Let’s end this week’s New Comic Book Day with Bullet Reviews #137, we’ll take a look at some recent releases including: Amazing Spider-Man #700.1, Amazing X-Men #2, Carbon Grey Vol.3 #1, Fairest #21, Guardians Of The Galaxy #9, Marvel Knights: X-Men #2, Red Rover Charlie #1, and Thunderbolts #18
AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #700.1 (Marvel)
I know a few people have been crying about the return of Peter Parker, why they want this already is beyond me, so in a round about way Marvel caved in and offered up these Point issues. The problem is, as with all the other Point One issues I’ve read, this one is fairly pointless. It takes place before the Superior Era and the fall of Peter Parker. I really hate to say this but I can’t really say this issue was all that interesting. Or original. You have Peter on one side of town when a blizzard hits and he needs to try to get to the other side of town to help Aunt May. It wasn’t what I expected it to be, I knew it wasn’t going to be the current day return of Peter Parker (thank Kirby) but so far this ‘miniseries’ has not been something to look forward to. While the art of Klaus Janson is great as always, the story itself is lacking. So far. There are four more issues coming out this month and while this isn’t the start I was hoping it would be I still plan to pick up the rest because while this isn’t the Superior Spider-Man, it’s still nice to pick up an issue of Amazing Spider-Man. Not saying that I want ASM to come back soon, mind you. -Skott Jimenez
AMAZING X-MEN #2 (Marvel)
And we are back to this being a bland book by Jason Aaron. Even the cover was disappointing. But the artwork! Ed McGuinness can draw the heck out of Nightcrawler. Few people have drawn him so awesome. In my review for #1 I noted that Iceman had gone back to his original form, no longer pointy and having ice cycles all over the place. Nope. Back to the pointy Iceman. I am confused. Doesn’t matter, I am not supposed to care about all that, the X-Men are getting Nightcrawler back! The journey displayed in this issue was about as boring as I could take. I will finish the journey but I already want a refund for my ride. I am sure this story was one of the big amazing stories that Marvel came up with, but it is pretty lame. I still don’t know what the Bamfs are…angels? demons? I dunno. Am I supposed to know? Better question, am I supposed to care? I wish I had a better review for ya. McGuinness crushes it, Aaron deflates it. -Nick Furious
CARBON GREY, Vol. 3 #1 (Image Comics)
Here’s one I’ve wanted to dig in to for a while, I think I’ve even flipped through a few before. It’s a very lush, gorgeous comic, very easy on the eyes you know, and even just the name Carbon Grey, is tough yet mysterious at the same time, like this book, which shares elements of fantasy and real world war. I’ve heard it called steampunk by some, but I don’t think that description really fits. It’s similar in that genre meshing approach, and sometimes the visual aesthetic, but there are different elements at play here. I hate to make these overly easy trendy comparisons, but there’s a very strong Game of Thrones vibe. Now I’ll jump into any story anywhere I never care, but this one can be a little hard to get into, the key here is you really have to be ready for some reading. Books like this approach the level of novels in some ways, and I don’t mean the amount of text, but it feels like one of those stories that really works in the epic novel type approach, and that is one thing that kept me away from this. I feel like I’m always seeing Carbon Grey randomly pop up, at the very least it takes a little research to know where you stand. This issue doesn’t make it too hard for you though, the first two pages are mostly all writing. They do it in the form of character cards, but if you read these two pages worth of them you’ll be in pretty good shape, and if you do, I think it’ll be worth it. -Scorpio Moon
FAIREST #21 (Vertigo)
The recent announcement Fables coming to an end makes these remaining issues of Fairest even more special. It’s hard to imagine that the day is coming when I won’t have a new issue of either of these great books to review.
Of Mice & Men begins with yes another fantastic cover. I honestly looked at it for about 10 minutes before cracking this issue open. Inside we have a story that, obviously, stars Fables resident spy who is a million times the ass-kicker Bond is. The issue begins with the story of Cinderella we all know but with the trademarked Fables twist. We find it’s being told by Snow White to her cubs as a bedtime story. Shortly after putting them to bed she’s attacked my man-sized mice men… things. Their mission is to kill Snow for their ‘Master’ but it proves to be very difficult. In other words: Snow kicks mice butt because we all know she can.
In Cinderella’s shoe store Sheriff Beast and Crispin are nearly killed by what can only be called a suicide bomber screaming “death to Cinderella!” It’s only after all this that we get both the credits for this issue and the first appearance of our star. Who is being held captive by some soon to be dead trolls. Yeah, she gets free and kills them because, well, she’s that awesome.
Back in Fabletown, Cin examines the fallout of both the bombing and the attack on Snow and apparently has an idea who is behind it. Guesses anyone?
