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.

The Pull List – February 16th

Kind of a disappointing week in comics, but let’s look at what we got…

Wonder Woman #607: We’re finally starting to dig into the meat of the plot in this book and figure out what the villains of the piece really want. Also, Diana is actually allowed to have character and to react to things! This book has gotten considerably better since Phil Hester came on board, but it’s still pretty painful.

Astonishing X-Men: Xenogenesis #5: This miniseries finally comes to an end. The final battle was decent enough. Wolverine got some nice one-liners, as did Beast and Emma Frost, and the way Frost dealt with the alternate-dimensional invaders was fairly clever (if not without its problems). Overall, this wasn’t the greatest miniseries I’ve ever read, but it wasn’t awful. It was just sort of…there, I guess. I am curious to see what Daniel Way does with the regular Astonishing X-Men ongoing starting next month. As much as I like Warren Ellis, his tenure on the book hasn’t been all that great (the fact that it was plagued with delays from the get-go didn’t help).

Deadpool Max #5: So, was this book always intended as a limited series? Apparently (according to solicits I’ve seen for future issues), it’s a 12-issue series. I thought it was a regular ol’ ongoing. Ah well. Either way, it remains a seriously messed-up book, but not in a bad way. Deadpool goes up against his “Mom,” Taskmaster, and we get more hints that there is something deeply sinister going on with whatever organization is employing Wade Wilson and Hydra Bob. Also, the flashbacks with the “Muskrats” was freakin’ hysterical. All summer camps should be run that way.

Doom Patrol #19: Apparently this book is slated for cancellation with issue 22, which is a shame. It’s a book with a lot of potential, and I think it would’ve fared far better if Giffen had a co-writer (most of his best stuff as a writer/plotter have come when he has a co-writer to handle dialogue so he can handle the crazy plots and layouts). This particular issue falls a little flat, as the usually competent Secret Six seem suddenly…less so. The issue doesn’t resolve so much as just end abruptly, but I wonder how much of that is the page count reduction from DC’s “Hold the Line at $2.99” nonsense.

S.H.I.E.L.D. #6: So apparently this is just the first volume in this story, which is probably good ’cause I have no idea what’s happened or why it’s happened or anything like that. Hickman writes a complex, interweaving narrative here, and the visuals from Weaver are beautiful as always. Leonid finally does something more than just stand on the sideline and look dumbfounded, even if what he does is fairly useless. There’s also a reveal at the end that’ll probably make more sense somewhere down the line.

Booster Gold #41: Booster and company fight off an attack from some old Nazi sympathizers, and Booster goes to jail. The pretense for sending Booster to jail is kinda flimsy (even if does bring up a point: why has no one ever tried to take him in for his thefts in the 25th century? They clearly have time travel in that time, in the DCU, so why hasn’t a time cop come back and taken care of this already? It doesn’t make much sense), but I think the story that comes out of it should still be pretty solid. It is Giffen and DeMatties, after all. Batista’s art is pretty good, though it’s inconsistent (Rip Hunter’s head seems to get taller and thinner in one panel, then squashed back out again later).

I also grabbed the trade of Avengers and the Infinity Gauntlet, the all-ages remake of the old Infinity Gauntlet series, done by Brian Clevinger and company. It’s a fantastic book (I picked it up in singles originally) and includes the first issue of the old Starlin/Perez Infinity Gauntlet series, but I have a complaint: why are all of Marvel’s all-ages books done in a smaller size than their usual trades? What point does this serve? I noticed it with their Marvel Adventures trades, the trade of Wizard of Oz (which has amazing art that deserves to be seen in a much bigger page), and now this. C’mon, Marvel, give kids the full-sized treatment! Just ’cause the person reading it may be small doesn’t mean the book has to be!

The Pull List – January 19th

Pretty good week this week, even if it was light on single issues.

Thor #619: Odin is mad as Hell, and he lets everyone know it. Balder and Tyr gird their loins for a brave battle against the oncoming forces of darkness, and Thor mostly stands around doing a whole lot of nothing. Fraction’s got this story on a bit of a slow burn, introducing small elements in each issue that will (I hope) all add up to something awesome, but it’s a bit of a slog waiting for the action to start.

Deadpool MAX #4: Cable! In a monocle! There’s something sinister brewing in this book, some deeper story that’s simmering just below the surface. Bob gets lucky, Deadpool goes temporarily hippy, and Cable is actually interesting (and wears a tux and the aforementioned monocle!). I was originally skeptical about this book, but I find myself enjoying it more and more with each issue.

Invincible Iron Man #500: Iron Man returns to its “original” number this issue with a cross-generational tale of Starks trying to save the world from their own inventions. It’s a solid story, though the guest art on the book didn’t really gel with the usual glossy, heavily-rendered style we normally get on the book.

I also grabbed three trades this week: Thor: Siege, volume 10 of X-Factor, and the latest collection of Secret Six. Good, good stuff all around.

The Pull List – December 15th

Ah, the waning days of the year! We’ve still got comics comin’! Here we go!

Deadpool Max #3: Okay, so this is what this book should be like. Baron Zemo, reimagined as a white supremacist bent on making the U.S. “pure” again. The writing is clever, the violence fits, and the Lapham uses racial slurs and horrible, horrible terminology to great effect. If more issues are like this one, I’ll definitely be continuing to keep it up.

Batman and Robin #18: We get the origin of The Absence and a couple of really cool visuals (that closing page is fantastic), though some of the villain’s motivation seems a little off somehow. Decent, but not the best Cornell’s managed. We’ll see how it turns out next issue.

Birds of Prey #7: Barbara Gordon’s got an ambitious plan to keep her friends and allies safe: she’s going to kill Oracle. The art for this issue ain’t bad, and Gail Simone’s script is solid (the bits in the strip club are hysterical), as per usual. One request, though: can we please get Nicola Scott on this book? Please?

Chaos War: Thor #2: I’m not entirely sure about the real purpose of this book. I mean, it’s not a bad book, and there are some really interesting concepts at work in this issue. But there does feel like there’s something slightly off about it.

Chaos War #4: Things look pretty grim, but that’s par for the course when you’re talking about event comics and cosmic stuff. Hercules does not want to give up, Athena tries to be clever and fails, and Amadeus Cho comes up with a neat idea. I’m curious to see how Pak and Van Lente will pull off the win in this one, and where it’ll take the iHerc crew next.

I also grabbed the fifth Booster Gold trade, which rounded out Dan Jurgens’s run on the title, and the first trade of Thor: The Mighty Avenger, which is one of those books I kick myself for not having gotten into earlier (especially now that it’s apparently going to be canceled after the 8th issue).

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.