Pull List Roundtable 12/30/2015 – Squadron Supreme #2, Black Canary #6, Obi-Wan and Anakin #1 & More (Spoilers)

Mike Maillaro

This is the last week of comics in 2015. Not a lot of new series coming out, but still quite a few books I want to talk about…

  • MEGA MAN #55 – This issue actually came out digitally last week. I have really been enjoying Mega Man, and it is a shame that the series ended…or is “on hiatus” as Archie has said. Either way, it means no Mega Man comics for the foreseeable future. As a fan of the stories, I was disappointed in the way the series ended. This entire issue is a series of pinups of the various Mega Man incarnations over the year as the characters try to figure out what the legacy of Doctor Light will be. It was a cool concept, but I would have rather seen some of the hanging plotlines dealt with instead of paying $4 for a bunch of pinups.
  • INJUSTICE GODS AMONG US FOUR ANNUAL #1 – DC has started their fifth season (they aren’t really a year long) of digital comics set before the video game Injustice: Gods Among Us. Honestly, I would have never believed there was enough content there to make this work, but the digital comics have been very good. I think this is the last season. I kind of hope they make some epilogue series set after the video game as this has been a terrific expansion of a very unique alternate version of the DC Universe.
  • SAVAGE DRAGON #210 – For the first time in maybe the history of comics, we got a very beautiful and uninterrupted wedding issue. BUT, the last page was still pretty horrific. A few issues back, an ex girlfriend had claimed that she had gotten pregnant by Malcolm. She later retracted it, saying it was all a publicity stunt. Issue 209 ended with the reader finding out that not only was she pregnant, but when the baby was born it ended up killing her…and now drags her dead body along with him. Savage Dragon is often a disturbing comic, but I give Larsen a lot of credit for never pulling any punches.
  • OBI-WAN AND ANAKIN #1 – I have been enjoying Marvel’s Star Wars comics quite a bit. But most of them have been set during the events of the original trilogy. It is nice to see them expanding a little more, though Clone Wars seemed like it told us pretty much everything we could ever need to know about Obi-Wan and Anakin. But I am looking forward to this series anyway.
  • SQUADRON SUPREME #2 – I wasn’t expecting much from this series, but James Robinson really blew me away on the first issue. A lot of people have complained about how they killed Namor, but Namor has been in need of some justice for a very long time now. The Squadron Supreme seem determined to remake the world, by any means necessary, which is definitely in line with what makes Squadron Supreme such a unique comic.
  • RINGSIDE #2 – Another solid new series from Image. It is always great to see someone trying new genres in comics. Too often, the market is oversaturated with superhero comics. Ringside focuses on the world of professional wrestling, and I really enjoyed the first issue. Can’t wait to see where this series goes.
  • CAPTAIN AMERICA: WHITE #5 – I love when Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale team up to tell stories set in the past of characters. Long Dark Halloween and the various “Marvel color” series are some of my favorite comics. It took a while for Captain America: White to come out, but it’s definitely classic Loeb/Sale. Definitely a nice way to get pumped up for Captain America: Civil War.
  • FLASH #47 – The current Reverse Flash story has been a very fresh take on the character. It shares some similarities with the Flash TV series, but there is still plenty new here to keep me interested. This storyline has dragged on a little, but I still like that it’s trying to do something very new. I am real curious how it all ends.
  • ROCKET RACCOON AND GROOT #1 – Looks like this is the only new #1 I am buying this week (other than Obi-Wan and Anakin). While I do think Marvel has been doing a little too many Guardians of the Galaxy series lately, I have been enjoying the Groot and Rocket Raccoon solo series. Skottie Young has really brought some new life to these characters. Right now this is the only Guardians series I am buying. Guardians has not been faring well since All-New All-Different Marvel. It’s pretty much the only Marvel line I don’t care about.
  • SUPERMAN ANNUAL #3/SUPERMAN WONDER ANNUAL ANNUAL #2 – With all the different series in the current Superman Vs Vandal Savage series, it seems odd to have to continue the story in annuals. I’ve said before that I actually hate annuals. They tend to be overpriced, and for the most part they tell pretty forgettable stories. And yet, I keep getting suckered into buying them.
  • JUGHEAD #3 – This series hasn’t quite been as good as the Archie relaunch, though I do think Chip Zdarsky has been able to do some clever things here. A lot of the first two issues has focused on the strange fantasy worlds that Jughead imagines himself in. If nothing else, this is a very new take on the character, and I’m always glad to support something new.
  • BATMAN AND ROBIN ETERNAL #13 – We’re at the halfway point of Batman and Robin Eternal. There have been a lot of cool surprises in this one, especially the introduction of characters like Azrael into the New 52. This series has been light on Batman, but I think that is a the perfect decision. For me, I am much more curious to see characters like Grayson, Red Robin, Red Hood, and Harper taking more of a spotlight. I do like Batman, but at this point, there isn’t a whole lot new to say about the character. Sadly, he will be back by the time Batman 50 comes around, but I actually think DC should consider putting him on the shelf longer…maybe permanently.

