Inside Pulse 12

Pull List Roundtable 6/29/2016 – Civil War II, Grayson Annual #3, 4 Kids Walk Into a Bank #2, Plutona #5, Black Panther #3 & More (Spoilers)

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Mike Maillaro

Fifth weeks! The blessing of the comic industry. Most of the time, when you get five weeks in a months, the last week is reserved for specials and annuals. It’s typically a week for your wallet to rest and recover, and this month was no exception!

  • Plutona #5 – Been waiting for this issue for months now! I also hate when you have a 5 issue mini-series and one of those issues ends up delayed for a long time. You probably shouldn’t solicit a mini until you have the entire thing in hand. Jeff Lemire & Emi Lenox’s homage to Stand By Me…with superheroes…has been great and I am glad we finally get to see how it all wraps up.
  • Grayson Annual #3 – I pretty much stopped buying Annuals, but the Grayson Annuals have been real creative and excellent extensions of the series. So even though I hate Annuals and consider they overpriced fluff, I am still looking forward to this one. It is also a farewell to “Grayson” as he will be returning to the Nightwing identity soon.
  • Uncanny Inhumans #11 – Even though I love Charles Soule, even he hasn’t been able to get me to pick up Uncanny Inhumans. I am getting it because it’s a Civil War II crossover (and a slow comic week), but I don’t have a lot of expectations about this one.
  • Spider-Man #5 – While I like seeing Miles at the Avengers, I can’t help but think that killing the Ultimate universe was a huge mistake. Miles has really become a small fish in a big pond here. Spider-Man has been a solid series, but Miles constantly feels overshadowed. I find myself buying this more out of obligation than any love of the series, even with the same creative team on Miles’ old book.
  • Captain America Steve Rogers #2 – It feels like it’s been forever since the CAPTAIN HYDRA feel, even though it was just a few weeks ago. I wonder if this issue will cause another firestorm. It’s been nice to see people talking about Captain America again. I am staying on record with “Red Skull mind control.”

John Babos

Very small week; not surprising for a “fifth week”. 5 books for the week.

  • Uncanny Inhumans #11 – I added this book retrospectively as Marvel’s new ongoing series hero Mosaic debuts here and I’m curious. I’ve said before that readers have proven they go to Marvel and DC for their icons and known concepts. The reason books like the Spider-Women books, etc. are successful is in large part that they are derivative characters; derived from Spider-Man and familiar. The creative telling interesting yarns with good art keep readers past the initial sample of the derivative character. However it doesn’t always work even if creative team good; Batwing, etc. are good examples of derivative characters with great story and art that didn’t last. Readers “say” they want to net new characters from Marvel and DC Comics, but never support them monetarily with enough numbers. I sadly don’t think that will change with Mosiac.
  • Bloodshot Reborn #14 – One of Valiant’s strongest books on story and art.
  • Deathstroke Annual #2, Grayson Annual #3 and Teen Titans Annual #2 – The end of the DC New 52 via annuals. I wonder how these will set up the new DC Rebirth series?

Mike: I totally agree with your comments on Uncanny Inhumans. Every time Marvel and DC try something new, it is a long uphill struggle for it to get attention. The perfect example of this is “events.” People claim to hate them, but they always sell huge numbers. At some point, you have to blame the readers as much as Marvel or DC. They are trying to make money, and events and “more of the same” tends to sell better.

James Fulton: Although, when the event ties in to 75% of the books that inhabit your pull-file, including ones that don’t really fit with the event (i.e. Power Man & Iron Fist) you have to choose between a) dropping the entire line for a little while (which is what I did during Secret Wars, basically); b) accepting that for up to four months, you’re not really going to understand what’s going on in your favourite titles; or c) end up buying the damn event, and probably complaining about it a lot (which is what I usually say I’m not going to do, but…).

Matt Graham: My hangup with Uncanny is the book had all this time to build up the prophecy Inhuman and lead into this event, but it didn’t. For me that shows how half ass Marvel considers events vs. The Onslaughts and Fatal Attractions of yesteryear.


James Fulton

  • Black Panther #3 – Ta-Nehisi Coates’s work on this character so far has had me more excited about him than I’ve been since Priest’s run, and I’m looking forward to more.
  • 4 Kids Walk Into a Bank #2 – I enjoyed the first issue of this Black Mask series, which was unexpectedly funny. It’s been a while though, so I should probably reread it before getting this one.
  • Jupiter’s Legacy #1 – I enjoyed the first Legacy miniseries, but got a lot more out of Jupiter’s Circle, the prequel series that took a lot more time to establish the characters and their relationships to one another. Knowing what I know now, I figure this series will be more enjoyable. Plus, it’s well past time that we got some new Frank Quitely artwork, don’t you agree?
  • Micronauts #3 – I’m still a little on the fence about this relaunch of one of my favourite Marvel series of all time. The second issue was much better than the first, so I’m hoping things continue to move upwards here…
  • Starve #10 – I’ve loved Starve, Brian Wood and Danijel Zezelj’s book about celebrity chef TV shows and the feral rich, and am excited to see how it all comes to an end.

