The Pull List #86 – December 21, 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.

Gamora #1

Writer: Nicole Perlman
Artist: Marco Checchetto
Color Artist: Andres Mossa
Letterer: VC’s Travis Lanham

Gamora’s long-awaited solo series finally hits the stands.  Perlman fleshes out more of the Deadliest Woman in the Galaxy’s background, giving us a tale during her time as a daughter of Thanos.  Honestly, it’s a bit dreary, but that’s mostly to be expected, given the cast of characters.  While readers expecting movie quality and tone from this comic may be put off (Star-Lord #1 dropped today, which may be what you’re looking for), it’s a serviceable action-revenge tale.  At least Checchetto and Mossa are a perfect fit for the book, with the former’s kinetic and realistic pencils and the latter’s muted palette painting an excellent picture.  While it may not be to everyone’s taste, there’s a lot of potential for Gamora’s continuing adventure, given that she’s going to a blackhole world to assassinate a lost princess.  

Animosity #4

Writer: Marguerite Bennett
Artist: Rafael De Latorre
Colorist: Rob Schwager
Letterer: Marshall Dillon

With the revelation of the fate of Pearl, things quickly spiral out of control, which is bad news for Sandor and Jesse.  Honestly, this issue kind of falls flat, particularly in light of the closing events of the one prior.  This is more of a “things happen because they need to” kind of chapter and there’s not really more than that.  The bit of teasing we get isn’t really enough, since we’ve been beating around that bush for so long.  De Latorre’s art is still as detailed and expressive as ever, but it seems like there’s a bit of a disconnect between script and page.  Some moments just happen between panels but the dialogue makes it seem like its supposed to be shown.   This isn’t necessarily an artist’s failing, but it does show itself on that side of the work load.  A slight misstep in what has been a rather enjoyable series.  

The Ultimates2 #2

Writer: Al Ewing
Artist: Travel Foreman
Color Artist: Dan Brown
Letterer: VC’s Joe Sabino

The Ultimates continue to reform as Galactus the Life-bringer stands before the Living Tribunal on trial.  Ewing’s taking a slower approach to this reformation, which really works in favor of the title as it feels more natural than it would for this once-shattered team to reform again with little difficulty.  Travel Foreman continues to be a boon for this new volume.  While his pages may lack the experimental and hyper-detailed work of Rocafort, he so ably shifts from the grounded to the ethereal that the effect is nothing short of extraordinary.  Two issues into the new run and the Ultimates seem to be back in fine form.  

Batman #13

Writer: Tom King
Pencils & Inks: Mikel Janin
Colors: June Chung
Letters: Clayton Cowles
DC Comics

The conclusion to I Am Suicide!  King absolutely nails every single aspect about this issue.  The payoff to Batman’s plan, the character moments, every single thing is flawless.  Mikel Janin’s wonderful lines and perspectives makes this story all the more incredible.  Special mention goes to June Chung, whose moody colors essentially made Santa Prisca come alive, filling ever single scene with a sense of foreboding.  Batman is one of those titles that I don’t need to buy, sales-wise, but at the end of every arc I get Michael Corleone’d: just when I thought I was out, King pulls me back in.

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.

Green Arrow #13

Writer: Benjamin Percy
Art: Otto Schmidt
Colors: Otto Schmidt
Letterer: Nate Piekos of BLAMBOT
DC Comics

Things go from bad to worse for Ollie and the gang as he hunts for the identity of the copycat archer who’s targeting opposers of the Green Arrow with green arrows of their own to frame Ollie! This could easily become as dark as the TV show, but Percy is able to inject enough levity into it that it reads like a Green Arrow book and not a Batman book. I still have no idea how Ollie is going to get himself out of this one, but I’ll definitely be picking up the next issue of this truly standout series to find out.

Writer: Peter J. Tomasi, Patrick Gleason
Art: Doug Manke, Jaime Mendoza, Keith Champagne, Norm Rapmund
Colors: Wil Quintana
Letterer: Rob Leigh
DC Comics

This issue takes the focus off fatherhood and redirects it to marriage, as Lois & Clarke team up with Frankenstein and his (former) Bride to find a planet hopping killer. the parallels between the 2 couples is heartbreaking, comparing how close parenthood has brought Lois & Clark together and how far it’s driven Frankenstein and his (former) Bride apart. It’s parts heartbreaking and heartwarming in a series that is still the best comic I have ever read.

