Friday, January 23, 2015

Weekly Pull List 1-14-15

Light weeks these past two weeks. I will start with Terrible Lizard 3. Cullen Bunn and Drew Moss bring us the time displaced Tyrannosaur. After being chased into the city by the military, Wrex has to battle a pair of giant, armored, roly polys appear through a time portal. A great escalation of the story. This is still a kid focused book, so it's not super complex, but it is great fun. I'm excited to see where it's going. 3 out of 5.

Lazarus 14 from Image came out and escalates all the tensions as Forever helps her brother break out into the middle of the ocean and the conclave agrees the conflict will be decided with trial by combat. Forever vs. one of her other Lazarus friends. Another excellent tale which promises a wonderful climax. 3.5 out of 5.

And on to the big surprise of the week. Marvel's Star Wars 1 by Jason Aaron. The flagship book of Marvel's triumphant reboot of the Star Wars universe comics. Taking place shortly after the destruction of the first Death Star, this book perfectly captures the grandeur and style of the original trilogy. It's going to be a tricky book as it will have the same problems as any sort of prequel where the stakes won't be too high since we know the end game. The story involves a raid on Cymoon, the fully automated largest weapons factory in the galaxy. Naturally, things go awry when the Falcon gets dismantled and Vader shows up. Cassaday's art superbly captures the beauty of the movies. Like most of Aaron's work, I'm super excited for some more. 4 out of 5.

Now onto this week's books. First off is Loki: Agent of Asgard 10. A wonderful little tale of brotherly love, disappointment, and betrayal. This issue gets into some history of the characters that I don't remember. I'm guessing its from the Matt Fraction Mighty Thor era which I own, but is still on my reading stack. This book continues to surprise me. It has a totally light-hearted, fun feel to it and has enough mystery to keep things fresh. Ewing's words are beautifully matched by the gorgeous stylings of Lee Garbett. This issue took some very serious turns and drove some wonderful tension between Loki and his adopted brother. The only problem I have with this book is that it references the fight between Odinson and the goddess of thunder in Thor 4. Which comes out next week. A minor problem that could easily be fixed by delaying this issue for one week. 4 out of 5.

Magneto 14 picks up with SHIELD moving in on Erik as he wanders Genosha. He takes them all on after doping on some mutant growth hormone and takes most of them out before surrendering. There's an extremely tense flashback scene where Magneto tries to stand up to the mega sentinel the last time Genosha got leveled. He magnetizes some metal into his legs to make braces so he can walk. This book can be a potential turning point for the character. He surrenders after admitting that along with SHIELD, Magneto was also not there when the mutants faced one of their biggest tragedies. Unsurprisingly, I am a fan of Cullen Bunn and his work, and Walta's art is a natural companion to the mysterious story. 4 out of 5.

Lastly, IDW came out with G.I.Joe: Snake Eyes: Agent of Cobra 1. This is another book that seems to skip over something big that came out of what I haven't read yet. It's a very interesting take on the character as he is working with Cobra to rescue and be an errand boy for Destro. It's a very odd scenario and the question of why is enough to keep me around for a bit. We find out what Snake Eyes' main goal is for the time being: getting close to Cobra Commander's son. It's quite strange having a book whose main character is mute. They made it work in this one by having Destro around and talking nonstop, but we will see how things continue from there. A decent start to a series. I have no idea how it will continue to do, but I'm in for a bit at least. 3 out of 5. 

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Weekly Pull List 1-7-2015

Happy New Year! Let's start it off right with some catch up! Catch up in the sense that I didn't pick up any new books for a couple weeks when I was back in Illinois for a wedding and the holidays. So some of these books came out on Christmas Eve, but I didn't get them until this week.

Alright, I will start with Marvel and Storm 7. I thought I had dropped this book already, but apparently it was Nightcrawler that I dropped. I'm really glad it worked out that way. This issue starts off a little bit of a spy story. Storm wakes up in a basement prison, entrapped by the FBI. She confers with Beast, Nightcrawler and Rachel Grey telepathically. There are protestors protesting to free her when she uses her old school thieving skills to escape. Storm then assaults a corrupt senator who was behind blaming her for the plane attack by going all big-bad-wolf on his house. All while having a broken ankle. With an end goal of finding the name of the man behind it. This book was excellent. Greg Pak has really hit his stride finally. Storm escapes by using her old school thievery skills from her time on the street. It's always good to see a character not have to use their powers in order to get out of a situation. All around good episode. There’s so much going on in this issue and all of it is interesting. There’s corporate espionage, action, adventure, hard sci-fi, and the works. A great issue that makes me interested in the next few issues. 4.5 out of 5.

