Hey y’all, back again and testing out a bi-weekly format. With life being a little extra hectic this time of year, I’m seeing if switching the release schedule makes this a little easier and more consistent. Should also cut down on super short weeks as they’re usually followed by decently full ones. We’ll see whether the new format works better for me in the coming weeks as we approach 1 year of CWPB!
Aquaman/Justice League Drowned Earth #1
This issue is not to be confused with the previous Justice League/Aquaman Drowned Earth #1 because the order of the two names changed. I hate this shit, why not just have a #2? This is popping up ALL THE TIME. Whatever. The comic.
This wraps up the Drowned Earth event as well as setting up for a new start in Aquaman. As a monster called the Death Kraken prepares to kill all life within the ocean (which due to the flooding and magic means everything on Earth), the League struggle to find a way to stop the squid based genocide. Aquaman returns from his little sidequest and offers a solution for peace, while Mera cautions him against risking everything to accomplish that peace. The Tide Gods were wronged by Poseidon eons ago, so Aquaman offers them Poseidon’s Trident to show he is different. It’s an appropriate way for the story to go, especially given the mythological component. Everything went wrong because a ton of years ago Poseidon, a Greek god, was an asshole. Surprise, welcome to every fucking Greek myth. The action was really good though, and a couple small twists and turns keep the rest engaging. Not exactly my favorite event in history, but this was enjoyable all the way through and avoided excessive length or tie-ins unlike recent Marvel events. Hopefully the story will swing back toward The Totality in the wake of this cross-over.
Welcome back to the regularly scheduled programming everyone! Now that I’m caught up, things should maybe not be too long for a while. This week is a nice easy one, and two of my books are Drowned Earth chapters. Time to dive in (get it?)!
Despite being labeled as a tie-in, this book feels pretty fucking important. The last issue of Justice League ended with Poseidon impaling Aquaman on a trident, and this issue deals with the fallout of that. Aquaman is sent to the mythical version of the dead sea, where heroes and legends go when they die. Aquaman is given an opportunity to pass a test and prove his worthiness and maybe not die. It’s a pretty cool little story, although the guidance he receives from his dead dad feels significantly preachy. He gives a lot of fairly cliche advice – even though I’m dead I’m still with you, you’re more than your powers, sometimes knowing when not to fight is important, love and forgiveness are stronger than hate and regret etc etc. It seems like the book is trying really hard to have a moral, but it doesn’t quite work out despite the preachy advice and frequent nautical metaphors (“weathering the storm” being both a literal storm on the Dead Sea and the spiritual storm of Aquaman’s feelings). That said, the issue is enjoyable as someone that doesn’t really care about Aquaman outside of his role in the Justice League. The events of this issue will be important in the Justice League comic I’m going to review immediately after, so I’m glad I grabbed the tie-in.
Hey everybody, you may have noticed a longer-than-normal absence of content. I just had a bunch of different obligations a few weeks in a row, but now I’m back! And I have a fucking obnoxiously large stack of comics to get through! There are a ton of new releases pretty much across the board, with a few new series popping up now. I also have a few different things for after-credits to get through soon. For now though, let’s jump into all the books!
Detective Comics #991
This one definitely gets closer to the Detective Comics format I love. I want mystery, detective work, opportunities for me to try and figure out what’s going on. I wouldn’t mind a bit of noir edge to it as well.
The entire comic is Batman, Two-Face, and Jim Gordon talking. We get to see where Batman’s detective work led him, what Two-Face has been doing, how all of this got started – we even get to see a bit more of Two-Face’s ideology. While Detective Comics is at its best when it’s a team book, this is very much a story about Batman the Detective and not Batman the Superhero. That distinction grounds the book and especially this issue. Two-Face is also an interesting “villain” to use due to Harvey Dent being an intrinsic part of him. The arc seems to be gearing up for big action paying off on this slower issue, so jump down a line to see what’s next!
