The Pull List #21 - 9/9/15

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.




Mercury Heat #3



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Story: Kieron Gillen

Artwork: Omar Francia

Color: Digikore Studios

Letters: Kurt Hathaway

Avatar Press



Welcome to the start of what is apparently Gillen-Wilson-Bennett-week.   In the latest Mercury Heat, Luiza Bora chases down leads and gets in an actual chase scene (one that involves a mech-suit!).  Gillen hits the particular cop story beats and throws in enough of his sci-fi to change things up a bit.  Some of the jokes are a bit lame but, seeing as theyre coming from a particularly lame character, it fits.  Despite his gratuitous, spine-bending cover, Francia does good work on the interiors, especially during the aforementioned chase sequence.  The punch line of that scene leaves a bit to be desired in terms of choreography and execution but its a solid effort nonetheless.  The book leaves Luiza in a race for her life which should make for an exciting next installment. 



A-Force #4 



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Writers: Marguerite Bennett & G. Willow Wilson

Penciler: Jorge Molina

Inkers: Craig Yeung & Walden Wong

Colorist: Laura Martin

Letterer: VCs Cory Petit

Marvel



Arcadias traitor is revealed andto be honest its a bit of a letdown in its obviousness.  However, Bennett and Wilson manage to punch up the dialogue and the action enough to more than cover for it.  Molina covers these splendidly.  In a scene in which She-Hulk fights a rock monster, Molina utilizes some wonderful and natural paneling to great effect, one that might be the highlight of the series so far.  There are a few spots where I believe the inkers shifted, but its not so evident enough as to be distracting.  Despite the predictable revelation, A-Force looks poised for a dramatic and satisfying conclusion. 



Siege #3



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Writer: Kieron Gillen

Artist: Filipe Andrade, Julian Totino Tedesco, Juan Jose Ryp & Andy Troy, Michael WM. Kaluta & Rachelle Rosenberg

Color Artist: Rachelle Rosenberg

Letterer: VCs Clayton Cowles

Marvel



Lovely.  Lovely, lovely end of the world.  Well, not quite endbut thats the feeling one gets when reading Siege.  Nick the Fury, Abigail Brands former mentor, rides the head of the Ultron wave that attempts to smash the Shield and its doomed defenders.  This third issue allows every character to get their moment, something thats been somewhat lacking from previous issues.  From Vitruvian Leonardo Da Vinci leading his armada to the fore to America Chavez being America Chavez (read: kicking ass), this is arguably the seriess strongest installment thus far.  Similarly, the double page spreads are equally fantastic, leading with Tedescos beautifully painted scene of carnage with directly precedes Ryp and Troys gritty scene of carnage.  The dichotomy between the two and their immediate sequence are an excellent bit of storytelling through art.  Kaluta and Rosenburgs towards the end is also an excellent display of chaotic control.  Andrade does an amazing amount of heavy lifting during the main pages, dealing with posture and positioning and view-choice that are frankly some of the best Ive scene.  Hes an amazing fit for the series and executes much of the emotional beats better than I thought possible.  In support, Rosenbergs colors are incredible, with glorious set lighting and emotional hues that compliment Andrades pencils with aplomb.  Siege #3 is a such a jam-packed issue and Gillen wisely underplays the closing pages revelation.   Siege is every bit as good as the (my) hype would have you believe. 





Phongram: The Immaterial Girl #2



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Writer: Kieron Gillen

Artist: Jamie McKelvie

Colorist: Matt Wilson

Letterer: Clayton Cowles

Image



Emily Aster is on the run from the bad-guy mechanics from the Take On Me music video inside said music video while her evil half, Claire, plots to destroy everything Emily has ever built for herself, including the Coven and all of her friends.  Phonogram, ladies and gentleman.  Gillen keeps the ball rolling, dealing little with flashbacks and only a few callbacks to Rue Britannia.  He and McKelvie keep Emilys disastrous misadventure at an almost frenetic tempo for the most part, which serves the narrative rather well, while Claires machinations are tortuous and dripping with viscous venom.  McKelvie does a bit of horror here, which hes not particularly known for but its something hes always done rather well thinking on it.  Its carried a lot by characters emotions and a bit of subtle blood work and its rather great.  Immaterial Girl gives us a strong second issue and builds well for the next one. 



