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Home  >  Features  >  Number 1 Bullets Comic Reviews: October 19, 2016

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This was a lighter week of comics and a rare week without a new release from Image Comics. Take a look at our reviews as we check out STAR TREK: TO BOLDLY GO #1, KISS #1, PATHFINDER: WORLDSCAPE #1, SPELL ON WHEELS #1, INFAMOUS IRON MAN #1, and CAVE CARSON HAS A CYBERNETIC EYE #1.

 

 

STAR TREK: TO BOLDLY GO #1 (IDW Publishing)-

3.0 Stars

The first volume of Star Trek from IDW Publishing has come to an end and has now been relaunched with a new number one issue as STAR TREK: TO BOLDLY GO #1. Written by Mike Johnson this new series picks up after the events of Star Trek Beyond while the crew has gone their separate ways while waiting for the completion of the Enterprise A. Kirk, McCoy, and Checkov have taken an assignment on the USS Endeavour, Spock and Uhura have gone to New Vulcan for some time alone, Scotty is teaching at the Academy, and Sulu is now first officer of the USS Concord. Everyone is assimilating to their new roles when the Concord is attacked by an unknown enemy which brings Kirk running to the rescue to find the Borg have arrived in the Kelvin timeline. This was a solid start to a new volume that had a lot of ground to cover in just a few pages. The new status quo is quickly established and we get enough time with each wayward crew member to see how they are fitting in before the action starts. Which brings us to the fantastic end of the issue revealing the presence of the Borg, a race that can bring out the best and the worst in Trek. Being that this is the first encounter in this timeline I am hoping they remain a mysterious and terrifying threat as opposed to the punchline of the week joke they became on Star Trek Voyager. George Caltsoudas picks up art duties and does an amazing job with character likeness to the actors from the movies while his ship designed leave much to be desired. The ships in Star Trek are often treated as characters themselves and these new designs just feel uninspired. Beyond that the pencils are sharp and serve the story well with good panel to panel storytelling and dynamic scenes that pull the reader in. As a die hard Star Trek fan I thought this was a great read and the Borg provide a much more interesting storyline that what was going on in the first volume of the series. This is a great jumping on point for new readers so if you liked Star Trek Beyond check this issue out and see if it grabs you.

 

KISS #1 (Dynamite Comics )-

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The KISS marketing machine has been running non stop since the 70's and now they have teamed up with Dynamite Comics to bring us KISS #1. Amy Chu sets a story in a bleak future with an undetermined date, all that is known is that is has been almost 500 years since the last war and the last of humanity has found refuge in an underground city far from the destruction on the surface. When some teenagers take it upon themselves to explore beyond the boundaries of the town they find an old server farm with what appears to be AI versions of the members of KISS. The story and art are surprisingly good for what amounts to a brand cash in of the worst kind. The idea itself is not new or ground breaking but it is well told and there are tons of visual nods to the band throughout the book which will be fun for fans as they read through it. Speaking of art, Kewber Baal does a solid job with his pencils and has created a world and a cast of characters that look great even if they lack any real depth. There is an ominous tone that the art conveys and the words do not. While the adults in the world speak of the glorious last bastion of humanity the art is far for dystopian and bleak. KISS #1 is not a good comic nor is it a bad one but it is a comic that pushes is brand hard. I cannot really see anyone getting enjoyment out of this book other than fans of KISS looking for a new story in which their favorite musicians have become so sort of long lost saviors of humanity.

 

PATHFINDER: WORLDSCAPE #1 (Dynamite Comics)-

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Dynamite Comics is bringing the worlds of Red Sonja, John Carter, and Tarzan together with heroes of Pathfinder in PATHFINDER: WORLDSCAPE #1. Erik Mona pens a script that finds dungeons and dragons archetypes from the Pathfinder universe on their final confrontation with Thulgroon, a shape changing psychic creature of immense power. During this encounter the foursome see their reality vanish before their eyes only to awaken in the Hyborian Age where the warrior Valeros finds himself separated from his companions and eventually forced into gladiatorial combat against the one and only Red Sonja. Yet again readers are greeted to an opening issue of a crossover event that ends with heroes fighting each other due to a forced narrative. In fact, everything about this issue feels forced, rushed, and unnatural. From the opening sequence where the Pathfinder heroes call out their power attacks like a bad Chris Claremont knock off to the cliff hanger showdown with Red Sonja this first issue checks off comic book cliches as if it were satire. The art by Jonathan Lau is by far the best aspect of this comic book. Sharp pencils and great panel work really shine and make this a comic that is painful to read but beautiful to look at. I get that Dynamite is looking to bring its various IPs together but this feels like a group of disparate comic book characters thrown together haphazardly and it just does not work. While I think each of these properties works well in their individual books this crossover just feels forced and cliched.

