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Home  >  Features  >  #1 Bullets New Comic Book Day Reviews: June 07, 2017

NUMBER 1 BULLETS: 06-07-17

 

Geoff takes a look at a new batch of first issues, this time it's STAR TREK THE NEXT GENERATION MIRROR BROKEN #1, GRRL SCOUTS #1, SECRET EMPIRE UPRISING #1, SAMARITAN #1, CABLE #1, DARTH VADER #1, THE NORMALS #1, and ICEMAN #1!

 

 

STAR TREK THE NEXT GENERATION MIRROR BROKEN #1 (IDW Publishing)-

4.0 Stars

Trips to the mirror universe are always fun with Star Trek in any medium and this week STAR TREK THE NEXT GENERATION MIRROR BROKEN #1 hits store shelves from IDW Publishing. Written by David and Scott Tipton this series fills a nice gap in mirror universe history by showing what Jean-Luc Picard and the rest of the Enterprise crew were up to between Spock's encounter with our Captain Kirk and the ensuing fall of the Empire reflected in the Deep Space Nine episode 'Crossover'. The Empire has been pushed back to Earth and Captain Picard commands the ISS Stargazer on solar system patrol looking for incursions from the Klingon-Cardassian alliance. However, when he catches wind of the new star ship the Empire is building he and his crew hatch a plan to commandeer the new war ship Enterprise!

The Tipton brothers pen a great Star Trek story with lots of details for Trekkers to dig into. Evil Picard with a beard is a nice touch that continues the mirror universe legacy of bearded characters being cruel doppelgangers. The use of the Stargazer is another welcome nod to Star Trek lore, as is Data's use of borg parts to augment his android body. All the characters are well represented and get time enough time on the page to allow readers to see how different they are from the ones we have grown to love. Sultry women, excessive violence, and agony booths are all present and accounted for, everything a fan would want out of a mirror universe story.

Artist J.K. Woodward excels a TV accurate renditions of main characters while doing an average job of drawing iconic Star Trek vessels. The space battles may not be his strong suit but the character art is second to none. Every page looks fantastic is a style that looks like it was painted. IDW Publishing has been releasing some really solid Star Trek titles lately that are far from simple cash ins on an existing brand and STAR TREK THE NEXT GENERATION MIRROR BROKEN #1 is another feather in their cap. This book is a must for Star Trek fans.

 

GRRL SCOUTS #1 (Marvel Comics)-

2.0 Stars.gif

Image Comics is a label that still likes to take chances now and then on new and original comic book ideas and GRRL SCOUTS #1 is definitely one of those. Creator Jim Mahfood is running a one man show by writing and drawing this fever dream of a comic. Gwen, Daphne, and Rita are some hard core ass kicking weed dealing girls who are apparently much tougher than their small frames would lead you to believe. The trio has recently reunited due to a pending threat. It seems that Josie, Daphne's cousin, is a recently released mental patient with a thirst for revenge. The girls must put their differences aside if they hope to stay alive and one step ahead of Josie and her thousands of twitter followers.

I would describe this book as chaos in fast forward, it jumps off the first page and full speed crazy and never lets up. Whether or not that appeals to you will be the deciding factor in how readers feel about this book in the end. Everything is over the top from the outlandish behavior of the protagonists to the super stylized art. GRRL SCOUTS #1 relishes in its girl power theme and I think it will appeal to that younger demographic. The creativity and talent in the art is obviously there but I do not think this book is aimed at me as a reader, that said I did get a kick out of phone apps that magically generate guns out of thin air capable of mowing down an entire group of armed thugs. If you are looking for something different and off the rails then check this issue out, its manic style will find an audience that can keep up with it.

 

SECRET EMPIRE UPRISING #1 (Marvel Comics)-

3.0 Stars.gif

Event tie ins are often more miss than hit but SECRET EMPIRE UPRISING #1 Marvel Comics looks to break that trend. Written by Derek Landy this issue takes place directly after Secret Empire #3 and focuses on Black Widow and the Champions. The young heroes might be all that stands in the way of Hydra world domination but do that have the strength to operate in the moral grey area and do what must be done? Under the tutelage of Natasha the Champions are attempting to infiltrate Hydra and take down Captain America himself via the groups youth choir. When things do not go as planned the team is met with a startling realization about what it is they are exactly trying to save.

This particular tie in holds relevance because of who the protagonists are and what they are trying to achieve. Landy is taking the youngest and most optimistic group of heroes Marvel has and giving them the darkest and most morally objectionable task... to kill Captain America. The dynamic between the trained killer Natasha and the doe eyed Champions is fun to read and watching the reality of a grey world slowly set in is rather sobering. One scene in particular sets the tone for this comic in which Spider-man breaks from cover and announces to the collected children that this is a break out and the Champions will free them from Hydra. This 'heroic' act is met with nothing but derision and contempt from the assembled youth who view Hydra as strong hand America needed while looking upon the Champions and traitors.

