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Bullet Reviews #118


A great way to dodge the heat is with cool comics! This week’s Bullet Reviews cover A+X #10, Avengers #16, Colonized #4, Justice League of America #6, Dinosaurs Attack! #1, The Mysterious Strangers #1 and #2, Superior Carnage #1, Thunderbolts #13, Transformers: Regeneration One #93, What If? AvX #2, and X-Files Season Ten #2!

A+X #10 (Marvel NOW!)A+X
I really keep wanting to like this book more than I should, and sometimes there is a super huge hit of an issue. And then sometimes there’s a major miss. But with a title that has 2 unique and disjoint stories, sometimes you get both, and that’s what this issue of A+X was for me. First, we get a Black Widow and Fantomex story, which was not a pairing I think I ever considered and that’s what made it great! Seeing some modified versions of the Soviet team gone a little… off was wonderful – Ursa Major, Darkstar… I remember them both from other titles. And the fact that writer B. Clay Moore even remembered that the Widow and Darkstar were on the Champions together… Just knowing that someone else also remembers the Champions, no matter how unimpressive the team appears in comparison to today’s teams are, is a nice touch. I really enjoyed the story as it was more of an espionage story and truly did keep true to Fantomex’s character, although I’m not sure if it was the current representation of Fantomex or a previous one. The second story, though, just left me with a sour taste. The art was just… Well, it was not Avengers or X-Men style. It was an anime-ish style, but it did not grab me.Visually pointing out Domino’s weapons with the Scarlet Witch saying it and then also calling them out in the art… too much, and wholly unnecessary. (Plus, we all know that the weapons on an X-member would be in one of a gazillion pouches, not just sitting there on their hip.) The premise of the story, though was very interesting; the execution was just something that I could not get behind. There was an X-Men Manga a number of years back… it’s not around any more. The only anime-ish style for the X-work that really got me was Joe Madureira, and even then it took a long time for me to like his work. I think with some work, writer/artist Adam Warren could have made this story spectacular, but it really did nothing for me. -Kelly Cassidy

AvengersAVENGERS #16 (Marvel NOW!)
This series has finally hit a point of no return. Kevin is almost ready to take on the Starbrand role. The Avengers are taking on all sorts of robots and what not on another planet. A.I.M. is racing to harness the energy that is producing the signal. And it is a race to see who can stop/harness the energy first. And if that just isn’t enough for you, the energy and stress of Doctor Banner monitoring everything a la very Tony Stark like, causes Banner to lose control and turn into Hulk in a control room with S.H.I.E.L.D agents. Whoa! That is the kind of Avengers I am looking for! Even with a big team of B-listers as Avengers this book is finding a way to make the Avengers comic books relevant once again! By the end of this issue the away Avenger team is lying on the ground defeated, Hulk is running amok and A.I.M is on its way to harnessing the energy so they can do God knows what. This is all leading up to Infinity so we shall see where exactly these next few issues take us… Nick Furious

Aliens, militia men, zombies. Those are your players in this series and this final issue puts wraps everything up nicely and, surprisingly, doesn’t leave a door open for a follow-up and that isn’t really a bad thing. It’s nice to finally have a one-and-done story, especially when things are ended so neatly. The zombies are finally dealt with but not without some causalities and a son gets some much needed time with his dead father, who regains the ability to think for a short time thanks to him biting an unfortunate alien. Even the bad guys are dealt with and the rogue ATF agent finds a place in the town. It’s nice to have, as I said, a story that ends neatly. That isn’t to say I would be against more adventures with these characters but if we don’t get anymore I won’t feel short-changed in the least. Chris Ryall once again handled the material expertly taking a concept that could have fallen apart in the hands of most people and made it something fun and unique. Drew Moss did a great job mashing these three concepts together in a world where none of them seemed out-of-place. In the end you have a fun story with great art and topped off with covers by the great Dave Sim! Seriously, how can you not want to check out a comic with Dave Sim covers? -Skott Jimenez

Justice League of AmericaJUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #6 (DC)
Another great issue as the Trinity War continues to take center stage on the DC front. As Superman deals with killing Dr.Light, my favorite DC character, The Question, continues to search for answers to what really happened to Dr.Light and why it had to look like Superman killed him. But Superman teaming up with the Question? It just seems so below Superman to do such a thing, well New 52 Superman at least. This issue felt more like a Justice League issue as Wonder Woman pretty much took over the entire issue with her search for answers to Pandora’s Box. Finally Wonder Woman and Steve have a conversation about what the hell is Steve thinking forming another Justice League that is government sponsored. Green Arrow continues to question the motives of Amanda Waller and I continue thinking Green Arrow will defect to the real Justice League sooner rather than later. I will continue to read up on the Trinity War as I am intrigued especially because DC killed a character in the opening act. This will make Superman a better character down the road especially if they stick with this and don’t retcon it anytime soon. -Nick Furious

