New Comic Book Day Seven: The Four Issues

Please check out my previous Storytelling posts here.  And my 365 Reviews here.

It’s Wednesday!  That means four new #1s that dropped today, reviewed for your pleasure.

This is a tough week.  Each of these issues is great in its own way.  I enjoyed all of them, and while I do not have the scratch to add all of them to my pull list, I think I’ll have to give each of these an issue #2 and determine what to drop from there.  Also, this means that it was difficult for me to pick a Best of the Four this week, but after searching my soul and taking the entire issue…art, story, and all…into consideration, I’ve made my call.

Bully Wars from Image Comics

Written by Skottie Young; Illustrated by Aaron Conley; Colors by Jean-Francois Beaulieu

This is a fun book with crazy, colorful art and colorful characters.

High school freshmen Ernie, Edith, and Spencer have been tormented by bully Rufus Ruffhouse for years, and when Rufus tries his shenanigans on the first day of high school, he quickly realizes that he’s not the only bully in town.

His arrogance quickly makes him the target of even bigger bullies, and when he finds out about a bullying competition called “Bully Wars,” he makes it his mission to compete and win.

A cool concept, although, if I’m being honest, it reads a bit like Monsters University in its concept through issue one.  And in that I’m simply referring to the unique form of competition that is brewing and the way the social hierarchy is playing out among the characters, but a fun read none the less!


War Bears from Dark Horse Comics

Story by Margaret Atwood and Ken Steacy; Art by Ken Steacy

Yep, a Margaret Atwood and Ken Steacy comic.  War Bears is set in WWII Canada and follows a young cartoonist as he creates a war hero of a character in the face of a world that shuns him, including his father, thinking less of his son that is not off fighting the war.

The book reads in story, dialogue, and art as a comic out of a different era, although, 21st century publishing give it a newer feel, War Bears feels uniquely retro and classic at the same time.

This is my pick of the week!  Best of the Four is the Dark Horse.  Everything about this book is impressive: the pacing, the character development, the classic art style, the dialogue, etc.  You won’t find a more complete $4.99 issue on the shelves this week, maybe even for a while.  This IS compact storytelling at its best.  AND you get to read some black and white War Bears at the end of the issue!


James Bond Origin from Dynamite

Written by Jeff Parker; Illustrated by Bob Q

A young James Bond origin story, set in WWII Scotland.

Mostly straight-forward, getting-to-know-you storytelling, this issue does a great job establishing characters and blending quick action scenes with exposition of setting and character.  The art and page layouts are innovative without being confusing or off-putting.

The action sequences blend and bleed panels and art while the more normal scenes stick to a semi-traditional panel/page layout.  A finely constructed issue one with slick art and one of the world’s most famous characters is sure to please most fans and readers.  This could be a television show: James Bond Origin.  You heard it here first!


United States Vs. Murder Inc. from Jinxworld

Created by Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Avon Oeming; Colors by Taki Soma

Simple story of girl’s dad gets tossed off of a skyscraper, and her uncle trains her to be a trained assassin like her father.  That’s about it, the art, colors, and page layouts in this issue are dope.  It’s a joy to look at.  The colors from Taki Soma swap from monochromatic blues, reds, and purples, blending and switching in a ways that are marvelous.

Simple lines with heavy, black outlines compliment the bold colors.  Read this one as a lesson in bold statement.  Not much story here, but I’m OK with that…


At the end of these Wednesday posts, I’m also going to be keeping a running list of the “Best of the Four” publisher wins!  Here you go.  Seven weeks in…Dark Horse on the board!

BOOM! Studios: 2

Image: 2

Dark Horse Comics: 1

Marvel: 1

IDW: 1

Shout out to my shop, Alternate Reality located at 111th and Kedzie in beautiful Downtown Mt. Greenwood, Chicago…where I get all of my new books.  Check them out if you are in the Chicagoland area.  Tell Tim that Eric sent ya!

Happy reading!


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