The Pull List #85 - December 14, 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 #5

Writers: Julia Benson & Shawna Benson
Artist: Roge Antonio
Colors: Allen Passalaqua
Letters: Deron Bennett
DC Comics

Oracle’s identity revealed!  The Bensons do a good job of fleshing out this new Oracle in the space of just an issue, while still leaving enough of the backstory hidden to tantalize us.  This had been a very busy opening arc, so much so that the issue’s latter revelation almost gets lost in the shuffle.  In fairness, this is a bit of an understandable problem when you’re dealing with as much work as this title has to.  Antonio and Passalaqua’s art continues to impress, moreso because there’s not much action this issue, forcing the two to keep the panels interesting and lively throughout the conversations and revelations with interesting framing and lighting.  One criticism about BBoP is that, because so many other Rebirth titles come out bimonthly, this one, released monthly, feels sluggish in terms of pacing and plot.  While that’s certainly valid, it doesn’t diminish the excellent work this team book has brought to the table.  

Silk #15

Writer: Robbie Thompson
Artist: Irene Strychalski
Colorists: Ian Herring & Irma Knivila
Letters: VC’s Travis Lanham

The Clone Conspiracy (which idgaf about) tie-in continues, as Silk and Spectro’s plan to infiltrate New U gets them more than they bargained for.  Thompson continues his string of great issues, with excellent dialogue, plotting, and character moments throughout.  The Silk and Spider-Woman (yes, that one) fight that runs the course of the issue is excellent, thanks in large part to Strychalski’s simple yet effective lines and choreography.  I say idgaf about this event, but it’s tie-in here is contributing to the main story of the original book, rather than distracting from it as is often the case.  Which is a good thing.  

Hawkeye #1

Writer: Kelly Thompson
Artists: Leonardo Romero
Color Artist: Jordie Bellaire
Letterer: VC’s Joe Sabino

So way back in about two years ago, a critically acclaimed series was released called Hawkeye written by Matt Fraction and primarily drawn by David Aja.  It essentially changed the comic scene at the time, shifting much of the impetus away from grandiose storytelling to smaller, more intimate stories about the characters.  It also turned Clint Barton into a bumbling idiot man-child, because we can’t ever have nice things.   Anyway, far and away the best part of that series was Kate Bishop, the “other” Hawkeye.  Ok, that’s a lie.  The best part of that series was Pizza Dog aka Lucky, but we’re never getting a Pizza Dog aka Lucky series because we live in the worst of all possible worlds.  Anyway, at one point in the series, to get away from Clint’s frustrating self-sabotage, Kate Bishop moved out to the West Coast and solved crimes for a couple issues.  Flash forward a few years, someone at Marvel finally went “Hey, remember how great those Kate Bishop issues of Hawkeye were? Let’s make a series about that.”  And that person went on to win the Noble Peace Prize for Giving the People What They Want.  

Thompson effortlessly captures Kate’s voice and the series slips right back into that old familiar niche of the aforementioned run.  Romero’s art, coupled with the always fantastic Jordie Bellaire’s colors, is a perfect fit for the run.  Honestly, I know I talked a lot (read: way too much) about the backstory of the title that doesn’t matter, but this first issue is pretty perfect.  You should absolutely pick this up.

The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #15

Writer: Ryan North
Artists: Erica Henderson w/ Zac Gorman
Color Artist: Rico Renzi
Letterer: Travis Lanham

USG continues to bring the funny, but this time with the thrilling tale of Mew, Nancy’s cat.  Nancy being Squirrel Girl’s roommate/sidekick.  It’s pretty great.  Henderson’s art continues to be a perfect fit for the title (obv) and the small inset comics from Zac Gorman are an excellent addition to the title.  Also, MOTHERFUCKING PIZZA DOG IS IN THIS ISSUE AND HE AND MEW HAVE AN ADVENTURE TOGETHER AND IT IS PERFECT!!!1 …ahem.  This might be one of the best weeks in comics in recent memory.  

Detective Comics #946

Writer: James Tynion IV
Pencils: Eddy Barrows
Inks: Eber Ferreira w/ Julio Ferreira
Colors: Adriano Lucas
Letters: Marilyn Patrizio
DC Comics

The Bat Team takes on the Victim Syndicate and Spoiler is confronted with a crisis of faith.  Tynion’s character work is some of the best in the industry, as he’s proven both in this issue as well as time and again.  The one-on-one confrontations are so revealing and telling without being overbearing.  The dialogue is flawless.  Barrows and the Ferreiras work beautifully together and, coupled with Lucas’s moody colors, the art is wonderful.  Where the solo Batman title is an interesting exploration of the character, Detective Comics is just the perfect grounded approach to the Bat family.

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.

SPAWN #268

Writer: Todd McFarlane, Tom Leveen
Art: Symon Kudranski
Colors: FCO Plasenscia
Letterer: Tom Orzechowski
Image Comics

Don't think I don't hear you out there: "Whoa, Whoa, Whoa waitaminnit: first this old guy reviews a book about a character created by Liefeld, NOW he's going back to the Image well with SPAWN of all things? Get out of the freaking 90's and cover the important books like summer/winter/yearly crossover events or surreal indie books!" 

2 things: 
1) there were no other books out this week that i regularly review.
2) My name's over the door, so if you don't like it F*ck off and get your own company to review the funny books, ya hump.

Spawn, huh? Weird, I know, but with no other comics out, I saw the cover and said, "Spawn's still around? Huh." After doing some research (looking at the available issues), it's been going strong all this time! 268 issues. So I read #267 & #268 to see how Al Simmons was doing. Not well apparently. See his wife Wanda was trapped in hell with their unborn child and he had to go down there for the "Satan War Saga." I would tell you what happened, but there was feces all over the entire story arc, so I didn't read it. The feces was old and had a nasty, horrendously misogynistic odor about it. Upon closure investigation, i reveled the source: it was illustrated by Erik Larsen. No thank you.

So the story is Al is back in NYC with a new suit that isn't the super healing armor it used to be, but it's still magic enough to help him fly and to respond when he's in danger. Cyan, now a teenager and a junkie, is in an institution being secretly fed drugs by someone and Al takes it upon himself to cut a swath through all the drug suppliers in all of NYC on a rampage of revenge and violence to find out who is responsible for Cyan's addiction. If you don't know ANY of the names I just mentioned, don't worry. It just means you weren't reading Image comics in the early-mid 90's, and you're life's probably better for it.

ANYWHO, it's actually NOT bad. The art is fantastic and it's essentially what would happen if the Punisher had supernatural powers. And before you try to correct me, I know all about Wrighton's Angel of death-Necro-Gun-weilding Punisher and Remember's FrankenCastle, I'm just saying it's essentially what would happen if the Punisher had supernatural powers... AND DIDN'T COMPLETELY SUCK ON FIRE. It's a revenge tale without all of the Angel/Demon garbage that really mucked up the early years of Spawn. For anyone interested, #267 & #268 seem to be a good jumping on point if you are feeling nostalgic for old Al Simmons with a 2000's spin.

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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