The Pull List #59 – June 8 2016

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.

Wonder Woman: Rebirth #1

Writer: Greg Rucka
Pencils: Matthew Clark (Liam Sharp)
Inks: Sean Parsons
Colors: Jeremy Colwell (Laura Martin)
Letters: Jodi Wynne

DC Comics’ First Lady takes the stage in this latest Rebirth outing, one that both catches up new readers and sets Diana on a new path.  Rucka, whose prior run on the character is much heralded is certainly familiar with putting readers behind the eyes of the Amazon warrior and it shows.  Throughout much of the issue, Diana struggles with recent revelations that have plagued her.  This causes her internal monologue to be tinged with self-doubt and her reaction to this predicament is one of simmering frustration, which is pitch-perfect WW.  The new Wonder Woman series is a bi-monthly format, with one of the books exploring her past while the other deals with present troubles, assumedly leading to a culmination of the two threads at one point.  This packed schedule requires two art teams and one of which is featured here (Nicola Scott is the missing party and will be handling the Year One side of the title).  Clark, Parsons and Colwell handle the front half of the book, while Sharp and Martin deal with the last and will return for the main series.  Clark’s pencils are appealing to look at but the choreography leaves something to be desired and occasionally the characters seem disproportionate.   Meanwhile, and perhaps thankfully, Sharp and Martin put on a fantastic show as Diana duels with Hephaestus’s guardians in a sunset bathed Olympus. Wonder Woman appears to be primed for another amazing saga and this issue is the perfect place to jump on.  

New Avengers #12

Writer: Al Ewing
Penciller: Paco Medina
Inker: Juan Velasco
Colorist: Jesus Aburtov
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna

In the wake of Pleasant Hill and at the fore of Civil War II, the New Avengers and A.I.M. are brought back together as a villains lurk in the shadows, preparing to ensnare them.  It’s admittedly a mostly set-up issue, but not one without its charm.  The New Avengers battle against a celestial is one of the funner sequences of the series and Ewing manages to find humor in the dourest of places.  Medina’s lines are a welcome bit of fresh air to the title.  His figure work and framing are excellent and, barring the occasional strange face, he nails every item the script colors for.  Special mention goes to Jesus Aburtov for, despite being a relatively dark-set issue, emboldening each scene with a wonderful array of shades and hues.  Blah blah Civil War II blah blah don’t mess this up blah blah because it’s pretty darn good so far blah blah (Summer of Phonin’ It In 2016).  

Detective Comics #934

Script: James Tynion IV
Pencils: Eddy Barrows
Inks: Eber Ferreira
Colors: Adriano Lucas
Letters: Marilyn Patrizio

A mysterious entity is stalking the vigilantes of Gotham City, forcing Batman to band them together to find and eliminate this threat.  He and Batwoman lead the team of Red Robin (who sadly just looks like Robin), Spoiler (who’s given what might be the best possible description of her character), Cassandra Cain (Orphan, not Black Bat, and her costume is terrifying) and Clayface (for some reason).  James Tynion IV finally gets his own Batbook after essentially understudying for what seems like eons and it shows.  Tynion fully embraces the Bat family mythos and effortlessly slips into every voice, easily introducing new readers to the entire team in this first issue through wonderful individual sequences.  And speaking of sequences, this book is gorgeous.  Maybe its due to being away from a Batbook for so long, but the art team’s output is fantastic.  Every scene has that classic Gotham feel and the action sequences, though brief, are well done.  With an intriguing cast of characters and gorgeous artwork, Detective Comics is definitely sticking around on the Pull List for awhile.  

The Vision #8

Writer: Tom King
Artist: Gabriel Hernandez Walta
Color Artist: Jordie Bellaire
Letterer: VC’s Clayton Cowles

The Visions happy, idyllic life gets topsy-turvy when wacky Uncle Victor Mancha comes to visit.  I’m sure nothing bad will happen at all.  At this point, I’m a thousand percent sure Tom King could tell me the story of a dung beetle and it would be the most ominous and satisfying thing imaginable.  Victor’s visit gives us a bunch of cathartic moments as it’s nice to see the Visions interacting so closely with someone so “normal.” Additionally, Walta is back on lines and bringing the foreboding creep back into my life with haunting expressions and incredible framing.  At this point, I don’t think it’s too unbelievable to say that this run on The Vision will be one of the great stories of the modern age.  

The Wicked + The Divine #20

Writer: Kieron Gillen
Artist: Jamie McKelvie
Colorist: Matthew Wilson
Letterer: Clayton Cowles

This is how it all went down.  From the Big Reveal to the Big Deaths, everything is told.  And what a telling it is.  Gillen’s managed to pull the wool over our eyes in a way that doesn’t feel cheap and is instead an incredible story.  Most of the issue is framed as someone telling a tale through memory and McKelvie’s art reflects that through the use of a murky haze across most images.  The effect is nothing short of incredible and he and Wilson absolutely deserve some sort of recognition for the work on this issue, to say nothing of the series as a whole.  The Wicked + The Divine = great comic (I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to think of that dumb joke).

But wait, there’s more!

CharlieDanger82 is helping out this week to cover some the new titles for DC Rebirth. Think of it like a backup story in your favorite book, just with less talented writing.

The Flash: Rebirth #1

Writer: Joshua Williamson
Artist: Carmine Di Giandomenico
Color Artist: Ivan Plascencia
Letter: Steve Wands
DC Comics

In this issue, Barry Allen is having strange visions as he investigates a murder very similar to his mother’s. These visions culminate in the events in DC Universe Rebirth and the rescue of Wally West from the Speed Force. Now it’s up to the Flash and Batman to figure out who stole time from the DC Universe. This sets up a very familiar Flash book. The Flash has always been everybody’s favorite uncle, Barry Allen, using science and speed to fight a colorful Rogue’s Gallery and this looks to be no different. It’s not a bad book, it’s just a very safe book.

Aquaman: Rebirth #1

Writer: Dan Abnett
Artists: Scott Eaton, Oscar Jimenez & Mark Morales
Color Artist: Gabe Eltaeb
Letter: Pat Brosseau
DC Comics

This feels like a strange new take on Aquaman. It really feels more like Game of Thrones than a superhero book. It examines Aquaman, his kingdom who doesn’t want him, his diplomatic mission to America who hate & fear him, a girlfriend who will stand by him and yet questions a lot of his decisions and of course a secret enemy who knows everything about him and plans on destroying everything Aquaman is for revenge. Is this Aquaman or Ed Stark? DC really knocked it out of the park with the N52 relaunch of Aquaman (it was the only N52 book other than Batman that kept me interested for more than 3 issues) and I feel that this book in comparison may have fallen a bit short, but on it’s own it’s an engaging story that has piqued my interest.

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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