The Pull List #87 – December 28, 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.

Hulk #1

Writer: Mariko Tamaki
Artist: Nico Leon
Color Artist: Matt Milla
Letterer: VC’s Cory Petit

After being nearly killed in a battle with Thanos during Civil War II and hearing the news that her cousin was murdered by one of her friends, Jen Walters is just trying to get her life back together.  She’s got a new job at a high-caliber law firm with a bevy of clients lined up.  Things are pretty ok.  Oh, except she can’t control the Hulk inside her anymore and she’s walking a razor’s edge.  Tamaki slow plays the issue to great effect, and, while some may disagree with the decision to take away Jen’s near-total control of the She-Hulk, the character progression, or regression in this case, feels like a logical next step for the character after the shitshow that was Civil War II.  Some may gripe that the loss of control has essentially just made She-Hulk a gender-swapped version of her bigger cousin (which she usually isn’t), but the lower stakes of Jen’s life (no army hunting her, no world-threatening super-villains (yet)) makes it feel a bit more personal.  The Hulk, as an entity, has generally been a stand-in for something else: rage, depression, trauma.  For Jen, it’s the latter.  Every time she thinks about what happened to her or Bruce, she starts to lose control, which is incredibly depicted by Leon and Milla.  The art has a Legend of Korra-quality about it, one that works extremely well for the slice-of-life opening scenes, particularly because the “Hulk-out” moments feel like a jarring change, appropriately so.  With a new direction, smart story-telling, and evocative art, Hulk looks primed for a great, dark series.

Spider-Woman #14

Writer: Dennis Hopeless
Artist: Veronica Fish
Color Artist: Rachelle Rosenberg
Letterer: VC’s Travis Lanham

Fuh—uck!  Spider-Woman’s life isn’t great right now.  I honestly don’t want to talk about the issue all that much, because people should be reading this book and talking about the plot in any detail would spoil it. Let’s just say that some of the most devastating bombs to ever be dropped get dropped and Hopeless plays it perfectly.  It’s raw emotion on every page and every line.  Fish and Rosenberg do an incredible job both with choreography and framing, as well as humor and drama.  Spider-Woman is great.  You should all be reading it.

Detective Comics #947

Writer: James Tynion IV
Penciller: Alvaro Martinez
Inks: Raul Fernandez
Colors: Brad Anderson
Letters: Marilyn Patrizio

The conclusion of the Victim Syndicate storyline sees Spoiler facing off against the Bat Family.  Yep, you read that right.  Stephanie Brown is mad as hell, and she’s not gonna take it anymore.  Tynion does a great job showing just how devastating a girl like Spoiler can be and provides some great character moments throughout (aka “Tynion-ing“ as it shall be further known on this column).  For an issue with quite a bit of talking heads, the art team keeps things moving and vibrant thanks to some great framing and color schemes.  With a second good arc in the bag, Detective Comics looks great moving forward.

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.

Titans #6

Writer: Dan Abnett
Art: Brett Booth, Norm Rapmund, Marc Deering
Colors: Andrew Dalhouse, Carrie Strachan
Letterer: Carlos M. Mangual
DC Comics

Just when you think the old “love & friendship can bring you back from being lost in the time stream to beat a magician from the future” chestnut wouldn’t work twice in the same year, it turns out that love & friendship CAN bring you back from being lost in the time stream to beat a magician from the future. This is a wholesome, YA title. I’ve called it Archie with super powers before, this issue cements it. Where it fails in putting our heroes in any real danger, it does put us back on track with the events of DC Universe Rebirth as well as put the Titans on a collision course with one of their deadliest foes. I just hope the book maintains it’s tone when said foe enters the arena.

Writer: Simon Oliver
Art: Pia Guerra
Colors: Carrie Strachan
Letterer: Sal Cipriano
DC Comics

Smack dab in the middle of the Djinn plot to take over the world, Mercury & Constantine have a bonding moment. In a series that’s done nothing to redeem John’s character and tried it’s hardest to show what a prick he is, it was really nice to see the character have an opportunity to show that he’s more human than we’ve come to expect or resent from his past actions. Still a really interesting and entertaining read.

Writer: George Mann
Art: Alan Quah
Colors: Komikaki Studios feat. Sean Lee & Kevin Liew
Letterer: Rob Steen
Titan Comics

Andred sets his plan for escape into motion, escaping the dungeon and making his way into… the frozen tundra! the art is beautiful, it’s great fantasy, BUT it’s really doesn’t feel like Dark Souls. Introducing new enemies riding decomposing bears who aren’t part of DS canon doesn’t add to the story, it distracts from it. We’ll see if they can’t get back on track next issue.

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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