Funnybook Babylon

October 28, 2008

Pull List Analysis for October 29, 2008

Ultimate Spider-Man Annual #3 by Brian Michael Bendis & David Lafuente (Marvel Comics): There comes a time in every young superhero’s life when someone decides to do an issue about their sex life. These “very special” issues have come with a range of tasteful comments from the creators:

static25

I understand that teenage sexuality is a difficult subject for a lot of people. And, as is the custom, I won’t even mention black sexuality. But I don’t think that the people who read Static are afraid to explore storylines ground in the issues of contemporary life.

Dwayne McDuffie on the publication of Static #25

petenkitty

I called Bob Harras and said, “Excalibur #90, Kitty Pryde gets fucked.” He went deadly silent, then he said, “Just try and keep it tasteful.”

Warren Ellis on the publication of Excalibur #90

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Where will USM Annual #3 fall along the axis? Who knows, though it has the “added bonus” of being part of the MARCH ON ULTIMATUM, though I’m still not entirely sure what that means besides having a really ugly banner along the top.

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October 22, 2008

Pull List Analysis for October 22, 2008

It’s a big week for known quantities at Marvel and DC, as their respective Summer Blockbusters stretch into sweaterweather.

finalcrisis4

After last week’s Rogues’ Revenge and Legion of Three Worlds tie-ins, the fourth issue of the core Final Crisis title by Grant Morrison and JG Jones (and Carlo Pacheco, and Doug Mahnke… what up’s, Jonesy?) drops, its “gap month” extended to ten weeks. We’re also getting Submit, a one-shot by Grant Morrison and Matthew Clark. David will be stepping up with annotations later today.

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October 14, 2008

Pull List Analysis for October 15, 2008

Going to try to skip past the obvious “big books” this week — if you’re following Astonishing X-Men, Final Crisis tie-ins or Amazing Spider-Man I bet you’ll notice the big stacks of them at your local shop tomorrow. Here are some things that might not be so well-stocked:

Are you excited for Halloween? Publishers sure are! Marvel’s gearing up for round eighty-two of ZOMBIE COVER VARIANTS, and DC is putting out the ridiculously titled Superman & Batman vs. Werewolves & Vampires mini-series, and I’m going to be uncharitable and assume the title is the first and last thing you need to read about that book. Here are two slightly more palatable haunts:

monster-hulkHulk Monster-Size Special by Jeff Parker & Gabriel Hardman (Marvel Comics): Yes, this is Superhero Property vs. Universal Monster Property, just like S/BvW/V. But HMSS is a standalone one-shot rather than a six issue mini-series, which gives me hope for a punchy fun story light on exposition and high on goofy slugfests. It also helps that it’s written by Jeff Parker, who has shown a knack for big goofy fun in various Marvel Adventures books. Hopefully everyone will overlook the lack of Red Hulk, who according to Jeph Loeb is “the most popular character since Wolverine”!

Dear Dracula by Joshua Williamson and Vinny Navarrete (Image Comics): Image/Shadowline is rolling out a series of all-ages/children’s graphic novels, starting with Dear Dracula. Everything I know about the book and its creators can be found alongside a preview of the book at Newsarama. Looks cute, and the timing of the release is right.

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September 30, 2008

Pull List Analysis for October 1, 2008

I figured we might try doing these again. Here are some potentially interesting books hitting the shelves tomorrow!

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June 12, 2008

Pull List Analysis & Reviews for June 11, 2008

Filed under: Pull List Analysis,Reviews — Tags: , , — Chris Eckert @ 11:00 pm

Hey, lots of things happened (Memorial Day, Travel for a Wedding, MOCCA) that conspired against a Pull List last week. I trust everyone got to the store okay anyway. This week I am late enough that I actually got to the store before posting this, so reviews will be intermixed! A friendly reminder to Those That Like Them, these should be on the shelves:

  • 100 Bullets #92 by Brian Azzarello & Eduardo Risso
  • Booster Gold #10 by Geoff Johns, Jeff Katz & Dan Jurgens
  • Local #12 by Brian Wood & Ryan Kelly
  • Tiny Titans #5 by Balthazar & Franco
  • Young Liars #4 by David Lapham

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June 11, 2008

Salvation Run and Gotham Underground: Letters from the Edge of Failure

Today saw the end of the DCU-villains-are-mysteriously missing plot line that has been running since around the quarter mark of Countdown. Both of these stories were promised as major status quo modifications for the cadre of villains that DC has, of late, become increasingly enamored with. Both of these stories were, supposedly, born out of the planning sessions that led to the lead-up that led to Final Crisis, and the creative process behind these books must have been as circuitous as this sentence.

