The Pull List #9 – 6/3/15

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.

Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #6

Writer: Ryan North

Artist: Erica Henderson

Color Artist: Rico Renzi

Letterer: VCs Clayton Cowles

Marvel Comics

Its new arc for Squirrel Girl which brings new friends and a new enemy to face.  This issue, much like the last one, is a perfect jumping on point for new readers as it delivers the same laugh-a-minute humor that this series has come to be known for.  North comes in heavy with the jokes this issue as well as some surprising tension and drama in the closing moments, which is simultaneously disturbing and hilarious.  The art, while delivering some very good expressions and action, suffers in certain panels with the effect of feeling a bit rushed.  A special mention should go to Cowles, whose choice of panel and lettering color as well as style in the issues closing pages does most of the heavy lifting drama-wise for the scene.  Much as always Squirrel Girl is a superb read, particularly considering how apocalypse-ridden many books appear to be nowadays. 
The Woods #13
Writer: James Tynion IV

Illustrator: Michael Dialynas

Colors: Jose Gonzalez

Letters: Ed Dukeshire

Boom! Studios

So begins year two for the residents of Bay Point thrust into the alien world. Or rather, year three since theres a timeskip, which is a bit frustrating given that it brings more questions into a series thats chock full of them.  Theres a whole lot of Huh, what?going on in the issue as several complications have arisen in the skipped year, which, though doing wonders for the setting and logistical plot factors, has left most of the cast is a somewhat unfamiliar place development-wise.  Still, Tynion knows what hes doing as the writing and dialogue is crisp and natural and what information we are given is tell.  Dialynas and Gonzalez are again in fine form and, while they certainly have less action and weirdness to deal with compared to the previous issue, they do some great character work, particularly in the case of new Hunter Karen.  The Woods is in full season two mode from the get go.  A new enemy arises as the protagonists deal with the emotional fallout of the last issue and the skipped year.  Hopefully, some questions will be answered next issue.
Darth Vader #6

Writer: Kieron Gillen

Artist: Salvador Larocca

Colorist: Edgar Delgado

Letterer: VCs Joe Caramagna

Marvel Comics

Vaders showdown with his would-be replacements goes down and sets a new status quo for the apprentice Lord of the Sith.  Also, we get that revelation that happens between New Hope and Empire Strikes Back regarding a certain nerfherder that was never really explained in the movies.  Gillens handling of Vaders reaction is perfect in its quiet intensity, with Vaders body language and words to express what his impassive mask cannot.  Larocca does a good job executing this, although the aforementioned showdown leaves a bit to be desired as it feels stilted, and not just because of the rigid cyborgian (cyborgic?) protagonist.  Still, things are shaping up nicely in this in-between series, with new paths for the masked protagonist to follow and a fresh set of enemies to overcome. 
Spider-Woman #8

Writer: Denis Hopeless

Penciler: Javier Rodriguez

Inker: Alvaro Lopez

Colorist: Munsta Vicente

Letterer: VCs Travis Lanham

Marvel Comics

Jessica Drew is in the fight of her life againstsome kind ofconstruction equipment mech suit.  Regardless of the ridiculousness of the opponent, the battle is intense as is the emotional origin of the town revealed in this issue.  Hopeless splendidly navigates from intense drama to Spider-Womans own brand of wry humor without losing pace or step.  The art team works wonders with excellent choreography and attention to detail.  Spider-Woman an incredibly enjoyable book and one that definitely deserves to continue with all hands on deck after Secret Wars.
The Autumnlands: Tooth and Claw #6

Writer: Kurt Busiek

Artist: Benjamin Dewey

Color Art: Jordie Bellaire

Lettering: John G. Roshell & Jimmy Betancourt of Comicraft

Image Comics

The end of the first arc of The Autumnlands ends with a climatic showdown between Learoyd, Hero of Legend, and Seven-Scarss Bison Tribe, and epic it is.  Busiek manages to take several fantasy tropes and makes them feel fresh, thanks to great dialogue and interesting character development.  Theres a bridge of Khazad-dum sequence (as evidenced by the cover) that Busiek manages to make his own.  Dewey and Bellaire make the clash palpable and even manage to work in some more humorous expressions amid the drama. Sadly, The Autumnlands will be going off radar for awhile in order to get a head start on the next arc, and will be eagerly anticipated until its return. 
The Wicked and the Divine #11

Writer: Kieron Gillen

Artist: Jamie McKelvie

Colorist: Matthew Wilson

Letterer: Clayton Cowles

Image Comics

Secret Wars #3

Writer: Jonathan Hickman

Artist: Esad Ribic

Color Artist: Ive Svorcina

Letterer: Chris Eliopoulos

Marvel Comics

Sheriff Strange investigates the survival and invasion of Dooms world by the villainous cabal as God Doom and Susan Storm have a talk.  This issue is in fact very talk-y but it is neither boring nor lacking in drama by any means.  Hickman takes some time to drop some more knowledge of Battleworld through these conversations and some new heroes are revealed.  Honestly, the relationships between these characters might be some of the most interesting parts of the book.  Ribic and Svorcina craft a masterpiece, and, while theres little action for them to display, each panel carries such weight as to feel like a living epic.  Theres no plan plot-wise for this event as were still in the look how strange everything ismode, but with such an interesting and captivating world such as Battleworld, there isnt a pressing need for such movement as were all still taking in the lovely scenery. 

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