All-New 52 Bullet Reviews #1.NOW!
Hey, it’s been a while, right? I kind of feel like Peter Parker getting his life back after being replaced by Otto for months. So much has changed here at Comic Booked and there are so many new faces on staff it’s crazy and that means we have to have an All-New Bullet Reviews #1! The rules here are the same, though: we will be talking about various books released in the last few weeks. Books that should all still be available at your LCS and while not all our reviews will be positive we always encourage you to check out these and other books to form your own opinion. Heck, check these books out and let US know what YOU think in the comments section below and, as always, share Bullet Reviews EVERYWHERE!!! So, let’s see if we can still do this, right (and, no, we aren’t reviewing 52 different books. That’s in the title just for fun)?
AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #2 (Marvel)
Let me begin this new Bullet Reviews #1 by saying I LOVED Superior Spider-Man. It was the most exciting and original run, in my opinion, in recent Spider-Man history. I knew it was going to end but I was still sad to see it go. Amazing was welcomed back but the numbering annoyed me. Yeah, I’m a guy who loves higher numbers on books that should have them and get annoyed with how both Marvel and DC have trained readers to think higher numbers mean they can’t start reading a book. They are wrong and it’s insulting to think that’s true. Stupid gimmick renumbering aside… how is the return of Peter Parker? Well, pretty darn exciting! Otto may have left a better man after living as Peter but he left Peter’s life in a bit of a mess. Peter is now Dr. Parker, he has a ‘fun size’ girlfriend and heads his own corporation. This issue features Electro (because he’s in a movie as an electric Smurf) and focuses on his powers going massively haywire probably because of Otto’s tampering with him in the Superior Spider-Man Team-Up series. Electro destroyed a prison last issue, freeing who knows how many villains, and can’t seem to control himself anymore and blames Spider-Man. After their fight Peter comes up with a great idea to fix this problem. Sadly he has another problem on the horizon as we get to enjoy the mistake of ret-conning the classic, and cemented, origin of Spider-Man. I don’t agree with this and I’ll go on record saying I hate the whole idea of this other person being bit by that spider… just plain stupid.
Probably the best thing here is even with the main character essentially being different (or the way he used to be) there is enough change so that the stories and action will continue to be fresh and new yet the book still feels like Amazing Spider-Man. I can honestly say there are many reasons why Spider-Man is Marvel’s ‘go-to’ hero and Dan Slott continues to give us more and more reasons. Sucks we had to start over with yet another *yawn* #1 issue (Marvel’s Axel Alonso referred to it as a milestone… how the THIRD #1 issue is a milestone and #701 isn’t is beyond me but whatever) but even that bad idea doesn’t detract from the fact the word ‘Amazing’ is on the cover of this comic book for a reason. -Skott Jimenez
ASH AND THE ARMY OF DARKNESS #6 (Dynamite)
Steve Niles and Nacho Tenorio bring us the next issue in the continuing story of Ash as he battles the forces of the Necronomicon. This series has been pretty cool as a reboot from the end of the film Army of Darkness. In this issue, Ash gets a new attachment for his gauntlet, a sword to replace his missing hand. Ash has a flashback to an early childhood memory which is sure to play a part in things going forward. As the story progresses, Sheila, now Deadite Sheila, again, is looking for a new husband and is trying to build one from parts. Meanwhile, Ash is looking for her and meets the group of monks who worship him. They help him, feed him, and send him off to meet a witch, but they are really under thrall to the Deadites. Who knows what danger and craziness Ash may find with the witch. Steve Niles kills it with this new story continuing an awesome movie. – Aaron Clutter
ASH AND THE ARMY OF DARKNESS #7 (Dynamite)
Next to the last book in this series. Things are getting pretty dicey for Ash. First, having met the witch in the grove and talking with her for a while, she helps Ash remember a time when he was a child and met a Deadite. The problem is that he may not have really met her, but instead someone may be screwing with his timeline. She gives him some secret words to say that can only ever be uttered three times before a being is summoned that is so terrible he could spell the end for all mankind… “Faceless Man”. Of course Ash says the words twice, despite being warned against it. Now he only has one more chance to stop the world from ending. Meanwhile, Deadite Sheila has created her new and improved husband and, as Ash rides away from the grove, he is setup by Deadites and knocked unconscious by the big lug. What will happen? Will Ash save the day as always? Or, more likely, will he find a way to ultimately screw things up and instead cinch the game for the followers of the Necronomicon? Steve Niles will tell us in the final issue, coming in June. – Aaron Clutter
CITY: MIND IN THE MACHINE #3 (IDW)
This series has been really interested. A special security system has been installed in San Francisco, Golden Shield, but it needed that human component. The lead programmer just happened to be involved in a terrorist bombing that blinded him and made it possible for his eyes to be replaced with a fully functioning interface to Golden Shield. He can now see everything using traffic cameras, cell phones, computers, anything. The problem is that he is human and therefore not entirely controllable. He begins to find out that the same government that has made all this possible may have also set him up to be blinded in the first place. Now he is being hunted and the government bad guy is greeting ready to launch Golden Shield Phase Two, a program that will give ultimate control into the worst hands. I love the art and story of this book. Written by Eric Garcia with amazing art by Drew Moss and Mark Englert, City: Mind in the Machine is a must read for fans of science fiction thrillers. -Aaron Clutter
DEADPOOL VS. CARNAGE #3 (Marvel)