DINOSAURS ATTACK! #1 (IDW)Dinosaurs Attack
Sometimes it just doesn’t pay to live on Earth. First Mars Attacks and now… Dinosaurs? Yeah, it could have been another 50’s sci-fi cheese but it becomes something more than that. While there certainly is a camp factor in this, the concept is still handled fairly seriously. This may be intentional or it may be because I pretty much know what to expect from this. You see, Dinosaurs Attack! was a comic book back in the 80’s, the book itself was based on a set of trading cards. This issue was actually originally released by now-defunct publisher Eclipse Comics. Their plan was to make this a three-issue miniseries but now it’s become a five-issue event. The story is simple: A scientist, almost too smart for his own good, creates a device that allows us to actually see the past. Problems begin when Elias Thorne, the inventor of the Timescan device, is plagued by nightmares and a hellish vision of monster eyes. When the propose test of the machine is postponed, the monster haunting  Thorne takes matters into its own hands and activate the device. The fall out is the sudden appearance of dinosaurs on ‘modern’ day Earth. From here we will see the promise violence and mayhem that is the hallmark of brands like this (it can be considered a cousin to Mars Attacks and fans of that franchise know just how violent it can be). I can see a problem some people may have with this book because it was originally created in 1988. The art and writing style are more simplistic than they are today giving it a very slightly dated feel. But those who look for entertaining comics and are fans of Mars Attacks should more than enjoy this. The nicest touch here are the covers. They are going to be fully painted by Earl Norem, one of the artists on the original trading cards. The first issue’s cover is a remake of sorts of the third card in the set “Time Scanner Disaster!” It’s a great book if you’re looking for something different or are seeking out old school comics. -Skott Jimenez
(For a little more information on this issue, check out our full review!)

Mysterious StrangersTHE MYSTERIOUS STRANGERS #1 & #2 (ONI Press)
I was a little surprised to see the first two issues of a book released in the same week, but I kind of liked the idea. Together, both of these issues made up the initial story arc for The Mysterious Strangers, which gave me an idea of what to expect from this new series. Having not read much from Oni Press before, I did not know what to expect. I knew I would be in for something interesting when I saw Chris Roberson’s name on the writing credits, though, and quickly picked it up. Now, with Roberson, sometimes I really like it and other times I find it simply good, but I have never found a book of his bad. I still haven’t. This is not one of my absolute favorite reads but it was enjoyable, especially if you are feeling a bit comic nostalgic. Both the story and the art remind me heavily of Marvel in the 1960’s – quick pacing, sound effects to emphasize certain actions, and even the art has a slight Ditko/Kirby feel to it without being a copy – my guess is they were definite inspirations. But it also reads more along the lines of an Ocean’s 11 style story with the characters and how they are introduced – it really did take me back to the heyday of comics. I mean, we even have a very 670s scene with people dancing on the beach, very much like the older comics – all it was missing was Snapper Carr or Rick Jones saying Daddy-o and I would have sworn it was back in that era. And then we get to the final page of each issue where questions were asked about what happens next, and the only thing I could picture was the end of every Batman TV episode narrating the questions that appeared. It was definitely a fun book if you have fond memories of comics from the 60s but if you want something more “involved” in the storyline (not sure how to explain it – maybe complex, such as a Hickman or Bendis story) then this is not the book for you. -Kelly Cassidy

SUPERIOR CARNAGE #1 (Marvel NOW!)Superior Carnage
We had a full review of this book on the site earlier this week, and all I can say is that this book was awesome. Minimum Carnage, the crossover that took place through Scarlet Spider and Venom, did not excite me about the Carnage character, whereas his own series Carnage USA was just freaking amazing. This is Carnage, the serial killer, returned. This is Cletus Kasady getting back to being at his worst (which, for him is his best). None of the guards or other prisoners in the prison are safe from him. Perhaps my favorite thing about this book is that the first half was narrated by a non-powered inmate… who then gets killed by Carnage. The narration then ends. A very nice touch and a way to portray a human being scared beyond belief over being near such a known killer. Next, we see that Carnage could be part of something greater as the Wizard is recruiting for a new Frightful Four.After his seemingly ridiculous appearances in FF recently, I was not expecting his presence, nor was I expecting that another villain would step in to keep Carnage in line… Klaw. But this makes sense – the master of sound (who, last I recall, was made of sound) is around to keep in place a psychopath whose only weakness is sound. Makes sense, and is the ultimate safety net… although with Carnage around you know it’s gonna be hit or miss. If this book continues on in this fashion it’s going on my pull list in a heartbeat. I am really looking forward to seeing Carnage go head-to-head with Spider-Ock and that’s gonna be one amazing battle when it occurs. -Kelly Cassidy

