Welcome all to more Comic Wolf’s Pull Box, your weekly dose of all* the comics! (*All may only include a handful of books). Got another good evenly split week, although with Detective and Action Comics being bi-weekly I almost wish they split them up. Still, looking especially forward to Detective Comics, plus another comic I picked up a week late. Off we go!
Action Comics #999
Action Comics #999 takes a bit of a break from the action, serving as a small break in between the previous arc (“Booster Shot” – see previous CWPBs for more info) and the giant-size issue coming out for the milestone #1000. I actually enjoyed this one quite a bit. It splits its time between focusing on Superman and focusing on his family again. Lois and her father argue since he doesn’t trust Superman and doesn’t always appreciate Lois and “Clark’s” positive discussion of Supes in the press. He doesn’t know that Clark is actually Superman, and also doesn’t know his grandson is part Kryptonian as a result. Meanwhile Superman gets rid of an asteroid that’s threatening Earth, and in doing so gets his hands on a resource he needs. After seeing how the Phantom Zone twisted Zod and his family, Superman begins to wonder whether or not it’s really a humane prison and starts looking for alternatives. Seeing Superman admit faults and strive for better morality is one of the few angles that interests me. I’ve always seen him as too perfect, to the point of being boring. I’m still not a huge fan, but the moments where Superman approaches what it means to be human are most important to me. My favorite bit of Superman comics ever is when he talks to a woman poised to jump off a building (Part One of the Superman: Grounded run). It reveals more layers to the Man of Steel than just black and white moralism, as he assures the woman that if she chooses to take her own life he won’t stop her. The run was intended to show Superman travelling across America and reconnecting with the people, moving from the big time cosmic threats back to being an American hero. A more grounded Superman is more interesting, and this issue aims for a similar feeling despite the fact that the Phantom Zone is a heavy sci-fi element. It still examines Superman as an actual person with flaws and the potential to make mistakes and not always automatically do the “moreally right” thing. Despite not moving the universe forward in any huge way, this is my favorite issue of Action Comics so far. Join us again in two weeks for #1000, celebrating 80 years with Superman!
Detective Comics #976
Still dealing with the fallout of Clayface’s death, the Bat-family has split. Batwoman has joined her father’s military group, recruiting Azazel and Batwing to help. The other members of the Bat-family remain allied with Batman despite some differences in opinion. This particular issue focuses on Batman, Red Robin, and Spoiler; perhaps the three most deeply affected by the incident. Spoiler needs counseling after losing her friend and possible romantic interest, especially since she seems to already be emotionally stunted. Red Robin is concerned Batman isn’t taking the “dark timeline” he saw seriously. Bruce is trying to deal with what to do next, not only in the wake of Batwoman’s actions but also of Batgirl’s speech. His responsibility to the other members of the family has been brought into focus for him, and it’s clear he is struggling to find the right path. This is another good issue for characterization, although it packs far less of a punch. Batman and Red Robin are at odds philosophically and neither of them seems able to find middle ground. The Batwoman team bring the action to the book, fighting some Court of Owls goons and setting up for them to be a team moving forward. This issue begins a setup process that should pay off slowly, since DC has been talking about how the “Batmen Eternal” arc will change everything. We’ll see if that’s big advertising talk, or if there’s any truth to it in the coming weeks.
Astonishing X-Men #9
On the Marvel side of things, Astonishing X-Men remains on shaky ground with me. “A Man Called X” seems to be focused around Proteus as a villain, with the focus on “can we trust this X guy?” sort of fading away (at least for now). I could go either way on that; I don’t want to waste a ton of time on the new guy, but I also need a better explanation of who he is. If it’s Professor X’s mind that should be enough, but it seems like he’s significantly different in some way. The whole character is pretty frustrating honestly. Bishop is still worried about a “mindkiller apocalypse” that is preceded by the glowing green sun that appeared earlier, so they set off to go find Proteus and put a stop to his plan. I didn’t mind this issue too much, although it seems like we’re going to dive into some moralizing about humanity given what Proteus is up to. Still, despite having a great team lineup, nothing is grabbing me. Proteus is a really powerful villain, and I’m interested to see how this shakes out. That said, I think once the arc ends I’ll exit the series (if it even continues to exist given another upcoming relaunch).
