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Home  >  Features  >  Number One Bullet Reviews: January 21, 2015

NUMBER 1 BULLETS: 01-21-15

 

Each week, we take an early look at the new first issues from Dark Horse, Dynamite, IDW, Image, and Valiant Comics and share our thoughts to let you know what we think you should pick up. It's a big week with a lot to love!

This week, Joe Kach, Sam Moyerman, and Geoff Deen review G.I. Joe: Snake Eyes - Agent of Cobra #1, Reyn #1, Transformers: Punishment #1, Ivar, Timewalker #1, Galaxy Quest: The Journey Continues #1, Zombies vs Robots #1, Groo: Friends and Foes #1, The Shadow: Death Factory #1, The Twilight Zone: Shadow and Substance #1, Judge Dredd Classics: Dark Judges #1, Millennium #1, Creeple Peeple #1, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Color Classics Volume 3 #1.  

 

 

GROO: FRIENDS & FOES #1

Groo: Friends and Foes #1 (Dark Horse)-

4 out of 5

It's amazing that such a simple story, repeated over and over again, can remain so funny and enjoyable.  It's a credit to Sergio Aragones' tremendous skill as a cartoonist that Groo hasn't grown at all over the years, but it's still so much fun to read.  And put simply, part of the charm of Groo is that he doesn't change.  He remains as wonderfully oblivious as when he was created, it's just that more and more people around are finding out and remembering how destructive he can be.  In this issue, he wreaks his signature brand of havoc on Captain Ahax. Aragones' traditional comrade in arms, Mark Evanier, once again provides the words for this adventure. Having nearly as much experience with the character as Aragones, the script nails everything it needs as well.  If you've never read Groo, as a comic book fan you owe it to yourself to check him out. (Sam)

 

CREEPLE PEEPLE #1

Creeple Peeple #1 (IDW)-

1 out of 5

Another week, another new number one comic from IDW.  Creeple Peeple is the not-so-interesting or hilarious story of three college nerds whose experiment gets out of hand, and bad stuff ensues.  Everything in this book feels like a cliche; the lead nerd landing the hot girl, the short foreign nerd, the hot-but-you-can't-tell female nerd who really likes lead nerd, bullying jocks, wacky experiments, and a cold opening to a mystery to set the stage.  Written by Matt Anderson and Patrick Pidgeon with art by Tim Lattie, I would say the quick dialogue is probably the best aspect of this title.  The art is bland and uninspired, with all the male faces being copies of each other save for variations in skin tone.  This is a title people should pass on, it reads more like a art student project in high school then a published comic from a major distributor. (Geoff

 

GALAXY QUEST: THE JOURNEY CONTINUES #1

Galaxy Quest: The Journey Continues #1 (IDW)-

2 out of 5

Boy, I really wanted to like this book.  I mean, I really wanted to like this book.  Galaxy Quest is one of my favorite movies.  But this book, at least in this first issue, is missing much of what made the movie so great.  The movie knew it was a satire of the fandom and culture of Star Trek, this book has none of that.  It plays it straight and therefore misses much of the charm.  Some of that is due to artist Nacho Arranz, who just doesn't seem to fit in with the book, but even then, much of the characterization seems off. Alan Rickman never took his alien head off during the movie, yet in the one scene he's in here, it's nowhere to be found. The rest of them are similarly done. Even still, it's a fun world to return to and I'm happy that the characters are around to (try and) enjoy.  I'll give it a few more issues out of sentimentality, I just hope the quality comes up. (Sam)

 

SNAKE EYES: AGENT OF COBRA #1

 G.I. Joe: Snake Eyes - Agent of Cobra #1 (IDW)-

4 out of 5

While not exactly what I was expecting, this is the G.I. Joe story I've been waiting for from IDW. G.I. Joe: Cobra co-writer Mike Costa brings us the tale of the newly disgruntled Snake Eyes, trading sides and working in cahoots with Cobra ... the enemy! His first mission: Rescue Destro from the clutches of NATO Forces. It's interesting: the story isn't even told from Snake Eye's perspective. In fact, for a comic with "Snake Eyes" in the title, it was rather light on our favorite silent commando-in-black. Artist Paolo Villanelli does a great job with the story, mixing the kinetic action with necessary exposition. My main complaints would be the aforementioned lack of Snake Eyes, but there was also an element of action that was missing (that I would expect from a Snake Eyes title). It was also a little hard to figure out who some of the characters were without them being named in the dialogue. Still, IDW's G.I. Joe titles have been pretty hit or miss the last few years, and this is definitely a "hit". (Joe)

 

