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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 #8 (Pick of The Week #1)
Writer: Scott Snyder & James T. Tynion IV
Art: Greg Capullo, Rafael Albuquerque & Jonathan Glapion
Colors: FCO Plascencia & Nathan Fairbairn
Publisher: DC Comics
Price: $3.99

Scott Snyder’s Batman is so mind blowing that I read it last because I won’t care to read the other books of the week if I read it before.

The Court of Owls take flight and are headed for Wayne Manor. Bruce Wayne barely has anytime to recover from his beating in the Owl’s labyrinth of terror.

The collaborative efforts of everyone on this issue did an amazing job of sucking me in to the story and making me feel that I was hiding in the darkness while looking for a way to fend off the Talon.

The Court of Owls are the best new villains to be introduced into the world of DC Comics since the reboot. Others that have made their debut have been more or less cookie cutter variety but there are just layers upon layers of depth that you can sink your teeth into with the Owls.

Grade: A

Avengers vs. X-Men #2 (Pick of the Week #2)
Writer: Jason Aaron
Art: John Romita & Scott Hanna
Colors: Laura Martin
Price: $3.99

This book was just as hard to find as the last one…and I understand why.

The opening shots have been fired as the battle begins on Utopia.

What was great about this issue is that every fight between opposing team members felt as if there were real stakes involved. Nothing felt forced or contrived and Hope has a realization that could turn the tide of the war.

The inner-thought dialog is what drives the plot so you feel you are truly witnessing the beginning of a war between Earth’s protectors.

I had the theme from Platoon playing in my head while reading these deep thoughts of the observer.

Wolverine chooses his side but you wonder if he is really all in or has another purpose in mind.

I felt the art in the last issue kind of portrayed the characters as random guys dressed up as their favorite superhero. That was not the case this time as subtle changes were made for a more serious depiction.

Laura Martin’s bold coloring is the icing on the cake that just makes the pencil work come to life.

Grade: A

The Sixth Gun #21
Writer: Cullen Bunn
Art: Brian Hurtt
Colors: Bill Crabtree
Publisher: Oni Press
Price: $3.99

I hate Westerns and my father is to blame.

He was the man of the house so he decided what we watched on TV and nine times out of ten he watched Bonanza or any other Western movie that happened to be on.

While I tend to turn away from anything resembling the Wild West, Oni Press has me wrapped around its collective finger with The Sixth Gun. Silent issues are not my cup of tea but Brian Hutt pulls it off beautifully through the deaf state of Becky Montcrief.

Action and pivotal moments were carefully crafted as Becky refuses to be dwarfed by the enormity of the moment.

Check out this amazing book.

Grade: A-

Justice League #8
Writer: Geoff Johns
Art: Carlos D’Anda, Ivan Reis, Joe Prado, & Gary Frank
Colors: Gabe Eltabe, Alex Sinclair & Brad Anderson
Publisher: DC Comics
Price: $3.99

Just when you think that you have all the answers, Geoff Johns changes the questions.

He did a phenomenal job of making the Justice League seem like pretentious pricks while Green Arrow was trying to gain membership to the League.

No matter how many evil dudes he beat up, Aquaman and company still said no.

An awesome two page flashback reveals why the idea of new members is not even entertained and you just thought “WOW, he got me.”

Besides the big reveal, the artwork was kind of the run of the mill with seemingly too many cooks in the kitchen. This was the most engaging issue in awhile and I encourage everyone to check it out.

Oh, Hal is still annoying, but don’t let that get you down.

Grade: B

The Punisher #10
Writer: Greg Rucka
Art: Marco Checchetto
Colors: Matt Hollingsworth
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Price: $2.99

Part two of The Omega Effect features The Punisher’s ambition to obtain the omega drive.

Daredevil and Spider-Man take up the majority of the dialog, and deliver a baby.

A moment involving the passing of a skull-painted, bullet proof vest to Rachel Alves speaks volumes.

While the ending was kind of predictable, the stakes have been raised as all of Megacrime wants what is in Matt Murdock’s possession. Checchetto and Hollingsworth’s art maintained the dark and washed out look we’ve come to expect from this series.

Grade: B

The Avengers #25
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Art: Walter Simonson
Colors: Jason Keith
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Price: $3.99

Captain America has more than just the X-Men on his mind.

He is still in charge of global peace keeping and things feel too overwhelming until Thor sets him straight in a stunning page layout by Walter Simonson.

It’s not a point one issue, but it’s still a good book for the casual AvX reader to get into.

It’s even better if you are siding with the X-Men because the story examines Steve Rogers at his core and kinda makes you re-think what side you are on.

Grade: B

The Walking Dead #96
Writer: Robert Kirkman
Art: Charlie Adlard
Cover: Charlie Adlard
Publisher: Image Comics
Price: $2.99

The story is simple and yet, deep.

The hilltop community is reeling over Rick killing Ethan.

Fences mend quickly as Jesus tells the group about a group outside the community that takes half of all their food and supplies in exchange for protection.

Rick makes his own deal with Jesus that benefits both parties.

Kirkman hit a powerful chord with this arc because Rick, more than most knows what is feels like to be powerless over your circumstances and now he has just one more hurdle to climb in order for his plan to take full effect.

Grade: B-

Nightwing #8
Writer: Kyle Higgins
Art: Eddy Barrows & Paulo Siqueira
Colors: Rod Reis
Publisher: DC Comics
Price: $2.99

Tie-ins to major events can be either hit or miss.

This one hits the mark as the plot revolves around Dick Grayson’s ancestor in the Court of Owls.

Higgins’ dialog provides a slow suspenseful build throughout the issue that climaxes with a brutal fight scene between Nightwing and the Talon.

Eddy Barrows’ artwork is some of the best in the DC universe and Rod Reis’ color treatment was vibrant and dark when it needed to be.

This was the best issue of the new Nightwing to date.

Grade: B+

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Micro Series #4
Writer: Brian Lynch
Art: Ross Campbell
Colors: Jay Fotos
Publisher: IDW
Price: $3.99

Leonardo is chronicled in the final Turtle micro-series.

His story takes place in the current arc and he displays the honor and discipline you’d expect. However, being a leader has its drawbacks as you often keep things bottled inside to uphold that unflappable image to the people around you.

Leonardo’s leadership begins to crack like windshield as the Foot Clan looks to take him out.

Leo has one encounter in particular and….nope, I’m not saying anymore. Just trust me, you won’t be disappointed.

Grade: B

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