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Apr 032014
Written by Warren Ellis Penciled by Declan Shalvey Colors by Jordie Bellaire Lettered by Chris Eliopoulos Cover art by Declan Shalvey and Jordie Bellaire Marvel Comics

Written by Warren Ellis
Penciled by Declan Shalvey
Colors by Jordie Bellaire
Lettered by Chris Eliopoulos
Cover art by Declan Shalvey and Jordie Bellaire
Marvel Comics

by Michael Brown, staff writer

This is The Pull List for the week of April 2, 2014. Over at Marvel this week, Ultimate Spider-Man reaches issue 200; a cloud of Terrigen Mist is transforming regular people into “inhumans” with amazing powers in Inhuman #1; The New Warriors continue their fight with the High Evolutionary in New Warriors #3; and in Spider-Man: Family Business, Spider-Man’s been targeted for termination by the Kingpin, and Spidey’s only hope is… his sister?? 

At DC Comics, Superman confronts Lex Luthor after the events in Forever Evil, but Lex is the hero and Superman is the villain in Action Comics #30; the Outsiders War continues in Green Arrow #30; Joker needs Catwoman’s help with his newest crime, and the Dynamic Duo are going to need some Batgirl-sized help of their own to stop them in Batman ’66 #31.

Gail Simone continues chronicling Red Sonja’s quest in Red Sonja #8 by Dynamite Comics; Frankenstein’s monster arrives in London and clashes with Jack the Ripper in Monster and Madman #2 from IDW; Valiant brings us an epic clash between Archer and Armstrong, Bloodshot, and the H.A.R.D. Corps in Archer & Armstrong #19; and Dark Horse Comics kicks off a new Star Wars series and a new season of Angel and Faith.

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again. I was told many years ago as a young new comic book reader that the first issue hooks you and the second issue keeps you there. Moon Knight #2 is that kind of second issue. This one has the Fist of Khonshu chasing a sniper who is murdering seemingly random people, and written the way that only Warren Ellis can write it. And there’s actually less writing and more scripting, giving penciler Declan Shalvey and colorist Jordie Bellaire a chance to shine. And shine they do, in a definite dark and gritty kind of way. Some of the best artistic storytelling can be found in this book and Shalvey and Bellaire are brilliant, and Moon Knight has never looked better. Working off of Ellis’ script, Shalvey and Bellaire deliver an almost dialogue-free chase across New York City’s rooftops. And once Ellis’ set-up ends, this issue is fast-paced with enough action that once you reach the end, it’s like stopping just short of a brick wall and wondering what the heck happened. Great issue with Moon Knight at the top of his game. If you are a Punisher or Daredevil fan, this will make your list, too.

Written by Charles Soule Penciled by Javier Pulido Colors by Muntsa Vicente Lettered by VC's Clayton Cowles Cover Art by Kevin Wada Marvel Comics

Written by Charles Soule
Penciled by Javier Pulido
Colors by Muntsa Vicente
Lettered by VC’s Clayton Cowles
Cover Art by Kevin Wada
Marvel Comics

She-Hulk continues to be one of my favorite books. It’s fun and charming, two words that are almost anathema in comic book production these days. In this third issue, Jennifer is hired by none other than Doctor Doom’s son, who is seeking political asylum because he likes to party and just doesn’t want to be the next ruler of Latveria. Of course she agrees, because her practice is still new, she still needs the money, and she can rely on her unique skill set. And she’ll need her skill set because getting Doom Junior to the judge on time is going to be tricky when she’s pursued by hordes of Doombots as she tries to get across the city.

Writer Charles Soule and penciler Javier Pulido deliver a fun, chuckle-worthy, fast paced issue, and a great nod to the John Byrne breaking-the-fourth-wall She-Hulk series that Shulkie fans know and love. Soule and Pulido work well together and I couldn’t imagine a better team for this book. And even with my initial hesitation over Pulido’s art, much like my early feelings about Dan Schoening’s work on IDW’s Ghostbusters, his artwork is the perfect comedic visual punch this book needs.

After you’re finished with your grittier books like Detective Comics, Punisher, Moon Knight, and Green Arrow, take a breath, clear your head, and have some fun with She-Hulk. It’s like eating a fabulous steak, then following it up with a perfect dessert. A perfect comics meal.

