The Pull List #12 - 7/1/15

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.

The Woods #14

Writer: James Tynion IV

Illustrator: Michael Dialynas

Colors: Josan Gonzalez

Letters: Ed Dukeshire

Boom Studios

A second issue into the new story arc and weve already got a better grasp of the new status quo after the time skip.  The Woods is a series you could not do without numerous mysteries, but, as with many examples of this type of story, the real draw is the characters and their relationships to one another.  Tynion conjures up some politics of ruling a group of stranded survivors.  This drives one of the main plots of the book, with Karens investigation of last issues mysterious symbol being another.  But really, the evolving and changed character dynamics are the main attraction to this book.  Despite the timeskip, these characters are so well-crafted that every line of dialogue, no matter how ambiguously prompted feels completely natural.  On the art side of things, Dialynaz and Gonzalez get a drug-induced hallucination to flex their muscles, and, despite all the weirdness inherent in this series, they make it seem alien and incredible.  The Woods has always been a long game but its one with small but worthwhile payoffs.  Because of this, the frequent pervasive mysteries enhance the series, rather than frustrate it.

Darth Vader #7

Writer: Kieron Gillen

Artist: Salvador Larroca

Colorist: Edgar Delgado

Letterer: VCs Joe Caramagna

Marvel Comics

Vader investigates the existence and recent history of his newly revealed son as Gillen guides the Sith Lord into his seventh issue.  Coming off the emotionally heavy closing moments of the last issue, this one feels more subdued with the story focusing more on the plot than Vaders quiet palpable rage.  Gillen bounces us to yet another challenge for Vader to face, which appears to be the M.O. of the series.  While it makes senseworking within an established universe with a finite endpointpart of me wishes there was a more immediate overarching plot, rather than just a subletting hanging one.  Larroca maintains his cinematic approach on the title, though some of his perspective choices in this issue are a bit more hard to grasp than normal.  All that being said, Darth Vader #7 is a solid issue and a great jumping on point for new readers. 

Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #7

Writer: Ryan North

Artist: Erica Henderson

Color Artist: Rico Renzi

Letterer: VCs Clayton Cowles

Marvel Comics

Squirrel Girl and her similarly animal-powered themed friends go after Ratatoskr, evil Norse squirrel god of trash-talking (actual a thingbasically).  Norths wit and charm are in full force here, particularly in the cover-suggested meet-up with the Avengers.  Henderson nails much of the physical comedy in Norths script and absolutely delivers on the expressions.  Henderson and Renzi also do a fantastic job with the design of the aforementioned villain, who is significantly more terrifying than one would expect.  In the category of fun and funny adventure books, Unbeatable Squirrel Girl certainly lives up to its adjective. 

A-Force #2

Writer: Marguerite Bennett & G. Willow Wilson

Penciler: Jorge Molina

Inkers: Craig Yueng & Walden Wong

Colorist: Laura Martin

Letterer: VCs Cory Petit

Marvel Comics

Tensions rise in Arcadia as Nico Minorus mysterious, newfound friend presents more questions than answers.  Still dealing with the emotional fallout of the previous issue, She-Hulk struggles with her decisions as leader of A-Force.  Bennett and Wilson have a classic team book on their hands and they use this to full effect.  Theres another big battle sequence halfway through the book, giving several characters an opportunity to shine.  Interesting tidbit: several of the characters spot almost anti-one liners, lines that should be some witty perfect thing, but instead appear half-formed or hurried exclamations.  The result is a very natural, very personal feel to the characters.  The art team depicts this action with aplomb, but where they truly shine is in the scenes that focus on the mysterious child.  As the character never speaks, Molina is forced to portray her emotions through body language and wondrous facial cues, an act he ultimately succeeds in as those scenes are a delight to see.  Enhancing this effect is Laura Martins starry color work on the character.  A-Forces second outing is almost stronger than the first and certainly builds more reason to pick up this series.

Secret Wars #4

Writer: Jonathan Hickman

Artist: Esad Ribic

Color Artist: Ive Svorcina

Letterer: Chris Eliopoulos

Marvel Comics

The Cabal does battle with the Thors and Sheriff Strange explains the new world to the heroes of the old in Secret Warsfourth outing.  God Doom finally takes note of these new strangers in his realm and the experience is titanic.  Hickman gifts every line with such heft as Doom meets with both Reed Richards and the Phoenix possessed Cyclops.  The art team again deliver panels of mythic quality and the issues silent closing moments are incredible.  Secret Wars continues to be one of the best events in years.  


The Wicked + The Divine #12

Writer: Kieron Gillen

Artist: Kate Brown

Letterer: Clayton Cowles

Image Comics

And the beat goes on.  After the climatic and tragic events of last issue, the first issue of the new arc, Commercial Suicide, opens without remorse, quickly moving on to the next story.  While the plot still deals with the previous issues events, the choice of protagonist brings a new colder perspective.  Kate Brown is the first of several guest artists for this new arc and is an interesting choice.  Having perviously worked with the team on a guest issue of Young Avengers, Browns style is a bit more jarring here to start.  McKelvies lines have always been noted for their morerealistic? sharper? look and Browns style is comparatively more cartoony.  However, by the end of the issue, the shift is hardly a second thought, so ably does Browns style adapt itself to the world.  While it does help that this issue deals with one of the most superherofights in the run, her expression work is amazing.  Its hard to adequately discuss plot and script dynamics without spoiling the phenomenal issue 11, but safe to say, WicDiv continues to be a strong contender for book of the year. 

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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