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Home  >  Features  >  Number 1 Bullets Comic Reviews: December 07, 2016

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Another week and another round of new number one issues to check out. Read on and see what our take was on MOTOR CRUSH #1, WONDER WOMAN MEETS THE BIONIC WOMAN #1, SLAPSTICK #1, STAR WARS: DOCTOR APHRA #1, and NOVA #1.

 

 

MOTOR CRUSH #1 (Image Comics)-

3.0 Stars

Vehicular mayhem and high stakes drugs meet in MOTOR CRUSH #1 from Image Comics. Created by Brenden Fletcher and Cameron Stewart MOTOR CRUSH #1 takes place in the fiction city of Nova Honda where street racing, both legal and illegal, seems to be the highlight of the city. Domino Swift is a young racer who works with her father and his assistant in preparation for the upcoming World Grand Prix race. However, on the side she races in a brutal Mad Max style street race where the currency is the hot new drug Crush. Unknown to her father, Domino is hooked on the drug and when her stash is stolen she lands herself in hot water trying to steal it back.

MOTOR CRUSH #1 is a fast paced book that reads as quickly as its main protagonist drives. To that end a special note needs to be made regarding artist Cameron Stewart's ability to convey the hyper kinetic motion of motorcycle racing in a medium like comics. The panel to panel action of the racing scenes is really well done and feels like storyboards from a big budget action movie race sequence. The world building is done in a creative text overlay style similar to information listed on a F1 or NASCAR race on ESPN. Small piece of personal and environmental information are conveyed to the reader in this manner and it feels much more natural than exposition or narration. The art is stylized to the cartoonish side of things but it works for the story and adds an extra element when it comes to character emotions.

While all of this works really well my only problem with the book is that I just did not really care about the characters at all. There was no investment and no sense of peril other than an addict getting her fix. None of her close family was in peril and there were no stakes as of yet. Without anything to loose or anything to fight for this just becomes and comic about a girl who likes to race, get high, and then eventually steal her drugs back. There is no hook, no cliffhanger, and therefor I am not inclined to check back in for issue number two.

 

WONDER WOMAN MEETS THE BIONIC WOMAN #1 (Dynamite Entertainment)-

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Dynamite Entertainment and DC Comics have teamed up to bring two action heroines from the 70's together in WONDER WOMAN MEETS THE BIONIC WOMAN #1. Written by Andy Mangels this book takes the Linda Carter Wonder Woman character from the classic TV show and pairs her up with Jaime Sommers who was the Bionic Woman in the short lived spin off from the Bionic Man TV series. The two team up via a joint government operation to take down CASTRA, an anti government group that is destroying defense research facilities and kidnapping scientists. The plot and writing is rather pedestrian but this is more about nostalgia that really trying to tell a compelling story. There are some clever bits woven into the dialogue including a direct quote from the first Superman movie as well as some funny back and forth between Jamie and Diana concerning the differences between Diana and Wonder Woman, or lack thereof.

The art duties are handled by Judit Tandora who really does do a fantastic job of capturing the likenesses of the actresses and maintaining the 70's style throughout the issue. That being said the rest of the issue feels rather flat and uninspired. It serves the story well enough while at the same time being rather forgettable. I really don't know who the audience for this book is outside of nostalgic fans looking to reunite with some classic TV characters. If that is who it is solely aimed at then WONDER WOMAN MEETS THE BIONIC WOMAN #1 has achieved its goal. For those who do not fall into that niche fandom there is not much here to recommend.

 

SLAPSTICK #1 (Marvel Comics)-

2.0 Stars.gif

If you were looking for your latest dose of foul mouthed over the top cartoon characters than look no further, SLAPSTICK #1 from Marvel Comics has you covered. From the creative team of Reilly Brown, Fred Van Lente, and Diego Olortegui comes the latest number one issue from Marvel centered on a character nobody cares about. Steve Harmon was a regular teenage boy until he got hit with some cosmic mumbo jumbo and turned into Slapstick, a literal cartoon character in our real world. He runs around making silly quips and beating up bad guys in a violent over the top style designed specifically to contrast his comedic look. This introductory issue finds him battling a robotic menace who can actually hurt him and change his physical makeup. Steve latches onto this chance to become a normal human being again, siding with the villain instead of taking him in.

This was my first introduction to the Slapstick character outside of his role in Deadpool's mercenary team up book, and while this issue was ostensibly well written and well drawn the truth is that in the end I just did not care about it at all. Who is this book for? What fans have been clamoring for a Slapstick stand alone series? This book along with Solo, Prowler, Mosaic, and a few others screams of a company throwing anything at the wall to see what readers will grab onto but all of them have hit the floor with a resounding THUD. Steve Harmon is an annoying character to read who generated zero sympathy in this first issue. There was an attempt at giving him some humanity during a family dinner scene where he is feeling sidelined despite his achievements but it is over as soon as it started as we are back to a cartoon who talks too much hitting people over the head with a mallet. It also does not help that the character is essentially invulnerable which means there are zero stakes in the action portion of the book. Finally, when he does get injured and brought down to Earth for the briefest of moments he then decides to team up with the person who hurt him to get away from the powers that he has been showcasing for the last 20 pages. I do not know who this book is for but it is not me and I have a feeling I am not alone. Credit for creative writing and solid art is owed but that is not enough to recommend this book for anyone.

