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Review Group Week 228 - BULLET TO THE HEAD #1

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Victorian Squid
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Postby Victorian Squid » Thu Jun 24, 2010 8:27 pm

Mr_Batman wrote:I am equally as disgusted


[spoiler]I always liked him (long ago) better than Robin or Kid Flash. I guess he's gonna be 100% villain after this last issue. :( [/spoiler]

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Postby Eli Katz » Fri Jun 25, 2010 12:19 am

French crime movies are some of the best in the genre. But they tend to move at a much slower pace than their American counterparts. My favorite French crime film, LE SAMOURAI, has a ten- to fifteen-minute opening sequence where the main character carries out a series of mundane tasks without saying a word. These opening scenes have no music, no dramatic camera angles, no sense of lurking danger. At one point, a car is stolen. But it is done in an unusually slow and methodical way, as if theft were no different than a tedious desk job. After these fifteen minutes of silent buildup, however, the movie quickly turns into a tense game of cat and mouse, where the police are often as clever and deceptive as the brilliant murderer they pursue.

BULLET TO THE HEAD #1 -- a newly translated version of DU PLOMB DANS LA TETE by acclaimed crime writer Matz -- follows this French tradition of the slow intro. Unfortunately, the pace is so slow in this book that it borders on complete pointlessness.

Most of this opening issue is dedicated to two hitmen, Louis and Jimmy, as they prepare to gun down a senator. We gather from their conversation that they have known each other for a long time. We also gather that they enjoy each other's company, because they talk nonstop about everything from European fashion to the pros and cons of therapy. In fact, they talk so much that they barely stop gabbing while they kill the fat old senator and his underage lover.

Their conversation is not meant to move the plot forward. Certainly, we don't learn who ordered the hit or why the senator was targeted. Instead, what it's meant to do is to show us how cavalier these killers are and to develop a deadly cool atmosphere. I'm not sure whether it's bad translating or just bad source material, but most of this conversation reads like a crappy parody of PULP FICTION. And when I say crappy, I mean "Oh my God I can't believe an editor allowed this to go to press" crappy. If a book is going to feature a fifteen-page conversation, it better have sharp dialogue and some witty observations. But there isn't one line in all these pages worth quoting. Most of what's said is just boring and silly and not very realistic. Who knows what hitmen tell each other when they hang out in real life, but I seriously doubt they talk about going to a shrink.

The second half of the book focuses on the detectives who investigate the senator's murder. And somehow, this part manages to be even worse than the first half of the book. Again, I'm not sure if it's bad translating or bad source material, but the last pages of BULLET read like a sleazy parody of LAW & ORDER. For example, as one cop examines the crime scene, he says, "If we find a fingerprint within a hundred yard radius, I swear I'll bang the girl's dead body at the morgue." Like the rest of the book, this line screams, "I'm trying so hard to be gritty, it's embarrassing."

I've read much praise for Matz as a writer. But based on this book, I don't understand where all this praise is coming from. Have these fans not read CRIMINAL, SCALPED, or STUMPTOWN? Because these crime comics are exceptional and in a league so far above BULLET IN THE HEAD that I feel bad mentioning them in the same paragraph as this derivative work.

The only good thing I have to say about BULLET is the art. Colin Wilson is not a flashy artist, but he's a strong storyteller. He draws the characters consistently and places them in panels with richly detailed backgrounds. He creates, in other words, real looking people in a real looking world. Too bad the story that he illustrates isn’t worth his time or talent.

I started this review by mentioning how wonderful and smart French crime movies are. Do yourself a favor and, instead of spending four bucks on BULLET TO THE HEAD, use that money to rent a French noir film. I've mentioned LE SAMOURAI already. Other great ones are RIFIFI, LES DIABOLIQUES, TOUCHEZ PAS AU GRISBI, and TELL NO ONE.

STORY: 2
ART: 7
OVERALL: 4.5
Last edited by Eli Katz on Sat Jun 26, 2010 3:02 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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Postby fieldy snuts » Fri Jun 25, 2010 1:26 am

Given how Burned out people are getting on Deadpool with the absurd number of mini's, monthlies and one-shots I dont know if this will be a popular pick or a loathed one, but I'd go as far to say that the first issue of Wade Wilson's War is one of the best Deadpool issues I've read in years and the preview looks like it continues that.