What’s up *insert clever but uncomfortable name for followers here* it’s ya boi back with the comical books. This week I purchased comic books, which I will read. I will then talk about them here, and then you will read those thoughts, and maybe you will read the comic books later if I inspire you. In case anyone was unsure of the format. Now that that’s clarified, let’s get on with it.
Justice League #10
A quick aside: as I mentioned last week, there are shiny foil covers from DC this month. The JL #10 one is very beautiful. HOWEVER. Aquaman stands at the front, with water droplets splashing up about ⅓ of the cover. The water droplets were made gold in foil, so it looks like the League are getting splashed with piss. You’re welcome.
As for the actual comic, it splits time between team members as usual. Two teams are out searching for answers about the Totality and the primal energies. Aquaman, Wonder Woman, and Firestorm are in the arctic looking for a lost Atlantean ship. Superman, Flash, and Adam Strange (I don’t know either) are at some sort of volcano monster that shoots smaller lava monsters out of its stomach which is the volcano. The volcano story is definitely the B-side, as this issue is part of the Aquaman and Justice League crossover event: Drowned Earth. Fun fact, this means the Aquaman comic went directly from a crossover with Suicide Squad into a crossover with Justice League. So Aquaman fans’ wallets can go fuck themselves I guess. I’m picking up another event right now (waiting on a back issue before I begin reviewing) so I’ll be sticking to JL without tie ins. If you love the Drowned Earth tie ins, let me know!Continue reading “Comic Wolf’s Pull Box Week of 10/17/18”
Hey look, another double feature! Last week I had a family event that ate up all my time, so you get to read another excessively long write-up. Lucky you! The fun thing about having two offset bi-weekly books means I’ll always have either Detective Comics or Justice League to talk about, and if I push to a double feature you get both!
Detective Comics #989
I know I enjoyed the last issue, but to be honest I opened this one and saw that it was Part Two and had to fucking read my own review to remember #988. The issue feels really short and kind of bare to be honest. It does have good detective stuff – Batman talking to Alfred and Gordon (separately) to discuss what he knows, a bit of insight on the Fireflies, and then the big reveal of the mastermind behind the plot. Which brings me to an aside I’ve gone on before.
Comic covers are so fucking frustrating. They act like Two-Face being involved is a cool reveal that Batman figured out, but it’s ON THE FUCKING COVER so it doesn’t have any impact at all. The real mystery seems to be Two-Face’s motive, but it still took a lot of the flavor out of an already slightly bland issue. I’m not giving up on the arc just yet, but this issue was on the weaker side for sure. Continue reading “Comic Wolf’s Pull Box Week of 10/3/18”
Hey y’all, welcome back to some regularly scheduled comic time! We’ve got a bunch of stuff this week, so off we go.
Batman: Damned #1
DC’s “Black Label” series started this week with the first issue of Batman: Damned (although Batman: White Knight has been retconned into being Black Label, it was not originally). The line is intended to showcase high-profile writers and artists in a larger format (magazine size) and without the usual restrictions. In this case, the restrictions being lessened means the book is outside of canon and is mature rated. Anyone who follows comic news knows about this book because it features Batman’s dick. I don’t wanna spend a lot of time on this, but the internet lost its entire fucking mind because Batman’s dick is out. It’s an M rated book. People are weird.
Anyway, the review.
I’ve been excited for this book for a long time. When the Joker is found dead, Batman and Constantine team up to figure out what’s going on. Is he actually dead? Is some sort of magic involved? It’s really intense. The art style is fucking awesome and takes full advantage of the large magazine size pages. The book reunites writer Brian Azarello with artist Lee Bermejo, who famously worked together on the Joker graphic novel that borrows heavily from The Dark Knight movie. They’re a phenomenal fucking team, so everything about this book has been exciting from the get-go. Azarello writes the best Constantine I’ve read in a while, maybe going a little heavy on the accent but I’ll take what I can get. There hasn’t been a high profile writer tackling Hellblazer since the Vertigo days. The book firmly establishes the mystery. Joker is found dead, but the body disappears. Batman was nearby, but can’t remember what happened. Deadman is around for some reason, annoying Constantine. The series is only going to be 3 books, bi-monthly, so this one does all the work of setting things up. It also seems to be exploring Bruce’s childhood in weird ways, so I’m curious what that’s going to end up being. The first issue feels like it lives up to my expectations, hopefully the rest follow suit.
