The Pull List #10 - 6/10/15

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-Verse #2

Writer: Mike Costa
Artist: Andre Araujo
Color Artist: Rachelle Rosenberg
Letterer: VCs Joe Caramagna
Marvel Comics

The final member, Spider-Man Noir, joins the party as Spider-Verse enters its second issue.  The Great Depression-era Spider-Man provides some welcome terseness and distrust to a team that was beginning to gel a bit too nicely given their situation.  Costa uses this clash of personalities to achieve intriguing and humorous results.  Plot-wise, were still swimming in mystery at this point, both as why are the Spider-People here and what this series is about, which is a bit frustrating, although not all together disheartening.  What is disheartening, however is the art.  Araujos lifework just doesnt sit right with me, specifically again in unmasked faces.  Normally, Id chalk this one up to personal taste, but there are more points to my dislike, like the lack of any intricate detail on Carnage, who just appears to be a red goopy man with little of his usual sinister design.  At this point, its a real contest between the script and the art to determine if I pick up the next issue. 

Marvel Zombies #1

Writers: Simon Spurrier
Penciler: Kev Walker
Colorists: Frank DArmata
Letterer: VCs Clayton Cowles
Marvel Comics

The inhabited section of Battleworld is only the northern portion of the planet.  To the south lies only death as the enemies of all life, the Annihilation Wave, the Ultron Army, and the zombie hordes, seek to slaughter the inhabitants of Dooms new world.  The only line of defense between the innocent and certain death is the Shield, a massive wall spanning the whole of the world and manned by the doomed warriors.  This is where famed monster hunter Elsa Bloodstone resides.  At least, until a defense mishap finds her transporter two hundred miles south of the Shield, smack in the middle of biter territory.  Spurrier crafts a bleak adventure, one rife with black humor as Elsa bitterly cracks wise about her now-hopeless situation to her mysterious whiney human companion.  Kev Walker steals the show with line work that is ably suited to the monsters that roam south of the wall.  Walker, a favorite since his run on Jeff Parkers Thunderbolts, is no stranger to drawing the undead, having penned both Marvel Zombies 3 & 4 in years past.  When hes not busy drawing gore and rot, Walker also handles character interaction amazingly, with the conversations between Elsa and her father standing out.  DArmata is also an asset of the book.  The Deadlands are often dull, grey, torpid affairs but, when the powers start flying, DArmata lets loose an explosion of color.  From the starting gate, Marvel Zombies looks to be an excellent miniseries, despite its foreboding and trauma-inducing subheading of Journey Into Misery. 

Spider-Gwen #5

Writer: Jason Latour
Artist: Robbi Rodriguez
Color Artist: Rico Renzi
Letterer: VCs Clayton Cowles
Marvel Comics

So, this is the last issue of Spider-Gwen because of Secret Wars.  Huh.  Yknow, I dont feel all that bad.  Certainly, its disappointing for the character, but the story of this series never really went anywhere.  Sure, it had a great art style, but style can only get you so far.  The last page hints that Marvel isnt done with Spider-Gwen, even beyond Spider-Verse, but hopefully the next go-round has a bit more substance.  The character has a great design and concept.  Now it just needs a pair of legs to run on. 

Ghost Racers #1

Story: Felipe Smith
Art: Juan Gedeon
Color: Tamra Bonvillian
Letterer: VCs Cory Petit
Marvel Comics

The Secret Wars sequel to the beloved All-New Ghost Rider series, Ghost Racers sees the various Ghost Riders in new awesome forms as they race inside the Killiseum for the entertainment of Dooms subjects.  Smiths creation Robbie Reyes, the latest to hold the Ghost Rider moniker, is the main character of the series, and while it isnt necessary to know anything about his previous book, it certainly adds to the experience.  However, the main drawing power of the title is the action and the amazing character designs by Gedeon.  Which is a bit of a sour note because, as great as those two qualities are, the actual art doesnt really hold up.  Gedeons pencils appear unfocussed and lacking in definition where some should exist.  If I knew anything about the process, Id suggest an inker in work in concert.  Gedeon excels at the action inside the races; that part couldnt be better.  However, when we step away from the sport and the racers are de-ghosted, the faces are very underwhelming.  Still, Ghost Racers has enough fuel to make me pick up a second issue.

