Tag Archives: No. 1 with A Bullet

Review: No. 1 With A Bullet #3

In No. 1 With A Bullet #3, writer Jacob Semahn, artist Jorge Corona, and colorist Jen Hickman go full David Fincher while still spending plenty of time showing Nash Huang coming to grips with the public’s reaction to a leaked video (Via high tech contact lenses.) of her having sex with her old boss Jad Davies. She also has a stalker who likes to leave Bible verses in blood in her apartment, and the first bits of the comic are Nash talking to a fairly friendly and empathetic police officer. The midway point of this series starts as a lot of (good) unpacking and fallout, but then Semahn, Corona, and Hickman slam down on the gas with an adrenaline packed sequence that seems to all be in the protagonist’s head, but actually has very real consequences. Because “it was all a dream” is such a cop out.

Corona’s layouts in the first half of No. 1 With A Bullet #3 are fairly traditional with nine panel grids and talking TV heads that wouldn’t be out of place with some of the big comic book hits of 1986. But his figures are quirky and idosyncratic as ever. As exhibited by books like Mister Miracle this past year, there’s nothing wrong with a nine panel grid if it’s used in a creative way to add layers to a story instead of having talking head dialogue. For the most part, Corona and Hickman nail this part like when Jad, who is a little apologetic after losing his big shot media job, is maybe a little too “sorry” on the phone with his sleazy fixer/PR buddy Maddox. Corona never shows Maddox; he is the man behind the curtain, and instead focuses on a freaking out Jad or the news cameras slowing wheeling up to his house. To pick a very contemporary example, he is like YouTuber Logan Paul and is backpedaling and freaking out not because he understands that he has violated a woman’s privacy and sexually assaulted her via technology, but because he got caught and has less chances at getting money and power. Hickman chooses grey for most of these panels that fits perfectly with his glum mood and the fact that Maddox is using “grey areas” to protect his client.

However, No. 1 With A Bullet #3 isn’t all media reactions and excellent commentary about how men who “perform” in leaked sex videos are treated like studs or at least are allowed a second chance while women are slut shamed. This second theme does give the book real world relevance, including sobering commentary from the victim of the Black Dahlia Murders about how people would rather have a lurid tabloid story than think about victims as people. This sequence happens in a semi horror/semi hallucination/not-so-guided tour of the Museum of Death, which Nash’s hemorrhaging artist friend thinks would be a great way to get her to relax. When they’re in the museum, all bets and Jorge Corona grid compositions are off and replaced with tilting and moving panels plus plenty of negative space. There’s the usual harbingers of the macabre, like skeletons and clowns, coupled with negative social media comments about Nash that make her feel trapped in a scary space. It’s a reminder of that classic horror saying that humans, especially powerful, unapologetic men, are the real monsters.

Even though the events of the story take a much needed turn for the traditional horror, Jacob Semahn, Jorge Corona, and Jen Hickman continue to find No. 1 with a Bullet #3’s scariest and most insightful moments in a slightly heightened version of the real world.

Story: Jacob Semahn Art: Jorge Corona Colors: Jen Hickman
Story: 7.5 Art: 9.0 Overall: 8.2 Recommendation: Buy

Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review.

Review: No. 1 With A Bullet #1

Unlike their previous Image series Goners, which was inspired by the classic 1980s kids vs monsters genre, writer Jacob Semahn, artist Jorge Corona, and colorist Jen Hickman go for the present and future in No. 1 With A Bullet #1. The comic’s protagonist Nash Huang, a young queer woman, who is the assistant to celebrity talk show host Jad Davies and tests out special contact lenses that record everything around her and create artificial stimulus and sensations. In the wrong (or anyone’s) hands, this new tech could be creepy as hell. Jad is like Chris Hardwick yet creepier even if Semahn and Corona don’t flesh him out a lot in the first issue choosing to focus on a day in the life of Nash that starts freaky when she puts, gets normal, and yes, gets freaky to close out the book.

Jen Hickman’s disorienting yellow, black, and bloody red color palette is the real MVP of No. 1 With A Bullet‘s opening sequence. The leeching and bloodletting of Hollywood is almost literal from Corona’s opening title page of spurting blood covering the office of Jad Davies. The first few pages are intense and immersive with colors that shock and awe before pulling back and starting to build up the character of Nash and the series’ theme of invasion of privacy, and the fact that through the Internet almost anyone could ruin our lives. Conversations and activities that we once thought we thought are private could be recorded either through audio or video or live tweeted by some complete or utter stranger.

