BULLSEYE / BLOOD BLISTER / DARTH MAUL / BATMAN / PLANETOID PRAXIS [Reviews]: A Bloody Good Time!
Giving one of the best veteran assassin/bad guys ever in Marvel Comics his own book is such a damn fun idea. Before there was Deadpool and all his smart-ass, four-wall-breaking, self-aware-commenting villainy, there was Bullseye from Daredevil’s rogue’s gallery. And here he is, back from what everybody thought was his demise, to continue in his killing-for-hire game. And he’s ready to make his lost time up in dollars and dead bodies. This lead-off story starts off with a great action sequence of Bullseye taking out an informant being sequestered by the FBI; as the man runs for his life, he utters the famous phrase “I thought you were dead?!” as it’s announcing to the Marvel world, and the reader that Bullseye is back.
As funny as it sounds, it would sense for assassins to have agents too so they can just concentrate on their jobs? I wonder what his business cards would say? Anyways, Bullseye–in a way of filling in the reader of where he has been–tells his agent about being gone so long, what he’s been through, and that he wants to get back in the game big time. So what better way to make a splash than heading to Columbia to deal with a drug cartel?!
From the last panel of the story, as he enters the Colombian airport stapling flyers to civilians chests (and throwing them around that read “I’m coming for you” to the cartel!), we can assume that’s all the noise he is going to make! As much as the story is a total joy, I have a big problem with the art. Guillermo Sanna (Daredevil) has very sloppy, non-descriptive art that takes me back more to Sunday comic strips in the newspaper–as it’s more for cartoon characters than real human beings. His faces have very few features and his action scenes are blotchy like a Pollock painting, like he had only a couple of days to get this art finished.
In a non-related second story for this book, Bullseye is in his traditional blue costume and he has been captured after stealing some computer documents for a client. Written by respected comic writer Marv Wolfman (Suicide Squad), Bullseye is tied up and his captor “Eddie” is telling him that if he doesn’t give back the documents he’s going to torture him. After playing possum and agreeing to give up the goods, they make the mistake of untying his hands… Missstakkkeee!!! 4/5 Thumbdrives.
Sinister. Insidious. Wretched. Ominous. Something wicked this way comes. I’m just talking about the main player of this new horror comic by Phil (Darkness / Green Arrow) Hester and Tony (Starman / Ex Machina ) Harris. Brand Hull is a *shudder* lawyer. A corporate lawyer *eeeeek!!!!* He’s a conniving, manipulating, diplodocus snake in a nice business suit. When he isn’t busy duping “the little people” into not being legally able to sue big businesses that wreck havoc on the environment and get away with it, he’s also a absentee part time divorcee who neglects his kid. What a prize this guy is. But don’t worry gang, he’s about to get what’s coming to him. Evil–actual.. evil–is creeping into his life.
In a sort of dark twisted reverse version of Dorian Gray meets A Christmas Carol, Brand is about suffer physical and supernatural horrors and deformities exposing his sins for all to see. Hester (who’s still a double threat-talent) showcasing his writing talents here with a villain you just want to see get his comeuppance. Artistically? This is the return of the Tony Harris. After an extended leave from comics (and a brief return), Harris is back in full on Art Beast mode. This comic is rife with unconventional panel arrangements and wonderfully laid out pages that enhance the sense of dread that is slowly seeping into Bran’s soon to be a living nightmare of a life. Grotesque never looked so beautiful. 4/5 Bloody Bibles.
Darth Maul #1 delves in the adventures and misdeeds that Maul was getting into before the events of Episode I. We open with a traditional Star Wars crawl and Darth Maul on the planet Twon Ketee hunting the monsters that we first glimpsed in Episode VII called the Rathtars. Considering they were on screen for about 5 minutes they came off far more menacing and dangerous in the wild as pack hunters, although they become nothing more than fodder for Maul as he dispatches them quickly, without his lightsaber!
What a badass.
Back on Coruscant, Maul is becoming restless and craves the opportunity to dispatch of the Jedi, though he oversteps with Sidious, who sends him to Kellux to take care of space pirates run afoul. There’s no denying if you’re a Star Wars fan, you are more than likely, a Darth Maul fan. With Cullen Bunn and Luke Ross, writing and drawing (respectively), it’s a safe bet that Maul is in good hands for the remainder of the series. As written by Bunn, we get into Maul’s head and how his thought process works, and although obedient, how he despises his master’s meaningless tasks. Luke Ross illustrating tie it all together with explosions that pop off the page and combat sequences that are what I like to call “violently elegant”.
