by Michael Brown, staff writer

Welcome to this week’s Four-Color Bullet, the only comic-book review column with a Six-Demon Bag.

Comic Book Day has come and gone, and it is with much regret that I announce the closing of the local comic shop. I’m reading my stuff on Comixology, now, and it’s not a bad ride. To be honest, I enjoy it. That said, if you love your brick-and-mortar store, send ’em some love and help them out. I don’t think digital comics are threatening the shops. I talk to a lot of people every day about this issue and there are almost as many for digital comics as against. Both have advantages, and I’m beginning to enjoy digital. But there are some comics I just have to have copies of. But I heard Todd McFarlane say the other day on a documentary about comics history, and I paraphrase, it shouldn’t matter where you get your comics as long as you get them and support the industry. There are pros and cons to both, but let’s just all be comics fans. It shouldn’t matter how we read them, as long as we read them. And enjoy them.

From Marvel this week:

  • Rocket has been framed, accused and arrested of murder. And the most notorious raccoon in the galaxy is going to need help to prove that he didn’t commit this particular crime, at least, in Rocket Raccoon #2.
  • Peter Quill is captured by a bounty hunter with a strange connection to his past. And if he can keep said hunter from feeding him to a giant alien, he might just figure out what it is, in Legendary Star-Lord #2.
  • A threat from Moon Knight’s first issue returns to cause more problems for the Protector of Night Travelers, as Warren Ellis and Declan Shalvey conclude their run with Moon Knight #6.

From DC this week:

  • Super-spy Dick Grayson digs deeper into Spyral, and meets his new partner Helena Bertinelli, in Grayson #2.
  • Batman, Batwoman, and Jason Todd scramble to find evidence that can save Commissioner Gordon, in Batman: Eternal #18
  • Superman’s forces are dealt a huge blow in space, while the resistance in Gotham makes its boldest move yet. in Injustice: Gods Among Us #18
Written by John Carpenter and Eric Powell Art by Brian Churilla BOOM! Studios

Written by John Carpenter and Eric Powell
Art by Brian Churilla and Michael Garland
BOOM! Studios

John Carpenter and Eric Powell’s Big Trouble in Little China is on its third issue and this one is no exception when it comes to laugh-out-loud humor and silly grins. In this issue, Jack, Egg, and Pete continue their journey down the Midnight Road to acquire the souls of the Three Storms from the Seven Headed Widow , in order to rescue Wang Chi from Qiang Wu. John Carpenter, who serves as Creative Consultant/Executive Producer, and script writer Eric Powell are doing a fantastic job delving into Jack Burton’s back story, mostly in the form of hilarious, long-winded expositions from Jack talking about his past wives. So far we know that all of Jack’s wives, four so far, were connected to the supernatural. He’s been married to the daughter of a cult leader who wanted to use Jack as a sacrifice to resurrect a Babylonian demi-god; a vampire, and a sideshow psychic who was actually a real psychic using her powers to mind control Jack, forcing him to steal from her customers. And Jack was oblivious to all of it. And the stories are told by Jack, while artist Brian Churilla’s panels show the reader what’s really going on. Absolutely hilarious.

And this issue just keeps it up. When our heroes finally meet the dreaded Seven Headed Widow, and Egg Shen is in awe of her, Jack is totally nonplussed and talks to the Chinese demon the irreverent way Jack Burton would, and with hilarious results. And there are monkeys who want Jack dead. Monkeys.

BOOM! Studios has found a winner, it’s one that I look forward to every month, and I hope it continues for a long, long time.

Written by Tyler James Art by Fico Ossio ComixTribe

Written by Tyler James
Art by Fico Ossio

What do you do when you’re a teenage superhero in Miami, and your only weakness is that you can’t use your powers around beautiful girls? If you’re the new hero called Epic, you do the best you can. I have always been a big fan of teenage superheroes, and Epic from ComixTribe is about as good as it gets. Somewhere along the way, comics about teen heroes stopped being fun but Epic just gets it right.

Miami teen Eric Ardor gets his powers after a lab accident of sorts, and along with his sidekick assistant, Beanie Barnes, Eric, as Epic,  strives to keep Miami safe while dealing with teenage stuff. Pretty simple and well executed.

I loved Brian Michael Bendis’ Ultimate Spider-Man because it let Peter be more than the hero. He was struggling with class, failing with girls, dealing with peer pressure, and was still expected to be the hero while trying to juggle everything in his life. The series was magic. Epic is on its way to having that kind of magic. You can see it on the periphery. It’s fun, exciting, Tyler James’ story and dialogue is crisp and funny, and artist Fico Ossio’s work, of whom I am now a huge fan, is like eye candy. His art reminds me a little of Todd Nauck, but more visually stunning. I had commented as much to Tyler James on Twitter, and James said he liked it when Ossio could just cut loose. I have to agree.

In the second issue, we meet Epic’s new nemesis in the form of a U.N. negotiator who is turned into a giant spider in issue #1, and becomes said spider in his Miami home, scaring to death his thirteen foster children. And Eric and Beanie, who are monitoring police traffic hoping to find a case that doesn’t involve a pretty girl, stumbles onto it and … you’ll have to read the rest. The action is fast paced, the dialogue witty, and everybody is beautifully rendered thanks to Fico Ossio. It’s just a fun book that doesn’t take itself too seriously in a time when everyone else does.

And that’s your Four-Color Bullet for this week. Comments and emails, comments and emails, blah blah woof woof. You know the drill.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is out this weekend. Some of the reviews aren’t so great, but stay tuned to Our Nerd Newshounds will do the dirty work for you and they’ll let you know how it really is. Did we let you down with Guardians of the Galaxy? I think not.

It’s a good time to be a comics fan. See you next week!

– 30 –

Michael Brown
Michael Brown

Michael Brown is a comics nerd and a father who lives in small town Tennessee. When he’s not making his players mad in his “Shadowrun” RPG or experimenting with new and inventive uses of duct tape on his children, you can find him checking out the latest comics and movies for!