This week’s Bullet Reviews cover: Ame-Comi Girls #2, Avengers Arena #8, Evil Ernie #5, Fables #128, Fantastic Four #7, Godzilla #11, Guardians Of The Galaxy #2, It Girl & The Atomics #9, New Avengers #5, Nova #3, Supergirl #19, Uncanny Avengers #7, and Uncanny X-Men #5:
AME-COMI GIRLS #2 (DC)
This is not your average super-hero book. In fact, this is a DC book with characters we will mostly recognize except for the fact that every single one of them is female. There are no male heroes. Or villains. Yes, there are men in the series but none of them have powers… yet. The series began as a miniseries and the only reason I grabbed it was because of the writing team whom I trust to deliver strong stories all the time – Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti. This book proves that they can write just about anything when inspired – from the western era with All-Star Western, to the Bat-family as they have taken over Batwing, and their war-era books in the now-gone G.I. Combat. And let us not forget their own creator-owned projects… This title can be summed up in one word: Fun. Some people may take it as an argument to show that women cannot be powerful with men around, but you know what? It actually shows that women can be powerful – period. Some female-oriented books from DC showcase a lot of sexuality (take a look at Catwoman and the outfit Harley wears in Suicide Squad), but here we get a Harley Quinn who is so much more like her original appearance and attitude in the Batman animated series. It’s much more pleasurable. The art is anime-esque without being too anime. Yes, some of the characters are a little… endowed, but Power Girl is well-endowed no matter what universe she is in. But to see a female Robin (Carrie Kelly, no less!) and Jesse Quick in the mantle of the Flash… It’s also a series that doesn’t take existing story arcs and modify them. This is a story that is new and fresh, which is what’s nice. And the fact that they are also dealing with heroes being underage is a something I recall only the original Young Justice dealing with! Overall, it is a very fun book. Grab the trade of the miniseries and, if you liked it, start to look at this book too! -Kelly Cassidy
AVENGERS ARENA #8 (Marvel NOW!)
This book is starting to really drag. But that has to come with the territory. It isn’t filled with the most likable characters. Most of these people are Marvel rejects no one cares about, but Darkhawk and X-23 have a serious fan following not entirely sure how they got thrown into the mix but following the last issue this issue was complete garbage. Worst issue yet. Why can’t we just let Juston die? Does anyone like that guy? His creepy love of his sentinel is just sad and pathetic. I wish Pym would have just let Emma Frost destroy that thing (and Juston for that matter) back in Avengers Academy. If the next two issues don’t seriously step up, put the pedal to the metal I just don’t think I can keep getting this title. X-Men: Season One was so good, I wish Hopeless could find that passion with this series. Although the stakes keep getting higher and the characters keep dying it just isn’t make characters more likable. It’s not tugging heart-strings. There isn’t emotional turmoil like it should be. It’s just a little too tame for being a death match featuring superheroes. At this point I just don’t care if they get a happy ending or not. And I don’t think anyone else does either. -Nick Furious
EVIL ERNIE #5 (Dynamite)
There is a lot going on in this issue and it moves fast! Evil is getting his ass handed to him by Buford, his twisted father, to the point where Evil is all but destroyed! While this massacre is going on the Federal Government is contemplating nuking the prison in order to contain whatever it is going on there and we STILL have those pesky angels trying to make their voice and plans heard.
Evil also goes through a major change in this issue. After he’s taken down to little more than bones and muscle, he regenerates and is as good as new… with a few noticeable changes: First, his stomach is intact again and second, and this should make the die-hards who for some reason refused to try this book, he looks more like the original version of Evil Ernie! But the topper here is he now has the ability to resurrect the dead which means, in classic Chaos! Comics terms: He has Friendz now!