DARK JUDGES #1

Judge Dredd Classics: Dark Judges #1 (IDW)-

3 out of 5

This collection is a reprint of the 2000AD Magazine Judge Dredd shorts covering the story of Judge Death.  An original story by John Wagner with art by Brian Bolland, this collection will serve as a great introduction to Judge Dredd for new readers.  While the story of Judge Death is a great classic, when reading this again its evident the art holds up better than the script.  The exposition heavy style just does not really fit with modern comics anymore, but the art and classic style of Judge Dredd is spot on and great to look at.  Any fans of the recent Dredd movie who are looking for a way to get into the comics should definitely check this out. (Geoff)

 

MILLENNIUM #1

Millennium #1 (IDW)-

3 out of 5

Based on the TV show of the same name created by Chris Carter (showrunner for The X-Files), the new Millennium comic picks up in modern times to follow what has become of Fox Mulder and Frank Black.  On the case of a released serial killer, Black and Mulder cross paths and delve into a mystery of the occult and the corrupt.  Written by Joe Harris, this was a good first issue and grabbed my attention rather quickly.  The dialogue is smart and quick, and he has the voices of the characters down very well.  As a fan of both shows I could definitely hear them in my head.  The art by Colin Lorimer is acceptable, that is the best word I can use to describe it.  While his depiction of Fox Mulder is spot on, Frank Black looks nothing like Lance Henrickson.  Backgrounds are fleshed out and the colors are rather muted, but it fits the tone of the subject material.  The mystery that is started in this first issue has decent start with a solid cliffhanger, so I will be back to see how it all pans out in issue two.  I think it's something fans of the source material should definitely check out; others might want to see how the story fleshes out as time goes on before taking the plunge. (Geoff)

 

TMNT COLOR CLASSICS VOL. 3 #1

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Color Classics Volume 3 #1 (IDW)-

4/5

The TMNT Color Classics series are reprints of the classic black and white Mirage comics of the '80s and early '90s. I remember as a wee lad reading the large TMNT collections that Mirage put out, but fell off as the comics started to deviate heavily from what I expected from my Ninja Turtles. And with this issue, IDW calls me back to that fold and I am pretty happy about it. I should probably be reviewing the coloring more than anything, as that is the only major change since the initial printing. And, the coloring is fine. These stories were drawn to be in black, white, and gray, so the colors don't seem to work out all that well. Still, it doesn't take away from the story. The dialogue is a little dated. The artwork is pretty rough, while still charming. The page compositions were excellent, cramming a lot of story into a single issue. Written by Turtles creators Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird, with art by longtime collaborator Jim Lawson, this done-in-one tale sees a simple training exercise between Casey Jones and the Turtles turn deadly, and the guys need to deal with the ramifications. Which gets complicated, when part of said ramifications is the enigmatic vigilante, Nobody. Simple, straight-forward, and enjoyable. I'd recommend this to a lot of people, even though a bit dated. (Joe)

 

TRANSFORMERS: PUNISHMENT #1

Transformers: Punishment #1 (IDW)-

3.5 out of 5

When is a Transformers comic actually a murder mystery set on Cybertron? When it's this Transformers: Punishment One-Shot. Initially conceived as a motion book via the Madefire app, IDW has re-released the story in print form. Optimus Prime, Starscream Windblade, and a ragtag group of post-war Transformers scour Cybertron to find the murdering vigilante responsible for leaving a trail of Decepticon bodies in his wake. The idea works a little better than the actual execution, but it was definitely an engaging read. Other than having an understanding that the Autobot/Decpticon war is over, it was nice to be able to read a story set in this world without having to fully understand everything that IDW has done with these characters. Transformers regular John Barber handles the scripting and does a decent job. The character voices, for the most part, felt right. The story did tend to drag on for a bit, and the conclusion seemed to be a bit too convenient. I did enjoy the art by Livio Ramondelli; the character designs, scope, and feel are done well, but the story and art are both fairly dark, and it was difficult to tell what was going on and who was who from time to time, and that did get a little distracting. I think people looking for an outside-of-the-box Transformers story will enjoy this, but not necessarily a must-read. (Joe)

 

