Celebrating Comics

Love It Hate It: The Weeks #1’s (Oct 25 & Nov 01, 2017)

Comparing the best, and the not so best comic books.

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It’s not so much about me running behind as it is the lack of #1s coming out each week for Love It Hate It. In fact, last week there were only three comics that I even thought worthy, and reviewing just three comics makes it tough to really choose one you love and one you hate. So for now, we’ll go with the every two week format until more #1s start dropping.

For the weeks of Oct 25th & Nov 01st, choices were limited, but we managed to find eight #1s to read and consider for this review. As I continue to flesh out this column, I’m wanting to start defining a few things. For instance, if you release a comic as a #1, then anyone should be able to pick up the comic and read it without any prior knowledge of your franchise or comics that have come before. For me, that’s rule numero uno. I can let about anything else slide, but not that.

The Past Weeks’ Love It Hate It Contenders

So this reviews Love em/Hate em are:

  1. No. 1 With a Bullet (Image)
  2. Hack/Slash: Resurrection (Image)
  3. The GraveDiggers Union (Image)
  4. GhostBusters: Answer the Call (IDW)
  5. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles/GhostBusters 2 (IDW)
  6. Atomic Robo: The World’s Greatest Adventure Magazine (IDW)
  7. Power Pack (Marvel)
  8. Eternity (Valiant)

LOVE IT: No. 1 With a Bullet #1 from Image

No. 1 With a Bullet #1 coverThis week was a really hard decision between No. 1 with a BulletHack/Slash: Resurrection, and The GraveDiggers Union. The latter two deal with zombies and perhaps apocalypses on a grand scale, but I chose No. 1 with a Bullet and here is why. It’s unique and relevant.

The Story

First, and for some, perhaps most importantly, Jacob Semahn (W) has not created a story that is easy to get into. That being said, it doesn’t feel like it’s because there is some back lore or story that I would have to have knowledge of in order to understand, it’s just a difficult story to follow when you first start reading. Not all stories need a degree of complexity to be good. In fact, I would argue that most don’t. But this story is different.

Second, I’m not even sure what the title means. Maybe this will become more meaningful as the series progresses (in fact, I’m betting it will), but right now it seems fairly ambiguous. As far as we know, there are no “bullets”, literal of otherwise, that stand out in this first issue, but I’m fairly certain this will make more sense later on.

Next, we have our protagonists, Nash Huang, and this is the reason the comic makes the number one spot this week. Once again, we have a diverse character (a lesbian in a same-sex marriage) without the entire comic focusing on that diversity. Instead, Nash seems to have an obsession with social media and documenting her life: sound familiar to many of us? And she’s harsh when it comes to people getting caught in compromising situations when it comes to social media. Her exact words “Fuck that. It’s the internet. Don’t want your shit out there? Then don’t make it easy for people to take advantage.

By the end of this first issue, however, Nash finds that life might not be that simple. That perhaps her motto of “Hackers gonna hack” is gonna actually come back and bite her in the ass. So yea, this is a comic that I’ll have to read a couple of times to get all of the nuances of it. But as of right now, I can’t wait for issue #2 to drop. Let’s hope it doesn’t disappoint.

The Art

No. 1 With a Bullet #1 detailThis is a story that would be nothing without the art. The art by Jorge Corona and the colors by Jen Hickman set the tone and the mood of this piece so perfectly that it’s actually kind of surreal. The colors are bold and in your face and the story needs that to carry it through. The interjection of social media is also done in such a way as to not slow the pace of the story are make it awkward to read.

There are times that certain sequences are a bit confusing to follow, but in this instance, I feel it works in the comic. And to be honest, by the end of the story we know there has been a shift. The sequence before is full of reds and oranges with some deep purples. The feeling is that things are intense, and they are. But the following sequence is full of light greens and pastel like colors. At least until the final page when one panel is back to brutal blood red.

The point is, the art works with the words to tell a story. A story I’m not fully up to speed on yet, but I’m willing to let that slid this time. It feels like the type of story that needs to have a degree of ambiguity before it all becomes clear. Here’s hoping the next issue is just as good as this one.

LOVE IT Runners Up: Hack/Slash: Resurrection, and The Grave Diggers Union (both Image)
Hack/Slash: Resurrection cover

Grave Diggers Union coverBoth of these books are definitely worth the read. It was a difficult choice this week to choose a LOVE IT book because of how much I loved these two books. I think I’m discovering that I have a love/hate relationship with everything zombie in general and with zombie comics specifically. Funny what we learn about ourselves in doing this job.

HATE IT: Eternity #1 from Valiant

Eternity #1 coverGotta be honest. This is one of those books that I felt like I needed a lesson on this universe before diving into it. I felt the same way about Power Pack, but at least that book tried to give me a crash course in what I needed to know. And after a little research, I found that I’m right. According to Oliver Sava who had a sneak preview of the book, this book looks deeper into “The Unknown” that was introduced in Divinity.

I did not know this until I looked it up while writing this piece. Yet I somehow sensed that I was missing out on something. That there had to be another book or series that this one was branching off from. The problem with that is that I know NOTHING about this “The Unknown,” and I felt I should. Listen people, #1s should start the user out fresh. If there is any backstory we need to know, either tell us up front, or somehow weave it into the first issue.

UGHHHHHH, the frustration here is real. And I KNOW that I’m not the only one who feels it. This very thing is why we can’t get newbies to pick up comics and start reading. They grab a number one in hopes of being able to start fresh with something new and lo and behold, they soon learn they have no earthly or multversely idea of what the hell is going on in the comic. But let’s say they are determined, and they stick with it for another 2, 3, maybe even a full story arcs worth. Are they rewarded for their diligence?? Likely not.

Now I know what you are thinking. There is no way a DC or a Marvel could catch the reader up on decades of Batman, Superman, Spiderman, or the like. And you are right. But I think newbies understand that aspect. EVERYONE knows how long these characters have been around. If they pick up a number 1, they know it’s not the beginning, but rather a continuation of a lore, a legend, that they at least have some clue about. But books like Eternity? Noooooooo. This should either give me enough back story so that I at least know there is something prior to this, or start fresh.

Enough ranting. I now return you to your regularly scheduled review.

So there you have it. My humble opinion of the #1 issues of the past two weeks. I’m off galavanting around the country until Thanksgiving, and, well, then it’s Thanksgiving. So here is wishing you and whomever you choose or not to celebrate the holiday with a really, really good one. And keep reading those comics. I’ll see ya in December!!!


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