Tuesday, August 30, 2005

More Pull Lists Than You Can Shake A Stick At!

Ta-Da! A Post!

In the spirit of Kevin Smith, I’m actually going to sit down and write something I promised to. If only I could take all my writing cues from the Bearded Wonder, I'd finally bust out of this two-bit blog and into the big-time!

Anyway, my life in upheaval and my work schedule as it was, I sadly found little time for comics in the past week. Thankfully I made it down to Comicazi on Wednesday night and raided my box, and here are the results!

Not only the Pull List for two weeks ago, but the Pull List for last week and this week as well!


- Ultimate Spider-Man Annual;

I'm excited to see the return of annuals! I was always eager to shell out the extra few dollars for a bigger comic that was almost always had a self-contained story with important twists. The first Amazing Spider-Man Annual was awesome, as it had the birth of the Sinister Six, which is still the coolest super-villian team around, no matter what happens in Villians United.

In this issue, we find out who Spider-Man's new girlfriend is, after the rather harsh way he cut M.J. loose. Day-um. They've blacked her image out from the promo covers, but I'm hoping it's Ultimate Kitty Pride. Her version of Collosus is playing for the other team, so she's got to look for love somewhere else, and where better than your Friendly Neighborhood Spidey?

Aaaaaaaaand... That's it for the week? More like “Weak...” C'mon, Marvel/DC/Image/Oni... get on the ball! The only other thing that even caught my eye was Justice League team of Giffen, DeMatties and Maguire on The Defenders. I wasn't terribly excited about the first issue, which was odd, as I've read and re-read Formerly Known As... and I Can't Believe It's Not... about a hundred times now.

At least we got a new Batgirl and Birds of Prey, so The Lady will be happy when she next gets her comics.

P-P-P-P-PULL LIST! Late Version! - 08/24

- Adventures of Superman #643;

Superman… can be a very dull character. Aside from being the very icon on which other Super-Heroes are based, Big Blue is also a little too powerful. When a character flies through the sun to clean his costume, what drama is there? What challenges are there he can’t simply right with his god-like powers? I guess other people felt that way, so he got seriously powered down after the last Crisis.

Wait, no, second to last Crisis.

Soon to be third previous Crisis.

Way to name your events, DC.

Anyway, since this journal should probably be called “Gay For Rucka!”, it’s not a huge surprise to the lot of you that I do pick up Adventures when it comes out in trade format. But since I got suckered into picking up all of the Sacrifice arc like the rest of you rubes, when this follow-up hit the shelves, I scooped it up.

Thankfully, in spite of my complaints and Rucka’s apologies, I really like the Sacrifice storyline. It’s a little violent, but violence in comic books is nothing new, and when you’re dissolving the trust between The Three Musketeers of the DCU, bold strokes are neccissary.

This issue is almost entirely talking heads (not the band), so we get some damn fine characterizations. Superman is filled with shame, confusion, and more of the flawed morality that fuels his distrust Wonder Woman. Batman is completely self-assured and over-confident as usual, but his regular brooding and contemplation are replaced with a blinding fury. After the shockingly brutal fight between Wonder Woman and Superman at the climax of the story, this third act wind-down of talking heads is quite welcome.

- The OMAC Project #5;

Omac is my favorite of the Countdown miniseries, a good mix of suspense and spy-fiction and now big-time Super-Hero action. The penultimate issue features the reuniting of Giffen’s Justice League, and it’s a blast to see them duking it out with the Omacs. I can only hope that Booster Gold’s new square-jawiness is the result of his two best friend’s deaths (That’s right, I’m counting Skeetz!) and not a new direction for the character. I’m not looking for a stubbly, trench-coat-wearing Booster, thank you. That being said, I’m excited for what this has been leading to, and the last page makes me tingly with anticipation.


It’s odd.

Normally big crossovers turn me off. They seem like big money-making schemes and make me nervous that things will be shaken up in baaaaaad ways afterwards. See: What I wrote on House of M. But now… Now for some reason I’m really into everything leading into Infinite Crisis. I think the execution has been well thought out, and now that everything’s coming together I’m excited for new issues again. I always enjoyed getting the next part of the story, but with this I’m craving the next issue to see where this is going. In case you’re not sure, Casey Like.

- Teen Titans #27;


I just don’t know what anyone is thinking by publishing this.

Did someone want to punish Gail Simone? Did she wrong someone in some way that she deserves having her writing, which never dips below par and sometimes shoots into excellence, cursed by this creature’s pencils?

Poor form, DC.

- Daredevil #76;

Sooooooooooo excited for this new story-arc. The last one was definitely a mark in the miss column, but I can forgive it if this, the last of the Bendis Daredevil work for now, pays off the way I hope it does.

This story covers the year Matt Murdock took over as Kingpin, and I can not wait to read it. Flipping through it, I saw Milla, my favorite of the Matt Murdock love-interests (I know, blasphemy in the Church of Frank Miller), and I yet again saw a panel of Ben Urich getting stabbed through the chest with a sai, so, you know, already the makings of a classic.