 

SPELL ON WHEELS #1 (Dark Horse Comics)-

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Three young witches embark on a road trip to retrieve their magical heirlooms in SPELL ON WHEELS #1 from Dark Horse Comics. Written by Kate Leth this comic has a light teenage audience feel to it as an ex-boyfriend breaks into the house of three young friends and makes off with some of their most treasured valuables. With no help coming from the police the three young women set off on their own to track down what was lost while a larger threat looms in the distance. SPELL ON WHEELS #1 is one of those comic books that I know is not directed at me but its quality is undeniable. Kate Leth effortlessly find three very distinct voices for the main characters. Jolene is the hot tempered one, Claire is reserved and vulnerable yet powerful, and Andy is the newcomer just beginning to learn about her powers. They are each empowering in their own right yet still flawed enough to be real. Megan Levens handles art duties with a non-distinct yet fully competent style that does a good job of telling the story without being aggressively good or bad. This is a book whose focus is young women talking and thus it does not need the over the top dynamic action style of something like the previously reviewed Pathfinder crossover. The art is simple but it works well for telling the story at hand. I think this would be a great recommendation for young female readers looking for something that speaks directly to them.

 

INFAMOUS IRON MAN #1 (Marvel Comics)-

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With all the changes at Marvel Comics lately I was really not looking forward to yet another flagship character being tossed aside for a headline grabbing replacement but Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev proved me wrong with INFAMOUS IRON MAN #1. I am waiting to read Civil War II until it is complete but apparently at some point in that series Tony Stark dies and has his consciousness turned into an AI. The newly reformed Dr Doom has taken it upon himself to fill the void left by Tony's departure and has now created a new suit of armor based on the Iron Man design. I think it is safe to say this is a temporary situation as are all dramatic shifts in comics but it does provide one of Marvel's best writers with the chance to do something new with one of its greatest villains. Right out of the gate this book will take you back to Bendis' Avengers run with a meeting of the Cabal as Doom banishes The Hood for just asking about the history surrounding Doom's mother. Flash forward and that moment becomes relevant as it is revealed that she is still alive and watching over Victor's newfound repentant ways. I am torn on this titles because while I love anything Doom related and Maleev's art is stunning as always there is nothing new here, at least not right out of the gate. Iron Doom is an interesting concept and the creative team of Bendis and Maleev is a proven winner but I just can't shake the feeling that this story feels rather forced. Regardless I still think this is a book all Marvel fans should pick up as more Doom is always fun especially with all star talent behind it.

 

CAVE CARSON HAS A CYBERNETIC EYE #1 (DC Comics)-

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As part of the Young Animal launch of more experimental titles DC Comics is bringing back Cave Carson and giving him his own series with CAVE CARSON HAS A CYBERNETIC EYE #1. Set in the current DC Universe Cave Carson has put his underground adventuring days behind him and settled down with his wife and daughter. However, after his wife's death and his daughter heads off the college Cave finds himself alone and lost in a world that seemingly no longer needs him. Writer Gerard Way explores themes of loss and uselessness with this character that has been dug out of the depths of DC's past all the while using the mystery behind the cybernetic eye to do some interesting things with the art and storytelling. Far from the capes and spandex of the main books these Young Animal comics have been more intimate affairs and Cave Carson is by far the bleakest of those released so far. The art by Michael Avon Oeming is a nice cross between cartoon and Kirby and suits this titles perfectly. The angular lines and bright colors contrast the moody atmosphere and give the book a very retro scifi feel that just works. I found the inclusion of Doc Magnus and the Metal Men to be a bit forced but besides that I thought this book worked rather well overall. The Young Animal line promised to be a strange trip to a side of the DC Universe we rarely see and so far it is delivering in spades.

 

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: October 12, 2016

Number 1 Bullets Comic Reviews: September 28, 2016

Number 1 Bullets Comic Reviews: September 21, 2016

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