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.

The Pull List – September 2010

Man, getting through September without getting to read comics was tough! I did it, though, and ended up picking up all my September stuff the first week of October, so that wasn’t so bad. Let’s see what we missed, shall we?

Hercules: Twilight of a God #4: The finale to this miniseries gives the Prince of Power a right proper sendoff, letting him go head to head with a blackhole and, well, winning (even if he does give his life for it). Great art, solid if not particularly original story, and just a fun little ride all around.

Secret Six #25: Holy crap, Gail Simone is just downright evil. Catman attempting suicide by lion is pretty awesome, though, and the promise of Six vs. Six from this issue is gonna rule.

Batman and Robin #14: This issue was downright creepy. I kinda knew what to expect going in, what with having seen the preview and read reviews and such, but it was still a damn well done issue. I’m not a huge fan of Frazer Irving’s art, but Grant Morrison’s story is dead on. In the hands of a lesser team, Professor Pyg would just be ridiculous, but Morrison (and Irving, I have to admit) have me downright terrified of the guy. He ain’t right in the head.

Batman: Odyssey #3: I just…I don’t really know how to feel about this title. Sure, it’s Neal Adams and it’s Batman, but…it just doesn’t feel right. Everything is very over the top, everything is very exaggerated, and that’s fine and all, but…I dunno. The story’s a mess, the art’s not up to his usual high standard, and everyone…talks…like this!

Booster Gold #36: This title continues to be awesome. The cover is frankly fantastic, and the continued antics of Booster in the JLI days is hysterical. Also, I realize now I miss Ted Kord, even though I wasn’t really reading comics when he was still alive. Sad, really.

Doom Patrol #14: So the Chief just decided to keep a Kryptonian around to do experiments on? And now he’s all superpowered and crazy? Okay, sounds like a wild ride. I’m in. Giffen continues to make this a hell of a book.

Green Hornet: Year One #5: I don’t think I’d really realized it before now, but apparently this title isn’t a miniseries, it’s an ongoing. Which is awesome. Matt Wagner does period stories better than just about anyone, and seeing the young Britt Reid coming to terms with his place in the world and realizing the limits of working within the law to bring evil to justice…it’s great.

Invincible Iron Man #30: Tony Stark has a confrontation, a couple of cars blow up, and Pepper Potts comes to the rescue. Is there anything about this book that isn’t great? Well, I could probably do with a different artist, though Larroca’s art is far from terrible (just not terribly interesting to me).

Justice League: Generation Lost #9: I was skeptical when I saw that Judd Winick was running the show solo now, but it’s going pretty well, I think. We get more infighting among our heroes, Maxwell Lord hints at his plans and goals, and it’s just an interesting book still.

Welcome to Tranquility: One Foot in the Grave #4: I have mentioned Gail Simone is evil, right? ‘Cause she ups the ante here, pitting the villain of the piece against everyone’s favorite aviatrix, and that fork featured on the cover? It ain’t there just to look cool.

Avengers & the Infinity Gauntlet #2: So we’re already halfway through this miniseries and they’ve only just left Earth and filled up their space rig with gas. They’ve got two issues to defeat Thanos and save the universe. Sure, I think that they’ll do it, and I’d be willing to read an ongoing series by Clevinger about Spider-Man and Doom bantering back and forth, but I fear the ending of this is gonna be kinda rushed. We’ll see.

Birds of Prey #5: Black Canary is in deep trouble. So deep, that her friends are probably gonna regret trying to help her out of it. Things get worse for the Birds in the aftermath of the first arc, and Simone keeps things moving so quickly here that it’s almost disjointed and scattered (which I kinda think she did on purpose to leave the reader feeling off-balance, just as the characters feel). I find it interesting that Ed Benes already needs a fill-in artist. Let’s just go ahead and put Nicola Scott on this book and be done with it.

Deadpool #27: Steve Rogers sucker punches Deadpool. ‘Nuff said.

Joe the Barbarian #7: Joe’s grasp of what is and isn’t real is as tenuous as ever, though that may be because what is and isn’t real isn’t staying the same. This book is still pure, distilled awesome, from Morrison’s writing to Sean Murphy’s art to Dave Stewart’s colors and Todd Klein’s letters. This is like a comics dream team here, folks.

