Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Weekly Pull List 6-18-14

Short week this week. The first book I picked up was due to me listening to Fatman on Batman 66 where they read through the first issue of Batman 66 meets the Green Hornet. It's a fun book if you're a fan of the Adam West series. I've enjoyed what I've seen of it and the movie so I had fun. I don't remember the villain, General Gumm (former Colonel) but he is supposedly from the TV show episode where they met the Green Hornet for the first time. The dialogue is a little jarring to read as it's written so well in the style of the show and reads rather oddly. I'm not a huge fan of the art. Everything has a thick black outline on it and it doesn't work for me. It's almost as if a child drew everything in a big sharpie. The biggest problem of having such bland artwork is that the cover is by Alex Ross so it is incredibly beautiful. Doesn't work great for me overall. Which is why listening to it over at the link above is a good choice. 3 out of 5.

Thor God of Thunder 23 is the other book I picked up. This book picks up shortly after the last book took place. It took just enough of a leap in time to make it feel like I had missed something. Even though there was nothing important to the story that was glossed over at all, it felt off for a while. An epic battle rages between King Thor and Galactus whilst today's Thor battles the Minotaur under Broxton. An extremely awesome conclusion to the last days of Midgard story. I like how Aaron doesn't use 6 issue arcs all the time. It keeps the book feeling fresh. Ribic again does beautiful work. All in all one of the better issues of this series so far. No real complaints to speak of. This story could've been a half issue longer as it was a bit rushed at the end. Otherwise it's all around excellent. 4.5 out of 5.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Weekly Pull List 6-4-14

I got a handful of books this week. First I will start with the Amazing X-Men title. There was issue 8 and annual 1. I'll start with the annual. It comprises two parts. The first is a story where they go to Africa to confront a monster from Storm's past and the 2nd is a history of Firestar with art as if it was drawn by a child. The Storm arc is great and a lot of fun. Art is absolutely beautiful. All the characters are crisp and emotional and there is an obscene amount of atmospheric art (dirt, sand, etc) that really enhances the entire book. I love it. The second part serves as a scrapbook honoring Firestar. There's a page that's only a faux-Egyptian style painting, one that's "drawn" by a student on his math notebook. Incredibly interesting idea. Execution wasn't great. There's several pages and they are all different, making it feel disjointed and choppy. As a collection of art it's pretty cool. As a story being told, it is pretty lame. Overall a decent annual. I'd give it a 3.5 out of 5 all together.

In Amazing X-Men 8 starts of the World War Wendigo story. Wolverine goes to Canada and meets an old friend only to try to find someone. Turns out he was attacked by a wendigo. Turns out there's tons of them. The other X-Men hope to get there in time to save Wolverine (who has no healing factor anymore.) Okay book. Not a huge fan of Wolverine, but he was used excellently. He's sniffing out a crime scene all detective-like. I like seeing a side of Wolverine that's not the tear everybody apart side. The art is pretty cool. Not incredible in any fashion, but also no problems with it. Solid book. 3 out of 5.

Next up Loki Agent of Asgard 5. Crazy fun book. Loki and Lorelei break into Asgard to find Sigurd and such. This issue acts the same as a third act of a heist movie where they reveal the twist and how they managed to pull it off. Super fun. Art is super cool looking. Where this book ends isn't great, but the journey totally works for me. It's fun which is exactly what I want from a comic book. 4 out of 5.

I finally found Magneto 3 so I was able to catch up on that series. In issue 3, Magneto infiltrates the Sentinel factory and he destroys it. In issue 4, he follows a lead to find some of the mutant smugglers to take them out. In issue 5, he meets a stalker of his and eventually agrees to have her help him. Bunn does great work on this series. The only real complaint I have is that it's moving pretty slowly. It's nice that the issues are fairly stand alone so they work fairly well on their own. Artwork on this book is by Gabriel Fernandez Walta and is wonderful. It has a nice watercolor feel to it, while being beautifully precise. I'll give these 3 collectively a 4.5 out of 5.