John Babos

At least 8 books this week. Curious that there are no Valiant solicits.

  • Batman and Robin Eternal #13 – The 1/2 year weekly event, celebrating 75 years of Dick Grayson and Robin, continues!
  • Flash #47 – The march to #50 continues!
  • Justice League #47 – Geoff Johns’ JL catches up to peer original New 52 numbering! Darkseid War continues into a second act as the march to #50 continues.
  • Squadron Supreme #2 – What else does James Robinson have in store for us?
  • Superman Annual #3 – I’m iffy on this. I’ll leaf it and decide.
  • Superman: Lois and Clark #3 – Been loving this post Convergence series. A fun ride, but relevant in this new post-Flashpoint era.
  • Superman / Wonder Woman #24 – Peter Tomasi goodness!
  • Superman / Wonder Woman Annual #2 – Since I enjoy main series, the annual looks like a sure buy.
  • Wonder Woman #47 – The march to #50 continues!

James Fulton

I usually only spotlight five of the books I’m going to buy in any given week, but seeing as there are only eight books I intend to pick up, I will give them all a little bit of attention.

  • Black Canary #6 – This title has fallen behind, but is an interesting book with some nice Annie Wu art. This is not Gail Simone’s Canary at all, but she’s still an interesting character.
  • Black Magick #3 – Greg Rucka has really drawn me into this police procedural comic featuring a detective who has to hide her magical connections. That’s all good, until someone has come looking for her that knows her abilities, and she had to set him on fire to deal with it. Nicola Scott’s art is incredible.
  • East of West #23 – This is far and away my favourite Jonathan Hickman series. He’s spent a long time building up this world, and I love being able to visit it every once in a while, especially with Nick Dragotta drawing the book.
  • Lazarus #21 – The current arc of this book has been pretty exciting, as we’ve seen Forever do her thing in open battle with her family’s enemies. Every issue of this comic makes me like it more.
  • Morning Glories #49 – Nick Spencer has been all over the place with this book for the last year, but as we approach #50, I imagine that things are really starting to converge.
  • Obi-Wan and Anakin #1 – I strongly feel that Marvel is diving a little too much into the Star Wars well, and risking diluting the power of the line with these constant secondary-character mini-series. I don’t feel a lot of desire to revisit the prequel era, but with Charles Soule writing this, I’m not going to say no. He’s become the go-to guy for decent Marvel comics (taking Kieron Gillen’s place). Also, I like Marco Checcheto’s art.
  • Omega Men #7 – This is my favourite DC comic, with pacing and slightly oblique story telling that reminds me of the pre-Vertigo mature comics days.
  • Rumble #10 – John Arcudi and James Harren have created an incredibly bizarre comic in Rumble. If you like monster comics, you should check this out; it’s both weird and very every-day at the same time.

Matt Graham

  • Black Canary #6 – Annie Wu is one of those artists that keeps comics interesting to me as an artist, while also instilling hope in my own skill set. I love Black Canary for its independent grindhouse feel, plus it incorporates music. That’s always a challenge in comics.
  • All New Wolverine #3 – The title hasn’t gotten off to the strongest start. It seems to be leaning heavily on Orphan Black being the current sci-fi hotness and the book doesn’t depict the Laura I’ve come up with in Marjorie Liu’s underappreciated run her earlier comic appearances. I’d like to know where the creators are going with this, given a superior showing of the character in X-Men.
  • Squadron Supreme #2 – With most of the Marvel #1s leaving me asking when something is going to happen, James Robinson has me wondering how the first issue could even be followed up. This title brought back some of the awe old superhero books used to instill in me.

Joe Smith

  • Justice League #47 – Fabok returns and I’m glad he does. I really like Manapul’s art, but it was such a jarring change of style for me that it took me out the last couple of issues. There’s a lot of ‘tech’ with the designs, etc. in this arc and I think Fabok does a good job of illustrating it. The second act begins and I’m looking forward to it, but my interest has been waning since the start of the arc. I’m still not convinced that the Anti-Monitor is a character that needed such an intricate and complicated background.
  • Batman and Robin Eternal #13 – This has been a solid series overall and with half the series left to go I expect that things will happen at an intense pace.
  • Astro Boy Omnibus V2 – I’ve always been a fan of Astroboy due to the ‘80s animated series and I’ve followed this character into other mediums. I have Volume 1 and I’m looking forward to reading this one over the next couple months.
  • Last Sons of America #2 – The premise of this book drew me in to try it out and the execution is making me want to read some more. This miniseries is about Americans no longer being able to conceive due to bioterrorism. Good debut has me looking forward to this one.