Solid if not spectacular art from Joshua Cassara rounds out the tile creating what could the only tie in for Secret Empire that readers need to pay attention to, of course we will only really know if that is true with time. SECRET EMPIRE UPRISING #1 is not required reading for the big event but it was surprisingly good so I would recommend it to anyone that is enjoying Secret Empire so far.

 

SAMARITAN #1 (Image Comics)-

3.0 Stars.gif

Season 3 of the Edenverse continues with the release of SAMARITAN #1 from Image Comics. Written by Matt Hawkins this new series focuses on Sam, AKA the hacker known as Samaritan, after the events of Eden's Fall. Sam has gone off the grid in search of a peaceful life following the death of her boyfriend James Miller. This escape from reality is interrupted when Sam learns that Owen McKitrick has become President of the United States. She knows he is guilty of false terrorists attacks on the United States but she cannot prove it legally. Sam turns to the dark web and mercs for hire to carry out a plan to finance her operation and bring down the most powerful man in the world.

The entire Edenverse is a interconnected series of books that take place in a very real world setting. Previous series include Think Tank, Postal, The Tithe, and Eden's Fall. Hawkins take a very somber look at our nation and the corruption of church and politics and uses that to fuel a series of books about spies, hackers, underground movements, and religious exploitation. With our current political climate the way it is some readers looking for escapism might find this issue hitting a little too close to home but I still think it is fantastical enough to be a fun read. Sam is an interesting character and her relationships have been well established in the previous volumes of the Edenverse but don't let that stop you from jumping in at this point in the story. SAMARITAN #1 is easily accessible to new readers with some helpful narration and editors tips woven into the script. I have dabbled in the previous volumes but I have not read any to completion and never once did I fee lost.

Pencils by Atilio Rojo are really solid with clean lines and some great character art. The coloring and processing has a look that makes it seem overly digital but not enough to detract from the overall presentation. This series of books from the Top Cow label are all really solid and have built up a interesting and connected world over the last few years. Free of capes and cowls this is all about government, corruption, and taking a stand against amazing odds. SAMARITAN #1 is another solid and entertaining entry to the Edenverse and fans that have been along for the ride should definitely be picking up this newest addition. If you read this review and are interested in the world as a whole I would recommend starting with Eden's Fall or The Tithe, both are 4-5 issue contained stories available in single issue or trade paperback and both are great stories on their own that directly tie into the characters and events of SAMARITAN #1.

 

CABLE #1 (Marvel Comics)-

3.0 Stars.gif

Marvel Comics is bringing back everyone's favorite time traveling mutant from an alternate future with CABLE #1. Veteran comic book author James Robinson has taken up writing duties for this fan favorite character. The premise is as simple as it is elegant. There is a bad guy traveling through time trading future technology for favors from the locals and Cable has to stop it. Sometimes simple stories work best and that seems to the be the case here. From the old west to feudal Japan, Nathan Summers tracks a mysterious figure that remains one step ahead at every turn. Despite his over abundance of pouches and extremely large guns Cable is still prone to underestimating his foes, and his nonchalant attitude results in some slight dismemberment at the hands of a few ronin warriors.

Cable is a man of few words and big action and that is exactly what James Robinson delivers in this first entry of a new ongoing title. Cable has always been the Marvel bad ass who shows up out of nowhere with cryptic messages of doomsday futures and words of warning. Robinson takes that concepts and runs with it delivering the Cable comic fans have been looking for. No need to tie him down with a team or strand him without his powers or weapons, this is pure time jumping Nathan Summers on a mission and nobody will get in his way. The characterization is spot on as is the art from Carlos Pacheco. The 90's look is back and I love it. Shoulder pads, bandoliers, big guns, and more pockets than any sane person needs. CABLE #1 is straightforward fun with a simple story and great art. Any fans of the character should definitely check out this new series as it feels like it was plucked from time and delivers a Cable story that focuses on his strength as a character.

 

DARTH VADER #1 (Marvel Comics)-

5.0 Stars.gif

After the wildly successful first run of Darth Vader by Kieron Gillen and Salvador Larroca Marvel Comics begins the second volume by going a bit further back in time with DARTH VADER #1. Charles Soule takes over writing duties and sets this tale just after the events of Revenge of the Sith. The comic opens with what is one of the most memorable and most mocked events from the prequel movies. Darth Vader in all his black suited glory screaming “NOOOOOO” when he learns that Padme’s death came at his hand. The ship is quickly righted by Soule with one of the best written exchanges between the Emperor and Vader I have ever seen. He tells Vader than Padme has given him a gift, a gift of pain. Now Vader is a crossroads, embrace that pain and hate to become a powerful Sith lord or die.