Last up for Marvel is Nightcrawler 3. Nightcrawler brings Amanda and their sorcerer friend Margali back to the mansion and fighting breaks out. All of a sudden many, many trimegas show up for a fight. It's a fairly decent read. Not super great, but it's alright. I've got probably 3 issues left for this to amaze me before I drop it. There is a really nice scene between Kurt and Logan in this issue. Logan's all friendly and brotherly towards him and it's a really great moment for both of them. 3 out of 5.

Now let's head over to Boom! Studios for The Empty Man issue 1. A new series by Cullen Bunn. It follows a multi-agency task force assigned to investigate a series of deaths somehow linked to the "empty man." It's unclear if it is some sort of virus, a supernatural monster, or just a plain old fashioned serial killer. Bunn doesn't disappoint with his ability to build the world and an incredible intrigue in what's going on. Can't wait to read more. Vaness R. Del Rey is on art and it looks gorgeous. There's a really sketchy style to it that really works in the horror genre. The characters are pretty decent so far, granted we haven't really seen them much. As usual Cullen Bunn has delivered a masterpiece. Incredible intro to the story and the world. 5 out of 5.

I also picked up Futures End 5 and 6 but don't really remember anything that happened. It's fairly uninteresting and most of the characters feel off due to it taking place 5 years in the future and they aren't the characters that we know now. It's not a great book. So I will be dropping it. Meh out of 5.

Justice League United 2 is another book that's not groundbreaking. It might as well be called Exposition United as it's a lot of talking. It serves the plot of the book, but doesn't do much else. These types of issues are a great argument for waiting for the trade so you can move right on in the story. Art still works fine and I am looking forward to a new arc in this book. That said, I did enjoy the brutal fighting between Lobo and Hawkman. Pretty excellent. 3 out of 5.

Over in Green Arrow 32 Oliver returns to Seattle only to find a super villain team-up in progress and Diggle kidnapped by Richard Dragon. Still my favorite art in a book on a monthly basis. There's some flashbacks that have stylized golden-age art look to them. The story has moments that feel fairly familiar but they are woven together in a new way to make it feel fresh. Great book as usual and it sets up a new story that promises to be good. 4.5 out of 5.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Weekly Pull List May Pt. 2

Time to play some catch up. Been a bit busy with moving halfway across the country so I let this get away from me. So let's begin. A lot has been happening in the DC Universe. Most of it has been fairly uninteresting to me. I will start with Justice League United 1. The crew assembled in the 0 issue are battling some giant monster that got released last issue. It changes between rock, fire, lightning, etc to battle everyone. As the creature goes to reform, they teleport for a faraway world. Meanwhile, Lobo fights Hawkman and brings him to scientists who have created "Ultra the multi-alien... The slayer of worlds." from the DNA of thousands of prisoners from across the galaxy. Still build up for a story that may be interesting, but the cosmic stuff typically doesn't do much for me. It's a fine book, but definitely nothing special. 2 out of 5.

Now the big new weekly event. Futures End issues 2-4. Issue 2 is Green Arrow's funeral where everyone is sad and it calls back to the relationship between Ollie and Animal man that we see beginning in Justice League United 1. Issue 3 is mostly Grifter researching something and Lois finding out that Red Robin is alive. Issue 4 is Red Robin realizing that Batman Beyond is here and Frankenstein invades S.H.A.D.E. and gets recruited to avenge his former lover. Plastique and some other guy recruit coil for a "last job" which involves breaking into Terrifitech. Grifter finds a lead to the same but gets zapped and knocked out. Overall, I'm bored with this story. It's a lot of characters I have almost no interest in. The one's I want to know more of (Firestorm, Batman Beyond) are all peripheral characters who have yet to take part. I will probably continue picking this up, but I started getting it thinking it was a 12 or 13 issue series and not a 52 week thing. So I don't really see myself going all the way, but it has until I miss an issue or at least a few more issues to pick up a bit before I'm out. 2 out of 5.

