Wednesday, September 21, 2011

$30 Pull List for 9/21/2011

A heavy week sees the pull list go a little over budget. An impressive feat, as DC is able to be the top pick for 4 weeks in a row, so the New 52 is at least delivering some consistent entertainment. Otherwise, DC gives us a taste of the not so nice, and Marvel gives me a double shot of X-Men. T-Bolts barely makes the cut in this weeks $30 Pull List.

Captain America #3: I may be downgrading my first Captain America title. Really, it may not be so much a problem with this comic, but that Brubaker set the bar so damn high from the Winter Soldier saga on that it was inevitable the quality slip, and these three issues seem to be it. Still good as a whole, decent art, good story, likable characters. But’s the third serving of meatloaf good. It’s still the same great dish, but it gets old after a bit.

Catwoman #1: Pick of the Week. Continuity Watch: Catwoman doesn’t know if Batman knows her real name and doesn’t know Batman’s. This destroys most of their previous relationship, ends the existence of her daughter Helena and throws Gotham City Sirens, her last series and a good portion of the past decades Batman stories out. It’s sexy, it’s fun, it’s exciting. Judd Winick can write the hell out of Catwoman. Really good issue that won’t take much to be kept on board the pull list.

Red Hood and the Outlaws #1:
Continuity Watch: Tamareans has poor memories and can’t tell humans apart. The earlier incarnations of the Teen Titans existed in some form, Starfire was a member of them, had a relationship with Nightwing/Robin, but doesn’t remember it. Starfire’s characterization is a little odd, but otherwise, this is a good issue. The art is chaotic at points to enhance the story, but never difficult to follow. Jason Todd and Roy Harper are being set up to be the new Booster/Beetle. Definitely gets a few more issues.

John Constantine Hellblazer #238: With the previous storyline wrapped up last issue, this begins the tale of John, Gemma, his coat, and the horrible things that follow all three. It’s standard Hellblazer here, which makes it pretty damn good. One of the things Hellblazer has going for it, and this may seem like a little thing, but it is important to me, is the paper. It used a nice, solid, gritty feeling paper which is comfortable under the fingers, as opposed to the magazine, glossy, slick paper most comics use. It makes you want to hold the comic longer, really study the pages, and it is better in a well lit room as you don’t get glare from the lights on the matte finish. Most Vertigo titles use this paper, and really, I wish all comics would as well.

X-Men Schism #4: Gives us a Days of Future Past homage on page 6 as Box, Nemesis, and Wolverine attempt end their sentinel problem. The conflict between Wolverine and Cyclops comes to blows at the worst moment as both sides are wrong and there doesn’t seem to be a right answer. A very strong issue.

Uncanny X-Men #543: The final Fear Itself tie in (thank Odin). The Colossus-naut hits Caine Marko hard enough to knock him back sixty miles only to find out why it was so hard for Juggernaut to not be destructive. His mind infection with Cyttorak ‘s power puts Peter Rasputin at odds with Kitty Pryde, but not because of the power, but the decision to take it and all the decisions that lead to that point. It also sets the stage for her choice in Schism.

Chopping Block:
Birds of Prey #1: Continuity Watch: The old Birds of Prey apparently never happened, Black Canary is a wanted criminal. This also solidifies that she and Green Arrow never married and she was never in the Justice League. It’s Meh. It gets Canary’s characterization pretty well, Starling shows no personality except to be a watered down Lady Blackhawk, and the only other character with significant face time is killed on the last page. It gets a second issue, but not much more unless it impresses me.

Thunderbolts #163.1: T-Bolts avoid death row, barely. They basically do it by not being the worst comic I got this week. That would be Birds of Prey.

Also, as an aside, I watched 9/11 live on television in a rehab clinic waiting room waiting to take my first daughter to an appointment with my pregnant wife by my side. I remember it vividly. It has sickened me to see all the business take advantage of it. It has sickened me to see the politicians take advantage of it. It sickens me to see the American people buying into all the crap both of those groups throw out for their own gain. It sickens me that we didn’t treat the first responders right, it sickens me that we haven’t rebuilt those towers, it sickens me that it took a decade to get the mastermind, it sickens me that our soldiers are still fighting and dying when this should have been handled quicker and better . And it fucking pisses me to be seeing products commemorating the tenth anniversary of the worst tragedy in America in my life so far. Even Marvel’s tribute reprints piss me off.

Fables #109: Fables continues to tread water, which is better than the downhill run it did during the Mr. Dark plotline. The wolves start trials to see who is the next North Wind until the 3 other cardinal winds show up. Ms. Duglas (Spratt) continues her side adventure and Rose Red returns to the farm with Mayor Cole, Beauty and Beast. Bufkin and crew continue their misadventures in revolution in the land of Oz. Nothing particularly noteworthy here.

Total Price: $32.38
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