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Home  >  Features  >  #1 Bullets New Comic Book Day Reviews: March 29, 2017

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Geoff takes a look at a new batch of first issues, this time it's IRON FIST #1, GHOSTBUSTERS 101: #1, BLOODSHOT: REBORN #0, X-O MANOWAR #1, X-MEN PRIME #1, and INHUMANS PRIME #1!

 

 

X-MEN PRIME #1 (Marvel Comics)-

4.0 Stars

The war between the Inhumans and the X-men is over, the terrigen cloud is gone, and the next phase for the mutants of Marvel Comics begins with X-MEN PRIME #1. Written by Marc Guggenheim, Cullen Bunn and Greg Pak this stand alone issue centers on the return of Kitty Pryde to the X-men and what has become of their world. Storm is lost and feels that her leadership has led the mutant community astray. She has sought out Kitty to be her replacement and let a younger voice of the new generation lead the X-men. While reluctant at first she eventually agrees with the caveat that the X-men once again be seen as heroes and not a militant group of extremists hiding from the world in Limbo. To this effect Kitty has Magik teleport the entire school to Central Park and from this location in the heart of New York City the X-men will rise again to show the world that peace can exist between humans, mutants, and inhumans.

This issue is a fairly by the numbers status quo establishing one shot and long time comic book fans will know its pattern for we have seen them over and over through the years. The various authors do not try anything new but there are no glaring holes in his script to find fault with. Characters are well represented and backstory is flushed out without an overabundance of narration or exposition. As it should be this book is extremely new reader friendly even for those who might have passed on reading the Inhumans vs X-men event. The outcome and consequences of that conflict are laid out and the changes to the mutant community are logically without feeling forced. The new titles are set up and everyone gets a decent amount of screen time.

The art shifts throughout the title with its strongest foot forward in the beginning of the issue. The Kitty Pryde scene that opens the issue is beautifully drawn by Ken Lashley with the rest of the art falling somewhat short as the issue moves on. Overall I feel this issue achieves what it set out to do that and that is bridge the gap for both new and long time readers between the old X-men books and the new Blue and Gold series that are just around the corner. Even at a $4.99 price point this is an issue I would recommend to anyone interested in picking up the new X-men titles that are coming from Marvel Comics.

 

INHUMANS PRIME #1 (Marvel Comics)-

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INHUMANS PRIME #1 is the second issue released this week from Marvel Comics that serves to set the stage for the upcoming Resurrxion event. Written by the author who I consider to the lone gem in the rough of recent Marvel Comics, Al Ewing, this issue begins with the Inhumans finally tracking down and capturing Maximus Boltagon, the brother of Black Bolt who has long been a thorn in the side of the royal family. With Maximus taken care of the narrative switches to focus on the transfer of power from Medusa and the royal family to Iso, the young Inhuman who will head up a new elected government that will seek to bring the Inhuman society into its next age.

Al Ewing starts this issue off at full speed with a fantastic confrontation between Maximus and Medusa. Overmatched and outnumbered Maximus as his rebels stage a fantastic last stand before finally succumbing. With the close of the action the pace of the comic grinds to a halt and is overly saturated with politics and a healthy dash of grandstanding. Also worth pointing out is that this issue, unlike X-men Prime #1, covers a lot of ground previously explored in the Inhumans vs X-men crossover. In that series we already bore witness to the reuniting of Medusa and Black Bolt and the transfer of power to Iso. What we end up with is an issue that covers established story elements while opening as many questions and carry overs for upcoming books as it can. The most interesting of all is the Marvel Boy from a parallel universe that has information on a possible new source of Terrigen. While this is an intriguing narrative to pursue is does kind of rend the entire conflict between Inhumans and Mutants moot if the battle of the cloud not longer matters.

