It’s Tuesday and that means BULLET REVIEWS!!! Quick looks at recently released comics. If you’re having a light week, maybe something here will catch your attention (or save you money)! This week: Fables #118, Ghostbusters #10, Godzilla #2, Grimm Fairy Tales Presents: The Jungle Book #3, Grim Leaper #2, Journey Into Mystery #640, Memorial #6, Reset, #3, TMNT Micro-Series #5: Splinter, and The Walking Dead #99!
FABLES #118 (DC/Vertigo)
Cubs In Toyland, Part 5: This story is just getting better… and darker! Dare falls to his apparent death while trying to fight his way through the broken toys to save his sister. Don’t worry, the cubs of Bigby Wolf are a lot more resilient than mundy kids are. While Dare is less than successful in helping his sister, Bigby has decided to enlist the South, East and West Winds to find his cubs. Their conversation is very interesting and shows Bigby isn’t afraid of anything or anyone when it comes to his children.
Meanwhile, things are getting very bad for little Therese! She learns the name of her new home is Deadland and the reason why all the toys there are broken takes this story to a level I didn’t expect. Fortunately, for her, Dare isn’t near dead enough and remembers something his father told him: “You’re still alive…you still fight.” He’s not going to let a bunch of discarded toys stop him. I’m actually looking forward to seeing Dare become a hero in this story! I hope Bigby doesn’t steal his thunder because he’s fact becoming one of my favorites of the cubs!
Meanwhile…back in Oz: Bufkin decides the best way to get the Gnome King to feel the pressure of the coming revolution is to put a bounty on his head. When you don’t have a lot to offer you, you offer next to nothing…especially when the target had a huge ego! This revolution just may happen after all! –Skott Jimenez
GHOSTBUSTERS #10 (IDW Publishing)
Haunted America, Part 2: The Ghostbusters are travelling across America fighting ghosts and other assorted night terrors outside of New York City. This issue takes them to New Orleans where they are hired to stop the coming evil of Marie Laveau by… Marie Laveau? Yeah, only the one who hired them is the original and the one they are paid to stop is the daughter who has taken the name and position into much darker areas not intended by the original.
This is a fun story that surprised me by referencing the first Infestation event when the Busters confronted the zombies. A very nice touch showing that the Infestation events do impact the realities they touched on. Another nice touch is the dance the zombies do and a certain zombie with curly hair and a red jacket that may look familiar to people.
There is also a back up feature here that has one of the Busters getting involved in an urban legend and also explains some of why the Ghostbusters are not in their city anymore.
While not one of my regular books, IDW’s take on the Ghostbusters is entertaining and worth a read, especially if you’re a fan of the franchise. It’s one that I’m certainly going to be looking to get in trades! I like how it takes story cues from the movies and the looks of the characters from the animated series and blends it all together perfectly! –Skott Jimenez
GODZILLA #2 (IDW Publishing)
The Monster Mash Continues! the monsters are attacking all over the world while Boxer gathers his team in a bid to kill them all for taking what they all hold dear. This issue is a perfect balance of the impact of the monsters attacks, including people being more concerned with ‘tweeting’ things about the monsters than actually getting to safety (I think that would happen for real) but it does a great job of showing the human impact on their return, while Boxer gathers his team and makes a deal to kill the monsters and make some money for the effort. Seven million pounds, to be exact. His first target is probably the least vicious of the beasts: Anguirus. that doesn’t mean he’s a pushover, however, as he doesn’t take to kindly to being attacked.
