The Pull List – March 23rd

It was my birthday over the weekend, but I got you a present: comics!

Batman Incorporated #4: I have to admit, I was amazed to see this issue show up. I mean, sure, they said it was going to be coming out, but I wasn’t going to believe it until I had it in my hands. The issue was pretty damn good, and Chris Burnham channels himself some Frank Quitely on art. I think I’d be okay with him taking over as the regular series artist. This issue feels a lot stronger than issue 3, and Burnham’s shifting art styles (each different time period in the comic has its own distinct style, and others have already mentioned the Benday dots used to color the stuff taking place in the past) really work. Morrison throws a bunch of stuff up against the wall, and a good chunk of it sticks.

Justice League: Generation Lost #22: It’s the final calm before the storm. Our heroes are joined by a ringer, Batman (the Bruce Wayne one), and Max Lord’s plan is finally revealed. I’m curious to see how this book ends, curious to see what comes out of it, and curious to see what Max’s final fate is.

Deadpool #34: The second part of Deadpool’s return to merc work is chock full o’ the sort of stuff you’d hope: bizarre plans, goofy humor, and lots of nonsense. His battle against Id the Selfish Moon is gonna be a doozy.

Deadpool Max #6: Deadpool hooks up with his baby mama. It’s bizarre and twisted and really messed up, and I can’t wait to see the next issue.

Power Man and Iron Fist #3: Twists, betrayals, and Power Man punching thugs. It’s a good time, folks, and you should be reading this book.

Thor #620.1: I don’t really understand a jump-on issue that has nothing to do with the current storyline and isn’t by the current creative team. it doesn’t make much sense. This is a nice done-in-one Thor story, and his solution to the problem in the book is clever and works (for the most point), but I am left wondering what the point of this thing is.

FF #1: So, the Fantastic Four becomes the Future Foundation. Spider-Man joins up, costumes are changed, and a plan to fix the world is set in motion. There’s an interesting new addition to the group on the last page, and it’ll be fun to watch what Hickman does with that in coming issues.

I didn’t grab any trades this past week, but it looks like my pull list for tomorrow will more than make up for that.

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The Pull List – March 16th

I have acquired a new computer and new comics! Let’s do this thing!

Fear Itself: The Book of the Skull #1: The Red Skull’s daughter has fancy plans, even if they are daddy’s old plans. There’s an ancient weapon of immense power, a double-cross, and some nice setup for this summer’s Fear Itself event. To be honest, I probably could’ve done without this issue, though really I won’t know for sure until I dig into Fear Itself in the coming months and see how this feeds into it.

Knight and Squire #6: The Joker (the real American one) has arrived in England with an axe to grind. Jarvis Poker, the British Joker, is along as a witness. The issue brings up an interesting dichotomy between these laid-back British heroes and villains and their American counterpart; nothing in this series so far has seemed all that serious or grim. Instead, we’ve had a lighthearted, whimsical romp through the British countryside. The Joker’s rampage is jarring, but our heroes’ solution is very British and in keeping with the series as a whole. All in all, this was a fun miniseries, and I’d love to see more from some of these characters.

Casanova: Gula #3: Zephyr kills everyone. Like, everyone. But don’t worry, most of them get better. Fraction has crafted a bizarre and engrossing tale of betrayals, double-crosses, puzzles, and synthetic humanoids who used to be sex slaves. It’s got me hooked and I can’t wait to see how he ties it all together next month.

Invincible Iron Man #502: Tony Stark is in a bit of trouble, here. Doc Ock has him in a classic hero dilemma: in order to save innocent lives, he’ll have to heal the broken-down brain and body of the villain. Add to that the promise of Pepper Potts versus some Spider-Man villains, and we’ve got a pretty nice setup for some good ol’ fashioned tights (or armor) and fights next issue.

Iron Man 2.0 #2: The plot thickens, and James Rhodes gets some help from an old friend. Nick Spencer is writing a pretty decent comic here, but the rotating art still bugs me.

