in conversation and the art is fine expect for Emma's busted face but the overall story is nothing that grabbed me nor did it present anything new. I will keep reading because I feel this is one of those important arcs in the Marvel world but as a stand alone issue this book fell flat.

 

CHAMPIONS #1 (Marvel Comics)-

5.0 Stars.gif

I was not a fan of Mark Waid latest Avengers run so I went into CHAMPIONS #1 from Marvel Comics with some trepidation but I am happy to report those worries were misplaced. CHAMPIONS #1 is happy, fun, and full of spirit in a way that Avengers was not and it is such a better book for it. Due to the fallout of Civil War 2 Miss Marvel has become disillusioned with the superhero community and its race to punch out the bad guys before stopping to help the people. She teams up with Nova, Miles Morales, Viv, and Amadeus Cho to form a new team of younger heroes who are not so jaded by years of service. Part of what makes this book work is the endlessly enduring charm of Miss Marvel as a character. While I do not agree with the current Marvel thought process that every established hero should be gender swapped or replaced by a younger minority character Ms Marvel is one case where they got it perfectly right. Same goes for Miles Morales and Nova as well which is partly why this book works so well. Those three as a core team are exciting and fun to read and they are so obnoxiously full of hope you can't but smile as you flip through this issue. The art by Humberto Ramos is beyond amazing and he is truly at the top of this game. The exaggerated cartoon style works perfectly with the lighter tone of the book and his gross Pagliacci villain is a sight to behold. There is definitely a change in the art and it might be that the cartoonish proportions have been toned down a bit due to the teenage cast, but irregardless of that fact it still looks amazing and might be some of the best work he has ever done. Were I not doing reviews I would have skipped this book but I am so glad I did not as it is one of the best Marvel books I have read in quite a while. Do yourself a favor and pick it up!

 

SHADE THE CHANGING GIRL #1 (DC Comics)-

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The Young Animal line from DC Comics is providing a window into the weird and SHADE THE CHANGING GIRL #1 is continuing the trend in sublime fashion. Written by Cecil Castellucci, this first issue plays off the original Rac Shade and his adventures with Madness. In this incarnation Loma Shade, a young avian from planet Meta, has stolen the Madness and ventured to Earth to occupy the body of Megan Boyer. Megan was an empty vessel after overdosing with friends and ending up as a brain dead hospital patient and was not exactly the best kind of person. She alienated both her friends and her family and the news of her so called resurrection has not been met with happiness all around, more like remorse and angst. This book is strange and slightly impenetrable and honestly I read it twice before sitting down to write this review but it really is something special. Cecil Castellucci has captured the strange vibe that James Robinson established with The Shade and turned it into something new. This first issue just works, it drew me in with story, character, and solid if not amazing art by Marley Zarcone. The randomness of the alien influence on the story of a broken young girl and the mystery that surrounds her accident make for a really fun first issue to read. I am always looking for that hook a new number one should have and SHADE THE CHANGING GIRL #1 definitely has its hooks in me. I would advise those interested to check out the amazing Shade trade paperbacks from James Robinson and then pick up this issue and just get lost in it.

 

JESSICA JONES #1 (Marvel Comics)-

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FUCK!!!! That is exactly how the first issue of Alias kicked off the Marvel Max line over fifteen years ago and the same creative team of Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Gaydos have reunited in JESSICA JONES #1 from Marvel Comics. Jessica Jones picks up in a post Secret Wars world wherein normal people are affected by the same tears in reality left from the fallout of God Dooms alternate reality. In this case Jessica is on the case of a young woman who is suffering from a tear in reality and has hired Jones to sort it out. The only catch is that this must be done while dealing with Misty Knight, Jessica Drew, Luke Cage, and the drama of their little girl and their breakup. Mixing old school Alias, the Jessica Jones Netflix show, and the current Marvel Universe is no easy task yet Bendis navigates these troubled waters effortlessly. This feels like a natural mix of all three and as someone who picked up Alias #1 in the comic book store on day one I must say this is a nostalgic trip back to that time in the best of ways. The writing and art are spot on and Jessica is just as spiteful and pissy as I remember her. This is the perfect mix of new and old and I had a smile on my face from cover to cover. Bendis has been writing this character for a long time and has her voice down solid and Gaydos has stepped into the shoes of his younger self without skipping a beat. This is a definite hit and I think everyone should pick this book up. If you were a reader of Alias back in the day, or a reader of New Avengers under Bendis, or a fan of the Netflix show this book is absolutely for you.

 

CAGE #1 (Marvel Comics)-

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The long awaited CAGE #1 is here! Published by Marvel Comics with art and story by Genndy Tartakovsky this long awaited series takes Luke Cage back to the 70's for some over the top comic book action and humor. The tiara and yellow shirt and front and center along with all of the one liners you can stomach and it works fabulously. While the story is fun and light the real star here is the art. Those familiar with Samurai Jack or the first Clone Wars shorts will know exactly what they are in for but I was really surprised to see just how well Tartakovsky's art style translated to the comic medium. In motion his art conveys and frenetic sense of movement and action and that is fully present even in the still images of CAGE #1. The stylized characters are larger that life, especially Cage himself, and they are all over the page bringing that action to life. Coming out at the same time as Jessica Jones this book could not be more opposite if it tried. While Jessica Jones is a dark look at a troubled character CAGE #1 is a celebration of the over the top comics of the 70's, all it is missing is a sound track. This is a fun book that will make you smile while you read it so definitely check it out, while it is not perfect and the story is not the most engrossing it is more than enough fun to make it worth the purchase.

 

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: September 28, 2016

Number 1 Bullets Comic Reviews: September 21, 2016

Number 1 Bullets Comic Reviews: September 14, 2016

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