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Home  >  Features  >  Number 1 Bullets Comic Reviews: November 23, 2016

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With the holiday weekend upon us there were not many new comics to review but there were still some gems out there for fans to check out. Here is our take on A.D. AFTER DEATH #1, ATHENA VOLTAIRE AND THE VOLCANO GODDESS #1, VENOM #1, and THE ULTIMATES 2 #1.

 

 

A.D. AFTER DEATH #1 (Image Comics)-

4.0 Stars

Half novel half comic book, A.D. AFTER DEATH #1 from Image Comics is a unique collaboration from two of the top talents in the comic book industry. Written by Scott Snyder with art by Jeff Lemire this book clocks in at over 70 pages of prose and art. Set in two distinct time periods we follow Jonah as a young man in a seemingly normal world and then pick up with him again in some distant future in which something has happened that will not allow people to die. The modern storytelling is done in prose from Jonah's first person perspective. It is haunting and quite sad as he describes the trials and tribulations of his young life. His father is disillusioned with the state of the world and his mother is suffering from worsening strokes that will lead to her death. All of this is told from the eyes of a young boy and the accompanying art matches the tone. Instead of comic book style panel layouts these pages feature one drawing that give the reader a single image of the events being described. These are large images drawn in Lemire's sketchy abstract style but colored with what appears to be water color giving them a washed out color pallet that reflects the sad emotions in the text. The sequences that take place in the future maintain the depressed tone and give readers a view of a world where death seems to no longer occur and thus Jonah and those around him live these isolated lives where normal tasks are drawn out so long because there is no need for haste. The art style remains the same but with more typical comic book panel layouts. Again the word I would use to describe the art is haunting, almost sad. This is a book that is bursting with talent and it is beautiful to look at from cover to cover but my god is it a downer. It is a book that everyone should take a look at but I cannot say it was fun to read.

 

ATHENA VOLTAIRE AND THE VOLCANO GODDESS #1 (Action Lab Comics)-

3.0 Stars.gif

Part Tomb Raider and part Indiana Jones, ATHENA VOLTAIRE AND THE VOLCANO GODDESS #1 from Action Lab Comics is a pulp adventure story that revels in its intended camp. Creators Steve Bryant and Jim Nelson bring Athena to life in a cold open that would be a perfect fit for any Indiana Jones movie, all the ingredients are there including exotic locales, mythical long lost objects, and Nazis. Safe from from the opening action Athena is brought into another quest to find an ancient necklace of native Hawaiian lore than is imbued with the power of Pele, the fire goddess. Just as her quest is about to begin she learns the hard way that she is not the only one in search of this power. This series is remarkably straight forward in its approach which made it a fun book to read. Athena herself is everything you want your main globetrotting heroine to be. She is bold, beautiful, and confident. The art features clean pencils with well drawn characters and great panel to panel action. It is not overly stylized or detailed but the action and story were easy to follow and the book clipped along at a fast rate. There is nothing inherently wrong with ATHENA VOLTAIRE AND THE VOLCANO GODDESS #1 but at the same time there is little that makes it stand out amongst the other titles crowding comic book shelves. From the time period, to the adventuring, to the artifacts, and even the Nazis this book draws its inspiration so directly from Indiana Jones that it borders on cliche but the fact that it was so much fun to read negates that initial negative feeling I had when reading it. If you are in the mood for a comic on the lighter side of things or maybe just longing for a fun 1930's pulp adventure then check this one out.

 

VENOM #1 (Marvel Comics)-

3.0 Stars.gif

Marvel Comic's favorite anti hero is making a return this week in VEMON #1 written by Mike Costa with art from Gerardo Sandoval. Since arriving in 1988 as a Spider-man villain the character of Venom has gone through many changes. From bad guy, to anti hero, to military black ops, and most recently guardian of the galaxy. With the symbiotes return to Earth it is in search of a new host and it happens to find Lee Price. A disabled military vet who has turned to crime to pay the bills, Lee revels in the new power of the suit and vows to do more harm than good. There are a few new interesting ideas in this issue what hopefully will pay off and bring new life to the character. The first big change is that Mike Costa is giving voice to the suit itself. The internal narration in this comic is the suit talking, not Lee Price. Another big change is that this is the first time the suit will not be the corrupting influence. In a rather somber final page the suit looks as though it is in pain when Lee reveals his intentions. All that galaxy trotting must have changed the suits moral compass and now he has returned to Earth and bombed with a suffering soul more maligned that the suit ever was. How this new paradigm will play out remains to be seen but I for one am glad that the writer is taking a chance at trying something new. Sandoval features a big and bad manga influenced art style that really works for rending Venom in all his glory but falls a bit short with the more subtle storytelling segments of this book. The art is very dark and at times the panel to panel movement of characters was hard to follow. This is a new twist on a character that has gone through many changes with each host but the best thing is that this newest incarnation is flipping the script and going in a completely different direction. The risk in this series is how long will readers stick with a book that is truly focused on an unlikable villain, only time will tell.

 

ULTIMATES 2 #1 (Marvel Comics)-

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By far the surprise hit of the post Secret Wars relaunch has been Marvel Comics The Ultimates, now Al Ewing is back with the first issue of the second volume in THE ULTIMATES 2 #1. The Captain Marvel run team has spent the last year taking on cosmic threats with government oversight but the events of Civil War II left the team disbanded. Now Galactus the life bringer has returned with his new herald insisting the team reform to help save the universe. From the very beginning the scope of this book has been huge even on the cosmic scale and from the brief preview of what is coming in this second volume that trend will continue. The best praise I can give this book is that it reminds be of the first two volumes of The Authority when Warren Ellis was writing it. From Galactus to Thanos to the Infinaut, the first volume pushed the boundaries of scope and now Ewing is pushing the team even further by tasking them with saving the personification of Eternity itself. With all that praise out of the way we come to the art by Travel Foreman. While it is really strong with clean pencils and great expression it is a step back from the brilliant Kenneth Rocafort. The scale is still intact which is a must for this book but the style has been lost. Regardless of the small downgrade in art this is still a book every Marvel fan should be reading so go pick it up.

 

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 16, 2016

Number 1 Bullets Comic Reviews: November 9, 2016

Number 1 Bullets Comic Reviews: November 2, 2016

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