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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!

Ultimate Comics: Spider-Man #3 (Pick of the Week)
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Art: Sara Pichelli
Colors: Justin Ponsor
Publisher: Marvel
Price $3.99

The journey into the life of Miles Morales continues as he is looking for answers in his uncle’s apartment as to why he can now crawl on walls as result of a spider bite.

Later, he ends up at a building fire where a family is trapped inside.

Miles saves them but the thought of having someone’s life in his hands is too much for him. The only responsibilities he wants are the ones he will have in the new charter school he will attend. This is normally not an appealing character trait in a superhero, but remember Miles is a grade school kid who up until one month ago thought Legos and homework were the only things he had to worry about.

The dialog continues to make you root for Miles as it ensures he does not come across as a coward. Miles’ facial expressions as he is crawling up the building during the fire rescue were very well done. It perfectly captured that “what did I get myself into” feeling. Peter Parker makes it look easy and that’s the great thing about Bendis’ script: it makes it clear that while Miles and Peter live in the same city, they are two completely different people and that’s the way it should be.

For the first time I have become a monthly Spider-Man reader and I will continue to be for at least as long as this creative team is intact!

Grade: A


Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #2
Writer: Kevin Eastman & Tom Waltz
Art: Dan Duncan & Walter Simonson
Publisher: IDW
Price $3.99

Kevin Eastman and Tom Waltz have presented a new mythology for a new generation for ours “Heroes in a Half-Shell”.

The story begins in the present when Raphael prevents a drunken father from beating up his son. The dialog during their fight contains phrases such as “screw you” and “friggin no good, sonuvabitch” which displays the book’s edgier side.

This suits Raph perfectly, since he is the turtle with the attitude and he is no longer handcuffed by the P.G. restrictions of the 90’s cartoon. We flash back to 15 months ago where April O’Neil is working on a lead until the Foot Clan breaks in and tries to kill her. The terminology wasn’t “destroy her” or even kidnap her but they are literally trying to end her life with swords. Just as all hope seems lost, a pre-mutated Splinter saves the day.

The artwork compliments the script, especially when little Splinter jumps up a wall and pulls down the fire alarm with his mouth during the fight where the boys’ father is so drunk fighting Raphael it doesn’t even dawn on him that he is fighting a giant turtle.

Grade: B+


Star Wars: Invasion-Revelations #4
Writer: Tom Taylor
Art: Colin Wilson
Color: Wes Dzioba
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Price: $3.50

If you live by the notion of not judging a book by it’s cover, then you are really missing out in this case, however, Dark Horse delivers the goods with Revelations.

Civilians, mercenaries, pirates, Imperials and the New Republic have banded together to protect the planet Sheamar from a Yuuzhan Vong invasion. Meanwhile, on Coruscant, Finn Galfridian, a member of the New Jedi Order, is looking for answers as he begins “aggressive negotiations” with Chief of State Borsk Fey’lya until a palace guard breaks up the party. The pacing of the book is reminiscent of the movies and the art and dialog truly display the gravity of the grave situation the galaxy faces.

There is an outstanding two page panel that shows a battle scene comprised of scattered fire, slaughtered Stormtroopers, decimated AT-ST’s and battle damaged AT-AT’s while an X-Wing fighter races down to the planet’s surface. Taylor and Wilson’s work is clearly in sync and this pays dividends to anyone who picks up a copy of this Star Wars title.

Grade: A-


Green Lantern #2
Writer: Geoff Johns
Art: Doug Mahnke, Christian Alamy, Keith Champagne
Colors: David Baron
Publisher: DC Comics
Price: $2.99

Sinestro plays the role of Uncle Ben Parker and attempts to teach a powerless Hal Jordan that with great power comes great responsibility and uses his own power ring against him to drive the point home.

Hal, who is having trouble adapting to life without the ring throws all caution to the wind to get it back until Sinestro puts him in check with a single thought and reminds him through a series of events why the Lantern Corps truly does what it does. Hal gets a power ring back put his powers are on a very short leash.