Ice Man and Angel #1: I will read anything Brian Clevinger writes. Period. The art isn’t really my thing, at least in regards to the way Juan Doe draws our two “heroes,” but his take on Goom, the Thing from Planet X, is perfect. Hands-down my favorite comic this week.

I got a couple of trades in the mail this week. The most recent Captain America collection, Two Americas, wasn’t too bad (even if it was a bit heavy-handed with the “we live in different Americas!” stuff). I also got the Jason Aaron Ghost Rider Omnibus, which was damn good comics.

Computer Woes

So I accidentally killed my computer yesterday. I was packing it up at the end of the day and accidentally dropped it on the floor. I was able to resurrect it temporarily – just long enough to get it home and back it up – before it died for good.

I was, to say the least, pretty distraught. I fumed and raved and beat myself up about the whole thing. Thankfully, my wife had her old 13″ MacBook for me to borrow until I could get a new laptop.

Which I ordered this evening.

So now I’ve got a 15″ MacBook Pro winging its way to me, and it should be here by the end of the week. I’m thinking – given the ultimate demise of the recently-deceased – that I’ll probably continue to use my wife’s old laptop (she has a newer one she uses already) for school, especially since I got everything moved over from my backup to this computer. I am upset that I had to get a new computer at this specific time, but it was probably getting to be about time anyway. I mean, it was four years old, which is pretty damn good for a laptop, and I was wanting to pick up a new one this year anyway (I just figured it’d maybe be over the summer. Guess I was wrong). I am very excited about getting a new computer. It’ll be nice to have something current and more powerful at my disposal.

The Pull List – March 9th

I’ve re-read all of Transmetropolitan since Friday evening. Damn, if that isn’t a great book!

Batman and Robin #21: This issue is better than the last, with the characterization of Damian less grating this time and an interesting story shaping up. The idea of a guy who goes around killing the families of Arkham inmates as some form of reparations for their own horrible actions is interesting, and Tomasi’s script works well. Gleason’s art is growing on me a bit, but his characters still feel way too bulky and blocky for my tastes.

Doom Patrol #20: With this book building towards its conclusion, Giffen seems like he’s just decided to pull out all the stops and go nuts with it. The Doom Patrol spend most of the issue visiting different corners of the DCU trying to find a new place to live after Oolong Island evicted them at the end of the previous issue. Of course, it doesn’t go well, ’cause the easy way is not the Doom Patrol way. The last third or so of the book, with the visit and offer from an old villain, is clever and an interesting way to set up the last few issues we’ve got left of the book. I am sad this book is ending soon, but it looks like Giffen’s going out with a bang.

Justice League: Generation Lost #21: Speaking of books nearing their end, this issue is the calm before the storm of the final confrontation between Maxwell Lord and the JLI. There’s a lot of self-doubt running around in this issue, a lot of frustration and people on the verge of giving up. There’s also (spoilers!) the reveal that the big happening from a couple of issues ago was just a dodge. I’m sure it’ll be made clearer next issue. I am curious to see how this series is going to resolve, but I guess we’ll know that in about a month or so, right?

Booster Gold #42: This issue is an example of why I absolutely love Giffen and DeMatties working together: usually, this pair is all “Bwa ha ha” and more jokes and dialogue packed into a panel than you’d think possible. But they also do drama and tragedy really well. They can switch gears at the drop of a hat, and they can pull it off like no others. This is a darker, more sinister issue than we’ve seen in awhile, but it’s carried off with aplomb and heart. I really do hope they’re just taking a brief break from the book for the Flashpoint event this summer and will be back after that’s all done, because I love what they’ve been doing on the title since they took it over almost a year ago.

Wonder Woman #608: I do like that, since Hester has taken over on scripting duties, characters actually have individual, distinct voices and motivations for what they’re doing (and hell, they’re actually doing something!). This book is actually interesting again, and while it’s maybe not as good as the Gail Simone run, it’s a damn-sight better than when JMS was running the show all on his lonesome.

