The Pull List was slightly lighter this week than the past three, partially due to me not managing to pick up any additional ongoings from Marvel or DC. I made a heroic effort to catch all the way up with Doctor Strange, but fell an arc short.
This week’s comics felt a little ho-hum for me, with even typical standouts like Flash and Paradiso falling flat. However, it also brought not one but two near-perfect comics, plus one unexpectedly great debut.
Here’s The Pull List for the 14th of March, 2018. New adds to the pull list are marked with *; dropped titles are marked with #.
- DC Comics
- Action Comics (2016) #999
- Batgirl and The Birds of Prey (2016) #20
- Detective Comics (2016) #976
- *Eternity Girl (2018) #1
- The Flash (2016) #42
- Mister Miracle (2017) #7
- Sideways (2018) #2
- Suicide Squad (2016) #37
- Titans (2016) #21
- Trinity (2016) #19
- Wonder Woman (2016) #42
- Image Comics
- Bonehead (2018) #3
- *#Dry County (2018) #1
- *Infidel (2018) #1
- Paradiso (2017) #4
- #Sleepless (2017) #4
- Slots (2017) #6
- VS (2018) #2
- Marvel Comics
- All-New Wolverine (2016) #32
- Astonishing X-Men (2017) #9
- Avengers (2017) #684
- Marvel Two-in-One (2018) #4
- New Mutants – Dead Souls (2018) #1
- Old Man Logan (2016) #36
- Weapon X (2017) #15
- X-Men: Blue (2017) #23
- Smaller Publishers: Aftershock Comics, Archie Comics, Black Mask Studios, & Boom! Studios
- Judas (2017) #4, Boom! Studios
- *Come Into Me (2018) #1, Black Mask Studios
- *Vampironica (2018) #1, Archie Comics
- *Betrothed (2018) #1, Aftershock Comics
Before we begin, a reminder that 2.5 stars on my rating scale is an average comic book and my bell curve distribution peaks at 3/5 stars! Don’t freak out and assume a comic book is terrible because it has 2 stars. That means it’s just a hair below average (and there are a lot of those this week)
Picks of the Pull
Big Two (Marvel/DC) Pick of the Week:
Action Comics (2016) #999, DC Comics
Dan Jurgens leaves us with a truly perfect, contemplative issue of Superman that puts a wrap on his stellar Rebirth run but also addresses his writing from over 25 years ago, as beautifully rendered by artist Will Conrad and colorist Ivan Nunes.
In Metropolis, Lois is newly reunited with her estranged Army General father after saving him from execution in the last arc. It’s his first time meeting Jon (sort of), but General Lane isn’t in on the Superman secret, so he thinks Jon is a regular kid. That makes it even more tense as Lois and her father square off across the dinner table about the philosophy of Superman. Jon has never been exposed to this kind of hatred and xenophobia about his father before – which is also, by extension, aimed at him.
Meanwhile, Superman is in space dealing with a routine chore of breaking up an asteroid that will stray a bit too close to Earth for STAR Labs liking. Superman is thinking about fathers – General Lane, his own father Jor-El, as well as Zod – all of whom were tangled in the cross-time plot he just wrapped with Booster Gold.
Superman can see the errors in the ways of each of those parents and they in turn reflect his errors back upon him. Clark Kent is good-natured to a fault, but he’s not always right. General Lane isn’t entirely wrong about him – sometimes his absolute power corrupts him, both in how he metes out justice and in how he isn’t accustomed to apologizing for his actions.
As a result, Superman decides to put right two wrongs. One is with Hank Henshaw, the Cyborg Superman, who he currently has imprisoned in the Phantom Zone. The other, eventually is General Lane. [Read more…] about The Pull List: Action Comics, Avengers, Eternity Girl, Infidel, Judas, Marvel Two-in-One, Vampironica, & more!
It’s the eleventh week of new comics in 2018, and This Week in X has six new titles to review – so many that I mistakenly omitted one the first time I edited this video. I’ve never had to count as high as six before!
