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Bullet Reviews #55


Sometimes we have small weeks. They make us feel empty inside, almost like we’re missing part of ourselves. Bullet Reviews are designed to help with that. Once again, each week we take a look at a few of the previous week’s releases in hopes of giving you, our readers, something more to full your comic reading time with! This week: Angel & Faith #9, The Jungle Book #2, Hellraiser #13, Rebel Blood #2, and Spaceman #6!

ANGEL & FAITH #9 (Dark Horse)Buffy The Vampire Slayer
It has been some time since I’ve delved into the Buffy-verse, so reading Angel & Faith #9 was a bit of a stretch for me. A mostly self-contained story, the issue did manage to enhance the over-arcing plot that Christos Gage has set up. The issue opens with Angel jumping into the fray, interrupting a ceremony that Drusilla has created to steal the pain, anger, and aching that Faith feels, with the help of a Lorophage demon, whose purpose is to feed on people’s agony. When Angel arrives, Faith feels better than she ever has, but Angel knows that it’s a false sense of happiness, trying to convince her that the pain is what makes her the person she is. When Angel tries to force Drusilla to reverse what she’s done, Drusilla attacks and the Lorophage attempts to steal Angel’s agony. Things work out, naturally, but Drusilla escapes, leaving Angel to explain his plan to Faith to resurrect Giles. At the end of the day, this issue served as a brief distraction from the overall story. While it was enjoyable, this wasn’t the place for new readers to jump into. Though I am familiar with the characters of Angel and Faith, I really had no idea who the woman in the white dress was until the middle of the issue. Many comic writers feel it’s necessary to write with the mindset that every comic is someone’s first, and Angel & Faith #9 is the perfect example of why that’s important. The saving grace of the issue is the art by Rebekah Isaacs. Isaacs manages to make the story exciting, adding lots of movement and emotion to the characters. Though the art isn’t perfect, as many of the details and backgrounds are glossed over, the pages flow nicely and comfortably. For the most part, this little diversion served a purpose to help portend what’s to happen in the future through Drusilla’s nonsensical ramblings as she runs off, though I felt it took a little too long in getting there. However, if any of the things she said actually do come to pass, then Angel and Faith is definitely a series to keep an eye on. –Michael Wirth

Grimm Fairy TalesGRIMM FAIRY TALES PRESENTS: THE JUNGLE BOOK #2 (Zenescope Entertainment)
This is arguably the most surprisingly entertaining book I’ve read in a long time! I’m not a regular follower of Grimm Fairy Tales; I originally opted to not get into it at all since I was already a reader of Fables and fully enjoy that, but this line of books takes the characters and concepts we all know and love and turns them on their ear. Here, we not only continue the story of an all-new Mowglii (a girl this time around) but we also begin to learn a little more about the other children that ended up stranded on this animal-ruled island. Bowmani was taken by Shere Khan’s tiger clan, where he’s being trained to take over leadership when Khan is no longer able to, though proving himself worthy is not an easy task. While Mowglii is facing off against the monstrous Baloo, a fight which is more than it seems to be, Khan’s tribe decides the truce made between himself and the wolf tribe was broken, allowing him to do what he wishes. With each issue, we learn a little more about this island and it’s inhabitants. These other children, now grown up, that were placed with the different tribes make things all the more interesting. I’m also curious if all these kids survived. Sometimes animals like the chewy center of kids, you know. Overall, this series is, so far, one of the most entertaining fable-based comics I’ve read in a long time that isn’t Fables-related. It’s more than the mindless T&A and violence that a lot of people seem to think Zenescope is all about. There is a solid story here, one that’s being built over time. And that’s what I love! –Skott Jimenez

HELLRAISER #13 (BOOM! Studios)Hellraiser
Beginning the second year of Hellraiser, Elliott Spencer, the former Pinhead, is making his plans known and it isn’t good! Apparently, this whole time he wasn’t looking for Heaven. No, he was looking to make his own version of Heaven, a place where he is God. He played everyone for fools and now it’s up to Kirsty to use all the powers at her disposal to try to stop him, but she’s going to have to kill him to do it! And if her powers alone aren’t enough, well, she’s going to be getting help from the most unlikely of sources! Someone she knows all to well and who not only has a personal grudge against Elliott, but the means to stop him! Beyond that, my one question is what Leviathan, Lord of the Labyrinth, thinks about all of this. After all, at one time Spencer was his right hand man when he was the Pinhead. I have to wonder if Leviathan will come into play and if we will learn more about its function. This series is just getting better, a continued improvement that hasn’t let up since it started. The more we learn about these characters, the more questions arise. All this time it seemed as if Elliott was on the level, but now we find he is just as evil in human form as he was as Pinhead. I’m more than curious to see where this goes. Also, this series has some of the best covers I’ve seen on an independent comic book in a long time! -Skott Jimenez

Rebel BloodREBEL BLOOD #2 (Image Comics)
Rebel Blood #2 continues the story of firefighter Chuck Neville and his struggle to survive a zombie apocalypse. The set up is pretty familiar: a lone survivor type finds himself in the middle of a contagious outbreak that turns people into flesh hungry monsters. Rebel Blood throws in a couple of twists though. In this story, animals can become infected too. The first issue focused heavily on ravenous wolves, and in issue two of Rebel Blood, infected mice become a huge problem. There are some other breaks from what you might think of as traditional zombie mythology. They don’t only crave brains, as one character states “meat is meat.” These are talking intelligent zombies too, they’re not so much the walking dead as they are people corrupted by a contagious hunger. That’s assuming you can still call them people, as the outbreak also carries a mutation effect, which makes for some very interesting creatures. This is a horror book, so expect plenty of gore. You’ll see corpses, large hungry teeth, murderous violence, blood, blood, and more blood! The comic in general is perhaps best described as “not safe for work”. I wouldn’t expect you’d hand a horror book over to any young children anyway, but if you’re seriously squeamish or offended by swearing/foul language this probably isn’t the book for you. The art can seem a little sketched out at times, but it’s still very detailed and serves the story well. Rebel Blood #2 was a fine read that featured a great escape sequence, but keep in mind that it is part two of a four-part story. -Scorpio Moon

SPACEMAN #6 of 9 (Vertigo)Spaceman
People tend to be in one of two distinct groups when it comes to the Spaceman comic miniseries: they either love it, or they hate it. I am firmly in the first group. Spaceman is one of the best comics coming out right now; and if the future slang dialogue in the title puts you off of the story, that’s too bad, because you are really missing out. In this issue we learn more about how the genetically modified spaceman, Orson’s, mission to Mars started going wrong after a rift was created between the other members of the mission’s crew, over a plan to smuggle gold that was discovered on the red planet. The kidnapping plot isn’t advanced too much in this issue, but with everyone hot on their heels, Orson does eventually come up with a plan to return the kidnapped reality TV star that he saved, Tara, back to her parents in a way that (hopefully) won’t get him and her killed. I love the art, dialogue, plot… really everything about this title. The plot has lost a little of its momentum in the last two issues, but looks to pick up as we enter the conclusion in the final three issues. Expect Spaceman to be a big seller when it is eventually released in TPB. All Vertigo titles from this week also contain an excerpt from the Shooters graphic novel, which I highly recommend as well. Happy Reading! -Robb Orr

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