Astonishing X-Men: Xenogenesis #3: A face-off between the X-Men and a ruler who will do what it takes to protect his country, the use of a decades-old plot device from Excalibur, and the usual no-good-choices scenario that Warren Ellis writes so well…it’s a decent comic, and I’m kinda glad I’ve stuck with the series.

The Flash #5: The plot thickens as we discover that villains turned allies probably aren’t as friendly as we thought. Things go from bad to worse for the Flash, and look like they’re not going to improve anytime soon. Love the art in this book, too, even if Barry Allen is still something of a cipher.

Justice League: Generation Lost #10: Can I just say that Cliff Chiang’s cover for this book is absolutely perfect? Admittedly, all of his covers for the series have been great, but there’s just something about this cover in particular that really grabs me (it’s probably Batman).

Thor #615: Matt Fraction comes on board to write with this issue, and it’s pretty great. I love the basic concept – that if you leave a space empty, something else will just fill it up – and the art is great. There’s a cartoony feeling to it that I love and much prefer to the hyper-realistic art that seems to be more of Marvel’s house style lately.

Action Comics #893: Lex Luthor vs. Gorilla Grodd. Lexbots. This book continues to be pure awesome. And the Jimmy Olsen co-feature is perfect. I would read the hell out of a Nick Spencer Jimmy Olsen ongoing. Get on that, DC!

Atlas #5: I’m really sad that this is the last issue of Atlas. I was digging the title. I do like that it’s open-ended enough for the team to return down the road, maybe, but it still annoys me that this book basically gets killed off right as it’s finding its momentum each time. That said, it’s a pretty great sendoff for the team; everyone gets their moment to shine, the good guys win (of course), and there’s a nice little moment between Jimmy Woo and the spirit of his former enemy/mentor, Master Plan, that’s pretty great. Also, we should totally get a Ken Hale ongoing, because he is the single greatest monkey ever.

Casanova #3: Things get real funky here with an island of superintelligent cavemen and Casanova starting to realize he needs to grow up and grow a pair. Why have I not read this book before now?

Detective Comics #869: This story continues to irritate me. It’s implied that this is the Bruce Wayne Batman, but if so, he’s the most ineffectual we’ve ever seen him. Batman basically sits around shrugging the whole time, saying, “Well, what the hell can I do about all these impostor Jokers and impostor Batmen running around?” Then he kicks his feet up on the Bat Computer and eats a bag of chips. Lazy, useless Batman is not Batman. The art is still pretty great, though.

Wonder Woman #603: JMS’s take on Wonder Woman continues to do a whole lot of nothin’ for me. I mean, I’m still not even sure what the point of it all was. Why change her history? Why change her situation the way he has? It hasn’t really added anything to the story. This could’ve been done with the star-spangled shorts and tiara just as easily as the useless jacket and stretch pants. We’ve really gained nothing with these changes except for some publicity (which was probably the point) and some exasperation. Mostly the latter.

The Pull List – August 4th

It’s pouring down rain right now, but that won’t stop the comics (though it might delay the posting of this)!

Batman: Odyssey #2: Neal Adams is weaving a story of a young, inexperienced Batman that is downright weird. Anyone used to the prepared-for-everything Batman will find it rather jarring, but it’s an interesting alternate take on Bruce Wayne. Adams’ art is still kinda sketchy, but there’s solid storytelling and a shirtless, hairy-chested Bruce Wayne giving us a recap of the first issue. It’s still not clear exactly what Adams hopes to achieve with this miniseries, but I’m definitely willing to go along for the ride and see what he’s doing.

Doom Patrol #13: This issue focuses on Rita Farr, aka Elasti-Woman, as she discovers the secrets behind her resurrection and we just get further confirmation of what a bastard the Chief is. Giffen puts a good twist on the usual “superhero brought back from the dead” thing, and manages to make her character that much more tragic (and rather in line with the rest of the members of the Doom Patrol). We also get a confrontation between Rita and Mento, a fight that promises to be pretty awesome in the next issue. This title has gotten better as it’s gone along, finally finding its rhythm and a sense of what kind of stories will fit the characters best.

