Bullet Reviews! Each week we offer a series of quick reviews of recently released comics. Having a small week? Then check out some of these books and, who knows, you might end up with a new favorite series! This week’s Bullets cover Carnage USA #1, Godzilla Legends #2, the Hack/Slash Annual #3, Journey Into Mystery #632, Theory Of Everything and The Walking Dead #92!
CARNAGE USA #1 (Marvel)
Ever since Crain and Wells brought us their mini last earlier this year, I have been dying (no pun intended) to know what is happening with our favorite psycho-symbiote. And we finally get to find out as Cletus Cassidy and Carnage rain down terror on middle America and the Avengers have to deal with the threat. As the team runs in, guns blazing, Spidey can’t afford to be overconfident. All I can say is that this issue has brought back the sadistic nature of Marvel comics that reigned in the 90′s. Yet that in and of itself was somehow strangely refreshing. The story is compelling, the art is phenomenal, and the best part is that the book is a monthly series! (Last time we saw our favorite villain, we had to wait every two months!!) So fasten your seat belts and hold on for dear life! -The Andy Kirby
GODZILLA LEGENDS #2 (IDW)
The Legends miniseries continues! This month we focus on Rodan and it is a departure from the previous issue and the Kingdom Of Monsters series in general. What I mean is this issue seems to focus more on humans than on the monsters. It’s an interesting change of pace but that doesn’t mean the monster is ignored. The story follows an egg of Rodan that ends up on military base in 2007. Rodan shows up and destroys a lot of stuff before we move forward to 2011 and the egg is still on base and is being studied. The powers that be have decided to destroy the egg because Rodan has been around and attacking the area searching for it, scientist Dr. Holder wants to keep the egg for study but things don’t go his way. We also learn about Holder’s son, Ethan, who is tormented in school, bullied everyday. Towards the end, it’s father and son who steal the egg in hopes of protecting it but young Ethan has other plans. He intends to use the egg to attract Rodan and have the beast destroy his tormentors. The military shows up; apparently the whole thing was a set up to draw Rodan into a place where he can be destroyed! When it all comes to a head, we get an interesting look at the situation from Ethan’s perspective: to him the military are bullies and Rodan is the victim. All he wants is his egg back! We wrap this chapter up with the egg hatching and Rodan taking it, and Ethan who jumps on the monster, away from the city. This was a nice change of pace, as I said, giving another perspective of the monster attack on humanity. I’ve seen some people throw a fit over this but to this G-Fan it was nice. We can’t have nothing but monster fights, we have to actually have a story here, right? -Skott Jimenez
HACK/SLASH ANNUAL #3 (Image)
There is only one reason why I picked this up: Victor Crowley, the killer from the 80′s homage movie Hatchet. Cassie and Vlad end up in New Orleans on the trail of a slasher they intend to do away with and end up getting involved in a rather nasty revenge scheme. Years ago Victor attacked a group of rich kids, ripping one of the girls apart while the others fled for their lives. The girl survived, losing both legs and an arm, and used her family’s wealth to set up a fake swamp in the city in order to use Victor to get revenge on her friends for her. She converted the Hyperdome, the sports stadium that was damaged in Hurricane Katrina, into Victor’s swamp and put her former friends in with him. She also contacted Cassie and Vlad in order to use them to kill Victor after he was done killing so her revenge would, in her mind, be complete. The story is fun, a lot going on but the pacing is just good enough that the whole thing doesn’t become a train wreck. I enjoyed how it pulled from the Hatchet movie as well as adding something to the mythos of the character. I’m not a regular reader of Hack/Slash and I have to say I was glad to see how easily it was to get into this story. All you need to know is the very basics of the series: Cassie Hack was the victim of a slasher and now she and her partner Vlad hunt and kill slashers all over the place. This was a very fun read and if you’re a fan of the Hatchet movies then you should certainly jump on this one! -Skott Jimenez
JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY #632 (Marvel)
It’s Christmas time in the Marvel Universe and the remaining Asgardians are planning to celebrate it with the humans of Broxton in an attempt to help them cope with the recent Fear Itself event (wish they could do something like that for the rest of us). And while they get Volstagg to play the role of Santa Claus, this story again focuses on young Loki and the rather interesting gift he receives: a box of Hel-Wolf puppies! Some are alright but they are destructive and the All-Mother who now rules Asgardia instructs Loki to get rid of them…or kill them. So, he goes on a quest to find homes rather than kill them and some of his solutions are witty and others are humorous but it ends up coming down to one pup, the most vocal and nasty of them, and Loki’s solution means we might have another character in this series.
JiM continues to be one of the most entertaining books Marvel is publishing today. A grand mix of fantasy, humor and action that you don’t see in comics very often. This book is still on my HIGHLY recommended list! -Skott Jimenez
THEORY OF EVERYTHING (Top Cow Pilot Season)
So I don’t read much of anything except Marvel. So sue me, right? I know what I like. And I’m afraid that this book is a good example of why I don’t branch out that often. To be honest the writing wasn’t that bad and the art was pretty good–but the premise? It was tired. Think Jet Li’s “The One” without karate and with some phase jumping in the middle of a fight (which doesn’t translate that well in comic form) and you got this book. I mean, there is literally nothing else I can say that will make the story any clearer. A down-and-out scientist has some tech “stolen” from him and is tapped by the government to find out what’s going on. The tech is dimension-jumping technology and it wasn’t really stolen. But rest assured, the scientist is not long for this world as his alternate personage is out to kill him. Sadly, I’ve just grown too used to this….but somehow it seems like a good idea over at Nick Spencer’s “Infinite Vacation.” -The Andy Kirby
THE WALKING DEAD #92 (Image)
Who is the mysterious guy watching the Community? Turns out he calls himself Jesus and is from a neighboring group of survivors and is claiming to want to set up a trade relationship with Rick’s group. Is he on the up and up? And to further throw a wrench in Rick’s world view: There is at least 2 other groups of survivors in the area! But now we have to go through the old situation of are these people good people or are they more psychos who will do more harm than good to our cast? We’ve had some time to rest and recover from the recent events of the No Way Out storyline which means we might be getting ready for some major changes and big action.
This means things are going to be changing in a major way for The Walking Dead as creator/writer Robert Kirkman brings his series to its historic 100th issue! -Skott Jimenez