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Bullet Reviews #115

BR115

Here is your weekly dose of Bullet Reviews:

AGE OF ULTRON #10 (Marvel NOW!)Age Of Ultron
This series could have been so much better if any of these issues had been condensed. Seriously, half the issues were completely unnecessary. Not the whole issue mind you, but half the issue for sure. Except for the last 8 issues. From start to finish it was worth it. This wasn’t the best Marvel Event, but it was one of the most interesting, especially with remarkable results. Two things emerged out of this, a huge event is coming to the Ultimate Universe via the 616 and the new character Angela. But the bigger issue at hand is the death of Wolverine. For someone who is pretty much immortal Wolverine was able to take out Wolverine pretty damn easy. The way they stop Ultron was completely predictable and silly but when was the last time a character was stopped in a new innovative way? Exactly. Still…a better event than we have seen in years. I approve. Sort of. -Nick Furious

Age Of Ultron A.I.AGE OF ULTRON #10 A.I. (Marvel NOW!)
Well done Mark Waid! Fantastic Hank Pym story! Yes it was pretty much a rehash of Hank Pym’s origin and a simple reminder for everyone exactly who Hank Pym and what he is all about, but in the grand scheme of things Hank Pym is being ushered back to the center of the Marvel Universe thanks to a certain movie called Ant-Man coming out in 2015. Not only did I really appreciate the great writing and awesome story telling format that Waid gave us, but Araujo art just fits. It is cartoony and silly and juvenile but it fits. This is a very unique story set to a very unique tune. Like most Marvel books the tone is fun and optimistic. Hank Pym was so smart his whole life but never gave in to what he should be doing. He gave in to his emotion of doing what he knew he could do. His Grandmother was such a huge influence on him he was always destined to do great things, he just had no idea how great he would/could be. I think it is sad that this book was the best read out of my comic book trip, but I did enjoy this very satisfying look into who Hank Pym is and what he stands for. I had no intention of buying Avengers A.I. god dammit Marvel. Now I feel like it would be a sin to not test the waters. House of Ideas, more like House of Cheap Tricks. Marvel isn’t a business. They are con artists. They get me every time. -Nick Furious

BATTLESTAR GALACTICA #2 (Dynamite)Battlestar Galactica
I reviewed the first issue here on Comic Booked, and issue #2 just continues the enjoyment of this series. This is a continuation of the original TV series and that’s just fine. The original series and the remake were both great series in their own right, just vastly different. For this series, the writing team of Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning have reinvented the original Colonial universe, but have taken their experience in cosmic stories (working at Marvel on the cosmic series of titles for a number of years, for example) and applied it to this universe. It’s well written and is taking the “show” in a new direction, something different from what we could have expected to see on TV in the late 1970s (mostly due to budget constraint and limitations of the special effects industry at the time for a TV show). This issue has Starbuck and Apollo separated from Galactica with the use of outlawed temporal technology and now existing in a parallel timeline. Both of the Colonials then also get separated in a Cylon attack which ends in a cliffhanger that proves the alternate universe theory. The art is by Cezar Razek and is great – he knows the old series well enough to be able to see the actors in the faces drawn in the issue. The main cover by Alex Ross and the alternate by Chris Elipoulos are both great. If you like well written and well drawn books, and you’re a fan of science fiction, this is worth picking up (although if you’ve never seen the original series you may be a tad confused at first). -Kelly Cassidy

Guardians Of The GalaxyGUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #4 (Marvel NOW!)
This marks the 4th issue in the rebooted Guardians of the Galaxy Marvel NOW  ! series that is featuring Iron Man I guess to get people to actually read it? The story still sucks. The series sucks. On the verge of dropping this title as it is literally crap. Gamora getting drilled by Tony Stark was pretty entertaining but not enough to make the issue good. I love the idea of using the Angela character as the next big arc for Guardians for two reasons: 1. It keeps me buying the series for at least a few more issues and then 2. They can test the waters for Angela to be used in “good’ Marvel books. Groot and Rocket Raccoon’s conversations aren’t funny, they are borderline stupid. And this is coming from a guy that loves to laugh at everything. It just feels so forced and awkward. I love Bendis and I do appreciate the artwork (sometimes) but this is so hit and miss it is hard to support the title regardless of who writes and does the artwork. Pick up the pace, figure out what works and make it happen. -Nick Furious

