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Review: Brain Boy #2, Buzzkill #2, S.H.O.O.T. First #1

Brain Boy #2

brain boy 2Ambushed while protecting an important foreign dignitary, Matt Price, a.k.a. Brain Boy, finds himself wrapped up in political intrigue when an assassination plot that could derail a key United Nations conference sets Brain Boy on a collision course with a man whose mental powers rival his own! Get ready for a psychic smackdown over the streets of New York City!

There’s something that’s a hell of a lot of fun about this series which mixes super powers with a bit of espionage. The world that writer Fred Van Lente has set up is ripe for expansion and growth and hopefully we’re just getting the beginnings of it all.

Overall, there’s a super hero James Bond feel to the first two issues, one that could be even more fun as the series progresses. We still don’t know the full extent of Brain Boy’s abilities, which is some times a positive, and some times a negative, but overall, the twists and turns with that have been entertaining.

The art by R. B. Silva is impressive capturing the excitement of the series. His use of panels is cool often breaking them for action packed pages. He seems to capture the vibe of the series quite well.

Overall, the series hasn’t blown me away, but it is quite fun and entertaining, worth checking out as an alternative to the rest of the capes and tights.

Story: Fred Van Lente Art: R. B. Silva
Story: 7.5 Art: 8 Overall: 7.75 Recommendation: Buy

Buzzkill #2

buzzkill 2Ruben’s attempt at a twelve-step recovery stalls before it begins, as an army of supervillains, led by his old nemesis Brutal Juice, assembles against him. But the alcohol-fueled superhero won’t give up yet . . . and before this blood-soaked issue is through, one of them will recognize a HIGHER POWER.

We’ve seen flawed super heroes before, but one whose powers directly comes from those flaws is an interesting twist and nice spin to the over used character type. Buzzkill is about addiction, but more than just addiction to substances, it’s also an addiction to power.

The series written by Donny Cates and Mark Reznicek feels like a fresh take after two issues. The fact that Ruben’s powers change depending on the drug taken, and the detail as to what counts as drugs, shows the series and rules within, have been thought out pretty well. It’s a small detail that’s appreciated.

Also, two issues in and we have a hell of a lot of action mixed with some solid back story. We see the things that lead up to Ruben wanting to clean up his act, something that adds a lot to the character and our perception of him and his decision. While many series would dedicate entire issues to that, this is done in flashbacks that are mixed in with the brutal action in the present.

That brutal action is perfectly put on page by Geoff Shaw who fits the series quite well. He’s got an awesome style for the series, both calm and action scenes.

Overall, Buzzkill to me came out of nowhere. I didn’t know what to expect going into the series and have come out of it loving both issues so far.

Story: Donny Cates, Mark Reznicek Art: Geoff Shaw
Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

S.H.O.O.T. First #1

shoot first 1The Secular Humanist Occult Obliteration Taskforce—defending humanity from angels, demons, and a bunch of other crap S.H.O.O.T. doesn’t believe in.

Justin Aclin as writer and Nicolás Daniel Selma on art take aim at the supernatural in an all-new big-action, big-ideas sci-fi adventure!

And those big-ideas I like a lot. Usually when you have a series of humans taking on some supernatural beings, it involves the Church or some secret sect. To do that same story with secular humanists is a nice twist. And working that into how their weapons work is even better. But, concept isn’t execution.

The first issue, is just ok overall. There’s some things I liked, and a lot I didn’t. The issue starts off with action and not much explanation which causes later scenes to involve lots of explanation that felt like it was there just for the reader’s benefits. I would have much preferred a story where I as the reader learn at a slower pace and items are doled out over time and through action instead of folks standing around talking.

The characters are just interesting each fitting an archetype that’s a bit predictable and none of it is new so far.

Overall, the first issue has some interesting promise, and maybe it’ll improve as the series progresses, but so far this one is much better in concept than execution.

Storyr: Justin Aclin Art: Nicolas Daniel Selma
Story: 6.5 Art: 7 Overall: 6.5 Recommendation: Pass

Dark Horse provided Graphic Policy with FREE copies for review