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NUMBER 1 BULLETS: 07-01-15

 

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. You're going to gather your Spirits and Stand on Guard today!

This week, Geoff Deen, Sam Moyerman, and Joe Kach review Barb Wire #1, Onyx #1, 8House: Arclight #1, Athena IX #1, We Stand on Guard #1, Bob's Burgers #1, and The Spirit #1. 

 

 

Barb Wire #1 (Dark Horse)-

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(W) Chris Warner (A) Pat Olliffe, Tom Nguyen (CA) Adam Hughes
Nail-hard tough and drop-dead gorgeous, Barb Wire is the baddest bounty hunter on the mean streets of Steel Harbor, where gangsters can lift bulldozers and leap rusting factories in a single bound. The hunting is stupid good and the bounties are hella big-if Barb lives long enough to collect!

Barb Wire: A fairly popular character from the '90s headlining a new series trying very hard to remind you that it's not the '90s. And it doesn't work so well. The comic looks and feels like it's still living in it's original decade with the exception of the words "hashtag" and "trending" thrown about awkwardly.  Barb is more-or-less the same, a buxom bar-owner by night-slash-bounty hunter by day. Except, instead of a bar, she's running a trending nightclub that seems to primarily cater to douche-bags. We're introduced to some side-characters and we're privy to what l be Barb's primary driving force for this arc. Unfortunately, none of it is all that exciting. If you're a Bard follower, or have a soft spot for the Pamela Anderson film of the same name, pick this up. (Joe)

 

Onyx #1 (IDW)-

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(W) Chris Ryall (A/CA) Gabriel Rodriguez
From deepest space comes the cyborg warrior Onyx... but has she come to Earth in its time of dire need to save it or to end it? A star-born knight for a new generation takes flight here!

Created by Chris Ryall and Gabriel Rodriguez, Onyx is the new number one comic from publisher IDW.  An overpopulated Earth is besieged by an alien asteroid containing a deadly spore that seeks to consume and destroy our planet.  The team of human soldiers sent out to inspect the landing site run into Onyx, an alien clad in space armor whose own planet was destroyed by the spores and now seeks to aid other planets in their defense against this threat.  Some in the team like Onyx, some are indifferent, and others want the alien dead.  If that sound a bit cliched, it's because it is.  I love Science Fiction, but in a crowded genre like Sci-Fi comic books you need something to set yourself apart from the crowd and nothing in the first issue of Onyx did that for me.  The writing is okay, the art is okay, the story is okay ... but none of it is new.  It feels like it is operating safely in the tropes of its genre, and to me that makes it boring.  Going to recommend a pass on this one. (Geoff)

 

8House: Arclight #1 (Image)-

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(W) Brandon Graham (A/CA) Marian Churchland
A lady of the blood house has had her mind trapped in a strange alien root-body. She's hiding on the outskirts of her kingdom until she learns that the alien monster pretending to be her has returned. The first issue of a shared fantasy universe. Sharp genderqueer knights, blood magic, music, dancing, and a goose.

I have no idea what was happening in the book I just read, but it sure was pretty to look at.  Written by Brandon Graham with art by Marian Chruchland, on its surface 8House appears to be a story about a mysterious Lady of magic and her companion/protector out to solve a mystery of a creature plaguing the lands.  But that is just the surface, as the details of the world are sparse and there is definitely more going on than the small bit of information granted to the reader in the first issue.  There is no knowledge of the world or the society our two protagonists operate in, and whether or not this is a good way to start a new series or a bad one is completely up the the readers' taste.  The one thing I can say for certain is that the art is phenomenal.  It almost looks like it was painted with colored pencils.  Beautiful landscapes and character designs, soft yet hard lines, and a natural flow that makes the story very easy to follow.  I feel this is a book where in you could grasp all the narrative has to offer without any of the word balloons, the art is that impressive.  To close, 8House: Arclight #1 is amazing to look at with a very cryptic and restricted flow of information to the reader. (Geoff)

 

Athena IX #1 (Image/Top Cow)-

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(W) Ryan Cady (A/CA) Phillip Sevy
FROM THE PAGES OF IXth GENERATION COMES A ONE-SHOT SPECIAL EVENT!
Ever the didact, Athena IX specializes in cruel, calculating instruction, manipulating her siblings and supplicants with the intellectual upper hand. But this is the Chairwoman's future, not hers, and some lessons must be taught more harshly than others.

Spinning out of the pages of Aphrodite IX, Athena IX is the next title in the series brought to us by Ryan Cady and Phillip Sevy.  The Ascension has occurred and the nine man-made Gods chosen to rule the world have arisen and taken their place.  However, rebellion stirs and all is not quite what it seems to be.  This title is a one-shot of sorts-- each God will have their own number one issue before falling back into the main line comic.  In August we get the story of Artemis IX.  The art is very much in the Top Cow house style, and that is totally fine with me as I have been a fan of it from the start.  Athena IX is a fast paced book with excellent action and a fun twist.  I would think it's safe to say that if you are invested in the Aphrodite IX series as a whole these one-shots are a definite purchase. However, for those who are not already fans, the lore is deep and these spin-offs will feel brief and without purpose. (Geoff)

 

We Stand on Guard #1 (Image)-

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(W) Brian K. Vaughan (A/CA) Steve Skroce
SAGA writer BRIAN K. VAUGHAN teams with artistic legend and MATRIX storyboard artist STEVE SKROCE for an action-packed military thriller that will have everyone talking. 100 years from now, a heroic band of Canadian civilians must defend their homeland from invasion...by the United States of America! The hyper-detailed combat between badass freedom fighters and giant f***ing robots begins with a spectacular 40-PAGE FIRST ISSUE for the regular price of just $2.99!

