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Evil Geek Book Report – Mini Reviews

With 2014 upon us we’ve been seeing a slew of new series and new #1 issues partly due to Marvel’s idiotic business model of constantly relaunching series because of new creative teams or new directions of the character. I digress though because this has already been discussed so let’s take a look at 3 new series I read this week.

 Black Widow #1

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This book starts off in James Bond mode and giving us the end of another adventure in Russia where Black Widow’s saving someone’s life who has a hit on them. We follow Natasha back to America where we find out that in her personal time she’s been taking dangerous jobs in order to pay back the families of people she’s done wrong by. The writing and the art on this book are both solid. It’s a great encapsulation of a first issue; it gets the point across and sets things up pretty quickly. I know it’s hard to say, since it’s a #1, but strangely I’m just not feeling this. It’s exactly what I thought it was going to be which I was looking forward to, but for whatever reason it just didn’t sit well (Stan Sitwell?) with me.

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The Hawkeye comparisons are strange too. Yes, Hawkeye is a big selling book for Marvel and it’s about Clint Barton in his off time from the Avengers. This series claims to be about Natasha Ramanoff in her off time from the Avengers. This is true, but if her off time involves her being a super spy, it sounds pretty similar to her day job. I’ll give the next issue a try though and see where it goes from there.

 Robotech/Voltron #1

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How did this ever happen? I have a feeling the idea of this is much cooler than the actual product that we will get. I should also note that this is a five issue miniseries. Ok first off, let me say that I can’t praise this art by Elmer Damaso enough. Much like the Mega Man series I feel like I’m reading an 80’s cartoon, it suits both source materials perfectly. While it was awesome to look at, I’ll admit the story left be a bit bewildered. The lions transform into Voltron pretty damn quickly and get zapped in outer space and disappear only to crash land in 2009 Earth via Macross Island. We know this must take place near the beginning of the original Robotech series (or First Robotech War, if you will) because the SDF-1 is already launched in space and battling the Zentradi, Roy Fokker is alive and ace pilots Max and Ben are shown. However, this begs the question where is Rick Hunter? Hunter is by far the main character of the Robotech cartoon. We also have an interesting subplot from Voltron that takes place years later after Voltron is transported into 2009 where planet Arus is now captured and destroyed since there is no means to protect themselves but prince Lotor decides to take a look at it’s remains anyway.

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What do I think? I don’t know. I will keep buying this for the sole purpose of wanting to see Voltron battle Robotech’s transforming Valkyrie fighters or better yet, team up with the massive alien space ship/station the SDF-1. Honestly isn’t that what we all want? It’s the 80’s all over again and we loved us some Japanese transforming robots in the 80’s. While this all may be slightly confusing to people unaware of one or both franchises, I’m sure fans will be receiving some excellent easter eggs throughout the next 4 issues. The cover of issue #2 alone shows the dead Voltron patriarch, King Alfor with a young Princess Allura. WTF?!?!

All New X-Factor #1

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Peter David had a long career with X-Factor to mostly critically acclaimed results. Well, I haven’t read one damn issue of his run. With All New Marvel Now’s reluanch (one that you may remember me insulting at the top of this article), I was sucked into this new #1 issue. Mainly because of the reshuffling of the deck but also because of the cover art and nice bite sized team. I’m not much of a team book reader so if there is one, I prefer it to be small and manageable. This book is heavy on our favorite Cajun, Remy LeBeau. I’ve been wondering what the hell he’s been doing since I last checked in with him in the 90’s. Apparently, being hired to steal things and being stopped by Wolverine. Wolvie claims he’s setting a poor example for the students at the Jean Grey School For Higher Learning and blah blah. I don’t like Wolverine being used in this capacity as of recent years but whatever. Gambit is pissed and goes out to get drunk only to find Polaris at the bar.

As it turns out Polaris is recruiting for a new X-Factor team that is being corporately sponsored by the company Serval Industries. We learn a lot through Gambit being the outsider as he’s brought in with a lot of questions to ask. Quicksilver for some reason wants in on this and has been in some kind of disagreement with the Avengers which isn’t detailed. It seems the big story of this series will revolve around Serval Industries and what it is they actually do. At the end of the first issue the team is dispatched to shut down an organization that is operating on mutants.

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I’m sad to report the cover artist, Kris Anka is not the interior artist. Carmine Di Giandomenico’s work here is mediocre, it’s ok but it just looks like it’s rushed and the lines just haven’t been smoothed out yet and refined.  All said and done, this was a great first issue and I was pleasantly surprised.  It did what it needed to do in an interesting and non cliché way and got the ball rolling. I’ll be looking forward to issue #2 in a few weeks.

That’s all for this round. Got something to say? Say it below!

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About Biff Tannen

Film Noir, Pulp, Comic Books and Hitchcock.

Posted on January 15, 2014, in COMICS!, Evil Geek Book Report, Reviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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