Comic Wolf’s Pull Box Week of 4/25/18

Who saw Infinity War?? How fucking sick was that movie?! Okay okay, no spoilers here, just always excited for a rad comic movie to hit theatres. I highly encourage y’all to see it. Anyway, here’s a bunch of comics that have nothing to do with that! Couple big issue releases here, we’ve got the end of Damnation and the last issue of The Mighty Thor before the Fresh Start (although there will be a one-shot about Jane Foster in Valhalla). See all that and more, right now!

Detective Comics #979

Ulysses’s wacky plan continues as nanomachine suits take over Colony soldiers and Red Robin. A chunk of this issue takes place in Tim’s head as Ulysses explains that his goal is to transform this Tim into the crazy evil future Tim from a previous arc I didn’t read. To do this, he plans to subject Tim’s brain to the traumas that set his alternate self down the path of controlling everyone. A little weird and high concept as far as evil plans go, but it gets points for some originality. Ulysses, who has dubbed himself The General, believes the only way to prevent large scale death of the Batfamily is to have robot controlled soldiers be judge jury and executioner of all of Gotham. So that’s an interesting angle as well. All in all, I especially like the idea of testing Batman’s faith in Tim; after all, the connection and cooperation between the core Batfam members is what makes it all work. Playing with that dynamic and examining the limits is the theme of this run, with Batwoman killing Clayface, Azrael and Batwing joining her, and now Tim going off his rocker. The art does a few notable things in this issue, I had to briefly turn it sideways for a trippy sequence which was rad. The arc title/logo treatment is well done too since it’s called “Batmen Eternal”, it plays off the old weekly Batman Eternal book design. Definitely enjoying this, and since we’re around a year from Detective Comics #1000 it feels like a good time to shake things up and look at the Batfamily a little differently leading up to that.

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Comic Wolf’s Pull Box Week of 4/11/18

Hey everyone, welcome back to CWPB! This week will be Part 1 of my 80 Years of Superman Special! By the time you’re reading this, tomorrow (4/18/18) will be the release of Action Comics #1000! This is a huge landmark, and is being massively celebrated. Due to the way I publish, I decided to do double the Superman coverage! Some hype stuff now, right before release and then a full review of the issue and some other cool Superman biz next week. As part of the Superman Special, I’m gonna bump the Post-Credit up to before the credits (like Marvel did with Age of Ultron, which fuck that movie but we’re not getting into that). To start, this week’s books!

Detective Comics #978

Detective Comics pushes forward, examining the wake of last issue’s ending. Colony soldiers, controlled by Ulysses, are killing people in an attempt to put more distance between Batman and Batwoman. The two of them agree to meet to discuss everything going on, while Tim stays back at the cave and tries to figure out what happened to cause the soldiers to start shooting. This arc remains pretty interesting, watching Ulysses pull strings from the shadows and get increasingly involved. This issue pushed the story forward a bit, but the real progress isn’t til the end so there isn’t too much to discuss here. It lacks the serious look at the characters that the previous arc had, and this particular issue is light on action or mystery. It’s still interesting and necessary – it’s not filler, just the slight lull before things pick up. The art had a few particularly excellent moments in this one too. Overall while this might not be the best issue of Detective Comics ever, it sets up a hell of a next issue. Come back in two weeks to see if it lives up to my expectations!

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Comic Wolf’s Pull Box Week of 4/4/18

Hey comic fans, welcome back! After last week’s heavy stack of comics, this week is appropriately light (although not on my wallet, since I bought a couple comics I am not reviewing yet and my store’s Gundam model kit shipment is in). This week is notably exciting though, due to the end of Motor Crush’s second arc and the beginning of Isola which has been on my pull list since it first appeared in Previews. Additionally in the larger scheme of comics, this week’s Batman focuses on the Bat/Cat wedding with some lovely matching covers (I bought both, because I suck – stay after the credits to see what they look like). Buckle in!

Astonishing X-Men #10

This is, I think, the first issue of Astonishing that I’ve genuinely liked in a while. The X-Men attack Proteus’s little warped reality bubble, and inside is fucking wacky. Turns out if you give every person in a small Scottish village the ability to change reality to their will things get messy. The art on this issue is really awesome; there are a bunch of psychedelic splash pages of all the nutty shit going on, from dragons to zombie vikings (?) and plenty of weird colors. It’s a lot of action, but it’s weirdly structured action so it’s visually a lot of fun. There’s also a decent moral conundrum, nothing super new but it’s going to force some characterization of X in a way that I’m hopeful about. The nature of humanity as it relates to mutants (and the obvious connection that has to real world marginalized groups) is a pretty common topic to tackle with the X-Men, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t always more room to explore it. The end of this issue was actually pretty cool, so I think the second stretch of this arc will be the stronger part. That said, I still intend to exit with the Fresh Start (again, if this book continues since it doesn’t have a confirmation).

