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THE PULL LIST:
BATMAN: EARTH ONE, AVENGERS VS. X-MEN #7, THIEF OF THIEVES #6 & More!

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: Earth One (Pick of the Week)
Writer: Geoff Johns
Art: Gary Frank & Jonathan Sibal
Colors: Brad Anderson
Publisher: DC Comics
Price: $22.95

DC Comics received a plethora of mixed reviews when Superman Earth One was released two years ago. It’s the Dark Knight’s turn to step into the fire with this unique re-imagining.

Gotham City is definitively the worst place in the world. Thomas Wayne is running for Mayor, Alfred is a badass Marine who is Wayne’s head of security and a long time friend and Martha has a distinctive maiden name that will make your head spin.

Bruce Wayne is a spoiled individual and Batman is an un-iconic figure that the scum of Gotham have pegged as just a crazy guy in a bat suit.

His approach is unrefined but he is determined to bring vengeance to the Mayor who pulls all the strings.

Gary Frank’s artwork is exquisite on every level.

The facial reactions of the characters say more than any word balloon and actually seeing Batman’s eye was a telling story indeed. The mask has white slits in normal continuity so this time, we see every emotion Batman is experiencing and makes you wonder if the regular incarnation is as stoic as he lets on.

Another great thing about this story is the depth of the characters and the growth they undergo.

Batman’s transformation is even more fascinating because every so often, he is pushed towards killing someone but he always perseveres to uphold his vow.

In this world, the caped crusader has a similar stance on murder, until he realizes you can’t have rules in a city that doesn’t play by them. My only complaint is that the book actually had to end because I was enthralled from beginning to end.

Grade: A+



Before Watchmen: Ozymandias #1
Writer: Len Wein
Art: Jae Lee
Colors: June Chung Lee
Publisher: DC Comics
Price: $3.99

The theme for this installment of the Before Watchmen series is “What Would Alexander of Macedon Do?”

The examination of Adrian Veidt from childhood to adulthood shows an individual as he looks to better himself in every aspect of his life in his quest to make the world a better place.

Adrian appears to look down at humanity, which is easy for someone with his intellect to do. It’s more than that though. Adrian has one objective he is deeply committed to and as a result, he doesn’t show any emotion until a romance ends in tragedy.

Jae Lee’s grand depictions perfectly capture Adrian’s essence through out the book.

Grade: B

Avengers vs. X-Men #7
Writer: Matt Fraction
Art: Olivier Coipel & Mark Morales
Colors: Laura Martin
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Price: $3.99

Cyclops’ No More Avengers initiative has begun as Captain America and company are down and almost out.

They have an ace in the hole in the Scarlett Witch, the only one powerful enough to hurt the Phoenix Five.

The Marvel creative team has done a fantastic job of creating a story that is more than just two super groups duking it out.

Both are fighting for a purpose that forces the reader to pick a side.

The first story arc gave an advantage to the Avengers that was so overwhelming that you wondered how the X-Men could prevail.

Now the X-Men are in control and it’s hard to see if the Avengers will ever be the same.

Grade: B

He-Man and the Masters of the Universe #1 of 6
Writer: James Robinson
Art: Phillip Tan, Ruy Jose & LeBeau Underwood
Colors: Richard Horie, Tanya Horie & Carrie Strachan
Publisher: DC Comics
Price: $2.99

Besides professional wrestling, He-Man defined my childhood as I played with the action figures and my Snake Mountain playset until the cows came home.

I didn’t think this book would make the list because I thought it would only appeal to fans of the cartoon.

To my surprise, the story appeals to everyone as it is the tale of a woodsman named Adam, who takes care of his sick father who has delusions of royal dinners in an extravagant palace. While Adam is a good natured, blue collar worker, he has this burning feeling that he is destined for a heroes life.

He decides to leave his village and travel in search of answers when he is attacked by a beastly looking foe with a warning to go back home. Adam is shocked that the attacker knows his name and ends up fighting back with an unexplained skill.

The mystery of the once, and perhaps future, hero captivates the imagination because a new fan wants to see what will materialize while hardcore He-Man fans are dying to know WTF happened to Eternia?

Why does Adam have no memory?

And how did Skeletor conquer the power of Grayskull?

Grade: B+

Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #12
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Art: David Marquez
Cover: Jorge Molina
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Price: $3.99

One of the fun things about Miles Morales is how he can look into a situation beyond the obvious and discern the outcome.

Of course he is a 13 years kid so most of the discerning is on accident but him enjoyable.

Uncle Aaron though, he is arguably the biggest prick in comic books today.

The dynamic between two family members is developed in a way that only Bendis could write. The art of David Marquez is just incredible.

This is a solid comic book in every way and I hope the upcoming Marvel NOW re-launch will leave well enough alone with this series.

Grade: A-

Thief of Thieves #6
Writer: Robert Kirkman & Nick Spencer
Art: Shawn Martinbrough
Colors: Felix Serrano
Publisher: Image Comics
Price: $2.99

Nick Spencer’s script provides a clever narrative in the form of heartfelt letter from father to son.

Redmond has devised a plan to get his son out of jail but the catch is he will be sending the worlds most notorious thieves up the river to do it.

Shawn Martinborough’s wonderful artwork of the theft in progress serves as a background to the fatherly advice in the letter.

Grade: B+

Rocketeer Adventures, Vol. 2 #4
Writter: Louise Simonson, David Mandel, & John Byrne
Art: Walter Simonson, Bob Wiacek, J. Bone, & John Byrne
Colors: Jordie Bellaire
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Price: $3.99

There is an exceptional sense of adventure that can only be found in this series.

The credit goes to the numerous writers and artists that collaborate on every issue.

Their ingenuity is a refreshing reminder of why we buy comic books in he first place. It’s the perfect mix of humor and serious storytelling.

To drive my point home, Cliff is dealing with a riot in Los Angeles while saving the day on another planet.

Grade: A

Green Arrow #11
Writer: Ann Nocenti
Art: Harvey Tolibao
Cover: Howard Porter
Publisher: DC Comics
Price: $2.99

To say I’m shocked is an understatement.

This issue was a complete 180 degree turn from the series that has been choppy and poorly written since the reboot began.

Ann Nocenti took over the writing duties in March and the series slowly got better and this new story arc involving the Dark Arrows brings some entertaining complexity to Oliver Queen’s life.

It couldn’t have come at a better time since the CW’s Arrow will debut this fall.

Now, I hope this trend will continue going forward.

Grade: B-

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