Salvation Run is like some sort of paragon of editorial mandate, the sum total of all unnecessary top-down plotting that, invariably, falls flat on its ass in the end. This is the end, and damn, has it fallen flat. Looking at Salvation Run as a project on its own merits, it started out as a decade-old Elseworlds pitch proposed by fantasy writer and geek paragon George R.R. Martin. His original plan was a long-term look at a society founded by the DCU’s villains on a sort of cosmic Australia. This pitch sat in DC’s “maybe we’ll use this shit sometime” files until it was inexplicably dragged out as part of the lead-up to Final Crisis. Of course, there’s one major problem with adapting the premise for this purpose: If it takes place before Final, and it’s in continuity, the villains sort of have to get back at some point. And if the villains get back, then they can’t do any of the long-term sociological view. And if they can’t do that, then what the fuck is the point of the book?
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May 28, 2008

Pull List Analysis for May 28, 2008

Filed under: Pull List Analysis — Chris Eckert @ 4:27 am

Hey, we’re coming off a holiday weekend so Americans aren’t getting their comics until Thursday. In protest, I’m making this barebones and image-free! David U, up in the Glorious Canadian Empire should be getting all this stuff today. Look out for a dissection of Final Crisis a little after lunch, or possibly earlier if David values Kirby over Food (this is highly likely).
(EDITOR’S NOTE: David also provided important fact-checking Yours Truly skipped out on in his rush for air travel.)
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May 21, 2008

Pull List Analysis for May 21, 2008

Filed under: Pull List Analysis — Chris Eckert @ 1:05 am

These pull lists always take more time than I expect; a week like this looks relatively light, but by the time I type up a blurb for everything and hopefully digressing within tolerable limits, it always looks like an imposing wall of text to describe what’s coming out this Wednesday. Hopefully these help at least a few people find some books that might interest them!

First, some books one or more of us endorse that are in the middle of stories. Probably not a good time to jump on, but remember to grab them if they’re your cup of tea!

  • Captain America #38 by Ed Brubaker & Steve Epting
  • Justice Society of America #15 by Geoff Johns, Alex Ross & Dale Eaglesham
  • The Programme #11 by Peter Milligan & CP Smith
  • Terry Moore’s Echo #3 by Terry Moore

And now, onward to the WALL OF TEXT!
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May 16, 2008

“Last Son” – A Sentimental Journey

A little over two years ago, DC launched their “One Year Later” revamp/relaunch, with a year-long weekly series 52 as its centerpiece. Layout artist Keith Giffen described the book’s appeal to fans:

I call [it] the NASCAR book, because nobody goes to a NASCAR race to watch the cars go around in circles. You go for the crash. You hope for that blistering, horrifying crash. People are going to be watching 52, waiting for us to screw up… it’s not going to happen.

And he was right; people came to 52 looking for blood, but the series never “crashed” off its weekly schedule and was generally well-liked. Its weekly successor, Countdown [to Final Crisis] may have not been as successful or well-liked, but no one could argue that it wasn’t on time! But while both 52 and Countdown kept running on time, these bastions of punctuality served as a smokescreen for the fiery wreckage that was DC’s Demolition Derby of Scheduling, a/k/a “Pretty Much Every Non-Weekly Book DC Published”. A lot of books have had production problems in the past two years, but when the history books are written the “Last Son” storyline in Action Comics will likely go down as The Didio Era’s biggest disaster. And trust me, there have been plenty of other candidates.
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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:”
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Crisis Deconstruction Alpha: Code 1011

Filed under: Blurbs,Pull List Analysis — David Uzumeri @ 12:56 pm

The first lettered preview of Final Crisis is up at Entertainment Weekly, which clearly has had a new editor promoted who’s a comics nerd, considering the recent coverage of Secret Invasion, Spider-Man: New Ways to Die and now this.

It’s five pages, from the middle of the comic – it’s known the book starts off with Anthro, for one thing, and Morrison’s script for the first page describes a transition at the beginning. EW says the title of the first issue is “DOA: The God of War”, which certainly fits with the events of this preview.

PAGE ONE:

\

“Terrible” Dan Turpin Don’t Got No Time For Super-Yahoos

The narrator here is “Terrible” Dan Turpin, a Metropolis police detective used in the the original Fourth World Saga by Jack Kirby who later had a long run as a supporting police character in the Superman books in the late ’80s and ’90s. In the original Kirby books, the war between the Gods was reflected in the war between men on the streets of Metropolis, especially that of the police (represented at that point by Turpin) and Darkseid’s Earthly crime syndicate Intergang, led by 52 antagonist Bruno “Ugly” Mannheim (named so because he is pretty goddamn ugly).

