Pull List Roundtable 12/21/2016 – Batman #13, Divinity III #1, Justice League Vs Suicide Squad #1, The Mighty Captain Marvel #0 & More!

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James Fulton

  • Batman #13 – The last issue finally made this feel like it was Tom King’s series, and I’m hoping that feeling continues this week.
  • Dark Horse – I think after they lost the Star Wars license, people were worried about the future of Dark Horse Comics, but they’ve attracted a strong stable of writers who are responsible for me buying more Dark Horse comics than I have in ages. This week exemplifies this perfectly, with new issues from Jeff Lemire (Black Hammer), Brian Wood (Brigg’s Land), and Matt Kindt (Dept. H and Ether). All are wonderful comics.
  • Divinity III #1 – I really liked the first Divinity series, but felt like the law of diminishing returns really affected the second one. This one looks to be a Flashpoint-kinda thing, with a Stalinverse approach, but it might resurrect my enjoyment.
  • 4 Kids Walk Into a Bank #3 – I love this Black Mask title, which, like most of their books, is ridiculously late. This is a very funny comic, with amazing layouts and page designs.
  • Southern Cross #10 – I like the story that Becky Cloonan’s cooked up for this title, but if I’m being honest, it’s Andy Belanger’s kick-ass designs that really has me loving this book.

John Babos

  • Batman #13 – Batman’s own Suicide Squad arc. What’s not to like?
  • Bloodshot U.S.A. #3 – Jeff Lemire on Bloodshot is a big win for fans of the character.
  • Cave Carson Has A Cybernetic Eye #3 – Wild Dog joins the book at some point. I had only planned to read Doom Patrol from DC’s Young Animal, but Wild Dog will have me sample Cave Carson a bit longer than my original plan of issue #1 only.
  • Cyborg #7 – Loving this book. It goes from bi-monthly to monthly in 2017.
  • Divinity III Stalinverse #1 – Didn’t read the previous two Divinity mini-series, but will seek them out as tpbs over Christmas / boxing week. Am intrigued by these kinds of alternate world series. There will also be some one-shots to supplement this four-part mini-series. Komandar Bloodshir #1 and Aric, Son of the Revolution #1 will be picked up too in upcoming weeks.
  • Green Arrow #13 – Team arrow!
  • Green Lanterns #13 – The Phantom Lantern arc is amazing!
  • Justice League #11 – Not sure I’ll get this. It’s not on the JL vs. SS checklist, but JL #11 is the finale of its current arc so am curious if last few pages tie into or lead into JL vs SS.
  • Justice League Vs Suicide Squad #1 – CAN NOT WAIT!
  • Squadron Supreme #14 – A great Marvel book! I am also intrigued by writer James Robinson working a time-hopping ongoing X-Men book in Cable spinning out of ResurrXion,
  • Suicide Squad Most Wanted El Diablo And Amanda Waller #5 – I’m a sucker of Task Force X.
  • Superman #13 – Am really excited for next multiverse spanning arc!
  • Trinity #4 – What a great opening so far and am intrigued by the White Mercy.

Mike Maillaro

  • LOCKE AND KEY SMALL WORLD #1 – I am a huge fan of Joe Hill. LOCKE AND KEY was a terrific series, and even though I loved the ending, I still think there are a lot more stories to tell in that universe. This one-shot is about a key that opens up a miniature world. Definitely looking forward to this one, and any more stories Hill has to tell us in Keyhouse.
  • JUSTICE LEAGUE VS SUICIDE SQUAD #1 – I am usually a big fan of Justice League, but Bryan Hitch really bores me as a writer, so I haven’t been following Justice League since Rebirth started. Suicide Squad has been very good though, and I like the cast of characters they have been teasing for this crossover (Emerald Empress, Johnny Sorrow, and Max Lord!), so I will check it out.
  • STAR TREK/GREEN LANTERN VOLUME 2 STRANGER WORLDS #1 – Star Trek/Green Lantern made some pretty bold choices, basically wiping out the entire DC universe and having only a handful of lanterns from all across the spectrums surviving and making their way into the Star Trek Universe. Most crossovers end with a return to the status quo and a happily ever after, but things were still pretty messed up at the end of volume 1. Glad they are getting a chance to revisit this unique crossover.
  • MIGHTY CAPTAIN MARVEL #0 – My, how the Mighty have fallen. Sorry. Typically, I have been a fan of Carol Danvers, but she’s been written so heavy handed the last few years it’s kind of hard to continue to say that. Civil War II was a particularly bad turning point for her (though I will say that she was far better in her own book than in Civil War II proper). So, I will probably pick up the 0 issues and a few issues of the main series, but unless they stop making the character such a bummer, not sure how long I will stick around.
  • DIVINITY III STALINVERSE #1 – Valiant usually does pretty awesome crossovers. And I’ve loved the redesigns for all the Valiant characters we’ve seen in this new timeline. I do think it’s unexpectedly timely for this series (which has been set up for a long time) because of everything going on in the news with Russia. Curious if that will have any impact on the direction of this story.
  • PATSY WALKER AKA HELLCAT #13 – I am amazed this series made it past issue 12. One of my favorite reads every month. Lots of fun and creativity here. For anyone who says they don’t like what Marvel has been doing, I always recommend they check out HELLCAT!
  • HE-MAN/THUNDERCATS #3 – They really need to speed this series up a bit. I am still enjoying it quite a bit, but it feels like issue 1 and 2 could have been combined and given the reader a lot more time to see the heroes all teaming up.
  • BATMAN #1 3– One of the most annoying story telling devices in comics for me is when you get a whole issues that basically retells the last issue, just from a slightly different viewpoint. I would much rather see a story move forward than what amounts to a cheap stale tactic. I did think issues 12 provided some nice insight into an aspect of Batman we had never considered before, but at the end of the day, that just boiled down to couple really cool panels in an otherwise stagnant comic.
  • Alters #3
  • Animosity #4
  • Archie #15
  • Black Hood Season 2 #2
  • Joyride #8
  • Cave Carson Has A Cybernetic Eye #3
  • Green Arrow #13
  • Green Lanterns #13
  • Nightwing #11
  • Raven #4 (Of 6)
  • Superman #13
  • Trinity #4
  • KISS #3
  • Back To The Future #15
  • Donald Quest #2 (Of 5)
  • Fix #7
  • Amazing Spider-Man #22
  • Avengers #2.1
  • Doctor Strange #15
  • Invincible Iron Man #2
  • Occupy Avengers #2
  • Power Man And Iron Fist Sweet Christmas Annual #1
  • Punisher #7
  • Silver Surfer #8
  • Squadron Supreme #14
  • Star Wars Doctor Aphra #2
  • Ultimates 2 #2
  • Unbelievable Gwenpool #9
  • Uncanny X-Men #16
  • Bloodshot U.S.A. #3 (Of 4)
  • Harbinger Renegade #2