Current Comics! My Word, What A Strange Thing This Internet Is! - 08/31

You know, for a man who spends a great deal of his ch-ch-change on c-c-comics, I don't really get many each week. My ample budget for trades must suck most of it. I probably shouldn't say budget as that implies a more structured spending than going "OOH! PRETTY!" and plopping down fifteen to twenty dollars.

- Flash #225;


Sorry, I was having a Freddie Mercury moment, mustache and all.

This is, sadly, scribe Geoff John's last issue on the book he arguably made great. I was never into the Mark Waid work on the character, an odditity considering how much I enjoy Waid's other works with Wally's predecessor in JLA: Year One and The Brave and the Bold. It wasn't until the Blitz story that someone pointed me the way of John's Flash. Zoom was on the cover, and that's all it took for me to pick it up. Scott Kolin's artwork was his usual flashy, silver-agey excellence. The man draws people like Captain Boomerang in an unappologetically silly way to the point they look cool. For other examples, check out a highly underrated Avengers miniseries, Earth's Mightiest Heroes. This was Kolin's last story on the book, but as I've praised it for in the past, instead of just picking someone who could draw the Flash well, the book picked artists based on what kind of story Johns wanted to tell: Alberto Dose's noirish, bleak pencils for when Wally was lost without his alter-ego and then finally to Howard Porter's more modern-style pencils, his best stuff since the early days of JLA.

Now Johns is the one leaving the Speedster, and he's going out with a bang. And Fwsssssh, and a Boing! and a FRZZZZZZZ and whatever other noises the various Rogue's powers make while they're tearing up Keystone City. The final chapter of Rogue War hopes to pay off on the return of a key Flash villian, tie up the war, unleash some new slash old foes for future villains and point to Wally's role in Crisis. It was some of the best tights fights you could find for a long, long time... you'll be missed in this corner of the DCU, Geoff.

- Wonder Woman #220;

Wonder Woman in handcuffs!

William Moulton Marston Marston would be proud, that nutty bastard.

This ish has everyone's favorite buxom amazon dealing with her actions in Sacrifice. I think the difference between this and last week's Adventures of Superman will be Wonder Woman's lack of moping and more defending her convictions. She didn't seem bothered at all by what happened, and in one reader's opinion, she shouldn't be. Proud to see they're choosing to explore the darker side of superheroics in someone who isn't the Punisher or Superman. As long as good ol' Greg Rucka brings it back and keeps it true to the character like he's been doing, it'll be on my favorites every month.

- Powers #13;

That's right, breath deep. It's that time of the month, when you push aside New Avengers... dig deep through the piles of unsold House of M's, Scrooge McDuck Style, and emerge triumphant with pure Bendis goodness. Fresh air at last.

I love Powers. The stories aren't always the most original, but they shouldn't be. They're bouncing off our expectations for the super-hero genre, so when things go as wrong as they do in the world of Detectives Walker and Pilgrim, our familiar footing is pulled right out from under us. Plus I'm a sucker for any dialog that could be described as "Mamet-Esque" yet still somehow retains it's own voice.

This issue starts a new story-arc, and deals with the rather gruesome events of the previous arc. If you haven't been following along, plop down some dough for the first trade, Who Killed Retro Girl, or if you're feeling particularly saucy you can get the new hardcover Marvel just put out. You won't be sorry for long.

- The Ultimates 2, Vol. 1 - Gods and Monsters TPB;

If Michael Bay got ahold of the Avengers, a brain and a fair dose of wit, The Ultimates would be his baby. It's violent, it's MTV "sexy", but what makes it work is that it's completely self-aware and heaps on the irony higher than the Hulk. It does have an unfortunate tendency to ship late, and after the first series' final issue shipped, I swore that I'd only buy it in trade, as the high-octane pace this book tends to keep can be ruined by it's late shipping schedule.

This trade covers the first half of Mark Millar and Bryan Hitch's second go-around, which features the trial of the Hulk, (sorry, no John Ryhs Davis this time), and the revelation of exactly where Thor comes from... or is it? Ok, so I read them in the store, sue me. Not for everyone, but if you're looking for an Avengers book filled with extreme violence and absurd realism that brings it firmly into the realm of satire, look no further.

- Wha, Huh?
Oh my stars and garters.

Bendis and Mahfood poke fun at pretty much any and everything Marvel. Mahfood seems like the go-to guy when it comes to Marvel tounge-in-cheek, as he did two rather absurd issues of Spectacular Spider-Man wherein the Sandman is a sentient beach who eats people at MTV's Spring Break, one issue of the sadly short-lived and underrated Ultimate Marvel Team-Up with the aforementioned Bendis with a somewhat psychadelic Fantastic Four, and the most bizare issue of Spider-Man: Tangled Web you can (and should) get. Excitement abounds.

So that OPUS is the post I've been working on for the past week and a half, plus a few more paragraphs I'll spare you from for another day or to. Thanks for your patience, I'm hoping to get back on a regular schedule soon.

When I do unleash those paragraphs, I'll review the three trades I picked up last week and give a few words on Bryan Singer's television baby, House M.D., featuring the surly Hugh Laurie.

Until Next Time, True Believers.


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