This week, I cover:
- All-New Wolverine #32, a pleasant (if pandering) one-shot epilogue to “Orphans of X”
- Astonishing X-Men #9, a dull middle chapter that does a lot of telling rather than showing
- New Mutants – Dead Souls #1, a solid hit for lovers of every era of New Mutants
- Old Man Logan #36, which flirts with some heavy themes before turning into a MacGuffin hunt
- Weapon X #15, a surprisingly satisfying (and unsurprisingly bloody) tussle
- X-Men Blue #23, far and away the best issue of this series and a return to form for Cullen Bunn
Learn more about how each of those series reached their current issues and hear which ones I’d recommend picking up.
I know it seems impossible, but The Pull List has grown even bigger this week for the third week in a row! That’s because I finished catching up to present on a number of DC and Marvel books, plus I picked up five smaller press books.
- DC Comics
- Batman #41
- Batman & the Signal #2
- The Brave and The Bold #1
- Damage #2
- Deathbed #1 (Vertigo)
- Justice League #39
- Milk Wars – DC Cave Carson Has a Cybernetic Eye / Swamp Thing Special
- Super Sons #13
- Superman #41
- Trinity #18
- Image Comics
- The Further Adventures of Nick Wilson #2
- Ice Cream Man #2
- Maestros #5
- Redlands #6
- Twisted Romance #3
- Marvel Comics
- Astonishing X-Men #8
- Avengers #681
- Deadpool vs. Old Man Logan #5
- Doctor Strange – Damnation #1
- Generation X #87
- Infinity Countdown Prime
- Mighty Thor #704
- Tales of Suspense #102
- The Incredible Hulk #713
- Venom #162
- X-Men Gold #22
- Smaller Publishers: Dark Horse, Dynamite, IDW, Vault Comics, Zenescope
- Belle Beast Hunter #2, Zenescope
- Heathen #6, Vault Comics
- James Bond: The Body #1, Dynamite Comics
- Mata Hari #1, Dark Horse / Berger Books
- Musketeers #1, Zenescope
- Punks Not Dead #1, IDW Publishing / Black Crown
Pick of the Pull
Big Two (Marvel/DC) Issue of the Week:
Mighty Thor (2016) #704
A bloody, thrilling, heart-rending comic. Aaron has somehow amped up the drama in each of the last three issues as we hasten towards a potential Ragnarok at the hands of the Mangog and Jane Foster’s death at her own hands if she takes up the mantle of Thor just one more time.
Yet, beyond those looming disasters there is still Makelith’s war on the Ten Realms. Mangog is just one facet of that. Even in the dimness and tragedy, Aaron finds shining moments – Jane with her friend in the cancer ward, a father and son joined in battle, and a mother casting aside a snake that has wounded her before.
All the while, Dauterman and Wilson are turning in a quality of artwork never seen before at Marvel comics – truly, one of the pinnacles of art at Marvel in over 75 years of publishing.
This story has officially become the best Thor story in my eyes, and it just might be Marvel’s best longform story of all time. I’d place it alongside Mark Gruenwald Captain America and Chris Claremont X-Men at this point.
Best Small-Pub Issue of the Week:
Punks Not Dead (2018) #1, IDW Publishing / Black Crown
An utterly madcap introduction to Punks Not Dead (and, for me, to Black Crown comics, which are edited by Shelly Bond distributed by IDW). This book is part Injection, part Sid and Nancy, and a little dash of the more lighthearted issues of Sandman.
It follows a teenage boy and his scam artist mom as the kid picks up some kind of supernatural echo of the deceased Sid Vicious in a dingy airport bathroom. Meanwhile, the beleaguered Department for Extra-Usual Affairs is busy putting minor demons out of the closet at 10 Downing Street with a staff of one.
