The Pull List # 7 - 5/13/15

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.

Spider-man 2099 #12

Writer: Peter David

Art: Will Sliney

Color Artist: Antonio Fabela and Andres Mossa

Letterer: VCs Joe Caramagna

Marvel Comics

Having been turned into the monstrous Spider-Wasp by the mysterious injection that was supposed to cure her cancer, Tempest is out for blood and only one kind of blood will suffice: the blood of Spider-man.  Fortunately, hes not around, so Miguel OHara, the Spider-man of 2099, steps up to the plate, which is convenient as hes the one who gave her the injection.  Unfortunately, however, this is the last issue of Spider-man 2099, and as such, its a bit of a downer.  David does his best to provide some emotional conclusions for Miguel, but with so many plot threads left dangling, its hard not to feel unfulfilled at the end of the issue.  Such is the nature of comics sometimes.  Sliney is in fine form here, conveying the scripts emotion through posture and body language as Miguel is masked throughout the entire issue.  The final page makes it seem like Miguel will have some part to play in Secret Wars and creative team will be heading their own Secret Wars tie-in set in the 2099 universe, so perhaps some of the threads of this series will be picked up there.  Spider-man 2099 was a fun side-story series that managed to pack a great amount of action and heart in a short amount of time. 

Silk #4

Writer: Robbie Thompson

Artist: Annapaola Martello

Color Artist: Ian Herring

Letterer: VCs Travis Lanham

Marvel Comics

In an homage to the classic Spidey tales of yore, Silk has her first team-up with the Fantastic Four.  Well, more specifically Johnny Storm who she goes on a crime-fighting date with, but other three members of Marvels First Family do guest star, with Ben Grimm working in some humorous lines while Sue Storm and husband Reed Richards observe Silks training.  In particular, Reed diagnoses Cindy with anxiety as an explanation for her feelings of being offthats been occurring throughout the series.  Honestly, the diagnosis completely feels natural for a character thats been in isolation in a bunker for ten years only to be thrust into the chaotic world of superheroics.  The exchange itself is written in such a brilliant and sincere way that its probably the most human Reed Richards has been portrayed in years.  As someone whos dealt with mental issues in the past, its incredibly refreshing to see a disorder not treated as something to be exploited or demonized, but rather as something common and manageable.  In her first outing for Marvel, Martellos art is stunning.  Her choreography and atmospheres (backed up by series color artist, Ian Herring) are fantastic. The only minor quibble is that many of the character look about ten years younger than they should.  That aside, the issue is a fun one, in spite of the fairly serious aforementioned conversation, as Silk looks to ramp up her conflict with Black Cat next issue. 

Captain America and the Mighty Avengers #8

Writer: Al Ewing

Artist: Luke Ross

Color Artist: Rachelle Rosenburg

Letterer: Travis Lanham

Marvel Comics

The first book Ive read that ties directly into the last days of the Marvel Universe, CAMA is a bit of a mixed bag.  Ewing does a good job catching up readers who might not be familiar with how the events leading up to Secret Wars went down.  Unfortunately, thats all this book ends up feeling like: a catch-up book.  Ewing tries to make the book into something more by using the civilian interviews that are a staple of the book to give the common mans reaction to armageddon that Secret Wars was lacking and also giving us a good emotional beat as White Tiger tries to reconnect with her family during the waning days.  And while these are effective in their own right, they cant shake the summary feeling of the book.  The vague talk about Monicas plan (which is likely to come to fruition next issue) doesnt help matters, although it does provide for some great moments from the ever-snarky Kaluu.  Ross and Rosenburg work well throughout, particularly selling Avas confrontation with her family with accompanying Tiger God motif.  CAMA as a series has been largely hit-or-miss.  The lead-off arc tying so strongly into the less-than-laudable AXIS event was a bit of a downer, but the following issues allowed the book to come into its own.  Hopefully this issue is a scale version of that trend, with the final issue being something better than that which preceded it. 