The panels showing Jordan’s emotions during his “lesson” were spot on. My only complaint with the art was that Sinestro did not look as menacing as he did in the first issue. In fact, his facial expression never changes. The writing was at it’s apex during a moment where Sinestro looks to be the ultimate hypocrite until he pulls a 180 at the last minute.

I fell for it hook, line and sinker.

This is an entertaining book with an ending that will bring you back in November.

Grade: B+


Batman & Robin #2
Writer: Peter J. Tomasi
Art: Patrick Gleason
Colors: John Kalisz
Publisher: DC Comics
Price: $2.99

Peter J. Tomasi’s script explores the new dynamic of the dynamic duo as Batman is cleaning up the streets of Gotham with his son instead of a foster child.

Bruce has difficulty making the distinction between being a mentor and being a father.

The problem is that Damien is no ordinary child. He is a trained killer and the thought of having to show restraint when fighting bad guys disgusts him. The cover art with them inside the Batmobile depicts this perfectly. Batman is in hot pursuit while Robin’s facial expression shows he absolutely enjoys the thrill of the chase. Bruce is troubled by Damien’s obsession of wanting to inflict as much harm as possible and he hopes that showing him the love of his father will start to change things.

Tomasi’s writing of Damien is unique because he is a complete badass which we all love but you sometimes wish Bruce would smack him upside his head. The best piece of art work in the book is when Damien breaks the neck of a bat with a one handed no look catch in response to Bruce complimenting him on his performance.

Grade: B


The Cape #2
Writer: Jason Ciaramella
Art: Zach Howard
Colors: Nelson Daniel
Publisher: IDW
Price: $3.99

What if one day you woke up and had the ability to fly?

We naturally assume this person would do good deeds.

However, what if this person feels that life has given him a raw deal?
Jason Ciaramella shows what happens when this person chooses the unrighteous path. Eric is depressed because everyone around him is achieving different levels of success while he has failed to escape the rut he has been in since his accident years earlier.

He comes from a loving family, had a supportive girlfriend and still, the fact that he can’t figure out what he is good at is tearing away at his humanity. Eric killed his girlfriend in the first issue for leaving him and in doing so he got this morbid enjoyment out of it because he has finally found something he is good at, murdering people. Ciaramella’s script adds a disturbing dimension to Eric’s character arch because discovering what he is good at is not enough. He has to prove he is good at his new “profession” and people in this situation usually start with their family.

The artwork and colors have a dark and twisted elegance that depicts how Eric feels. Most comic books that feature the bad guys often have them playing the anti-hero. There is absolutely nothing heroic about this angry guy in the cape.

Grade: A


Batwoman #2
Writer: J.H. Williams III & W. Haden Blackman
Art: J.H. Williams III
Colors: Dave Stewart
Publisher: DC Comics
Price $2.99

Ladies and gentlemen, the Batwoman hype is justified as issue two is right on par with the first installment.

I was hesitant to read this series because I instantly thought “what could be the difference between her and Batgirl?”

There is a world of difference that Williams and Blackman beautifully show as Batwoman has a sense of honor to her work that we don’t see from Barbara Gordon. While Gordon will always do the right thing. Kate Kane, (Batwoman’s secret identity) is consumed with cleaning up the streets of Gotham and it is her first priority. Not even a blossoming romance or an invitation to join Batman Incorporated deters her from her mission.

There has been some criticism about Kate’s sexual orientation. Public opinion of the issue aside, I liked that her and the detective’s interest in each other was not this over done girls gone wild type of moment. It felt as normal as can be and the thought of seeing a gay couple on the panels never entered my mind. While this is a book in the “Bat-Family”, it has a different feel to it as the only thing that reminds me it’s a Bat book is the red bat on her costume.

Grade: A-


Batgirl #2
Writer: Gail Simone
Art: Ardian Syaf
Colors: Ulises Arreola
Publisher: DC Comics
Price: $2.99

The issue opens with Batgirl up against her new foe, the Mirror, while having difficulty getting reacclimated as a crime fighter. Gail Simone did a fantastic job with the writing of Barbara’s confidence going up and down as she makes one mistake after another.