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Comic Wolf’s Pull Box Week of 3/28/18

Hey everyone, hope you like longer than usual articles because lots of stuff came out for me this week (only one issue shorter than my Giant-Size Special!). It’s weird having a Detective Comics without Action Comics, but there’s a short hiatus as we build up to #1000 so I don’t mind too much. Two of my limited series came out though, plus stay tuned after the credits for an indie book I forgot to order at the beginning of March and just got this week!

Detective Comics #977

In the wake of the last few arcs, things are a bit shaky in the Bat-family. This is highlighted by Tim being shown a possible future in which Batman is killed by Batwoman, due to events spiraling out of the break. After the cold open of this horrifying future, we get a bit more info on Ulysses, the weapons developer for the Colony (a paramilitary organization run by Batwoman’s dad, which she just agreed to join). He wants to play a role in shaping the future, and reaches out to Tim to do so. We also get a slice of what’s going on with Batwing being recruited by the Colony, which ties into Ulysses’s plan. He’s a pretty shifty guy, but I’m not sure if he has the making of a meaningful villain. However, he may just be adding fuel to the conflict between the segments of The Artist Formerly Known as Batman, Inc. I’m interested in that storyline, which I hope is tackled entirely within Detective Comics. The idea of securing the legacy of what Batman stands for is always worth examining, and this might have an interesting take. Continue reading “Comic Wolf’s Pull Box Week of 3/28/18”

Comic Wolf’s Pull Box Week of 3/14/18

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!

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Comic Wolf’s Pull Box Week of 2/28/18

Welcome back everyone! This week my pick-up was more model kits than comic books, but there’s still plenty to talk about here with more entries in the DC Big 2 and my favorite indie comic (until Moonstruck is off hiatus) bringing in a great issue as well. Let’s get to it!

Action Comics #998

The conclusion of “Booster Shot” happened this week, just in time to leave #999 to set the stage for the massive #1000! The story wrapped up pretty well, although some of it was a little bit predictable and the whole time travel thing makes threat and consequence a little wavy. Booster and Superman don’t get murdered by the Zods and aren’t required to save anyone being subjugated by them because it’s the future so it’s still liquid and the best way to save them is to prevent this blah blah time travel. The fight scene was pretty good, but this issue definitely solidified my frustration with time travel stories, at least in this case. They did use the time aspect to create one interesting conflict, but since it’s a problem for Booster and not Superman it’s hard to say whether the consequences will really matter. Still, it was an enjoyable issue that finished up a sorta inconsistent arc, and I expect a lot from the next few issues (especially now that Superman is back in his own time.) I wish some of the answers given by the story were a little more interesting, but not every arc can be the best one. It stayed decent enough and that’s what matters.

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Comic Wolf’s Pull Box Giant-Size Special Weeks of 2/14/18+2/21/18

Welcome everyone to CWPB Giant Size – the first of its kind! Since I was out of town last week I didn’t get a chance to pick up my books, leading to a respectable stack when I stopped by my store for my weekly pick-up. Instead of spacing them out or pushing some to the post-credit, I decided FUCK IT and now we’ll have a giant-size action packed adventure with everything that came out in the last 2 weeks. Additionally, I’m exploring talking a little more about story specifics so beware some slightly-less-light spoilers. Buckle in!

Action Comics #997

The “Booster Shot” arc of Action Comics continues, with Booster and Superman teleported slightly into the future to a planet called New Krypton and ruled by the tyrannical General Zod and his family. Unsurprisingly, the family of villains hold something of a grudge against Superman for repeatedly beating them up. Meanwhile, Lois’s rescue mission of her father continues, with Jon (Superboy) still following in the shadows. This issue brought both stories pretty solidly forward, and honestly I’m a little surprised at how dark it was. It’s nothing new for comics to end on a cliffhanger to make you buy the next month’s issue, but pretty much nothing went well for our heroes this issue. It’s especially surprising to see it in a Superman book, since his whole thing is being absurdly overpowered. I liked it though, and for the first time I feel like I pretty much have a grasp on the arc after spending a few issues with it. I still don’t know the specifics of what Superman did to Zod & Sons Inc, but this issue gives enough information to get by on thanks to increase in helpful editors’ notes and no new dependencies on past issues. It’s also great seeing Superman fight actual equals of strength (or at least approximate equals) in other Kryptonians. We get a few nice panels and splash pages that really stand out and put the “action” in Action Comics (I’m not sorry). This arc is definitely escalating, and I look forward to the next issue. Continue reading “Comic Wolf’s Pull Box Giant-Size Special Weeks of 2/14/18+2/21/18”

Comic Wolf’s Pull Box Week of 2/7/18

Welcome back everyone! Want to start out with a quick heads up: next week, 2/14’s books (so the article published 2/20) will NOT be coming out. I’m doing a bit of travelling (and seeing Black Panther obviously) so those comics will probably just get rolled into the following week. Fortunately to help with your Comic Wolf withdrawal I’ve got a nice comic lineup this week; plus stay tuned after the credits for Part 2 of last week’s segment! Additionally, there are some books I pick up weekly but am too behind on to read currently, but I plan to catch up on those soon. Without any further delay, let’s get into some books!