So....my pick:
Image

COVER BY: Jason Pearson
WRITER: DUANE SWIERCZYNSKI
PENCILS: JASON PEARSON
THE STORY:
The true origin from Deadpool’s very talkative and crazy mouth continues to spill out, shedding new and bizarre turns. Did the clandestine military experiment that aimed to turn ordinary soldiers into super heroes do more than just that? Was Wilson a brave super-soldier fighting America’s secret wars, or just some pissed-off hick looking for a little payback? Or both? To Deadpool, the truth’s a funny thing… Parental Advisory …$3.99

PRICE: 3.99
IN STORES: June 30, 2010




And the preview so you know what you'd be getting involved with:
Deadpool: Wade Wilson's War #2

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Postby Punchy » Fri Jun 25, 2010 4:27 am

Ugh, not Deadpool.

fieldy snuts
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Postby fieldy snuts » Fri Jun 25, 2010 7:29 am

Punchy wrote:Ugh, not Deadpool.
Now I dont feel as bad picking it for some reason :lol:

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Postby Punchy » Fri Jun 25, 2010 7:31 am

fieldy snuts wrote:Now I dont feel as bad picking it for some reason :lol:


Your pick's bad and you should feel bad!

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Postby fieldy snuts » Fri Jun 25, 2010 7:37 am

Punchy wrote:Your pick's bad and you should feel bad!
Never! Ever! Again!

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Postby ****** » Fri Jun 25, 2010 7:50 am

I'm torn. I love Swierczynski, but loathe Deadpool. :|

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Postby Zero » Fri Jun 25, 2010 8:11 am

I've never read Deadpool headlining comic, and I don't think he's ever popped into anything else I've read so I'm not sick of him yet. Jason Pearson interiors sound good to me though.

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Postby MrBlack » Fri Jun 25, 2010 9:17 am

Victorian Squid wrote:Bullet to the Head #1

Well, I made it about a half a dozen pages into this. The first few pages read exactly like a bad deleted scene from Pulp Fiction. Before I got halfway through the book, the hitmen had shot 2 dogs in two different scenes and I threw the book away. I'm sorry, I don't expect any of you to understand, it's a personal thing with me, I am sick of that being used in comics these days. Having said that, I give the book a zero.

0

Roy Harper will be using those dogs to beat up more homeless people in the next installment of "The Rise of Arsenal."

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Postby thefourthman » Fri Jun 25, 2010 9:41 am

fieldy snuts wrote:Given how Burned out people are getting on Deadpool with the absurd number of mini's, monthlies and one-shots I dont know if this will be a popular pick or a loathed one, but I'd go as far to say that the first issue of Wade Wilson's War is one of the best Deadpool issues I've read in years and the preview looks like it continues that.

So....my pick:
Image

COVER BY: Jason Pearson
WRITER: DUANE SWIERCZYNSKI
PENCILS: JASON PEARSON
THE STORY:
The true origin from Deadpool’s very talkative and crazy mouth continues to spill out, shedding new and bizarre turns. Did the clandestine military experiment that aimed to turn ordinary soldiers into super heroes do more than just that? Was Wilson a brave super-soldier fighting America’s secret wars, or just some pissed-off hick looking for a little payback? Or both? To Deadpool, the truth’s a funny thing… Parental Advisory …$3.99

PRICE: 3.99
IN STORES: June 30, 2010




And the preview so you know what you'd be getting involved with:
Deadpool: Wade Wilson's War #2

I really enjoyed the first issue of this book and it is really pretty.

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Postby thefourthman » Fri Jun 25, 2010 9:42 am

wow... I was excited about this now, not so much. :cry:

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Postby BlueStreak » Fri Jun 25, 2010 9:48 am

thefourthman wrote:wow... I was excited about this now, not so much. :cry:


I didn't mind it, but in hindsight it makes more sense that it's translated. I should take 2 points off as a French penalty, but I won't.

The dog murders, while reprehensible, should at least tie into the plot. It seems like they're the only lead the police has.

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Postby thefourthman » Fri Jun 25, 2010 9:53 am

BlueStreak wrote:I didn't mind it, but in hindsight it makes more sense that it's translated. I should take 2 points off as a French penalty, but I won't.

The dog murders, while reprehensible, should at least tie into the plot. It seems like they're the only lead the police has.

see, but I have read a lot of French Comics at this point, and most are good and when they aren't at least they are a good idea and The Killer, by this same writer is brilliant.

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Postby Starlord » Fri Jun 25, 2010 11:07 am

I'm not sure if I want to buy the trade now or not.

And another Deadpool? WOO HOO!!!! *



*Please note that was written with enough sarcasm to cover Whitney Houstons plump little body.
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Max Blyss wrote:Months and months and months and the whole thing is still just an intersection at Dipshit Lane & Chip on my Shoulder Ave.

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