The Pull List #14 – 7/15/15

A weekly column in which Jake gives short blurbs about the comics hes 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, soyeh, theres that.

Godzilla in Hell #1

Story: James Stokoe

Art: James Stokoe


To paraphrase Calvin Candy, with the title they had my curiosity but with James Stokoe you had my attention (and my 3.99).  The story is in the title.  Godzilla winds up in Hell.  How doesnt really matter.  Think Dantes Inferno but with a giant atomic-breathed lizard going through the rings of Hell instead of a Kratos-clone (or a whiny poet, depending on your version).  Stokoe tells his story through the art as the only actual non-physical text in the book is the sound Godzilla makes when hes powering up his mouth cannon.  And really, thats all one needs.  The art is palpable enough to let you hear the roars of the monster and the accompanying explosions in your head, without the book actually having to tell you.  Another note to make is that, interestingly enough, Godzilla usually feels rather small compared to the cavernous Hell, thanks to a choice of perspective.  This is obviously an intentional choice because whenever Godzilla acts or powers up, he suddenly feels massive, without actually increasing in size.  Godzilla in Hell is a brilliant and beautiful piece of comics. 
Mercury Heat #1

Story: Kieron Gillen

Artwork: Omar Francia

Color: Digikore Studios

Letters: Kurt Hathaway

Avatar Press

I believe this is the first Avatar book on the Pull List, so reader discretion advised, I guess.  Mercury Heat is a cyberpunk tale spinning out of the mind of the ever-talented Kieron Gillen, about Luiza Bora, a new police officer on Mercury.  Hence the pun of the name.  Boras first outing is a sound affair, a good setup and a great deal more action-oriented than many of Gillens recent works.  We get a good feel for the protagonist and the world she inhabits.  Francia, of the Mass Effect comics, is no stranger to darker (tonally) sci-fi stories (perhaps unpretty is a more exact if more confusing word), and he does a solid job here. Some of the action beats, while complex in nature, are easy to follow thanks to Francias direction.  Mercury Heat is a good book, especially if youre craving some hard-R cyberpunk in your life. 
Planet Hulk #3

Writer: Sam Humphries

Artist: Marc Laming

Colors: Jordan boyd

Lettering: VCs Travis Lanham

Marvel Comics

Bad week to be Planet Hulk, since the inclusion of dinosaur fighting means its going to get compared to Godzilla in Hell in my mind, and such a comparison does not favor the Marvel comic.  The preview line reads WILL THE DEADLY LAND OF HULKS FINALLY BREAK GLADIATOR STEVE ROGERSbut frankly Hulks arent the problem.  Doc Green and his incessant chattering is.  The smart Hulks waxing political and philosophical is enough to annoy both reader and Rogers, though the latter is fairly unsympathetic, thanks to uninspired and dull dialogue and thought captions.  At least Lamings art is great, though not great enough to save the book.  The fight between Devil Dinosaur and a massive Sea-Hulk is amazing although besmirched by the aforementioned captions.  Honestly, after a promising start, theres not a whole lot of worth going on in this book.  Consider it dropped.
Captain Britain and the Mighty Defenders #1

Writer: Al Ewing

Penciler: Alan Davis

Inker: Mark Farmer

Colorist: Wil Quintana

Letterer: Travis Lanham

Marvel Comics

A successor to the much-loved Captain America and the Mighty Avengers, CBMD is another Secret Wars title stemming from a What if?  What if Dr. Ho Yinsen walked out of that cave with the armor instead of Tony Stark?  The result is near utopia.  What if that utopia was carved out, and placed on Battleworld right next to Mondo-City One (Marvels Judge Dredd, stemming from the time-hopping arc of Jeff Parkers Thunderbolts, a personal favorite).  The result is more dire.  Ewing doesnt skip a beat from one Mighty book to the next and, while the characters are a tad different and the storyline doesnt carry over, the voices of each are flawless.  Easily stealing the show is the fascist zealot Boss Cage, whos 2000 A.D. style is something Ewing is familiar with.  Joining Ewing on art is recent Ultron Forever collaborators Davis and Farmer.  The art sells much of the emotion, from the righteous anger of White Tiger to the desperation of Baron Yinsen in the face of a phaser round.  Mondo-City Ones version of War Machine and the zones imposing skyline are also a treat.  With a fun set-up and engaging characters, CBMD is a promising first issue.
Hawkeye #22

Writer: Matt Fraction

Art: David Aja

Color Art: Matt Hollingsworth

Lettering: Chris Eliopoulos

Marvel Comics

Its out.  Finally.  I read it.  Finally. Moving on, both with this column and my life.  Finally.
Siege #1

Writer: Kieron Gillen

Artists: Filipe Andrade, James Stokoe, Jorge Coelho

Color Artist: Rachelle Rosenberg

Letterer: Clayton Cowles

Marvel Comics

This.  This is the book Ive been looking forward to ever since it was revealed in the early days of Secret Wars announcements.  Forced to defend Battleworld against the scourges of the South, space pessimist Abigail Brand leads a motley crew of defenders in a war they cant possibly win.  Theres a lovely bit of grim resignation about the book, considering the invaders must give their lives against foes God Doom can just whisk away.  Heralding from the gone-too-soon S.W.O.R.D. series (an instant classic, if you can find it), Gillen is gloriously back behind the eyes of Commander Brand, whose bitter narration guides us through this most dire of books.  The art is something to be lauded as well.  Andrade, normally not my cup of tea, is a great it for this book, with his exaggerated figures giving the pages a suitably strange, alien quality.  The splash pages, each one done by Andrade, Stokoe, and Coelho respectively, are incredible both as separate pieces as well as a part of the whole.  In particular, Stokoes attack of the Giant Ant-Men is a wonder to behold, enhanced by Brand/Gillens wonderfully pessimistic narration. The book has been explained as Nextwave if it were a tragedy.  A bold comparison, but, if the first issue is anyway to judge, a correct one.  
Book of the Week
Moon Knight #17

Writer: Cullen Bunn

Penciler: Ron Ackins

Inkers: Tom Palmer w/ Walden Wong

Colorist: Dan Brown

Letterer: Travis Lanham

Marvel Comics

In what is likely the last issue of this volume of Moon Knight, Bunn and co. deliver an excellent tale thats both one-and-done and a great conclusion to the run.  With a preview line like TERROR AT THE THE CHURCH OF KHONSHU and the issue title of Duality, the book promises a lot from the get-go and delivers on all of it, with Marc Spector infiltrating a homeless shelter that seems to have sinister ties to his patron god.  Bunn keeps the issue moving, despite the repeating lines of dialogue, which are used to suggest a cult-like and carbon-copy atmosphere.  The opening pages focus on the unnerving smiles of the employees, brilliant crescents that are pasted-on and hungry.  Things take a dip into the weird (which is always fantastic) when Marc confronts the issues villain.  Here, the art truly excels, portraying the ethereal and beautifully sinister nature of the antagonist and her surroundings.  Brown makes excellent use of a limited palette, allowing the striking yet complimentary choice of color to pop off the page.  Spectors suspicious yet dogged response to these events show Bunns firm grasp of the character.  The culmination of a strong upswing in quality, this run of Moon Knight goes out with a bang. 
So what did you pick up this week? Agree or disagree with anything said here? Let us know in the comments.

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