Pull List Roundtable 2/28/2018 – Rough Riders: Ride or Die #1, The Terrifics #1, Unbelievable Gwenpool #25 & More!

Matt Graham

  • Calexit #2 – Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, won’t get fooled again. Will it ship this week? That’s the Black Mask motto, and I’ll only know when I pull it off the rack.
  • Twisted Romance #4 – Alex De Campi’s romance anthology wraps, and you should buy it. It’s right in the title: Twist Romance. The stories cover multiple genres (issue #1 had a wendigo, issue #3 has an apocalypse) and flavors of love: unrequited, murderous, sterile, confused. If you are a human being, you will find something here to bring those butterflies into your stomach. And then punch them.

Solid recommendation if the words Black Mirror stir up those butterflies, too.

  • Unbelievable Gwenpool #25 – Because Marvel is incompetent! Gwenpool’s final issue! Farewell to one of the books I found the most interesting since the original Alias and when the Ultimate universe actually had interesting ideas with some teeth. I’m not surprised the book is going away in light of this “Fresh Start” nonsense, but maybe it’s an unhappy coincidence.

It’ll be hard for the book’s absurdity to compete with the real Marvel office drama like Cebulski masquerading as Japanese creator Akira Yoshida and David Brothers igniting that pot, anyway.

Cheers to Chris Hastings for changing my mind: I was very cynical about Gwenpool landing her own title. One of the best second guess purchases I ever made – I went back to the store later to grab a copy out of morbid curiosity and found my favourite Marvel book of the last two years.

Shoutout to art team GuriHiru, whose dynamic and bright candy shell glitzed illustrations elevated the black comedy and darkness of Gwen Poole with the perfect storyboard moments captured in every expression, pose, and action beat. This book has never been short of panel perfect.

Respect to illustrator Irene Strychalski who handled 5 issues of this 25 issue run and kept that madness going at full pace.

Physical comedy and quick banter is hard when you’re working in frozen images. Harder still when there’s a heartfelt story about mental health and personal passions stitching it together. This team went above and beyond every issue.

A lot of people skipped this series because they were tired of Gwen Stacy (she isn’t), they thought it was a Deadpool cash grab (it isn’t), they hate meta meme humor (generally, I do too, and I’ve never been the biggest Deadpool Is Whacky fan outside of Joe Kelly, but this book has a different take than even classic She-Hulk).

The Unbelievable Gwenpool series is endearing, hilarious, irreverent, full of heart and sincerity, and boasted some of the most eye-popping, gorgeous art on the shelves. Above all, it was as original and unsafe as Marvel dares to get these days, and unless we get a volume 2 in this fresh start, I’m inclined to think Marvel won’t return here for a while.

See you around, Gwen.

  • Mera, Queen of Atlantis #1 – Loved Mera since I first read her. Her “hard water” powers are cooler than Aquaman’s brute force and the whole opinionated, easily-angered but can back it up warrior queen thing always seems to work for me.

I’ve been hyped with Mera’s depiction ever since the New 52 Aquaman and up to her recent Justice Leage smashing prowess, but what make this mini even better is Aquaman scribe Dan Abnett is spinning this tale off to supplement his current story. That doesn’t seem to happen much these days (Sorry, Phoenix: Resurrection).

  • All-New Wolverine #31 – Gabby and Jonathan the Actual Wolverine team up with Deadpool. Alright.
  • Spider-Gwen #29 – Now this book IS Gwen Stacy. And now she’s got her own Venom. Gwenom. She’s gonna beat up Captain America, and what’s cool about that is that Spider-Gwen writer Jason Latour has promised over and over that this is a book with consequences and repurcussions. Y’know, like Marvel used to do with longform story telling. We’ve seen these things in the book before, but the Gwenom arc promises to set the future stage, and I’m enjoying it.
  • X-Men Blue #22 – Because I love symbiotes, Poison-X part 3! I’m a little irritated that Venomverse was just an Act 1 leading to this, which leads to Act 3, Venomized. Just…just tell us there’s a yearlong arc coming. That said, I do like where the X-Men crossover is going, bringing the “alien” back to the symbiotes. I also like how blase the teen team is about being in space again. I know a few readers who reacted the same way.
  • Wonder Woman #41
  • Go Go Power Rangers #7

