The Pull List #15 – 7/22/15

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.

Marvel Zombies #2

Writer: Simon Spurrier

Artist: Kev Walker

Color Artist: Guru-eFX

Letterer: VCs Clayton Cowles

Marvel Comics

Elsa Bloodstones sullen sojourn into the Deadlands continues as she and her mysterious, whiny charge continue to face challenges more horrible.  Spurrier doles out more black humor as our intrepid heroes encounter a zombified M.O.D.O.C. (spelling intentional).  Her companion remains stagnantly obscured, Spurrier gives us more depth with Elsa, further revealing her tense past with her father and allowing it to affect how she acts in her current situation.  Marvel Zombies is less a horror tale and more of a dark adventure with a sarcastic, bitter protagonist.  Meanwhile, on art, Walker and Guru do amazing work with what little they are given.  Theres only so many ways you can make desolate rubble look great and, though they ably use all those ways, where the team really excels are the characters, particular stand-outs being the aforementioned zombie as well as a zombie Carnage.  The issue ends at a crossroads adding a new element that could tip the series into banality.  However, both the plotting and character work evinced so far means Spurrier knows what hes doing and will likely avoid such a fall. 
All-New Hawkeye #4

Writer: Jeff Lemire

Artist: Roman Perez

Colors: Ian Herring

Lettering: VCs Joe Sabino

Marvel Comics

The Bartons adjust to circus life while Hawkeye and Hawkeye deal with their three new charges living in Clints apartment before the other shoe inevitably drops.  In a reverse of last issue, Lemire spends more time and panels on Clints past than he does the present day, a choice that works out for the better and certainly better than the last issue.  Perhaps it shows a preference for Clints past exploits.  Or perhaps more accurately, it shows the strength of the modern narrative that it can exist and feel substantial with such significantly reduced page time.  If youre paying attention, youll notice that Ian Herring is now solo on colors, with Perez no longer providing a w/.  Despite this, there does not appear to be a noticeable change in effect or style, which is to the credit of the cohesion of the team.  Because of the squished nature of the present day story, some of Perezs panels come off feeling a bit undefined, though not unreadable by any means.  Further, his utilization of small grid montages works to great effect in both story progression as well as emotional development.  One would think that, with the oft-delayed previous series finally ended, there would be a sense of freedom or relief from reading the latest installment of the newest volume.  However, there was none here which speaks to the strength of the story that the All-New team has created. 
Spider-Woman #9

Writer: Dennis Hopeless

Penciler: Javier Rodriguez

Colorist: Javier Rodriguez

Inker: Alvaro Lopez

Lettering: Travis Lanham

Marvel Comics

This book is wonderful.  I know, normally I save lines like that for the close, but I just put it down and had to just belt that out.  Everything, from the writing to the art to coloring to lettering, is just fantastic.  Jessica Drew sets out on a road trip to solve more of Ben Urichs D-List unsolved mysteries, with Urich and the bumbling Roger née Porcupine in tow.  The opening shots of the book are paneled like tourist photos on Urichs desk with file descriptions Post-Ited to the side, which makes for a very lovely read.  As the crew makes there way to Denver, the coloring gets darker which shows both the growing seriousness of the tale as well as Jesss intensifying frustration with Rogers ineptitude.  Speaking of Roger, the man plays as one would expect for a D-List villain (D-List is probably generous).  Wholly unaware and infuriatingly useless, it would have been easy to turn the man into a one-note joke at best or flatly annoying at worst.  However, Hopeless authors a monologue that thoroughly endears you to the former evildoer without ever changing him.  He remains a once-villain and an oaf, but now the reader empathizes with his shortcomings.  The previews for the book post-Secret Wars (YAY!) are a bit troubling, given their off-putting nature.  But if the product remains as constantly stellar as this, you can be sure itll still be worth a read. 
Magneto #20

Writer: Cullen Bunn

Artist: Paul Davidson

Colorist: Paul Mounts

Letterer: VCs Cory Petit

Marvel Comics

Dont you even want a few moments of peace?  You know better than that.  Some of Magnetos last words to his daughter, Lorna, tell you all you need to know about the man as Magneto wraps up his penultimate issue.  With Erik desperately trying to save the world by destroying another, his companion Briar Raleighs machinations come to the for.  While the long-teased revelation isnt flooring, it is sensical and satisfactory and more importantly doesnt distract from the epic events of the main story.  Magnetos inner monologue is quite possibly at its best, being appropriately heavy.  This is some of Bunns best work since the opening issues (not to say that those in between have been subpar by any means) and the synergy between writer and character is near flawless.  The art also gets a chance to flex its muscles, with the aforementioned Briars schemes coming out in a more clandestine manner.  However, it is the cataclysmic moments of the present that Davidson and Mounts truly shine.  The black-cad Magneto coursing with godly amounts of power could be a bit much to play with but the Pauls portray it perfectly.  The final splash page shows Mags rippling with such great powertoo much power as its killingand you can definitely feel it in the art.  The Master of Magnetism has one last issue to grapple with his Sisyphean task and its a hell of a ride.
Book of the Week
Loki: Agent of Asgard #16

Writer: Al Ewing

Artist: Lee Garbett

Color Artist: Antonio Fabela

Letterer: VCs Clayton Cowles

Marvel Comics

Meanwhile, on the other side of the apocalypse, the Battle for Asgard rages on and we learn what the heck is up with Loki (mostly).  Despite being the end of the world as we know it and the accompanying death and destruction, Ewing keeps things remarkably light for a cataclysm, working in some guffaw-worthy jokes and some genuinely cool moments (Freyja remains one of the best characters).  Things get meta, as one would expect with a book involving not one Loki but two (give or take several shades and former selves), but not so much that it flusters or frustrates. In fact, Ewing uses it to his advantage, neatly carrying the Loki-mantra thats been running through the current Marvel U while adding his own flair.  Garbett and Fabela continue to stun and amaze giving the moments of battle epic stage while neatly working in the softer character moments along with several neat panel tricks that are a sight to see.  With one more issue to go, Loki: AoA looks to wrap up in a way satisfying for the newly christened God(des) of Stories.
So what did you pick up this week? Agree or disagree with anything said here? Let us know in the comments.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s