No, you didn’t miss Bullet Reviews last week and, no, I’m not discontinuing the column. Because there is so much going on, both on Comic Booked and in the ‘real world’, I decided it would be easier to make this a bi-weekly so we can continue to give you the very best on quick reviews. That isn’t to say it won’t go back to weekly but, for now, double-sized bi-weekly installments are what we’re doing! This week: Amazing Spider-Man #680, Godzilla Legends #4, Hellraiser #11, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #7, TMNT Micro-Series: Donatello, Voodoo #6 and The Walking Dead #94!
AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #680 (Marvel)
After releasing endless teasers for the upcoming Ends Of The Earth story, it’s almost easy to forget that Spider-Man appears in a comic book, not just teasers. This issue could be considered a lead in to Ends Of The Earth as Spidey has to save John Jameson when something goes wrong at the Apogee 1 Space Station. Spidey uses his best resource for space travel: The Fantastic Four! This gives us the first Spider-Man/Human Torch team-up we’ve had in a very long time. We also see that Johnny is doing a lot of catching up and has a new favorite song: Friday by Rebecca Black.
Anyway, while JJJ is on earth holding Horizon and its founder, Max Modell, responsible for the situation, Spidey and the Torch are floating around trying to figure things out. They do find John Jameson alive and well but not safe. The Station has been invaded by Octobots and it appears as if they have taken control over the entire crew! Octobot-Zombies!
Now, unknown to the trio in space, Doctor Octopus has a reason for the infestation and doesn’t need the station around after his needs have been met. He plans to blow the station out of the sky in 20 minutes giving our heroes very little time to figure things out, save the crew and get to safety. Only thing that makes it worse is they don’t even know they are in mortal danger!
Dan Slott and Chris Yost working together in this book actually adds to it. Slott is returning to a fomula that works: a slow build to a major in-book event just like he did with last years hit Spider-Island. The pieces are coming together and the players are taking their place. This issue is an early shot in the event that will take us to the Ends Of The Earth! -Skott Jimenez
*Check out the Ends Of The Earth teasers HERE and HERE*
GODZILLA LEGENDS #4 (IDW)
Hedorah is in the spotlight this month as we get a new origin for the Smog Monster as well as an appearance of the King of the Monsters! Linfen, China is devastated by a ‘biological entity’ and the United Nations Godzilla Countermeasure Center sends in a team to investigate and they get to do their job in MechaGodzilla! While investigating, they learn that this attack might not have been the result of Godzilla. The air outside is more toxic than normal and they soon learn the source as Hedorah, The Smog Monster attacks! After a short fight, Hedorah takes off only to be attacked by Godzilla himself and what ensues is a 2-on01 fight as Godzilla and the MechaGodzilla team must work together to stop the Smog Monster from killing everything on the planet! In the end they manage to end this threat from the monster but, with mankind’s strive to progress, there is almost no limit to the resources Hedorah needs to regrow. We might not have seen the last of him!
So far, this has probably been my favorite installment of this series which is strange as Hedorah has never been on my list of favorite monsters but writer Chris Mowry and artist E.J. Su handle the beast very well. In this one story they seem to do more towards making him interesting than the movie he appeared in did. After this appearance, I really do hope to see The Smog Monster again! -Skott Jimenez
HELLRAISER #11 (BOOM!)
The configurations are still being destroyed and our heroes are nearing the supposed end of their quest. While Hell tries to explain to new Cenobite leader Kirsty the possible dangers of all the puzzles being destroyed, they have another issue to deal with: they have come into possession of a puzzle box that was in a plane also carrying what looked like a coffin with skinless corpse inside it.
Meanwhile, Elliott, Tiff, and Theodore travel to India to find another puzzle: the same one that opened the doors of Hell and lead Elliott down the path to becoming Pinhead! In Hell, Kirsty is given some rather disturbing news: the result of all the puzzles being destroyed is unknown even to Hell itself! There will be consequences and a price to pay but Elliott seems to be the only one who actually knows what that price is! So the race is on as Kirsty and her Cenobites attempt to use a puzzle to leave Hell and stop Elliott from destroying the box that made him Pinhead.
I cannot believe this book has been going for a year already! Truly the sign of a very entertaining and interesting read. This series continues to expand on the story begun in the first two Hellraiser movies and continues to be hellishly entertaining! Unlike the puzzle boxes in the movies, I’m glad I opened the first issue of this series and added it to my pull list. -Skott Jimenez
TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES #7 (IDW)
He’s been mentioned more than a few times but this issue we finally get the big reveal: Krang! The General is waging a war in his home planet of Neutrino. Baxter Stockman has been providing him with the resources to wage this battle and this means the whole reason for the Turtles being the Turtles is tied in with all this.
Krang supplied Stockman with the materials needed to create Mutagen Super-Soldiers to help Krang win his war. With the escape of the Turtles, there is no real resource for an end product which is why Stockman sends Old Hob into the sewers with an army of Mousers to bring back the materials needed to complete the project: Turtles, dead or alive!
While a war wages underneath the city streets, April and Casey are beginning to get closer but that isn’t going to help the Turtles and Splinter as they are fast becoming overwhelmed by what seems to be an endless stream of Mousers!