Phil Allen

  • Doctor Fate #7 – Since issue #1, this has become one of my favorite series from DC in this whole “DCYou” thing. Admittedly I haven’t read as much Dr. Fate before now as I should, but this series seems to really be getting to the heart of what it means to be Fate, especially for a new guy. I like where this series is going, it has a kind of Ms. Marvel feel to it with the discovering of new powers and the close connection our main character has to family.
  • Injustice: Gods Among Us, Year Four Annual #1 – Things really started heating up this year, and there is no indication of the action slowing any time soon with Year Five, which is said to be the last Year, about begin. I wasn’t too keen on where the story was at when Brian Buccellato took over writing, but he’s really brought it back to the intensity, epic-ness, and humanity of the first couple Years. I also like the way these Annuals are used as a bridge in between Years, like a “here’s some exposition to get us through the action of point A and point B”. Should be a heckuva ride coming up.
  • Lazarus #21 – I still have some catching up to do on this series, but Rucka and Lark have yet to disappoint. This is an intriguing and consistent series, unlike any other on the shelves these days.
  • Lobster Johnson: The Glass Mantis – Like many stories in the Mignola-verse, prior reading is not necessarily required, as I’ve found in the other recent Lobster Johnson one-shots. All you really need to know is Lobster Johnson’s desire to seek his brand of justice, like Batman but willing to kill, but with a special class only Mignola can bring.
  • Obi-Wan & Anakin #1 – Fresh from his take on Lando, Charles Soule returns to Star Wars for this mini-series! I’m guessing this tale takes place in between Episodes I & II, as Obi-Wan has already promised to train Anakin, but he’s not ready for the trials just yet. Should be another interesting addition to this ever-expanding Marvel/Star Wars universe!
  • Rocket Raccoon and Groot #1 – I’m quickly becoming a huge Skottie Young fan, between his beautiful artwork and hilarious writing. His recent Rocket Raccoon solo series is over, but now he brings us Rocket AND Groot, reuniting with artist Filipe Andrade.
  • Other issues I’m looking forward to:
  • Batman and Robin Eternal #13
  • Batman: Europa #3
  • Bob’s Burgers #7
  • Captain America: White #5
  • East of West #23
  • Howard the Duck #3
  • Material #7
  • Rat Queens #14
  • Rumble #10

Paul Miranda

  • SIX #2 (of 8)
    AfterShock makes waves with its fourth offering. Garth Ennis makes history (and treats it properly) by chronicling the real-life accounts of the first African-American fighter pilots in the USAF during WWII. Simon Coleby is the artist. That Francesco Francavilla cover is jammin’!!
    More and more I’m appreciating the alternative comics. Flower becomes real in this one-shot by Ignatz nominee Yumi Sakugawa. It’s my second time reading Big Planet/Retrofit Comics.
  • BATMAN & ROBIN ETERNAL #13 (of 26)
  • DR. FATE #7
    Jay Fabok has returned!! I absolutely loved Francis Manapul’s two fill-ins and hope he continues but the sweeter deal is having another installment of the “Darkseid War” on the second-last day of the year.
  • MULTIVERSITY #1 Director’s Cut
  • MULTIVERSITY #2 Director’s Cut
    Double your pleasure, double your spending!! Extra content is a must-have for completists.
    An immortal villain soon to be making his small screen debut is the big bad in this issue. Vandal Savage wants retribution for what Superman did to his son! Come again??
    I stopped reading this after July despite my adoration for the Amazon Princess but recently caught up. TBH, I’m surprised this title is still in existence. An unexpected alliance and a startling turn-of-events await!
    Yanick Paquette graces the comics pages once more!! This one-shot encapsulates the entire romance of DC’s power couple. Sadly, they are no longer an item.
    The Cheetah is WW’s ultimate opposite number!! Hands down, or is that claws out? I’m salivating at David Finch’s rendition. MMEEOOWW!!
    A humorous tribute to the recently deceased former wrestler. Like all others in the WWE, he essentially was a super-hero. This will be my introduction to Grind House Comics.
  • JEM and the HOLOGRAMS #10
    One of my many guilty pleasures. SSSHHH!! This done-in-one reintroduces Rio, Jem’s number one man!!
    Non-fiction among the crop? *gasp* I will purchase and peruse anything relating to Princess Diana. Always money and time well-spent IMO. This looks extremely appealing. Thanks, Insight Editions
    I wasn’t expecting ASM to ship three issues in one month.  I don’t mind in the least. As far as I’m concerned, Spidey is and always will be Marvel’s flagship character!! Put that in your pipe and smoke it, Axel Alonso!
    The current collaboration between Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale comes to an end. Another ‘color’ series in the can. This is a love song for Bucky Barnes through and through.
  • OBI-WAN & ANAKIN #1 (of 5)
    I’ll admit that I’ve only recently converted to STAR WARS considering I’m more of a Trekkie. Booyah!! I was fortunate enough to view “The Force Awakens” the night before its official release. The fifth mini-series to be released from Marvel. The publisher is breaking sales records with this profitable franchise.
    It’s unfortunate none of my local comic shops order this title. That’s how indie this book is. Mary Posa is beyond adorable. I’m getting a kick out of her struggle with doing the right thing.