My other Marvel, non-Axis book is Magneto 13. Even though Magneto is pretty involved with Axis, this book follows Briar Raleigh, Erik’s new partner in crime. She visits some sort of black market Magneto fan club-museum thing. It’s a pretty odd book. It feels like a really strange one-off that sets up a potential arc where SHIELD is looking for Magneto and will try to get Briar to help. There’s a few shots of Magneto wandering around Genosha, brooding about the loss of mutants. A nice issue. definitely feels fresh and sets up a dark story. 3.5 out of 5.

Now let's jump over to Image for Rasputin 3. Grigori wakes up after what appears to be a drunken orgy and follows a little ice fairy out into the icy wilderness where an ice spirit who was created by Ded Moroz, a slavic myth similar to Santa Claus. Translated to "old man frost". He's a mysterious giant and the strong and quiet type. The snegurochka (ice spirit) talks to our title character about his healing powers and how the waters of life are fluid and when he gives people life, a part of them goes into Rasputin. Meanwhile, our giant friend from the monastery wakes up Mr. Dulac to tell him a tale of the man who found the water of life. It's an intriguing book that explores a couple of different histories and mythologies and promises an excellent,  sufficiently weird story going forth. 5 out of 5.

From the wonderfully fantastic to the mysteriously horrific with Outcast 6. This issue is a bit of a wrap up to the first arc. Kyle and the priest visit the old lady at the end of last issue, and it continues here. The creepy guy, Sidney, comes out of the shadows and creeps them out. Later, Sidney shows up at the priest's house and threatens him to not get involved any further, while Kyle has a flashback to when he used his powers on his mother. A very solid, fun issue. There's lots of tension and suspense. Kirkman does some good work. I'm guessing he will do some good work over the next 2 or 3 arcs before it starts being too stale and repetitive. 4 out of 5.

Now over to Green Arrow 38 at DC. A fun little Green Lantern/Green Arrow tale. They meet up with Katana who also has been tracking King and apparently ARGUS has been compromised. A fun little tale. I like the Katana character and I will be picking up the trade of her series at some  point in the near future. A solid issue, furthering the plot of King turning all of Seattle against Oliver as the Green Arrow. It should be a nice, fun little story. We will see. 3.5 out of 5.

Vertigo gave us Wolf Moon 2 of 6. Some more gruesome violence and creative world building make this book an excellent, yet creepy read. I really enjoy getting to know the main characters and learning about this clever new werewolf take along with them. I'm excited to learn more and to meet the mysterious hunter who is taking out the previous werewolf hosts. A creepy story which is excellently set up and intriguing to the last page. 4 out of 5.

Lastly Sixth Gun: Days of the Dead 4. Yum Kimil has entered the world, Drake Sinclair shows up and will probably do something next issue, Jesup and Roberto plot to take down the lord of death whilst he sews together some dead guys to make a crazy zombie monster to hunt them down. Solid issue, but it's a middle story so nothing huge going on. With probably a 6 issue series here it's well on the way to being another excellent addition to the Sixth Gun mythology. 4 out of 5. 

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Monthly Pull List December 2014

Alright, rapid catch up on all the books from last year. Now that the news is out, I got married on New Years Eve. It was a very successful surprise wedding. We were planning it throughout the end of the year which is why I've been so sporadic with these. As I head back to work in the new year, I will be working hard to get a set schedule rolling and stay on top of things. Alright, here we go.

Storm 6 starts off with some epilogue on the Death of Wolverine story, then it does a nice little tale of Storm flying a charter flight and dealing with a bit of Mutant hate. It's a fairly powerful story where she has to overcome adversity and fear in order to save the plane from a paramilitary attack. This issue was almost enough to get me interested in keeping with it for a few more issues, but I already dropped it at the store. The art is still pretty good. The cover is a pretty fantastic shot from inside the plane as someone records Storm fighting outside the window. It's a beautiful page. 4 out of 5.

