Comic Wolf’s Pull Box Week of 8/1/18

Howdy folks, here we are again with the comics and stuff. It’s a super light week with only a couple books, but that forces me to pick one of the trades in my backlog to talk about after the credits roll. Let’s dive in!

Justice League #5

This issue focuses almost entirely on Lex Luthor, and his confusing plan to unleash seven primal forces of the universe using the Legion of Doom and a magic doorknob of Doom. The series is floating in this weird limbo of being really fun and really confusing. It’s pretty clear I missed some major stuff in No Justice so I may need to carve out time for that soon. The writing is really rad and keeping me super invested even when I’m not 100% sure what’s going on. I especially like getting a whole Luthor issue going into some of the background of this plan and how he recruited some of the other villains for the Legion of Doom. It’s also cool seeing them layer all of this old weird stuff on top of an otherwise contemporary plot. For example, they’re using the classic Legion of Doom underwater fortress aesthetic, but now it’s in a lake of lava and made out of special stone mined by an immortal that makes it difficult to see. It’s a fun update while still keeping the classic aesthetic in place. I also really like the team for Legion of Doom emulating the classic lineup from the show but with the scarier comic versions of the characters. The Joker is particularly dangerous, and Grodd is really intense too. I suspect the Justice League team will strike a similar balance, but we need a bit more focus on them together before I can say… for sure. This issue claims to be the start of a new arc, but it seems like since the series is new it’s just one continuous story, so the arc doesn’t have a ton of meaning. Being biweekly gives it the ability to move quickly which I appreciate for this book since it’s so fucking odd. Excited to keep up with it for a while.

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Comic Wolf’s Pull Box Week of 7/25/18

What’s up everyone, hope you like comics because if not you’re gonna be disappointed when I start talking about them again. If any of you are hoping one day you’ll come to this article and it’ll be something else, keep holding on! Maybe next week I’ll just talk about food. Who knows? But for now I’ll stick to what I’m good at.

Detective Comics #985

Things are getting pretty crazy in the “On the Outside” story arc. Bruce figures out who Karma is and why he might have such a grudge. While he’s out thinking and making that discovery, Karma’s plan escalates significantly  when he kidnaps a school bus full of kids and gives Batman a horrifying ultimatum. This issue drove the plot of the arc forward, but didn’t do as much work with the philosophy of the characters as most of the books have.. However, we do get to see Black Lightning interact with the Bat-Kids he’s been put in charge of, and since he’s sort of a side character I don’t know much about; it’s nice to get scenes that focus on him. The situation Karma has put Batman in is a pretty bad one with no good options; does he choose to save innocents or protect his family? I’m very interested in how the next issue plays out. I love Batman, but I hate the “he can beat anyone with enough prep time” meme and prefer to see him as an actual character than an infallible hero. With how the writing has been, I have a reasonable amount of confidence that we’ll get an interesting resolution and not just “Batman saves everyone because he’s perfect.” We’ll see in a couple weeks if I’m right!

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Comic Wolf’s Pull Box Week of 7/18/18

Hey everyone, welcome to another (late) edition of the Pull Box! This week is big, with every book being one tolook forward to. Brave and the Bold wraps up, leaving a hole in my life, but Thor brings more mystical shenanigans and my other books cover the rest of the spectrum: indie and cute, superhero team up, and spooky scary horror book. Plus make sure to stay tuned after the credits for a book I absolutely did not intend to review!

The Brave and the Bold #6

The series wraps up in appropriately spectacular fashion with the conflict between Elatha and his brother Balor reaching its peak. Wonder Woman intervenes directly in the conflict, while Batman returns to Gotham to deal with the faery folk who have crossed over through the newly opened pathways. A bit surprisingly, a lot of this issue actually focused on Elatha and not as much on the actual DC characters. I really really enjoyed this story, and the last page ends with a cliffhanger and the words “End of Book One” so there’s hope for me getting more.

I’m a huge fan of DC getting back to doing books that aren’t necessarily tied to continuity.

Letting the characters be used in fun and cool ways without worrying about the effects it has on a larger universe is always a good thing. DC Black Label series will be beginning soon, which also have loose continuity and sound amazing, so stay tuned for those.

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Comic Wolf’s Pull Box Week of 7/11/18+

Hey y’all, as you may have noticed I didn’t publish last week. After making a joke about getting too many books, I only had one book last week. Therefore I decided to roll Justice League #3 into this week’s review and take the week off. Here we go for this installment!