This book is funny, unique, and looks freaking brilliant. Artist Martin Simmonds is simply incredible, drawing a real-seeming Britain with amped up color and clever use of cut-and-pasted patterns to ground it in real, textured reality. I am in love with this book, and will not only be keeping up with it, but also checking out other titles from Black Crown. [Read more…] about The Pull List: Batman, Brave and The Bold, Damnation, Maestros, Mighty Thor, Punks Not Dead, and more!
I’ve managed to one-up last week’s edition of The Pull List! This week, the list is a whopping 27 issues deep – one more than last week. However, its also a tick worse, with an aggregate rating of 3.055 compared to 3.17.
What did I pull this week? I caught up with Birds of Prey, Flash, and Titans to add to my DC pull list, sampled four new number ones, and dropped a pair of weak books. Here’s what I reviewed in brief:
- DC Comics
- Batgirl and The Birds of Prey (2016) #19
- Detective Comics (2016) #974
- The Flash (2016) #40
- Sideways (2017) #1
- Titans (2016) #20
- Wonder Woman (2016) #40
- Image Comics
- Dark Fang (2017) #4
- Death of Love (2018) #1
- Paradiso (2017) #3
- Port of Earth (2017) #4
- Sleepless (2018) #3
- Slots (2017) #5
- Twisted Romance (2018) #2
- Marvel Comics
- Avengers (2017) #680
- Cable (2017) #154
- Captain America (2017) #698
- Marvel Two-in-One (2018) #3
- Old Man Logan (2016) #35
- Weapon X (2017) #14
- X-Men: Blue (2017) #21
- Smaller Publishers: Aftershock, Boom! Studios, Dark Horse, Dynamite, & Zenescope
- Babyteeth (2017) #8, Aftershock Comics
- Barbarella (2017) #3, Dynamite Entertainment
- Black Sable (2017) #4, Zenescope Entertainment
- Cold War (2018) #1, Aftershock Comics
- Giants (2018) #3, Dark Horse
- Judas (2017) #3, Boom! Studios
- Xena (2018) #1, Dynamite Entertainment
Pick of the Pull
Big Two (Marvel/DC) Issue of the Week: The Flash (2016) #40, DC Comics
I have never before been so viscerally scared of Grodd. He is utterly terrifying here, and I was really concerned that we could be seeing the end of Flash at multiple points – and, in a way, we did.
Joshua Williamson is proving that he is one of the best writers in the business with this constantly thrumming plot that has been building non-stop rising action for 40 straight issues. While you could easily jump right one with every arc, each of them builds off of everything that came before. That means this run has notched itself as the third or fourth best extended Flash run of all time in under two years, and it shows no immediate signs of stopping.
Carmine Di Giandomenico continues to stun on artwork with vivid coloring from
Ivan Plascencia. This issue includes some of the most inventive action paneling I can think of reading in recent memory. The paneling of Avery catching the lighting rod is breathtaking.
An A+ book through and through, with a thrilling final moment.
Best Small-Pub Issue of the Week: Giants (2018) #3, Dark Horse Comics
There’s no denying the craft, power, and charm of Giants. For a third issue in a row The Valderrama Brothers. turn in a beautiful, action-packed comic full of heart.
We begin our story with Zedo, the boy left for dead who is now making a cavalier power-play to control the gangs of the underworld. Only a child could see things as so black and white, yet both in the last issue and here he is making vicious choices that he can’t take back.
In stark contrast, Gogi has found a group of other children who are necessarily tough but still enduringly kind. Their acceptance and willingness to give without asking anything in return is alien to Gogi. At first he resists it, then he resents it, but finally he understand that’s it’s easier to live openly then be on guard and full of distrust.
Gogi’s journey from underground child to hero in the wider wider stands in stark contrast to Zedo’s dark turn at the end of this issue. Neither boy can entirely blame fate, nor can he say that the choices were all his own. That makes Giants a powerful allegory for the role of environment on our lot in life.
We might not all be fighting giant monsters, but we’re frequently either the child who ran away or the child that was left behind. [Read more…] about The Pull List: Avengers, Death of Love, Detective Comics, The Flash, Paradiso, Sideways, & more!