Friday, May 10, 2013

The Pull List: May 8, 2013

I read too many comics.  It's a habit that so far has only benefited my local comic shop.  That changes now as you can learn from the mistakes of my purchases, and perhaps even be intrigued to check out some of the cool picture books of the week.  There's always the option to make fun of my tastes, too.

Not only is it an Avengers kind of week, but it is a fantastic comic kind of week as well.


-Avengers #11 (Jonathan Hickman, Mike Deodato)
Right from the get-go this is my kind of comic.  Sure, the cover might seem like a boring "heroes leaping into action" shot, but as a dude who watches Super Sentai weekly, Dustin Weaver's design modifications to the heroes in question is something I have to appreciate.  The story within is Casino Royale-esque.  Superheroes literally gambling for the fate of the world is a concept that is instantly a very fun comic.  Things go a bit smoother for 7 Avengers than they did for Hawkeye and Hawkeye when they attempted a similar feat over in Hawkeye.  Since Avengers is a team book, Hickman is able to have some of the cast revel in the fun nature of an issue like this while maintaining a level of espionage intrigue.  In many ways this feels like an early issue of Secret Avengers.  The art is similar to the other title too, as Deodato provides his typical stiff and photo reference heavy art.  Shang Chi beats up ninjas with Stark-tech nunchucks as he dispenses some esoteric kung fu mysticism, so everybody should definitely pick this up.
This might very well be page of the year  (click on images to enlarge)
-Secret Avengers #4 (Nick Spencer, Luke Ross)
Speaking of Secret Avengers, let's take a look at the inadequate follow-up to the highly enjoyable volume 1. This is an okay comic.  It just pales in comparison to its predecessors and the primary Avengers books.  Spencer crafts a story that is the proverbial smorgasbord of today's hot issues: drone strikes, definition of life, Chinese tech sweatshops, stolen weapons, state sponsors of terror, and war with a nuclear Iran.  Taking a closer look at any of these topics within the context of a world that is home to the Incredible Hulk would make for an interesting read at the least.  This book doesn't afford much time to any of these and instead continues to read like a spin-off of the Marvel movies.  I'd prefer if the movies tried to capture the essence of the comics a bit more, so making the comics more like the movies rubs me all sorts of the wrong way.

-Deadpool #9 (Brian Posehn, Gerry Duggan, Mike Hawthorne)
There's some genuine humor in this latest Deadpool entry, and it comes in a smattering of packages.  There's the continued overt ridiculousness of Deadpool and his band of misfit supporting characters (a sassy black woman stuck in his head, a bad necromancer in a kilt, and the ghost of Ben Franklin), pop culture references (TLC really deserves being made fun of at every opportunity), subtle nods to Marvel's rich shared universe (teleporting=BAMFing), and not-so-subtle jabs at the Distinguished Competition (people are dicks to Aquaman in comics from other publishers).  If comedy and loose morals in regards to murder are your thing then why aren't you reading Deadpool?
Trips through Deadpool's psyche always prove entertaining

-Avengers Arena #9 (Dennis Hopeless, Kev Walker)
Are you a sadist who revels in watching a bunch of teenagers kill each other for rather dubious reasons?  Chances are that yes you are, if the success of Hunger Games is anything to go on.  Don't worry though.  This comic isn't derivative at all.  It's 100% original content do not steal.  You hear that Battle Royale?  Any similarities are coincidence, don't even try to say the logos are similar.  If it seems bizarre to read a comic that you don't really enjoy, then you don't know how masochistic some fans are.  I just want to read stories about some of the minor characters that have the misfortune of appearing in this meat grinder of a comic.

-Uncanny Avengers #8 (Rick Remender, Daniel Acuña)
If you haven't read Remender's Uncanny X-Force you might be a bit confused by this issue.  You should also go read those 35 issues of Uncanny X-Force.  The only other mark against this latest entry is that some of the characters continue to be way too bitchy.   It's okay for the Wasp though, because part of her character is being insufferable.  Besides that nearly all of the character voices are a great fit.  Where this comic really knocks it out of the park is the narration/inner monologue and the spectacle of the story.  If there is any justice in the world, Acuña will continue to illustrate this comic.  Words fail me.  This comic is good.
It's only a matter of time until Remender writes a Thor ongoing


-Threshold #5 (Keith Giffen, Tom Raney, Phil Winslade)
This is a solid comic with themes I am quite fond of (space heroes) and a creative team I trust.  There's nothing too spectacular between the covers, but it's still a fun read.  Seedy cities in deep space mixed with The Running Man is a winning concept.  Just wait for the trade paperback though, since there are only 3 issues left anyways.


-Prophet #35 (Brandon Graham, Simon Ray, Giannis Milonogiannis)
I might've hopped on the Prophet wagon a bit late, but I'm on now and there's no way I'm getting off.  It's an epic (in the most classic of definitions) space opera.  Everything is A+ from script to art.  Seriously, anything I can say about this series won't do it justice.  Go check this issue out if you don't believe me.
You tell me what's more confusing, the math or the battle

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