It’s Tuesday. Around here we know it’s Bullet Reviews Day as we take a look as some of the industry’s recent releases and see if maybe something might be worth trying this week. New books are always a good idea! This week: Amazing Spider-Man #691, Avengers #29, Avengers Academy #39, not one but TWO Bullets for Captain Marvel #2, Deadpool Kills The Marvel Universe #3, Hawkeye #1, and The Walking Dead #101:
AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #691 (Marvel Comics)
No Turning Back Concludes! It’s nice that The Lizard now has two really good stories to his name. After turning many of Horizon’s brightest into lizards, the original Lizard is losing himself within his own humanity and struggles to regain control. Ultimately, he loses and Connors regains some control of his mind, though we aren’t told how much. There is enough of Connors in there to understand the pain and damage he’s caused and that he deserves to be in prison. But with his new look and mind I have to admit I’m very much looking forward to seeing The Lizard again! Writer Dan Slott has finally given The Lizard something he’s never had before: pathos. The Lizard is once again Dr. Connors but instead of being able to make amends for his many crimes, including eating his own son, he’s trapped in The Lizard’s form and doesn’t feel as though he’s worth getting pity or sympathy from anyone. He’s all alone and while his form may be in an actual prison, his mind and soul are in a much worse prison.
Also in this issue we find the Kingpin getting closer to reaching his goals, but we just haven’t fully realized what those goals are but they won’t be good for Spider-Man and Horizon, that’s for sure. It may also not be good for someone else as the Hobgoblin is beginning to feel threatened in his position as Kingpin’s right hand guy. But Hobby will have problems of his own when the ORIGINAL Hobgoblin learns what he did and decides to set things right!
Finally, I can’t end this without pointing out that this issue has one of the best covers this book has showcased this year! I just can’t stop looking at it!-Skott Jimenez
AVENGERS #29 (Marvel Comics)
Brian Michael Bendis can write dialog that is so realistic, it’s scary. His dialog is so character based and so situational, the character almost evolves before our very eyes. A friend of mine said no one does dialog quite like Bendis and to be honest with you I think I completely agree. Spider-Woman (Jessica Drew) thinks if the Avengers take out the X-Men’s telepaths then the war will be more even. No one will see them coming. The X-Men might not be a step ahead all the damn time. Wolverine comes out of his dark corner to explain Rachel is the one they need to grab and Wolverine is gonna be the one to lure her out. During this mission someone else is talking to Logan telepathically, that man is eventually revealed to be Charles Xavier. While Rachel does fall for the trap she also has a moment of reconciliation as Professor X explains to her this fight is not against her father or any mutant, but on behalf of humanity. While the mission was on its way to being a success, Namor happens to be waiting in the wings and takes out the Avengers. But he is no match for Charles Xavier. Charles wipes out everyone. Well except Spider-Woman who has psychic shielding. But with Rachel taken out the Avengers might have a fighting chance of not only a surprise attack but changing some mutant minds. -Nick Furious
AVENGERS ACADEMY #35 (Marvel Comics)
Very few villains have come to be considered so entertaining as Jeremy Briggs. The kid is the definition of douche bag. Think Carson Daily meets Craig Kilborn, and THAT is the kind of douche we are talking about. In the four-part series of Final Exam (this being part 2) Briggs has figured out a way how to depower all of our young heroes. Backtracking a little bit, this act comes off as kind as Mettle and Hazmat have never gotten to feel one another and for the first time they can. Jeremy Briggs has fixed them. But Briggs is never what he seems. Briggs explains that he plans to take away all powers and hand them back as he sees fit. You have to earn your powers back. Prove you are willing to do good. Jeremy recruits the Avengers Academy because he knows The Avengers are gonna have something to say about this. But the beauty is Thor, Iron Man, Hawkeye, etc. won’t be affected by this cure. So they will try to stop him, but the young heroes will defend his cause. While Jouston and his silly Sentinel are so ridiculous I find it hard to read, this story has the ability to really pull in some new readers who haven’t been too keen on reading Avengers Academy. Avengers Academy is one of Marvels most underrated books. Be sure to check it out. -Nick Furious
CAPTAIN MARVEL #2 (Marvel Comics)
1) While the cover artwork for Captain Marvel is seriously disappointing the artwork on the inside is fantastic. Dexter Soy is quickly becoming one of my favorite artists as every page is so detailed I can’t help but be intrigued. But enough of my drooling over the artwork (the entire reason I picked up this book to begin with), lets talk about the story. While Kelly Sue DeConnick had me slightly entertained with issue one, this issue blows it out of the water. Carol Danvers being the hot-headed bad ass she is decides she can beat some record- you know all of this doesn’t even matter because Carol crashes and lands in 1943. No you read that right, 1943. Anyways so this group of female fighters is taking on some supernatural or alien force not sure which one yet, but Danvers remembers Cap saying something along the lines of don’t mess up time. But Carol Danvers wouldn’t be who she was by following the rules. No Carol shows off her powers in 1943 and saves the day. Even though Captain Marvel still doesn’t sound right when talking about Carol Danvers, I’m hoping this series has the balls to change my mind. Off to a fantastic start. Nick Furious
2) Issue one had a languid pace and not much story, just like this one, but I rolled with it because it was establishing character and themes. Here, Captain Marvel hits a sophomore slump as DeConnick devotes the first four pages to the back story of Carol Danvers’ aviation hero before hurling into a WWII time-travel story (already?). Soy has a few interesting layouts–particularly a spread of Carol flying an old plane, with the plane drawing the eye towards a massive pyramid formation of panels that takes up most of the page–but forgets Captain Marvel’s costume lets her breathe in space when she hits turbulence. The whole thing’s functional but inconsequential, paying lip service to feminist ideals but no more, like the team was told by Steve Wacker, “Make it for women BUT NOT TOO MUCH!”