HAWKEYE #11 (Marvel NOW!)Hawkeye
Matt Fraction has done an amazing job at turning Hawkeye into a great series. The longest “solo” series he had was not even entitled Hawkeye; it was when he headlined in Solo Avengers/Avengers Spotlight. But Fraction has made the character (alongside Kate Bishop, another Hawkeye) a delight to read. Add in the detailed but minimalistic artwork of David Aja as one of the main artists of the series (and the artist of this issue), as well as Matt Hollingsworth on colors (enhancing the minimalist effect), you have an amazing series. But this issue does something completely different I have never seen in comics before: the focus is not on Clint, or Kate. No, the focus is on Pizza Dog and the issue is done entirely from his point of view. Aja’s style is perfect for this issue. It is a little more abstract in the layout at times, but in a way that enhances the story for this issue. It’s a different way of telling a story, with different visual styles. But the best part of the story is that, even without many words, you can follow what’s going on (it makes a tad more sense if you’ve read some of the past issues) but most of all.. You really feel for Pizza Dog. You see facial reactions and emotion in the dog, something you don’t expect from a comic. If a comic can make you feel for an animal, with little to no words and just a great story and visuals, it’s really done its job well. This was definitely my favorite book of the week as a result. -Kelly Cassidy

It Girl and the AtomicsIT GIRL AND THE ATOMICS #11 (Image)
We get closure to the long running story surrounding the mystery machine that was never really explained, but it gets some explanation in this issue. St. Germain is the man who worked to get the device because he’s immortal but he’s getting weak because there is little to no magic left in the world. The device supplants that by keeping his body strong and healthy on a cellular level but it ends up doing more than that, it makes him stronger. The device basically makes his immune system stronger by attacking anything that causes his body damage. The side-effect to this is anything that would hurt or kill a normal man ends up making him stronger. Nothing It Girl or anyone else does seems to slow him down until Dr. Flem shows up with another device that turns the tables in a permanent way.
This is the penultimate issue of the series. It’s nice to see threads being tied up but it’s sad knowing the next issue will be the final issue. This series is what comics fans have been claiming to want for some time now. It’s light-hearted fun. It has the look and feel of a classic comic book from years gone by. On top of amazing covers the one thing that makes this book a great read is that simple, three-letter word: fun. I’m going to be sad to see this one go. -Skott Jimenez

JIRNI #3 (Aspen)Jinri
I gave this book a try when I saw it on the shelves and I am not disappointed. The story is fantasy oriented, focusing on magic and genies, and takes place in an Arabian-type classical story. J.T. Krul has scripted a story that is different from what I am used to from him – this story is something that proves he is a capable writer beyond just a superhero genre. But even though it’s a good story, the art by Paolo Pantalena is absolutely gorgeous. It’s somewhat anime-esque, but with some exceptional detail. This is the one type of story where we see women who are… exceptionally endowed above works, especially with the magical component of the story and the characters. Our main character actually has Djinn powers and is on a quest to find her mother who was taken from her. We find a little more of her mother’s story in the issue, and it extends the story of Princess Ara. I believe that this comic is a miniseries, which is unfortunate as it’s a great comic. Hopefully Aspen continues this comic as an ongoing series as it’s something completely different from what I’m used to picking up. It’s a great comic overall in terms of story and visuals, so it’s something worth picking up if you enjoy the fantasy genre. -Kelly Cassidy

Journey Into MysteryJOURNEY INTO MYSTERY #653 (Marvel NOW!)
I still love this series! As odd as it sounds I actually love this book more and more with each new issue that’s released, while they’re still coming out, that is. With this issue we have the full return of one of my favorite lesser used characters of all time: Beta Ray Bill! We find that Bill is trying to save his girlfriend, another Korbinite (created for him by Galactus in the Stormbreaker: The Saga Of Beta Ray Bill miniseries) but while things don’t work out too well for them it does give us a look into the mind and soul of Bill.
It’s funny, it used to be when a book was being cancelled that the quality of the series began to suffer. JiM is the exception to that rule, it’s maintained the high quality of writing and art that it’s had since this creative team took it over. The high level of action, adventure, humor, and humanity is still here and I don’t think it’s going to be going anywhere for another 2 issues. I’ve sung the praises of this series for a long time now and I’m going to continue to sing them. This is the book for those of us who miss the days when comic books were Comic Books and not movie pitches. I have 2 more issues to go and I already know I’m going to enjoy the heck out of the. Still going to be sad to see it go, though. -Skott Jimenez

JUSTICE LEAGUE #21 (DC)Justice League
Talk about biggest shock of them all! The silly Billy Batson comics at the end of Justice League finally paid off! I hate the little mini comics but if it leads up to this, then I can’t say I am all that against it. This comic is also written by Geoff Johns and it was just awesome! Billy Batson is a completely different Billy Batson then the one that USED to exist in the DCU. This Billy started off being a little prick who showed no rhyme or reason to become Shazam! I am not really sure if they are dropping the entire Captain Marvel or not, but just calling him Shazam has worked for years so why not stick to it? But in this version Billy Batson is sort of the Earth 2 version of Billy Batson, it takes him a long time to earn the power of Shazam but not too long. And Shazam vs. Black Adam is never a bad thing! And I am not entirely sure his friends got Shazam powers as well but I loved it. Did not see that coming and I think we can all agree comics are so predictable now a days when something happens we don’t see coming that is exciting and gives us a raging nerd boner. If you hate Justice League or think the title has already gotten dull, this issue is still worth your time. Great artwork by Gary Frank, who wins best artwork in a comic book in this week’s newly bought comics. Bring on more Shazam stories! -Nick Furious