Storm #11

Writer: Greg Pak

Artists: Victor Ibañez with Neil Edwards

Colorist: Ruth Redmond

Letterer: VCs Cory Petit

Marvel Comics

Storms fight with the nihilistic Zero continues to rage across the globe as the title draws to a close.  This final issue is a satisfying one as it utilizes Storms experiences throughout the series to tell a worthwhile conclusion.  While the past issues have felt less than cohesive when looked at together, Pak, as predicted, comes through and manages to make this finale the culmination of all those adventures.  Thanks to stellar work by the art team, the final battle is as action-packed and clear as it is emotional.  While Storms legendary powers are epically depicted, it is Kenjis army of bio-organic monstrosities that steal the show as they threaten Storms friends and threaten to consume her.  Storm 11 is a finale done right and an incredible send-off for such a quality series. 

Darth Vader #5

Writer: Kieron Gillen

Artist: Salvador Larocca

Colorist: Edgar Delgado

Letterers: VCs Joe Caramagna

Marvel Comics

The results of Vaders planning come to bear as he launches his attack on his still-unknown rivals with a droid platoon at his back.  While Vader has been a straightforward, though entertaining, book the reveal of the rival promises to add a new dimension to the series.  Gillens writing is in good form as always, with Vaders curt words carrying appropriate weight and even the villainous monologue at the issues climax does not seem inane or overwrought.  As the cover would suggest, we get our first taste of a lightsaber clash, and Larocca performs admirably, with the choreography and skill on point as one would expect from such a battle.  With a simple conflict presented from the onset, the new dynamic promises to be an exciting turn for the Dark Lords current apprentice.

Copperhead #7

Writer: Jay Faerber

Artist: Scott Godlewski

Colorist: Ron Riley

Letters: Thomas Mauer

Image Comics

Its another action-packed issue of Copperhead as Nestors brother, Zolo (unconfirmed if first name is Roronoa, but he does look comparably badass) comes to bust him out of jail and seek revenge on Sheriff Bronson, who happens to be in the middle of a date.  Faerbers script is tightly plotted and well executed by collaborators Godlewski and Riley.  Clara remains blunt and bold while newcomer Zolo comes off equal parts crafty and menacing.  Two issues into is second arc, Copperhead remains a strong, exciting book.

Angela: Asgard’s Assassin #6

Writer: Kieron Gillen w/ Marguerite Bennett

Penciler: Phil Jimenez w/ Stephanie Hans

Inkers: Le Beau Underwood w/Scott Hanna

Color Artist: Romulo Fajardo

Letter: VCs Clayton Cowles

Marvel Comics

The books first and perhaps only arc comes to an explosive conclusion as Angela deals with the consequences of THROWING A BABY INTO HEVENS FURNACE!  Obviously, infanticide is not something that heroes do wantonly, but the wayward Angels plan is still a roller coaster.  Gillens narration only adds to the drama by continuing to give it a mythic feel.  Even after the kidnapping plot is finally resolved, the issue doesnt let up as the tale of Sera still must be told.  Its amazing Ive any digits left with which to type, so knuckle-biting is the sub-story told by Gillen and Bennett through Hansart.  The main art team continues to give Hans a run for her money, particularly in the closing moments of the issue.  The last page in particular is so jam-packed with raw emotion that it makes what couldve been a cornball moment into something incredible.  Angela gets a colonial makeover due to Secret Wars next issue.  However, as the same team is staying on for 1602: Witch Hunter Angela, you can bet the quality of this title will remain. 

Thor #7

Writer: Jason Aaron

Artist: Russel Dauterman
Color Artist: Matthew Wilson

Letterer: VCs Joe Sabino

Marvel Comics

Thors identity is finally revealed as the women of the Marvel U combat the Destroyer.  Aaron does a great job giving every participant a moment to shine during the fight, though after the battle its all about the Thors.  Aarons script has the Odinson finally express himself and his need for the truth in a moment of heartfelt sincerity that ends spectacularly. The fight with the Destroyer, illustrated by Dauterman and Wilson, is a spectacle of light and impacts that radiates off the page.  With the onset of Secret Wars tie-ins, the reveal of Thors identity seems a bit hurry-up.  However as the letter page notes, this is not the end of her story.  Rather, this was just prologue.  Its unlikely that it such a facet will come into play during the Secret Wars series Thors, but with Aaron scripting, its a possibility.  Speaking of Thors, the series is described as a gritty cop series. Only with Hammers instead of guns.  Lots and lots of Hammers.  And also Frog you know Ill be checking that out.  In closing, this Thor series was a great one, managing to maintain a mystery while showing off able characterization and plotting, all combining for a satisfying read. 