This could have made Batgirl come across like a blundering idiot but the dialog and artwork makes sure that is not the case. Barbara’s narration during her scrap with the Mirror adds a deep perspective to her character arch because she is not in denial about her abilities. She knows she is not ready for this yet but it is in her nature to stop bad things from happening. Jim Gordon’s red hair is another reminder that bat-continuity is all out of whack. Don’t let that mess you up though.

The sky is the limit with this creative team as Batgirl is a fantastic tale about a superhero who is trying to find her footing.

Grade: B+


Jurassic Park: Dangerous Games #2
Writer: Greg Bear & Erik Bear
Art: Jorge Jimenez
Color: Jeff Zornow
Publisher: IDW
Price $3.99

Agent Espinoza is trapped in Jurassic Park and has found shelter with a red haired lady named Dr. Frances White who has a motherly bond with a pack of raptors who obey her every beck and call.

The account of how their relationship came to pass is the most compelling story in the book and it has the art to thank for that. In fact, the art does such a good job at telling the story that I didn’t need to read a single word balloon. The dialog was ok but nothing special. Espinoza ending up face to face with a Tyrannosaurus rex that was well done because it displayed how scared he was as his life is in the hands of the largest carnivore of all time.

The finish of the book did not leave me wanting to see what happens in the next issue. This issue put forth a great effort and hardcore Jurassic Park fans might find this to be a good read. For the $3.99 price tag, make sure your fully committed to the story before putting your money down on this one.

Grade: C

Duck Tales #5
Writer: Warren Spector & Ian Brill
Art: Jose Massaroli & James Silvani
Publisher: Boom! Studios
Price: $3.99

“Dangerous Currency” debuts with some dangerous decision making as Uncle Scrooge has made Launchpad the C.E.O. of his secret company, Quackwerks.

Oh brother.

The actual reason why he was put in charge is the classic stuff that we have come to love from Duck Tales.

Magica De Spell is up to her wicked ways and releases a magical black slime that covers the Quackwerks building and the city of St. Canard. Scrooge rallies the troops to combat De Spell and is relieved by the appearance of Fenton Crackshell. Darkwing Duck is on the case but we all know there is a certain hero we need to save the day. De Spell realizes this too and enlists the help of the Beagle Boys to ensure a certain Gizmo suit does not interfere in her plans. It was fun to see character after character as the story unfolded, as they each served a purpose.

I recommend giving Duck Tales a read if you are looking for something different and especially if you watched the cartoon growing up.

Grade: B-


X-Men: Regenesis (One Shot Issue)
Writer: Kieron Gillen
Art: Billy Tan
Colors: Andres Mossa
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Price: $3.99

The line has been drawn as Regenesis reveals who stays with Cyclops on Utopia and who leaves for Westchester with Wolverine.

Gillen produced some solid writing when he showed which X-Men pledged their allegiance to whom.

Some reasons were simple while others are complicated. One mutant stays in San Francisco despite being closer to Logan while another one simply wants a change of scenery. The art work was a step down from the Schism series but it was nothing to complain about. The strongest panels show a struggle between Scott and Logan when they are trying to convince themselves this is not a fight but a profound “disagreement” that heats up as each member makes their choice.

My only problem with this comic book is that it exists. Regenesis should have been the fifth issue of Schism. Instead, we pay $3.99 to see who sided with whom and we paid another $3.99 to find out why.

Bottom line, the issue on its own is a fun and entertaining read.

Grade: B


Amazing Spider-Man #671 (Shelf Listed: Disappointment of the Week)
Writer: Dan Slott
Art: Humberto Ramos
Colors: Edgar Delgado
Pubisher: Marvel
Price $3.99

Sometimes less is more and that is what part four of Spider Island failed to realize.

I understand things are in a state of chaos, but there was too much going on and too many characters to let anything really sink in. Mary Jane swings into action with her new found spider abilities as Spider Island takes us one step closer to its finality. Spider-Man has his hands full with a spiderized Jonah Jameson while Reed Richards finds a cure for the spider virus that could be better. I’m not even sure why MJ graced the cover of the book. Yes, I know she is Marvel’s resident hottie. I just assumed she played more of a pivotal role in the story.

The color in this series has been vibrant and fun but it was kind of lazy this time. Save your $3.99 for another book and wait for part five on 10/26.

Grade: D

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