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Home  >  Features  >  Number 1 Bullets Comic Reviews: February 15, 2017

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This is a short week for new number one issues but it was highlighted by the stellar debut of Warren Ellis’ relaunch of the Wildstorm universe with THE WILDSTORM #1. We also take a look at another by the numbers Rebirth issue with BATWOMAN: REBIRTH #1 and a charming new series featuring Superboy and Robin in SUPER SONS #1.

 

 

THE WILDSTORM #1 (DC Comics)-

5.0 Stars

The characters and groups from the Wildstorm label at Image Comics were a staple of 90's comic book reading and now they are coming back again under the masterful pen of Warren Ellis in THE WILDSTORM #1 from DC Comics. Just completely ignore that disaster of trying to bring them into the New52 universe and pick up this new number one that is a very new and modern take on the characters. THE WILDSTORM #1 follows the Ellis cold open style to full effect. We are introduced to a large number of individuals and organizations with quick hits back and forth and it is all kind of a jumble but the tone is great, think more along the lines of gritty science fiction instead of super heroes. All the major players are here. Zealot is investigating genetic experimentation, The Engineer is perfecting her nano technology as the expense of her own health, Deathblow is working for the Wetworks project, and Jacob Marlow is conversing with The Void about his mysterious past.

Exactly how all this players will come together is still a mystery but if there was anyone to trust with the Wildstorm relaunch it is Warren Ellis. His work on Stormwatch and The Authority back in the day were some of the best hard hitting comics about superheroes that I have ever read. Now the power scale seems to be dialed down a notch and we get to see how Ellis reinvents these characters for a more modern world. I love that the book begins by showing Zealot front on with her red face makeup, only for it to be revealed that it is blood as she slowly wipes it away. It is a wordless transition that immediately tells readers this is not your old Wildstorm. Familiar characters in new settings abound, all with less flair and a darker tone. There is tons of subtext in this issue but nothing comes close to be answered and that works wonders to bring in new readers. Ellis has us all on the hook to see what happens next and I cannot wait.

The art by Jon Davis-Hunt is really spectacular from cover to cover. Character redesigns bring in enough of the old so that you instantly know who they are while at the same time being different and modern. Everyone has a unique look and the city of New York works well as a gritty low fi backdrop for the story. This series will be the backbone of a new Wildstorm universe and this issue is an absolute must read for all comic fans. Warren Ellis is a long established creator with a great track record and he is taking characters he knows very well and reinventing them in the gritty scifi style that he excels at. THE WILDCATS #1 kills it on every level from script, to art, to colors so make sure that if you are going to give any new book a shot this week that it is this one.

 

BATWOMAN: REBIRTH #1 (DC Comics)-

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Somehow Rebirth titles are still pouring out of DC Comics and this week it is BATWOMAN: REBIRTH #1. James Tynion IV and Marguerite Bennett share writing duties on this title that plays the role many of the Rebirth issues have, that is to say it is a character recap book with bits of new story sprinkled in to tease what is coming in the future. Readers are treated to a montage of scenes from Kate Kane's past. We see her as a child with her sister Beth, the murder of Beth and her Mother, her military career and its abrupt end, her past romances, and eventually her doming on the black and red bat suit. This backstory is well done and covers pretty much every major plot point of the Batwoman comics. The hook is the last few pages wherein we see a militarized Batwoman returning to Gotham City and it does not look as though she wants to play nice.

James Tynion IV has become a staple of the bat family of books at DC Comics and his presence is felt and appreciated in this issue. Newcomer Marguerite Bennett shines as well, offering a good look at the dichotomy between the softer side of Kate Kane and her rather brutal approach to Batwoman. The book is well paced and covers everything a new reader would need to know before jumping into a new Batwoman ongoing series. It is with this in mind that the only people that would really get something out of this Rebirth issue are completest collectors and new readers looking for a recap issue. However I will say that Steve Epting pencils some really amazing pages in this issue. His panel work and style is reminiscent of J.H. Williams III and that is a great sense of continuity. Williams work on the original Batwoman series is what sold it for most readers and Epting is almost mimicking that style in both is pencils and his layouts. It is beautiful to look at from cover to cover even if there is not much new story to be had.

 

SUPER SONS #1 (DC Comics)-

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One of the most interesting developments in the current DC universe is that Superman now has a family. This week readers get to check out what kind of trouble young Jon Kent can get into with the release of SUPER SONS #1 from DC Comics. Peter J. Tomasi pens this first adventure of our new Superboy. Young Kent is faced with growing pains similar to his father's. He sees injustice and bullying but cannot expose his powers, this results in often taking the brunt of these offenses. However, that is not how Damian Wayne operates. Robin pays a visit to Jon to see if he can break the rules as he recruits him for an adventure to LexCorp towers where they run into a most unexpected guest.

Superboy and Robin are written as polar extremes of one another and I think that is what makes this titles work. Superboy is reserved, always keeping his powers in check and being mindful of his parents. Meanwhile Robin has ditched his home studies to steal the car and drive upstate. There is obvious tone in this book that these two opposing views will not work on their own and only by meeting in the middle can the two young heroes find success. Even their personalities would be benefited by taking some ideas from each other. Superboy is honest and steadfast almost to a fault while Robin's willingness to break the rules and charge into trouble head on will no doubt land him in trouble down the road. I enjoyed this issue and it is an interesting look at a much younger team up of Superboy and Robin, they are both still at a stage where they are trying to live up to the ideals of their fathers.

Jorge Jimenez draws this issue with loose pencils that skew more to the cartoon look that the solid edgy lines of most superhero comics. This route allows for a lot more fun and exaggerated features and emotions that all work well together. Superboy is always smiling with big wide eyes while Robin is overly dramatic and grumpy. It sounds strange to say aloud but I think I would call this book heartwarming. It is a lighter story focused on very young characters still trying to find their place in a world while at the same time both have the huge looming shadows of their fathers over them. I would recommend the first issue to pretty much anyone. Pick it up, give it a shot, and if you liked it as much as I did I think it will be a fun read for at least the first story arc alone.

 

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: February 08, 2017

Number 1 Bullets Comic Reviews: February 02, 2017

Number 1 Bullets Comic Reviews: January 25, 2017

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