Check out Comic Wolf’s first triple feature! Due to a combination of technical and real life factors, I’ve fallen a bit behind. But that ends now! Buckle in for all the fucking books! It’s also Annual season, so I’ll even have some books doubled up. Off we go then.
Detective Comics #988
Remember when I said I wanted limited mention of the Bat/Cat breakup in Detective Comics? I got my wish! Batman involves himself in what appears to be a simple murder to get his mind off things. There are a few references to the breakup and his changed behavior, but it’s very reasonably done and not the focus of the story. Once he gets deeper into the case however, his gut says this is more than a simple murder. After discovering a secret room in the victim’s apartment the building is attacked by Firefly and his apprentice who is also Firefly but female. It’s a setup for a slightly different arc, and seems intended to put the“detective” back into Detective Comics. I’m all for a slightly Batman focused story based around actual crime investigation, it’s a welcome change even if I have been really enjoying the more philosophical story work being done recently. Very interested in the story unfolding!
Hey comic faithful, you may have noticed a lack of a post last week. Long story short my store’s comic shipment got lost in the mail and was delayed a full week. Better late than never, not even the incompetence of the mail can keep me down for long! Lucky me, I get to do a super packed week with both sets of releases. Buckle in for a long one kiddos, kidettes, and any other mutilation of the word kid that strikes your fancy.
Detective Comics #987
The finale to the “On the Outside” arc delivers both in terms of plot and themes. Last issue, Karma attempted to kidnap a school bus and make Batman choose between them and his family. Thanks to Black Lightning’s help that didn’t work out. So this time, Karma takes over the Wayne Enterprises building for his endgame, and takes a hostage to force Batman to act. Batman recognizes his guilt in the situation and resolves it to be “what they both deserve.” It’s a pretty satisfying moment. A lot of the issue gets spent on setting up a new book, Batman and the Outsiders. The Outsiders being a team made up of Black Lighting, Katana, Signal, and Orphan. So this arc has been doing some work bringing them together, which is fine. Impressively, the multitasking of the story did very little to detract from it. It felt pretty natural, although Katana’s arrival feels a little weird. Regardless, the story manages to stand up with the other recent arcs and I have a lot of respect for the varying creative teams on the book.
Brief side note: this comic cover illustrates why covers are the fucking worst. They want to entice you to buy the book and are hugely misleading. On this cover, Braniac hovers with the text “What are the Brainiac Files?”. There’s literally one line where Katana says “I got info on Karma’s technology from the Brainiac Files” and then there’s a note that says to read No Justice. It’s goddamn stupid and I hate it.
I swear, I’m pulling more books every week but I keep ending up with huge lulls. Maybe I’ll go through Previews to add more stuff soon, especially given some pretty major upcoming changes to my pull list (check after the cut for more info on that). Anyway, this week is light again. Only two books, plus one I picked up on a whim. Let’s jump in!
Detective Comics #986
This sorta found a middle ground between two of the resolutions I expected, with both things I liked and disliked. The theme of this arc has revolved around whether other people make Batman weaker or not, so having Black Lightning be an essential part of the resolution makes sense. I like the role that Black Lightning and the other Bat-fam members play, since it drives home their importance (cough cough fuck you Tom King cough) However, Karma is a (new) villain of Batman’s own making and it’s pretty fucked up what Batman did to him. Having others help is great, but thematically I also want to see Batman deal with what he did. The arc isn’t over, but Batman isn’t really having to deal with the consequences of turning this guy into a zealot. As much as I feel like we don’t need to see him kicked while he’s down (not sure where Detective Comics fits into the timeline of Catwoman leaving him), he fucked up and there has to be some growth or learning. Next issue should be the final confrontation, so there’s still room to resolve things thematically as well as wrapping up the story.
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.