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The Pull List:

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!

The Creep #0 (Pick of the Week)
Writer: John Arcudi
Artist: Jonathan Case
Cover: Frank Miller
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Price: $2.99

The best detective story of the week doesn’t belong to Batman.

The Creep follows a private detective named Oxel who suffers from Acromegaly. This is a condition where the pituitary gland produces too much growth hormone and causes disfigurement.

In Oxel’s case, his face has been enlarged. Oxel’s college sweetheart contacts him after 23 years and hires him to investigate her son’s suicide. His exploration into the matter brings about more questions than answers.

The writing is superb and perfectly executes every facet of the story. The art could not have been more appropriate and exquisitely conveys the sentiment the moment and the significance of the situation.

If that wasn’t good enough, Frank Miller’s cover is the cherry on top that makes this comic book the total package.

This book falls on the mature side to parents might want to take a gander before letting their kids read it. For the adults who are free or parental restriction, let John Arcudi tell you one hell of a story.

Grade: A

Gambit #1
Writer: James Asmus
Art: Clay Mann & Seth Mann
Colors: Rachelle Rosenberg
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Price: $2.99

Fanboy fascination with Gambit has always intrigued me.

Chatter on message boards and in comic book shops would make you believe that he is the most popular X-Men character.

In May 2003, I witnessed several people in a Massachusetts Movie Theater jump for joy when they happened to see the name “Remy LeBeau” on a computer screen that Mystique was breaking into during X2: X-Men United.

It suffices to say the New Orleans native is a popular fellow, but his comic book series never lasts that long.

Hopefully, James Asmus can change all that and he is off to a great start with this issue.

Gambit is kind of bored with the whole X-Men thing, so he takes some time off to get some old thieving habits out of his system.

The script is clever from beginning to end and Clay Mann’s art is the perfect compliment to the story being told. Marvel has come out of the gate with two great first issues with Captain Marvel and Hawkeye and we can safely add Gambit to the list.

Grade: B+

It Girl & the Atomics #1
Writer: Jamie S. Rich
Art: Mike Norton
Colors: Allen Passaiaqua
Publisher: Image Comics
Price: $2.99

This is a comic I would have judged by its cover in my younger years and left it on the rack.

Now that I’m a bit wiser, I gave this a try and I’m glad I did.

The story follows It Girl who is one of the heroes of Snap City. Her superpower allows her to take on the property of any object she touches. The inside cover tells the story of alien spores that gave powers to eight individuals.

The story is entertaining enough and the best way to describe the art is classic contemporary.

Meaning, it looks the way a stereotypical comic book would look. Loads of action with a lot of CRASH, BANG text sounds to boot.

I worry about the longevity of this series in terms of storytelling but this is still a book you should try out if you are looking for something different.

Grade: B-

Batman #12
Writer: Scott Snyder & James Tynion IV
Art: Becky Cloonan
Colors: FCO Placencia
Publisher: DC Comics
Price: $3.99

By now, you shouldn’t be surprised to see Batman in The Pull List.

Scott Snyder has written eleven remarkable issues and the 12th installment is no exception. Becky Cloonan takes artistic duties with this issue and her touch on this particular story was the perfect fit.

The DC Universe has a new player in town and her name is Harper Row. In fact, this issue is more about her than the Dark Knight himself. She is a strong, gutsy and smart woman who cares for her brother. They live in a rundown part of Gotham and she works an electrician for the city’s power grid.

She actually made her first appearance in Batman #1. The only reason I figured this out is because one of the panels she was in looked familiar. There is a moment in the story where Harper’s brother is mugged by multiple assailants because of his sexual orientation and Batman sends them packing.

I really enjoyed this because as young whippersnapper, I was picked on because I’m bi-racial. My imagination would get the better of me and I’d think to myself “If Batman had my back, these guys would never mess with me.”

You’d think these types of problems might be too small for a hero of Batman’s stature, but not in Scott Snyder’s world. I didn’t expect much from this issue since DC Comics #0 issues are released in September and the new Joker story arc begins in October.

