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!
Happy! #1 of 4 (Pick of the Week)
Writer: Grant Morrison
Art: Darick Robertson
Colors: Richard P. Clark
Publisher: Image Comics
Grant Morrison’s work with the big two can be either hit or miss.
Grant Morrison’s work with a creator-owned independent comic like Happy, hits the mark over and over again.
This overly dark and lurid story is laced with endless amounts of profanity which sometimes seems like they are swearing just because it sounds cool.
The plot centers around a former cop turned hitman, Nick Sax. Morrison presents a large cast of characters who all bring something different and interesting to the table. The twist of all twists comes when a little blue horse named Happy arrives.
Is he an imaginary friend, or a hallucination?
What if he is actually real?
The pace of the script is brilliantly constructed and laced with tense moments which makes Happy’s appearance even more significant. Darick Robertson’s artwork perfectly matched the tone set by Morrison’s script as the snowy backdrop illustrates the unforgiving world these characters live in. Robertson’s depiction of a Salvation Army Santa Claus looked like a vile crack head and makes me never want to donate to those folks every again. Of course, I’m kidding on the donation front.
I’m not kidding, however, when I say Happy could be the crown jewel of your comic book reading experience this year.
The Punisher #16
Writer: Greg Rucka
Art: Marco Checchetto
Colors: Matt Hollingsworth
Publisher: Marvel Comics
All good things must come to an end and unfortunately, so does Greg Rucka’s run on The Punisher.
Of course, Rucka’s work with the character will continue in October with a five issue War Zone mini-series but it’s just not the same as this run brought a sense of conviction to Frank Castle that we have never seen before.
Now let’s get to the goods. This issue deals with the emotional fallout from the murder of an NYPD detective at the hands of Rachel Cole-Alves. It was an accident, but that doesn’t matter because everyone believes The Punisher did the deed.
Rucka has produced a story that is just as much about Cole-Alves as it is about the title character. The catalyst of her journey towards revenge is reminiscent of Castle’s. The usual murderous mayhem is absent, and instead, The Punisher delicately plays the role of hero in order to save Cole-Alves from herself.
There are only a handful of people who could possible lead the kind of life he leads and it looked like Cole-Alves could too.
Now, not so much, and things need to be set right before anyone can move on.
Writer: David Swartz
Art: Micha Gunnell & Pasquale Qualano
Colors: David Curiel
Publisher: Aspen Comics
Leslie Linnell is a young lady with super powers who is full of vengeance.
The only way to obtain her objective is to win a talent show called “Superhero Idol” where super powered youngsters strut their stuff in order to earn a spot on the world’s greatest super team.
This appeared to be another American Idol spoof at first with the first issue serving as the initial round of auditions with three highly opinionated judges.
This issue narrowed the field down to the final ten. Leslie’s power is that she can control energy and she is completely focused on her objective. Nothing else matters as she doesn’t get caught up in the drama of the casting process. David Swartz has created a world where superheroes are extremely popular and everyone wants to be like them. This makes Leslie even more likable because she has a genuine purpose while the other constants just want to be famous.
The artwork of Micha Gunnell and Pasquale Qualano gives you the feel of a well depicted cartoon that is rich with detail and action. This is a fun read that you won’t soon forget and it has a great ending that will bring you back next month. Oh, the variant covers with supermodel Rachel Clark are not bad to look at either.
Mind MGMT #5
Writer: Matt Kindt
Art: Matt Kindt
Cover: Matt Kindt
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
They say a human being can lie to anybody but themselves.
If that is the case then how come we are able to trick ourselves in our dreams?
We are the ones producing the thoughts but they are impossible to control and they only end when we realize it’s not real.
That is not the case for Mind MGMT’s greatest agent, Henry Lyme. Matt Kindt’s writing style makes you think more than most books without having to put much thought into what you are reading. While the art is not very colorful, it does the job in illustrating emotion, and portraying the enormity of various moments.
We are also treated to a nice little back story featuring a Mind MGMT member from the 1960’s who has a unique ability to make people forget anything they want.
Origins are revealed and secrets are discovered in this chapter that have only begun to scratch the surface
Debris #3 of 4
Writer: Kurtis J. Wiebe
Art: Riley Rossmo
Colors: Owen Gieni
Publisher: Image Cmics
Maya and Kessel are in search of Athabasca in order to find the last pure water supply in existence.
Their journey leads them to the discovery that there may be human life outside of the village.
One of the great things about Debris is how the script and the art take turns telling the story. Both are equally effective in telling their share of the events. The writing has an authentic feel to it because of the possible reality this future holds, and the art reminds me of a cross between a video game and fine graffiti work.
Owen Gieni’s coloring gives the images a certain je ne sais quoi that sets itself apart from anything else in the genre today.
With one issue to go, it will be exciting to see how this series concludes.
Journey into Mystery #644
Writer: Kieron Gillen
Art: Carmine di Giandomenico
Colors: Chris Sotomayor
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Everything Burns may be the best Marvel event you are not reading.
My message board peeps along with the usual suspects at the comic book shop seem to shrug their shoulders at the mere mention of this series.
The cover seamlessly illustrates the gist of the story.
Everyone in Asgard wants Loki’s head on a silver platter while Thor submits to the Lake of Fire.
This brings him to Hel where warriors from Vallhalla await him.
There are so many good things going on in this book that I recommend reading it all from the beginning in order to appreciate everything that is happening.
Matt Fraction and Kieron Gillen have really created something special with this event and the work of Carmine di Giandomenico in this book is solid in every way.
The Bionic Man #13
Writer: Phil Hester & Aaron Gillespie
Art: Ed Tadeo
Colors: Thiago Ribeiro
Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment
Round 2 of the Bionic Man vs. Bionic Bigfoot brings about an unexpected turn of events.
Bigfoot ripped off Colonel Austin’s arm in the last issue and brought it back to his cave. Austin’s mind is wireless and was hacked by Bigfoot in order to discover the location of O.S.I.
I know that reading this sounds ridiculous and it might not be taken seriously but in this case, the stakes are very high.
The artwork in some comics can be too busy and Ed Tadeo’s art is jam packed with the jaw dropping action we’ve come to expect from Dynamite Entertainment.
This is a consistently good series you want to take a chance on.
Here are some titles that didn’t make the list but may just tickle your fancy.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #14 (IDW Publishing)
General Krang’s story takes center stage and we get a sneak peak of Dimension X and the Technodrome.
Star Wars – Darth Maul: Death Sentence #3 (Dark Horse Comics)
If you need a reminder as to how evil the Sith Lord can be just imagine him as a drill instructor.
Teen Titans #0 (DC Comics)
Some things change while others stay the same as it relates to the back story of Tim Drake.
Skullkickers #18 (Image Comics)
Pretty fun adventure that serves as a good jumping on point.