I’m still enjoying these Deadpool miniseries more than the Deadpool ongoing, I still can’t get over how horrible those first few issues were, and this one just gets bigger and more insane. The inner workings of Deadpool’s… ‘mind’ get more attention in this series as we find the sanity in his insanity. To paraphrase the old saying with Deadpool there is a madness to his methods. He gets signs from the universe that help guide him to the places he needs to be and show him what he needs to do. The universe apparently told him he needs to take out Carnage and that gives us a series that shows us how many times Deadpool can be torn to shreds in any single issue and still end the book alive, or in this case alive and covered in symbiot. Yeah, this book is all kinds of messed up but what do you expect when two of the most unhinged characters in the Marvel Universe face off in an ‘I’m more insane that you are’ contest. Honestly, I’m surprised Marvel didn’t take it to the next level and have these nuts fight through various Marvel books just because this seemed like the perfect book to through the logic of comics out the window with. Yeah, I know I’m not saying too much about what actually happens in this issue but that’s mostly because there are things going on here are best seen and read rather than read about. Fans of both of these character should be checking this out, it’s more fun than when Carnage and The Joker got together and took on Spider-Man and Batman. -Skott Jimenez
EAST OF WEST #12 (Image)
When I look at East of West #12, I see bigger opportunities to explore political intrigue, backstabbing, and wars played out with intricate maneuvers than almost anything in real life (I’m trying not to employ the use of the word Machiavellian because its connotations are much bigger than seemingly intricate or cunning, treacherous political maneuvers). East of West #12 doles out an interesting political battle of words because the world-building is highly intricate and developed to the point where you can actually care about the things the characters say, and know how it plays into their already established characterization. Everybody takes a different stance. Everybody has a different reaction to Xiaolian’s declaration of war. Initially however, peace is maintained. Others have things to benefit from war while others are at a loss. This is where Dragotta’s playing with perspective really counts in the art. They all sit at a round table, implying a level of equality, but in actuality each page highlights a separate character and the roles they may possibly play in this. Even though it’s mostly a talking heads issue, both Hickman and Dragotta play a part in making the talking extremely fun to read. Dragotta’s mastery of body language and facial expressions while still keeping a cartoonish, hyperbolic exaggeration to everything, combined with Hickman’s sharp, clever dialogue writing makes the interactions between everyone all the more fun. Martin’s coloring is pretty standard in this issue, but it does complement Dragotta’s pencils and inks. The real fun both of them seem to have is the Invincible-esque gore in the latter 3rd of the story, where heads literally explode. It’s extremely playful and stylized, but sacrifices none of the tension being built up to it. East of West #12 is an exercise in showing that major plot progression can happen even at a slow pace, and that an issue full of politicians doling out personal politics can be narratively interesting and filled with tension. -Julien Loeper
THE FIELD #2 (Image)
For a series that was already stepping up to the fringe, I’m still not sure how to feel about it. The entire time loop theory has been reinforced, and there have been more instances of unnecessary brutality. The first mystery has given way to a team of time fighters, and it is this, more than anything, that makes me wonder if this is a story heading down the same trail that Garth Ennis has blazed with his taboo comics, or if this title cannot find its own tone. There is something endearing about the title, though, with it’s odd sects of people who seem to understand what is going on, and all of the people who want it stopped. The waitress’ knowledge and rage about her friend’s daily killing spree and the man in the bathroom who has been trying to help the protagonist with instructions sent to him via texts. The Smoke-Eaters, the biker gang that is entirely too focused on killing him, make a great threat, but even they haven’t stood out as the antagonist of the book. Oddly, the man protecting him has acted more villainous than anyone else in the title, bar none. The most surprising secrets, the ones that have yet to be answered are still prominent in the full range of the narrative. Why do the Smoke-Eaters hate him? How, exactly, does everything reset, if not with the source’s death? Does everyone know that the day keeps repeating itself like Ground Hog Day? Hopefully, all of these answers will add a much-needed level of depth to a story that kind of feels like a bunch of things sliding around on a slick chaotic surface. Don’t give up on Field just yet, intrepid reader, I have a feeling it will be worth the wait. -David Hinspeter
MARS ATTACKS: FIRST BORN #1 (IDW)
The first issue of a new miniseries featuring everyone’s favorite mass-murdering Martians is written by IDW’s Chris Ryall and drawn by the always Maxx‘d out Sam Kieth. This time around we pick up the pieces after the Martian attacks have left earth, and mankind, devastated. We follow survivors Claire, a young girl, and her Uncle Woody. Claire is a little bit of a different sort of child, sadly she went blind during the Martian attack but she still cares for a baby… a Martian baby. Woody tries to keep them both safe and cared for in the bunker under his house but things are getting more and more difficult as a giant Martian ship keeps coming back and hovering over the house. Everything comes apart when the Martians take Uncle Woody. I think IDW finally found a formula that will work for the Mars Attacks franchise. Ongoing series simply don’t work because you will always lose your main characters and it’s difficult having a series where the only ones who stick around are the baddest of the bad guys. I enjoyed the last ongoing but it was only a matter of time before it got stale. This format, I think, will work. We can get glimpses of people’s lives and if they survive then maybe they can pop up in another story. But for this story I think it’s a lot of fun. I’ve waited a long time to see Kieth draw a Mars Attacks story, I’ve gotten some covers from the last run that he did, and I wasn’t disappointed. Though I have to admit I didn’t get his cover for this issue, I simply couldn’t resist the EC Comics Wally Wood homage cover. I love EC covers. -Skott Jimenez