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Home  >  Features  >  Number 1 Bullets Comic Reviews: November 16, 2016



Mightyville takes a look at a new batch of number one issues, this week it's ETHER #1, GI JOE: REVOLUTION #1, GRAND PASSION #1, THANOS #1, and HARBINGER RENEGADE #1!



ETHER #1 (Dark Horse Comics)-

3.0 Stars

Dark Horse Comics takes a long strange trip into a surreal magic universe to solve a murder with ETHER #1 from Matt Kindt and David Rubin. Boone Dias is a man caught between two realities, figuratively and physically. On Earth he is a homeless man and former university professor but in the magical realm of Ether he is a renowned scientist and detective. One one of his routine journeys to this mystical realm he is tasked with finding out who has killed the protector of the city of Agartha. The duality of the story comes into play as on one page Boone is shown to be respected and vital to the city of Agartha while on the next he is ignored and stepped around as he lives on the street. The art plays into this as well with a bright color pallet in the Ether that features a younger and more robust Boone compared to the somber tones of Earth and an older, downtrodden Boone living in tattered clothes. The storytelling was strong and I was legitimately caught off guard when the story turned rather dark after his return to Earth. What was proceeding as a light magical mystery turned into a story about how this man had fallen from grace. Seemingly so straight forward yet now as a reader I am left with so many questions and that is the sign of a good first issue. However, with all that said I do think the art is merely ok at best with rather boring character designs and the Ether looks like something out of an 80's Saturday morning cartoon instead of an Ethereal landscape. With all the amazing creator owned comics out there these days I have trouble really recommending ETHER #1 to all readers, the book is only saved by the rather shocking twist to what was a rather mundane mystery. I think this was a good first issue and if the story goes places and has time to flesh itself out it might be a book worth checking out in trade further down the road.


GI JOE: REVOLUTION #1 (IDW Publishing)-

2.0 Stars.gif

The lackluster Revolution event from IDW Publishing continues this week with a GI JOE: REVOLUTION #1, a one shot that will lead into the new GI Joe ongoing series. Written by Aubrey Sitterson this issue picks up with the chaos caused by the shape changing Dire Wraiths in full effect. Nobody can be trusted, Earth's leadership is fractured, and the Transformers are acting as both friend and foe. Scarlett and her team are attempting to retake the EDC facility from the Cybertronians but the plan goes south when Wild Bill turns out to be yet another alien in disguise, which is unfortunately the same twist that has pervaded the last few issues of this mini series. Yet again a long time ally is really a bad guy, things go bad, there is mistrust, and we close with what appears to be Thundercracker on a makeshift throne. Apparently this is the same Thundercracker who was in the Transformers one shot that came out just a few weeks ago and in that issue he was a carefree good guy hanging out with his strange insecticon buddy and a dog, and now all of a sudden he is the bad guy? Granted I have not read every issue of this series so my confusion could be due to missing some key plot points but then again nothing about this crossover event has made it good enough to warrant a purchase of every issue. The story feels incredibly fractured and seems to be going in so many directions at the same time. The art by Giannis Milonogiannis has a slight anime feel to it with great body art yet horrible faces. Background and filler art is decent at best and sloppy at worst. I think I am officially done with this cross over save for review issues of any more one shots if they pop up. There seems to be little to no focus and the reveal that shape changing lizard men are behind everything is the last place I thought a GI Joe/Mask/Transformers crossover would ever go.


