It’s that time again: Bullet Reviews! Covering some of the many fine books that have come out in the last two weeks and, boy, do we have a variety for you this time around: The Culling #1, Elephantmen #38, Fables #115, Hellraiser #12, Marksman #6, New Avengers #23, Teenage MUTANT Ninja Turtles #8, and The Walking Dead #95!
THE CULLING #1 (Omug)
The cover title absolutely screamed “buy me!” while I was at Planet Comicon in Kansas so I went over and chatted it up with the creators for a while. Apparently it is a comic book made in Nebraska, and it’s independently produced. So after reading the comic I can honestly tell you that the art is the only reason to buy this thing. The story is confusing, and the character’s story line is so difficult nearly every line of dialogue was there to explain what was going on, like they did in comics in the 60s and 70s. I know you are thinking that is kind of cool, but it’s not. It makes for a really frustrating read and by the end of it I had no idea why I was supposed to want to buy issue number two. The artwork is outstanding, and really brings the action sequences to life, but the story and clever writing just aren’t there to keep the drive to read, and you wind up just using it as a coaster. True story, I’m keeping my Mountain Dew on it as I write this. I am sorry to say but the only thing I can say about this comic is…disappointed. -Nick Furious
ELEPHANTMEN #38 (Image)
You have to understand two things. First thing: this is the first time I have ever read this comic. Two: Just by flipping though the pages I could not be more intrigued. We start the book off by meeting our hero Janis who sleeps in what most girls would probably consider one of the most uncomfortable sleeping garments possible. From what I can understand Elephantmen are all enormous animals that walk around and talk just like humans. There are a lot of scenes depicting bestiality which is all sorts of weird but all these Elephantmen seem to be famous. So it makes sense why women are now sleeping with animals, right? I’m sure if Usher was a Polar Bear he would still get play. Anyways, these Elephantmen must have done something horribly awful to Janis because she hates Elephantmen as the comic opens up with her killing a bunch of “munts” which sure do look a lot like Elephantmen. While this is an ongoing comic I am a little confused as the main character from the story died at the end of issue by getting stabbed in the head. So to answer your question, yes I will be reading the next issue and probably follow this series from this point on. -Nick Furious
FABLES #115 (Vertigo)
Cubs In Toyland, Part 2: Therese arrives in Toyland and finds it a dark and dirty place inhabited by old and broken toys. They call her their new Queen, in a way that seems to be an attempt to entice her to stay but to what ends? This isn’t the Toyland we are all familiar with, this is a much darker place and if Therese can’t escape them she better hope that Snow and the others can get to her and pull her out of there!
Also: Nurse Spratt, no longer the huge ogre of a woman and now going by her original name of Leigh Duglas, is ‘saved’ when some of the Fables return to Castle Dark to see if it’s safe to make it their new Fabletown. The tale she tells them of her capture and torture at the hands of Mister Dark seem to fool most of them but a certain Black Cat seems hesitant to fully believe her tale.
In the backup story, A Revolution In Oz, Part 2, Lily Martagnion, a tiny sprite of a woman who has fallen in love with Bufkin, tries to rally his troops in hopes of saving him from being hung but not everyone is willing to sacrifice everything for the former flying monkey!
Bill Willingham never fails to impress me with his ability to put so much story in so little space. We have so much going on in this series right now yet it never seems like it’s shoved into the book, becoming a muddled mess. The main story, Cubs In Toyland, is fast becoming my all time favorite story. It’s nice to see the Cubs get their chance to shine! -Skott Jimenez
HELLRAISER #12 (BOOM!)
Wow, has this series been going for a year already?! It must be good because it certainly hasn’t felt like it’s been a year. So, after convincing Kirsty to switch places with him so he could perhaps work towards saving what was left of his soul, Elliott, the former Pinhead, seems to have an even darker game in mind. While going around destroying the Lament Configurations that the Cenobites use to access this world and collect souls for Hell, Elliott was working on an even larger puzzle that Kirsty must stop before all Hell breaks loose! What is the ultimate endgame? I can’t say for sure but it certainly looks as if Elliott’s plan involved opening the Gate Of Hell but destroying the Configuration Boxes. Once again, Kirsty must gather herself and stop Elliott and try to regain her humanity, but to do this she can’t kill Elliott. So much to do and so very much at stake!