Nightcrawler 9 came out as well. Nightcrawler up against a bunch of X-men and space pirates. There are some flashbacks to Kurt talking with Kitty and reminiscing about a time she was with Wolverine, in a mini-series that I read about 2 months ago. The story ends with Nightcrawler cornered. I hope that this story wraps up in the next issue so I can drop the book without feeling like I'm missing anything. Art is okay, as usual. Not much else to say about this book. 3 out of 5.

And the usual winner of Marvel, Thor 3. A three-way battle rages between the Goddess of Thunder, Dario Agger, and Malekith leading the Frost Giants. The battle sways back and forth quite epicly, only to be ended by Thor, with his metal hand, showing up and challenging his new replacement. Another epic issue that fully intrigues and entices me. Always a pleasure to read Aaron's work and Dauterman's art has certainly earned it's way into this book. Excellent book. 4.5 out of 5.

Next, we go over to IDW for G.I.Joe 4. Tensions rise as the Joes, Cobra and Rashidov and his separatists run covert ops to get ahead of each other. Excellently written and drawn even better, this book improves with every issue. While there may be a way for this issue to be better, I'm certainly not seeing it. 5 out of 5.

Over to DC we have Green Arrow 37. This book has the same problems I foresee it having for the extent of Kreisberg and Sokolowski's run. It feels like an alternate Arrow. That being said, I will not complain about that anymore. They set up a mysterious crime lord, John King, and introduced his daughter Mia as a new sidekick character. It feels a little too fan-fic, but it's actually a fun read. I'm hoping this arc keeps picking up. Art-wise, Daniel Sampere seems to be trying to mimic Andrea Sorrentino's art. It doesn't quite work as well, but I like it pretty well. It's a step in the right direction, at the very least. 3.5 out of 5.

DC's imprint Vertigo put out Wolf Moon 1. This is Cullen Bunn's take on a werewolf tale. He twists the lore a bit and makes the werewolf an abstract phenomenon that transfers to a new person on a monthly basis instead of being a single person. The main character has a personal vendetta against the wold and goes out to hunt it. There's a dark mystery to the book, Bunn's specialty, and Jeremy Haun's art is the perfect creepy and dark style to enhance the story. As far as first issues go, it doesn't get much better than this. 4.5 out of 5.

Now over to Bunn's other creepy, indie, mystery: The Empty Man 6 of 6. The end of the first mini-series in this strange new world. The ending wasn't incredibly satisfying, but the setup for what comes next is pretty great. Del Rey's art is great. I must say, it's pretty annoying that this book was marketed as x of 6. It implies there will be an end to the story. I'm fine with season ore mini-series style books, it's just mildly annoying that it's not clear from the start. Another great installation into the Bunn library. 4.5 out of 5.

Time to finish off with some Oni books. Terrible Lizard 2 starts off with a fight between Wrex and a giant gorilla with a stone crab-like claw. There's some good fighting, and loads of fun. Plot-wise it's a little slow, which is okay since it's geared towards kids. Mostly, this is just a really fun book without mush in the way of stakes or gravitas. I'll probably drop after the first arc. 3.5 out of 5.

Brides of Helheim 3 is next in this week's Cullen Bunn Pull List. Rikard is bringing the old sorcerer back home to answer to the witches and repay his blood debt. Promises/threats are made and they are greeted by the long-waiting Sigrid upon hitting shore, only to have the sorcerer turn her into or release a Valkyrie. Thus setting up a battle against someone the draugr is actually threatened by. A great read. A tense battle of wits as the pair of ungodly characters Jonah across the sea in a monstrous fish, who is being attacked by all the monsters enraged by the sorcerer's presence. A great read, and a wonderful setup for next issue? Yes, please! 4 out of 5.

Lastly, The Sixth Gun 45. A nicely crafted issue. Bookended by a chronicling of Screaming Crow and how he met the Chief of Thunder. The stage is almost set. Griselda has oiled the seal with the blood of the townspeople and taken care of the pesky thunderbirds. There was a surprise visit from an old friend, and all sorts of violence. A great way to set up the end of a series. 4.5 out of 5.