Hercules: Twilight of a God #3: Herc spends the whole issue in a coma, so his buddy Skyppi the Skrull takes center stage in an effort to help resolve the problem of the Galactus Black Hole that threatens the whole galaxy. There are some fun moments, snappy bits of dialogue, and good pacing: this is a solid comic from some of the most consistent, legendary creators in the business.

Deadpool #1000: An anthology of short Deadpool stories from a variety of creators, this is (as with most books of this type) a mixed bag at best. Some of the pieces are fun (“Canada, Man” is easily the best of the bunch, though “Luck be a Lady” is solid-if-mundane and “Silentest Night” is a fun little send-up of the distinguished competition’s recent event), and the art varies from typical superhero fare to indie comix style and a bunch of stuff in-between. The last quarter or so of the book is given over to more than two dozen Deadpool-centric variant covers that ran in different Marvel books over the course of the last year or so. All in all, not a bad book, but not necessarily worth the $4.99 price tag unless you’re really into Deadpool.

Casanova: Luxuria #2: Casanova goes on a mission (and counter-mission) to an island of sex robots. Yes, it’s as awesome as that sounds. There’s some weird sexual tension with his kinda-sister, some weirder sexual tension between a large Scotsman and a creepy mutant robot woman, and a naked man psychic fight. Good stuff.

S.H.I.E.L.D. #3: The antagonist is revealed, and we find out that he’s a man who will do whatever it takes to do his duty. Weaver’s art is fabulous throughout, and Hickman’s script gives us lots of information and details without feeling like a giant data dump. We don’t get to see much of Leonid and Da Vinci in this issue (they pop up in one panel on the last page), but next issue promises to be a knock-down, drag-out fight.

Secret Six #24: Our “heroes” are in the Wild West, and while everyone’s basic characteristics are the same, that’s pretty much the only similarity to the team of degenerates we know and love. The six end up banding together to protect a town from Ragdoll’s sister (who’s back along with her henchmen Aaron and Tig), so you know there’s gonna be carnage and blood. And man, is there. The roles everyone plays in this town in the past make sense: Deadshot’s a bounty hunter, Jeanette runs a bar/brothel (and the bathtub scene? Damn, Gail Simone’s a dirty woman), and Ragdoll does a Punch & Judy puppet show (which is just as wrong as it sounds). There’s also the fact that they team up to take down Slade Wilson, a gunslinger working for Ragdoll’s sister, which seems like a small nod to fans of Ryan Choi (a character written by Simone who was himself killed by Wilson in a recent issue of Titans). Definitely a good issue; can’t wait to see what Simone does next.

I also grabbed the ninth Fables trade, which so far has been setup for a final battle between the Fables in exile and the armies of the Adversary. Good stuff.

The Pull List – June 23rd

Ah, the last week of school is finally over! And we celebrate with comics!

Justice League: Generation Lost #4: This title has started to really pick up. The dialogue has gotten much better, and the fight with the Rocket Reds is well-done. I’m curious to see where they’re going with this now, as apparently “getting the band back together” is all part of Maxwell Lord’s plan. And really, wanting to see what happens next is kinda the point, right?

Joe the Barbarian #6: Sean Murphy’s art continues to dazzle, and Grant Morrison’s script is strong and fun. We’re seeing elements from each world bleed over into one another (including a couple of characters seeing a world they weren’t expecting), and it’s becoming increasingly unclear what is and isn’t real. Definitely cool.

Detective Comics #866: A one-off written by Batman legend Denny O’Neil and drawn by the always-awesome Dustin Nguyen? You’d have to fight me to get me not to buy a comic like that. It’s a neat comic that uses flashbacks to one of the original Batman and Robin’s first cases (and with the Joker, no less!) done in a great faux-Silver Age style intercut with the current Dick Grayson Batman doing a follow-up investigation. It’s not a story of great consequence or anything, but it’s fun and well-done and well-worth the $3.99 price tag.

The Return of Bruce Wayne #3: Speaking of worth the $3.99 price tag, two words: Pirate Batman. He spends most of the issue fighting Blackbeard the Pirate and exploring the Batcave, basically giving you the comic book version of the Dread Pirate Roberts. Bruce Wayne is slowly remembering more of his past, while in the present the heroes are trying to figure out how to save him. Not to mention we have the promise at the end of Batman versus Jonah Hex. I’m not gonna lie to you: that is going to be absolutely awesome.