James Fulton

  • Calexit #2 – The thing that frustrates me the most about Black Mask is their inconsistent publishing schedules. Calexit, a book about the secession of California after the American government becomes more Trump-ish, might just come true before it finishes telling its story.
  • Days of Hate #2 – The first issue of this new series by Ales Kot and Danijel Zezelj really caught my attention. It’s timely, dark, and drew me right in to the story.
  • Terrifics #1- None of these recent DC title launches have interested me, not because they focus on new characters, but because for the most part, I’m not all that interested in the creators making them. They are supposed to be focusing on the artist, and the use of Marvel style, but some of them have already had to move to new artists for their third or fourth issue, which really does not match with their hype. Anyway, this series is written by Jeff Lemire, whose body of work I admire a great deal, and whose name guarantees a look at a new series. There’s a lot stacked against this book for me though – Lemire has a bad track record on team books (JLU, Extraordinary X-Men), I’ve never liked Metamorpho or Plastic Man, I hate that DC is shoehorning Alan Moore characters into the DCU (this book has something to do with Tom Strong), and I find Ivan Reis to be a boring artist. I’m still giving this an arc to impress me though, because I do like Lemire, and this title at least acknowledges that the Legion of Super-Heroes is a thing, with the inclusion of a different version of Phantom Girl.
  • Twisted Romance #4 – What a shame that this is going to be the last week for this weekly series. One thing I learned from reading it so far is that comics needs more Alex De Campi.
  • The Wilds #1 – At this stage in the game, I’ll give just about any new Black Mask title a shot, even though I know I’m going to end up waiting forever to get to the end of the story.
  • Also looking forward to new Motor Crush, Royal City, Saga, Black Panther, Darth Vader, and X-O Manowar.
  • I hadn’t realized that Pizzeria Kamikaze is being republished this week as a hardcover at Boom! This excellent graphic novel by Israeli novelist Etgar Keret and the incredible Asaf Hanuka, set in an afterworld set aside for suicides, blew me away when I read its first printing years ago. I can’t recommend this book enough!

John Babos

11 books this week.

  • Action Comics #998
  • Detective Comics #975
  • Doom Patrol / JLA Special #1
  • G.I. Joe vs. The Six Million Dollar Man #1
  • Justice League of America #25
  • Rough Riders Ride Or Die #1
  • Silencer #2
  • Suicide Squad #36
  • Teen Titans #17
  • Terrifics #1
  • Wonder Woman #41

Mike Maillaro

  • ROUGH RIDERS: RIDE OR DIE #1 – ROUGH RIDERS is pretty much my favorite Aftershock book. It’s about a team of heroes put together by Teddy Roosevelt to deal with conspiracies ranging from aliens to communist plots with characters like Annie Oakley and Harry Houdini. RIDE OR DIE is the third mini-series and I am looking forward to seeing more of these great characters.
  • TERRIFICS #1 – I’ve been a fan of Mister Terrific since JSA, so I am happy to see him headlining his own team. Add in Metamorpho, Plastic Man, Phantom Girl and Tom Strong, and you have the potential for a really great series here. If you are interested in more “new DC hero” books, SILENCER #2 also comes out this week. The first issue was a real solid read.
  • GWENPOOL THE UNBELIEVABLE #25 – Not really ready to say goodbye to this series…Issue 24 featured a beautiful moment with Gwen and Batroc with Gwen realizing that once the series was over no one would take Batroc seriously anymore. Small things like that is exactly what I love about GWENPOOL. Hopefully she will turn up again soon because she fast became one of my favorite Marvel characters and series.
  • JESSICA JONES #17 – The Bendis “Farewell to Marvel tour” continues here. Only two issues left of Bendis and Gaydos on Jessica Jones. It’s a shame it took so long to get a true ALIAS sequel, but I have really loved this series. When Bendis is on a book that is a great fit, there are few people I enjoy more.
  • DOCTOR STRANGE #386 – DAMNATION continues. The story is about Doctor Strange bringing Las Vegas back to life, but Mephisto has come along for the ride. So far, it just hasn’t felt like there was a strong hook here to draw me in.
  • Backways #3
  • Fu Jitsu #5
  • Go Go Power Rangers #7
  • Action Comics #998
  • Batgirl #20
  • Batman Beyond #17
  • Detective Comics #975
  • Flash #41
  • Hal Jordan And The Green Lantern Corps #39
  • Justice League Of America #25
  • Ruff And Reddy Show #5 (Of 6)
  • Suicide Squad #36
  • Teen Titans #17
  • Wonder Woman #41
  • DuckTales #6
  • G.I. Joe A Real American Hero #249
  • Saga #49
  • Spawn #283
  • All-New Wolverine #31
  • Avengers #682
  • Captain Marvel #129
  • Champions #17
  • Despicable Deadpool #295
  • Invincible Iron Man #597
  • Legion #2 (Of 5)
  • Moon Girl And Devil Dinosaur #28
  • Moon Knight #192
  • Star Wars Darth Vader #12
  • X-Men Blue #22
  • X-O Manowar #12