Wednesday, June 22, 2011

$30 Pull List for 6/22/2011

Well, this week continues the adventured of Bucky Cap, despite the fact that he died earlier this month in Fear Itself #3. Which, due to me swearing off big crossover events this year after being disappointed in the last one from each company, I have not read and found out about in a parody comic published by a week after the fact. We knew Steve would be back in costume in time for the movie, but this was such a low profile kill (didn’t catch it on any of the comic news sites) that I wonder if it will be “real” or will the status quo be reset after the event.

Why do I bring this up? Because we have his continuing adventures in a Russian prison this week in the $30 Pull List.

Captain America #619: Bucky makes his escape from the Gulag and Steve faces down the president. A setup issue for next month that launches dual Captain America titles. Mediocre by itself, but serves a function in the larger story that gets weaved.

Zatanna #14: A quick one and done about Zatana and Zachary (her cousin and short time Teen Titan) having a night out at the club. Quick and breezy fill in, won’t be missed in the grand scheme of things, but is entirely inoffensive. Sad to see a good title waste one of its last issues on something like this. I imagine I’ll see more of this over the next 2 months as DC sheds its catalog of fill in issues before the relaunch.

Snake Eyes #2:This Week's Top Pick The Cobra Civil War continues as Snake Eyes and his special mission team of Helix (who has gone from poorly created GI Sue to a legitimately good character), Alpine, and Iceberg take the next step in infiltrating Khalikhan’s Himalayan base. The plan goes horribly wrong (or maybe right?) when Alpine is tagged twice and Snake Eyes is captured. In a series that has already seen Xamot, Chuckles, Bazooka, Jinx, and Cobra Commander killed, Alpine may actually be done for here. It lends a sense of urgency to the comics knowing anyone can and will die. Slice and Dice make their debut in this issue as well. Another well done Joe story from IDW and Chuck Dixon, who is just as good as Larry Hama at his best.

Cobra #2: Mike Costa continues the stellar work he did in the previous Cobra series. Serpentor plays the man behind the man in the contest to be the next Cobra Commander, using his inside man in GI Joe to set a trap to increase Baroness's kill count. Croc Master makes his second appearance, a few fourth string Joes buy it and Steeler gets pissed off.

Secret Avengers #14: A brief interlude in the battle against Sin’s army that serves to retell Valkyrie’s origin. Not bad, but not great. This and the previous issue seem like they are just treading water until Fear Itself is over.

Chopping Block:
Thunderbolts #159: Recently demoted from Solid, this “Double Sized Spectacular” is filled with four stories that define below average. Below average writing, well below average art and exist without enhancing or advancing the story. The “The Ghost and Mr. Walker”, starring the title characters comes the closest to being passable, but is burdened with the worst artwork of the four. Not worth the $4.99 cover. T-Bolts gets one more shot before it gets the axe.

Justice League of America #58: A decent enough story that gets drug down by its art. The character models are inconsistent in quality, detail, and even form. The coloring is a piss poor digital job, it looks like a freebie fanfic web comic about WoW as opposed to a professionally done $2.99 piece of sequential art. There is even one panel (the lower left of page 15) this is a re-cropped and scaled copy of a previous panel (bottom of page 14, yep, only one page later, they reused art). This issue clearly shows that Daniel Sampere, Miguel Sepulveda, Andrew Dalhouse, Rex Ogle, and Eddie Berganza just don’t give a crap and should be shown the door. We do get criminally underused Bulletteer and Gaurdian cameos (Why not them? Why Frankenstein?), so that’s something, I guess.

Fables #106: A comic that was not that long ago a guaranteed good read is now facing death. The final fight between the North Wind and Mr. Dark is both anticlimactic and rushed. The resolving action also feels rushed. The entire Mr. Dark plot hasn’t been that entertaining and the series feels like it’s sputtering out. It maybe time to end Fables and just go with the occasional 6-12 issue mini-series as a good plot can be found, as opposed to an ongoing. Either way, it has bought enough good will from me over the 100+ issues that it gets at least 1 more chance.

Death Row & Dead to Me: Nothing hit Death Row this week and nothing became Dead to Me.

Total Price: $32.39 thanks to an overpriced Thunderbolts issue.

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