Charles Soule single handedly just saved the end of Episode III for me with this issue. The turn of Anakin was sudden in the films but this issue brilliantly gives us a look at exactly how Darth Vader was tutored in the ways of the dark side. The Emperor is truly villainous and uses pain and struggle to harness the power and hatred inside of Anakin like a blacksmith uses a hammer and anvil to sharpen a blade. Everyone loved the scene from Rogue One wherein we finally see Darth Vader as the monster he has long been rumored to be and this issue delivers more of that by showing how far he is pushed by his new master.

Giuseppe Camuncoli breathes new life into Darth Vader via his art. It is a subtle difference but you can really tell that this is a younger Darth Vader than the one depicted in the first volume. He moves with greater determination and violence. He is drawn with more dynamic poses and a fighting style that embraces a greater level of hands on combat as opposed to the stoic older Vader who uses minimal effort to dispatch his foes due to his power in the force. DARTH VADER #1 is a must read, flat out! Great art and a story that needs to be told concerning how a freshly minted Dark Lord of the Sith became the monster we know him to be.

 

THE NORMALS #1 (Aftershock Comics)-

4.0 Stars.gif

What would you do if you found out that your idyllic life was a lie and everything you know and love was fake? That is the question posted by author Adam Glass in THE NORMALS #1 from Aftershock comics. Suburban life is rolling right along, peaceful as can be until a man's son hits his head while playing in front of their house and instead of blood there is wire and circuitry beneath the skin. This one event sends and entire family into complete turmoil and on a quest to find out what in the world is going on. A return to their hometown to find answers only results in more questions and hysteria. Nobody remembers them, their parents no longer live in their family homes, and every clue they find leads to more suspicion. When the question is finally asked, "Is my son a robot?", the answer is even worse than a confirmation of their fears.

Adam Glass writes a comic that borders on being a horror book without any monsters or villains. I think one of the most compelling parts of this first issue is how much time is spent establishing a normal world, pun intended. Just when you think you are reading a comic that feels like a family man's diary the entire world is upended and thrown into chaos. Glass delivers a palpable sense of tension and terror. That feeling of being faced with a world in which everything you thought you know is wrong is just as terrifying as a monster chasing you and it is done so well in this book. We know where the story is going thanks to the cold open and subsequent time jump backwards but just how it will get there looks like it is going to be one hell of a ride.

Artist Dennis Calero compliments the writing the slowing turning up the sense of despair and confusion on the characters faces as the issue progresses. Its subtle but the shift in how the Mother and Father look and react as things go from boring to crazy was a nice touch. Clean lines and detailed backdrops round out the artistic effort and the end result is yes another extremely solid comic book from Aftershock. I have been singing the praises of this new publisher since they debuted and THE NORMALS #1 is another great example of short run creator owned comic with quality talent set out to tell a good story.

 

ICEMAN #1 (Marvel Comics)-

2.0 Stars.gif

Bobby Drake is having a crisis of self in ICEMAN #1 from Marvel Comics. Author Sina Grace is taking Iceman on a journey of self discovery beginning with a hard look at his younger self. The time displaced Iceman appears to have it all together so why in the world is the older Bobby such a mess? Since his inception the character of Iceman has had troubles at home with his blue collar family and that is exactly the first place this issues goes. A heart attack prompts a quick reunion between Bobby and his parents only to have it interrupted by the Purifiers. Even though he saves the day and the life of an innocent Bobby's parents still shun him for being a mutant, but what will their reaction be to his newest secret?

Sina Grace has been given a difficult task. The editorial decision to make Iceman gay has been talked about for years now with both sides weighing in and this is his first solo title that looks to delve deep into the chaos of his new self revelation. The writing is solid and the story works especially using his parents as the eye of judgement. Mutant has always meant different in Marvel comics and being gay is still viewed by some with an equally harsh eye. X-men comics have always been about prejudice and equality so moving that into a more real world scenario fits with the established tone. All that said the story itself did not grab me and the comic suffers from feeling like the character is having this new personality trait forced upon him. Alessandro Vitti provides solid pencils with clean lines and some creative use of Iceman's powers. From start to finish the book flows well and there is obvious talent in the creative team but in the end is this a story fans truly care about? If you are curious pick up ICEMAN #1 and decide for yourself.

 

Don't just take our word for it. Grab the books yourself and let us know what you think!

 

More Reviews on MightyVille:

#1 Bullets New Comic Book Day Reviews: May 10, 2017

#1 Bullets New Comic Book Day Reviews: March 29, 2017

#1 Bullets New Comic Book Day Reviews: March 15, 2017

 

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