In terms of trades, I grabbed the fourth collection of Peter David’s X-Factor Visionaries and the 5th volume of Brubaker and Phillips’ always-fantastic Criminal. The fourth X-Factor collection is so far mostly just crossover issues with the X-Family X-Cutioner’s Song. They’re not bad, but they’re not particularly interesting because of their involvement in the big crossover. Haven’t had a chance to dig into Criminal yet.

Also, my comic shop had a sale today, so I grabbed a couple more trades: the first volume of Preacher and volume 8 of Fables. Preacher is definitely interesting, and I’ll probably end up continuing to collect the rest of it.

The Pull List – May 19th

Damn, but this was a great week for comics!

Atlas #1: I really got into the previous Agents of Atlas series, and this doesn’t feel like a new start so much as a continuation. The plot involving the 3D-Man is interesting and draws you in, but I’m kinda disappointed the Agents don’t get more panel time. The second story in this issue fills in some of the backstory for the main plot and features the Agents back in the ’50s, which is always fun. I’ll definitely be following this title.

Deadpool #23: This issue doesn’t feature nearly as much of the manic humor of most issues from this title, but it does bring back an old “friend” (if that term can be used for anyone connected to Deadpool) and introduces an interesting story. It’s also interesting to see Deadpool reacting to the public’s perception of him and to see that it actually hurts him. This should be a good story.

Invincible Iron Man #26: There may not be a whole lot of action in this issue, but there’s still some great characterization and we see that Tony Stark definitely has a history of being a bit of a dick to people. He’s clearly trying to make amends, but he’s not really making any apologies. This was an issue setting up Tony’s new status quo, for the most part, and getting pieces in place for some guys in robot suits punching each other later, but it’s still very well done.

Joe the Barbarian #5: Things go from bad to worse for Joe, as an open door leads to some big trouble, and a garbled phone conversation doesn’t help matters. Sean Murphy’s art continues to be perfectly-suited for this book, and all our heroes get some solid panel time. Good stuff.

Atomic Robo: Revenge of the Vampire Dimension #3: This is, quite possibly, the single best comic I’ve read this year. No, scratch that qualifier, it is the single best comic I’ve read all year. It’s funny as hell, and I laughed aloud at least once per page. The pacing is perfect, the action is perfect, and we get more Doctor Dinosaur, who is truly one of the greatest villains ever. This is a pitch-perfect comic, with fantastic art and dead-on writing. If you aren’t reading Atomic Robo, there’s probably something terribly, terribly wrong with you.

Got the second volume of the Peter David X-Factor Visionaries collection, ’cause there weren’t any trades that came out this week I was looking for. Man, I do love me some Peter David comics.

The Pull List – April 28th and May 1st

Today was Free Comic Book Day, which is truly one of the greatest holidays of them all. I managed to swing by and pick up a couple of free books, and got most of my usual pull list the day before. Let’s dig in, shall we?

Deadpool #22: Clearly the previous arc was just an aberration, as this done-in-one issue is freakin’ hilarious. The dialogue is spot-on, Deadpool’s interactions with the crooked cops is great, and his moral dilemma is wonderful. I had only two problems with this issue: the twist at the end about who was really behind the crimes was too obvious, and the overly-exaggerated southern accent the characters were given was just too much. But really, those are small complaints in a comic that was mostly dead-on.

Detective Comics #864: I’m not sure how much longer I’ll be continuing with this one now that Batwoman isn’t the lead character, but this particular issue still did a good job. We get to see just how screwed up Jeremiah Arkham really is, and the tone of the book is genuinely creepy and just a little off, but in a good way. I’ll definitely keep with it for the next issue or two at least, just to see what happens here. Plus, I really want to see what happens in the Question backup that’s still running in the book (and still keeping me turning pages to see what happens next). I was hesitant coming into this issue, but I’m glad I gave it a shot.

Wonder Woman #43: Not only do we get a great story from Gail Simone, we get Nikola Scott art? God, this must be what Heaven is like. Admittedly, there’s probably a lot more fighting going on here than in Heaven (unless you’re, y’know, a Viking), but Wonder Woman kicks some butt, we get some details about how her aunt ended up with the bad guys, and some more of the backstory is revealed. Plus, ape soldiers jumping around and saving small children, which is always cool. I’m very sad Gail’s run is about to end, but at least she’s pulling out all the stops on the way.

