Funnybook Babylon

May 7, 2008

Pull List Analysis for May 7, 2008

Filed under: Pull List Analysis — Chris Eckert @ 11:30 pm

Welcome to May 2008, gang! There’s quite a bit of neat looking stuff coming out, but obviously the event of the week (perhaps the fortnig– month– dare I say the entire 3Q FY2008?) is the long-awaited release of Geoff Johns, Richard Donner & One of the Kubert Brothers’s “Last Son” storyline, announced at SDCC 2006, started five hundred and sixty days ago in Action Comics #844 and now, finally, seeing completion. The magical journey this story has taken deserves its own article, which is will receive shortly, but in the meanwhile here are some other things you can buy if, like me, you’ve totally forgotten what even happened in “Last Son:”

Invincible Iron Man #1 by Matt Fraction & Salvador Larocca: Ignore the ridiculous number of covers: this is a really solid first issue. I am kind of embarrassed that I wrote off Fraction as “that Warren Ellis Forum guy who did the gorilla ninja spy comic” for so long, and it took a year or two of really solid corporate superhero work to turn me around. It’s kind of funny, despite some solid creative teams over the years, Iron Man has so few “definitive” stories that are worth recommending people to pick up in trade, but over the past few years the character has been receiving the star treatment of his fictional life in the whole Civil War/Initiative megastory, plus in his own book by Ellis, the Knaufs and now Fraction. If you told me in 2004 that there’d be two monthly Iron Man books on the shelves and I’d be looking forward to both of them, I would not have believed you for a second.

Iron Man: Viva Las Vegas #1 by Jon Favreau & Adi Granov: I seem to recall a preview of this somewhere that seemed pretty undistinguished, but given the apparent quality of the film (still haven’t seen it, but everyone I’ve spoken to loved it) and the prettiness of anything Adi Granov draws/paints/digitally manipulates, I have to imagine this will be pretty darn okay.

Logan #3 by Brian K. Vaughan & Eduardo Risso: Perhaps also damning with faint praise, the first two issues of this have been Boilerplate Wolverine Solo Story rendered very competently by BKV, with very pretty art by Risso. Maybe a third act twist will raise this up a few notches, but as it is it’s two creators I really like putting out something that’s Just Okay. But I suppose I’m okay with that from time to time.

Secret Invasion #2 by Brian Michael Bendis & Leniel Yu: Bendis continues his Big Crossover Event, following up on last month’s Retro Hero Rocketship and if not cracking the internet in half, certainly filling it with people arguing over what the “true” version of different characters are, as well as people grousing about “decompression” if there are any less that six major Skrull reveals in this issue.

Mighty Avengers #13 by Brian Michael Bendis & Alex Maleev: This is a continuation of last issue’s “What Happened to Nick Fury?” recap. I think Bendis (or Brevoort, or whoever) made a really smart decision partitioning the story like this; devoted readers will want all the background details explained, while more casual fans don’t want their “blockbuster” bogged down with expository flashbacks. Now that this Bendis/Maleev arc is finished, the race is on to see which of their collaborations will be released first: the mythical Spider-Woman ongoing, or the next issue of Halo.

Infinity Inc #9 by Peter Milligan & Pete Woods: Over at DC, where one dude named Everyman substitutes for an entire galaxy of Skrulls, two talented but non-“name” creators work on a book launched silently months after 52 and dying on the vine as we speak. I confess to being months behind on this book, but Pedro and others seem to rank it amongst other unfairly doomed DC books like Blue Beetle, Checkmate and Catwoman. Recommended for fans of St. Jude.

Supergirl #29 by Kelley Puckett & Drew Johnson: Speaking of lost causes, Supergirl re-burst onto the scene back in Jeph Loeb’s Superman/Batman and was a big sensation because… er… I’ve never really understood why anything Loeb done is popular, but I admit it had a “Big Event” feel. Then Loeb and Churchill churned out five really unappealing, T&A filled, delayed issues of a Supergirl solo title which were sales winners but seemingly poisoned the well (or re-poisoned it) for everyone who follows. Kelley Puckett has been on the book for a couple storylines now, accompanied by non-T&A artists like Drew Johnson, and they’re doing solid character and action work; it’s just that no one is bothering to look at it.

