The Pull List – January 12th

New comics are go! Let’s take a look.

Batman and Robin #19: This wraps up Paul Cornell’s three-issue run on the title, and it’s a decent finale. Cornell introduced a new villain, The Absence, that I’m sure someone somewhere down the line will probably bring up again. There were some flaws with this issue (the villain’s motives are still just weird and feel off, some of the dialogue felt a bit off), but it’s nice to see Dick Grayson as Batman loosening up and enjoying his job again.

Birds of Prey #8: When a story references that abomination Identity Crisis, I always get a bit concerned. But I trust Gail Simone, and I know she’ll come up with something interesting here. The premise of the story arc – that Oracle needs to clean the slate and start fresh to protect those she loves – makes sense, I guess. And getting Bruce Wayne (as Batman) involved in it is interesting (and also has me wishing she was writing an actual Batman book now).

Booster Gold #40: The past…er, future…comes back to haunt Booster this issue. It’s an interesting direction to take the book and the character in. Booster has grown considerably as a character in the past few years, and it’ll be interesting to see how he handles someone digging up his bad deeds.

Casanova: Gula #1: Where is Casanova Quinn? He’s disappeared in time and/or space, and it’s up to his allies in E.M.P.I.R.E to find him. It’s a strong start to the second miniseries from Fraction, this time with art by the fantastic Fabio Moon. It’s awesome and over the top, but I shouldn’t have to tell you that.

Chaos War: Dead Avengers #3: Here, we get to see what heroes are really made of, and a few of ’em aren’t gonna survive the experience. A couple do, however, and while this particular mini doesn’t feel vital to the greater arc of the Chaos War event, it’s still a nice tie-in and uses the Chaos War backdrop to great effect.

Deadpool #31: This issue wraps up Deadpool’s involvement with the “Draculas,” and it’s a damn fine comic. Deadpool’s quips are funny, his solution to the vampire problem is clever, and it’s easy to forget that this book is tying in to an event over in X-Men.
Let’s see where it goes from here.

Justice League: Generation Lost #17: We’re finally starting to see Maxwell Lord’s plans here, and they aren’t pretty. Checkmate is abolished, only not really, Blue Beetle’s captured, and the rest of the JLI has a new foe to face that’s…well, let’s just say it ain’t gonna be so easy to walk away from this one.

Knight and Squire #4: Beryl has a boy come to visit, and the Knight finds himself fighting his own armor. It’s a fun issue (as all the issues of this book have been), with the highlight being the Knight’s American butler, Hank (who is from Texas, I’m thinking).

Secret Six #29: This issue picks up where the last issue of Action Comics left off: with the Six caught up in a power struggle between Lex Luthor and Vandal Savage. All the Six can really do is stand by and watch (and throw in the occasional one-liner). The framing sequence featuring Ragdoll is funny as hell and more than a little disturbing, but what do you expect from him? I can’t say I was particularly happy with the art this issue, but it’s serviceable.

I also grabbed the trade of the first Casanova story arc, which was (of course) pretty awesome and will (I’m thinking) read better all at once than in single issues.

The Pull List – December 22nd

Yeah, we may’ve had a brief pause for the holidays, but we’re back and we’ve got comics!

Chaos War: Dead Avengers #2: Our resurrected heroes set up for a last-ditch defense against the forces of Chaos, we get some nice character bits, a few heroic moments, and some damn fine action. Good times.

Wonder Woman #605: We start to see who is responsible for Wonder Woman’s current condition. There are some interesting character moments (and start to see Wonder Woman as something more than a cipher, which is really all she’s been during JMS’s run), get a peek into the villains of the piece, and start to see the shape of this thing. Phil Hester does rather a better job with the dialogue that JMS has done, so I’m glad to have him aboard.

Batman Incorporated #2: Grant Morrison is knocking this one out of the park. It’s funny, over the top, a little bizarre, and lots of fun. Plus, hey, Batman of Japan!

Justice League: Generation Lost #16: This title continues to exceed expectations. We’ve got the JLI versus the Creature Commandos, a few more bits of Maxwell Lord’s plan falling into place, and our heroes are in a worse place at the end than they were at the beginning of the issue.

Deadpool #30: I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: just when I’m ready to give up on this book, they put out an issue that is so spot-on and hilarious, I feel pulled right back in. We’ve got Deadpool protecting vampires against other vampires. I guess this is probably tied into what’s happening in that one X-Men book right now, though I’ll be damned if I know anything about what all’s happening there.

Invincible Iron Man #33: The conclusion to Stark Resilient is full of action and a nice setup for the next story arc. This title continues to impress and be one of the best books I read each month. I’m also pretty damn impressed with the fact that Salvador Larocca hasn’t missed a single issue yet. Most impressive.

I also grabbed the latest Blue Beetle collection, which I guess wraps up a few issues from his solo title and collects the backup feature from Booster Gold that was running late last year/early this year. Good stuff.

The Pull List – November 17th

I’m a bit late, but here are last week’s comics nonetheless!

Chaos War: Dead Avengers #1: My usual indifference to tie-in comics, but this one seems to have the right idea: connected to the main story, but not wholly dependent on it. With the majority of people in the world – including most of the heroes – out for the count because of the Chaos King, and the dead being brought back to life for much the same reason, it’s up to several heroes who’ve all called themselves Avengers to protect the comatose bodies of thousands of people. Van Lente keeps the pace clipped and Tom Grummett’s art is pretty solid. All in all, a much better book than it has any right to be.

Deadpool Max #1 and 2: Issue 1 was in my subscription box a few weeks ago, but I passed on it at the time, figuring one Deadpool book was enough for me. When #2 showed up this week, I decided to give them both a shot (it was a light week, really). I can say this: it’s crazy. Really damn crazy. Lapham definitely takes advantage of the Explicit Content label and throw sex, insane violence, and language onto the page in huge swaths. Issue 1 deals with an infiltration of a gangster’s hideout, while issue 2 deals with a black market organ harvesting organization. It’s decent, I guess, though I really find that I don’t care much for Kyle Baker’s art, which is probably some sort of sin. I don’t think I’ll be keeping up with this book.

The Flash #6: The finale of the opening arc hits here, and the Flash sews everything up quite nicely. The art continues to be fantastic, and Johns’s writing is solid. Barry Allen is starting to get a little bit of personality finally. Also, there’s lots of setup for future storylines and character arcs, and even a little reference to the current craziness in Wonder Woman (God, will that never end?).

Batman: The Return #1: This book is basically a setup for the new Batman status quo. We get some nice character moments for lots of folks (Bruce Wayne, Dick Grayson, Damian Wayne, Selina Kyle…the list really does go on), an introduction to what the whole Batman, Inc., thing is gonna be all about, and the introduction of a new villain. There’s also a lot of bonus stuff in the back half of the book, including Grant Morrison’s script and some uncolored art. Good stuff.

Batman Incorporated #1: I get the feeling this is the sort of Batman book Grant Morrison’s been wanting to write since he took over on Batman several years ago. Batman and Catwoman head to Japan to recruit a new hero to the cause, but end up fighting tentacle monsters. Plus, the villain is Lord Death Man, which is just a giant slice of awesome. There is nothing about this book that wasn’t great.

I also grabbed the latest Agents of Atlas collection, which gathers together the two-part X-Men crossover and four-part Avengers crossover. Any excuse for more Atlas is alright by me.