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Home  >  Features  >  Number One Bullet Reviews: August 5, 2015

NUMBER 1 BULLETS: 08-05-15


Each week, we take a look at the new first issues from Black Mask, 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. The lady Red Sonja and her boy toy Conan charge to the head of the pile!

This week, Geoff Deen, Joe Kach, and Sam Moyerman review This Damned Band #1,  Red Sonja/Conan #1, The Shadow Volume 2 #1, and Artemis IX #1.

[Editor's Note: We were unable to review Dark Corridor #1.] 



This Damned Band #1 (Dark Horse)-


(W) Paul Cornell (A/CA) Tony Parker
1972: the world's most famous rock band thought they were "worshiping Satan," only to find they were actually ... worshiping Satan. From Paul Cornell (Wolverine, Action Comics) and Tony Parker (Mass Effect: Foundation) comes a darkly hilarious adventure of black magic and classic rock! A hilarious documentary-style thrill ride of black magic and rock music!

I really wanted to like this book.  Or maybe more appropriately, I really wanted to love it.  A Paul Cornell-scripted book about a band that seems to be playing with devil worship and the occult.  Seems like a match made in heaven.  And it should have time to become that.  But this first issue left me wishing it was more.  The band in question, interestingly named Motherfather, is played up as a 70s rock band that would fit in with the other icons of the era: Zepplin, Beatles, Stones, etc.  They're playing sold out shows in Tokyo and have a documentary film crew following them.  The band goes out of their way to play up their involvement with the occult for interviews, but make it quite clear that once the camera is off they go back to all the stereotypical things famous bands are known for (sex, and lots of it).  This all changes when they are finally given something they threw on their rider as a joke, something that would also play up their love of Satan.  The problem isn't that the book is bad.  It's wonderfully illustrated and Cornell's writing is excellent and punchy as always.  The problem is that within the first 3 pages of the book, you know exactly where it's going and what is going to happen.  So by the time you finally get there and want more, the book is over.  And instead of wanting more you wonder why you had to read so much of an issue just to get to where you knew you'd be 20 pages previously.  There is still promise in there somewhere, it's just up to you whether or not that promise is worth continuing on with the series. (Sam)


Red Sonja/Conan #1 (Dynamite)-


(W) Victor Gischler (A) Roberto Castro (CA) Alex Ross
Red Sonja and Conan are reunited as captains of mercenary companies who team to fight the forces of an evil sorcerer. Little do they realize that a shadow of the past has returned, something of dire peril from their previous adventures together. It's the Cimmerian and Sonja reunited for more bloody swordplay!

Dynamite Comics' newest number one issue, Red Sonja/Conan, comes out of the gates firing on all cylinders.  Written by Victor Gischler with art by Roberto Castro, this story felt right in line with the beginning of Conan: The Barbarian.  Now, I know some out there do not like the deviations the movies took from the source material, but as for me, when I read the opening narration to this new book I heard the old Wizard's voice in my head and it set the tone perfectly.  Far from the events of the current Sword of Sorrows crossover, this take focuses on our two heroes set against a dark wizard seeking power.  While not the most original of plot lines, it does make for a great action setting and a stage with which to have Conan and Sonja revel in battle and lust.  The art is great and the action is conveyed well, the writing is crisp and moves right along, and by the end of the last page I was eagerly anticipating the next issue, which is really the best compliment you can give to a serial comic book.  Fan of the characters will love this, and even those who are not might find it a good introduction to the universe. (Geoff


The Shadow Volume 2 #1 (Dynamite)-


(W) Cullen Bunn (A) Giovanni Timpano (CA) Butch Guice
A ruthless cabal of magicians is searching for the secret to the Last Illusion, and they'll stop at nothing to achieve their goals. But the person who knew the most about the mysterious rite is dead, and he shared his secret with one man -- the Shadow! Now, the Shadow faces some of his strangest foes as he engages in a deadly game where he might be the hunter... or the hunted.

This issue picks up directly where The Shadow #0 left off. The Society of United Magicians continue their quest to learn the secrets of the dead that they previously, and unsuccessfully) attempted to steal from Harry Houdini. And The Shadow is there to make sure that doesn't happen. This was a decent issue that spotlighted a lot of The Shaodw in action versus a variety of opponents, which was pretty cool to see. Certain aspects of both the story pacing and art felt a bit rushed and slightly convoluted, but nothing terribly detrimental to the enjoyment of the issue. This is a solid read for both fans of The Shadow or those newbies wanting to know what evil lurks in the heart of men. (Joe)


Artemis IX (Image/Top Cow)-


(W) Dan Wickline (A) Johnny Desjardins (CA) Stjepan Sejic
Still reeling from Hades IX’s surprise explosion in his city of New Cypress, Artemis IX tries to put things back to normal, only to discover that one of his own cyborgs is out to kill him. It could be only one of them or all of them, leaving him no one to trust. Just because you’re paranoid and the equivalent of a God doesn’t mean they’re not after you.

This series of one-shot issues spun out of the Aphrodite IX universe continues this week with Artemis IX from Image Comics.  Written by Dan Wickline with art by Johnny Desjardins, this issue revolves around the attempted murder of Artemis from the previous series and the fallout of that event.  With countless bodies and little to no regard for the normal citizens beneath him, Artemis is plagued by continuing assassination attempts.  Someone is trying to teach him a lesson about humility and respect, but that lesson falls on deaf ears.  These one-shots have revolved around a common theme of the populous revolting against the IXth Generation leaders, a theme that will no doubt continue in next month's entry, Apollo IX.  The art is the Top Cow house style, as is to be expected.  It is clean and detailed and very much in line with the styles of Silvestri, Finch, and Turner.  As a stand alone issue this entry was rather unremarkable, but as a table setter for the coming story it has its place.  This is one of those comics that followers of the story at large can pick up, but I would not recommend it as a starting point for new readers. (Geoff)


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


More Reviews on MightyVille: 

Number One Bullet Reviews: July 29, 2015

Number One Bullet Reviews: July 22, 2015

Number One Bullet Reviews: July 15, 2015


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Which New #1 this week are you most excited about?

SIDEWAYS #1 (DC Comics) - 15.8%
DEATH OF LOVE #1 (Image Comics) - 5.3%
KICK-ASS #1 (Image Comics) - 5.3%
STAR WARS THRAWN #1 (Marvel Comics) - 5.3%
ATHENA VOLTAIRE 2018 ONGOING #1 (Action Lab Entertainment) - 5.3%
BABY BADASS #1 (Action Lab - Red Zone) - 5.3%
BLACK BETTY #1 (Action Lab - Danger Zone) - 0%
CHARISMAGIC VOL 03 #1 (Aspen MLT) - 0%
COLD WAR #1 (Aftershock Comics) - 0%
REGULAR SHOW 2018 SPECIAL #1 (BOOM! Studios) - 0%
XENA #1 (Dynamite Entertainment) - 0%
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