Check out what I checked out this week.
Whether the comics are inspiring or disappointing, I read them all.
Welcome to The Pull List.
And, as always…Spoilers ahead!
The Punisher #5 (Pick of the Week)
Writer: Greg Rucka
Art: Marco Checchetto
Colors: Matt Hollingsworth
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Greg Rucka’s run on The Punisher continues on a gloomy Thanksgiving night where the Exchange is putting plans into place after five of their members were murdered.
All signs point to Frank Castle, but he is still recovering from a plethora of injuries from his clash with the Vulture.
The art and writing impeccably complement each other. Marco Checchetto shows how cold and snowy it is which matches the tone of the story. Ms. Gerard, The Exchange’s head honcho, is cold and calculating. Her speech to the board about how that could work for Hydra again was funny because of how low on the food chain they are. The Punisher’s interaction with children always shows his “soft” side because of what he has lost. A curious kid with no friends and enlisted parents enters the Punisher’s hideout. He assumed Frank is on a secret military mission, like his parents, so he is excited to find someone he can relate to a little bit. Later on he brings his new soldier pal some thanksgiving dinner and he is so excited to do this for him until he discovers who he really he is and feels betrayed, only for Mr. Castle to yell “Get Out”.
Every facet of storytelling in this book draws you in and you really feel bad for the kid even though it’s probably better off he doesn’t get too close to the situation. I have been a sometimes “on” but mostly “off” Punisher reader, but Greg Rucka has changed that for me. I’m sure anyone who is in the same boat will feel this way after reading this along with the four previous issues.
Incredible Hulk #2
Writer: Jason Aaron
Art: Marc Silvestri & Whilce Portacio
Colors: Sunny Gho
Publisher: Marvel Publisher
What happens when you work so hard for something that it consumes your every thought? You spend years to achieve this goal and, when you are finally successful, you realize it’s not what you wanted at all.
Bruce Banner is going through a serious case of separation anxiety and will do anything to be bonded again with the Hulk. Jason Aaron really hit a home run this issue by perfectly showing that as bad as Banner wanted the green monster out of his life, he wants him back even more.
The people who love Bruce have a difficult time excepting this. Banner has changed from sympathetic hero to the villain of the story. Hulk, on the other hand, is completely free and loving life. It ironic that Bruce spent years trying many scientific applications to suppress the rage and yet, rage is what finally separated them. Silvestri’s art has a bright and descriptive style and hits its peak his depiction of relaxed, but still bad ass Hulk who no longer has the weight of the world on his shoulders.
A showdown between the man and the monster is on the horizon and will make for an interesting confrontation that comic book fans never imagined they would see.
Amazing Spider-Man #674
Writer: Dan Slott
Art: Giuseppe Camuncoli, Klaus Janson & Frank D’Armata
Publisher: Marvel Comics
The aftermath of Spider-Island is still being felt as people from all over the world are coming to New York hoping to gain spider abilities, while current residents have mixed emotions regarding their experience.
Spidey is loving life now that he has his spider sense back and the artwork does a fantastic job getting this point across.
There is one full page panel where Spider-Man is cornered by police and shows a strong posture, confident stance and a ripped physique. His action sequences display an amazing elegance of technique and power. What’s worse than troubled teenagers looking for spider powers? Troubled teenagers who instead, are given the ability to fly thanks to the Vulture.
Two more Spider-Man bad guys enter the fray and it appears Dan Slott is setting the stage for a reunion that will be detrimental to the web crawler.
Writer: Joshua Williamson
Art: Seth Damoose & Paul Little
Cover: Dan Duncan
Publisher: Image Comics
I got your attention now don’t I?
Ewok porn, cosplay orgies, shady F.B.I. agents, hijinks and shenanigans all wrapped up in a comedic package brings us the second chapter of this alien abduction story. The various members of the group all bring something different to the table, some more than others. A desperate housewife, a MMA fighter, and a crazy Army veteran are included while Bob and Kyle are the two main characters who bring a comedic sense of balance to this crazy affair.