Ms. Marvel #18



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Writer: G. Willow Wilson

Art: Adrian Alphona

Color Art: Ian Herring

Lettering: VCs Joe Caramagna

Marvel



Ms. Marvel and her hero, Captain Marvel, team-up to save her brother from her sociopathic ex-crush Kamran.  Oh, also, the world is pretty much ending.  Wilson steers us into some great emotional conflict and her dialogue is as sharp as poignant as anything out there.  Aamirs showdown with Kamran is an excellent example of character work coming full-circle and being utilized to its fullest potential.  Alphona deserves some kind of award for the level of detail he puts into his panels will keeping them from being over-cluttered.  From body language to facial expressions, his emotional work is fantastic, cartoony when it needs to be and realistic when it doesnt.  Even with the end of the world looming, Ms. Marvel remains Grade A quality entertainment. 



The Wicked + The Divine #14


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Writer: Kieron Gillen

Artist: Jamie McKelvie

Colorist: Matt Wilson

Letterer: Clayton Cowles

Image



Boy, Team WicDiv sure arent making easy reading for us, are they?  What with the previous issue about Tara and this one about Woden, and all of his background scumbaggery.  Gillen taps into that aspect, so much and so hard that, to a newfound observer, it would seem like an endorsement.  It isnt, we know it isnt, but it doesnt make this issue any easier to swallow.  The issue doesnt make Woden sympathetictoo kind and too generous a word.  Understanding is a push too, as its positive connotation.  Perhaps its best put simply: now we know.  Leave it there.  On the art side, McKelvie rejoins the squad of Commercial Suicide, only part of the way.  The issue utilizes a significant amount of past art, which is appropriate for the spotlight on a DJ-like god.  The reworks are nice and fresh enough to not seem stale or overused.  Assisting in this effort are the phenomenal colors by Matt Wilson.  Its bold and daring without being overblown.  And most importantly, it works and works hard without seeming so.  Theres a consistency to the chaos of color and might be Wilsons strongest outing of his career, let alone the series.  I didnt even cover the revelations rife in this issue!  Despite its vile protagonist and the remix of art (something that couldve been bad, but wasnt in the least), WicDiv 15 is yet another stellar issue from this series.  



BOOK OF THE WEEK (tough choice)

1602 Witch Hunter Angela #7


http://www.comicbookresources.com/imgsrv/preview/0/0/1/1602WHA2015003-DC11-f071d.jpg

Writer: Marguerite Bennett w/ Kieron Gillen

Artist: Stephanie Hans w/ Frazier Irving

Letterer: VCs Clayton Cowles

Marvel



Pursuing the last of the Faustians and wary of the Enchantresss curse, Angela and Sera arrive at a monastery to deal with a particularly Rogue-ish individual.  Bennett, coming hot off the heels of the recent Guardians cameo, wisely dials the story back to focus on Angela, Sera, and their latest prey.  The plot runs more emotional than action-oriented, which suits it remarkably.  The dialogue is damned clever, easing past the fourth-wall without shattering the narrative and dropping period-appropriate references.  These references also tie-in to Bennett and Gillens side story, one whose twist and device Ill admit to not have seen coming.  Its a truly excellent little trick and one that had me laughing when I finally caught up with it.  On the art side,  Hans continues to impress, ably using varying light and color to establish a mood.  In contrast and compliment, Frazier Irving steps-in on the side-story for a more darkened, hued tale.  The two styles work wonderfully with each other and might be the best pairing of the series yet.  The closing pages are some of the most well-executed on all sides and the final page left me with a big smile on my face.  This is good book, one that exists beyond the bounds of normal superhero fare.  


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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