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Bullet Reviews #120


Not even the dog days of summer can keep us from enjoying our Bullet Reviews! This week we have Batman Annual #2, Guardians Of The Galaxy #5, He-Man And The Masters Of The Universe #4, Hunger #1, The Wake #3, What If? AvX #4, and X-Men #3

BATMAN ANNUAL #2 (DC)Batman Annual #2
The Dark Knight, Batman, what a fantastic hero. He is dark, intelligent and resourceful. Bring him into Arkham Asylum and who knows what’s going to happen. That is the basis for Batman Annual #2 from Scott Snyder, Marguerite Bennett and Wes Craig. Bennet actually wrote this issue and between the nearly dozen people responsible for penciling, drawing, lettering, colors and so forth, Batman Annual #2 is the definition of a collaborative effort. This issue ties in some really cool concepts by blending the continuation of “The New 52” storyline with Snyder’s “Zero Year” story arc that re-imagines Batman’s back story and origin. To add an additional level, we have a new character who takes the lead as narrator for the issue. This allows us to watch Batman from the outside rather than from within the Dark Knight’s head. The plot is interesting and compelling, partly due to the underlying cause of the issue which puts Batman in an interesting consulting role. If I had any problems with this issue at all, it would be the similarity between a large part of the plot and a soon to be released action movie starring a couple of movie legends. You’ll understand once you read it. Outside of that, the story is unique, powerful, compelling and intense. While not the best Batman story in “The New 52”, it’s definitely better than last year’s annual and it continues to allow us to explore Batman’s origin and inner self. Definitely a must read. -Derreck Mayer
(Check out our FULL REVIEW)

Guardians Of The Galaxy #5GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #5 (Marvel NOW!)
It’s really rough when a new series starts featuring characters you really like and it is done in a way that the characters don’t act right and are only mostly familiar looking. This new Guardians series is a book like that. Suddenly Star Lord is a prince, something that was never part of his story, and Rocket Raccoon seems to be taking joy in killing… this issue also had Drax talking the way he did back in his ‘stupid days’ all of which is really off-putting. Add to that the appearance of Thanos in this issue and you have enough to give me to drop this series. Thanos was never as large as he’s drawn in this issue. He’s only a little taller than Captain America yet in here he’s about the size of the Hulk. The only thing that makes sense is this series is being written to match the changes being made to these characters for the upcoming movie. It gives me reason to drop this series and not watch the movie, especially since Rocket is being treated as little more than cheap comic relief. I would also mention Mantis makes an appearance in this issue but she’s written so out of character it might as well be any generic alien chick. Since I don’t like saying only negative things about a book I’ll just say that despite the unnecessary costumes changes and the way out of scale drawing of Thanos, the art is really good. But, sadly, it isn’t enough for me to stick with this series beyond the September release issue (because I’ve got it preordered). I really did have some hope for this book because the previous run by DnA was one of the best Marvel Cosmic books I’ve read in a while. Yeah, there was hope for this book, same as there was for Nova, and both have been disappointing. -Skott Jimenez

It took a few weeks to get my hands on this issue, and I had almost decided to drop the series because of it, but I have it now and I’m back into it. There is still a stand-off between The Horde and the Masters who are hold up in Castle Greyskull. Meanwhile, in the Horde’s stronghold, Teela is being held prisoner by Adora who believes herself the heir of Hordak. She remembers Teela but it doesn’t prevent her from stabbing Teela and leaving her to bleed to death. Back on Eternia, He-Man is led into the depths of Greyskull and finds the Secret of Greyskull and the source of all the power on Eternia. He also learns he has a sibling. King Greyskull guides him in forging a new weapon and new armor which he will need for the upcoming war.
This series, while very entertaining, is taking a little bit to get into. I’m used to the mythos created with the 2002 animated series that aired on Cartoon Network. It seems to borrow a little from that series but next to nothing from the original animated show, which isn’t really a bad thing. While it’s a little difficult getting in the reality of this series, I understand that it’s still basically starting and this first arc is the set-up. Regardless of all that, each issue has been very entertaining and I’m curious to see how this first arc ends. I don’t think all the Masters are going to survive it and it’s going to be interesting to see who survives and how this attack on Eternia changes them. I also wonder if Mek-A-Neck has something of a crush on Teela. -Skott Jimenez