X-Factor: The Quick and Dead by Peter David & Pablo Raimondi: Marvel’s been putting out a lot of one-shots lately it seems. I suppose they’ve always put out one-shots, but their recent (post-Civil War) output doesn’t seem to be a dumping ground for inventory stories and other stuff collecting dust, as they once were. But I imagine that stigma lingers, as one-shots and annuals consistently seem to chart lower than their “regular series” brethren, defying conventional wisdom that people love #1 issues. Sometimes there’s a good reason to set them apart: Christos Gage’s constant fill-ins on the delay-plagued Thunderbolts work better as one-shots so they do not confusingly interrupt Warren Ellis’s twelve-issue housepainting gig. Last week’s Thor: Ages of Thunder had nothing to do with J. Michael Straczynski’s ongoing reimagining of Thor in the main book, so I see what they’re doing there. But why not put last week’s Daredevil/Tarantula story in Daredevil proper? Brubaker’s run is between arcs and he’s co-wrote the one-shot, which took Daredevil‘s place on the April shipping schedule. Unless I am deeply misunderstanding the way this business works, it would have sold more if it was just Daredevil #107.

This is a very long-winded way of saying that X-Factor: The Quick and Dead really confuses me. It’s a one-shot focusing on current X-Factor supporting character/nemesis Quicksilver, written and drawn by the regular X-Factor creative team, following up on plotlines from the book. Why isn’t this X-Factor #31, or #33 since they’re in the middle of a story arc? It’s not even an oversize issue like Blood of the Tarantula was! Given the place in the fictional world that Quicksilver has held since the end of House of M and the promise that the issue will have “massive ramifications”, I suppose this move could be an attempt to draw further attention to the story. But why not call it an “X-Men” one-shot, or a “Messiah Complex epilogue” or any other thing that might draw the attention of more people than the modest audience of X-Factor, presumably already sold on it? I’ve always had a soft spot for Quicksilver’s jerky antics, and I think Peter David’s been on pretty good quip-control behavior on X-Factor so I’m looking forward to this, but I wonder how many other people will even notice it’s there?

Omega the Unknown #8 by Jonathan Lethem & Farel Dalrymple: I think a lot of people (myself included) drifted away from this book after a slow-going first couple of issues. The good news is, it really gelled into something interesting and fun since then. But it’s also almost over, so waiting for the collection is probably your best bet. I figure that’s where Marvel’s planning on making all their money anyway.

Pretty, Baby, Machine #1 by Clark Westerman and Kody Chamberlain: Apparently it’s a 1930s gangster comic drawn by the guy that did that Punks comic from awhile ago. Sounds like it could be fun, even if it does shout-out Batman the Long Halloween in its ad copy.

If reprints are your thing, DC’s got one of those weird Ryan Sook covered reprint one-shots is out (DC Universe Special: Justice League of America), featuring the rad Len Wein/Dick Dillin Libra story David dissected, alongside a Gerry Conway/Dillin three-parter with the Secret Society of Super-Villains that was brought up in Identity Crisis and Crisis of Conscience, and I guess has a “Secret Society” in it, like Final Crisis?

If you’re less interested in “inspirational to Grant Morrison” than “actually written by Grant Morrison”, then check out the awkwardly titled JLA Presents: Aztek the Ultimate Man, a ten issue series from 1996-7 co-written by then-writing-partners Morrison and Mark Millar, though you’d never know that from the cover. David, bless his heart, has already blogged about this, too. I haven’t read this in a decade, but I remember it as a fun attempt at an all-new, at-least-slightly-different DCU superhero that was just starting to get really good when it was axed.

Out in the world of the “graphic novel”, Oni Press is releasing the first volume of Matt Loux‘s Salt Water Taffy series, an all-ages adventure book that looked fun when it was discussed at NYCC’s Oni Panel. David, who is starting to get a little annoying with all this pre-empting, has read it and will be reviewing it soon over at PCS, where you can check out a preview.

One thing I have already read is Cyril Pedrosa’s Three Shadows, the latest First Second book. It’s pretty great, an elegant and melancholy fairy tale about a farming couple coming to grips with the imminent death of their young son. Within that aggressively sad framework, Pedrosa manages to pull out a lot of happier moments, some nice action sequences and touches of humor, all tied together by expressive cartooning. I am sure we all sound like paid shills for First Second here, but it’s another solid addition to their library.


  1. Infinity Inc has gone off the rails. There’s absolutely no Milligan in there. I had liked this series so much but now, its a standard teen superhero comic.

    Comment by Moored — May 8, 2008 @ 10:48 am

  2. What? No love for Madman? That makes me sad….

    I’m really very upset at myself for buying Omega every month. I wish I had waited for the cool collected edition. I’m just a bit of a Lethem fanboy and didn’t have the patience!

    Speaking of DC reprints, I bought the Countdown reprints of the Kirby stuff. That was some really good stuff! I had no idea Kirby was so out there with The Guardian, The Project, and all that goodness!

    Comment by Kenny — May 8, 2008 @ 4:33 pm

  3. Kenny, dude, go grab the Fourth World Omnibi from Kirby. They are, in my opinion, the fucking Sgt. Pepper’s of superhero comics.

    Comment by David Uzumeri — May 12, 2008 @ 9:25 am

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Leave a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Powered by WordPress