The Pull List #37 - 01/06/16


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.





Contest of Champions #4


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Script: Al Ewing

Pencils: Paco Medina

Inks: Juan Vlasco

Colors: David Curiel

Letters: VC’s Joe Sabino

Marvel





The Contest’s second major battle comes to a close and many are left wondering where the heroes stand.  Stick’s confrontation with Elektra raises more questions for the team and a new addition looks to change the game, both literally and figuratively.  Ewing manages to tweak old continuity with enough changes to make them seem both familiar and different as he weaves it effortlessly into the story.  The art team nails each confrontation with excellent choreography and body language.  If the dialogue (and tradition) is any indication, the first arc should be drawing to a close in the next few issues.  It’ll be interesting to see how Ewing wraps it up and where the series goes forward from there. 



Survivors’ Club #4


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Writes: Dale Halvorsen & Lauren Beukes

Artist: Inaki Miranda

Colorist: Eva De La Cruz

Letterer: Tim Robbins

Vertigo



Things take a bit of a swerve as this issue focus’s on the escapades of the villainous Mr. Empty in the Muskagee House after he was teleported there last issue.  It’s an entertaining diversion, but one is left wondering how essential it is to the current plot.  After all, there’s hardly a mention of the protagonists throughout the issue. While it does give us more insight on Simon Wickman and his experiences there, it’s possible that such insight was unnecessary as it is present since it might be something the reader had guessed at previous.  Still, there’s no denying the issues entertainment value.  Mr. Empty makes for a darkly humorous focal point as he attempts to navigate the House from Hell.  Inaki Miranda steps in this issue on art and does a great job, both filling in for regular series artist Ryan Kelly and putting his own spin onto the work.  His depictions of Mr. Empty’s navigations are delightful and his ability to convey gross-out horror is spot on.  This, combined with continued excellence from series colorist Eva De La Cruz, keeps the issue firmly in-line with the rest of the series and maintaining its quality of excellence. 



Ultimates #3


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Writer: Al Ewing

Artist: Kenneth Rocafort

Color Artist: Dan Brown

Letterer: VC’s Joe Sabino

Marvel



After fixing Galactus last issue, the Ultimates have set their sights on a new problem: fixing time.  One would think that such an immediate bounce-around would trigger New-Avengers-type reactions, but quite the contrary.  Ewing spends enough time on the teams downtime to make them feel like a more cohesive unit.  Captain Marvel and Spectrum banter about Carol’s love life and the ever-expanding nature of Monica’s powers.  Miss America Chavez doles out some harsh truths about similarly positioned teams in other universes and we get some nature of fallout from the team’s actions last month.  On the whole, it’s a well-scripted issue.  It also helps that it’s backed up by fantastic art from Rocafort and Brown.  The splash pages are a wonderful combination of sequential storytelling and imagery and the team’s star-driven tour through multiple worlds is quite thrilling.  Ultimates picked up in a big way with this issue. 



The Vision #3


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Writer: Tom King

Artist: Gabriel Hernandez Walta

Color Artist: Jordie Bellaire

Letterer: VC’s Clayton Cowles

Marvel



The Vision tries to save the life of his critically wounded daughter while his wife continues to deal with strife on the home front.  Also, something awful happens in Wundegore.  So, business as usual for the series.  All kidding aside, the issue does feel like something of a retread thematically.  Maybe its the deadpan, doom-gloom narration going on at length about an object in the Vision household again.  While it might relate more further on to the main plot, one can’t help but feel like its a bit of wheel spinning on that front.  That being said, the plot itself moves forward rather nicely, with Vision’s life-endangering surgery on Viv at the fore.  The art, for its part, has never looked better.  Walta and Bellaire get back to their Magneto roots in the Agatha Harkness scenes and the eerie facial expressions of the Visions are superb.  This review might have been a bit overly critical earlier on as this is still an enjoyable entry into one of Marvel’s more unique series. 



BOOK OF THE WEEK
 
The Woods #19

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Writer: James Tynion IV

Illustrator: Michael Dialynas

Colors: Joes Gonzalez

Letters: Ed Dukeshire

Boom! Studios



As monsters descend thanks to the machinations of Taisho and Casey, the kids of Bay Point must once again put their lives on the line to save everyone, and it may cost them something dear.  Tynion crafts an excellent story, making way for excellent payoffs from just about the entire cast.  It’s an emotional issue and one that does not stray away from the horrors of the situation.  All this is wonderfully depicted by Dialynas and Gonzalez who get to work multiple crowd scenes, intricate monster designs, and emotional interactions galore.  It might be the art team’s best issue yet as all of their many strengths are on display.  While Casey believes everything is going to plan, it appears that his “ally” Taisho has another game to play.  Next issue’s conclusion should be both great and terrible.



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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