The art starts off extremely strong but as soon as we get to New Attilan it takes a drastic turn to the downright ugly. Rarely does a book start so strong in both story and art and then completely fall on its face. While I am sounding overly negative I still think this is an issue worth reading for any Marvel fans who will be continuing with the Inhuman story. However, with that said the X-men offering was far better and try as Marvel might I still think most readers care little about the Inhumans.

 

IRON FIST #1 (Marvel Comics)-

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Everyone is talking about Marvel's Iron Fist on Netflix and now Marvel Comics has released the first issue of a new ongoing series starring Danny Rand with IRON FIST #1. Written by veteran author Ed Brisson this series picks up after the events Iron Fist: The Living Weapon in which Kun Lun has been destroyed. Separated from the source of his power Danny is now lost. His entire life has been defined by being Iron Fist and now that power is slowly draining away. Traveling the world of back alley martial arts tournaments Danny Rand is looking for something, looking for a challenge that will help rekindle the dying flame of his past. It is in this state that a newcomer presents him with a true test of his skills, one that could push him past even his own formidable limits.

The first thing readers will note about this new series is its dark tone and that should come as no surprise to those familiar with Ed Brisson's work. This is not a superhero story about Iron Fist saving the world, this is a story about one man's journey to rediscover himself. The underground fight scenes are harsh and brutal. Think more along the lines of Fight Club than old martial arts movies and you are on the right track. Danny is down and out, beaten emotionally if not physically with a all too real scene in which he is trying to find solace in the bottom of a bottle in a dark corner of the world. The only spark of brightness is when he is truly challenged and has his skills put to the test, it is this initial reawakening that spurs him on a new quest to find the part of him that has been missing since Kun Lun fell.

The art by Mike Perkins is a bit of a mixed bag. Tonally it is a perfect match for the story being told. It is dark, moody, and violent. I like his overall design aesthetic but it looses a little in the details. The action in the fight scenes can be somewhat hard to follow at times and in a book focused on martial arts that is definitely a bit of a drawback. Besides that there are some suspect faces depicted in this book that will make readers chuckle, there is one in particular towards the end of the issue that looks like it was traced off a chimpanzee. While the art might have missed a few beats overall I still think it is a good looking book with a story to look forward to. Danny Rand is off on an adventure of self discovery and redemption and I will be picking up issue number two for sure to see where that journey takes him. This is one of the better releases to come from Marvel and if you did not enjoy the lighter tone of the Powerman and Iron Fist series then this book is for you.

 

GHOSTBUSTERS 101: #1 (IDW Publishing)-

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Worlds are colliding in GHOSTBUSTERS 101 #1 from IDW Publishing. This new series penned by Erik Burnham seeks to cross over the long running established world of the Ghostbusters with the new all female crew features in new movie that released last year. Taking place after the big IDW cross over that saw the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles invade the Ghostbusters reality this comic exists in a world in which Egon and Ray have developed the science to move from one dimension to another. As with all good ideas this new gateway is opened by those with the least experience and the result is that the tear in space acts like a beacon for the undead. Now two teams of Ghostbusters, each in the own reality, are beginning to see the collapse of the barriers that keep worlds apart and it will not be long before the old crew crosses paths with the new.

I know there are mixed feelings on the new Ghostbusters movie but I feel this book is the perfect way to handle it. It's not a reboot or a remake, rather it is a slightly different series of events that took place in a parallel universe. Now Ray, Egon, and Venkman can team up with Yakes and Holtzmann and have all the wacky ectoplasmic adventures the writers can throw at us. This book is full of characters and Erik Burnham keeps it all straight and moving along at a brisk pace. The stage is well set, the players are introduced, and the status quo is established for those who might not have been on board with recent issues in IDW's Ghostbusters comics. This really is an exceptionally solid first issue for this reality breaking series. The voices for Ray, Egon, and Peter are all spot on and the early pages make old farts like me who grew up with that movie feel right at home. Then we are introduced to the new kids learning the ropes and the crazy invention that is certainly going to make a mess of things. Finally we close on the new girls in their own dimension and it all wraps up very nicely with a solid lead in to issue number two.