Raven: Daughter of Darkness #1

Here’s a book I picked up completely on a whim, the first entry in a 12 issue miniseries about Raven. Full disclosure, it didn’t release this week, but we got another batch of them in so I went for it. Other than growing up with Cartoon Network’s Teen Titans I never got much into that whole section of DC. I always liked the show though, and when I saw this was a new series and had a finite number of issues I figured it was worth jumping in. So far, I was right. Being a first issue, it does a good job of giving you a brief idea of the character and what her situation is. Since I haven’t read a comic with Raven in a really long time, this was a great settling point for the character. There’s still a lot of mystery, with a strange man who seems to have some sort of prophetic power talking to a jaguar; I suspect my lack of DC knowledge is to blame for much of my confusion. Some confusion doesn’t detract from the experience however, as much of the issue deals with a mysterious girl. There are also a few glimpses at Raven’s friends and home life, which is an aspect of superhero stories I always find interesting. I really like the art so far, a mix of traditional comic style with just a hint of anime looks (appropriate for a story arc titled “The Girl with the Anime Eyes”). Honestly, I went in not knowing what to expect but liking the idea of a Raven story and it feels like it will deliver. I have to go to weird places to get my occult-leaning comic fix these days so I plan on sticking with this series for a bit, so stay tuned. Continue reading “Comic Wolf’s Pull Box Week of 2/7/18”

Comic Wolf’s Pull Box Week of 1/31/18

Welcome back, true believers! Sorry, I had to do that at least once. No promises it won’t happen again. Anyway, on to everyone’s favorite segment where I ramble about books. Got a decent lineup this week, with anyone who bet on Phoenix Resurrection getting delayed losing. It’s another Marvel focused week, but stay tuned after the credits to see why that might not be true for long!

 

Moon Knight #191

The “Crazy Runs in the Family” arc continues in issue 191! After last month leaving off with Moon Knight (the embodiment of the Egyptian god Khonshu) and Sun King (the embodiment of the Egyptian god Ra) finally meeting face to face, things started off right away. Half the issue is spent on an awesome fight scene. It’s nice getting into some solid action, made more intense by the fact that Marc’s family is in danger. The fact that the beginning is so strong actually makes it even more impressive that I prefer the second half. It may be due to the fact that I have very little knowledge of Moon Knight, but getting more spooky exposition about the nature of the Egyptian gods really drew me in. Also, getting to see a little bit of normal (if hiding out with your daughter after her mom is kidnapped by a god and a dude whose face you ripped off is normal) added good pacing to break up all the other stuff. It’s a well put together issue and I still like the series, despite the multiple personality angle occasionally being a little weird. Art was strong and consistent this issue, withthe fight scene highlighting the whole book.

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Comic Wolf’s Pull Box Week of 1/24/18

Who’s ready for another exciting installment of Comic Wolf’s Pull Box?! Nobody? That’s fine I’m doing it anyway. This week is a good one, between my actual favorite series coming out again plus further entries in Doomsday Clock and Phoenix Resurrection. In the comments/Discord you can take bets on whether or not Marvel will delay the fifth and final issue of Phoenix next week. Till then, on to the main event!

Doomsday Clock #3

I have to admit, after three issues my fears about Doomsday Clock are rapidly fading away. It’s a damn good book. This issue features the proper DC Universe the most heavily, having gotten through the build up of the first couple issues. A lot of the things I love about this #3 are connected to the fact that it’s a true DC/Watchmen collision. Seeing Batman and Rorschach interact is interesting, even if it’s an obvious thing to have happen. The cuts to an old movie throughout the issue makes a nice parallel with “Tales of the Black Freighter” from the original Watchmen, although it remains to be seen if this will be as persistent/important thematically. I also like the vague hints at the state of the DC Universe and the ways it is actually becoming like the Watchmen universe. Sure, a story about superheroes not being trusted is a bit overdone, but the fact that this is an open homage to Watchmen rather than presenting itself as original makes it more enjoyable. It doesn’t seem to be sticking too close to the original with this issue, just grounding itself in both stories. Also, I love, love, love the art. I can’t say I’m overly familiar with the name Gary Frank, although a quick Wikipedia search reveals he’s done some work on a few things I liked (Batman:Earth One, DC Rebirth One-Shot, Superman: Secret Identity). I have a feeling this book may be a break out moment for him. In terms of things I don’t like about the book, I am a little worried it may come to rely too much on just pulling characters out. Batman and Superman are obviously going to play a large role, but the Comedian appearing and hints of the Joker’s involvement are a little worrying. This particular issue also jumps around a lot, which is a little jarring, but the branching story paths were enjoyable because of the breadth of the worlds colliding. My one other complaint is something I don’t want to get into too much, but the series has just been delayed to a bi-monthly schedule which is a) annoying and b) messes up the whole premise of Doomsday Clock: it takes place in the DCU in one year from now and over the course of the next real life year all the other DC books will slowly move in the direction teased in the book. I’m sure it’ll work out somehow, but I’m impatient and waiting two years for this to wrap up is gonna suck.

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