Invincible Iron Man #25: Double-sized issue, the start of a new story, and the introduction of new enemies and new armor. Man, Fraction manages to pack a lot into this issue. There’s plenty of neat twists (such as Stark’s new business plan), we get to see Stark dealing with his reset brain, and the promise of some serious robot-guy-on-robot-guy action to come in future issues. This title just keeps getting better and better.

The free comics that I picked up weren’t many, but damn were they good!

Red 5 Comics: It may be a short Atomic Robo story, but any Atomic Robo is better than no Atomic Robo. It’s a slight story, but long on fun. Everything we know and love about Robo is here: snarky robots, bizarre science, not-extinct giant chicken things…this comic has it all, and I managed to grab the last (or possibly only) copy my store had of this. There’s some other Red 5 stories in here as well, but I don’t really care about this. I’m all about the Robo, baby.

Mouse Guard: I absolutely love the Mouse Guard stuff I’ve read (which is really just Fall 1152, but damn if that isn’t a great book), and this brief story is just as beautiful as anything else set in this world. With two new Mouse Guard titles getting ready to hit the shelves in coming months, it’s a great time to jump in and see what the fuss is all about. While there’s not a story here per se, the book does a great job establishing the status quo and the setting. You don’t have to have read previous works to catch up with what’s happening here, which is nice. And, if you flip this book over, there’s a couple of Fraggle Rock shorts as well. They’re cute and manage to nail the tone of the show, which is nice.

Iron Man/Thor: With writing by Matt Fraction and art by John Romita, Jr., this was something of a no-brainer. It ties in well with this week’s issue of Invincible Iron Man, showing Stark’s resolve to try to fix the problems his past has created and make the world a better place with his technology, not a more dangerous place. It’s a good look at both characters and a nice glimpse of what a good writer can do with a very simple team-up.

As far as trades go, I picked up the new BPRD collection, War on Frogs, as well as volume 6 of Fables and the Strange: The Doctor is Out mini. The Strange trade was a pretty good story, and I wouldn’t mind a Doctor Strange ongoing from that particular creative team. Volume 6 of Fables was likewise enjoyable, featuring Boy Blue running around being way more badass than he had any right to be. I haven’t cracked the BPRD book yet, but I’m sure it’ll be as good as I’ve come to expect from these guys.

The Pull List – April 21st

I actually managed to pick up my comics on Wednesday for once, so let’s get to it…

Joe the Barbarian #4: I’m still not entirely sure what’s going on in this comic, but apparently it’s more than just a kid whose blood sugar has dropped too low hallucinating. Which probably shouldn’t surprise us much, as this is a Grant Morrison comic, so there’s always more going on than you’d think. Sean Murphy’s art continues to look absolutely fantastic, we’ve got the introduction of a new ally to the group, and the bad guys are hot in pursuit. Simply put, this comic rocks.

Hercules: Fall of an Avenger #2: This is a much better issue than the first. We’ve got a throwdown between Amadeus Cho and the champion of Apollo, important decisions are made, and there’s some decent jokes. This issue mostly just sets up the comic miniseries Prince of Power, but there’s a nice twist at the end and the comic was pretty fun despite its piece-moving nature. The art still bugs me and doesn’t really do a whole lot for me, but it was serviceable.

Captain America: Who Won’t Wield The Shield? #1 (One-Shot): This one was dropped into my box by my LCS guy, and I decided to go ahead with it just for giggles. It’s an anthology of sorts, I guess, with two short stories and a fun framing story. Matt Fraction and Brendan McCarthy give us a psychedelic take on Captain America called “Doctor America” that features my new favorite word: “Ditkirbanko.” Seriously. Roll that around in your mouth for awhile. Tastes right, doesn’t it? The second story, Golden Age Deadpool, falls a little flatter. While part of it is a pisstake of the over-saturation of Deadpool, it doesn’t really have a whole lot going on and feels too slight. The best part of the book is definitely the framing story, which features Forbush Man getting angry at the writers of Marvel comics (he actually kills Jason Aaron, Matt Fraction, and Brian M. Bendis, along with editor Stephen Wacker) and basically having a good laugh at Marvel’s own expense. I’m a fan of metahumor, so this works for me.