Matt Graham

  • 4 Kids Walk Into a Bank #2 – The title alone demanded a look at the first issue. The coolest crew of kids since the Paper Girls guaranteed a commitment to this coming of age heist story. Matthew Rosenberg’s script shines like Tarantino made an 80s teen film, while Tyler Boss’s art and eye for layout and staging makes this a contender for best looking book of the year. And that was just the first issue.
  • Jade Street Protection Services #1 – I don’t follow Sailor Moon, but I am the type of person who hears “The Breakfast club mashes with Sailor Moon” and has to know what’s happening.
  • Dark Knight III The Master Race #5 – Strikes Back and now Master Race are less about The Dark Knight then they are about the rest of DC in Miller’s crazy, ever changing dystopian concept. Strikes Back had some…interesting ideas about what the DKR story’s past and future were, but Master Race is pretty much a bitter JLA regrouping “one last time” to take on evil Kandor cultists. I’m already halfway in, so I’ll finish it, but once again this sequel seems to miss the point of the original story. That’s odd because the first issue hit the right notes with tantalizing potential.
  • Black Panther #3 – Black Panther hasn’t been this engaging in decades. I feel like this will unfold better in one sitting than monthly, but Marvel has to know that their efforts at diversity work. I don’t mean diversity in a racial, sexual, or religious sense, although Panther does hit those marks.

I mean diversity in storytelling. Black Panther. Patsy Walker. Scarlet Witch. Black Widow. Power Man and Iron Fist. Gwenpool. Wolverine. The Vision.

These are the Marvel books I look forward to most now that the year is almost 7 months in, and it’s because they entertain me in ways the generic Civil Avenger Guardian Iron X stuff won’t even attempt to. They have unique voices, stories, and visual artistry that I want out of a 3.99 (!) read. I carry that hope to Uncanny Inhumans this month.

  • Uncanny Inhumans #11 – Unlike everyone else here, Civil War intrudes upon my regular subscription. Marvel is debuting DC’s Deadman, the former athlete who is doomed to live as a ghost and possesses people to interact with the physical world. Wait. Marvel is debuting a Squadron Supreme riff on DC’s Deadman. No. Marvel is introducing Mosaic, who is Deadman, but that’s exciting and makes yours Marvel.

Forget it, superheroes are a dime a dozen and overlap is inevitable even within the same franchises. Lets give Marvel proper credit that Khary Randolph (whose linework and loose energetic flow I have long admired) and writer/actor Geoffrey Thorne get the honor of launching Mosaic’s ongoing this fall. The concept of Mosaic sounds like the best back to basics of Marvel’s “hero with a price and problems” formula, and despite my Deadman riffing, I’m not aware of a Marvel character who has had this niche or opportunity at all.

  • Uncanny X-Men #9 -Quick turnaround on the next issue, as Psylocke summons Archangel to kick Akkaba City’s ass and Magneto’s, in no certain order. I go back and forth over whether this or All-New is the better X-Men book. Good news: they can coexist as they have different tones and ideas. There’s also a third book, which is not like the adjective that titles it. This is the one you want, not that one.
  • Spider-Gwen Annual #1 – Like Sisyphus pushing the rock up the hill, I toil to give Spider-Gwen a reason to exist past the cool costume. This annual could do it. It’s not like annuals are ever throwaway one-offs. Right?

Phil Allen

Fifth week has my stack a bit low this week.

  • Darth Vader #22 – As I’ve said before, I’ll miss this series but I’m interested to see what will end up taking its place.
  • Lobster Johnson: The Metal Monsters of Midtown #2 – I really enjoyed the first issue, in fact I’ve been enjoying a lot of Lobster Johnson lately.
  • Jupiter’s Legacy 2 #1 – So far I’ve been enjoying Jupiter’s Circle more than Legacy but I’m open to this new series.
  • Plutona #5 – This has been a great series and this should be a great finale. I can’t wait to see what Emi Lenox comes out with next!
  • Other issues I’m looking forward to:
  • Dark Knight III: The Master Race #5
  • Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency: A Spoon Too Short #5
  • East of West #27
  • The Spirit #12
  • The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #9

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