The Pull List #65 - July 20, 2016

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.

All-New Wolverine #10

Writer: Tom Taylor
Penciler: Ig Guara
Inkers: Bob Wiacek & Victor Olazaba
Color Artist: John Rauch
Letterer: VC’s Cory Petit

The perfect scenario for an event tie-in of an ongoing series is that the tie-in books heighten or progress what the book was already doing in a natural way.  This is pretty much the cast in All-New Wolverine #10.  The two Wolverines that now inhabit the main Marvel Universe (Laura Kinney nee X-23 and Old Man Logan) were bound to run into each other and, since this is a superhero book, they were bound to be at odds too.  OML is from a dystopian future where everything went to shit (mainly and Millar-ly because of him) and he’d do anything to stop those events from playing out.  That all of this coincides with the Minority Report Civil War II event is icing on the cake that Tom Taylor has excitingly crafted.  Guara's faces sometimes take some getting used to, but there’s no deny his excellence in framing and action.  Rauch’s colors do wonders to punch up a mostly static setting (via plot, not artist).  The best thing about this tie-in is that it could have happened without the event, which is the mark of a promising story.  

Batgirl and the Birds of Prey: Rebirth #1

Writers: Julie Benson & Shawna Benson
Artist: Claire Roe
Colors: Allen Passalaqua
Letters: Steve Wands

So, this book’s a bit of a mixed bag.  On the one hand, it is probably the most complete of the Rebirth books I’ve read in that it feels less like a primer and more like an actual first issue.  The Bensons show us how the team meets up again and more importantly why and does so in a way that feels justified and seems interesting.  On the other hand, some of the dialogue is fairly bad (a character actually yells “Hi-ya!” without any trace of levity just before attacking), Huntress’s introduction is pretty much C-movie ridiculous (again in a groan-inducing way), the Bensons mine the classic Bat-trope of a character unnecessarily narrating a combat action to sound intelligent, and we get to relive the Killing Joke again because we can’t move away from that ever.  Admittedly, that last one is definitely more of a personal axe, as the fallout of that (i.e. Oracle) is intrinsic to the plot, but frequently going back to that book is something that’s been rehashed so much it’s kinda lost much of its impact.  On the art side, Roe’s faces are…interesting.  Not Tana Ford-level (yet) but certainly nothing to write home about.  Something that is, however, is Passalaqua’s colors which manage to inject much of the drab scenery of Gotham with flashes of eye-catching color.  That sounded like a bunch of negatives, but for the most part, BG&BoP looks to be a really enjoyable book with a great set-up, if a few kinks to iron out.  

Batman #3

Writer: Tom King
Pencils: David Finch
Inks: Danny Miki
Colors: Jordie Bellaire
Letters: John Workman

This issue we get part of the origin story of Gotham and Gotham Girl and Hugo Strange, seemingly with Amanda Waller’s backing, enacts the next stage of his plan.  King’s choice of origin is interesting, if a bit without surprising (so far), and the narration running through out the issue is expertly laced so it builds to a fantastic crescendo.  The art team appears to be finally meshing well (imo) as the dusky twilight that hangs over Finch and Bellaire’s Gotham fits this part of the story a bit better.  Despite a bit of a stumble after the Rebirth issue, Batman appears to be picking up speed once again.  

The Ultimates #9

Writer: Al Ewing
Artists: Kenneth Rocafort & Djibril Morissette
Color Artist: Dan Brown
Letterer: VC’s Joe Sabino

Bit of a downtime issue, as the Ultimates come together to solve a problem even as their differences start to tear them apart.  Ewing’s deft character work is on display and his dialogue is natural and sells emotion like hell.  Rocafort and Brown’s always excellent art is joined by Morissette who depicts the non-Ultimates-featuring parts of the book.  Morrissette’s art is a bit more simplistic than Rocafort’s but is evocative and fitting in its own right.  Despite being something of a filler issue, The Ultimates remain enjoyable.

But wait, there’s more!

CharlieDanger82 is helping out this week to cover some the new titles for DC Rebirth. Think of it like a backup story in your favorite book, just with less talented writing.

Hellblazer: Rebirth #1

Writer: Simon Oliver
Art: Moritat
Colors: Andre Szymanowicz & Moritat
Letterer: Sal Cipriano
DC Comics

John Constantine is back in London after an exile to New York to break a curse put on him by a demon. Of course, by lifting it from himself, he's exposed all of England to it! The book has a few surprising cameos (and one very unsurprising), classic Constantine wit and a 4th wall break (Does Constantine = DC Deadpool? No. Of course he doesn't. you think Deeples was the only one to ever break the 4th wall in comics? You do? Get out. NOW. Glad that guy's gone. Anywho, let's continue..) that make this feel like a Hellblazer comic without all the REALLY weird stuff. You can tell the writer was a fan of Matt Ryan (who may be returning to the DC CW TV Universe with a Wentworth Miller/John Barrowman like contract, making cameos as Constantine across multiple DC shows! YAY!) and really channeled the feel of the NBC show which was awesome. To sum up: Really fun read, glad to see John back, can't wait for next issue.

Superman #3

Writer: Peter J. Tomasi, Patrick Gleason
Art: Jorge Jimenez
Colors: Alejandro Sanchez
Letterer: Rob Leigh
DC Comics

I went into this book having just had something spoiled for me. And it sucks. There is a "death" of a character in this, but I don't think the character is dead. If it does turn out to be permanent, I think Tomasi & Gleason should have a sit down with a psychiatrist because I'm starting to see an unsettling pattern. Nevertheless, It's a great book with the Eradicator (DESTROY DESTROY) rearing his genocidal head, Clark and Lois trying to learn more about their son's inconsistent invulnerability and a truly awesome "talk to the fist cause the hand is pissed" (we miss you, Northern State) moment that will have you aching for the next issue. Still, Dick move, Tomasi & Gleason. Not forgiven yet.

Writer: Benjamin Percy
Art: Juan Ferreyra
Colors: Juan Ferreyra
Letterer: Nate Piekos of BLAMBOT
DC Comics

Otto Schmidt took a break this issue and the awesome Juan Ferreyra stepped in to tackle art duties and i must say, as much as I like the Schmidt's work on this book, Ferreyra's work just blew me away. Ollie dives deeper in the the corrupted Queen Corporation while John Diggle uncovers the truth behind the Ninth Circle and Black Canary hatches (wow, I just did that didn't I?) a plan to get to the bottom of the Ninth Circle's plot, but are the villianous Dante & Emiko one step ahead of everybody? I won't tell you. Go read the book. I'm back to really liking it again.

Writer: Bryan Hitch
Art: Tony S. Daniel & Sandu Florea
Colors: Tomey Morey
Letterer: Richard Starkings & Comicraft
DC Comics

I really want to like this book, but how in the hell is a book about a group of superheroes saving people all over the world from a global catastrophe so dry & boring? I'm really trying desperate to find a standout moment but I can't. A new threat is introduced called the Kindred (so either we're looking at a short lived TV show about Vampire: the Masquerade or the miniseries starring Backlash & Grifter. Holla all my coming of age nerds from the 90's!) who seem to be a zombie hive mind thing? I mean nothing is revealed about them other than it seems this might be the "something worse" that the creature from space was warning the JL about in Justice League Rebirth #1. I don't know and I wished I cared. I don't mean this to sound so scathing, but a Justice League book has big shoes to fill with such a storied history and this series really lacks something crucial to a JL book success: heart.

So what did you pick up this week? 
Agree or disagree with anything said here? 
Let us know in the comments.

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,