Two issues in and this is, without a shadow of a doubt, the best Godzilla series we’ve ever gotten. As much as I loved Kingdom Of Monsters, this series seems to be doing a better job of balancing the humans and the monsters with just enough action and dialogue/narration. There is a real sense of scale and impending doom in this series, something that works very well! Along with the recently launched Mars Attacks!, IDW is showing they know how to handle these franchises and give the fans what they’ve been begging for for decades! -Skott Jimenez
GRIMM FAIRY TALES PRESENTS THE JUNGLE BOOK #3 (Zenescope Entertainment)
I’ve recently discovered that this is a miniseries. It’s also one that will have a home on my bookshelf. This one has surprised me and has shown me that Zenescopes’ Grimm Fairy Tales books are highly entertaining and imaginative. The Jungle Book is a wild re-imagining of the classic tale, adding new elements and expanding on old ones. This issue picks up with Mowglii reacting to the attack of Shere Khan and his tigers on the wolf clan, killing many of the wolves including the one who raised Mowglii. Her drive to revenge blinds her to some of the other dangers of the jungle. This time around it’s a certain orangutan and his monkey mates who are all quite insane. This also brings another of the lost kids into play: Dewan, who was taken by Louis and his monkey way back when.
We now have three of the kids, now very grown up, in the main story. However, at the end of this issue we are also introduced to the giant snake Kaa…we might be back down to two of the lost ones as the snake has captured Bomani, who is curious about Mowglii, and now threatens to have him for lunch! Next issue should be very, very interesting!
I have to again say that, this being my first Zenescope series, I’m pleasantly surprised at how much fun and how well done these books are. My main reason for not reading them from the beginning was that I was already reading Fables and was loving that. My LCS has already been made aware that I will be ordering the trades for these books very soon. –Skott Jimenez
GRIM LEAPER #2 (Image Comics)
With a series of events leading to Lou living in the body of someone else, Paul, Lou is now on a mission to find Ella once again. As the most unusual romantic comedy of all time tugs at the heart-strings of what it is truly like to find someone worth the wait, our second issue begins. During this time more is revealed as Paul is killed off, and by killed off I mean murdered, and Lou begins to notice his death’s evolving. More brutal, more connected, especially after his next jump goes to a bus driver who ends up killing a woman, a woman who turns out to be Ella. To make things even more twisted, for the first time ever, the person Lou jumped into wasn’t a nobody drifting through life with no ambition. He had a girlfriend. This wasn’t just some poor schmuck that was gonna get hurt; his girlfriend was going to lose her boyfriend. This sets the tone for a new level of understanding as a theme of being a better person is starting to unfold especially after Lou realizes that the couple aren’t exactly doing well. Knowing full well he is going to die soon, Lou quits work and makes her breakfast so she can have one more warm memory (Awww). Issue two proved to be even more entertaining as once again Ella and Lou are two new people and the search has begun once again as the two find they are more closely connected than ever before. Perhaps fate does have a happy ending in store for Lou after all. Big pat on the back to Santos who really brings the heat with each and every image of death and strain of heartache. Read this series! Worth your time! –Nick Furious
JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY #640 (Marvel Comics)
Every month Kieron Gillen gives us a new issue of this series and every month it continues to be one of the most entertaining series on the stands today. This is what a super hero comic book should be!
Loki is now working with the inhabitants of Otherworld in their attempt to keep the evil Manchester Gods at bay. Through his own machinations, as well as the enlisting of Hellstrom (giving us one of the best bits of dialogue in this series’ short history, and I’ll share that bit at the end of this week’s column.). The problem is while Loki is working to get in good with the enemy he begins to learn more about the entire situation and realizes that not everything is as it seems. Could it be the ultimate trickster has himself been tricked? What exactly is going on here? We’re going to learn more in the next issue or two but considering that this story leads into the upcoming “Everything Burns” story that crosses over with Matt Fraction’s The Mighty Thor it may certainly be something more than we expect. If you’re curious about how this book is, the tone of it and such, all you need to do is read the first page recap in any issue. It’s totally entertaining and funny but does tell you what you need to know about the series.
This is yet another fantastic story that makes me think Loki might be really getting into something he may not be able to handle and the upcoming story makes me wonder if one of his biggest schemes may be coming to burn him: He freed Surtur during Fear Itself… –Skott Jimenez
MEMORIAL #6 (IDW Publishing)
Sometimes it just doesn’t help to read a random issue of a series that clearly has a very large story in mind. Memorial by Chris Roberson and Rich Ellis is one of those books. The story deals with three sisters who, at one time, were guardians of a certain Garden but were separated as reality began to develop things like memory and imagination which separated the three sisters.