ZOMBIES VS. ROBOTS #1

Zombies vs Robots #1 (IDW)-

3.5 out of 5

Confession time:  I will buy anything Ashley Wood works on. He has such a unique and fun, distinct style that I really like.  And the fact that most of his books, at least the ones he is a part creator on, have a real sense of irreverence. You can tell that he doesn't take it too seriously. He draws and tells stories that he likes. Often working with Chris Ryall, who seems to have a like mind, their books are fun romps. So I was really excited about this book. Then I saw that Ashley Wood only had one story (and just a two-page spread) in the book. So I was a little disappointed in that. Then I saw that the book was meant to further flesh out the world (no pun intended), and was again disappointed.  Part of the reason the book was so fun is that it didn't bother with backstory.  The world was destroyed.  No humans were left alive. There were just Robots fighting against Zombies. This was followed when Amazons were put into the story. Again, no rhyme or reason, just for fun. They added more chapters over the years and kept that same fun style. This book deviates from it a bit. It isn't poorly written or drawn by any means, quite the opposite in fact, but it's not the same.  Maybe it just needs Ash Wood to draw it all. (Sam)

 

REYN #1

Reyn #1 (Image)-

4 out of 5

A few months back, I talked to writer Kel Symons regarding his Image title, The Mercenary Sea. During that discussion, Kel gave us our first look at his next title, Reyn: Warden of Fate and here it is! With just one page of exposition, we're off to our adventures on the world of Fate with our hero, Reyn. Reyn, one of the last in a legacy of benevolent Wardens sets on a path to rid the world of wrongs. He's a bad-ass and his abilities are demonstrated rather quickly, but he also happens to hear voices in his head. While this is strictly a swords and sorcery-style fantasy, Symons forgoes many of those tropes and gives us something truly unique in both the story and the characters. The writer also re-teams with artist Nathan Stockman, who handles the action, characters, and monsters quite well, if a little light on the backgrounds. This is an Image First Issue, so I'm pretty sure most of you will be checking this out, but I also have a strong feeling you'll all be coming back for more. There's some really good stuff here, folks. I love that last page. (Joe)

 

 

IVAR, TIMEWALKER #1

Ivar, Timewalker #1 (Valiant)-

4 out of 5

More fantastic comic booking from the co-authors of Archer & Armstrong, Fred Van Lente and Clayton Henry. Think Dr. Who meets Sherlock Holmes with the smugness of Doctor Nemesis thrown in for good measure, and you've got Ivar, The Timewalker. Brother to Gilad, The Eternal Warrior, and Aram ... the Armstrong (?), Ivar sets out to thwart the creation of the first time machine of our era. And he's not the only one, but the other interested parties aren't going to be as nice about it as he is. There's a nice little twist towards the end that sets up the over-all story nicely. Readers of Archer & Armstrong are sure to recognize the title character and will be right at home in this new series. And if you've never read another Valiant title in your life, you'll be happy to know you will not be lost here. Everything you need to enjoy this story is contained in this single issue and I definitely recommend you check this book out, along with Valiant's other similar offerings: Archer & Armstrong, The Eternal Warrior, and The Valiant. Clayton Henry's art really shines here; this may be the best work of his career. (Joe)

 

THE SHADOW: DEATH FACTORY #1

The Shadow: Death Factory #1 (Dynamite)-

3 out of 5

Phil Hester writes a pretty solid Shadow story.  He nails most of the tropes of the character and even plays for some humor by calling all of them out first.  It makes it a really fun story, at least when The Shadow is the star of the pages.  When the secondary characters take a lead for certain segments, the book tends to falter as then Hester doesn't have the stereotypes of a Shadow story to play off of.  Those scenes mostly serve to push the book along.  Artist Ivan Rodriguez doesn't add much to the book with his particular style, but then again he doesn't take anything away either.  And he gets to draw a fairly gruesome scene (which The Shadow demands be a part of his stories).  Fans of the character will be happy to gobble this book up. (Sam)

 

TWILIGHT ZONE: SHADOW & SUBSTANCE #1

Twilight Zone: Shadow & Substance #1 (Dynamite)-

4 out of 5

Shadow and Substance, a new number one from Dynamite comics, delves back into the world of The Twilight Zone.  Written by Mark Rahner, we are introduced to our main character on a flight home to his old home town...one that is not filled with happy memories.  Edu Menna's art begins to tell its own part of the story shortly after landing.  Small details in the beginning, then more evident as the story progresses.  The lack of technology, the cars, the fashion...all leading to the point where the reader's suspicion is confirmed and we are indeed in the protagonists past.  The scenes we are shown are all direct links to the tenuous mental state of William Gaunt, our main character.  I went into this title with pretty low expectations but was pleasantly surprised and how engaging the story was.  It really does feel like an old episode of The Twilight Zone, all we are missing is Rod Serling's narration.  (Geoff)

 

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: January 14, 2015

Number One Bullet Reviews: January 7, 2015

Number One Bullet Reviews: December 31, 2014

 

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