The Pull List #69 - August 17 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.

Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #1

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

Picking up immediately where the Rebirth issue left off, BBoP sees Batgirl and Oracle racing after Huntress as she tries to murder their only lead to the new criminal Oracle that’s cropped up in Gotham.  The Bensons craft a fast-paced issue, one that zips along at an enjoyable pace.  Even when the characters take a break, the downtime is filled with excellent personality.  Roe’s art is dynamic and expressive, thought some of the choreography does get a bit lost in the shuffle in places.  Topped off with Passalaqua’s beautiful colors, BBoP’s first official outing is a sharp uptick for the series.

The Ultimates #10

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

In the midst of Civil War II, the Ultimates break and Thanos breaks out.  It’s a terrible, glorious issue as the tensions Ewing has been cultivating in the past few issues finally blossom.  Mostly, I just like it because there’s finally a takedown of a key character in this stupid event.  Morissette handles the art duties of the inciting incident satisfactorily, but it’s Rocafort’s incredible paneling that steals the show.  Merely the formatting of a page was enough to elicit an vocal response while I was reading.  The dominoes are starting to fall for the Ultimates, and it looks to be one of the best crashes of its kind.   

Batman #5

Writer: Tom King
Pencils: David Finch
Inks: Sandra Hope, Matt Banning and Scott Hanna
Colors: Jordie Bellaire
Letters: John Workman

Broken by the Psycho-Pirate, Gotham attempts to break his namesake brick by brick.  Only Batman, a man in a mask, stands in his way.  King guides us into an incredible finally for the series’s opening arc.  Several pieces set up in earlier issues finally come into play to great satisfaction.  The fight that covers the majority of the issue is incredible to behold, with its closing moments being some of the most well-executed spots in comics.  While the story of Gotham isn’t over (is it ever, truly?), this is an excellent conclusion to King’s first story.  

Spider-Woman #10

Writer: Dennis Hopeless
Layouts: Javier Rodriguez
Finishes: Veronica Fish
Color Artist: Rachelle Rosenburg
Letterer: VC’s Travis Lanham

Spider-Woman puts her detective skills to good use as she checks up on several of Ulysses’s prognostications, which unfortunately coincides with a major development in the Civil War II storyline.  Frankly, this feels like the first issue to succumb to the pitfalls of being an event tie-in.  While the issues closing moments when Jess learns that SPOILERS Hawkeye killed Bruce Banner off a Ulysses’s tip END SPOILERS are great, but it sorta feels like the rest of the issue is just padding, entertaining though it may be.  Further, the art is a bit off-putting, as Fish (normally a great artist in her own right) is merely finishing Rodriguez’s layouts, and while it’s certainly not the worst thing in the world, it is a bit off-putting.  A bit of a stumble, but hopefully the series recovers in the next issue.  

The Wicked + The Divine #22

Writer: Kieron Gillen
Artist: Jamie McKelvie
Colorist: Matthew Wilson
Letterer: Clayton Cowles

Jesus H. Christ

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

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.

Nightwing #3

Writer: Tim Seeley
Art: Javier Fernandez
Colors: Chris Sotomayor
Letterer: Carlos M. Mangual
DC Comics

Raptor has to be one of the better new characters who has come out of DC Rebirth so far. He's clever, he's a great fighter and he's turning Nightwing's world on it's head. Batgirl is in town this week and it can only spell "complication" for the junior Batman's plans to bring down the Court of Owls with his newfound friend. The writing makes Nightwing and Batgirl feel like much younger characters and it's interesting. These 2 characters are old pros, but hearing them bicker like a teens in a long distance relationship they're trying so hard to make work makes for a dynamic relationship between Dick and Babs. Still a fun comic to read.

Green Arrow #5

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

After reading this issue, I can safely and earnestly confirm that the Gummi Bears are not the only species capable of "high adventure that's beyond compare." There are famous catchphrases uttered, Double crosses, triple crosses, 2 very different reunions, hero moments and heroic decisions. This book rocks in every possible way. I love it.

Writer: Peter J. Tomasi, Patrick Gleason
Art: Doug Mahnke, Jaime Mendoza
Colors: Wil Quintana
Letterer: Rob Leigh
DC Comics

This book is rapidly changing me from a Batman fan who liked superman to a Superman fan who thinks Batman is cool too. It's in a wild location, it's finally a Lois & Jon story, It's Louis being a badass (although to be completely fair, there is no way her plan would have really worked, but hey: Comic Books) and it's Superman doing what he does best. Great book. I can't wait until the next one.

Writer: Rob Williams
Art: Jim Lee, Scott Williams, Jason Fabok
Colors: Alex Sinclair, Brad Anderson
Letterer: Nate Piekos of BLAMBOT
DC Comics

This was a tricky book to review. They started aping phrases from the movie and a lot of the characters take on attributes from their movie counterparts as well, so that's good and bad. Good because it freshens up some stale characters and brings them into the mainstream with more fleshed out backgrounds. Bad because the whole thing felt like pandering. DC had a lot riding on the movie that didn't exactly work out the way they wanted it to and now they have a bunch of characters who the had to change to fit the movie stuck with those personalities till the arc is over. The book has a back up story, also good and bad. Good because it had a really great backup story that had such a great twist and epic moment that it outshined the actual story of Suicide #1. Bad because it had a really great backup story that had such a great twist and epic moment that it outshined the actual story of Suicide #1. Don't get me wrong, there was one moment in the book that had genuine tension and lent actual characterization to a character who's basically been a generic cardboard cut out since the 80's Squad. It was clever too, since the lead up to the actual event was so juvenile that you would think the only thing it would elicit was a groan and not a whoa. I'm interested enough to check the second issue.

Writer: Steve Orlando
Art: Emanuela Lupacchino, Ray McCarthy
Colors: Michael Atiyeh
Letterer: Steve Wands
DC Comics

"Supergirl is launched into the sun to kickstart her powers while am Argonian imprisoned by Supergirl's father in Argo City breaks out of the Phantom Zone and wrecks havoc on an a Scabbard base. Her powers come back, she saves the day, get's a new quirky nerd girl identity and works for Scabbard to save the planet." Sounds pretty garden variety, right? It is. Through and through. Does it remotely compare to the Peter David/Gary Frank Supergirl from 1996 that completely hooked me from issue one? Not at all. Man i miss that book. IMO, no one has really written SG right since that series and this Rebirth primer continues that grand tradition. The art looks good on #1 proper, so I might give it a try. If that doesn't turn things around, no love lost for this book.

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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