The Pull List is holding strong as 33 issues this week thanks to a huge number of new pickups – including eleven new number one issues (plus two already-running series I finally caught up to reading)!
This was an intense Marvel Comics week on my pull list and a lighter DC week for me. Marvel had only two books out from titles I’m not up to speed on, where DC had a lot of comics out in lines I’m not yet caught up on and no “New Age of Heroes” books, plus only one new number one – a relaunch of Shade.
Meanwhile, it is a big week for new debuts from independent publishers – though a few of them weren’t to my tastes (and one was entirely unreadable!).
Here’s The Pull List for the 7th of March, 2018. New adds to the pull list are marked with *; dropped titles are marked with #.
- DC Comics
- Batman #42
- * Deathstroke #29
- Exit Stage Left: The Snagglepuss Chronicles #3
- Justice League #40
- * Shade, The Changing Woman #1
- Superman #42
- Image Comics
- * Elsewhere #5
- *# Gideon Falls #1
- * Oblivion Song #1
- * Prism Stalker #1
- Marvel Comics
- * Avengers – Back to Basics #1
- Avengers #683
- Black Bolt #11
- Captain America #699
- Doctor Strange – Damnation #2
- Hawkeye #16
- Iceman #11
- Infinity Countdown #1
- Rise of the Black Panther #3
- Rogue & Gambit #3
- Spider-Man #238
- Venom #163
- X-Men: Gold #23
- X-Men: Red #2
- Smaller Publishers:
Aftershock Comics, Boom! Studios, Dark Horse, Humanoids, IDW Publishing, Oni Press
- *# The Ballad of Sang #1, Oni Press
- * Dodge City #1, Boom! Studios
- * Exo #1-3, Humanoids
- Giant Days #36, Boom! Studios
- * Highest House #1, IDW Publishing
- Incognegro – Renaissance #2, Dark Horse
- Mech Cadet Yu #7, Boom! Studios
- # Monstro Mechanica #4, Aftershock Comics
- *# The Spider King #1, IDW Publishing
Before we begin, a reminder that 2.5 stars on my rating scale is an average comic book! It should be my most-assigned score, but I tend to err on thinking average comics are good (confusing, I know), so 3 stars is the peak of my very distributed bell curve of ratings.
That means a 2/5 comic is not bad. That’s my rating for “uneven.” So, don’t freak out and assume a comic book is terrible because it has 2 stars. “Bad” and “Terrible” are 1/5 and .5/5, respectively, and I’ve only given those scores to 2.35% of the comics I’ve read so far this year.
Picks of the Pull
Big Two (Marvel/DC) Pick of the Week:
Infinity Countdown (2018) #1
This galaxy-spanning series is ecstatic – maybe the first time I’ve felt like the comics incarnation of Guardians of the Galaxy has resembled the tone of movie since the first film was released.
This book is built on a year of Guardians plot, but it could not possibly be more inviting to a new reader. All of the action is massive, all of the jokes land, and Aaron Kuder’s style of subtle figures paired with ultra detail is the perfect match for big space blowouts. It’s definitely the first time I’ve ever liked Drax, and the issue is full of amazing moments for Groot.
The Guardians have split their attention between a showdown with the murderous Gardener and defending a massive Infinity Stone along with the Nova Corps. Drax and the Corps start out faring better defending the stone than the rest of the assembled Guardians do agains The Gardener, but as both fights wear on the balance begins to tip.
With the [hugely shocking spoiler] scene on Earth that ends this issue, I understand why Duggan got this story upgraded from being just a Guardians story arc to a universe-wide event. He’s a writer who has been in Marvel’s big leagues for a few years now, and it’s terrific to see him writing an event that touches so many of Marvel’s big franchises without needlessly interfering with their ongoing titles.
I am absolutely subscribed to Infinite Countdown from this point forward, and it has moved Duggan’s Guardians run even further up my “to-read” list.
(Why in heaven’s name would you put a Nick Bradshaw cover on a book with interiors by Aaron Kuder and Mike Deodato? It makes no sense to me whatsoever.)
Small-Pub Pick of the Week:
Exo (2017) Hardcover AKA #1-3, Humanoids
This is the first English translation of this work, originally released as three French graphic albums and here released by Humanoids as three digital issues or a single hardcover.
Exo is a sci-fi motion picture waiting to be optioned. It combines two seemingly separate plots into one perfectly tense story – one of a NASA scientist on Earth, the other of a military strike force on the moon.
John Koenig is a perfectly average scientist who happens to have located a potentially habitable planet in another solar system and tasked a probe to fly its way. His announcement makes for a sleepy press conference, since any potential findings from the probe are almost two years away. The discovery is just another day at the office for Koenig – he goes for a routine physical afterward, and the heads into LA to retrieve his adult daughter, who calls him John.
Meanwhile, a projectile arcs from the moon to Earth, shattering part of an International Space Station en route to crashing into a field in Colorado before it starts to… branch out. Unfortunately, one of its findings is a schizophrenia man named Charles, who it is unable to control.