Old Man Logan #36
The newest issue of Old Man Logan takes an angle that I’m surprised has taken this long to come up: something happens, a villain gaining power, that seems to be on the track that led to the events from Logan’s timeline where the villains win. In this case, it’s some crossover with the events of Daredevil. Wilson Fisk has been elected mayor and is planning to outlaw vigilantes and superheroes. Logan becomes involved, partially due to his concern about villains using political power to wipe out superheroes and partially due to being recognized by someone else. I like the initial concept of the “real” timeline showing similarities to the one from the original Old Man Logan. Seeing Logan try and deal with that possibility could make for something interesting. Unfortunately, Fisk’s whole deal doesn’t translate well. I’m sure the Mayor Fisk storyline is interesting in Daredevil (the first issue of Legacy didn’t grab me…). Give Matt a threat he has to fight both as Daredevil and as a lawyer, sure. But this “he’s gonna outlaw superheroes and that’s how the villains win”? We already did the “superheroes are illegal” angle, and not in a minor story. It’s fucking Civil War. So Fisk’s entire plan doesn’t interest me, and at least in Old Man Logan his speech has some obvious parallels to Trump which feels a little lazy. As much as a lot of the premise is frustrating me, this arc does appear to be setting loose a villain on Logan that is outside the usual rogues gallery for X-Men. Since Logan is old and has a shitty healing factor, more “normal” villains become an actual threat to him, so I look forward to that aspect.
Dodge City #1
This one is a little bit cheating, it came out a week ago but I didn’t notice we had a spare copy until after I had already finalized last week’s Pull Box write-up. Anything from Boom catches my eye, so I decided to check it out. I’m glad I gave it a shot! It has everything I hope for from a Boom title: super cute colorful art, diverse characters, a premise just weird enough to be interesting, and fun dialogue that isn’t wrapped in a million layers of irony and seriousness. The book follows Tomas, who joins a dodgeball team with an all loss record. He’s awful at dodgeball, but tries his best. Everyone on the team is interesting enough to have me curious. The first issue didn’t offer too much, just plenty of dodgeball action and a little bit of character introduction. It’s not my favorite book by Boom, but I legitimately enjoyed it and plan to check out the rest!
That’s it for this week, stay tuned next time for whatever comes out and make sure to check out a week later when Action Comics #1000 hits!
Comic Wolf Post-Credit
This week, I started diving a bit more into a recent Humble Bundle I picked up! The Humble Geek Gals Bundle had a ton of awesome female-led indie comics with a ton of stuff I’d had my eye on. Any time I need something to write about, I’ll probably grab something from that. For today:
Giant Days Vol. 1
Giant Days is a slice of life comic about three British girls who are friends at university. Being a slice of life book there isn’t much in the way of action or conflict, just small day to day stuff. It’s absolutely fucking hilarious, in a way that’s hard to describe. A lot of the dialogue is just so overwhelmingly genuine. Sure, it’s a bit more rehearsed and clever than some real life college friendships, but once you get a rapport with certain friends it’s nearly identical to the dialogue in the book (at least in my experience). The characters play off each other spectacularly, including the side cast. It’s just absurd enough to be a fun comic, while grounded enough to feel like it could inhabit the real world. Also, and you’ll get tired of me saying this, I love indie books for having interesting and diverse characters. So much of comics/books/media/everything can get samey and boring, so I love seeing differently focused stories. I also love stuff like this that’s just lighter. The most intense drama is still very minor, it’s just a nice fluffy sweet little book and that’s enough. The characters’ care and protectiveness of each other is really wholesome and that speaks to me. If it hasn’t been made clear from my previous reviews of stuff like Moonstruck, I am a sucker for cute shit. Giant Days is very very cute and I plan to read all of it just as soon as I can get my hands on it.