And that’s my pull list for this week. Next week brings us Chris Claremont’s return to the X-Men with his new Nightcrawler series, a new Batman book for DC, Daredevil’s 50th anniversary celebration, Iron Fist’s return to monthly comics, and still more!  Awesome and exciting stuff. It’s a good time to be a comics fan.

Happy reading, Kryptonics!




Apr 022014

Captain-Americaby Nur Hussein, contributing writer

If the first Captain America movie was a war film with a superhero, then Captain America: The Winter Soldier is a modern high-tech spy thriller with a superhero. It’s a testament to the versatility of Marvel Studios’ storytellers that they pulled this sequel off spectacularly.

It’s hard to review Captain America’s latest film outing; there are reveals in the plot that I don’t want to spoil. And honestly, in a word, this movie is brilliant. If you like Marvel superheroes and action movies, this is for you. Stop reading and go and see it, because you do not want to know anything going in. That said, my review is going to be as spoiler-free as possible. I’ll focus on storytelling, production values, acting and I’ll add my own thoughts about it, without telling you the spoiler-y details.

Captain America (Chris Evans) and his supporting cast of heroes are back: Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and Maria Hill(Cobie Smulders). Joining up with him this time is a new superhero, the Falcon (Anthony Mackie), who can fly with artificial wings. Robert Redford plays a top SHIELD official who is Nick Fury’s friend, and there’s a mysterious soldier going around called the Winter Soldier, who is kind of a mythical legend in this universe’s spy community. The great thing about this ensemble cast is how they all have an important role to play, and it doesn’t feel like any of them are extended cameos like in the previous Marvel movies. The actors have also grown into their roles, and we see the main cast play their characters comfortably. Thus, we got a solid performance from them, and I have no complaints in the acting department.

The direction and presentation of the story was a strong point of this movie. The pacing was fantastic, the action set pieces were superbly executed, and you never ever felt bored watching it. The movie plays out like a high-tech action movie and superhero movie both rolled into one, with intrigue and espionage and a lot of plot twists and turns. I find that a perfect spy movie is where a mystery unfolds in front of us and all the key pieces fall into place with each reveal. This movie however, does not quite achieve that level of plot sophistication, though it attempts it. There are plot points that don’t make much sense, but it doesn’t really distract you as the movie’s fun frantic action-packed pace move you along. Also, the villain’s evil scheme had me scratching my head in its absurdity, but it does fit the tone of a comic book movie and is no less ridiculous than any of the over-the-top schemes devised by James Bond villains.

Falcon's new look

Falcon’s new look

The production values of the movie are as usual, top notch. The interiors and vehicles and costumes are expertly designed, and the fight chereography is superb. The design of Falcon’s look is really cool, as is Captain America’s updated uniform. The jets and carriers are like we’ve seen before in The Avengers, and though it looks a bit CGI at times, I don’t really find it jarring.

I think the most interesting thing about Captain America: The Winter Soldier is how the events of this film are going to send repercussions throughout the entire Marvel universe (including the SHIELD TV show), as the story wasn’t afraid to take bold dramatic directions. Without revealing too much, I can tell you the status quo is not going to remain the same.

In conclusion, I would give Captain America: The Winter Soldier four out of five stars; it’s fun, entertaining and makes us anticipate seeing more of the Avengers heroes in action again.

Do stay for the credits, for there’s a special cameo (or should I say cameos?) at the end.


Mar 272014

by Michael Brown, staff writer

Welcome to The Pull List for the week of March 26, 2014. Folders should be emptied and comics read and put away in long boxes. This is your comics water-cooler, and I’m the guy leaning up against it, not getting anything done, on the cusp of getting fired because all I want to do is talk about this week’s comics. Dancing With the Stars?! That’s nothing. Did you see what happened in the new Superior Spider-Man? Whoa, baby. That’s the stuff that matters. Let’s get started, shall we?

Over at Marvel this week, the Sentinel of the Spaceways returns to monthly comics in Silver Surfer #1,  a teenage mechanic from East L.A. channels the Spirit of Vengeance in All-New Ghost Rider #1, New York burns and things get serious in the penultimate issue of Superior Spider-Man, and Jim Rhodes leaves the Secret Avengers and flies solo in Iron Patriot #1.