IDW and Kevin Eastman have done a great job bringing the Turtles back to their roots. Yes, many things have changed, mainly the origins of our characters, but this series, much like IDW’s Godzilla line of books, is more of an alternate reboot of a familiar franchise, something IDW is becoming experts in doing! Again, I buy a new issue and think I’m going to be dropping it soon but with every new issue and every new puzzle piece introduced, the overall story gets more and more interesting. I’m very eager to see where this all leads! -Skott Jimenez
TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES MICRO-SERIES: DONATELLO (IDW)
Alright, this one was difficult to get into. No, I don’t mean the story was bad, I mean it was difficult to get into because that David Peterson cover is absolutely amazing!
Donatello is the brains of the outfit, so-to-speak. He likes tech and is very smart. It’s those smarts that makes it difficult, at times, to live in the sewers. He has a desire to be able to talk to other brains and learn even more. He’s able to do this to some extent through the internet. It’s also while online that he learns about a convention, the New World Expo, where the greatest minds will be together in one place in hopes of winning a grant large enough to fund endless projects. Donatello thinks this is a place he can fit in.
Somehow, he’s able to. While these people are geniuses, they aren’t very aware of their surroundings. Most likely because they are trying to impress the grant holder. But there is more here than meets the eye. The whole Expo was a set up by Baxter Stockman to bring out the mind that could help him track the Turtles and further his plans to help Krang and, presumably, this doesn’t mean our world will be safe if these plans are realized.
These Micro-Series are very well done. They fill in gaps in the main books continuity and allow certain story points to be progressed without bogging the main book down in countless side stories. That means you can enjoy all these books together or you can just read the main book and still be able to enjoy what’s going on. Though, it does help to read these Micro-Series. Plus, it’s fun to see these characters on their own, kind of gives you a chance to get to know them better. -Skott Jimenez
VOODOO #6 (DC)
Is it wrong that I want to walk into the world of this comic, stab the bad guys with a pen, and walk out just so we could go somewhere interesting?
I took a chance on Voodoo when the New 52 came out. I wanted to experience something outside of the usual superhero realm, from a different “cultural positioning”. Someone who was practically researching the superheroes in some great espionage/reconnaissance mission was such a great idea. Seeing the heroes through the eyes of someone who was intentionally sent to Earth to gather information and study them … what a concept!
So that concept got shot in the foot, and the bloody remnants left in DC’s carpet have been interpreted into the comic Voodoo.
In this issue, the clone Voodoo and the real Voodoo are both searching for their own answers – Clone! Voodoo is bullying up the Daemonite War Council, and Authentic! Voodoo is escaping imprisonment with government agents Fallon and Black Jack. It feels like a transitional work – Clone! Voodoo is at the pinnacle of her quest for her own identity, and Authentic! Voodoo may be destined to take over the recon mission but only if she stabs herself in the back.
While the series has had some great ideas, I have just struggled to see them come to fruition. Maybe it is one of the tragic victims of DC’s try-and-buy editorial process, or maybe it just wasn’t destined to get off of the ground. Marz was going for a more sophisticated, extra-terrestrial thriller – yes, it was struggling to get there, but I appreciated his intent and that (along with Basri’s artistic talents) was keeping Voodoo in my pull list.
Williamson seems to have taken the idea, but only provided a spit-shine with stereotypical, unrefined dialogue and archetypes. The Daemonites have been reduced to bigots and the government agents into action heroes – sure, it endears the reader towards our government heroes, but only superficially.
If you are already into collecting the series, then collect to find out the end of the story, but don’t expect the world. -Sarah Ellen
*check out Sarah and Emmet on our latest podcast!*
THE WALKING DEAD #94 (Image/Skybound)
A Larger World, Part 2: Rick’s world has been turned upside down. All this time he never seemed to think that his may not be the only community in the area but that’s all changed now. The recent arrival, and capture, of Jesus, a man who claims to represent many such communities that have engaged in trade and communication relationships to help rebuild the world and strengthen the livings numbers has made Rick wonder if he and his group have been removed from such things for so long that they may have become the type of people they want to avoid.
But the chance to be part of something like this is to tempting and Rick agrees to learn more about these communities and begins the trek to return Jesus to his home. This doesn’t mean Rick is trusting everything being said. He’s very much on guard and seems to be hoping for the best but is prepared for the worst, history has shown that you just can’t trust people in this new world.
To complicate matters, Carl has stowed away in the van they are travelling in. Now Rick has to really hope these people are nice otherwise it isn’t just him and the others with him who are in danger, but Carl’s life may be in danger as well!
Once again it’s Rick, Glenn, Andrea, Michonne and Carl against an unknown number of people who may or may not be as nice as Jesus is claiming. After run-ins with The Governor, cannibals and numerous other people who have lost their minds, what awaits our people as they arrive at the Hilltop?
Six issues to go until the historic 100th issue of The Walking Dead and things are starting to get very tense. With this sort of build-up, and the possible dangers that lay ahead, all I can think of is the movie poster for the original Texas Chains Saw Massacre. It read “Who will survive and what will be left of them?” I’m thinking that reads very true in this series right now! -Skott Jimenez
*Check out John I’s review of the most recent episode of AMC’s The Walking Dead!*