Magneto #18

Writer: Cullen Bunn

Artist: Paul Davidson

Colorist: Paul Mounts

Letterer: VCs Cory Petit

Marvel Comics

The end of the Marvel U is upon us, but Magnetos not going down without a fight.  After months of preparation, Magneto is ready to turn back the Incursion by utilizing both planetsgravitational field to obliterate the other Earthwhich, if you read my Pull List from last week or Secret Wars #1, cannot succeed.  Still, the fact that hes trying and willing to sacrifice it all to save 616 Earth speaks volumes about the Master of Magnetism.  Where the other villains were content to revel as the Earth crumbled around them, Magneto stands firm against the apocalypse, with daughter Polaris at his side.  Bunn script utilizes flashbacks to Magnetos interactions with Namor (one of the Illuminati who for months had been stopping Incursions by killing other worlds) not only to show how Magneto came to learn of the end times, but also to show the confidence Namor and Magneto have in his power to stop it.  Davidson and Mounts work is suitably chaotic for the end of the world, with crowds of panicked people milling about while Polaris and her father work to save them.  Mags looks a bit too jacked for his age, but, given the explanation that he needed to be stronger than hes ever been, its understandable.  With only one issue remaining and the end of the world set in stone, all that remains for Magneto is to rage against the dying of the light.   Magneto does not go gentle, which will make for a fantastic finale to this much-loved series. 

Ms. Marvel #15

Writer: G. Willow Wilson

Art: Takeshi Miyazawa

Color Art: Ian Herring

Lettering: VCs Joe Caramagna

Marvel Comics

On a somewhat lighter note, Ms. Marvel faces down the cadre of the Inhuman Lineage as he attempts a coup in New Attilan.  Having been kidnapped last issue by someone she thought she could trust, Kamala flight and fight puts her through the wringer, physically and emotionally.  The issue still manages to keep things light, particularly with Brunos methods and attempts to save his trapped friend.  Wilsons plot and dialogue continue to thrill as Kamalas wit really shines in this issue.  Miyazawas pencils are expertly done, providing a more than suitable fill-in for regular series artist Adrian Alphona.  Herrings colors keep the art consistent with the other issues and allows for some nice contrast with Kamran and Kabooms powers and the setting of New Attilan.  As the Eisner-nominated book approaches the Last Days, the only bad thing about the book is that its ending all too soon.

Secret Wars #2

Writer: Jonathan Hickman

Artist: Esad Ribic

Color Artist: Iva Svorcina

Letterer: Chris Eliopoulos

Marvel Comics

Battleworld is Dooms world; were all just living in it.  Yes, as it turns out, the spooky creepy thing Doom was doing in the opening and closing pages of last issue allowed him to create the new reality of Battleworld and its many kingdoms over all of which Doom reigns supreme.  Were not told how this came to be, however, as Hickman shows us the politics of Battleworld through the eyes a newly christened Thor, newest member of the Thor Corps (yes I know their just called Thors, but, cmon, Thor Corps).  Through his first day on the job, we get a glimpse into the overarching government of Battleworld.  The first day turns out to be an eventful one as the closing moments spell trouble for Dooms utopia.  Hickman presents a master-class in world-building, establishing and familiarizing the reader in just a few short pages.  He also gets personal points for giving me snapshots of personal favorites, Beta Ray Bill and Moon Knight.  Personal fanboy-ing aside, Ribic and Svorcina are incredible here.  The world Doom has created provides excellent material of Ribic to flex his creative muscles.  Notable examples include the trial by combat and the sentence of the Shield, the latter in which Svorcina in particular shines with his use of light and darkness.  Secret Wars is shaping up to be a fantastic read, if only for the sheer joy that comes with frolicking on a new playground.

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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