The Pull List #5 – 4/29/15

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.
 

New Avengers: Ultron Forever #2 of 3


Writer: Al Ewing

Penciler: Alan Davis

Inker: Mark Farmer

Colorist: Rachelle Rosenburg

Letter: Travis Lanham

Marvel Comics

The halfway point of this mini-series arrives and Dooms machinations (heh) come to the forefront as the time-displaced Avengers he gathered do battle with the forces of All-Father Ultron.  There are significantly more references to past issues this time around, but Ewing uses all of them well, giving each moment enough room to breath and contribute to the story in a meaningful way.  Davis, Farmer, and Rosenburg do a great job portraying the three separate battles occurring in this issue.  In particular, theres a pretty great splash page during the Thorsfight with All-Father Ultron that has that classic feel.  Ultron Forever has been just the right amount of action and fun.  

Invincible #119

Writer: Robert Kirkman

Penciler: Ryan Ottley

Inker: Cliff Rathburn

Colorist: Jean-Francois Beaulieu

Letter: Rus Wooton

Image Comics

The Grayson familys growing pains continue as they try to settle in to their new home on an alien world.  We get a glimpse of how Mark acts as a concerned parent, and how hes settling in (or rather not) to civilian life.  Kirkman guides us through the drama and the art team really sells the expressions in this issue.  We also check in on Battle Beast and Thraggs epic throwdown, and, while its only for a page, it really tells you all you need to know and does a good job at keeping the stakes high.  This is an odd issue as, for the most part, it looked as if Invincible might be heading in a new direction.  The cliffhanger, however, seems to threaten a return to the  violent status quo.  Where the next issue goes remains to be seen.  

Bitch Planet #4

Writer: Kelly Sue DeConnick

Artist: Valentine De Landro

Colors: Cris Peters

Letters: Clayton Cowles

Image Comics

After a bit of delay, Bitch Planet spins into its fourth issue and we learn the rules of the game Kam and her girls will be competing in.  While we only get an instructional video, its enough of a tease to want to see more of the sport actually played.  If also get the girlsfirst practice and while things seem to be going well, it feels like a case of waiting for the other shoe to drop.  DeConnick keeps the dialogue fresh and brisk, with the main character Kam often saying more with less.  Landro and Peters do a great job throughout, particularly with the noted tricky shower scene.  Bitch Planet feels like a comic waiting to kick into high gear, but the revving going on currently is enjoyable as we learn more about the dystopian society DeConnick and De Landro have created.  

Silk #3

Writer: Robbie Thompson

Artist: Stacey Lee

Color Artist: Ian Herring

Letterer: VCs Travis Lanham

Marvel Comics

The trials and tribulations of Cindy Moon continue as she has another bout with the Black Cats lackey, Rage.  Oh thats right, Black Cat is a bad guy now.  While I wouldve preferred Cindy to have more of her own baddies to fight, the Black Cat and her gang provide a nice foil for the up and coming Silk.  Though I enjoyed her as an anti-hero, BC also makes a good villain with her new ruthless streak giving an edge to her dialogue.  Thompsons script is earnest, which can be a bit of a double-edged sword at times.  Cindys dialogue with Rage is one of the issues best and purest moments, but her quips and monologue can wear a bit thin at times.  Lee and Herring are the stars of the issue.  Lees linework gives the comic a great cartoon feel while still providing great action sequences.  Herring compliments Lee nicely, with a muted color palette that gives the present and flashback sequences a cool vibe.  One qualm I have with the book so far is that weve gotten little more information on Cindys past and, with the next issue seemingly a guest-starring one, it does not seem like well be getting anymore next month.  Still, if Thompson and Lee can keep up the pace and the fun, I dont see Silk slow down any time soon.

Moon Knight #14

Writer: Cullen Bunn

Pencilers: Ron Ackins w/ Steven Sanders

Inker: Tom Palmer

Color Art: Dan Brown

Letterer: Travis Lanham

Marvel Comics

I honestly dont know how I feel about this issue.  Normally, I go in for the mystic side of the Lunar Avenger, but this issue, one where Moon Knight tracks down a pack of killer dogs, doesnt sit right with me.  It probably doesnt help that the issue callback to some of the better issues of previous volumes, those that feature Werewolf by Night, Jack Russell, without actually doing anything to contribute to the mythos.  Bunn, whose work I thoroughly enjoy on Magneto, gets off on the wrong foot here by having Moony pull Batmans vanish-when-your-head-turned-gag.  The further Moon Knight can get from Batman comparisons, the better.  It doesnt help that the moment isnt well portrayed by Ackins and Stewart.  Bellaires absence on colors is distinctly noticeable, though Brown does a serviceable job of trying to keep the feel the same.  The art team, who did a serviceable job on the previous issue, sort of flounders here, with several moments not feeling as great as they shouldve been.  Overall, this issue feels like a misfire.  The basic set-up should work and there are several elements, particularly the twist, that do, but it just doesnt come together as it should.  
BONUS: Batman #40
Writer: Scott Snyder

Penciler: Greg Capullo

Inker: Danny Miki

Color Art: Dave McCaig

Letterer: Steve Wands

DC Comics
Hello, folks. It’s CharlieDanger82 here to add to Jake’s awesome column with a comic that I do not necessarily like, but I can recognize its importance for the Batman status quo… Until Convergence or something retcons it and renders it completely moot. 
 

 

So the final chapter of endgame has finally arrived, bringing a conclusion to the long and winding butler maiming, commissioner chest hatcheting, JLA guest starring, heroes & villains uniting and possible Joker immortaling tale. It’s filled with Batman ’66 style misdirects, DC’s take on the Fastball Special, plot foiling last minute exposition, a needlessly brutal fight and an ending that satisfies for the story that was told, even if I wasn’t necessarily a fan of this story. Snyder hit it out of the park with Court of Owls, but by the time Death of the Family came along it seemed like the American Vampire was writing “shock for shock value” rather than to help tell a story. By the time the finale hit, Batman uses his ears as an impaling weapon. His short, stubby Capullo/Lee/Miller ears drew blood. Was that really necessary? On the plus side, it was interesting to see Batman use a weapon I hadn’t seen him use before to as great effect as it did in this issue: Sarcasm. I’m just glad to see the story end to be honest.

But hey, Snyder has a brand new way to “revolutionize” Batman! Let’s see how Robot rabbit suited Jim Gordon fairs as the new Batman. I’m sure his dark and gritty Mohawk and lack of glasses or mustache will make him fit in just fine with motorcycle Superman, hoody Green Lantern and Battle-Armor-Eric-Larsen offending Wonder Woman. I’m sure it’ll be awesome.

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