A solid opening to an interesting tale that is sure to piss some people off. It's been a while since I've seen Steve Skroce's art, and I am happy he's back. He's got a more streamlined style now, that for some reason reminds me a bit of Steve Dillon. This U.S.A. vs Canada tale opens up with a boom giving us the origin of who I assume the lead character is. Once we get going, it doesn't stop. There's a lot of great moments here, but something feels missing. Brian K. Vaughan's trademark banter and clever story structure is a little absent and I found the excessive French dialogue without subtitles to be a bit frustrating. Still, this is a slick comic that many people will enjoy and I'm on board for the show. (Joe)

 

Bob's Burgers (Ongoing) #1 (Dynamite)-

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(W) Brian Hall & Various (A) Frank Forte & Various (CA) Frank Forte
Bob's Burgers is back for more! Join the Belcher family for the second-ever series of the Bob's Burgers comic book! Brought to you by the producers and animators of the hit TV show, this series brings back your three favorite Belcher kids, along with some brand-new stories from the minds of Bob and Linda. Each comic includes new installments of Tina's Erotic Friend Fiction, Louise's Unsolved Mysteries and Curious Curiosities, Gene's Rhymey Rhymes That Could Someday Be Songs, Linda's Attempts to Take a Nice Family Picture in Front of the Restaurant (And How It Always Goes Wrong), and Bob's Fantasy Food Trucks (If Money Were No Object).

I admit it - I'm late to the Bob's Burgers party.  Never watched an episode (unless the mini-crossover with Archer counts), not for any real reason other than I forgot when it was on and never wanted to go back to catch up and see what all the fuss was.  Because people really seemed to love the show.  So this review comes from someone completely unaware of what goes on in the show.  That said, this was an enjoyable book that seemed to defy my expectations.  There were no burgers in this book, no stops in the restaurant, and the focus was pretty solely placed on Tina, the daughter of the titular character.  But there were some good jokes and funny gags with nothing overly cheesy.  The artwork seems to match that of the show, impressive since there were multiple artists for the book.  I'd be really curious to find out what a real Bob's Burgers fan would think of the book, but for me, it was a fun read. (Sam)

 

The Spirit #1 (Dynamite)-

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(W) Matt Wagner (A) Dan Schkade (CA) Eric Powell
In celebration of the 75th anniversary of Will Eisner's iconic and ground-breaking character, Dynamite Entertainment is proud to present an all-new ongoing series featuring THE SPIRIT.  Scripted by Eisner Award-winning author, Matt Wagner, this monthly title will delight longtime fans as well as help introduce a whole new generation of fans to the character.  Set in the classic period of The Spirit's golden age, the 1940s, the first 12-issue story arc follows the strip's most beloved characters, Commissioner Dolan, his daughter Ellen, Ebony White and Sammy as they attempt to un(CA) why The Spirit has been missing, and presumed dead, for the past two years. Has the famous blue-masked hero finally fallen victim to one of the malicious felons or beautiful femme fatales from his lengthy rogues' gallery of enemies?  In the words of Central City's most prominent headlines: "WHO KILLED THE SPIRIT?" Illustrated by Dan Schkade and colored by Brennan Wagner, this series will strive to honor the vital and prestigious legacy of one of comicdom's most talented and influential creators - Will Eisner.

It was with great trepidation and great anticipation that I opened this book.  Will Eisner's Spirit is the stuff of legend.  The man changed the entire genre, showed us how to do things with the page we never before thought possible. And he did it in short 10-page newspaper inserts.   Recent attempts to recreate this groundbreaking series have been successful, the Darwyn Cooke and Hine and Moritat runs; bland, the Aragones and Avanier run; and completely hated, Frank Miller movie (yes, I will defend certain aspects of the movie). So, there's a lot for this Dynamite series to live up to.  They did very well by bringing in Matt Wagner to write the book (does he just not draw anymore?), who had great success with their Zorro comic.  Wagner is a student of the golden age, he knows his Eisner and aside from one strange choice (see below), his characters all sound like they should.  The artist team on the book, Dan Schkade and Brennan Wager (art and colors, respectively) do a damn fine job as well.  The character design match those that Eisner came up with years ago with exaggerated and comical looks abound, but also match the dark color scheme that the book requires.  The book, however, is missing the trademark Eisner credits, splash, and panel design that made The Spirit such an astounding book to read.  One hopes that as the story progresses these elements will make their way back into the book.  And as for that story, it's an interesting choice.  Eisner himself always toyed with stories where The Spirit was barely present for the book and existed only in the periphery, this story takes him completely out.  In this new series, The Spirit has been missing for 2 years, Ebony White is a Private Investigator (and called "Mr. White" on numerous occasions), and even Ellen Dollan has moved on.  An interesting choice that will require readers to keep reading to figure out what's going on.  Luckily the book is good enough where you will want to do that. (Sam)

 

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 24, 2015

Number One Bullet Reviews: June 17, 2015

Number One Bullet Reviews: June 10, 2015

 

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