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Check out what I checked out this week.

Whether the comics are inspiring or disappointing, I read them all.

Welcome to The Pull List.

And, as always…Spoilers ahead!

Batman #7 (Pick of the Week)
Writer: Scott Snyder
Art: Greg Capullo & Jonathan Glapion
Colors: FCO
Publisher: DC Comics
Price: $2.99

For the past six months I’ve been a little apprehensive when picking up the latest Batman book.

Each issue impossibly gets better and better, and I fear that this is going to be the issue that falls from amazing to average. That doesn’t happen in this issue as the collaborative efforts of Synder, Capullo & Glapion produce another amazing book.

The mystery surrounding the Court of Owls and their assassin, The Talon, reveals some shocking details that force Bruce to realize that the Gotham he knew never existed. The must-see panel of the week is a scene where Batman backhands Nightwing so hard that he knocks his tooth out.

The games are over and the Court takes flight to begin their reign of terror.

Grade: A+

Justice League #7
Writer: Geoff Johns
Art: Gene Ha & Gary Frank
Colors: Art Lyons & Brad Anderson
Publisher: DC Comics
Price: $3.99

The story fast forwards to the present day where a new threat emerges and Steve Trevor assumes the Nick Fury role of a government sanctioned task force.  The League swoops in and saves the day when the danger is overwhelming. Speaking of Trevor, he is really the star of this issue as we see him as a liaison between the government and the League. Gene Ha took over the art duties for Jim Lee and presented a darker and descriptive style that presented the fight scenes as a serious affair.

Hal Jordan was annoying in the previous story arc and he is just as annoying in the present. His mid-fight wisecracks feel like a lame attempt to copy Spider-Man and just need to stop.

The Shazam back-up story was really well done and Gary Frank’s art work is fantastic. Johns’ provides a different spin on Billy Batson that some people might not enjoy but it’s a different universe and besides, the hoodie Captain Marvel is sporting looks bad ass.

Grade: B

Rocketeer Adventures 2 #1
Writers: Peter David, Marc Gungenheim & Stan Sakai
Art: Sandy Plunkett, Bill Sienkiewicz, Stan Sakai, & Arthur Adams
Colors: Jeromy Cox, Dave Stewart, and John Raunch
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Price: $3.99

This is a special book with an ensemble cast of artists and writers that treats readers to three different stories.

Each of them has their own charm and brilliance that will leave you smiling with amazement. The artwork and splendid color treatment provide the perfect compliment as each story has their own purpose.

Marc Gungenheim’s “The Good Guys” is the serious story of the issue while the “The Ducketeer” and “A Dream of Flying” provide a little something for everyone with stunning visuals and a lot of laughs.

Grade: A-

Avengers: X-Sanction #4 of 4
Writer: Jeph Loeb
Art: Ed McGuinness & Dexter Vines
Colors: Morry Hollowell
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Price: $3.99

Now this is what X-Sanction should have been. One book that plots the course to next month’s mega event.

And then there were two: Spider-Man & Wolverine are all that stand in Cable’s way but they may have some help as the TO Virus is starting to overcome him.

After the dust settles and the smoke is cleared it is revealed that Hope is the Phoenix. There is really nothing deep to this story. Just a lot of fighting conceived by an idea that a father has to kill everyone to protect his daughter.

This all could have, and would have been, more effective as one single issue and not four with three of them being a waste of time.

Anyone expecting to see Spidey rocking the symboite costume in the book will be disappointed.

And of course, excellent visuals from Ed McGuinness that shine during the most important scenes.

Grade: B

The Goon # 38
Writer: Eric Powell
Art: Eric Powell
Colors: Dave Stewart
Publisher: Dark Horse
Price: $3.50

In my opinion, it’s always a treat to read a comic book that is written and drawn by the same person.

It’s even better when that person is Eisner award winner Eric Powell. Powell has provided the perfect jumping off point with a stand alone issue that explores the back story of the Goon’s Aunt Kizzie.

She is a strong woman who is easy to admire despite going through life with constant ridicule and sadness.

The cover is easily my favorite of the week and the ingenuity of making it look like an olde-tyme circus poster was brilliant.

Grade: A-

Peanuts #3
Writer: Charles M. Schulz, Shane Houghton & Vicki Scott
Art: Matt Whitlock, Bob Scott & Paige Braddock
Colors: Lisa Moore, Nina Kester, Justin Thompson & Alexis E. Fajardo
Publisher: Boom! Studios
Price: $3.99

I love the original versions of the Peanuts holiday specials but I can’t stand the contemporary versions.

I assumed I would not like this comic book but after reading it, I found myself enjoying a sweet blend of old and new. We are treated to three short stories titled “Spring Training”, “Fast & Furious” and “How to Draw Lucy Van Pelt” and a classic Schultz comic strip.

The artwork in “Fast & Furious” is delightful with Snoopy’s hijinks stealing the show. The Linus 1st appearance variant cover is a nice touch for those looking for a little extra nostalgia.

Grade: B-

Wolverine #303
Writer: Jason Aaron
Art: Billy Tan, Steven Sanders & Paco Diaz
Colors: Sotocolors, Matt Milla, Jim Charalampidis & Rachelle Rosenberg
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Price: $3.99

The final issue on Jason Aaron’s run presents a simple but effective story.

Logan’s trek into Japan has been an adventurous one for sure and it ends just about the same way it started. Lot’s of ninjas end up dead. The Hand and the Yakuza have been crippled beyond repair while a new evil foursome emerges. Sabertooth steps up his game and plays a more impactful role than he ever has before.

The artwork was kind of scattered thought the book but still enjoyable. Jason Aaron will be truly missed as he has brought us some phenomenal Wolverine stories over the last four years.  

Fear Itself architect, Cullen Bunn, has a tall order ahead of him.

Grade: B

Heart #4 of 4
Writer: Blair Butler
Art: Kevin Mellon
Ink: Crank
Publisher: Image Comics
Price: $2.99

MMA fighter Oren “Rooster” Redmond is having more difficulty in the cage then he ever imagined.

He is falling into journeyman status, fast, and has to decide if he should keep fighting or step away from the cage, for good. Rooster’s character is one anyone can relate to.

He wants to be a superstar and avoid punching the time clock. In the world of Mixed Martial Arts, some fighters become huge rockstars while other run the treadmill their entire career and take a serious beating that is sure to have repercussions and lingering effects after retirement.

Blair Butler writing explores the emotions of Redmond’s choices as it takes heart to make the right decision and not the popular one.

Grade: B 

Amazing Spider-Man #682
Writer: Dan Slott
Art: Stefano Caselli
Colors: Frank Martin Jr
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Price: $3.99

This is the beginning of the new story arc titled “Ends of the Earth” where Peter Parker finds that his life may be coming to an end in more ways than one.

John Jameson is on a mission to shut down Horizon Labs and Doctor Octopus is hatching a plot where the entire world is at risk. Spider-Man is even shocked that the good doctor would go so far that he is more serious than ever before. He pulls out some new spidey tech and calls upon the Avengers for help.

Stefano Caselli’s art work is the perfect touch for this arc. It’s not as bright and vibrant as Ramos’ work but his depictions convey the seriousness of the grave threat that is emerging.

Solid issue over all that promises good things to come.

Grade: B

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