The art and colors have the same cute cartoon look as the last issue and the writing focuses on the comedy aspect as much as the main story arch which is the discovery of truth, fiction or craziness. The story may not provide enough intrigue over the long haul, but right now, it’s a fun ride.
Writer: Michael F. Johnson
Art: Mahumud Asar & Bill Reinhold
Colors: Dave McCaig
Publisher: DC Comics
Michael Johnson is producing a well told story that Supergirl has been missing since, well, forever.
Kara is determined to find her way back to Krypton even though Superman has informed her of its demise.
Her ship has been stolen by a new villain; Simon Tycho. Tycho, another mega rich and powerful bad guy who with his tailor made attire, looks like Draco Malfoy and lives on a secret space station orbiting the globe. While Luthor has been a buffoon in the New 52, this guy could be the real deal. There was some dialog that sums up how powerful he is when his assistant told him the president is on the phone and he replied “Which one?” and proceeded to put him in check.
We get our first exposure to green Kryptonite and it hurts even more than before. The script draws you in right away and the pacing is perfect. The art, pencils and colors were all done very well. You’re going to want to jump on this bandwagon as things are getting interesting which I never thought I would say about a Supergirl comic book.
Writen: Scott Snyder
Art: Greg Capullo & Jonathn Glapion
Publisher: DC Comics
With a new universe comes new character traits as this younger version of the Dark Knight is talented and a little over confident in his abilities.
The book opens in 1922 where a disoriented Alan Wayne is running scared through the streets of Gotham.
Fast forward to current day and Batman discovers the secret link between the Wayne family and the Court of Owls. Character development takes a back seat as opposed to last issue where we truly saw how clever of a detective he is. The page layouts are stylish and effectively help the pacing of the story. The last six pages come together like a suspense thriller as Batman gets closer to the truth as he investigates hidden “nests” along Gotham’s skyline.
The conclusion of the book ends with a chilling boom that perfectly displays the danger in store for Batman.
Justice League #3
Writer: Geoff Johns
Art: Jim Lee & Scott Williams
Colors: Alex Sinclair, Hi-F & Gabe Eltaeb
Publisher: DC Comics
It’s a battle royale for earth’s survival as Flash, Superman, Batman and Green Lantern hold the line against an armada of Para-Demons (They don’t know what they are yet).
Wonder Woman enters the fold, and their initial reaction is equivalent to college frat boys checking out the hot chick.
Elsewhere, Victor Stone has suffered a terrible accident and is hanging on by a thread. His father desperately rushes to save his life and in doing so, he finally shows love for his son. Aquaman makes his debut as well, looking for answers as not even ocean life is safe from the darkness that is coming. Geoff Johns crafted Wonder Woman as someone who is itching for a fight but has a soft side as well. She uses a sword too which takes a little getting use to since it’s beneath her. There are more verbal jabs at Batman for not having powers and Flash’s hilarious response makes you think “I could see that” if you had never seen him before.
Despite growing pains, the heroes are working better as a team. This book is mostly action, action and more action. The last seven pages show a GL sketchbook and extract of “The Secret History of Atlantis” by David Graves which is a complete waste of time. Nothing really compelling came out of this issue but certainly nothing bad either.
Captain America #4 (Shelf-Listed: Disappointment of the Week)
Writer: Ed Brubaker
Artist: Steven McNiven
Colors: Justin Ponsor
Publisher: Marvel Comics
After reading this book, I looked skyward and cried out “What does it all mean”?
Cap’s nightmare down memory lane was tiresome and inane as he is trapped in an alternate dimension.
Steve Rogers is relieved because the world no longer needs Captain America. At the same time, the rug is pulled out from under him and he is in the fight of his life. There was nothing thought provoking about this at all. In the beginning the writing tries to push Steve’s emotion over not having to wield the shield anymore. I’d be happy too if the world no longer needed my ass kicking abilities. There was no payoff that makes you want to come back for more. Spend your $3.99 on something else or save it for next Wednesday.