Kudos to everyone involved for their work on another great issue and hopefully Becky Cloonan will make another visit to Gotham soon.

Grade: A-

Spider-Men #4
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Art: Sara Pichelli
Cover: Jim Cheung, Mike Deodato, & Sara Pichelli
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Price: $3.99

This issue can be described with one word: Emotion.

Uncle Ben’s famous words “With great power comes great responsibility” bridges the gap between Earth-616 and the Ultimate Universe for the Parker family.

Peter Parker meeting Ultimate Gwen Stacy while Ultimate Aunt May, with tears in her eyes, stares at her favorite nephew all grown up sets the tone for this family reunion that has been years in the making.

The 13 year old Miles Morales looks on as he sees first hand how much love his hero had in his life. Mysterio is lurking in the shadows while plotting his next big coup.

As always, Bendis and Pichelli delivery the goods, in droves, with their unique talents.

Grade: A-

Batgirl #12
Writer: Gail Simone
Art: Ardian Syaf & Vincente Cifuentes
Colors: Ulises Arreola
Publisher: DC Comics
Price: $2.99

Artwork of the week goes to Batgirl without question!

The detail in Ardian Syaf’s pencil work is something to behold and Ulises Arreola’s rich color treatment puts this book over the top. The story is pretty good too.

Batwoman guest stars in this issue while her series is one of the better books DC Comics is putting out, I always wondered: why have a Batgirl and Batwoman series?

Barbara Gordon resonates with more people and has been around a lot longer. Simone did an excellent job of getting her over her characters importance in the Batman universe.

The fight between the two super-heroines shows how bad ass the red & black fatale can be. Solid issue over all and can’t wait to see what happens next.

Grade: B

Transformers: Robots In Disguise #8
Writer: John Barber
Artist: Andrew Griffith
Colors: Josh Perez
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Price: $3.99

If you are a fan of the Dinobots, this issue might be right up your alley.

If you haven’t read this series, then let me fill you in with the current events.

The Autobots and Deceptioncons have called a truce and Bumblebee is running shop. In this issue, Ironhide and the Dinobots are in search of a homing beacon that originated in Cybertron’s wilderness. Meanwhile, Bumblebee’s administration is in turmoil and of course, Starscream has called for a vote of no confidence with the yellow buggy.

I’m usually don’t notice the artwork in franchise comics like this because the image of the cartoon is burned into my head, but there is something about Andrew Griffith’s work that drew me to this issue.

I know this is a review column but I can’t articulate why I like it so much.  It was just fun to look at and this issue will be a fun read for all who pick it up off the rack.

Grade: B

Here are some comic books that didn’t make the list but may just tickle your fancy.

Mouse Guard: The Black Axe #5 (Archaia)
This issue is on par with the others in the mini series. Celanawe’s quest for the Black Axe is some of the best fantasy tales you will find in comics today. This was awful close to making the list.

Captain America & Iron Man #635 (Marvel Comics)
If you are looking for a more superhero based Captain America comic book, you found it. Cap and Ironman are trapped by M.O.D.O.K and company and a virus has halted the use of Ironman’s armor.

Batman & Robin #12 (DC Comics)
Terminus battles Batman in the streets of Gotham and he puts more of a fight than you wound expect. Plus, can Damien finally get along with Grayson, Todd and Drake? Patrick Gleason illustrates a stunning image of the four Robins that you might consider using as wallpaper for your desktop.

Red Sonja: Atlantis Rises #1 (Dynamite Entertainment)
The city of Atlantis is resurrected by an evil doer named Thulsa Doom. Story kind of lags at times but not often but the art work is kind of impressive. If you not reading anything from Dynamite Entertainment; please start now.

Avengers Assemble #6 (Marvel Comics)
This is a great issue to read if you have never heard of the Guardians of the Galaxy. They have their own movie coming out in 2014.

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