For trades, I grabbed the latest volumes of X-Factor and Sandman Mystery Theatre (Matt Wagner does this 1930s noirish stuff so well, I wish he’d just write comics like this forever…granted, at least we’ve got these trades still coming out and his work on Green Hornet: Year One) and Mike Mignola’s Witchfinder: In the Service of Angels. All of which look like they’ll be a lot of fun to read.

The Pull List – March 31st

Spring Break means getting comics on the day they come out! Huzzah! Get ready, here come the comics!

Detective Comics #863: The end of the Cutter storyline gives us a decent-enough resolution to the arc, with more of that parallel storytelling between what happened in the past with Batman and Batwoman in the present. Both get their man, we get a nice little moment between Batwoman and her cousin at the end (though I’m still not sure if we’re supposed to know what costume Bette’s wearing). Jock’s art is great, and Rucka’s writing is solid as usual. The backup feature with the Question is great as usual, with the revelation of the big baddie (though when did he get that weird burning sword cross thing on his forehead?) and some solid banter between Rene Montoya and the Huntress. Good stuff all around.

Wonder Woman #42: Wonder Woman is only featured in half of this issue, really, with the first half focusing on some Green Lanterns and setting up the conflict for Wonder Woman in the second half. We get a nice bit between Wonder Woman and Steve Trevor and a great Etta Candy moment (“You think you could maybe go get my guns for me? Oh, and maybe some pants while you’re at it?”). The enemies seem truly dangerous and malevolent, but why is it her enemies are always women? It’s strange.

Trades this week: third volume of Fables, Wonder Woman: Ends of the Earth (which felt disjointed the first time I read it; maybe reading it all in one shot will be different. Also, it includes the great two-part story about a Wonder Woman movie), and the third volume of Mark Waid’s The Brave and the Bold (which seems slighter than the previous two volumes, but it’s still good fun).

The Pull List – March 17th

St. Patrick’s Day was indeed a day for green, as the second of five (!) new Green Hornet titles from Dynamite came out. Apparently my LCS guy thought I might enjoy it, so I found a copy of Green Hornet: Year 1 #1 in my box. Here’s my thoughts on it and the rest of the stuff I pulled this week.

Green Hornet: Year One #1: I really dig Matt Wagner’s stuff set in the 1920s/1930s (really, the only other thing I can think of off the top of my head is his work on Sandman Mystery Theatre, which is absolutely fantastic), so I’m down with this. The Year One subtitle is a little bit of a misnomer, as Wagner bounces around between the early childhoods of Britt Reid and Kato and their early efforts as masked heroes. What we get is the beginning of a nice little examination of how Green Hornet came to be, and some solid moments of characterization for each character. We haven’t seen how the two will get together just quite yet, but hey, this is just the first issue. I may not have originally planned on pulling this book, but I’m glad it made its way into my box and I’m definitely looking forward to the next issue.

Joe the Barbarian #3: This book just keeps getting more awesome. Sean Murphy’s art is easily the best thing about this title, but that’s not to say Grant Morrison’s script isn’t cool as hell. The parallels between Joe’s hallucinations and the real world are well-done and add some great depth to the story, and things are starting to blur together in a pretty exciting way. Plus, we get a new addition to the group, the rather large son of a pirate guy who brings some fun to the proceedings. This is one of the funnier books I’ve ever read by Morrison, and I’m enjoying it immensely.

Hercules: Fall of an Avenger #1: So we get a nice little send-off for Hercules here, with folks getting together and telling stories about their experiences with the Prince of Power. Thor’s tale is pretty great, a couple of solid little jokes about Herc’s sexual exploits, and an interesting set up at the end of the issue. I do have a couple of problems with the book: first, the art is just bland and boring. Things look washed out, and the women all have the same exact face. The Agents of Atlas backup works pretty well, featuring Venus going around and closing out Hercules’s accounts in what ends up being quite funny and warm. The book’s worth picking up, if for no other reason than to set up the new Prince of Power book that’s starting up in a couple of months.

As for trades, I picked up the new Hellboy trade, which admittedly came out last week, but which I could only find this week. Huzzah for Hellboy!