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THE PULL LIST – Justice League #1, Flashpoint #5, Amazing Spider-Man #668 & More!

If you only read one book or five this week, here’s what you might want to check out, and one that you may want to avoid altogether.

Welcome to The Pull List.

Justice League #1 (Pick of the Week)
Writer: Geoff Johns
Art & Cover: Jim Lee & Scott Williams
Publisher: DC Comics
Price: $3.99

Ladies and gentleman, boys and girls, children of all ages!

The new DCU comes out with a bang with the Justice League.

The story takes place five years in the past when the world fears costumed folk who are considered anything but superheroes. Batman is trying to apprehend a Fourth World Para-Demon while he is being chased by Gotham’s finest. Amidst the rooftop madness, Green Lantern appears and aids Batman in subduing the Para-Demon and in the process discovers an unknown artifact planted by the creature (a Mother Box, perhaps?).

After some deliberation between Hal and Batman, they determine this must be connected to “that alien” in Metropolis. Meanwhile, we get a glimpse into the life of a pre-Cyborg Victor Stone, a first class high school athlete who has the attention of every top college in the country.He, however, is only looking for the attention of his father who seems to show no interest in his son’s life. In Metropolis, our team arrives on the scene looking for Superman. They soon realize this alien with the“S” on his chest is not to be be trifled with.

This was a great way to start off the first issue of a new era. Nothing earth shattering happens as the pre-reboot might suggest, but like it that way. More often than not less is more, and we got plenty. The subtleties in this book along with Geoff Johns’ dialog is what really drives the story. This is the first time Batman and Green Lantern have ever met. Their previous reputations not exist as they see different things when they look at each other. Batman sees an arrogant, by the book, space cop while Lantern see some guy in a Bat-suit with no powers. Jim Lee’s and Scott Lee’s artwork really captures the essence and the feeling of the story. The shining green light that appears before we see GL is as close as you get towards having actual light shoot out of your comic book. Jim Lee draws an epic Superman and it shows on the very last page, as it is clear he is looking for a reason to lay the smackdown on Batman. Think about how crazy that sounds as they were best friends one week ago.

Lee and Johns have clearly stated that this is a new day for DC and there are great things in store for comic book fans. I was a little disappointed we did not see Aquaman, Wonder Woman, Flash and the rest of the gang at first. But, like a great piece of barbecue, it’s always better when it’s slow cooked on the grill instead of zapped in the microwave. The origin route is the way to go because it makes you want to come back for more, and I have a feeling that everyone will come back for more this October.

*****

Flashpoint #5
Writer: Geoff Johns
Art & Cover: Andy Kubert and Sandra Hope
Publisher: DC Comics
Price: $2.99

What happens when the hero realizes he was the the villain all along?

We discover the answer in the final chapter of Flashpoint as it was Barry Allen who is responsible for everything that has transpired.

This revelation serves as one last psychological middle finger from Professor Zoom. The battle between the Amazons and the Atlantians serve as background noise as Flash races into the time stream to undo the damage he caused as he is met by a mysterious hooded women and who shows him three time lines: DC, Wildstorm and Vertigo. She explains why they were broken up and how the reunification of the three universes will come at a price. Flashpoint was not an exciting stand alone series but Geoff Johns’ story telling in this issue made me care about how it ended even though I knew what the ending was.

***

Amazing Spider-Man #668
Writer: Dan Slott
Art: Humberto Ramos & Victor Olazaba
Colors by Edgar Delgado
Publisher: Marvel
Price: $3.99

Part Two of Spider Island shows that with great power can also come a lack of responsibility when some of the not so good citizens of New York City run a muck with their new Spider abilities.

While Peter Parker tries to save the day, he quickly discovers he is not only detrimental in aiding his fellow heroes, he also realizes he is no longer extraordinary, as he is just a normal person in this abnormal situation. Peter wrestles with his new reality as he wonders who is to blame for everyone having Spider powers. The art and color in this issue was awesome. It’s the best art work of the week in my opinion. Dan Slott did a great job of putting together this story as Peter learned that great power comes from within instead of crawling on walls. Cameos include the Avengers, X-Men, Anti-Venom and Venom.

****

The Mighty Thor #5
Writer: Matt Fraction
Art: Oliver Copiel
Color: Jessica Kholine
Publisher: Marvel
Price: $3.99

We are treated to a double main event of comic proportions as Silver Surfer battles Thor on Mars, while a super sized Odin dukes it out with Galactus in outer space. On Mars, Surfer notices a strange wound on Thor, and it looks like hurts.

Odin delivers the mother of all headbutts which causes Galactus’s face to fall apart like a house of cards. Loki is up to no good as usual and the people of fallen Asguard fight to make sure that a down but not out Galactus does not step foot into their world. The art work is pretty good as I felt it accomplished what it needed to do. To sum it up nicely, this issue is one big slug fest.

***

Incredible Hulks #635
Writer: Greg Pak
Art: Paul Pelletier
Color: Morry Hollowell
Publisher: Marvel
Price: $3.99

Hulk and Red She Hulk stuck in the Dark Dimension beating each other up on a continuous loop, and they are having the time of their life. Dr. Strange looks on as he see them enjoying each other “company” since they finally don’t have to hold back because there are no innocent by standers to worry about. Strange starts to wonder if this maybe the best place for them.

Back on Earth, Fin Fang Foom has absorbed the most insane amount of gamma radiation thought to have been destroyed. With the fate of the world hanging in the balance, The Hulks are brought back to put the dragon’s fire out once and for all.

The art work screamed Hulk Smash. I’m a casual Hulk fan at best and I found this book entertaining. This extra large book is the final issue of Gerg Pak’s five year run with the series.
        
***

Shelf Listed (Disappointment of The Week)

Ultimate Hawkeye #1
Writer: Jonathan Hickman
Art: Rafa Sandoval & Jordi Tarragona
Color: Brad Anderson
Publisher: Marvel
Price: $3.99

In my humble opinion, you can leave Ultimate Hawkeye on the shelf this week.

In this inaugural issue, Clint Barton’s mission takes him to Southeast Asia where he is to obtain a serum created by two evil geneticists dubbed “The Plan”.

Not only does this serum spread a virus which blocks mutant powers and eventually destroys the X gene, but also it also gives the subject super powers when it is injected into the blood stream.

It might sound good on paper, but the whole thing was very underwhelming. Why create a serum that negates X and gives someone powers if injected directly? Hawkeye’s sarcastic nature provides the only entertainment in this book. The art could have been a lot better and 12 of the 32 pages consisted of ads and previews. I would only suggest picking this up if you are a hardcore Hawkeye fan and want a new #1 for the sake of collecting.

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