Also, if the main story is too much doom and gloom, there’s a wonderful backup by Chris Eliopoulos and Jordie Bellaire about the droids that Darth Maul sends in search of the Jedi on Tatooine during The Phantom Menace. And one of the droid’s delightful shenanigans it gets into. 3/5 Lightsabers.
I’m going to go a bit backwards here and give my rating first. Issue #16 is a perfect Batman comic. While I admit that I am a huge Batman fan, I don’t always proclaim 5/5 ratings, but this comic had everything I look for. It becomes apparent–and quite impressive–how well Tom King (Grayson) understands the character he’s writing for; he gets the Bat. In the previous issues King has been carefully engineering the moving plots of the narrative which have lead us up to the current quandary of our favorite detective, and it’s BATastic! So Bane is back, and he’s come back to fetch Psycho Pirate to help counteract the side effects of Venom; yet, at the same time, Batman needs Psycho Pirate to help recover Gotham Girl’s mind. These opposing forces of impasse means there a Bat-Family brawl brewing making anyone Bruce has cared for a potential target for the wrath of Bane. It’s a showdown set up that any BatFan can enjoy.
There’s a bit of everything going on in this issue and each of the character’s intent comes across so clearly without the need of over analyzing. King really does a fantastic job with these icons. Although the main story is that Bane is coming to town, being the sappy BatFan I am, what I enjoyed most about this comic is how endearing it came across. Although Bruce is a loner (Selina, a rebel), he needs a family and that’s shown here within the actions of Damian, Dick and Jason acting outside of their hero roles. Their playful banter throughout a night out for dinner demonstrates the unyielding bond the Robins have with Bruce in a way any dad has with his three sons grabbing a burger. I just really adore seeing them all together. Even as Bruce tells them to stay away from Bane, there’s more of the father figure than the Batman figure coming across.
But wait, there more! Not only does Bane return in this issue, but David MF Finch returns to team up with King for some of this best pencil work yet. Finch is spot on in every panel giving every scene its own unique place perfect for Jordie Bellaire’s colors. It’s a new arc so readers shouldn’t have too hard of a time jumping in for this clash of the Titans revisited. 5/5 Bane Veins.
PLANETOID PRAXIS 001
Planetoid Praxis Organism Observation – (Multi-Species Hierarchies and Paradigms)
Author and Affiliation:
Bud, J.E. (www.godhatesgeeks.com, Los Angeles, CA, United States)
High-resolution satellite surveillance of the surface of Planetoid Praxis and its inhabitants, visual and pictographic, has been reestablished as of, Feb 01, 2017, after a 4 year hiatus, (w/ an initial cease-and-desist, ordered by Image Comics, Inc., Interstellar Division, on Mar 27, 2013). Recent technological advancements in electro-magnetic field radiation, developed on Rio Goma, have allowed the Ono Mao to dispatch one of their Surveyor Class subjects to Praxis; with orders to conduct a reconnaissance mission – for the purpose of locating and assessing sentient settlements, their aggregate populations, species constituencies, socio-economic and political structures, cross-cultural exchanges, and the possibility of interspecies breeding; along with developing exponential algorithmic analysis to substantiate desired and/or potential species assimilation/harvesting values – in addition to their possible near-future threat levels to the existing Ono Mao paradigm…
Although currently reconfigured data streams seem to show an apparent prevalence between Ono Maoian biomorphic technology systems and what appears to be the “mecha-sapient” structure of Planetoid’s Praxis’ terra-formations, current statistical analysis remains inconclusive at present, due to insufficient physical evidence… Previous interactions by the Ono Mao, with the Terra-Human, Noxalite, and Ebotak species, has resulted in: attempted genocide, bio- and genetic-experimentation, interplanetary colonization, mass consumption, terminal enslavement, perpetual torture regimentation, and utter corporeal annihilation. The myriad variables required to hypothesize a mathematically-sequential outcome for future interactions among the aforementioned species remains at present…unknown, and potentially…abysmal. Where is Silas???
Feb 05, 2017
SPACE SCIENCES, COMIC FICTION
Planetoid Praxis, Volume 001. February 2017. Published by Image Comics, Inc.
Keith Garing (Planetoid, Intergalactic) Chronology, Pictography, Typography
3.75/5 Space Crystals In Your Glass Rocket Pipe.