Detective Comics #984

The line of cool introspective comics continues as Karma pushes the BatFam apart by targeting all of them separately. He has the power to read minds and uses it to great advantage, both determining Bruce’s identity and easily countering his surprise and strategy based fighting style. He appears to have some other tricks hidden in his magic or whatever helmet as well. It seems unfair to be putting Bruce through this much bullshit given what happened in his main book, but I’m curious to see how it plays out. Putting another rift in the family feels a bit like piling on. It’s also unclear how much this lines up with the main book, I have no fucking idea how that works. Regardless, Karma seems like a pretty rad villain and I want to see his motivations and see more about who he is and where the powerful helmet came from. There’s some dialogue from Bruce I really like toward the end, and I really like Black Lightning’s role in the story. Detective Comics is really fucking strong and I really hope it doesn’t get messed up by the big developments from Batman. Regardless, I’ll be sticking with it as we’re just under a year from DC #1000!

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Comic Wolf’s Pull Box Week of 6/27/18

No rest for me, another week of camic bocks. There’s agood balance of stuff, although this time I find myself far more excited by Marvel’s offerings than DC’s. Let’s see if I end up enjoying them more!

Detective Comics #983

After the brief one-shot last time, we’re back launching into a full arc. Some villain calling himself Batman’s Karma is targeting the members of the Bat-Family, claiming they weaken Batman and that he has become a brand more than a symbol. I’m really liking the stuff this creative team is tackling honestly. Batman’s usual fights with villains are pretty well contained in the main Batman book and spin-offs like Deathstroke vs Batman or the Prelude to the Wedding one-shots, and this seems to be tackling big picture questions about Batman’s place in the universe. Obviously any huge changes will probably be reserved for the main book, but Detective Comics has taken off in a cool and contemplative direction. This arc is also guest starring Black Lightning which is rad because I don’t know shit about him and I like getting small introductions to characters that I don’t normally read. I really loved the Batman and ______ series in the New 52 after Robin died and there was a different character every issue. Anyway, this looks like another opportunity to see the Bat fam tested in a new way, so I’m into it.

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Comic Wolf’s Pull Box Week of 6/20/18

Welcome back fellow nerds to another exciting round of comical books! It’s a light week this week, which is good because I have a lot going on with work stuff. The good news though is that despite being a slightly light week, it’s packed with some of my favorites (to be fair I did prune a lot of stuff off my list so it’s mostly favorites and things may be light for a while). Anyway, let’s jump in!

The Brave and the Bold #5

The penultimate issue of the Brave and the Bold miniseries! The mystery all comes together, setting up an action packed final issue. I have to say, I had a lot of fun guessing along with Diana and Bruce. It wasn’t quite formatted for you to try and draw your own conclusions along the way, but it did give you pieces slowly to try and guess. I did not get the right trail at all, I had no clue how this would turn out, but it’s still very satisfying. Dipping even further into Celtic myth is fine by me as well, with Balor of the Evil Eye solidifying as a villain and a massive battle beginning to take shape. More and more this series reminds me of Hellboy. Shame to see it end. Overall I still love this series and this issue was strong. Art remains excellent, although on some pages the font seemed weirdly too big and almost blurry. I need to investigate if it’s a print error in my copy or just weird formatting. Regardless, when the trade for this comes out down the line I strongly recommend grabbing it if you have an interest in mythological based superhero comics.

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Comic Wolf’s Pull Box Week of 6/13/18

If you’re reading this, I survived going through 3 weeks of comics last week without handing Getch my resignation! The show must go on, after all. Now that I’m nice and caught up (mostly) we can get back to the regular weekly schedule. This week has a bunch of #1’s, although I only picked up a couple. The stand out is of course Thor #1, with Odinson having regained the mantle after the bullshit end of The Mighty Thor. Let’s jump in!

Detective Comics #982

Dang what the fuck? The story arc is over for like 5 seconds and they throw in a weird one. The issue seems to be a one-shot dealing with a villain called Blackfire. Batman remarks that he’s never been sure if Blackfire is an actual ghost or a metahuman who believes himself to be one. He gains power from people believing in him, and he’s used the city’s homeless population to capture a child for an evil plot. Batman has to track down the kid, fighting through possessed homeless people and Blackfire’s evil influence on his own mind. It’s a super weird issue that has an almost Hellboy vibe to it. The art is appropriately dark and spooky, with nightmare creatures, ,hooded figures, and one very angry ghost/meta. It’s nice to see the short cases sometimes, since so often the story focuses on big world changing stuff. Batman saves people from smaller threats as well, and that’s reflected here. He wants to save a child’s life. Not the city, not the multiverse. Just a kid. That unwillingness to abandon anyone in need in Gotham that he can help is core to the character, and revisiting that in the wake of the drama within the Bat-family is sorely needed.

