Bullet to the Head 6 (November 2010)

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Matz does a good job wrapping it up. Not a great job, but a good one.

He layers his narrative—going three weeks into the future or something, then two days before that point, so he can keep some suspense going as to the final fate of the protagonists.

Wilson has his New York setting again and it’s lovely. But there’s a lot of complex action (because of the narrative layering) and the composition could be a lot clearer. The reader only knows what’s going on because he or she is seeing something already discussed.

The ending is exceptionally cute, in the narrative sense, and it makes me wonder if maybe Matz—or the translators at Dynamite—were maybe hoping for the movie deal. It’s too absurdly perfect for one.

And, for a series about vicious hitmen and dirty cops, the finale’s is pretty affable.

Still, it’s a worthwhile read.

CREDITS

Writer, Matz; artist, Colin Wilson; colorist, Chris Blythe; letterers, Wilson and Jason Ullmeyer; editor, Joseph Rybrandt; publisher, Dynamite Entertainment.

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Bullet to the Head 5 (October 2010)

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Lots of surprises this issue, little ones, but surprises just the same.

Matz’s pacing has been excellent throughout (probably because the French originals are split somehow into manageable American length) but this issue might be the best. He’s established a new status quo for the last two issues—even discussing the establishing of it and still having time to let it play out.

Matz’s artwork is still a little loose, but he’s got a lot to cover here—day scenes, night scenes, New York, New Orleans, New York again. There’s a nice walk through Central Park.

It’s interesting to see a comic like this one told without being concerned about a possible movie option. Matz’s plot is too organic to work as a film.

It’s a good issue and a pleasant, if occasionally difficult read. Matz doesn’t shy away from making it confrontational to the reader’s expections.

Finally, Bullet’s excelling.

CREDITS

Writer, Matz; artist, Colin Wilson; colorist, Chris Blythe; letterers, Wilson and Chris Caniano; editor, Joseph Rybrandt; publisher, Dynamite Entertainment.

Bullet to the Head 4 (September 2010)

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Matz surprised me this issue. He definitely makes some rather unexpected plot changes—by this issue, Bullet to the Head doesn’t seem anything like where the first couple issues were headed. These developments have made the series strong, even if Matz’s dialogue (the cops are back) is as weak as usual.

Again, it might not be Matz—given the typos, I imagine some unpaid intern at Dynamite handled all the translating.

Unfortunately, Wilson’s art has taken a bit of a hit here, quality-wise. It’s a little more rushed than usual; he’s hurried. Some of the panels should be amazing and they aren’t. The art’s never bad or even close to bad, it’s just not the level I’m used to seeing from Wilson on this series.

Now, the dialogue gets really bad, so it’s hard to see past it… but Matz has come up with a very good plot overall.

CREDITS

Writer, Matz; artist and letterer, Colin Wilson; colorist, Chris Blythe; editor, Joseph Rybrandt; publisher, Dynamite Entertainment.

Bullet to the Head 3 (August 2010)

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Besides the goofy, mildly homoerotic last page (a waste of a page too, Wilson does a full page panel), this issue of Bullet to the Head is easily the best so far.

The secret—no shock—to Matz turning in a good issue is the cops not being in it very much. About eighty percent of this issue is the hitmen. Not just them, their boss too. The cops only show up for three pages and it turns out Matz doesn’t contrive a New Orleans rendezvous. While it’s unlikely what he does do will remain as disconnected as it is now, it’s a sign Matz can plot the overall story without coming up with a bunch of dumb events.

The issue’s actually a little difficult to discuss, just because it’s so successful. It moves the story along nicely, setting up something totally different than what the first two issues suggested.

CREDITS

Writer, Matz; artist and letterer, Colin Wilson; colorist, Chris Blythe; editor, Joseph Rybrandt; publisher, Dynamite Entertainment.

Bullet to the Head 2 (July 2010)

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Well, the dialogue certainly doesn’t get any better. Matz wastes two pages on some repetitive talking heads nonsense. That one can’t be a translation issue because the art’s laid out for it.

As for the story, it stinks.

The hitmen’s scenes are fine, quite good at times. But with everything else, Matz writes these hackneyed, obvious situations. The FBI is dirty and the only people who care are the only two good cops in New York.

Some of it might be more tolerable with better dialogue, but a lot of it is, like I said, just too stupid for words.

Once again, Wilson makes it digestible. He gives New York a lot of personality, but some of the comic takes place in New Orleans too (characters will undoubtedly intersect in a huge plot contrivance) and it looks even better.

It’s too bad the writing’s not as good as the art.

CREDITS

Writer, Matz; artist and letterer, Colin Wilson; colorist, Chris Blythe; editor, Joseph Rybrandt; publisher, Dynamite Entertainment.

Bullet to the Head 1 (June 2010)

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Dynamite neglects to credit the translator on Bullet to the Head. Based on the cop dialogue, I wonder if they just fed Matz’s original French dialogue into Google Translator.

The first half of the issue is two hit men having a very Pulp Fiction-esque conversation about shoes, women and psychotherapy before they kill someone.

The police investigation into that killing seems to be what the series is going to be about (though it’s probably too soon to tell).

Matz has cops and reporters in the second half… the reporters’ dialogue isn’t atrocious. The cop dialogue is the most tin-eared dialogue I’ve read in a long time. Worse, most of it’s expository, so the cops are explaining everything two and three times in case the reader is a moron.

But the writing (or translation) can’t undo the wonderful Wilson artwork. It’s stronger in the first half, but always great.

CREDITS

Writer, Matz; artist and letterer, Colin Wilson; colorist, Chris Blythe; editor, Joseph Rybrandt; publisher, Dynamite Entertainment.

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