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Home  >  Features  >  Number One Bullet Reviews: June 17, 2015



Each week, we take a look at the new first issues from Dark Horse, Dynamite, IDW, Image, 12-Gauge, and Valiant Comics and share our thoughts to let you know what we think you should pick up. Keep your eyes on these tales of honor about astronauts in trouble!

This week, Geoff Deen and Joe Kach review Plants vs. Zombies: Bully for You #1, Ghostbusters: Get Real #1, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Casey & April #1, Astronauts in Trouble #1, Empty Zone #1, Tales of Honor: Bred to Kill #1, and Swords of Sorrow: Dejah Thoris & Irene Adler #1. 



Plants vs. Zombies: Bully For You #1 (Dark Horse)- 


(W) Paul Tobin (A) Ron Chan, Dustin Nguyen (CA) Ron Chan
Dr. Zomboss's crime-filled college years are revealed! Nate, Patrice, and Crazy Dave investigate a strange college campus to keep the streets safe from zombies. Paul Tobin and Ron Chan join forces with the mysterious Anti-Bully Squad to deliver a hilarious romp to your school! Featuring two bonus stories illustrated by Dustin Nguyen (Batman: Li'l Gotham, Descender)! 

Plants vs. Zombies is a huge hit in the video game world with two very successful tower defense games and a multiplayer shooter to its name.  Following in the wake of games like Angry Birds and Skylanders, Plants vs Zombies is now coming out with its own comic book series aimed at young readers.  Written by Paul Tobin, this first issue establishes the origins of Dr. Zomboss as he brings his evil machinations to Neighborville.  Nate, Patrice, and the ever-lovable Crazy Dave are the only ones who can stop these two zombie armies.  The story is affable and fun, the art by Ron Chan is colorful and expressive in a very cartoony style that fits the subject material.  Look, this is a book for kids that love playing the games ... if one of those is running around your house then I would recommend picking this up for them on your weekly trip to the comic book store to see if they like it. (Geoff)


Ghostbusters: Get Real #1 (IDW)-


(W) Erik Burnham (A/CA) Dan Schoening
When a confrontation with the elder God Proteus goes awry, Peter, Ray, Winston and Egon will meet... THE REAL GHOSTBUSTERS!

This one slipped in under the radar and I'm surprised I didn't hear about it. Much like the TMNT: Turtles Forever film from a few years ago, here we get more inter-dimensional mayhem when the Ghostbusters from the IDW-verse crossover with their '80s cartoon counterparts ... The Real Ghostbusters! This is pretty much exactly what you'd expect from this sort of tale. The script is straight-forward with no surprises, but serves the tone well. The art really stands out as Schoening is able to capture both versions of the 'Busters remarkably well. If you're a fan of the Ghostbusters and especially the Real variety, check this one out. (Joe)


Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Casey & April #1 (IDW)-


(W) Mariko Tamaki (A/CA) Irene Koh
Introducing a very unique TMNT tale starring Casey Jones and April O'Neil, by acclaimed indie writer Mariko Tamaki (Skim, This One Summer)! The couple take a road trip to the southwest to dig up more clues about the mysterious Pantheon that has seemingly been pulling the strings on the Turtles' lives from the beginning. Casey and April will find even deeper mystery, unexpected danger, and start a new chapter in their relationship.

Well, that was ... disappointing. They could have done so much more with this concept. I'm fairly certain I am not the target audience for this book, but that in and of itself is a problem. The story was a cliche from start to end, and there were certain points where I felt word balloons were missing because it was hard to follow. I am assuming this is IDW's attempt to utilize women creators in order to bring in women readers to an already established TMNT universe. And if that is indeed the case, I think they need to try a little harder. The art works better than the script, with a heavy anime influence that fits the story well. If you're an IDW TMNT completist, you'll probably want this. Other than that ..? (Joe)


Astronauts in Trouble #1 (Image)-


(W) Larry Young (A/CA) Charlie Adlard
The series that brought THE WALKING DEAD artist CHARLIE ADLARD to the attention of ROBERT KIRKMAN has a new home at Image Comics! 
In 1959, the Channel 7 News team covers a routine homicide that leads them to a mysterious rocket base in Peru filled with Russian spies. All in a day's work for the most trusted newsmen in America. They couldn't know their day'd end up with a hot pilot, a fast ship, cheap beer, and spacesuits! 

