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 – October 20th

It’s time once again for the internet’s laziest, least-interesting comics review! Get excited!

Green Hornet: Year One #6: Part of me wants to stop getting this book in single issues, ’cause it’s clearly going to read much better in a big trade-sized chunk. It’s not that it’s a bad book, mind, just that reading it issue by issue kills the momentum of the story. We finally get to see the Green Hornet piece together his modus operandi and take on some thugs on a moving train. The art is good, though there are some storytelling problems during the train scene that make it hard to follow the action and tell who ends up where and how.

Deadpool #28: So the villain of this particular storyline is “Doctor Bong?” And he’s got a bell for a head? That’s just downright weird. The story is good, though, as the real Secret Avengers show up and lots of fighting ensues.

Chaos War #2: The Chaos King invades the afterlife, anyone who isn’t a god gets put into a magical comatose state, and the all-new God Squad is gathered. This issue doesn’t move with quite the same fantastic pacing that most Pak/Van Lente joints have, but it’s clearly just setting the stage for the awesome things to come. I do have a complaint about Khoi Pham’s art: everything looks kinda plastic. Like, the people do. I dunno if it’s the inker or the colorist or Pham himself or what, but it’s distracting.

Batman and Robin #15: The reveal on the final page of this issue was awesome. And, despite my usual misgivings about Frazer Irving’s art, he really knocked it outta the park on this issue. Everything is finally coming together, and the final showdown between Batman and Dr. Hurt is nigh. Will we finally figure out just who the hell Dr. Hurt is? Or is this just gonna be one of those bits that gets left dangling for ever until someone else comes along and tries to explain it away as a clone of Thomas Wayne or something equally ridiculous? Who knows.

I also picked up a couple of trades this week: Final Crisis: Legion of 3 Worlds, which seemed like an excuse to have George Perez draw the hell out of as many members of the Legion of Super-Heroes as possible (not that I’m complaining) and may’ve finally removed Superboy-Prime from the gameboard as a character we ever have to see in anything ever again. I also grabbed the latest volume of X-Factor, which was pretty cool and featured a great story involving the Fantastic Four (also, I would buy the hell out of a series featuring Ben Grimm, Shatterstar, and Monet running around cold wreckin’ stuff. It would be beyond amazing).

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 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.