Captain America and the Mighty Avengers #1

Writer: Al Ewing
Artist: Luke Ross
Color Artist: Rachelle Rosenberg
Letterer: Travis Lanham
Marvel Comics

So unlike before, heres a series Im actually sad to see go.  And boy does this issue make you feel it.  Despite a stumbling start, CAMA became a really enjoyable series that seemed to be gaining momentum.  Then, the end of the world came and that was that.  Ewing writes a tale of the teams last days on Earth.  Those who rage against the dying light, those who spend time with those they love, and those who carry on because the end of the world isnt really an excuse to stop doing good.  Ross and Rosenberg carry the emotional load, carving out anguish on She-Hulk and Spectrums faces as they prepare to do what they must to save the world or the sheer joy on the faces of the Cage family as they spend their final moments in each othersarms.  The book goes semi-meta in its final moments, but in a way that works and is really quite great.  Thats all Ill say about it, because it really is a fantastic piece ofwell art, really.  In my every sense of the word. 

Silk #5

Writer: Robbie Thompson
Artist: Stacey Lee
Color Artist: Ian Herring
Letterer: VCs Travis Lanham
Marvel Comics

The villainous Black Cat forces Cindys hand in the latest issue of Silk.  As the cover would suggest, Cindy calls in her sidekickSpidey for back-up, but the book is still 100% Silks show.  Thompson moves the book along at a brisk pace, but manages to sneak in a lot of tender moments, which feels natural as the plot involves a kidnapped girl.  Stacey Lee, back on pencils after a short break, handles both action and emotion with aplomb.  There are some interesting shot angles in the book, but they work really well with the actions involved.  Much like Spider-Woman from last week, Silk has yet to suffer from the cataclysm of Secret Wars, allowing the creators to create a very personal story without being cramped for time.

1602 Witch Hunter Angela #1

Writer: Marguerite Bennett w/ Kieron Gillen
Artist: Stephanie Hans w/ Marguerite Sauvage
Letterer: VCs Clayton Cowles
Marvel Comics

Angela and Serah are back!  Except this time theyre in King JamesEngland.  And they arent angels of Heven anymore but rather hunters of the Witchbreed (mutants) and Faustians, those who make compact with devils.  This book is amazing on every level.  Gillen and Bennett have switched roles from the earlier series, with Bennett now writing the main tale with Gillen assisting on the now-humorous side-story.  Bennett does a great job of both establishing and entertaining, easily slipping us into the world of 1602 while Serah steals the show with a dramatic performance.  Similarly previously restricted to back-ups, Hans is unleashed in the story, every panel she provides a masterpiece.  Her depictions of the seriesvillain are hauntingly beautiful.  While the main story is where the action is, the side story by Bennett, Gillen and Sauvage is extremely funny once it gets going.  Sauvage nails both the expressions and physical comedy of the characters involved.  1602 Witch Hunter Angela is more than just another tie-in book; its a fantastic book on its own and well worth cover price.

Book of the Week

Copperhead #8

Writer: Jay Faerber
Artist: Scott Godlewski
Colorist: Ron Riley
Letterer: Thomas Mauer
Marvel Comics

Deputy Boos been captured by Zolos gang which means this is the Boo the Badass issue of the arc and badass he is.  Boo uses both his strength and his wits to cause trouble for the outlaws but it might not be enough.  Faerber flexes his dialogue chops in this issue as we get a bunch of yeh these guys are no goodexamples.  But theres also some admiration going on, specifically regarding the gangs leader.  Meanwhile the art team executes some pretty tricky action sequences with ease.  A few issues into its second arc, Copperhead manages to throw new dynamics and obstacles towards its protagonists making for one hell of a read. 
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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