This issue features the run-down of all this, which is nice because the story seems large in scope so knowing some of the back story helped a lot, such as the confrontation of two of the sisters.
There is certainly a lot going on in this series. I think fans of books like Fables might enjoy it, I say this because I’m a fan of Fables and I actually kind of liked this issue. I liked it enough to consider getting the first trade when it’s released, something I never considered before as I totally overlooked this series.
Memorial features a story large in scope and impact, something that doesn’t seem to happen much in comics anymore, as art that is lively and solid. Even Grace Allison’s colors are bright and involving. Overall, an entertaining, if not slightly confusing, read. Certainly giving enough of a tease to make me want to come back for more! –Skott Jimenez
RESET #3 (Dark Horse Comics)
As I have said before Reset #1 was a very refreshing taste of entertaining as it had its funny moments and its sympathetic moments. As issue #2 failed to keep my interest in the series I couldn’t help but remember how good issue #1 was, I had to give it another chance. This issue is not nearly as dreadful as #2 but it comes damn close. Bagge was off to such a great start but it is slowly losing all of its flavor as this issue not only pushed the envelope of government conspiracy and deeper elements about what kind of work is being done. The characters are constantly screaming about things. I don’t really understand why everyone gets so angry all the time. The comedy is almost gone and the jokes that are there fall very flat and I just feel bad for them. They deserve better. I still love the character of Guy but I no longer care about him as he has been too much of a pushover and just getting kicked around. Reset #3 proved one thing though, if the second issue is highly disappointing odds are three won’t be much better. I wanted to love this series. I enjoy the smart writing, but the artwork is too goofy for something that is going down such a serious road. I see so much potential in Bagge I will definitely be checking out future projects and hoping he has found his niche. Good luck Bagge, this wasn’t a home run but you are seem confident at the plate and good things are coming. –Nick Furious
TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES MICRO-SERIES #5: SPLINTER (IDW Publishing)
The Micro-Series continues! This issue focuses on Splinter and takes place during Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #11 but, as it says inside the front cover, you can read either one first. The main story is about Splinter fighting for his life against The Foot while turning to his previous life as Hamato Yoshi to gain the insight he feels he needs to center his emotions and win the fight without dying or killing anyone in the process. While much of this was covered in a previous issue of the regular series, it does expand in that we see how Yoshi met Teng Shen, who would become his wife and mother to his four sons.
It’s a very personal tale that adds a lot to the Splinter character showing while he may seem calm on the surface, there are more emotions inside him and in this story we learn about all that. Plus you get the long-awaited confrontation with his long time nemesis now going by the name Shredder! I can only think this somehow leads into TMNT #11!
The art is fantastic as well and fits the story perfectly. If you’ve ever wanted to learn more about Splinter’s past, and it’s an interesting one, then this is the issue you need to grab! -Skott Jimenez
THE WALKING DEAD #99 (Image/Skybound)
What can I say? We are on the edge of history and something (or someone) major is coming that will impact everyone. This doesn’t feel like the filler issue we normally get before the big one comes out.
Here is what I can tell you all without giving away too much: Rick is taking a group to the Hilltop to see if they can help with Nagan’s group who attacked them in the last issue. Glenn and Maggie make a major decision that will change the book. Andrea is also making some changes in her life, mostly wanting to be closer to someone else. It’s some very interesting things that do change the complexion of the series.
Next up is The Walking Dead #100! Rick leaves the Community less defended at a time when it may need all the help it can get and some very nasty things, according to writer Robert Kirkman, are in store for us next month. The stage is set, the players are all in their place. The questions now are who survives #100 and what will be left of them? The Something To Fear story is what you all should be reading if you want to fully enjoy #100 and feel the full impact. Long time readers are in for a few surprises, apparently, and it will be interesting to see what this book is like when #101 comes out in August. -Skott Jimenez
…And now, as promised, the panels from Journey Into Mystery #640:
And that wraps up another week! Let us know what you think about these books. Do you agree with our Bullets? Disagree? Now’s your chance to speak up! We have that comment section below just for that reason, you know.
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