As Charles’s new crew seeks John, the military responds to the projectile by putting boots on the lunar ground – but they aren’t ready for what they might find there.
That describes just a sliver of the first 40 pages of this 120 page graphic novel, and it doesn’t even include the drug trip!
Exo has the same third act struggles as any massive sci-fi plot, but the tension that proceeds it is makes it worth a read. Even if a lot of the story draws from familiar tropes, it has the brash inventiveness to combine them in a way that we all hope to see from sci-fi films (think: Arrival).
Today I brought Patrons of Crushing Krisis a guide that is one of the final pieces to providing full coverage of the Marvel Legacy era of titles. It also greatly simplifies my most-complicated (and most-visited!) single guide by breaking an important character out into his own page…
While my Marvel Ultimate Universe Definitive Collecting Guide covers all of Miles’ appearances in the Ultimate Universe, there he’s one in a crowd of several characters being tracked from series to series.
Want access to this guide today? It’s available, along over a dozen other exclusive guides, in exchange for covering $1.99 a month of CK’s hosting expenses.
My pull list just keeps getting bigger and better! This week, The Pull List is twenty-six issues long with seven new number ones, four issues with Batman, and an average rating of 3.17.
What did I pull this week? Well, I’m still not caught up on my Superman, but I’ve got a pretty big cross-section of DC and Marvel on my list, plus a handful of smaller publisher titles!
- Aftershock Comics
- Monstro Mechanica (2017) #3
- Boom! Studios
- Giant Days (2015) #35
- Mech Cadet Yu (2017) #6
- Dark Horse
- Incognegro – Renaissance (2018) #1
- DC Comics
- Batman (2016) #40
- Exit Stage Left: The Snagglepuss Chronicles (2018)#2
- Justice League (2016) #38
- Milk Wars: Mother Panic / Batman Special (2018)
- Swamp Thing Winter Special (2018) #1
- Young Monsters In Love (2018) #1
- Image Comics
- Paper Girls (2015) #20
- Twisted Romance (2018) #1
- VS (2018) #1
- Witchblade (2017) #3
- Marvel Comics
- Avengers (2017) #679
- Black Bolt (2017) #10
- Black Panther – Sound And Fury (2018) #1
- Hawkeye (2017) #15
- Iceman (2017) #10
- Infinity Countdown (2018) – Adam Warlock One-Shot
- Rise of the Black Panther (2018) #2
- Rogue & Gambit (2018) #2
- Runaways (2017) #6
- Spider-Man (2016) #237
- X-Men: Gold (2017) #21
- X-Men: Red (2018) #1
Marvel/DC Issue of the Week: Justice League (2016) #38, DC Comics
Justice League is finally back to being amongst DC’s most exciting books every month with Christopher Priest at the helm for the first time since Darkseid War in the latter part of New 52 in 2015.
Marco Santucci’s pencils on this are brilliant right out of the gate! Flash’s one-man reenactment of Sandra Bullock in Gravity is riveting and an absolutely amazing blend of real science and comics magic. It plays out over a League realizing just how reliant they’ve become on technology, both to back them up and to tell them what to do and where to be.
What makes the story unusual is that Batman is the physical representation of that weakness – not Cyborg. As a brilliant tactician who is just a regular man, Batman uses technology to enhance his detective skills and the breadth of his knowledge. Yet, that can easily be used as his own Kryptonite when there’s a situation he cannot strategize his way out of.
Just as Flash keeps emphasizing “I’m only a scientist, not an engineer” as he tries to arrest his free float through space, Cyborg is an engineer first and a tactician second. He’s not Batman. He “doesn’t want to be the boss.”
What happens when Cyborg has to take charge of the League in a way that’s greater than just Boom Tubing them from place to place? Can he fake being a leader with engineering in the same way Flash fakes being an engineer with science?
I don’t know, but I am transfixed by this Christopher Priest arc!
Small Publisher Issue of the Week: Mech Cadet Yu (2017) #6, Boom! Studios
With the way this book has been going, it’s going to be really hard for anything to excite me more in a week that it’s on the stands.
If you haven’t seen my breathless catch-up on this Greg Pak/Takeshi Miyazawa series in this week’s Back Issue Review, here’s the skinny: years ago a giant semi-organic robot crashed to Earth and bonded with a pilot, and ever since then four mechs descend into our atmosphere each year.
To find the four pilots that will bond, the US maintains a Hogwarts-esque Mech Academy to train the best and the brightest. We need them, because a race giant Kaiju monsters named Shargs are constantly creeping into our orbit and can only be repelled by the mechs.
We’re in the middle of the second arc of this book now after it was extended past a mini-series, presumably for just being unbelievably excellent (and also selling a few copies). I cannot tell you the last time I got this nervous about characters in a comic book being in peril.
This series continues to perfectly toe the line between Pacific Rim and Harry Potter, and I just want there to be 20x as much of it so I can keep reading more! [Read more…] about The Pull List: Justice League, Mech Cadet Yu, Batman, Giant Days, X-Men Red, & more!