The sad thing is it seems like the next issue is going to be the final issue. The series has been an exciting and fresh new take on a classic character. Jesse Snider obviously loves the character, it shows through this story. He was able to bring Evil Ernie back, he kept just enough of the character to show us he is still Evil Ernie while adding just the right amount of new stuff to keep him fresh. My hat goes off to Snider for his willingness to do what was right with the character and I look forward to the next issue and more! -Skott Jimenez
FABLES #128 (Vertigo)
This is the one we’ve all been waiting for! Bigby shows up and decides to kill the pompous Prince Brandish, he doesn’t know that whatever he does to this jerk will happen to Snow but she isn’t willing to let on that this is the case because she wants to see Bigby beat the snot out of him like the rest of us do. It’s not an easy fight to watch because while we all want Bigby to land a good shot on this jerk it just doesn’t happen. Brandish is to fast for the wolf and begins to take him apart piece by piece before he delivers a shocking final blow. Long time fans of this series know that whenever a story is named after a specific character it never ends well for the character in question. Someone usually ends up dead but I was hoping the tradition would end with this story. It’s not looking good, though.
In the secondary story we have the former Adversary… getting married? Yeah, Beast has a scheme to keep him free, for the most part, but it’s taking a lot of work. Sadly, this story is rather small, at this moment, and not as important as what’s going on in New Fabletown with Bigby.
This story is going to go down as another large impact story, like Cubs In Toyland, adding to the more historic moments in this long running series. And of course this exciting, and sure to be controversial, issue has another absolutely amazing cover. If you are a fan of Once Upon A Time or Grimm you really should be checking this series out. It laid the groundwork for those shows and every movie featuring fairy tale characters currently being made. You’d be doing yourselves a HUGE favor if you checked this series out! -Skott Jimenez
FANTASTIC FOUR #7 (Marvel NOW!)
Gorgeous. The cover is simply brilliant. Time travel has been done more than ever before in the Marvel Universe in this new Marvel shake-up better known as the Marvel Now! but it has been done so– pristine? Yes, that is word I was looking for, but more so a delicate pristine. It may be slightly redundant but that is just how clever these writers have been with time travel. The concept of paving your own future has been done time and time again. Sometimes refurnished but the idea is still the same. So why is this so different? It’s quite elementary really;the setting pits every character just right. Matt Fraction and Mark Bagley move up another notch in my current “Best Comics On Shelves”. It was a slow start. A tedious slow start. I almost dropped the title, but things have really picked up and in a fascinating direction. If I could write any character in the entire Marvel Universe I would pick Ben Grimm. Not as the Thing. Just Ben Grimm, as Ben Grimm. Be careful with these next few issues Mr.Fraction if you plan to keep Ben as Ben for a few issues do him justice. Because there is no one in the Marvel Universe that seems to have fallen to the wayside quite like Ben Grimm. He is a remarkable character. Remember that. -Nick Furious
GODZILLA #11 (IDW)
It’s an all out monster brawl all over the Earth and the space monsters make their move and only a handful of monsters are capable of fighting them. Boxer and his remaining crew, having hijacked MechaGodzilla, head to New York City to try to stop Space Godzilla from trashing the place while Godzilla himself faces off against Hedorah in California. This part brought back one of the more.. interesting moments in Godzilla history: The infamous flying scene from the 1971 movie Godzilla Vs. Hedorah. It was something fans have either loved or hated since it happened. Now it’s happened in the comics and while I never understood why this happened in the movie it was a nice nod in the comic.
This is the culmination of the last two years worth of storied and I’m very interested to see not only how this ends but what happens next. We now know this series ends with #13 and the story picks up with Godzilla: Rulers Of Earth #1 due out in June. Now, while I hate the idea of this series constantly starting over from #1 either every year or with every new creative team, I have to say I’ve fully enjoyed what IDW has done with this franchise and I will be on board for whatever they have coming! This issue is one fans should grab, it’s got all the monster fighting action you could want! -Skott Jimenez
GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #2 (Marvel NOW!)
What is going on with this book? We have Iron Man for NO reason at all, he’s just annoying, we have a new origin for Star Lord that makes no sense and is just a mess, and we have Rocket Raccoon acting completely different from he’s ever acted before. It’s almost as if Brian Bendis either has no idea who and what the Guardians are or he just hopes we are willing to simply ignore or forget their history. I’m a fan of continuity and can’t forget what’s happened before (this is why I don’t care for the New 52. I LOVE continuity). But having said that, I’m trying my best to enjoy this book because despite the shortcomings, it has a lot of potential to be almost as good as the previous run. One thing Bendis needs to do is STOP trying to make it ‘movie material.’ The single biggest mistake they are making with this book is trying to gear it towards people who couldn’t care less about it: the movie fans. This book should focus on the continuing adventures of the Guardians within the 616 and ignore the pointless and uninteresting movie universe.