Justice League Of AmericaJUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #5 (DC)
Yikes. Promising Series. I said that? I regret that. This book was crap. Not just crap but Ultra Crap. I really did enjoy the team they picked but I am losing patience to see Geoff Johns, of all people, not utilizing the team to the full advantage. There should be so much angst, mistrust, etc. They talk about that like that is exactly what is happening, but I have never once seen anything the likes of that on the team. They all seem to get along smashingly. Not a very believable struggling team. With that out of the way, now that you know the issue is complete crap let us talk about the death of Catwoman! If you are going to kill off Catwoman, you don’t reveal you didn’t really kill Catwoman for a good 3 or 4 issues! Use the death as friction on the team, use the death as mistrust. Actually create the tension you are telling readers is happening! Dear God this felt like a first time writer rather than the incredibly talented Johns. And the death of Catwoman? Run rampant with that on all cylinders! Batman would be devastated! He just lost his son imagine losing Selina Kyle! The man would be in shambles! You could CRUSH the sales by having Catwoman meet her maker! But this is the same company that brought Superman back immediately after his death and made comic book deaths the crap that they are today. I love numerous DC titles and I get most for free but I pay for Justice League of America, but it doesn’t look like that will happen for long. -Nick Furious

NEW AVENGERS #7 (Marvel NOW!)New Avengers
Where at times I think Jonathan Hickman has done too much with too many characters in the main Avengers title, I really like how this book has brought the Illuminati together to take on much broader issues. This is the team that is dealing with worlds destructing around them, but they are also the men who put the burden onto their own shoulders. What was great with this issue is that they are addressing the fact that the characters are still progressing in their own books – Iron Man is off in space, Reed Richards is jaunting through time and space with his family, and Beast has mutated yet again. We see a few interesting scenes that are sure to grow in terms of their impact – Namor and T’challa talking about fostering peace between their respective nations, especially after Namor all but destroyed the African country during AvX. Reed and Dr Strange enjoying a nice dinner with Doctor Doom, who is actually much more polite to the hero than one would normally write him as being, but then Reed issuing a not-so-veiled threat to the Latverian monarch. Medusa is also on a hiatus from teaching the Future Foundation students, it seems, as she returns to Attilan and seems to be understanding that her husband Black Bolt is up to something. Not a lot of action this issue, but a lot of intrigue… and now others truly being able to see that perhaps there is a group up to something. Doom knows that Reed and Strange are together and with others involved, and Medusa (who knows Black Bolt better than anyone) is starting to not feel like she can trust him. And we end with a declaration of war between Wakanda and Atlantis. Who could ask for more? I think Hickman has done a great job with this book – much better than the main Avengers title – and I applaud him for not doing the same thing and having a super-team who addresses the villain of the month here. This is much more mysterious, full of much more intrigue. This is the Avengers book I look forward to every month. And I say that even though the art is not done by Steve Epting anymore, and I will miss that. I am happy, though, that Mike Deodato has stepped in as the artist here. Both have unique skills and styles they bring to the table, and I think that Mike’s style will be a great one for the impending Infinity crossover. -Kelly Cassidy

X-MenX-MEN #2 (Marvel NOW!)
Another title that has massive potential that is not impressing me at all. And I know I am not the only one. I love that John Sublime has returned to the X-Men world but not in a role that I deem “worthy” of someone the likes of Mr.Sublime who is worthy of being a reoccurring X-Men villain. The all female team is not at all an all female team, Beast appears to be a character that will regularly appear in the title, although no Wolverine which is ALWAYS a good thing. Remember when Jubilee was a vampire? Is that still a thing? I always found Jubilee to be the Jar Jar Binks of the X-Men. Back to the issue at hand, each of the female characters fit well together. They all have a long history I just wished Emma Frost could have made the roster. Or maybe Pixie, possibly Hope Summers, who knows what the future holds? Either way this title like so many other titles lately will most likely get the axe as it just doesn’t have what an X-Men title should have: Entertainment. But if that changes I will keep you posted, but as of now you can avoid this title. -Nick Furious

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Comments (1)

jeffhillwriter

Age of Ultron sucked. The last "good" event from Marvel was Civil War… And even then, that one had SERIOUS problems at almost every turn. Sigh.

Skott_Jimenez

Agreed. I miss the days when Marvel events were thought out better and executed better. Infinity Gauntlet was one of the last good events I remember. At least in terms of how the story was told and the way it's crossovers were handled. Civil War was, for me, the beginning of the bad events.

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