The Pull List #31 – 11/25/15


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.

All-New All-Different Wolverine #2

Writer: Tom Taylor

Art: David Lopez & David Navarrot

Color Art: Nathan Fairbairn

Letterer: VCs Cory Petit

Marvel

A light week, a normal price tag, and an easy-jumping on point (thanks to the always nifty recap page) allows Wolverine to make her way onto the Pull List.  Thats right: her.  Laura Kinney aka X-23, the genetically enhanced clone of Wolverine, has assumed Logans mantle and has set off on her own adventure.  Alchemax, vaguely malevolent corporation of Spider-Man 2099 fame (fingers crossed for a cross-over), obtained several inferior clones of X-23 and allegedly tried to turn them into a peacekeeping and protection unit.  Allegedly, the clones went rogue and blew up a facility and now its Lauras job to bring them in.  Note the allegedlys, because things are not often as they seem when one deals with nascent mega-corporations.  Tom Taylor, of Injustice: Gods Among Us fame, handles the dialogue with aplomb and paints Laura as a fully-fleshed out person rather than as a cold killing machine that she has often been portrayed as.  Theres quite a bit of talking in the issue (primarily as set up) and the art keeps things fresh with excellent framing and expression.  When the action does ramp up, the choreography is flawless, simultaneously realistic and beautiful.  Perhaps the greatest compliment to be paid to the issue is that it feels like a classic Wolverine story, regardless of the person under the pointy cowl. 
The Unbeatable Squirrel-Girl #2

Writer: Ryan North

Artist: Erica Henderson

Color Artist: Rico Renzi

Letterer: VCs Clayton Cowles

Marvel

Time travel shenanigans abound as Unbeatable Squirrel-Girl enters its second issue.  While most time travel comics have a somewhat dour approach to the affair, USG makes it a fun romp (did you honestly expect any different).  North splits the issue in two between Doreen trapped in the past and her best friend Nancy in the present trying to figure out how to save her.  All of the comedy bits hit their mark and the art nails most of the expressions.  Nancys attempt to meet with Tony Stark is a highlight of the issue.  More of the same means Unbeatable Squirrel Girl remains as such: Unbeatable. 
Silk #1

Writer: Robbie Thompson

Artist: Stacey Lee

Color Artist: Ian Herring

Letterer: VCs Travis Lanham

Marvel

Picking up where the last volume left off, Silk has found her long-lost brother, a burned-out former member of the Goblin Nation gang.  Seeing as he lacks any memory of what happened to their parents, Cindy resolves to take down her brothers former compatriots to get some answers, but, do that, shell have break bad and team-up with the still-villainous Black Cat.  Thompson pulls some clever plotting and inverts the usual Spider-man trope: where Pete was assumed to be a menace, Cindy cant get people to think shes a villain.  This makes for several humorous scenarios, particularly one involving a guest character who I hope becomes a mainstay of the book.  However, a few of Cindys lines and references, while intentionally cornball, fall a bit flatter than intended.  Still, when the dialogue needs to be genuine and heartfelt, it works like gangbusters.  Lee and Herrings return to the art means only good things for the book.  Every panel looks gorgeous, and, while the fights are certainly enjoyable, its in the details and the quieter moments where the book really excels.  Cindy has excellent taste in collectable figurines.  Despite the gap in publishing and the new status quo, Silk has lost none of its luster as it makes its welcome return. 
BOOK OF THE WEEK
 
Angela: Queen of Hel #2 

Writer: Marguerite Bennett

Artist: Kim Jacinto w/Stephanie Hans

Colorist: Israel Silva

Letterer: VCs Clayton Cowles

Marvel

In order to rescue Sera from the pits of Hel, Angela must undergo three trials, the first of which is facing her greatest and only fear.  Angela: Queen of Hel #2 is a marked improvement over the first issue, and though there is a substory in the middle of the narrative, it works much better than last week and doesnt derail the plot.  Bennett again nails the dialogue between Angela and Sera and also deals with a heavy and obvious issue: theyve been separated from each other for so long, are they really the same people they were when they fell in love?  She also excels at the Draugrs monologue, making it foreboding and dreadful, with Cowles contributing some appropriate font and balloon variation.  The art is pretty much the same as the first issue.  While Jacinto and Silva are incredible at fight scenes and character designs (the details of Corival Angela and the Draugr are fantastic) the facial expressions are a bit lacking.  Some of the yelling looks a bit ridiculous and Seras pupils sometimes vanish when shes not doing magic.  Meanwhile, Hans deals out another great substory, albeit one a bit more traditional than usual in terms of paneling and framing though the final page is the typical dose of wonderfulness.  With a more streamlined plotting and the inclusion of a surprise guest character (one that had me audibly reacting in surprise and excitement when they stepped on the page), Angela: Queen of Hel is shaping up to be another amazing chapter in the life of the erstwhile angel. 
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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