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A Comics Pull List: This Week’s Best in Comics

     Every Wednesday at every comic shop across the world is new comic book day. That morning owners and employees alike wake up early and drag themselves to work in order to put move last week’s books to older racks and make room for the new books. More importantly; they organize the orders that regular customers receive weekly, otherwise known as the pull list. (Some larger chains opt for Tuesday delivery, for a nominal fee, due to the large stock they receive and must ready for customers every Wednesday.)

     Let’s talk about my pull list and what I recommend to readers. The goal is to provide this weekly as long as my schedule permits. I’ll try to be as spoiler free as possible and offer short reviews. My pull list is rather large, but that is because I manage a comic shop as my day job. I get a substantial discount, I may not buy as many books every week without that discount. Therefore, I’ll read books that I don’t recommend to everyone.

     This was a small week with it being the fifth week in a month and most publishers releasing less books because of it. They often reserve the rest of the month for the bulk of their titles and I’m not actually 100% clear on why this is. Readers may further notice a lack of titles by DC while Marvel and other publishers are present. The reason for this is simple: I usually skip out on annuals due to the five dollar price tag. DC likes to release annuals during fourth and fifth weeks. I also opted not to read Batman vs Bane: Forever Evil Aftermath in order to avoid spoilers. You see; DC hasn’t shipped Forever Evil # 7. . . the conclusion of the Forever Evil event.

           All-New X-Men # 26 by Brian Michael Bendis:

Pull List X-Men     This is one of my favorite books right now. The opening pages show us that a young Jean Grey is having nightmares about the Phoenix force. This leads to some of the classic relationship drama that X-Books are chalk full of. Meanwhile X-23, the female clone of Wolverine, seems to be struck by extreme paranoia. She claims a shape shifter has infiltrated the group. In the end we see a future team of X-Men closing in on the All-New X-Men. . . clearly with ill intent in mind.

     While I’m not a Bendis fanboy, I will admit more often than not he writes a great story with phenomenal character interaction. Stuart Immonen draws very distinct characters and there’s never any confusion about who that blonde girl is regardless of whether or not she is in uniform. I wasn’t always a fan, but seeing him draw new and old X-characters sold me instantly. This isn’t a bad jumping on point to be honest. I’d recommend this book above most else written by marvel. . . except the next book on the list.

                      Amazing Spider-Man #1 by Dan Slott:

ASM 1 Pull List     Dan Slott and Humberto Ramos have been working together to crate a mighty fine Spider-Story for years. Ramos’s art is quality as always and Dan Slott always finds a way to keep his plots fresh and fun. This is a must read! Finally, Peter Parker is Spider-Man again! For over a year, Spidey’s body had been usurped by Doctor octopus in Superior Spider-Man (also written by Dan Slott).

     I am a HUGE Spider-Man fan; so of course I see this as a triumph. Peter Parker will always be the only Spider-Man for me, though granted, not everyone agrees, and some would have preferred to see Superior Spider-Man last a little longer. Don’t get me wrong; it was well written, but I was looking forward to Pete’s return since Superior Spider-Man #1. I can’t talk much about the issue without spoiling a lot. White rabbit has a new group and Spidey stops the heist. Peter deals with the aftermath of Otto Octavius running around in his body for far too long. Seriously, pick up this book!

                   Avengers # 28 by Jonathan Hickman:

Avengers 28 pull list     I look forward to this book weekly. The writing is smart and Hickamn knows his cast of characters, and they interact well and grow organically as this issues progress. Despite being a serious book, just enough humor is injected to keep it light and its art by Salvador Larocca is simply gorgeous.

     Not everyone is a fan around our shop though, so your mileage may vary. The current plot revolves around AIM (Advanced Idea Mechanics) and the scientist supreme trying to become a real force on a trans-universal scale. The world is not enough! They’ve collected Avengers from other parallel worlds to give the protagonists fits and even turned some Avengers against their own. Since this book is in the middle of an arc; I don’t recommend starting here. Instead jump in on the start of the story arc: issue 24.

         Loki – Ragnarok and Roll # 3 by Eric M. Esquivel:

Loki pull list     Boom! Studios publishes many fine books including Zombies vs Fanboys and of course this fine title. Loki, God of Trickery and Lies, was cast down to Midgard (Earth) for transgressions against his pantheon. Here on Earth he cultivated a following of groupies through Twitter and rock ‘n’ roll. The gods of several pantheons took umbrage and are trying to kill him, hijinks ensue. They have a more comedic feel than mainstream comics.

    The art is less realistic and more in tune with a lighthearted book and despite the book having adult themes and gore and doesn’t feel all that dark. I’ll admit that the book isn’t for everyone, though I happen to enjoy it due to my interest in the Norse pantheon and how much I enjoyed Zombies vs Fanboys (a book about a zombie outbreak at comic-con). Independent publishers often offer stories that you don’t get from standard superhero books. Read some more in depth reviews before buying.

                             Uber # 12 by Kieron Gillen:

Uber-12-reg pull list     I’ve always enjoyed Kieron Gillen’s work with other publishers and I myself like the more adult and graphic feel of books by publisher Avatar. They combined efforts to create a compelling story with gruesome art by Gabriel Andrade. Avatar comics are not for kids, however, and Uber is no different.

     The narrative is based around the idea that during World War II the Nazis developed a serum to create super soldiers. Super soldier is an understatement. These troops are called tank men or battleships. They can win a fulls scale battle single handed due to durability and strength. They also have a type of hyper lethal energy projection. This issue hallmarks Great Britain being attacked and their efforts to fight back with tank men of their own. The scientist behind the creation of tank men tries to experiment on herself, her efforts are halted by a loyal retainer. The epic tale of warfare is left with a cliffhanger: a communique with shocking details. If you like Avatar comics or war stories, check it out; otherwise give it a pass.

     This is what I read this week.  What did you read?  What’s on your Pull list?

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