Pencils by Dan Schoening are exaggerated in a cartoon style that fits the source material perfectly. These characters are all over the top representations already so I think it is a very appropriate fit to make them larger than life. The style also allows for more extreme emotions and facial expressions that really to lend a hand to a book that is trying to convey more comedy than a typical comic book. When it is all said and done this was an enjoyable read from a long loved franchise trying to reach out and mix the old with the new. Even if you might have been a bit salty with the new movie I think this book is still worth checking out.

 

BLOODSHOT: REBORN #0 (Valiant Comics)-

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The world of Valiant Comics has been a bit crazy as of late but things are settling down now with a fresh start for Ray Garrison in BLOODSHOT: REBORN #0. Project Rising Spirit is finally destroyed. Bloodshot and his comrades in arms, who were also nanite test subjects, have freed the city of New York from a plague that would have converted all citizens to mindless soldier drones with the aid of Deathmate. Now that the dust has settled Bloodshot has a moment to reflect and move forward with Magic, the love of his life.

Jeff Lemire has crafted a zero issue that is heavy on exposition and story yet still reads at a brisk pace. Thanks to a quick introduction and a clear path from start to finish BLOODSHOT: REBORN #0 offers a great recap of recent events, Bloodshots encounter with Deathmate and the events on the island, as well as the Bloodshot squad and their potential future in the series. The book is well written with and it is the best jumping on point for Bloodshot that I have seen in years. Add to that the fantastic art by Renato Guedes and this issue is a definite hit. I will admit to letting Valiant titles slip to the bottom of the comics I am interested in but they have really been firing on all cylinders lately. The Divinity series was great, Stalinverse was a lot of fun, and now X-O manowar and Bloodshot are getting great relaunches. This is the perfect time to jump in and anyone who is even remotely interested in this publisher should pick up BLOODSHOT: REBORN #0.

 

X-O MANOWAR #1 (Valiant Comics)-

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Another character gets a start to a new series this week from Valiant Comics with X-O MANOWAR #1. Long time Valiant writer Matt Kindt pens the next tale of Aric of Dacia, a warrior born to fight in ancient Rome. Abducted by aliens and eventually bonding with the legendary Manowar armor Aric returned to Earth in the present day and became a hero in the Valiant universe. Now time has moved on and Aric has found peace on a new planet. With his armor left behind he has found solace as a farmer and companionship with a new woman. This is all rendered null when Aric is pressed into military service, intended to be canon fodder to shield the true soldiers. To the surprise of all he rises above the ranks and proves invaluable in battle. Unfortunately for Aric that renown will only bring death.

Unlike the Bloodshot relaunch featured this week, X-O MANOWAR #1 goes the route of throwing the reader into the deep end of the pool and leaving it to us to put the pieces of Aric's life together. As someone who is not up to date with Valiant comics I will admit I was a bit lost with where this story was taking place. Was this before his return to Earth or long after. As the book develops it is clear that this is set long after and the rest of the answers will come in time. And let me tell you that is just fine. This book was amazing. Griping from start to finish with a great tale of the old hero pressed into service once more time only to rise above all others. Light on dialogue and heavy on action this is an adrenaline fueled start to a new series.

The art by Toman Giorello is flat out gorgeous. Sharp clean pencils and amazing landscapes please the eye from cover to cover. The giant machines of war are beautifully rendered and the eye is drawn to some really amazing detail in every panel. This is great stuff and a fun read even to a total newcomer to the character. X-O MANOWAR #1 was the sleeper hit of the week for me and I think all comic fans should check it out. While you are at it grab BLOODSHOT: REBORN #0 as well and take a dive into Valiant Comics.

 

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

 

More Reviews on MightyVille:

#1 Bullets New Comic Book Day Reviews: March 15, 2017

Number 1 Bullets Comic Reviews: March 08, 2017

Number 1 Bullets Comic Reviews: February 22, 2017

 

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