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The Pull List:
THINK TANK #4, BATMAN #14, SAGA #7 & 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!

Thor: God of Thunder #1 (Pick of the Week)
Writer: Jason Aaron
Art: Esad Ribic
Colors: Den White
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Price: $3.99

My problem with Thor has always been that he is supposed to be a God and he really is just Superman with some of Storm’s powers.

Jason Aaron works his magic and puts the God back in the God of Thunder. This series focuses on different incarnations of Thor, ranging from a young arrogant heir apparent to the wise and fearless warrior.

The story begins a millennium ago when Thor is horrified to find the dead body of an Indian god. Fast forward to the present day where Thor answers the prayers of a little girl in deep space and his journey turns into a search for the planet’s missing God.

Esad Ribic’s art has a majestic feel worthy of an epic adventure. The distinctive lettering between mortal and immortal was a nice touch that added a little something extra.

This was a captivating debut for the new Thor series.

Grade: A

Evil Ernie #2
Writer: Jesse Snider
Art: Jason Craig
Cover: Marcio Meneyz & Adriano Augusto
Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment
Price: $3.99

This comic book was an absolute mess from start to finish which is due to the carnage that ensues.

Ernie’s origin story continues as he breaks into a prison to kill his 666th victim, his foster father, Buford.

A flashback sequence disturbingly illustrates how bad he treated Ernie as a child and it would make anyone want to put a tag on his toe. Ernie and his satanic friend, Smiley need to make the kill before his powers run out and along the way he bumps into people where the true nature of their personality appears for only Ernie to see.

Some get a smiley face on their chest which means good guy and words such as treachery and pedophile appear which means they are about to meet their end. Jason Craig’s art falls in line with Dynamite Entertainment’s standard of action, action, and more action.

This company has some good things in the works for 2013. Make sure you check them out!

Grade: A-

Saga #7
Writer: Brian K. Vaughan
Art: Fiona Staples
Colors: Fiona Staples
Publisher: Image Comics
Price: $2.99

Comic geeks know all too well how judgmental people can be when someone who is not a fan sees you reading a comic book.

Saga is one of those books I would show someone in order to change their perspective on the genre. It’s that good, and Brian K. Vaughan shows no signs of slowing down.

An opening flashback shows how Marko was raised by his parents. This explains their resentment, present day, towards their son having a child with Alana. Marko’s mother cast a spell that sent their ghost babysitter, Izabel away and Marko races off to find her, joined by his mother who learned of Izabel’s importance after casting her spell.

This leaves Marko’s father, Barr and Alana to spend some quality time together, during which they debate their philosophical differences regarding the war, life and baby Hazel.

This happens while Alana ordered the rocket tree to detain Barr.

Of course he escapes and the ramifications of his escape set a shocking tone for the rest of the series.

Grade A-

Batman #14
Writer: Scott Snyder & James Tynion IV
Art: Greg Capullo and Jonathan Glapion
Colors: FCO Plascencia & Dave Baron
Publisher: DC Comics
Price: $3.99

Have you ever heard the term, thrown for a loop?

If you have, be prepared to be thrown for several loops if you read this book. “Death of the Family” rolls on as The Joker ups his game to sinister proportions.

There is a lot of dialogue which was the right choice considering the message Scott Snyder is trying to send that this is the most violent incarnation of the Clown Prince of Crime we have seen in years.

Fear is what drives this story in every direction.

Batman doesn’t want Gordon or the Bat-Family dealing with The Joker but he soon finds out that not even he can shield them from his wrath. Gordon gets poisoned and Capullo captures this in a beautiful splash page where the Commissioner is bleeding out.

Everything leads to the bridge where Batman and Joker has their first battle where the evil clown reveals he knows the identities of the Batman, Nightwing, Robin, everyone.

It’s a cliffhanger for sure because you don’t know for sure if he is bluffing or just playing mind games with The Dark Knight.

Grade: A-

Think Tank #4
Writer: Matt Hawkins
Art: Rahsan Ekedal
Letters: Matt Hawkins
Publisher: Image Comics
Price: $3.99

The brilliance of Think Tank has been awe inspiring for three amazing issues and the fourth installment borders on pure genius.

David Loren is so smart that he can outrun and outsmart the military on their own base.

I normally think chase scenes in comics are a waste of time because they very rarely add to the story. However, this particular chase scene is the bulk of the story because it is all about strategy.

Loren’s cocky application to his escape plan has a certain charm to it. Matt Hawkins seems like he is showing off because his flawless storytelling just keeps getting better and better.

Do you like holy &%$#@ endings? If so, check this book out ASAP.

Grade: B+

The Creep #3
Writer: John Arcudi
Art: Jonathan Case
Cover: Tonci Zonjic
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Price: $3.50

I can understand how The Creep might not be everyone’s cup of tea.

In my younger years, I would have ignored this title.

Oxel Karnhus is a weird protagonist to get behind. He is an ugly private investigator who pops pills, has a drinking problem. His demons appear to be getting the better of him so the question is why do we care about him?

It’s Arcudi’s plot rather than his characterization of Oxel that keeps the story on its toes.

The character, who is searching for some meaning in his life, might find some answers as he investigates a pair of teen suicides connected to his past.

Oxel’s travels to a crime scene in the freezing snow and as nightfall approaches, so does his chances of uncovering the truth.

However, if this series has taught us anything, expect the unexpected at all times.

Grade: B

Locke & Key: Omega #1
Writer: Joe Hill
Art: Gabriel Rodriguez
Colors: Jay Fotos
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Price: $3.99

It is very hard for me to maintain my composure when talking about Locke & Key.

When someone tells me they want to get back into comics or a newbie doesn’t know where to start, I immediately recommend this series because Joe Hill’s work is on another level.

Omega marks the beginning of the end for Locke & Key and Hill and Rodriguez waste no time getting to the good stuff.

Without question, Rodriguez gets the nod for artwork of the week. Nothing is wasted and everything on every panel means something. This includes the little hidden gems that enhance the plot.

So, what is this story about do you ask?

Well, a demon named Dodge is determined to unlock the Black Door and if he does, all hell will literally break lose. Of course, this is all unbeknownst to the Locke family which makes the tension such a guilty pleasure to enjoy.

If you haven’t read the previous Locke & Key books, don’t worry about it. This final act is meant for everyone to enjoy.

Grade: A-

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

Point of Impact #2 (Image Comics) 
This is a very intense murder mystery where all roads lead to the victims boyfriend as the prime suspect. It sounds like something we see on every other TV show but Jay Faerber does it with a style that draws you in.

Batgirl #14 (DC Comics) 
Barbara comes face to face with the Joker for the first time since he paralyzed her. There is nothing else I really need to say.

Chairsmagic: The Death Princes #1 (Aspen Comics) 
Starts off slow but picks ups as the story moves along. Emilo Lopez’s artwork is the highlight of this book.

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