Story-wise, it doesn’t seem to be making much sense. Some of the heads of a few of the alien empires have decided that Earth is off-limits to everyone. While Asgardia doesn’t agree or go along with it, everyone else including the Badoon does. But no sooner does the meeting end than the Badoon are attacking the Earth. The Guardians (and Iron Man) come to Earth’s defense but end up under arrest for ignoring the decree. Nothing is said about the Badoon. It doesn’t make much sense.
Despite this, I’m willing to give this series until the 5th issue before deciding to keep it or drop it. I really hope it gets straightened out because the Guardians is a great concept and has a lot of potential. Forcing it to match a movie that isn’t out yet will only hurt it’s potential. I guess we’ll have to see what happens. -Skott Jimenez
IT GIRL & THE ATOMICS #9 (Image)
One of the few super hero comics that is just plain fun continues and this issue is something a little different, we get to focus more on some of the Atomics. This issue focuses on Phil and Dorrie, it’s their anniversary but Phil is nowhere to be seen. Through the issue, while Dorrie goes out with the girls, she also worries that Phil has forgotten their anniversary and from what we see she may be right because he’s out fighting… giant moles? Well, sure, why not, right?
Anyway, this goes on for the whole issue as Dorrie begins to worry more and more until her path crosses with the giant moles as well and she learns not only if Phil forgot or not but also why he was fighting giant moles and the answer is worth the fun.
This series fun. It’s got everything that made Marvel Comics great back in the 1970’s. That’s where my enjoyment comes from, I love the look and tone of the series and look forward to it every month. The cast is what people claim they have been wanting: women and minorities make up a good portion of the group. And each one is an interesting and fun character. So, I would like to put out a call: Everyone reading this should pick up one issue of It Girl and check it out. You might be surprised at how good it really it!
While writer Jaimie S. Rich recently announced the untimely end of this series, a loss on par with Thor: The Mighty Avenger, that’s no reason to jump on while you can. There are 3 more issues to go and with a cover price of $2.99 you still have a chance to show some love and support for one of the industry’s best female lead comic books! -Skott Jimenez
NEW AVENGERS #5 (Marvel NOW!)
My coworkers are great at getting me to spend a little bit more money. Kelly Cassidy convinced me to grab New Avengers even though the concept seemed silly and just a big waste of time. Hickman didn’t impress me with his first few issues of Avengers (that has changed however), and New Avengers just didn’t seem like to was going to make my list of Marvel NOW! properties I would be reading on the reg. Kelly kept telling me it was worth my time and to just give it a chance. I am glad I wasn’t so bullheaded and I actually listened. I love the team. I love this team more than any other team in any other title. This isn’t a character series, it is a series that focuses on right and wrong. If I could title this series it would be called “The Grey Area”. Marvel has always thrived when it dealt with what exactly is right and wrong. The heroes don’t always do the right thing. And sometimes they the pay the price for being wrong. But this series calls upon the question, could you destroy another world to spare your own? Black Bolt, Namor, Beast, Reed Richards, Iron Man, Black Panther, and Doctor Strange this isn’t a question. It’s a mission. -Nick Furious
NOVA #3 (Marvel NOW!)
