The Pull List – March 3rd

Comics strike back! And this time, there’s some fantastic stuff in the pile…

Detective Comics #862: Part 2 of “Cutter” continues the breakneck pace of the first issue in the arc, flipping back and forth between two cases (one from Batman’s past and one which Batwoman is currently working) that are running remarkably parallel. There are some great character moments here for Batwoman, and some interesting interactions between her (in her civilian Kate Kane persona) and her cousin, Bette Kane (and an unusual little snippet of a scene featuring Bette looking at a rather odd costume), and the parallels between Batman’s work on the earlier Cutter case (I’m guessing the implication here was that he was unsuccessful in really stopping this guy back then) and Batwoman’s approach now are deft and clever. Parallel imagery and situations are handled well by artist Jock, and Rucka’s dialogue and scripting are smart, well-paced, and fit well. The Question backup feature continues to engage as well, and Cully Hamner’s art is just great.

Invincible Iron Man #24: The finale of the Stark: Disassembled storyline delivers a solid story after a rather tepid issue last month. Stark’s friends acquit themselves well in a fight against Ghost, though ultimately it’s up to Tony to save the day (and he does so in a very Tony Stark sort of way). Dialogue and action are well-done here, and the scenes in Stark’s mind are much better than they were last month. Still not quite sure what was happening there, but sitting down with the whole story and reading it in one shot should help clear that up. The most interesting aspect is the last scene, which sets up a new status quo for the revived Tony in a way that not only makes sense, it kinda helps clear the deck of the past few years’ worth of craziness that’s built up. I’m interested to see where this is going next, and that’s always a good thing.

This was a good week for trades. I picked up volume four of Justice League International (the last one they’re releasing, as far as I can see, which makes me quite sad), and though it doesn’t feature nearly as much Kevin Maguire art as I’d like, it’s still a great collection. If you haven’t read this stuff, I highly recommend it: superhero melodramatics and laugh-out-loud funny bits mixed together liberally and with some (usually) great art (there were a few issues in volume 3 that looked like they were just using someone’s rough sketches for the final art, and it’s pretty painful after getting used to the stellar work of Maguire and the book’s other semi-regular penciller, Ty Templeton). Definitely worth the investment.

The other trade I picked up was the Iron Man story Demon in a Bottle, one of the most well-known Iron Man stories out there. I haven’t had a chance to crack this one open yet, but I’m looking forward to it.

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