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: If you are a fan of the first two Hellraiser movies the you HAVE to be reading this series! -Skott Jimenez
MARKSMAN #6 (Benaroya)
David Baxter was probably one of the most entertaining people I have ever had the chance to speak with in my life, if you ever get the chance to talk to him at a convention, talk to him! Guy is all sorts of interesting. David is the guy that told me I should check out Elephantmen. See what I mean? Very cool dude. I recently finished up on David Baxter’s Marksmen mini series and was pleasantly pleased with the finale. It wasn’t exactly what I expected and the entire time I read it I continued to think “this would really make a very cool movie”. The love story was actually very touching and well written, even though it was semi blossoming on the battlefield, which is never easy to write, especially in comics. I look forward to more Marksmen if David winds up getting another mini series going or decides to start a monthly ongoing series. -Nick Furious
NEW AVENGERS #23 (Marvel)
It’s no real secret that I think Brian Michael Bendis is the next step in Marvel evolution. He has everything I look for in Marvel writing. Once again I was pleased. In this issue The New Dark Avengers are attacked by Skaar, son of the Hulk. Hulk rescues Captain America and they assemble the New Avengers to take on Osborn’s new team. Of course, Captain America and his team come out on top and take out The New Dark Avengers. On a side note how many different Avenger teams will Marvel have in the next year? It is getting hard to keep track. Anyways we get a sweet preview of Cap and Iron Man talking with the President and his military board. They explain about Nova barely surviving the Phoenix Force and tell about how it is headed straight to Earth. Wolverine spills the beans about who the Phoenix Force is after and we end with Captain America coming to Utopia to discuss things with Scott Summers. Next up Avengers vs. X-Men #1 -Nick Furious
TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES #8 (IDW)
Picking up directly after the events of last issue, our MUTANT Turtles are fighting for their lives against an army of Mousers controlled by the mutant cat Old Hob in hopes of getting a tissue or blood sample from one of the MUTANT Turtles or even Splinter, the MUTANT rat who leads them. Things are looking good for the turtles as they are overwhelmed and lose track of Splinter! Meanwhile, Baxter Stockman, the man who needs the sample, gets a little face-to-face time with General Krang, who isn’t a mutant but is a being from a different dimension, and who needs the sample in order to make MUTANT super soldiers to help win his war on his home planet. By the end of this issue, the MUTANT Turtles have finally destroyed the Mousers but before they can pursue Old Hob and save Splinter, Casey Jones shows up with April O’Neil! Once again, IDW Publishing puts out another great issue of the Teenage MUTANT Ninja Turtles and continues the 90s independent comic book feel. This is the book that fans of the MUTANT Turtles should be reading, especially after the rather ignorant remarks of the biggest hack director in Hollywood, Michael “I never met a franchise I didn’t want to destroy” Bay. THESE Turtles are 100% MUTANTS and done to perfection! -Skott Jimenez
THE WALKING DEAD #95 (Image/Skybound)
A Larger World, Part 3: Rick, Glenn, Michonne, Andrea, and, much to Rick’s dismay, Carl are now at Hilltop, the mysterious community Jesus told them about. When they arrive things seem pretty good: It’s a very large area, enclosed with farms, many homes and a lot of people. It’s when they meet Gregory that I begin to get a little worried. While he seems nice and the whole set up is very nice, something just seems out-of-place. The frantic arrival of another of their number, Ethan, kind of solidifies that something isn’t quite right here. There is another person, Negan, who wants Gregory dead. Ethan tries to carry out his demands in hopes of saving a woman named Crystal. What happens next shows the new folks that Rick might not be someone they want to have mad at them. Or, perhaps, it could make things worse for Rick and Co. I’m beginning to see these new people in much the same way Rick does: With little to no trust. Hope they are good people but be prepared to kill them if they don’t fall in line with how they should act. I love how this book has got me thinking like this, makes it far more entertaining and with only 5 more issues to go until the big #100, I’m eager to see what Robert Kirkman has in store for his milestone issue! -Skott Jimenez