Turpin’s narration in the first panel is mysterious; it may make more sense in the context of the larger book, exactly what the “good idea” is that humans have used to kill themselves. Either way, this is a sentiment that will surely play a larger role in the book, and perhaps be an argument in favor of Anti-Life and man submitting his will to the Evil Gods. (more…)

April 30, 2008

Pull List Analysis/Reviews for April 30, 2008

Filed under: Pull List Analysis,Reviews — Chris Eckert @ 10:00 pm

Hey everybody, Free Comic Book Day is nigh, but if you want to pay for your comics, here’s what to expect on the shelves this week! (This got delayed a bit by technical difficulties, so it’s now a combination of analysis and review!)

A lot of books one or more of us approve are out: Action Comics, Ex Machina, Green Lantern, Immortal Iron Fist, New Avengers and X-Men Legacy all have new issues out that I don’t really have anything to say about. Elsewhere, creators we like (David Lapham, Tony Harris, Karl Kerschl) are on books we’re probably just buying because we like them. Plus there are a ton of trades/graphic novels/squarebound funnybooks out this week that deserve your attention. (more…)

April 22, 2008

Pull List Analysis for April 23, 2008

Filed under: Pull List Analysis — Chris Eckert @ 10:00 am

Hey fellows, no Pull List Analysis last week; we were busy getting things together for the con, and nothing incredibly exciting was coming out. Tomorrow isn’t the biggest release date in the world either, but there’s some interesting things. Warning: this is really long because I digressed into complaints about some trade policies. Just skip over the parts in blue if you get bored.

A portrait of characters that will be radioactive for years to come.For instance: the final issue of Countdown to Final Crisis is only one short day away! Our long national nightmare is over, and some sad post-mortems should be coming this weekend. Here is a preview: Jimmy is still banging a bug lady, but how long will their love last??? This is the sort of thing someone, somewhere, decided was the sort of tentpole plotline that carry a flagship event comic. I would love to meet that person.
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April 9, 2008

Pull List Analysis for April 9, 2008

Filed under: Pull List Analysis — Chris Eckert @ 9:00 am

Hey there, I know we haven’t been doing Pull List Analysis lately. I guess David wanted to shift over to doing actual reviews. But I like the idea of looking over the coming week’s comics and taking a look at what’s coming up. I’m kind of out of the weekly loop lately, so if I’ve overlook something strong, do talk your picks up.

There are several books a lot of people like that are coming out that are in the middle of stuff. So if you (like me) enjoyed the previous issues of Young Liars, Tiny Titans or Criminal, know that those will be on the shelves this Wednesday! Also in the Big Two’s Neighborhood, Jason Aaron continues his big debut on Wolverine, Geoff Johns does some stuff I am assured is not a Silver Age Circlejerk in Justice Society of America, HitLar do the damn thing for their third Fantastic Four issue, and Garth Ennis hits the penultimate issue of his107 issue meditation on Being a Hard Man in Punisher MAX. But what else might you run across?
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February 13, 2008

Pull List Reviews for February 13, 2008

Filed under: Pull List Analysis,Reviews — David Uzumeri @ 5:21 pm

Alright, the first three are above the fold but there’s a huuuuuge dump of reviews here so most of them are after the jump. Enjoy!

Booster Gold #0: Something about the dialogue seemed clunkier in this issue, but that very well may have been a knowing nod back to Zero Hour. That said, it was shockingly approachable — as a matter of fact, the ZH aspect of the issue plays back seat to a fairly creative retelling of Booster’s origin and circumstances. Jurgens’s art continues to improve. More of the same, but in a good way.

Superman #673: This insect queen storyline really kind of fell flat for me. Busiek’s scripting is starting to feel clunky, and I just can’t get involved, at all, with yet another repetition of the “insect alien hive-mind” trope. And after the last arc with the Third Kryptonian, this feels decidedly… villain-of-the-week. Chris Kent is still the best part of this story, and that’s no surprise, since he’s really the major soap-opera throughline that connects this to the rest of the ongoing run. I’m not really concerned, though, as it was just this particular arc that seemed like a low point – at least so far. If the next two issues were continuing on this path, perhaps Busiek’s removal wasn’t the worst idea in the world.

Amazing Spider-Man #550: This is, in every possible way, more of the same. Great coloring from Stephane Peru. RIP.
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