GRAND PASSION #1 (Dynamite Entertainment)-

4.0 Stars.gif

James Robinson is out to prove that love can come from the most unlikeliest of places in GRAND PASSION #1 from Dynamite Entertainment. Mabel and Steve have made a life for themselves robbing banks. The always switch up their tactics as to never present a pattern and they are always on the move. Everything has been running smooth as silk for them until fate lands them in Valley County, Illinois where newly widowed deputy James "Mac" McNamera is on patrol. All it took was one young bystander to notice an out of place gun in Steve's belt while Mac was near by and the entire plan came crashing down. In the midst of bullets and death one stolen glance between Mac and Mabel was all it took for both of them to know they had finally seen their one true love, too bad for them they are on opposites sides of the law. This first issue is a slow burn but it works because it gives us time to get to know Mac and Mabel in their own worlds before they meet. It is the small things that stand out that let the reader know both of these characters are not happy with their current status quo. The un-mentioned drinking problem Mac has and the blank stare from Mabel as she has sex with Steve clue us in that both are missing that personal connection in their lives. James Robinson might have fallen out of favor with comic book fans over the years but lately he seems to have found himself again and this book is another example of his great storytelling ability. GRAND PASSION #1 is a drama first and foremost and for a drama to work the reader needs to care about the main characters and in only 22 short pages Robinson has made me care about both of them. The hook on the end of this issue is great as we see that while Mabel is reeling from Steve's death and vowing revenge she knows for a fact she has found true love, even if it was in the most unlikely of circumstances. Tom Feister's pencils are good but not amazing. His style is clean and rather straight forward and he allows his characters to emote which helps in a book like this that is more character based and focuses less on over the top action. GRAND PASSION #1 is different that most of that is out there right now on comic store shelves so if you are in the mood for a book more focused on characters and drama that this one is worth checking out.


THANOS #1 (Marvel Comics)-

5.0 Stars.gif

Just this week news got out that filming had begun for Infinity War part one so it is perfect timing for Marvel Comics to bring their cosmic big bad into the spotlight with THANOS #1. Writer Jeff Lemire sets the return of the Mad Titan in the far reaches of space and fills his story with a cast of long forgotten cosmic characters. While Thanos is taking his first steps to rebuilding his power base by killing Corvus Glaive his enemies are already conspiring against him. This new cabal intent on seeing the final death of Thanos is sort of a family affair. His son Thane, his eternal lovers pursuit Lady Death, his brother Eros, and galactic champion Tryco Slatterus are all banding together to try and rid the universe of Thanos once and for all. This issue excels on many fronts but two of my favorites are the awesome power and scale with which Thanos is depicted and the fact that the cast is pulled from the depths of the Marvel Cosmic universe. Lemire seems to revel in showcasing Thanos' power and Mike Deodato brings it to life brilliantly. His size and scale are front and center and it is great to see him at the height of his strength without cluttering the page full of Marvel heroes somehow getting the best of a character who is literally a god. Bringing out Eros and Tryco sent me to wikipedia for a refresh but I loved it because it felt new, different, and alien. Thanos is going to be a major player the world is going to get to know and this is a great start to that campaign. He is the big bad of the Marvel universe and this first issue does a fantastic job of showcasing that within the first few pages. Out of all the new NOW #1 books from Marvel Comics THANOS #1 is the best of them showcasing top tier talent on both words and art. This issue is a must buy so go and check it out.


HARBINGER RENEGADE #1 (Valiant Comics)-

4.0 Stars.gif

The premier Valiant Comics super team is back in HARBINGER RENEGADE #1. Written by Rafer Roberts the first issue of this series gives readers a comprehensive overview of psiots and their history in the Valiant universe. From evil villain Toyo Harada and his Harbinger team to Peter Stanchek and the Renegades, the entire history is brilliantly recapped for new readers and brings them to the current status quo. The Renegades released all the information on latent psiots to the world before bringing down Harada, but this was accomplished at great cost. Only Faith continues to operate as a superhero while the rest of the team has gone back to a civilian life. When a group of amateurs using sub standard tech begin attempting to activate psiots on their own the results are deadly and the Renegades find themselves in danger once again. Even if you are new to the Valiant universe this book is a fun ride and the flawless introduction will tell you everything you need to know. I only dabble in Valiant Comics and never once did I feel lost while reading this issue and when you consider how dense it is with characters and backstory that in and of itself is a monumental achievement in writing. Roberts also hits some rather emotional beats with Kris and the struggle she is going through when Faith appears on her door step asking for help. Just out of prison and on probation the fact that she is even talking to her former Renegade allies could land her back in jail. Her inner struggle juxtaposed to Faith's tone deaf request for help was a great moment in this issue. Darick Robertson's pencils shine from cover to cover. Great character art, dynamic action, and a wide range of emotion all come together to present the reader with quite the artistic showcase. This book is Valiant putting its best foot forward with a top notch creative team to bring in new readers and it is a perfect jumping on point for those who might be looking for something new.


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: November 9, 2016

Number 1 Bullets Comic Reviews: November 2, 2016

Number 1 Bullets Comic Reviews: October 26, 2016

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