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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!

Xenoholics #1
Writer: Joshua Williamson
Art: Seth Damoose
Color: Paul Little
Publisher: Image
Price: $3.50

Mix together Randy Quaid from Independence Day with the characters in the escaped mental patient movie, The Dream Team and some good old fashioned “probing” and you get seven eclectic people who meet once a week for a group called Xenoholics.

Think of it as AA for those who have experienced close encounters with aliens. The main character, Bob, attends his first Xenoholic meeting as a result of his personal close encounter, but no one believes him. While at the meeting, he meets fellow group member Kyle, who is not all that’s he’s cracked up to be. Williamson produces a solid script that is funny and delightful to read. The artwork is reminiscent of drawings you’d see in the comics section of a news paper. Conspiracy theories, crystal skull mockery, and a cool Alf reference with the rest of the bells and whistles are all tied together in a entertaining package.

To sum this issue up in one word, fun.

Grade: B-


Nightwing #2
Writer: Kyle Higgins
Art: Eddy Barrows & JP Mayer
Colors: Rod Reis
Publisher: DC Comics
Price: $2.99

Nightwing finds himself on the defensive against a mysterious while Dick Grayson receives an inheritance that never entered the realm of possibility in his life. Kyle Higgins does a great job of making Nightwing an intelligent detective in his own right instead of cloning Batman’s skills. The color tone is dark thought out the book and the art shines during the emotional portions of the story and one moment in particular when the owner of Haley’s Circus reveals to he knew Dick was Nightwing because he trained him and recognized his acrobatic feats. I never read this book on a regular basis, but I think that will change as a result of the character and the story taking on a life of its own.

Grade: B


Star Trek/Legion of Superheroes #1
Writer: Chris Roberson
Art: Jeffrey Moy & Philip Moy
Colors: Romulo Fajardo Jr
Publisher: IDW
Price: $3.99

I have to admit, I’m a casual Star Trek fan and I’m even less than that of the Legion of Super-Heroes.

It’s not that I don’t like the Legion it’s just that I believe the whole time travel/multi-universe thing is played out.

After reading this I can safely say the ingenuity of this combination will appeal to hardcore and casual fans. The classic versions of the Legion and Star Trek crews simultaneously arrive in an alternate 23rd century on Earth where evil rules. Chris Roberson pulled off the coup of making these two groups feel like they were made for each other and they don’t even meet each other in the first issue. The art and colors in this book blend together perfectly. This comic series has the juice to boldly bring readers where no comic book fan has gone before. Besides, you know you want to see Brainiac 5 and Spock’s first meeting of the minds.

Grade: A-


Red Hood and the Outlaws #2
Writer: Scott Lobdell
Art: Kenneth Rocafort
Colors: Blond
Publisher: DC Comics
Price: $2.99

Jason Todd’s past and present collide to dictate his future in journey that brings himself and much to his chagrin, Starfire and Arsenal across the globe to track down who is behind the death of those who trained Todd.

Just two issues in, Lobdell is establishing the Red Hood’s character arc. He’s the anti-hero who pulls no punches in every aspect of his work. Roy (Arsenal) is the complete opposite and a loud mouth to boot. Starfire has served no real purpose as of yet except for being eye candy with a more sexualized look. Lobdell’s writing leaves a few questions to ponder over but they are good questions like are they really going to be a “team” or, are they just together for another reason yet to be determined?

This is a solid book that will keep the reader around for a few more issues in order to find out.

Grade: B-


Blue Beetle #2
Writer: Tony Bedard
Art: Ig Guara & Ruy Jose
Colors: Pete Pantazis
Publisher: DC Comics
Price: $2.99

The sophomore effort of Tony Bedard highlights Jamie Reyes as a genuinely good person who is more concerned with saving his best friend even though he is dealing with the alien scarab that has fused itself to Jamie’s spine.

He is scared, disorientated and in a lot pain but still pushes through. The beetle suit has some highly lethal programming and Reyes will have none of it. This is the telling of a hero by nature and not yet by trade. The best artwork is in certain panels where you see Jamie’s vision while in the suit and you see the data processing and targeting matrix being put to use. The scrab also includes a Siri type of program that acts more like a task master than a virtual assistant. The spanglish is still annoying at times and there is still no bad guy that you love to hate. Overall, the sophomore effort of the Beetle is not bad at all but lacks the “it” factor you want in a comic book. Bedard’s writing gives me hope that “it” will show up at some point.

Hopefully it will come soon enough.

Grade: C

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