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!
Marvel Knights: Spider-Man #1 (Pick of the Week)
Writer: Matt Kindt
Artist: Marco Rudy
Colorist: Val Staples
Publisher: Marvel Comics
If you’ve ever read a comic book that tests limits of your mind and imagination, Matt Kindt probably wrote it.
His ability to make the reader question what they are reading and seeing in front of them is truly remarkable. Marvel Knight’s tales involving Spider-Man tend to have a certain edge that the regular continuity books don’t possess.
Speaking about continuity, Peter Parker is the resident web slinger for this story, which is a nice change for those who miss the character.
Peter is living in a world where work as a photographer is drying up because Spider-Man photos are consider passé.
He looks for work elsewhere, but his rep for being Spider-Man’s photographer makes it difficult for the ends to meet. Parker takes a particular job that turns into a deadly escapade where he is taken to the edge of his physical and mental abilities.
The detail of Marco Rudy’s artwork perfectly illustrates the madness Spider-Man is experiencing. Val Staples’ coloring compliments the pencil and makes the reader feel that they are tripping on acid at times, which also conveys the gravity of the psychological peril Spider-Man is in, as his spider sense is ringing nonstop. The maze of twists and turns written by Kindt makes you wonder if this is real or just some horrible nightmare. The end of this tale reveals an insurmountable gauntlet of 99 problems for Spider-Man.
Oh, and a bitch ain’t one.
Writer: Brian Wood
Artist: Ming Doyle
Colorist: Jordie Bellaire
Publisher: Image Comics
Mara has truly been one of my favorite reads of 2013.
The way Brian Wood has crafted this character over six issues has been amazing to see unfold.
Unbeknownst to Mara, she has been in search of something bigger than herself while trying to make sense of all these rules that mankind has in place. She doesn’t agree with them, and almost pulls the plug on the entire party until that moment of realization takes place.
This was interesting on a number of levels because she has had a lot of crap thrown her way and once her brother was killed for no good reason, she loses it.
I thought she was past the point of no return in her madness until she witness a courageous act of civic virtue that changes her perceptions of things, which is powerful in its own right, considering she is the most powerful being on Earth.
This is Mara’s swan song as the series comes to end, but I hope this is not the last we see of her because I believe Brian Wood has only scratched the surface of what this character can become.
Grindhouse: Doors Open at Midnight #1
Writer: Alex de Campi
Artist: Chris Peterson
Colorist: Nolan Woodard
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
This book was created as a homage to the Grindhouse genre of films that contain horror and sex tied together by an unusual subject matter.
The awesome cover of this comic book, drawn by Francesco Francavilla, states “Bee Vixens from Mars” on it.
If that doesn’t pique your curiosity, then I don’t know what will.
Alex de Campi’s dialog felt real and made me believe the characters were those you would see in this type of a film. The art and coloring also did a good job of augmenting the effect of authenticity of this genre.
The structure and pacing of the story keeps the reader enthralled as mystery, suspense, humor, and horror happen at the appropriate times.
While I wonder how this series will do down the line, de Campi and company are off to a great start, and I’m looking forward to the next installment.
Forever Evil #2
Writer: Geoff Johns
Artist: David Finch & Richard Friend
Colorist: Sonia Oback
Publisher: DC Comics
Forever Evil shows us what the world would be like if super villains ran the show.
Pride, lust, greed, and the other deadly sins play a huge role in their occupation, and will ultimately determine the outcome, whether its favorable or otherwise.
Unbeknownst to the Crime Syndicate, the battle is won, but the war is far from over.
Things start to unfold as Geoff Johns sends lot of characters down many different paths that will no doubt make things even more interesting as we move forward in the series and beyond.
There are a few characters and items that make their first appearance in the New 52 including, Otis, as in, OTISBURG! I couldn’t help but hear Ned Beatty’s voice every time a word balloon would display the name, Mr. Luthor.
Speaking of the greatest criminal mind of our time, the bald megalomaniac once again, steals the show and proves that everything that he does is purely what is best for business, the Luthor business, that is. The art direction of David Finch and Richard Friend did a great job of establishing several important moments by conveying the emotional turmoil though body language and facial reactions. There is one panel with Owl-Man and Superwoman huddling close together and you knew their relationship went way past the friend zone before a single syllable of dialog could be read.
Obviously, at the end of the day the good guys will come back from beyond the grave and save the world.
However, Forever Evil represents an opportunity to make a lasting impression in the DC Universe that makes it possible for a remnant of evil to last forever. The Nightwing/Dick Grayson reveal would be a phenomenal vehicle for this to succeed, but it happened too early for me to believe that some cosmic entity or occurrence won’t erase it from history by the series end.
Something big has to happen when it is all said and done.
The Mocking Dead #2
Writer: Fred Van Lente
Artist: Max Dunbar
Colorist: Aikau Oliva
Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment
I hate role playing games because I royally suck at them.
Dynamite’s latest entry into zombie parody genre makes me wish I tried a little harder to master this particular activity.
Aaron Bunch is the Michael Jordan of role playing games, and he is brought in by the government to organize their counter offense against a total zombie apocalypse.
Fred Van Lente produces a highly entertaining story that provides the perfect blend of humor and the main crux of the story is Bunch’s quest to prove this outbreak is connected to a long forgotten indie film called ‘The Mocking Dead”.
The black and white artwork along with the overall feeling of the story is reminiscent of Image Comic’s Think Tank which also involves a talented creator helping the government. The Mocking Dead succeeds where Think Tank falls a little short: the story’s main character, Aaron Bunch, whose character is easier to get behind than David Loren.
In the end, I believe this series has the juice to go a long way as it keeps the reader entertained without making you think a whole hell of a lot. It’s one of those books where you can just sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride.
GI Joe: Cobra Files #7
Writer: Mike Costa
Artist: Antonio Fuso
Colorist: Antonio Fuso
Publisher: IDW Publishing
GI Joe’s ongoing comic book has some fun moments, but it is safe to say this series is currently the standard bearer for the brand.
Flint has suggested the disbandment of the Cobra Files team. That is just the tip of the iceberg as team members are not happy with these turn of events, particularly a former Cobra agent.
There have been several levels of manipulation that have taken place throughout the series, and Tomax has been the puppet master pulling the strings.
The execution of these moments is what makes this book stand out because you just get the feeling that the payoff is going to be huge when it all comes to a head in the series’ conclusion, issue nine.