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Home  >  Features  >  Number One Bullet Reviews: December 3rd, 2014


NUMBER ONE BULLETS 12-03-14

 

Each week, we take an early look at the new first issues from Dark Horse, Dynamite, IDW, Image, and Valiant Comics to share our thoughts and let you know what we think you should pick up. Let your Holiday fun begin with a brand new Hellboy series and jingle around Multiple Earths with Quantum & Woody!

This week, Geoff Deen, Sam Moyerman, and Joe Kach review Hellboy and the B.P.R.D. #1. Army of Darkness Volume 4 #1, Battlestar Galactica: Death of Apollo #1, Chaos Holiday Special 2014 #1, Shaft #1, and Valiant-Sized Quantum & Woody #1. 

 

HELLBOY & THE BPRD #1

Hellboy and the B.P.R.D. #1 (Dark Horse)-

4.5 OUT OF 5

Hellboy creator Mike Mignola teams with writer John Arcudi to bring us the tale of Hellboy's first official adventure as a representative of the Bureau of Paranormal Research and Defense ... for the very first time!  Set in 1952, this never-before-seen B.P.R.D. team is sent to a small Brazilian town by Professor Bruttenholm to investigate a series of murders with seemingly supernatural causes. This is a fantastic set-up issue. Not only are we thrown head-first into a mystery thriller, but we're also introduced to new characters who are nicely established in a single issue.  The paranoia that some feel at having to work with a "Goblin from Hell" echoes the anti-communist and "Red Scare" sentiments of that era. Like I said, this an almost flawless first issue, but it is a little light on the action. That being said, I was fully engaged and not once did I feel bored. The real standout though is the art by Alex Maleev, who is a welcome addition to the Hellboy art team. The colors by Hellboy alum Dave Stewart are a perfect match for Maleev's moody illustrations. If you're a Hellboy fan, you will love this. If you've never read a Hellboy comic in your life, this is a perfect place to start. (Though, if you haven't read a Hellboy comic, stop reading this article and go to Dark Horse Digital right now!) Pick this one up, folks. (Joe)

 

AOD v4 #1

Army of Darkness Volume 4 #1 (Dynamite)-

3 out of 5

Cullen Bunn and Larry Watts send Ash to space in the latest book from the Army of Darkness comics from Dynamite.  Once again our blue collar hero is lost in the time stream hunting down the Necronomicon, and his pursuit lands him on a space shuttle bound for a orbiting space station.  While nothing about this book will blow you away with epic storytelling or amazing art, it is a fun read.  Chocked full of one-liners, zombies, and chainsaws, "Ash in Space" hits all the points necessary for a solid Army of Darkness title.  The art by Watts is clean with good attention paid to the facial expressions of Ash, something Bruce Campbell always brought to character.  The only real detraction in this title is a large amount of exposition by the main character.  I understand that he is alone for most of the story and information has to be conveyed somehow, but page after page of exposition boxes will wear down any good comic book reader.  If you are a fan of the Army of Darkess license, then definitely pick this up. However if you are not, I would say this is a title you should pass. I don't see this title creating any new fans. (Geoff)

 

BSG: DEATH OF APOLLO #1

Battlestar Galactica: Death of Apollo #1 (Dynamite)-

3 out of 5

Author Dan Abnett of the Guadians of the Galaxy fame brings us a new number one from Dynamite Comics set in the original Battlestar Galactica universe.  It has been 10 years since the Galactica set out to find Earth, and over two years since the last contact with the Cylons.  Our story pics up in a time of relative calm wherein the search for Earth has taken priority, some of the Galactica crew are even attempting psionic communication in an attempt to locate the long lost 13th colony.  We start off with psionic contact from a long lost vessel of the fleet and the empathic dignitary on board who claims to have found Earth.  The setting and style for this series is a natural evolution from the art direction of the TV show, only minor changes that one would expect after 10 years in space.  The art by Dietrich Smith is really good with great use of colors over the abundant grey backgrounds of the ship and blackness of space.  The writing is solid, though Apollo and Starbuck seem to be exaggerated versions of themselves.  I cannot tell if this is meant to display changes in the characters over the years or if Dan Abnett just missed the mark when it comes to their personalities ... I guess time will tell as we read on.  This book falls into the 'fine' category of comics.  Interesting story with good art, but nothing amazing or ground breaking. I think fans of the Battlestar brand will enjoy it, while those who are not should probably take a pass. (Geoff)

 

CHAOS HOLIDAY SPECIAL 2014

Chaos Holiday Special 2014 #1 (Dynamite)-

2 out of 5

Three Holiday tales featuring Chaos characters basically for fans of chaos characters. The first contains a muscle-bound Santa and his Playmate-esque wife being tormented by Evil Ernie. Violence (check), sex (check), ridiculousness (double check). And the artwork is decent enough. The second tale, which in a twist to Frosty the Snowman, has the magical hat create a killer snowman was surprisingly enjoyable. Still violent and ridiculous, but more fun and with more standard comic book superhero team elements. The artwork isn't as clean and nice as the first story, but still decent enough and the dialogue is much better. The final tale is a throwaway story with the captions reworking the classic song Let it Snow to "Let the Blood Flow". Again, the words detract from the art. They should have instead gone Silent (Night). See Evil Ernie, I can make bad puns too. (Sam)

 

SHAFT #1

Shaft #1 (Dynamite)-

2 out of 5

Who's the Black private dick who's a sex machine to all the chicks?  Well, it's supposed to be Shaft, but in Dynamite's #1 issue, that John Shaft is nowhere to be seen.  He's not even a bad mutha... (Shut my mouth).  He's a boxer coming back from Nam with anger issues and bad connections.  If nothing else, writer David Walker lays on the Blaxploitation elements rather thick and plays up the time period with dialogue.  There's a wonder if he's just being gratuitous; he's going to have to prove that there's a good reason he's not.  He'd also better get to writing the John Shaft that everyone knows and loves too, or else people won't wait to see. (Sam)

 

VALIANT-SIZED QUANTUM & WOODY #1

Valiant-Sized Quantum & Woody #1 (Valiant)-

4 out of 5

Okay, so this was arguably the funniest issue of Quantum & Woody I have read to date, and just in time for the holidays. "Valiant-Sized" is a good way of describing this over-sized issue, but maybe Quantum & Woody's Winter Vacation or A Quantum on Infinite Woodies (err?) would be more appropriate. In an attempt to save the world from impending doom, Woody takes a trip to the Multiverse and comes across numerous iterations of himself and his brother Eric (Quantum). Many things go wrong, some things don't, and we're left with some nice foreshadowing of things to come. While at first this felt like a "go for the laughs only" special, writers James Asmus and Tim Siedell reveal some touching moments from the brothers' past and introduce some new elements to the Quantum & Woody saga that set up what could be a very interesting story to come (I assume in next month's Quantum & Woody Must Die!) The art team does a great job keeping pace with the story, fitting in nicely with the high-quality "Valiant House" style we're used to. Another solid issue in the Quantum & Woody library. (Joe)

 

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

 

More Number One Bullets on MightyVille:  

Number One Bullet Reviews: November 26, 2014

Number One Bullet Reviews: November 19, 2014

Number One Bullet Reviews: November 12, 2014

 

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