Hunger #1HUNGER #1 (Marvel)
I consider myself extremely tenured in the Marvel Universe. I feel I have put in a lifetime of learning about nearly every character from every corner of the Marvel Universe. The Ultimate Universe however I know next to nothing about. What I do know is that Galactus is awesome. And if Galactus is heading to the Ultimate Universe as a result of the fallout from Age of Ultron I think the series will be worth my time. We posted plenty of preview from Hunger now it is finally here. This issue could have been stupid. This could have been ridiculous. But it wasn’t. I would be lying if I said I thought this issue was gonna be great. The Ultimate Universe just never really grabbed me. Too many differences I just didn’t like and found hindering to not only story but the characters I have loved for so long. Seeing Rick Jones again was a nice little treat – not sure what happened to him to become whatever he is, but like I said I know next to nothing about the Ultimate Universe. However the final pages where the ships are consuming everything in their path as they cross Galactus they chant consume over and over until they actually reach the planet devouring monster they change the words to Merge. Consume. Consume. Consume (pause) Merge. Merge. Merge. Merge. And then we see a really bad ass Galactus, the Real Ultimate Universe Version. Not a bad start Marvel, not bad at all. -Nick Furious

THE WAKE #3 (Vertigo)The Wake #3
Things are getting intense in the depths of the ocean. In the last issue we got our first look at the creature being studied. The Wake #3 continues the story with the escape of the creature that occurred in #2. We begin to learn more about how the creature attacks, fights and just how powerful it is in a hand to hand battle. The story cranks up the action and intensity big time in the third issue of this 10-issue series. Scott Snyder continues to do an incredible job with the story. The Wake is a significant break from his superhero world of Batman and Superman Unchained but he is incorporating his experiences well. I truly feel like he is able to quickly set up this new story and situation with very little lag. I am still very curious about lead-ins that take place in a different time and place. I have some assumptions as to what they are trying to portray but at this time, they are still guesses. Are the lead-ins from the future where the creatures have taken over? Or, is this the past and the creatures come from another place? Sean Murphy’s illustrations remain consistent and solid The edgy look and feel to the series helps increase the intensity and I would even go so far as to say that his illustrations increase the realistic sense of the series. The colors are sharp but the outlines of the characters are really what tie everything together for me. The focus on uniqueness in the character appearance is a lot of fun. Overall, the issue kicks up the action and intensity while pushing the story forward in a very cool way. The end of the issue was more than enough to solidify my wish to continue reading this unique horror series from Scott Snyder and Sean Murphy. -Derreck Mayer
(Check out our FULL REVIEW)

What If? AvX #4WHAT IF? AVX #4 (Marvel)
Not sure if this was the final installment but it seemed to end… And the ending was piss poor. I won’t spoil it but I will say that the crappy ending to the real AvX was far more superior than this garbage. Warning Spoilers Ahead: Skip this issue. This issue is terrible. I mean just absolutely horrendous. Once the Phoenix Force leaves Hope Summers it goes to Magneto and creates M.Bison. Few stories have been this bad in a long, long, long time. But I still haven’t even told you the worse part about this issue. M.Bison is killed almost immediately. Yes, the Phoenix force, the most powerful force in the entire universe is stopped with…are you ready? A fastball special. No, I am being dead serious. M. Bison gets stabbed in the face via fastball special and that is it. The Phoenix Force has been stopped. Then we get this really super sappy love ending that was just silly. For something that started off so great it really did just wind up being complete garbage. Avoid at all costs. And if you did happen to read it then I am sorry. -Nick Furious

X-MEN #3 (Marvel NOW!)X-Men #3
This ridiculous story arc is over! Don’t bust my chops, I love Sublime as much as the next X-Men fan but this story arc was just downright dumb. This team of lady X-Men has finally earned my respect. And for all the wrong reasons. Wolverine and The X-Men is the worst X-Men comic ever. Maybe not to everyone, but to me it is just awful from start to finish. Not all the time. The tie-in’s to big Marvel Events are usually great. Other than that it is just awful. But after the first two issues I thought this series was gonna be just as bad, but I was wrong. This final issue of this silly story arc was surprisingly good. It made the Jean Grey School students seem like legitimate characters. Not just sideshow attractions that get random dumb dialog. It was refreshing to be honest. I like Brian Wood. And Oliver Coipel on art is never a bad thing. This series has what it takes to be great. I will keep reading this series a little longer and see what else Wood has up his sleeve. With such a great dynamic of characters I can only hope Emma Frost and broads like Domino and Boom Boom can at least have some cameos. But as for issue #3, That’ll do Wood. That’ll do. -Nick Furious


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