The ability to be hacked, framed, or having your private moments made public is the engine that drives the horror of No. 1 With A Bullet. It’s scary because its real; this comic (and sort of the recent Instagram generation dark stalker comedy Ingrid Goes West) made me seriously consider putting all my social media accounts or private or locked. However, Corona’s bendy anatomy and Hickman’s sometimes desert sunset, sometimes zonked out urban wasteland (The scenes where Nash runs errands in the city.) color palette keep the comic more stylized and less documentary style.

Along with the Jen Hickman’s colors and the surreal, futuristic meets this-could-be-the present images of Jorge Corona, Jacob Semahn’s strong characterization She isn’t a Final Girl, damsel in distress, or pick your trope and take a shot character, but a human woman with flaws, virtues, realistic relationships, and a sense of humor. She loves her partner, Violet, checks Twitter way too much, sometimes says problematic things, and maybe works a little too hard at her low rung on the Hollywood ladder job. Semahn’s grounded writing of Nash gives readers an anchor in the reality bending weirdness of No. 1 with A Bullet.

Social media offers a way to become famous, infamous, or something between with a hacked iCloud server or an unintentional drunk tweet or private message having scary consequences. Jacob Semahn, Jorge Corona, and Jen Hickman channel this primal, yet technological fear in No. 1 with A Bullet and chase it with colorscapes that will be seared into your brain and a main character that you will want to grab a drink and maybe hug.

Story: Jacob Semahn Art: Jorge Corona Colors: Jen Hickman
Story: 7.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 8.0 Recommendation: Buy

Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review.

Around the Tubes

It’s new comic book day! What are folks getting? What are you excited for? Sound off in the comments below.

While you wait for shops to open, here’s some comic news and reviews from around the web in our morning roundup.

CBLDF – Library of Congress Exhibit to Highlight Women Cartoonists and Illustrators – We’ll definitely go check this out!

 

Reviews

Talking Comics – Batman: The Dawnbreaker #1

Herts Advertiser – Doctor Strange: Mr. Misery

The Beat – Ismyre

Newsarama – No. 1 With a Bullet #1

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

Wednesdays are new comic book day! Each week hundreds of comics are released, and that can be pretty daunting to go over and choose what to buy. That’s where we come in!

Each week our contributors are choosing up to five books and why they’re choosing the books. In other words, this is what we’re looking forward to and think you should be taking a look!

Find out what folks think below, and what comics you should be looking out for this Wednesday.

Atomic Robo: Spectre of Tomorrow #1 (IDW Publishing) – Atomic Robo and his crew are back in a whole new adventure! If you’ve never read this series, now’s the time to start in a series that’s fun, full of action, with fantastic art, and great for young and old alike.

Batman #34 (DC Comics) – Batman and Catwoman are touring the globe after their engagement and the first stop is to take care of loose strings concerning his relationship with Talia Al-Ghul.

Batman: The Devestator #1 (DC Comics) – The latest one-shot focused on a Batman from the Dark Multiverse, this one mixing Batman with Doomsday!

Black Lightning: Cold, Dead, Hands #1 (DC Comics) – With a new television series around the corner, DC has launched this mini-series from the characters original creator. With a slight update for the times, the first issue is a fantastic read that touches upon real world issues.

Captain America #695 (Marvel) – Captain America’s reputation (and the character) are definitely at a low point thanks to a year and a half of stories that saw him betraying everything he stood for. Can the new creative team redeem the character?

Catalyst Prime: Noble #6 (Lion Forge Comics) – If you haven’t been checking out Lion Forge’s Catalyst Prime universe, you’re missing out. The comic line has diverse voices in creators, characters, styles, it’s a fresh take on the superhero genre.

Deadman #1 (DC Comics) – Neal Adams on Deadman… do you need to know anything else?

Gravediggers Union #1 (Image Comics) – A new Image series and this first issue is oversized. By Wes Craig and Toby Cypress, this series sees a group that are the only ones that can stop the apocalypse. Steroid zombies, monster gods, swamp vampires, ghost storms, and space monkeys!

The Jetsons #1 (DC Comics) – If you read the already released short take on these characters you’ll know why we’re excited for this new comic. A very interesting take on the classic characters that has us pondering existence.

