Singles Going Steady is Comics Bulletin’s infrequent reviews roundup column. With this installment, we’re covering some titles from the past few weeks while welcoming a new writer to the site!
Bloodshot #1 (Valiant Entertainment)
(w) Tim Seeley (a) Brett Booth (c) Andrew Dalhouse (cvr) Declan Shalvey
Bloodshot #1 reintroduces Valiant’s unstoppable, amnesiatic killing machine with a brand new creative team. Getting their first work for the publisher is writer Tim Seeley (Hack/Slash, Nightwing) and artist Brett Booth (Titans, Flash Forward), and they put their talents to work producing a blood-soaked actioner.
Booth’s artwork is full of high-energy characters that are expressive and fluid on the page. However, his artwork is muddied by the sheer volume of stuff taking up each page, especially when there are big explosions that dominate the page. Andrew Dalhouse’s colors do not help with this problem, but when things aren’t going “boom” his work is actually pretty good.
Bloodshot #1 isn’t the strongest introduction for new readers, save for a page or two of exposition near the end, but Seeley’s script is more concerned with establishing what type of book this series will be. To that end, he is successful in establishing Bloodshot as a stylistic actioner that is light on substance.
- Daniel Gehen
Napoleon Dynamite #1 (IDW Publishing)
(w) Carlos Guzman-Verdugo & Alejandro Verdugo (a) Jorge Monlong
The 2004 cult classic comedy Napoleon Dynamite finally gets a sequel in the form of IDW’s four-issue mini-series Napoleon Dynamite Impeach Pedro. The story picks up where the movie left off with Napoleon, Deb and Pedro in their senior year of high school. The comic takes the reader back to the quirky world of these character’s small town in Idaho where Pedro’s student presidency is under attack from election fraud allegations. Napoleon and, his now girlfriend, Deb have to put their skills to work to save Pedro’s presidency. Meanwhile a couple of out-of-town podcasters are renting Kip’s old bedroom while they investigate the mysterious death of city council member Doug Young. What is happening in the world of Napoleon Dynamite and where does Uncle Rico fit in?
Jorge Monlongo’s art expertly captures all the awkwardness of Napoleon and the characters around him, while the writing of siblings Carlos and Alejandro hits the tone and personality of this group of teenagers perfectly. The mystery twist to this coming of age comedy makes for a highly entertaining opening issue to this four part mini-series. There are five different covers including three photo covers with still shots from the original movie for collectors who enjoy variants.
- Mike Nickells
Amazing Spider-Man #30 (Marvel Comics)
(w) Nick Spencer (a) Ryan Ottley (i) Cliff Rathburn (c) Nathan Fairbairn
One of the core elements of Spider-Man is his sense of responsibility. It is something that has been lost in recent years, and it is the reason why Nick Spencer’s run on Amazing Spider-Man has resonated with so many readers. Throughout his run, Spencer has made “responsibility” the overarching theme, with this issue really hitting it home as it ties into “Absolute Carnage.”
Throughout the issue, Peter Parker reflects on his role in bringing the symbiotes to Earth and the damage they have done. What’s great about this is it allows Ryan Ottley to reimagine some iconic moments in Spidey-lore, as well as some characters long since past. The original Secret Wars pops up, as it was the introduction of the black (symbiote) suit. We also see Ottley’s Gwen Stacy as Peter grapples with his past guilt during a confrontation with a Carnage symbiote-wearing Norman Osborne, who is inexplicably not the Red Goblin this time.
In all, Amazing Spider-Man #30 is a well-made, well-paced issue that may not be a necessary tie-in for those following “Absolute Carnage”, but is a worthwhile read nonetheless. Spencer and Ottley manage to do this while keeping regular Amazing readers in the know, making this a welcoming issue for all.
- Daniel Gehen