Comic Wolf’s Pull Box Week of 11/21/18

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?)!

Aquaman #42

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.

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Comic Wolf’s Pull Box Extreme Mega Size Ultimate Catch Up Edition

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!

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Comic Wolf’s Pull Box Week of 10/3/18

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”

Comic Wolf’s Pull Box Week of 9/19/18

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.

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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 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 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 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 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”