Another week and another round, let’s look at some more books in All-New Bullet Reviews #3 then head to your LCS tomorrow and check them out!
BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA #1 (Boom!)
This is the one fans of the movie have been waiting for. Yeah, we’ve always wanted a true movie sequel but that’s probably never going to happen. Most likely, and considering the lack of originality in Hollywood these days we’d most likely get a *choke* remake before a sequel. Personally, I’m sick of remakes and just won’t watch them. This book, however, is not so much a sequel but a continuation of the movie. It picks up directly after the ending of the film with Jack Burton driving his truck the Porkchop Express and finally sees that he has a stowaway: the giant furry monster with a hell of an under bite.
From there we learn exactly what the monster is and why he’s after Jack. We also discover the demise of the movie’s main bad guy is leading to even more trouble for Jack and crew, even interrupting a wedding, so there will be no lack of fun and adventure in this book.
I was trying to think of something that I didn’t like about the book but, honestly, other than it being $3.99 I can’t think of a single thing. It’s very apparent that John Carpenter is working fairly close with writer Eric Powell because when Jack goes on his monologues I could hear Kurt Russell’s voice and tone as I read it. Proof that you don’t have to be a cancelled TV series to live on in comics (though I’m still waiting for The Adventures Of Brisco County, Jr. to get picked up by someone), especially if you have the right creative team on board. I only expected to check out the first issue but after reading this one… I’m riding the Porkchop Express to the bitter end. -Skott Jimenez
FIVE GHOSTS #12 (Image)
The conclusion of the “Lost Coastlines” story brings things nicely to a close. As expected from a book that wears its pulp influences on its sleeves, the good guys overcome all challenges and win the day. That’s not to say that it isn’t fun to watch. Our main character, Fabian Gray, is trapped on the Island of Dreams. He and his companions have been captured by a witch who threatens to end them all unless he can defeat her champion, Caliban. The catch: Caliban is actually Fabian’s former ally and mentor, Asif! It’s a battle to the death, and things look dire when Caliban strikes a mortal blow. Calling upon the aspect of the Vampire (one of five “ghosts” that Fabian can summon), he is able to surprise Caliban and win the fight. To the victor go the spoils, and Fabian is given the option of two prizes: save his friends, or the life of his sister, which is what he’s been fighting for since the series began. Fabian makes the hard choice, ensuring that his quest will continue.
Frank Barbiere once again gives us a rousing adventure tale that would feel right at home alongside the works of Robert E. Howard. Pirates, ghosts, mysterious islands, Five Ghosts has it all. The art by Chris Mooneyham is so perfect for this book. It’s just rough enough to give the feel of world-weary travelers that have seen their fair share of hardship, while having enough detail to give a feel for the world they are in. The flashbacks in this issue are differentiated by rougher, unfinished looking pencil art that is sort of washed out, which looks pretty cool. While this book doesn’t delve into deep philosophical issues, and probably won’t change your world purview, it’s extremely entertaining, and sometimes that’s hard to come by. -Newell Turner
JOAN OF ARC #0 (Big Dog Ink)
Tom Hutchison writes this zero issue lead in to a new series from Big Dog Ink. Joan of Arc, one of the most well-known female heroines of the Middle Ages, makes the transition from the pages of history to her own comic series. Having gone to Heaven after being burned at the stake, she is not granted wings or a halo. She sets about creating her own and, 600 years later, she begins her adventures to prove to God that she deserves them. In this series, she will be fighting against otherworldly beings, both friend and foe, to protect the Ark of the Covenant, and the precious relics inside. There is some beautiful artwork From Cory Hamscher and amazing colors from Omi Remalane, Jr. -Aaron Clutter
NAILBITER #1 (Image)
Image seems set to take readers on a journey through the mind of a serial killer with this ambitious and dark new title. The title character is introduced to the reader immediately, providing the gruesome back story to how the killer, who is suspected of more than 40 killings, earned his freakish nickname. From there, the story is laid out very well for a first issue, giving the reader plenty to think about and leaving multiple avenues for the story to follow. An officer, Elliot Carroll, who is obsessed with serial killings and the town of Buckaroo, Oregon, goes missing after seemingly solving the puzzle that has haunted him. He manages to make a phone call to his friend, Officer Nicholas Finch, and convinces him to make the trip to Buckaroo just before he goes missing. Along the way, readers are introduced to another one of the sixteen serial killers to have come from Buckaroo, a man who is building a tourist trap of a retail store for the attention the town is gaining, a local sheriff that was working with Carroll and a few youngsters from the town. In addition, the writer drops just enough hints about the major characters to leave the reader wanting to learn more about the past. The book gives fans enough to come back for, dropping a few hints as to the identities of a few of the locals and leaving readers with a panel that begs them to assume the worst. Image may just be on to something with this new title. -Bill Ivie, Jr.
SUPERIOR FOES OF SPIDER-MAN #12 (Marvel)
What does this series have in common with Nextwave and Thor: The Mighty Avenger? They are all highly entertaining and original books that took us back to the days when comic books were the fun escapist entertainment they were meant to be. Also, they were the most entertaining and original books no one was reading. Sadly, Superior Foes seems to be faltering some with rumors of its imminent cancellation. I never understood why this happened to the fun comics but at least we get to enjoy them for a little while.
This issue of Superior Foes begins with one of my favorite covers to be put on a comic this year. I was wondering how long it would be before they started moving away from the Superior Spider-Man logo and I think it would be a good move to continue to do this in order to help it become its own thing rather than live on as a spin-off of a series that’s come to an end. Inside we find Boomerang once again putting one over on his Sinister Six and working for the Owl in an attempt to regain the lost painting of Doom. Only now he’s gotten more people working under him and that could possibly mean even more people who will be gunning for him once this is all over with. This book has everything you need for a good time: characters that you aren’t supposed to like and can’t help but hope they fail and win at the same time, there is quick wit that is hard to find these days, and some of the most entertaining art you’ll find in a Marvel Comic these days. If you’re looking for a good time then I would recommend this series. Highly! -Skott Jimenez
VAMPIRELLA #1 (Dynamite)
One of the more iconic vampires returned to the comics page in an all new ongoing series. Vampirella is working for a covert part of the church, I assume, who are charged with keeping certain supernatural elements under control. At least, that’s my impression of this. I have to admit I’ve never really read a Vampirella comic though I’ve always been interested in the character over the years. Her look and history are very interesting. This part of her history has her facing off against an old enemy and, while trying to save the life of a child, ends up needing to be saved herself.
This series has some interesting ideas in it. It was also nice to be able to enjoy the story after having not read anything previous to this while knowing that there was a lot of stuff here for long time fans. While I may not pick this up every month I certainly would be open to picking up the trades for this series. It’s a lot of fun! -Skott Jimenez