Matt Graham

  • 4 Kids Walk Into a Bank #3 – It’s been months, but Black Mask is shipping the third issue (of five) of this coming of age bank robbery adventure. When her father is called upon to assist with a heist, 11 year old Paige and her comic shop lurking, D&D playing friends need to pull off the heist themselves to keep her doting dad out of trouble.

This comic book is like Quentin Tarantino or Guy Ritchie doing Stand By Me and The Goonies. Matthew Rosenberg’s (We Can Never Go Home) ever sharp writing and flair for the nostalgic pairs with Tyler Boss’s (Lazarus) elegant art for a book that’s funny and knocks you on your ass leaving you wanting more. And I’ve been waiting and wanting since spring.

  • Animosity #4 – This is a story about a dog and his girl escaping the fascist animalistic regime that rises up when animals become hyperintelligent and unify to remind humanity how low we are on the food chain once civilization is crippled. Last issue featured a humpback whale who loves Pokemon and shouted out his species as he breached. Also a koala with a pistol.
    You need to read this.
  • Black Hammer #6 and Dept. H #9 – Two of the best books coming out, courtesy of Dark Horse.
  • Patsy Walker AKA Hellcat #13 – Like Gwenpool, my initial encounter with Patsy Walker was cautionary jadedness, but Marvel is at its best when it lets creators and characters run loose and be true to themselves rather than weave through editorially mandated lackluster events. Who knew? This book is a great superhero comic in the traditional Marvel sense – easy to pick up, continuity but with digestable arcs, humour, action, a great lead, a wonderful supporting cast that breathes life into our heroine’s world, and the surreal fantasy and sci fi that Marvel used to excel at to tell a ridiculous story.

As a long time Hellcat fan, I’m glad this book is continuing untouched, as Kate Leth and Brittany Williams have delivered one of this year’s best Marvel titles.

  • The Mighty Captain Marvel #0 – Carol Danvers is one of my favourite Marvel characters, bar none. Over the years, I’ve never felt they’ve given the character the attention and support she deserves. She has the company’s name in her name. Why isn’t she at the forefront? We’ve seen pushes here and there, and many of her recent series have been polarizing with fans. I liked Kelly Sue Deconnick took her, but I’ve met people at cons who felt the opposite. I liked what Tara Butters and Michele Fazekas did with the first half of the latest series.

Then creative teams changed and the book became a mandatory accessory for Civil War II, an event that is executed poorly from shipping to tie-in to how it handled the characters. The last half of the series gave Carol more depth than her irritating hard ass heel turn in CWII, but it still felt off.
That’s a constant with Captain Marvel book, ever since she took Captain title. She’s been pulled in several inconsistent directions with motive, tone, place in the Marvel universe, and it leaves the character feeling designed by commitee and bland.

I do not have high hopes for this next volume. Margaret Stohl is best known for Beautiful Creatures, an adult fantasy novel about magic users. She wrote two Black Widow series, Forever Red and Red Vengeance. She also works in the video game industry. Margaret Stohl is not why I don’t have high hopes. She is the only hope. Tara Butters and Michele Fazekas wrote for Agent Carter, and that show and Captain Marvel were fantastic. I like to think we’re past the point where Marvel is just throwing successul Hollywood writers at properties, even if that did get us Young Avengers.

No, my issue is Marvel pitched her as a “celebrity writer”, which tells me where Marvel’s head is at. From the first solicitation of the title, Marvel is focusing on the glitz rather than the actual product. Why focus on the celebrity writer aspect when this author has a successful book series, let alone two Black Widow comics at Marvel under her belt.

They also work “Yassss Queen!” into the solicitation, which doesn’t work on two levels: first, you’re using that phrase, and from what we already have on hand of CWII and the recently ended Captain Marvel, I’m not sure why Carol would be in a “Yassss Queen!” position. What I previewed feels at odds with the tone of the series under Christos Gage and what we saw in Civil War II.

I’ll give this #0 a shot, but the last year has slowly eroded any confidence I had in Marvel taking the character seriously. It’s like they misunderstood why the character’s revival worked when KSD brought her back to prominence.

  • Uncanny X-Men #16 – The best X-Men team going right now.