Keeping with Marvel’s edict that this is their female superhero title, because comics fans will only support one per publisher, part of the Captain’s jaunt into America’s favoritest war (Ed McGuinness’ cover is a Rosie the Riveter homage, of course) includes meeting an all-women version of the Howling Commandos as they fight the Japanese on one of those sci-fi islands that populate Earth in the Marvel universe. We don’t get to know them much before one gets shot by a floating mountain thing while Captain Marvel ponders whether or not she should risk Sound of Thunder damage to the timestream by, you know, blowing the murder machine to smithereens, but they’re visually distinctive and pleasant ladies who have the part of commandos down pat. Marvel may look to make a spinoff devoted to them. That is, if they’ve got room next to their billion Avengers titles and don’t mind DeConnick writing an actual story instead of fluff. -Andrew Taylor
DEADPOOL KILLS THE MARVEL UNIVERSE #3 (Marvel Comics)
It’s no secret that I’ve been enjoying this series since it started. It’s also been entertaining reviewing a weekly comic in this column. But this week I’m going to take a look at the art of this book because Deadpool creator Rob Liefeld has apparently made his feelings known that Marvel only ever puts “D-list talent” on Deadpool books. The artist for this specific series is Dalibor Talajic. It’s my humble opinion that Talajic’s art, unlike Liefeld’s, looks better with the lights on while Liefeld’s seems to look better in the dark. Now, I’ll bet some are saying that this is childish and you’re right. It’s even more childish for someone who’s art style hasn’t changed or improved in 20 years to run down the talents Marvel uses on any of their books. Liefeld has never been one of my favorite artists. I like him so little that his recent destruction of DC’s Lobo has become the first, and only, books featuring the character that I never want infesting my comics collection. Talajic’s art on this book, and others including issues of X-Men and The Incredible Hulk, is fantastic. It matches the tone of the story perfectly, heck, I’d love to see this guy do a Marvel Zombies book! Can we do that, Marvel? I love D-List Talent on my favorite books! I know the next book he’s working on is going to be an adaptation of Dexter, America’s favorite serial killer. Top that, Liefeld.
So, fantastic art aside, this issue features the dead bodies of Venom, Multiple Man, Green Goblin and the apparent death of Power Pack. Yes, Deadpool is so gone he’s killed kids. This really gets Taskmaster going and while he’s searching for ‘Pool, the Merc with a Mouth is torturing Prof. X and killing off more X-Men. We also get more clues that lead me to think that this Deadpool has finally figured out the Marvel characters don’t lead their own lives but are being written in specific ways. The final issue of this book will be very interesting! -Skott Jimenez
HAWKEYE #1 (Marvel Comics)
While the artwork didn’t exactly grab my attention I have to commend David Aja on doing something very… different. It’s like you are reading a Hawkeye story straight out of the funny pages in the newspaper. But don’t worry this series isn’t funny, it’s about how being an Avenger doesn’t mean you live the good life 24/7. It’s about having to take cabs when you don’t have the ability to fly or you aren’t the most recognized face in the Avengers line-up. While Matt Fraction doesn’t exactly write the most interesting dialog the concept carries the book alone. This isn’t a Hawkeye book, even though I am pretty damn sure that was what I read on the front cover. No this book should have been titled Clint Barton ‘More Than Just A Man’. The story isn’t clever or dramatic it just shows how much heart Clint Barton really has. The most sarcastic Avenger shows what it takes to have guts as he gets put in a hospital and in a wheelchair only to walk out days later. The kid has guts. Seeing where Clint lives was kind of a shocker considering he is an Avenger. But by the end of the book he made it apparent he definitely has money he just doesn’t live the rock star life by any means. Tony Stark would be disappointed. But Steve Rogers would idolize it. Who would you rather make happy? That’s what I thought. Hawkeye is definitely a series I will continue to read as the character depth it gives Clint is just heartwarming especially since Clint usually doesn’t have a nice thing to say. Ever. It was a nice change-up for such a rugged guy to show exactly why he is a key member of the Avengers. -Nick Furious
THE WALKING DEAD #101 (Image/Skybound)
Something To Fear, Part 5 There really isn’t much to say about this issue. It’s the fall out of last issues shocking beating death of a long time character as well as the violent lashing out of the survivors. Negan is certainly making his mark on this series in a big way.
While Rick’s journey to The Hilltop was a total disaster, we do see something surprising from Carl. Well, maybe no so surprising considering his body count but it’s one of the rare moments where he takes a stand and is willing to protect his father from harm. We know what he’s willing to do to protect someone he loves. I wouldn’t be surprised if Carl is the one who puts Negan down when this is all said and done.
The Community fares a bit better from the attack of Negan’s men, they even end up with a ‘guest’! Can they use this guy as a way to stay off further violence or are we destined to have more loss of life because both Negan and Rick are strong-willed and long time leaders of their respective groups. With the loss we’ve already had, it isn’t hard to think that we may lose one or both of these leaders by the time this whole situation comes to an end.
What we have here is proof that even after 100 issues, The Walking Dead has not shown signs of fading away into comics history. Unlike the zombies in the book, it still has a long life ahead of it. Also? I love that the book isn’t being changed to match the hit TV series. Another publisher would have thought changing the established story to match a movie or TV show would be a Marvelous idea. -Skott Jimenez
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.