DC Comics gives us the second issue of Neil Gaiman’s return to Sandman; Justice League Dark and A.R.G.U.S. take on the Crime Syndicate as the Forever Evil event starts to wrap up; and Superman and Starfire must find a cache of alien weapons, if they can stop fighting each other first in Superman #29.

IDW continues the 30th anniversary celebration of Ghostbusters with Part Two of Mass Hysteria, and we reach the end of The X-Files: Conspiracy. And over at the hallowed halls of Image, All Out War continues in The Walking Dead #124.

Written by Dan Slott and Christos Gage Penciled by Giuseppe Camuncoli Inked by John Dell and Terry Pallot Colors by Antonio Fabela Letters by Chris Eliopoulos

Written by Dan Slott and Christos Gage
Penciled by Giuseppe Camuncoli
Inked by John Dell and Terry Pallot
Colors by Antonio Fabela
Letters by Chris Eliopoulos

The first thing you’ll notice when you pick this issue up is the thickness. That’s the Black Widow preview in the back. Not more Superior Spider-Man. So let’s get that out of the way.

If you’ve been reading Superior Spider-Man, you either love it or you hate it. In addition to being the penultimate issue of the series, issue 30 is where it all comes to a head. When Marvel says it’s all been coming down to this, they aren’t kidding.

Dan Slott’s Superior Spider-Man has been all about one-upmanship and redemption. Otto has set out from the first issue to prove that he can be the better hero, and at the same time, honor Peter Parker’s name. We’ve seen Otto take some pretty drastic measures to do just that, including killing his enemies. But the center hasn’t been holding and all of Otto’s deeds are not going unpunished.

Part four of Goblin Nation has Otto Octavius and Spider-Man 2099 fighting desperately to save New York, and themselves, from an army of Goblins and rogue Spider-Slayers.

And if that wasn’t enough, the Goblins have Otto’s girlfriend and are taunting him with her. And Otto’s having trouble with being the hero so he’s having some difficulty making heroic decisions while trying to save the woman he loves. And when this issue’s over, the last decision our Superior Spider-Man makes may indeed be his last.

Writers Dan Slott and Christos Gage, and penciler Giuseppe Camuncoli keep the series’ next-to-last issue fast paced and desperate. New York is burning, things are as bad as they’ve ever been, and Otto is up against the wall with no answers, with what’s left of Peter trying to maintain order in Otto’s head. We’ve pretty much known that Peter was going to fight for a return to his body at some point, and this where all of the speculation comes to an end.

The end of this one will have you grinning and on your feet for the final issue’s final showdown. But let me make myself perfectly clear, here. And I hope I’m not spoiling. If you’re one of those readers who are tired of SpideyOck and you’re just biding your time waiting for Amazing Spider-Man #1, go pick this issue up, anyway. This is where it all starts. Right here.


Written by Christos Gage Art by Rebekah Isaacs Colors by Dan Jackson Lettered by Richard Starkings and Jimmy Betancourt

Written by Christos Gage
Art by Rebekah Isaacs
Colors by Dan Jackson
Lettered by Richard Starkings and Jimmy Betancourt

This one actually came out last week but it somehow missed my list. Shame on me. Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 10 #1 picks up almost instantly where Season 9 left off, with Earth’s magic restored, the zompire menace dwindling, and the repercussions of certain events, like Xander’s betrayal, still weighing on everyone’s minds.

All of the original cast has returned, including Anya, Xander’s former vengeance-demon-turned-human-fiancee, who was killed at the end of Season Seven, and is now a ghost and serving as Xander’s ghostly conscience of sorts. Some new cast members are introduced and it’s a good thing because the Scoobies definitely need all the help they can get against a tougher breed of vampire: able to walk in daylight and shape change. We’ve seen this kind of power before with Dracula, but we are quickly reminded that this isn’t Dracula mojo. This is something else.

