Marvel

Weekly Pull Review 1/11/15

Sorry it’s late, I know. It’s been an interesting couple of weeks.

Satellite Sam #11- Image

“Is that a gun?” “No, I’m just happy to see you.”  Satellite Sam returns after a lengthy delay (I’m not sure exactly how long of one, I jumped in following issue 10. I picked up all the back issues in September, though, so… at least that long? Yeah, looked it up, September.) Generally speaking, I’d throw Satellite Sam below the divide, just for the cover art (I guess so as not to shock some random visitor to my site, maybe?), but the cover on this one is pretty tame compared to usual. While much of the attention Satellite Sam gets is focused on all of the sex, office politics, and backstabbing, I actually enjoy the hole it pokes in the image of the 50’s the most. Over the years, I’ve grown thoroughly sick and tired of people glorifying the 50s- they were a vile, hateful time, and Satellite Sam wallows in some of the worst of it. Not seeing it sugar-coated for once feels pretty good. Black and white art is also something I usually avoid- I think that Satellite Sam is the first black and white miniseries I’ve had in my pull since Snapshot, and that came out a couple of years ago. I just usually don’t enjoy black and white. I’ve tried several times to get into The Walking Dead, but the black and white art just doesn’t do it for me. (Plus, I’m not especially excited about the idea of reading through the sheer amount of back-issues there.) Satellite Sam, however, manages to get past my dislike of black and white comics, largely through its use of detailed backgrounds and easily distinguishable characters.

Thor #5- Marvel

The new Thor starts to settle into her role as Thor, and we finally get to leave the Roxxon floating fortress. (Seriously, four issues in one spot? My attention span is way too short for that.) We also get to see Odin being his pissy, self-important, argumentative self, his brother, Cul Borson, god of fear, big bad of the Fear Itself crossover event (have I mentioned that I largely hate crossover events? Because I really do) has returned at his side to serve as Asgardian Minister of Justice (which can’t possibly go wrong, can it? Surely he won’t turn on Odin and be a bad guy. Surely. Also, I just bought a bridge from a trustworthy looking fellow.) Meanwhile, Thor beats up the Absorbing Man and Titania (watching her punch out Creel with a thought balloon saying “That’s for saying feminist like it’s a four-letter word, creep” was pretty satisfying) and chats with Freyja. Unworthy Thor is still trying to figure out who the new Thor is. (I’m still betting on Roz Solomon.) Also, he’s drinking a lot. Overall, I’m pretty happy that they’re finally out of that damn fortress.

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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.

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Weekly Pull Review 1/28/15

This is an absurdly good week for my comics. I mean, hell yes.

Sex Criminals #10- Image

Sex Criminals is, without a doubt, the single funniest goddamn thing in my pull. Especially the letters column. Oh my god the letters column. Yes. In all seriousness, though- this comic has amazingly developed characters. Jon and Suzie are way more sympathetic than… well, damn near any other comic book characters out there. Almost certainly the best comic book couple. Alana and Marko from Saga have them beat, maaaaayyyybeee? Hard to say. You can definitely feel Fraction’s style in here- comics he writes tend to have some of the highest panel per page counts out there. I mean, it’s not Hawkeye, with that one goddamned 27 panel page, but it’s still pretty crazy, with 10+ panel pages everywhere. That usually just ends up looking like shit, but it works out well here. That probably mostly speaks volumes about Chip Zdarsky (and David Aja on Hawkeye), but I’d still like to see some of Fraction’s scripts. Also, did I mention that this comic is goddamned hilarious? I don’t think I’ll be able to go into a Barnes and Noble without getting the temptation to yell “Vagina Doctor” ever again.

Bitch Planet #2- Image

It’s not even remotely surprising to find two Image titles headlining my pull review. At this point I think it should be obvious that I’m a raving Image fanboy. It should also not be surprising that the two comics headlining my list are by the power couple of comics these days, Kelly Sue Deconnick and Matt Fraction. I usually don’t really throw my weight fully behind a comic until at least issue 3, but this issue has completely locked in this comic for me. The art gives off an awesome pulp vibe that works great for the prison scenes. The scenes in the confession module are fantastic looking- definitely the most eyecatching scenes in the book, though the treadmill scene is pretty close behind it. I wasn’t expecting this book to take the prisoners form a sports team angle, but it could turn out pretty good- especially since we don’t know anything about Megaton yet, other than that it’s really, really violent.

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Weekly Pull Review 1/21/15

This is kind of an odd week for comics- there’s nothing in my pull that’s been there longer than a few issues this time around. Weird. It’s been a while since that’s happened.

Drifter #3– Image

Drifter’s consistently good art has held it in my pull so far- it’s not to say that the writing is bad, but the art has been the major pull thus far. The third issue is finally starting to pull some story threads together- mostly, though, it’s bringing more life into the town, its economy, and its residents. The issues thus far feel somewhat vignette-like, though they’re obviously part of an overarching story. Though the story is starting to improve, the art is still the primary draw. The mine scenes stand out especially well, with the worm-creature’s face being by far the standout visual in the issue.

Intersect #3- Image

Huh. This one wasn’t as weird as the past two issues. I mean, don’t get me wrong, it’s still pretty bizarre, but Ray Fawkes didn’t really whip out anything especially new this time around. Insane person merged into their environment- check. Disorienting, weird changes of locale? Check. I mean, it’s still good, and there is at least a pretty big surprise at the end. We do finally get to see Lucky, the monstrous dog creature who has been plaguing them in the background the whole time- and he’s kind of underwhelming, frankly. Intersect is still one of the most unusual, weird comics out there right now, though, so it definitely stays in. (more…)

Weekly Pull Review 1/14/15

Jupiter’s Legacy #5- Image

Holy hell, it actually came out. Issue #4 came out in March of last year- I’d essentially given up on seeing this one. This one’s got a bit of a hefty price tag, at $4.99, but you do get 29 pages out of it, which is pretty impressive. I picked it back up surprisingly quickly, so it was at least memorable for me. Many comics I read I forget things just month to month- Mark Millar, love him or hate him, at least does pretty memorable work. Jupiter’s Legacy, while good, however, hasn’t especially felt groundbreaking. I’m somewhat doubtful that it’s possible for many superhero comics to be groundbreaking anymore, of course. The art in Jupiter’s Legacy is odd- it looks really good, but at the same time very spartan and minimalist, but not in the way you’d usually imagine it. I’m having trouble explaining what I mean here, but you’ll understand when you see it.

Copperhead #5- Image

Copperhead’s first story arc ended in a very different way than I expected. It played it as a straight mystery- no plot twists, no sudden reveals, just a steady path to the conclusion. It’s a fresh breeze in comics, where the big twist is king. The mystery here, though, isn’t the brilliant, convoluted plot that it takes a genius to solve- it’s the kind of crime you expect a small-town sheriff to be able to solve. The characters of Copperhead don’t exist to support the plot, though- the plot exists to support them. The story is about Sheriff Clara Bronson and Co solving the mystery, not about the mystery being solved by Sheriff Clara Bronson and Co. It’s a fine distinction, but an important one. It’s part of what makes a good story. Also, don’t get me wrong- I’m talking about this story like it’s a mystery, but it is definitely a Western, and a good one at that.

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