 

STAR WARS: DOCTOR APHRA #1 (Marvel Comics)-

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The Star Wars brand has been doing exceptionally well since its conversion to Marvel Comics and the best comic out of that bunch has been the recently concluded Darth Vader series. Now Marvel is taking the lone break out character from that book and giving her a stand alone title beginning with DOCTOR APHRA #1. Written by Kieron Gillen this new series picks up right where Darth Vader left off. Aphra is back to her old tricks trying to swindle her way through the universe while keeping one step ahead of those who have it out for her, and that list is continuing to grow. Intent on selling historical artifacts for a huge payout her plans are foiled when she learns her accreditation has been revoked. Now she must get it reinstated while staying one step ahead of the Empire, bounty hunters, and everyone else who she is indebted to throughout the universe.

Aphra's quick wit, spunky character, and endearing sense of humor has made her a fan favorite since she was introduced and she continues to shine in her own series. A fantastic opening scene pulled straight out of Raiders of the Lost Ark sets the tone of the issue and the fun doesn't stop until the last page is turned. Not only is Aphra herself such a well realized character but the motley group of wookies and droids that accompany her are equally entertaining. The main story is drawn by Kev Walker and his art is a perfect fit for the title. Even when things get messy he draws Aphra with a sense of glee that is beyond endearing and truly makes her a fun character to root for. There is also an origin story as a backup to this issue that is drawn by Salvador Larroca and showcases a young Aphra demonstrating her uncanny knack of getting herself into and out of trouble.

Out of all the various mini series to come from the newly acquired Star Wars license this is one of the best by far. A new character not saddled with an established story gives the writer more room to breath when it comes to storytelling and you can tell when reading this issue that Gillen really does have a soft spot for Aphra. There are endless possibilities for what kind of trouble she can get into in the Star Wars universe and I think those who enjoyed the Darth Vader series should pick this book up without hesitation. It's a hit!

 

NOVA #1 (Marvel Comics)-

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Long time fan favorite Rich Rider was the final member of the Nova corps and readers saw him die in the cancerverse leaving young Sam Alexander to claim the mantel as the last Nova in the universe. Now, in Marvel Comics NOVA #1, Rich Rider has somehow returned to the land of the living and Sam is confronted with the fact he is no longer the only one with access to the power of the Nova Corps. The creative team of Jeff Loveness and Ramon Perez are giving readers what they have been wanting for years while at the same time keeping Sam as a relevant part of the greater Marvel Universe. There are no questions answered about Rich Rider's return in this issue, in fact there is nothing but more questions raised as it seems there was a steep cost for Rich to pay to travel back to our world. While he is sorting through his own demons we find Sam Alexander fresh of a galaxy hopping adventure and again reminded of the trials and tribulations of being a teenager. Girls, school, chores, and his recent split with the Avengers are all weighing heavy on his mind when his helmet informs him of a new Nova power signature.

This will be the third number one issue featuring Sam Alexander as Nova and so far this one is off to the best start. I have always found the way Sam was written to be rather grating and obnoxious but in this introduction he is finally acting with a sense of confidence. The high school antics are still present and in full effect and they do detract from the overall enjoyment of the issue but the few pages spent in space defending Ego the living planet were some of the best Sam Alexander I have read yet. Adding a conflicted and possibly corrupted Rich Rider to the mix just might be the missing component that has kept Nova from success on the comic store shelves. Sam will finally have someone other than his father to play off of when it comes to being a Nova and Rich Rider's return is one that has been hotly anticipated for years. Roman Perez deftly handles the art duties for this relaunch and it looks really good with a heavy cartoon influence. That style can go either way but I think it works here with a young hero set on a backdrop of crazy space adventures. It also allows a greater range of emotion which again works with a younger hero caught up in the crazy world of being a teenager.

The last few Nova series have not grabbed me as a reader. It has not been since the Annihilation cross over event that the Nova corp has been a book that caught my interest but I feel this newest series has the best chance so far. The last time readers saw Rich Rider was in a Guardians of the Galaxy flash back issue that showed Star Lord and Rich Rider facing off against Thanos for the cosmic cube. We were lead to believe Rich sacrificed himself to allow Peter Quill to escape the cancerverse, now it seems we will finally see what happened. Readers have been asking for this return for a long time now so pick up this first issue and give it a shot, I for one am definitely on board if for no other reason than to find out exactly what happened to Rich Rider and what is the fate of the Nova corps in the Marvel Universe.

 

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 30, 2016

Number 1 Bullets Comic Reviews: November 23, 2016

Number 1 Bullets Comic Reviews: November 16, 2016

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