Friday, July 29, 2011

$30 Pull List for 7/27/2011

While there was nothing outstanding in comics this week, there was a lot of very good. And I mean a lot, even cashing in my 25% off card, somethings that caught my eye didn't make it home. This was a good week. A good week brings good comics in abundance, as we go In Search of... The $30 Pull List.

Captain America & Bucky #620: Zipping back to 1940, it tells the secret origin of Bucky from James Barnes point of view, from the tragedy that left him an orphan to his secret training with SAS to his assignment as Cap’s partner. Not really all that much here, but Brubaker & Co (masters of the slow burn plot) have bought a lot of leeway with me over the years, so we’ll see where this goes.

Birds of Prey #14: The issue from a few weeks ago that didn’t come in made it this week. It’s the first half of a two partner that caps the series by revisiting OG BOP Phantom Lady, Zinda, and the original Black Canary. A case from 1950 comes back to haunt them. It’s a strictly paint by the numbers story a couple of minor art/color gaffes, but it otherwise hits all the beats it needs to in the right order.

Teen Titans #98: Sigh. It’s like JT Krul woke up and said, “I need to destroy all the good will Teen Titans has built up so everyone will be happy when we reboot in 3 issues.” First, I have to deal with a story featuring Superboy Prime, one who looks like Bruce Campbell circa Evil Dead and has apparently studied Tai Chi. Next, Indigo was a member of the Outsiders, not the Teen Titans, and she wasn't a member until after Donna was killed. Tim could be saying our team meaning “The Good Guys”, but then it wasn't Indigo that killed Donna Troy and Lilith, it was a robot Superman (Indigo was only responsible for it's reactivation), I could just be lashing out like a continuity fanboy though. Minus that, this was a halfway decent issue, not up to the last arch's standard, but good enough.

Secret Warriors #28: The series finale ties up the plot and sends Nick Fury off into the sunset, at least until he takes over SHIELD again when they decide Captain America doesn’t need to do it anymore. This is a series that can’t be taken on individual issues, and really needs to be seen in its entirety. Alone, this issue is nothing special, but if read as the final chapter of a saga, it is a fitting end to the story.

X-Men Schism #2:Pick of the week. Part 2 of 5, and Cyclops loses his perspective. Stuck in a no win situation in regards to the mutant terrorist, Scott picks the worst option. He pisses of Wolverine, lies to Steve Rogers, and shows almost no political savvy. But it actually fits. It fits with the way he's been portrayed the last few years, and fits with his position of establishing a mutant nation that will not be bullied. In a week with lots of strong, but nothing outstanding, the most character and plot development wins.

Bomb Queen: All Girl Special #1: Bomb Queen is one of my guilty pleasures, one I normally get in trade because it reads better that way. This is a one and done that acts as a transition between BQ 6 and BQ 7. A Xanatos Gambit on behalf of our Beloved Queen (not their Beloved Queen) succeeds in a surprising way against the quintet of Shadowline's female heroes. It maintains the quality that has been consistently above average for the entire series.

Criminal: The Last of the Innocent #2: Like most of Brubaker's work and the currently ongoing Blue Estate, each issue doesn't seem to do that much and is difficult to take on their own. With each issue, you have to go back and read all the previous issues to capture what is happening. This one pushes the plot forward and closes the first act with what you knew was coming, but were excited about anyway. Like all Criminal issues, this one closes with an essay, and while previous issues introduced me to noir classics I had never seen, this one brings back warm memories of In Search Of...

Cobra #3: Tomax proves that with a big enough lever, the largest boulder can be moved. He also gives a shout out the the production companies behind the classic GI Joe cartoons. On the Joe side, Steeler knows there is a leak in the Joes, and he thinks he may have just found it. Next issue, Vengeance will most definitely ensue. Cobra is the more cerebral of the three Joe comics, and it continues in that form.

Chopping Block:
Fables #107: Looking in on the going ons around Briar Rose. With various warlords vying to be the new emperor, one sees his chance in the awakening of Sleeping Beauty. Too bad the goblins have a different idea. A step up from the Mr. Dark story, thankfully.

Secret Avengers #15: Slipping from Solid to Chopping Block. What is really an excellent example of modern comic artwork is marred by the story. It serves as a Fear Itself aftermath issue and wants to be a serious discussion on death and loss in the Marvel Universe. Unfortunately, it is hammy, heavy handed, and poorly executed.

Death Row:
Gotham City Sirens #25: The good news is: I have nothing bad to say about this issue. The bad news is: I have nothing good to say about this issue.

Total Price: $31.97 with my cashed in frequent visitor card.

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