Bullet Reviews #59: Marvel, Vertigo, Image and More!
Each week we look at a few recently released comics, sharing what we like and don’t in hopes of introducing you to new books! This week: The Acolyte Chronicles #1, Elephantmen #39, Fables #117, Hellraiser #14, Journey Into Mystery #638, Marvel Zombies Destroy! #2:
THE ACOLYTE CHRONICLES #1 (Azure Press)
Having previewed this book right here a while back it’s nice to be able to revisit it, especially being that it’s published by Azure who publishes the Ninjas Vs series which just had their premier of the trailer for the third, and final, film: Ninjas Vs. Monsters (which, in my humble opinion looks fantastic!). And, yeah, any chance to mention Ninjas Vs. I’ll take but this is about another series from a publisher that does deserve more attention.
First, let’s look at the official solicit: Crime is at an all-time high. Wars, disease, and drugs run rampant. At the center of this corruption is Korath, an immortal being with an unquenchable thirst for dominance. I am the one that prevents his victory, I am the Acolyte. On the streets of Argent, the battle will escalate.
Acolyte Chronicles centers in a long running battle between the forces of good and the forces of evil. While the evil, Korrath, seems to be eternal while Sunu, who represents good as The Acolyte, doesn’t have that luxury and has to fight through a host body. Our story begins as the current host is dying the Acolyte needs to find a new host. In the city of Argent, where things are so bad it makes Detroit look like the county fair and in this hell we find David, a cop who has been chose to carry the Acolyte into the future… but after seeing how powerful Korrath is, this might be a very short series!
As I said in my preview, this is a book with a lot of potential and is certainly a lot of fun, a great example of how looking beyond the major publishers can turn up some really fun comics. Azure Press and Thomas Chillemi certainly have something special on their hands with this series and it gets better with a second reading! -Skott Jimenez
ELEPHANTMEN #39 (Image)
To recap last time, a good friend was murdered by Yvette; a girl who had lost everything she had and everyone she knew due to the Elephantmen. Yvette had gone from a child of reason to a straight up psychopath who wanted to kill all the Elephantmen and all of their loved ones. Even the toughest and most well-known Elephantman, Obediah Horn is on the list of people Yvette plans to kill. Eventually a stand-off between the two of them takes place as Yvette plans to kill Sahara while Horn sits there and watches. Horn doesn’t take that too well as he attacks Yvette and eventually Hip is forced to put her down. They discuss what will come from this and hope that humans and Elephantmen can finally find peace between one another, especially after Sahara announces the pregnancy. Although everyone wanted to believe it, there will always be someone out there who has something to prove, some urge for revenge, because no matter how you look at it. The Elephantmen did really terrible things to people, women, children, and they think that humanity is going to forgive them at some point. Fat chance and deep down they know it. They will be haunted and hated by someone always. And perhaps rightfully so. Elephantmen proves to be one of the best comics I have read in a long time, I think Starkings has one twisted idea on his hands but I can’t help but get enthralled in his twisted world he has created. -Nick Furious
FABLES #117 (Vertigo)
I’ve been reading this book for ten years. I still don’t believe it because this series has been so consistently good that it doesn’t feel like it’s been going for that long. This issue continues the Cubs In Toyland story in which Therese is still in the land of lost toys to be their queen, according to the broken toys anyway. There is more going on here than what’s on the surface and it continues to slide to a darker story. In this part Therese begins to get a little worried and the toys keep talking about something more that they are keeping from her. She decides she wants to leave and soon learns she cannot fly in this world! Meanwhile, her brother Dare and his tiger companion Monty have arrived in this realm and come face to face with a familiar comrade in arms and begin to storm the toys’ castle to save his sister. Things start out good until, near the top of the castle wall, Dare is knocked off the ledge… he doesn’t yet know his power of flight doesn’t work here! Is Dare the cub destined to die? I really hope not, I like this kid! Back in Oz, Bufkin is free and the revolution is back on! But first there is a traitor in their ranks that needs to be dealt with.
So, ten years of Fables. All I can think to say is congratulations and thank you, Bill Willingham, and here’s to ten more years!! -Skott Jimenez
HELLRAISER #14 (BOOM! Studios)
I can’t believe it but this series just keeps getting better! Elliott Spencer, the former Pinhead, is building his own reality, one where he is God, and it’s up to the new Pinhead, Kirsty Cotton, and her crew of Cenobites to try to stop him! They get some help from a surprising source: The original Pinhead’s former co-hort: The Female Cenobite! Hell hath no fury like a Female Cenobite scorned. She wants to ensure his downfall so that she may inflict pain on Spencer for turning away from her and she’s willing to help the one person who’s escaped them on a number of occasions. War makes strange bedfellows.
This story, one that has been building since the series began over a year ago, has not lost steam one bit. If anything, it’s getting better and more interesting as each issue comes out! I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: THIS is the Hellraiser story that fans of the movies have been waiting for since Hellraiser II was released! It more than makes up for the garbage of Hellraisers 3 thru 528 by making them even more forgettable! Thank you, BOOM! Studios, for giving us a Hellraiser series we can be proud of! Hard to imagine that I was only planning on buying the first issue then continue it in trade. I’m glad I haven’t, not only is the story great but this series has had some gorgeous covers! -Skott Jimenez
JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY #638 (Marvel)
Exiled, Part 4: Things are popping fast now in this crossover that’s become more entertaining and interesting that I expected it to be! The Disir have remembered who they are and we are given a few more specifics on their origins, well, take it for what it’s worth considering it is the Disir telling us the story, and they begin to attack -and eat- anyone they can get their claws on! The Asgardians who have forgotten who they are, try to defend people from these monsters, apparently even forgetting who you are doesn’t mean you forget your heroic nature, and it all begins to level out when Loki finally gets his memories back and begins to work out getting everyone else to remember who they are, in his way, as well as figuring out how to end all this. Oddly enough, it really isn’t anything that he can do because the solution to stopping the Disir, apparently, lies in their origin and a curse that was created before Loki was originally born. Let’s just say the X-Men aren’t the only one getting a wedding this year and this is still one of the most entertaining series I’m reading today! -Skott Jimenez
MARVEL ZOMBIES DESTROY! #2 of 5 (Marvel)
I know, every time I say something about Marvel Zombies I can literally hear a chorus of groans and ‘why do we need another Marvel Zombies story?’ and after the Supreme story I could see why, when that one came out it seemed as if the blood has finally dried on this franchise. HOWEVER… Marvel Zombies 5 began an interesting twist on the concept. These beings of the zombie plague in the different Marvel realities and how people within the 616, the group A.R.M.O.R. specifically, have taken up the task of stopping it before it wipes out all realities. Howard The Duck is now the connecting thread between that story and this one. Howard and his group of Invaders, along with Dum Dum Dugan, are now in a reality where the Nazis won WWII by becoming zombies and eating almost everyone. Dum Dum keeps asking why he was specifically asked because this sort of thing isn’t his usual bag. We do get the answer to that at the end of this issue and it’s quite shocking!
This story brings back the dark humor and action that has been nearly forgotten in recent Marvel Zombies stuff. It’s back to basics and very entertaining! I still don’t understand why Marvel Zombies hasn’t become and annual thing from Marvel in October, though… -Skott Jimenez