ThunderboltsTHUNDERBOLTS #13 (Marvel NOW!)
This issue has newish Thunderbolts writer Charles Soule (who also does Swamp Thing over at DC) giving us some insight to the character of Mercy who (at least to my knowledge) had her very first appearance in the teaser images for this series. A woman with purplish hair and teaming up with this group, I was half expecting it to be Diamonback joining the team, but was surprised to find that it was someone new. This issue gives some insight as to who Mercy really is and delivers an interesting origin story, mostly how she came to be involved with Ross. It also puts a little more depth on Ross as a character – he has to stick around to keep an eye on her as he feels responsible for her being around. Ross confides in Flash “Venom” Thompson about who Mercy really is, finally letting someone on his team in to what is going on, even if just a little. And Mercy is, in fact, a very devious character – she can take control of the symbiote and we get some additional insight as to some of the thoughts of the symbiote without actually hearing them. It’s hard to explain without giving everything away, but this was a great issue for revealing some secrets and answering a few questions while posing a number of additional ones. Soule has brought some life to the book, and I think has a long-term strategy… something I just was not getting the vibe on before. He’s already seemingly removed the Punisher/Elektra romance dynamic so we’ll have to see where things go. But I think it’s for the positive – I’m excited to see what comes next. -Kelly Cassidy

TRANSFORMERS: REGENERATION ONE #93 (IDW)Transformers Regeneration One
I never knew a Transformers comic could have so much going on and still flow smoothly! From Galvatron launching his own assault on Cybertron in a bid to take control of it while willingly sacrificing Starscream to Hot Rod and the Dinobots seeking answers to a lot of questions in the depths of Cybertron and all the other things going on in between there is no shortage of action in this series. But, as I said, it never reaches a point where it seems like there is too much going on. The Simon Furman’s pacing of the book is astounding. He manages to give each plot and sub-plot enough screen time so they don’t begin to gather dust but they don’t trip over each other either. The points of interest to me are the plot involving Galvatron and Starscream, it came out in this issue that Starscream isn’t as brain-dead as we thought. He’s working with Shockwave, who is connected to the ship they are in, to get rid of Galvatron for his own reasons. I’m curious as to what his ultimate plans are. The other story of interest involves Hot Rod. It’s only a matter of time before he finally becomes Rodimus Prime and things here are made more interesting with the appearance of the thought-dead Grimlock now possessed with the spirit? of Primus! The next, and sadly, final 7 issues are going to be exciting! -Skott Jimenez

What If AvXWHAT IF? AvX #2 (Marvel)
As I said before this What If? AvX is so much more what I was looking for with the actual AvX I almost wish this version could replace it. As the series started off Wolverine killed Storm acting on part of the Avengers. Then the explosion happened killing Falcon and Colleen Wing. One X-Man down, Two Avengers. Tensions are high but they all agree they need to team up to stop this thing…and something tells me that team up won’t last long. As the away space team attempts to defeat the Phoenix Force they are possessed and become the new Phoenix Force for a very short time. For some reason or another the Phoenix Force felt Ms.Marvel Vision and Nova were not nearly as suitable candidates as Hope Summers (wtf?) so it leaves the away space team in pursuit of Hope on the Blue Moon. Wait did I forget the most amazing moment of this comic? I think I did (on purpose) Namor vs. Wolverine. Namor evidently kills Wolverine. Imperius Rex in the ocean as Logan rushes downward from the blunt force hit. WHAT!? Wolverine’s dead!? If only it was true! But we never actually see Wolverine die so odds are he escaped, but we can hope right!? Another highly entertaining issue of What If? AvX! -Nick Furious

X-FILES SEASON 10 #2 (IDW)X-Files Season Ten
I am a huge X-Phile. For those of you that don’t know that is a big X-Files fan. I have been looking forward to this because X-Files ended on such a huge cliffhanger. The Alien Invasion was coming in just a few short years. Mulder and Scully officially left the X-Files. Doggett and Monica Reyes took over the X-Files. Skinner became a close ally in a high position of power. Nearly every supporting character died. So where does that leave us for a season ten? I really wanted to like this series. But this series is gonna be terrible. The first issue was very “meh” but this issue is just bad. If you are gonna have the balls to make a season ten build upon all the things that happened. If people died, keep them dead. You don’t just get to resurrect every character you liked! The Lone Gunmen died heroes, you don’t just say they faked their death when we watched them die. And if that wasn’t enough you don’t just bring back the Cigarette Smoking Man! He was shot in the face with a rocket launcher! Dude is dead! You don’t get much more dead than getting shot in the face with a rocket launcher! And of all the cool storylines you can make up you come up with an X-File killer? Isn’t that what everyone was always trying to do anyways? But they weren’t called X-File killers, they were just the bloody government! Sorry IDW, even with the help of Chris Carter this stinks as bad as Season Nine of X-Files. As far as I am concerned, season nine finale will be the last X-Files episode in my book. -Nick Furious



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Comments (2)


Superior Carnage really was a pleasant surprise!
I really like the covers for Thunderbolts and Avengers, Waiting for my jump on point for this Infinity series. All in all, another great selection of comics this week!


Glad I'm not the only one currently enjoying Thunderbolts. Also glad that I'm the only one who didn't care for Justice League of America. Might have to re-read it with a significantly less judgmental mentality.

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