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The Pull List: FATALE #14, THINK TANK #7, AGE OF ULTRON #8 & More!

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!

Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #23 (Pick of the Week)
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Art: Dave Marquez
Colors: Justin Ponsor
Letters: Cory Petit
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Price: $3.99

The life of Miles Morales has been altered forever.

In the last issue. Venom killed his mother and in her final moments, she learned how Miles had been spending his time after school. She was as proud as only a loving mother could be and cautioned him to never tell his mutant-hating father.

Like Peter Parker learned so long ago, life as Spider-Man is a painful ride for his loved ones.

Now, it’s Miles’ turn to walk the long and hard road of tragedy before the hero can rise once more.

The story picks up one year later.

Miles is older, bigger, and no longer the web crawler. We all know that Miles will eventually find the inspiration to wear the mask again, but Brian Michael Bendis did a great job of convincing you otherwise while masterfully capturing the aura of loss between Miles and his father. The emotion of it all resonates so poignantly because we’ve seen it before with Peter Parker, and since Miles is just a kid.

That’s the essence of it all right there. Bendis never lets the reader forget this fact without ever throwing it in your face. Most comics with super-powered youngsters tend to forget this important fact. There is an innocence to his character that is so natural that you can’t help but to root for him. The use of Dave Marquez’s talents was the right way to go. We are so used to seeing the amazing work of Sara Pichelli, but a different hand was required to augment the story’s jump in time. Justin Ponsor was money as always in the coloring department.

If I had to use one word to describe this series it would be “captivating” and this issue is just another example of why.

Grade: A-

Battlestar Galactica #1
Writer: Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning
Art: Cezar Razek
Colors: Vinicius Townsend
Cover: Alex Ross
Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment
Price: $3.99

Dynamite Entertainment celebrates the 35th Anniversary of the original Battlestar Galactica TV series in style with this brand new series.

This book is designed to appeal to those who did watch the show as well as those who did not.

Instead of a rehashed origin story, we are treated to a nightmare sequence of the Cylon attack that Adama is experiencing. It shows you everything you need to know while also showing things that we’ve only heard about happening that tragic day on the colonies.

The art does a serviceable job of making you feel that you are witnessing a space opera unfold before your eyes.

Controversial weaponry comes into play that adds an element of excitement to the plot. The possibilities of which rabbit hole this could go down was fun to explore.

Ultimately, they go down a different avenue than what was unexpected and that made me immediately excited for the next issue.

Grade: B

Star Wars: Darth Vader and The Ninth Assassin #2
Writer: Tim Siedell
Art: Stephen Thompson & Mark Irwin
Colors: Michael Atiyeh
Cover: Ariel Olivetti
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Price: $3.50

The last Darth Vader story arc titled “Ghost Prison” dealt with a threat from within the Empire that was hell bent on bringing down the current regime.

The Ninth Assassin deals with a hired gun that is simply out to destroy Vader. The last issue showed us the lengths to which the employer would go to fulfill his objective.

This issue shows us how deadly the assailant is, as he booby trapped the Emperor in a manner that could not be detected by the Dark Side of the force.

Vader sensed it with a millisecond left to spare, and the force power shenanigans depicted by Stephen Thompson has to be seen to be believed.

It was the best part of the book as everything from that moment erupted into chaos. Tim Siedell cements the enormity of the moment when Palpatine himself shows grave concern over the sorcery that concealed the deception.

That alone speaks volumes as to the amount of trouble his apprentice is in, as Darth Vader has gone from being the hunter to the hunted.

Grade: B+


Fatale #14
Writer: Ed Brubaker
Art: Sean Phillips & Dave Stewart
Colors: Elizabeth Breitweiser
Publisher: Image Comics
Price: $3.50

Fatale is just one of those books that you can’t wait to sink your teeth into.

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

That has been the norm with this series, however, this time we get quite the twist. Nazi cultists and monsters serve as a backdrop to a much larger picture as Josephine’s curse has been rendered ineffective.

Brubaker takes the reader on an emotional roller coaster of fear, sadness, and loneliness.

These are things Josephine hasn’t experienced in years. She is out of practice with these feelings and needs help to escape this terrible ordeal.

Sean Phillips’ art is right on the money, as always, and Elizabeth Breitweiser, who is filling in for Dave Stewart, ensures that the coloring doesn’t miss a beat. This is probably my favorite Josephine backstory because of the personal stakes involved and the ending, perhaps, sets a series-altering tone that will be fun to see unravel.

Grade: A-

Age of Ultron #8
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Art: Brandon Peterson
Cover: Brandon Peterson
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Price: $3.99

To ward off Ultron’s devastation, Wolverine and Sue Storm traveled back in time and killed Hank Pym.

The Marvel Universe has been irrevocably altered. Most time-changing sagas always teach the hard lesson that what you have been given is always better than what you helped create.

However, life in this new world seems to be a hell of a lot better than the ravaged planet we once had.

The story is all over the place, but in true Bendis fashion, everything fits in the appropriate places.

The heart-to-heart between Wolverine and a half-human, half-cyborg Tony Stark serves as the book’s emotional crutch.

Stark insists that Pym could have found an alternative solution, which is quite the contrast to what he suggested before Wolverine messed up space and time. So far, this series has been getting mixed reviews. No matter what side of the fence you stand on, it’s hard to look away from all action in Age of Ultron.

Grade: B-

Think Tank #7
Writer: Matt Hawkins
Art: Rahsan Ekedal
Publisher: Image Comics
Price: $3.99

Think Tank has been an unsung hero for comic book fans.

The always present cover line of “Reading this book may make you smarter” sometimes proves to be closer to fact than fiction.

The hypothetical becomes reality as military personal battle the suits from Capitol Hill as everyone wants credit and to assign blame for Dr. David Loren’s DNA weapon.

Matt Hawkins manipulates every situation keeping David three steps ahead of everyone else.

This time, David may have no choice but to accelerate his plans which make you wonder if he can overcome the odds. He is a super genius but he has also lived a sheltered life where things pretty much go his way on the regular.

It’s a fascinating element to the plot that puts David in a new arena as he has gone from invaluable to expendable. It’s a calculation the good doctor didn’t count on which makes it all the more intriguing.

If you are not reading Think Tank, you are doing yourself a huge disservice.

Grade: B+

Here are some titles that didn’t make the list but may tickle your fancy!

Iron Man #10 (Marvel Comics) 
Howard Stark forms a team to break into a Las Vegas casino that feels a lot like Ocean’s Eleven.

Regular Show #1 (Boom! Studios) 
If you like the show, you just might enjoy this comic version. Maybe a lot.

Birds of Prey #20 (DC Comics) 
Mr. Freeze versus The Court of Owls with the Birds in the middle only they don’t know it.

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