Although I found the first 2 issues good, they were not spectacular. As others on this site have commented, to me, the real Nova is Rich Rider. This Nova, a young boy named Sam Alexander, originated in the cartoon for Ultimate Spider-Man and then made an initial appearance in the Marvel Universe in Marvel Point One some months back, indicating the new Nova series. Although this title needs to pick up the pace and set where it lies in continuity (I assume it’s after the current GotG arc since we see Gamora and Rocket Raccoon in this series), I did miss having a Nova around. This issue hints that Rich is gone… but so was Peter Quill and he’s back, so there’s hope, right? I’m gonna finish off this arc and maybe pick up the next, since there has been mention that the fate of Rich will be covered and I’m holding out for that. But I’m kind of not liking the fact that we have a creative team on for the first arc, and then we know for a fact that the creators will be changing for the next arc. Loeb and McGuinness did a good job in bringing the character back and leaving some answers to be solved, but I’m not sure about this Nova. I usually don’t like it when a character is brought in from another medium for sake of tying together tons of properties (like Sam from the USM cartoon, or even the new Nick Fury Jr., although Harley Quinn over at DC was a great transition as the character was brand new) but I’m trying to give Sam a chance. But right now, Mr Loeb just isn’t writing him in such a way that he’s interesting to me. McGuinness’ art does work for this title though, and so I’m happy about that. I’d be more likely to stick around longer if the creative team did too so they could tell a long-term story. Although it sounds like it was a smooth transition, I have my doubts. But I will give it a shot. -Kelly Cassidy
SUPERGIRL #19 (DC)
This is the issue that, apart from the now-departed Damian Wayne meeting Helena in the pages of Worlds’ Finest, we’ve been waiting for since the New 52 began. Well, some of us have. The meeting of Supergirl and Power Girl – the same character but from different universes. And we don’t even have to wait long – right from the get-go we see the beginning of the meeting. And when the 2 touch one another they begin to share memories, experiences, etc. However, their initial meeting/reunion is cut short due to some machinations of none other than Lex Luthor. What really takes the cake here is that we see Power Girl take on her costume of old, which although some may consider it to showcase certain anatomical areas, it is a costume that has been around for a long time and readers know right away who she is. The previous costume was a little too… Bland. The colors were bland and there was nothing that stood out as being special. No, now we have the Power Girl outfit of old and, whereas I don’t mind a small change for the sake of it, her original New 52 costume did not identify her as Power Girl; this one does. I was almost worried that this title would become boring after H’el on Earth, but after this issue.. I’m still reading! -Kelly Cassidy
UNCANNY AVENGERS #7 (Marvel NOW!)
Disgusted with all the hate that this title gets. People HATE this title. Why!? Can someone please explain why this title is just so awful? I am thrilled that this new story arc is so heavily Thor influenced. Maybe people can finally stop bitching about Thor being written so “2-D”. Are you reading Avengers right now? You think Thor is being written as the most substantial character in that title? I just don’t get it. Enough of my complaining let’s get down to linguistics. By that I mean let me explain my specific love of the dialog and emotional poetry that Remender has blessed this title. As I have said Acuna is a great addition to this book but it is an absolute toss-up if the artwork is going to be smashing or pathetic. Speaking of pathetic the cover is very lackluster compared to Cassadays usual credentials. But the things that I want to talk about the most is the possible relationship between Havok and Wasp, and the continued woes of the Simon and Wanda friend zone issues. It takes a real man to want to be with Wanda. She is a certified lunatic with some serious daddy issues that go beyond any woman. She married a robot. But I suppose the same can be said for the twisted antics of Wonder Man. But Alex and Janet? That is a perfect match. But I haven’t even gotten into the problems this team is still facing. This title makes Avengers vs. X-Men seem better than it was, even though for the most part it was garbage. When a title makes a past event seem better, that has to say something doesn’t it!? -Nick Furious
UNCANNY X-MEN #5 (Marvel NOW!)
This issue was worlds better than last issue. I didn’t feel cheated or played this time. No this time we focused on a very underused Magik who is also experiencing power problems. I wonder how Colossus is doing, he seems to be not experiencing any problems…but I am not complaining Marvel just pointing out ANOTHER mistake you have made in this Marvel NOW! business. Every title should match the others. I’m not saying Iron Man can’t be 300 places at once because you are going to do that regardless of what fans want. Magik has really taken a drastic turn in character over the last decade or so. I suppose they all have but she has just been run through the grinder. Little Illyana is a twisted evil monster who has the ability to take on the likes of Dormmanu!? Say what!? As the issue ends on a cliffhanger I have to say how disappointed I was with how little Angel was used. When Angel joins your team utilize him! He has questions. He would GRILL Summers for those answers. I want to see that. And I know you want to write it Bendis. -Nick Furious