The Pull List #3 – 4/15/15

A weekly column in which Jake gives short blurbs about the comics he’s picked up that week. Reviewed in the order read, which varies but generally by increasing anticipation.  Disclaimer: he knows very little about art, at least not enough to considerably honor such tremendous undertakings, so…yeh, there’s that.

Captain America and the Mighty Avengers #7
Writer: Al Ewing
Penciler: Iban Coello
Colorist: Rachelle Rosenburg
Marvel Comics

Sometimes things have a way of working out.  Like the fact that I read Nextwave: Agents of H.A.T.E. last year and the bad guy in that turns out to be one of the bad guys in this book.  Ewing has become a master of continuity usage, utilizing it to enhance his story while not making his tales wholly dependent on it.  In this issue Monica goes head-to-head with her old foes, the Beyond Corporation, to stall for Blue Marvel and Spider-man, while Captain America faces down the monsterfied versions of the rest of the active team.  Coello and Rosenburg do an excellent job across the front.  The fury on Monicas face is palpable while Sam Wilsons 5-on-1 fight is suitably kinetic.  Despite a rough start due to AXIS tie-ins, Captain America and the Mighty Avengers rolls on strong into its final arc. 
Loki: Agent of Asgard #13 
Writer: Al Ewing
Art: Lee Garbett
Coloris: Antonio Fabela
Marvel Comics

Heres where the story ends.  Or rather, this story.  At the mercy of Old Future Loki, Young Loki (look its complicated) embarks on an internal journey of self-discovery.  Threads from Gillens Journey Into Miseryer, I mean, Mystery are very strong here, which would warm my heart had that story not ripped it out and stomped all over it.  Ive often wondered how someone who hasnt read that earlier epic has felt about this book because, despite being part of All-NewMarvel Now!, the book has primarily dealt with the fallout of Lokis most recent tales.  Still, I think the book stands for itself as a tale about someone struggling against fate and their darker nature.  Ewing is incredibly sharp, capturing the malicious sneering of Old Loki excellently while also expertly handling what could have been a heady dreamscape.  Garbett, who has been on this title since its beginning, has done an incredible job, with able linework and panel layout choices that are both fantastic and surprising.  Agent of Asgard is the first of the books I collect that throws itself headlong into the universe-ending event of Battleworld, so while its sad to see that this title is ending soon, it is by no means winding down, as Ewing and Loki still have tricks up their sleeves.
Thor #7 
Writer: Jason Aaron
Art: Russel Dauterman
Colorist: Matthew Wilson
Marvel Comics

New Thor goes one-on-one with the Destroyer.  Despite the numerous occurrences of this fight throughout Marvels history, this fight feels fresh, not only due to the fact that its a new Thor, but also the circumstances behind the fight.  Its this Thors first real challenge.  Additionally, the fact that Cul Borson, Thors evil uncle, is controlling the construct of destruction at the behest of Odin.  Dauterman and Wilson do some amazing things during the fight, particularly when the Destroyer takes control of the hammer and Thors eventual counter.  The fight hits hard and is as bloody as one would expect.  Far from being a simple fight book, Aaron also has us check in with Roz Solomon, environmentalist agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., as well as Malekith and Agger, CEO of Roxxon.  Seven issues in and weve yet to learn the identity of the new Thor.  But Im not sure it matters at this point.  While we dont know her name or her face, Aarons use of the long-discarded thought bubbles has allowed us to get to know the woman in the helm.  Despite often being anxious about meeting her new duties, Thor, as the last one did, always rises to the challenge.  Much to the chagrin of all the nay-sayers, Thor is shaping up to be a great story and one that certainly demands to be read. 
Magneto #17 
Writer: Cullen Bunn
Art: Gabriel Hernandez Walta
Colors: Jordie Bellaire
Marvel Comics

Things come to a head as Magneto and his Marauders search Genosha for Hitzig, a Nazi Officer from Magnetos past somehow alive in the present day.  Throughout this title, Bunn has made the story as much about Magnetos past as it has been about his current mission of mutant vengeance.  In this issue, both of those threads are woven into the same conflict as Magneto faces his greatest demon in more ways than one.  Walta and Bellaire, while more subdued than their previous outings, are nonetheless as effective as ever, particularly when it comes to the murderous Hitzig.  With its dark tone and amorality, Magneto has always felt like a unique book among those that I read.

Ms. Marvel #14
Writer: G. Willow Wilson
Art: Takeshi Miyazawa
Colors: Ian Herring
Marvel Comics

Ms. Marvel comes up against her greatest foe yet: her love life.  Or rather a crush, I suppose.  Wilson keeps the script light and funny when it comes to actual romance.  Its Bruno, Kamalas best friend/unrequited love, and his conversation with her brother where Wilson punches up the personal drama.  Things move quickly, as they have to with the looming event of Battleworld, but none of the story feels rushed.  Miyazawa is an excellent fit for the title, as hes able to kept the facial expressions fun and expressive while also deftly handling the action sequences and Kamalas unique fighting style.  Ms. Marvel remains great, with each issue delving into another aspect of what it means to be a hero.  Kamala Kahn still has a lot to learn, but its damn fun to go along for the journey. 

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