I'm pretty sure this is a re-print of the original Astronauts in Trouble series from AiT/Planetlar. In any case ... it's pretty good! A little bit of Mad Men mixed with some of The Right Stuff with just a dash of Murder, She Wrote, and you've got the makings of an interesting comic series. When a newly formed group of Channel 7 television journalists investigate a police shooting in a warehouse, they find themselves embroiled in a world of interplanetary mystery. It's a fun script from Larry Young, with spot on dialogue of the era (1959) combined with early Charlie Adlard art (he's improved since then). I liked this comic. I think most of you will, too. (Joe)


Empty Zone #1 (Image)-


(W/A/CA) Jason Shawn Alexander
In this sci-fi/horror saga, Corinne White attempts to reconcile with the ghosts of her violent past, literally, as she trudges through a world of dystopian cityscapes, reanimated corpses, & ganglands full of animal human hybrids. 

Interesting comic. I have no f-ing clue what is going on, but it is interesting nonetheless. The story is a bit convoluted with a mildly clunky script, but the art is stellar. Alexander's been doing great stuff the past few years from The Escapists to the Hellboy world and more. It's a moody, dystopian future noir tale and it's worth checking out if you're into heavy Sci-Fi. Like I said, it's a bit confusing, but I have a feeling if you stick with it, a lot of answers will come to light. (Joe)


Tales of Honor: Bred to Kill #1 (Image/Top Cow)-


(W) Matt Hawkins, Dan Wickline (A/CA) Linda Sejic
Set in the Honorverse from the bestselling military science fiction novels by DAVID WEBER, this is the first-ever completely original comics story arc! Honor Harrington's uncle, last seen investigating a Vegas-like space station for its use of Mesan genetic slaves, is now missing and she takes a leave of absence from the military to find him deep in Solarian territory.

Tales of Honor: Bred to Kill is the second Honor Harrington comic series to come out of Top Cow.  The only Honor Harrington novel I have read was Basilisk Station and that novel was adapted to comics in the first volume from Top Cow.  I am not sure if Bred to Kill is an original story or not [Editor's Note: it is], but it definitely felt at home in that universe.  Writers Matt Hawkins and Dan Wickline take Honor off of her powerful naval vessel and set her out on a investigation mission into the seedy world of sexual slavery and gambling.  The art by Linda Sejic is crisp and keeps with the futuristic tone of the series; the space panels are exceptionally well done.  I enjoyed the first arc of these comic adaptations and while there is a certain amount of trepidation in having Honor removed from her tactical command setting that I loved so much, I still burned through this issue and am looking forward to see where it leads. (Geoff)


Swords of Sorrow: Dejah Thoris & Irene Adler #1 (Dynamite)-


(W) Leah Moore (A) Francisco Manna (CA) Jay Anacleto
A team-up set up by SWORDS OF SORROW's Gail Simone, featuring the writer that she hand-picked: Leah Moore! Irene Adler has been many things in her young life, a fugitive, a master of disguise and a femme fatale, but even she is surprised to find herself made bounty hunter, tracking savage foes across the grimy streets of London. In a far off world, defending Barsoom against an influx of trespassers, Princess Dejah Thoris is ready to put the guilty to her sword. Now, the world-colliding events of SWORDS OF SORROW have brought these dangerous women together ... and the fate of planets hang in the balance!

The Dynamite crossover event continues, this time pulling Deja Thoris and Irene Adler into the mix.  Written by Leah Moore, this issue sees both our heroines already in possession of their swords as was referenced in the opening volume of main Sword of Sorrows series.  As seems to be the trend with all these side stories, the majority of the first issue is spent laying the groundwork for how two universes will cross over.  While the establishment of settings is obviously needed, this is my third side story and it is getting tedious.  I almost feel as though readers could go straight to issue two and be up to speed within a few pages.  The unique twist to this issue is that while we do get our cliched clash of heroes, instead of ending with them working together the issue ends with a Deja stranded in London and Irene in Barsoom.  The art by Francesco Manna is serviceable, in that I mean it does not add or detract from the story ... take this for what you will.  Even if you re in this cross over event for the long haul I think this issue can be skipped and you can grab number two and not miss a beat. (Geoff)


Don't just take our word for it ... pick up the issues yourself and share your thoughts below!


More Reviews on MightyVille:   

Number One Bullet Reviews: June 10, 2015

Number One Bullet Reviews: June 3, 2015

Number One Bullet Reviews: May 27, 2015


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