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Comic Wolf’s Pull Box Giant Size Special #2 Weeks of 5/23/18 – 6/7/18

Hey y’all! As you might have noticed, Skill Floor content has been a little lighter than usual. Our fearless leader editing bitch Getch came to our humble coast for a wedding that tied up myself, Rosa, and him. We’re in the process of getting back into the flow, and what better way to do that than to try and jam like a thousand fucking comics into one review? We’ve got all kinds of stuff, from the launch of an all new Justice League, to the continuation of my beloved Moonstruck, and the merciful last issue of Astonishing X-Men that I personally will have to suffer through.

Detective Comics #981

The “Batmen Eternal” storyline actually ended up having a really excellent final issue! The threat of Brother Eye and brainwashed Tim is resolved fairly quickly, if in a slightly anticlimactic way. However, that left a lot of room for resolving the moral and ethical problems facing the many Bat-family members. This was a really strong follow up to the way some of the moralizing was posed earlier in the story. It’s not quite a magical happily ever after, but everyone sort of talks out their issues and at least manages to get to a point where they know they can count each other even if they aren’t always close. I’m curious which members of the family the story will follow going forward. Tim and Steph are following one path, Batwoman is off on her own (and has a solo book), Batwing is taking a break, Azazel has a role in one of the new Justice League books, and Batman has the whole marriage thing coming up. Regardless, we’ll see soon what happens.

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Comic Wolf’s Pull Box Week of 5/16/18

What’s up Skill Floorians, it’s another exciting pile of comics. Most notably this week features the Mighty Thor: At the Gates of Valhalla special, a farewell to Jane Foster as Thor and an opportunity for Jason Aaron to look back at the time we’ve had with her. If you read my review of The Mighty Thor #706 you know I have some feelings about this, so stay tuned for more nerd rage!

The Brave and the Bold #4

We’re nearing the end of this series, much to my dismay. This issue had very little in the way of action, especially for being close to the end, but I enjoyed it immensely. After a brief sequence dealing with the fallout of last issue’s small fight, Batman (who has added a cloak to his ensemble to look less out of place) and Wonder Woman go to speak to the murdered king’s widow. She explains that the spell of forgetfulness over their home has caused them to forget much of their history, and that the king had a series of paintings done to honor King Nuada who died in the most recent war against Balor Evil Eye. That’s why I loved this issue really. A series of gorgeous paintings and just straight up telling of myth. What else could I even ask for? From the story, Batman gains a clue, which leads to a big reveal at the end to leave us hanging. I’m still REALLY enjoying the writing on this series. I can’t believe how naturally Batman and Wonder Woman are being made to fit into Celtic myth, it’s really a feat. This issue, the art deserves really special mention. I couldn’t find an image of one of the pages in question, but a majority of the book has the paintings taking up most of the page. The painting art reminds me of Ted Nasmith, an artist who did a lot of art for Tolkien’s worlds. It’s really beautiful, and stands out even from the already excellent looking book. If you haven’t been on this series, I highly recommend grabbing it or waiting for the trade for the art alone.

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Comic Wolf’s Pull Box Week of 5/9/18

Hey everyone, jumping right back to your regularly scheduled nonsense now that the FCBD special has passed. It’s a pretty light week, but also a balanced one with one (1) entry each in the categories DC, Marvel, and Indie. I’ll enjoy the easy week of writing, Getch will enjoy the easy week of editing, and y’all can enjoy not having me rattle on quite as long as usual. Off we go!

Detective Comics #980

“Batmen Eternal” prepares to transition over to “Rise of the Batmen” with this issue which escalates the conflict with The General, Brother Eye, and the newly brain warped Tim (Red Robin). Batman, Spoiler, and Orphan attempt to get in and control the nanites (O.M.A.C.) that have possessed many of the Colony soldiers plus Azrael and Batwing. There’s a lot going on here, obviously.

The conflict remains interesting and rooted in moral questions. For better or worse this is the idea of the Bat-family expanded to its most extreme. What does that mean for what they stand for? There’s no easy answer, and even though I’m sure the comic will end up wrapping neatly, it’s still important to bring up these questions. Cass (Orphan) and Stephanie (Spoiler) get to shine a bit which I appreciated since I’m not too familiar with them yet and need more of them in the spotlight. My major complaint is tied to them though; this book switches artists every issue or two, and the guy in charge of pencils on this one can only draw one female body. Everyone is absurdly curvy in the same skintight suit even though their shapes and costumes have (slightly) more distinction than that. It’s not a huge deal but was actively distracting in a few panels. We’re still headed toward something big, and no matter the outcome it should be pretty neat.

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