Next up is the conclusion of the Outsiders War in Green Arrow 31. Death, destruction, moral quandaries, etc. all wrap up this story fairly quickly. It's a good arc, but it ended rather abruptly and works out a little too nicely. It's pretty awesome how the Diggle story that we've seen bits and pieces of over the last few issues is now heading toward being the focus of the book. I wish there had been another issue of wrap up for the story. This one felt a little rushed and like everything is crammed in too tightly. Art-wise, still an excellent book. Can't wait to see what Lemire does with the gang of classic Green Arrow villains he introduces at the end. 4 out of 5.

Over on the other side I had Loki: Agent of Asgard 4. A fun little issue and a bit of a battle of wits. The twists are a little heavy handed, but didn't hurt it too badly. The dialogue is fairly painful as it feels like an older person trying to talk like the "cool kids nowadays" and it just comes off forced and awkward. Quite a bit of fun, but this story isn't the best. Solid book with pretty awesome art. 3.5 out of 5.

Nightcrawler 2 follows Nightcrawler and Amanda as they return to the circus of their childhood in hopes of finding some answers. They scuffle but the automaton Trimega shows up. Boring. The issue is a fun read, but there's no real movement in the story. There's nothing that really changes between the beginning and the end. It feels like a filler issue. Which is awful because it's number 2. I'll give it a couple more issues, but I don't think it'll last. 1.5 out of 5.

Continuing in Marvel, Amazing X-Men 7. Firestar and Bobby are going shopping for the mansion. Yes you read that correctly. That's the premise of this issue. Then a baby shows up in their cart and Spider-Man arrives chasing him. They take him back to his alien parents. This may be the dumbest comic I've ever read. Definitely this year. Art is cool, but this is obviously a filler issue as it's not Jason Aaron who wrote it. Pretty, but lame. 0.5 out of 5

Thor God of Thunder 22 wraps up my Marvel stuff so far. This is still a great book. The girls of Thunder still fight Galactus whilst Thor the Avenger and Rosalind explore Roxxon's shenanigans and find out about the Trolls under Broxton causing all the sinkholes. Heck of a fun read. I love this book. Both stories are incredibly intriguing and a lot of fun. Classic Thor tale. The end has a great call back to the first arc of the series which ties things together quite nicely. Artwrk is gorgeous as always. 5 out of 5.

Now onto the smaller sector. Serenity Leaves on the Wind 5. Fun issue. It builds up to the final issue next month in an exciting way. It looks to be a solid arc as a whole, setting up another rebellion and whatnot. Action-wise this is the issue where the art really doesn't work. There's a lot of excellent action and fighting, but the art isn't crisp enough to make things clear. There are several panels that aare just awkward and confusing to look at. It's a little disjointed as well. The flow isn't as smooth as some other issues. The jumps between character stories are a bit hard to follow. Still love this book and cannot wait to finish off the first arc. 4 out of 5.

Over at Image I got Velvet 5. This issue dives into Velvet's past and gives you more information about why what is happening is so hard on her. It is incredible character stuff and it manages to work as a declaration of intent on the future of the series. I'm excited to go back and read the first 5 issues that serve as a great introduction to this world and a hint of the main antagonist of the series: the corruption within Velvet Templeton's organization. I imagine I will likely pick this up in trade format in the future to make it easier to get people into this series. Brubaker does a great job of going into the past and making us care a lot about the situation and the characters even if they aren't the normal or most important ones. Incredible book. This series is one of my favorite. 5 out of 5.

Last up is Sixth Gun 40. Everyone knows how I feel about this book so I will keep it short. This issue leads right into the endgame. This series is supposed to end with issue 50 so Bunn and Hurtt are bringing it around towards the final conflict. This issue did feel a bit rushed, but also had some really cool character moments that were excellent to see. They also dismiss a possible time travel argument in a few lines of dialogue. It's always funny when writers acknowledge the complaints that readers will have before they happen. Anyways, good book and I'll be back for more. 4.5 out of 5.