Lazaretto #3 (BOOM! Studios) – A claustrophobic series taking place in a college dorm focused on an outbreak. The art has us mixed but the story is top notch and rather creep since it could really happen.

No. 1 With a Bullet #1 (Image Comics) – Another new Image series by Jacob Semahn and Jorge Corona that sounds like it takes on technology with a slight horror take. We always dig some good ole futurism.

Power Pack #63 (Marvel) – It’s Power Pack, that’s reason enough to get us excited.

TMNT/Ghostbusters II #1 (IDW Publishing) – The two franchises are back together and the Ghostbusters must save the Turtles from the ghost dimension.

Unpresidential (Z2 Comics) – Some solid satire on American politics and culture it features Kim Jong Un running for President.

The Walking Dead #173 (Skybound/Image Comics) – Things are heating up and we want to know what, and who, Michonne and her team discover!

Around the Tubes

It’s a new week and Thor: Ragnarok has opened or will be opening for a lot of us! Who’s seen it? What’d you think? Sound off int he comments below! While you wait for our review tomorrow, here’s some comic news and reviews from around the web.

Kotaku – How The UFC’s Best Fighter Thinks He’d Beat Batman, Thor, And Goku – Don’t think this would happen. They’re not real for one…

 

Reviews

Talking Comics – Maestros #1

How to Love Comics – No. 1 With a Bullet #1

ICv2 – Santania

Advance Review: No. 1 With A Bullet #1

Unlike their previous Image series Goners, which was inspired by the classic 1980s kids vs monsters genre, writer Jacob Semahn, artist Jorge Corona, and colorist Jen Hickman go for the present and future in No. 1 With A Bullet #1. The comic’s protagonist Nash Huang, a young queer woman, who is the assistant to celebrity talk show host Jad Davies and tests out special contact lenses that record everything around her and create artificial stimulus and sensations. In the wrong (or anyone’s) hands, this new tech could be creepy as hell. Jad is like Chris Hardwick yet creepier even if Semahn and Corona don’t flesh him out a lot in the first issue choosing to focus on a day in the life of Nash that starts freaky when she puts, gets normal, and yes, gets freaky to close out the book.

Jen Hickman’s disorienting yellow, black, and bloody red color palette is the real MVP of No. 1 With A Bullet‘s opening sequence. The leeching and bloodletting of Hollywood is almost literal from Corona’s opening title page of spurting blood covering the office of Jad Davies. The first few pages are intense and immersive with colors that shock and awe before pulling back and starting to build up the character of Nash and the series’ theme of invasion of privacy, and the fact that through the Internet almost anyone could ruin our lives. Conversations and activities that we once thought we thought are private could be recorded either through audio or video or live tweeted by some complete or utter stranger.

The ability to be hacked, framed, or having your private moments made public is the engine that drives the horror of No. 1 With A Bullet. It’s scary because its real; this comic (and sort of the recent Instagram generation dark stalker comedy Ingrid Goes West) made me seriously consider putting all my social media accounts or private or locked. However, Corona’s bendy anatomy and Hickman’s sometimes desert sunset, sometimes zonked out urban wasteland (The scenes where Nash runs errands in the city.) color palette keep the comic more stylized and less documentary style.

Along with the Jen Hickman’s colors and the surreal, futuristic meets this-could-be-the present images of Jorge Corona, Jacob Semahn’s strong characterization She isn’t a Final Girl, damsel in distress, or pick your trope and take a shot character, but a human woman with flaws, virtues, realistic relationships, and a sense of humor. She loves her partner, Violet, checks Twitter way too much, sometimes says problematic things, and maybe works a little too hard at her low rung on the Hollywood ladder job. Semahn’s grounded writing of Nash gives readers an anchor in the reality bending weirdness of No. 1 with A Bullet.

Social media offers a way to become famous, infamous, or something between with a hacked iCloud server or an unintentional drunk tweet or private message having scary consequences. Jacob Semahn, Jorge Corona, and Jen Hickman channel this primal, yet technological fear in No. 1 with A Bullet and chase it with colorscapes that will be seared into your brain and a main character that you will want to grab a drink and maybe hug when the comic drops in November.

Story: Jacob Semahn Art: Jorge Corona Colors: Jen Hickman
Story: 7.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 8.0 Recommendation: Buy

Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review.