Batman Incorporated #3: Well, this finally came out. And it’s…well, there are bits that are truly clever (it’s Grant Morrison, there’s always gonna be something that’s clever), there’s some fun silver-agey stuff (exploding scorpions!), but for some reason it all just feels kinda…flat. Like there should’ve been something more to it if we were gonna have to wait three months for a new issue. There is the hint that this isn’t just a series of disconnected issues of Bruce Wayne traveling around the world to wherever Grant Morrison saw a travel poster for that month, but not enough build up yet for us to really know what to make of it. I’m gonna keep reading it, ’cause I trust Grant Morrison to do something interesting with the book, but I’m more than a little frustrated.

Birds of Prey #10: This book, however, is never a disappointment. Simone draws her “Death of Oracle” story to a close by…well, basically killing the idea of Oracle. By letting the criminal element think she’s dead, she can operate more effectively; or, as Barbara herself puts it, “If I’m out in the open, then criminals get cautious. And we can’t have that. Because my goal is that they never see me coming.” It’s brilliant, and there’s a nice metaphor (unspoken, but one I’m kind of assigning to the story anyway) of a mother bird pushing the babies out of the nest to fly on their own (the few pages of heroes calling in to Oracle and getting stony silence, then winning their own battles anyway). Plus, we’re promised the Huntress/Catman date next issue! How is that not going to be awesome?

I also grabbed the second trade of Thor: The Mighty Avenger, which was just as awesome as the first collection. I’m really upset now that Marvel decided not to let them finish this book. It’s sad that great books like this don’t get picked up on by more readers ’cause they “don’t matter” to the larger continuity. I am coming to hate continuity. This is, hands down, the best Thor book since Walt Simonson was writing Thor.

The Pull List – March 2nd

Winter had its last hurrah here last night (snow?!), but that didn’t stop last week’s comics!

Deadpool #33.1: Another of Marvel’s “Point One” comics. It does a decent enough job of introducing Deadpool and the conceits of the current Deadpool book (the dueling caption boxes, breaking the fourth wall, etc.). It’s not the best issue of Deadpool ever, but it’s not bad and it does a good enough job of telling you what the character is all about.

Power Man and Iron Fist #2: I missed this one last week for some reason. It picks up with our heroes encountering the Commedia dell’Morte (which is an awesome team name) and deepening their investigation of Crime Buster’s murder, and it introduces another villain for the piece that looks like he could’ve just stepped out of the pages of a mid-90s Garth Ennis book. Good stuff.

Wolverine and Hercules #1: This was in my subscription box (’cause I like Herc), so I figured I’d go ahead and pick it up and see what I thought. It’s not a bad comic, per se, but it’s not particularly interesting or original. I don’t think this is one I’ll be following.

Joe the Barbarian #8: It’s been…well, quite some time since we saw issue 7 of this book. This issue wraps things up nicely, and Sean Murphy’s art is spectacular as usual. Morrison’s script is well-paced and great fun, and the switches between the real world and Joe’s hallucinations really reflect the serious nature of both sides of his problem. The resolution to both stories is pretty cool, and the final splash page is downright fantastic. This was a great series; I wish Morrison would do more stuff like this.

Secret Six #31: Man, never, ever underestimate Ragdoll. I mean, there’s a reason each of the Six is on the team, and he’s not there just for his twisted, screwed-up sense of humor and perverse view of the world. The Get Out of Hell Free card that was the focus of the first story arc rears its ugly head here, and nothing good will come of it. Gail Simone is consistently upping the ante on this book, and damn if it isn’t one of the best books I read every month.

I also grabbed a digest of the Marvel Adventures Spider-Man written by Paul Tobin. It’s pretty solid Spider-Man fun, and it’s nice to see an all-ages book that’s this much fun even for an adult.