I’ve missed Cinderella. I’ve got to admit that I’m extremely happy to be getting at least one more story with her before we close the gates on Fabletown. I’m also pleased to see that this one might tie in with the main title at some point. I really can’t say much more than repeating the fact this is a highly entertaining issue, one of the prime examples of why Fables and these versions of these characters have lasted for over a decade now. And why even after our main tale comes to an end why these books will continue to gain new fans and readers. -Skott Jimenez
GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #9 (Marvel)
Not sure how Guardians did such an amazing turn around but it has been incredibly entertaining as of late. Not sure if Angela will eventually be a regular team member, but I am glad that Tony Stark is finally done taking over the series. Now that the team has had some “alone” time, the series can start to make the impact it needs on readers. I am sure not everyone feels this way, but I feel Bendis took the advice so many of us “novice” reviewers left for him such as fixing Rocket and making the team seem more like…well The Guardians of the Galaxy! Even though this issue is a tie-in issue it had plenty to offer in the “fun” department. Banter between Rocket, Quill, and Brand had me laughing out loud (lol”ing”) on numerous occasions, Peter Quill is coming around as the very charming goofball that he is, and this doesn’t feel like a side project for Bendis any longer. Big events happened in this issue…but we already knew that because Infinity #6 came out last week. Why do they do this to us? But I had no idea the Peak was destroyed! Slowly but surely everything Joss brought to the Marvel U is being destroyed. So much for another Whedon run on another title. The series is zany, wacky, and charming. Something I don’t get too often from Marvel, but they seem to know what they are doing. -Nick Furious
MARVEL KNIGHTS: X-MEN #2 (Marvel)
Am I the biggest loser ever for wanting to still collect Marvel Cards? I am 30 and I can’t help getting excited that Marvel is finally going to put out trading cards again! Has nothing to do with this review, but the advertisements that are in THIS very issue have the cards so…it fits? Sorta… Brahm Revel and Cris Peter this review is going to sound very cynical, but know that I love the writing and the artwork. Even though it isn’t very X-Men, it fits. If you told me I could make a story with three x-men and only three x-men, I would never pick these three. Kitty Pryde is my favorite X-Man (X-Woman?) but I still wouldn’t use her if I could only pick three X Members. But it intrigues me! Why these three!? The villain or obstacle they have to overcome seems way too down to Earth for X-Men, seems more like a Daredevil or Punisher story arc, but I am not gonna judge this thing before it is even started! The two other characters in this story are just as intriguing as everything else. Not sure what is going on and I am loving it. Refreshing to read an X Title that doesn’t put me to sleep. The memory projections were AWESOME! What a blast from the past seeing Pyro, Blob, Sabretooth, Mystique, Avalanche, The Hellfire Club Guards! Very cool stuff! And what an honor for Cris Peter to get to draw some of the most key Brotherhood characters in all X-Men lore. I thought Darla was a boy until they said Darla, maybe try to give her a little more of a female look in future installments? She doesn’t have to be a vixen like the rest of the Marvel U, but her being less boyish would probably help readers in the future. -Nick Furious
RED ROVER CHARLIE #1 (Avatar)
Brought to you by Garth Ennis and Avatar Press. So it’s a story about three dogs, named Rover, Red, and Charlie, trying to survive the apocalypse. At least the human apocalypse, or “feeders” as the dogs refer to them as. Is this book ridiculous? Abso-freaking-lutely, but while there’s a dog joke or two, it’s not silly or goofy style ridiculous, and even the carnage is absurdist without going completely over the top. The dogs even look really realistic. It’ not quite photorealism, there’s some animation to their faces, but it’s not all cartoony. This sure isn’t Milo and Otis either, this is not some cutesy little story for animal lovers. Humanity is being wiped out by something not quite zombie virus, more like rage virus, or I guess the obvious no duh connection is the Crossed virus from that franchise, we’ll see exactly how that part all plays out but the dogs have a real mission with real peril. This whole thing is played mostly straight. Also, this isn’t one of those allegorical kind of things like Animal Farm, the dogs are their own characters, and while I do want to emphasis that it can get pretty nasty, especially for one of the dogs, we’re not talking Watership Down nasty, at least not yet, and hopefully not ever too far along those lines. Rover Red Charlie #1 at the same time both is and isn’t exactly as ridiculous as the cover suggests. -Scorpio Moon
THUNDERBOLTS #18 (Marvel)
I have really enjoyed the Thunderbolts, especially since I almost dropped them after issue #6. The story was kind of slow at first and I really hated Ross… oh, wait, I still do. But, I think that is the point of the story. Sometimes we work with people we can’t stand to do things that are not very nice. In issue #18, we see the fallout of Black Bolt detonating the Terrigen Bomb over New York during Infinity. You have a group of goombas fighting for their lives against Venom, Elektra, and Punisher, while Deadpool east some pizza. Pizza? don;t worry, it all works out. So, the Nobilis, a disgraced mob family suddenly find themselves with super powers, some cool and some wicked. They begin to fight their way through the crowd to try to get their revenge on the other mob families that had disgraced them, but they run into some trouble, one of them getting killed and the other in such pain that he asks to be killed. Only the father is left and he wants revenge on the Punisher for what he has done to the family. Did I mention that his skin has come alive with faces that speak with the voices of the family? Weird. With the Infinity-tie in stuff going on, it was interesting to see how involved the Thunderbolt team gets, or doesn’t get, actually, since Leader gets fried and Red Hulk is just smashing. It is the mysterious former Hulk villain Mercy who really save New York with her strange power of bringing death to those who ask for it. She pretty much single-handedly destroys the alien invasion. I’m not sure if I will continue this series in my regular pull, but this was a fun issue. Especially since Deadpool, who is eating pizza, gets the last laugh as he gets to kill the Paguros, the secret mob family that Punisher was hunting through this issue, as they come running into the pizza joint. Mercy seems to be everyone’s concern at the end of the issue, so I see her becoming more of a problem as things progress. Should be fun. -Aaron Clutter