Writer: Rob David, Lloyd Goldfine
Art: Freddie E. Williams II
Colors: Jeremy Colwell
Letterer: Derron Bennett
DC Comics

In this issue, something makes an appearance that has been absent in the series so far: humor. From Skeletor’s “magic trick” to make “the future generations of Thundercats disappear” to Mumm-Ra and Skeletor battling for control of their newly shared body and subsequent truce. Of course there is a rather sad moment to offset all the humor, but it’ll fix itself in the next 2 issues, so it’s easy to just concentrate on the funny for an issue before things get too real.

Writer: Tim Seeley
Art: Marcus To
Colors: Chris Sotomayor
Letterer: Carlos M. Mangual
DC Comics

This week, Dick run’s into the Run-Offs, a group of villains who are trying to reform themselves after being busted by the Dynamic Duo back in Gotham who, like Dick, are trying to find new lives for themselves in Bludhaven. I really like the parallels Seeley draws between Dick & the Run-Offs as well as introducing a new love interest for Dick. It’s great to see him back in Bludhaven and Macus To is knocking it out of the park with his incredible artwork. It’s still a solid, entertaining book.

BONUS! He’s some Christmas titles you may (or may not) want to check out for yourselves! Enjoy!

Writer: Grant Morrison
Art: Dan Mora
Colors: Dan Mora
Letterer: Ed Dukeshire
Boom Studios

For anyone who wants a story of magic, wonder and an amazing retelling of the origin of Santa, READ THIS BOOK! It’s Santa Claus Is Coming to Town by Rankin Bass by ways of Lord of the Rings or the Witcher. It’s tremendously imaginative and Morrison spins such an entertaining and powerful tale that it’s 4:30 AM as I write this review because I couldn’t stop reading it and 
Dan Mora’s artwork is a true treasure to behold! In a year where hope is so hard to come by, this story will put you in the holiday spirit and make you a believer in Santa Klaus again.

Lobo’s Paramilitary Christmas Special
Writer: Keith Giffen, Alan Grant
Art: Simon Bisley
Colors: Lovern Kinzierski
Letterer: Gaspar Saladino
DC Comics

So, back on January 1, 1991, DC Comics published one of the most offensive Christmas stories EVER. My father was the Lobo fan in the house so when we swung by the Comic Box in Bethel Connecticut (when it was still open) and he saw this gem among the weekly pulled comics of the week, of course he picked up a copy for him, for me and a copy not to be opened and put directly into a bag and board. Now when an average parent would read this horribly violent tale of the Easter Bunny hiring the Main Man to kill Santa and the ensuing bloodsoaked path from cover to cover, they might consider taking this VERY R-rated book away from their 15 year son. Instead my father asked me to draw a big version of the final page of the book with Lobo & Dawg flipping off the reader. It hung in his locker at work til the day he died. Sure, this book is a mishmash of blood, guts, murder and sociopathic behavior that would make Mark Millar blush, but for the briefest of moments, it was a bonding moment between a father and son who may not have seen eye to eye on a lot of things.

Writer: Keith Giffen, Alan Grant
Art: Simon Bisley
Colors: David Baron
Letterer: Phil Balsman
DC Comics/Wildstorm

I had no earthly idea this existed! What happens when the world’s favorite group of super powered sexual deviants neglect to tell the reality altering 3 year old, Jenny Quantum, on the living ship a proper Christmas story? She looks around until she finds one of her own: an old copy of Lobo’s Paramilitary Christmas Special. Unfortunately for all of earth, Jenny alters reality into a world where the aforementioned work of snuff fiction actually happened! And, because comics, this coincides with a group of parasites hiring Lobo to take out the Authority. It’s crude, it’s offensive, it’s creepy, it’s violent and in some parts it’s downright heartfelt. Whenever I’d come close to recommending it, something would be said in such poor taste that I had to take it back. Neither of these books are for the overly sensitive or politically correct. They’re windows into a very strange and different time. 

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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