Weekly Pull Review 2/4/15

Saga #25- Image

SAGA! Saga Saga Saga Saga Saga! Saga! …Okay, I might be a little excited. Just a little. But… Saga. In all honesty, if I had to pick a favorite comic from my pull, it would have to be Saga. So fucking good. The newest volume of Saga opens up with depressing backstory, depressing story, depressing foreshadowing, dragon piss, an axe wielding baby seal (hi Ghüs!), Hazel being adorable, half a planet, Dengo making poor decisions that are going to draw the family farther into the middle of the war, and… well… Dunno what else I have to say there, actually, because spoilers. (Seriously, though, why aren’t you reading Saga yet?) Despite following up with the majority of the cast, it even finds time to introduce- or at least show- new characters, without it feeling like a particular intrusion into the screen-time of the rest of the cast. Also, Sophie has glasses now, and Lying Cat is being taught tact!

Hawkeye #21- Marvel

After a nearly five month delay, we finally got more Hawkeye- it’s just too bad that next issue is the last of Matt Fraction and David Aja’s run. This issue is very much an ode to the John Wayne film Rio Bravo, which is actually the name of the issue. (For those of you who’ve seen of Assault on Precinct 13- that’s basically an updated version of Rio Bravo). This issue, well… it’s goddamn heavy. One of the opening scenes has Clint sending the children and other noncombatants away from the building to safety as they prep the apartment building for battle against the Tracksuit Draculas. This issue is rapidly pulling together all of the elements that Fraction and Aja have been pulling together over the course of their run. Grills even gets a bit of postmortem vengeance. The sheer amount of work that was put into this comic becomes more and more apparent with every readthrough. The good guys don’t get a victory without paying a real, heavy price for it- and not the hilariously forgettable, easily brushed off price you’re used to in superhero comics. This is what a superhero comic should be. Boomerang arrow: it comes back to you in the end.

Ms. Marvel #11- Marvel

Issue #11 of Ms. Marvel brings the current arc to a close with the showdown between Ms. Marvel and Thomas Edison, megalomaniac humanoid cockatiel. I’m not quite as fond of Ms. Marvel as I am of Hawkeye, but that’s like saying I’m not quite as fond of pizza as I am of ice cream- I still like it a fucking ton. Kamala Khan, the test tube kids, a live rat on a stick, and Lockjaw must stand up against Edison and his giant robot(s). Also, Edison’s arm controller has a big red button that is labeled “Nuke it”. This comic is insane in the absolute best sort of way.

Nameless #1- Image

Grant Morrison’s newest series involves weird Lovecraftian dreamscapes, fishmen, an asteroid named Xibalba carved with eldritch runes plummeting towards the earth, and a protagonist who gave up his name (Hi, Kevin Costner!) to evade his horrifying, otherworldy enemies. The art and premise are great, and I’m definitely pretty psyched for issue 2.

East of West #17- Image

I’ve loved this series for a while (I grew up on westerns, and science fiction is my genre of choice), but one of my complaints has been that the characters, while undoubtedly well fleshed out and interesting, simply fail to arouse a lot of sympathy in me. They’re simply all terrible people, all bearing convoluted machinations and hidden motives. I’ve finally found two characters that I actually feel some sympathy for, though: Prince John of the Kingdom, and Bablyon, Beast of the Apocalypse. Prince John is just too operatic, swashbuckling, and headstrong to dislike. Babylon- well, for a kid whose every view of the real world is filtered to him by a malevolent AI, who is being hunted by three of the four horsemen of the apocalypse, and who is destined to destroy everything, is really cute and precocious.

Birthright #5- Image

Birthright continues to maintain the high quality you’d expect out of Image’s Skybound title, it proves that Robert Kirkman’s strategy of chaining comic book crea… wait, I made that joke last time. Anyhow, Mikey kills Ward, Brennan starts to suspect that everything might not be kosher with Mikey, and there’s a plot twist at the end! Ooooh, surprising. It’s pretty good, I’m just tired and trying to rush through the reviews, since they’re already really late.

Velvet #9- Image

Brubaker and Epting are having fun with this one. Lies compound on lies as the curtain pulls back to reveal a whole new spy game behind the one we’re watching. This one also builds up to a train scene- I love well done train scenes. Part of it is due to my love of trains when I was a child (I was obsessed with them. Whenever one went by, we had to stop so I could count the cars.), part of it is due to the creativity it forces on writers. When your characters are trapped in a linear environment like a train, it forces the writer to think of clever ways to make things interesting. Plus, you can have scenes with characters just sitting around and talking that still have scene changes and visual interest, thanks to the views out the window.

Hellboy and the BPRD 1952 #3- Dark Horse

Talking crocodiles, retro cyborg monkeys… this is the Hellboy we’ve grown to know and love. The pace has finally started to pick up, which is great. It’s no Hellboy in Hell (Mountain need more Hellboy in Hell), but it’s still excellent.