This is a good kick off to a new season. Joss Whedon is back on board as Executive Producer, edging Buffy into a more character-driven series that mirrors Season 9, after the harsh feedback received for Season 8, which fans found too fantastical and “cosmic.”  And that’s often the trouble with licensed comics. Publishers and writers realize they’re under no budget constraints, so they feel the sky’s the limit. To a point, that works. And it’s exciting to see licensed characters do things they might not have been able to do under other monetary and special effects constraints.

Buffy and crew are getting back to basics, with vampire-slaying the norm this season rather than the exception. Christos Gage is excellent as the startup writer for Season 10, and the good thing about Buffy is that Whedon manages to pull some great talent for this book. Writers like Gage, Brian K. Vaughan, Jane Espenson and Drew Goddard, who wrote for the TV series, and novelist Brad Meltzer have written story arcs in past seasons, and even Nicholas Brendon, who played Xander in the TV series, will write an issue of Season 10. Definitely worth keeping an eye on.


And that’s The Pull List for this week. As always, I encourage you to comment below or email me. What was in your Pull List this week? What books totally bombed this week? Are you excited about Captain America: The Winter Soldier? What’s better? Arrow or Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.?

Happy Reading, Kryptonics!


Mar 202014
Written by Mark Waid Art by Chris Samnee Colored by Javier Rodriguez Lettered by VC's Joe Caramagna

Written by Mark Waid
Art by Chris Samnee
Colored by Javier Rodriguez
Lettered by VC’s Joe Caramagna

by Michael Brown, staff writer

Thanks for checking out The Pull List for this week, March 19, 2014. Sorry for no Pull List last week, fellow comics fans. As we all know, Life happens and, like Gravity, she can be a harsh mistress. Lots of comics news last week. Hope you’re sticking with us.

Over in the Marvel Universe this week, teenager Kamala Khan wrestles with her new powers and whether or not she can uphold the legacy in Ms. Marvel #2; Otto (Spider-Man) Octavius has his hands full with the Goblin Nation in Superior Spider-Man Annual #2; Matt Murdock sets up shop in San Francisco in Daredevil #1; Cyclops and his team of X-Men have had enough and take their fight straight to S.H.I.E.L.D. in Uncanny X-Men #19. Meanwhile in The New 52, Batman is gunning for Ra’s al Ghul’, who stole Damian’s body from his grave, and runs into Aquaman in Batman and Robin #29; Supergirl is armed with a Red Lantern ring and she’s damn well going to use it in Supergirl #29; the Suicide Squad makes a stand against the Crime Syndicate in a Forever Evil tie-in in Suicide Squad #29; IDW wraps up Transformers: Regeneration One with its 100th issue; and Valiant Comics continues their return to greatness with new, digital exclusive issues of  X-O Manowar and Shadowman.

When we last left Matt Murdock, he had officially outed himself as Daredevil in a courtroom during his final stand with the Sons of the Serpent. Because of this, he was disbarred and unable to practice law in New York. But, as it turns out, he was still licensed in San Francisco so he and former New York Assistant DA Kirsten McDuffie pulled up stakes and moved West to open up their own practice, forced to leave Foggy behind to deal with his cancer.

But writer Mark Waid has made sure that new digs doesn’t mean less action. The Marvel NOW! release of Daredevil #1 explodes practically from the first panel, as Matt uses his heightened senses to help the SFPD forensics team investigate evidence that could lead them to a kidnapped girl. Matt picks up the trail almost immediately, then goes to rescue her as Daredevil. And it’s there that Waid and artist Chris Samnee deliver a non-stop chase through San Francisco as Matt tries to keep the girl safe while the kidnappers, who are riding what looks an awful lot like goblin gliders, pursue them across the city. And the insane fun of this issue comes from the fact that although Matt spent nearly a year in San Francisco, he really doesn’t know the city as much as he needs to. He even points out in his narration that he knows New York City intimately, the way only a blind man could know it. He doesn’t have that luxury in San Fran, where he’s forced to have partner McDuffie navigate for him on Google Maps.

“Are you sure you used to live here?” McDuffie asks Matt as he’s bounding across the rooftops. “Maybe they just told you it was San Francisco.”  

And Mark Waid is doing some of his best work, here. Matt and McDuffie have an almost Bruce Willis/Cybill Shepherd-in-Moonlighting kind of relationship.  In the same way that Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning can team up and make Marvel’s cosmic corner of the Marvelverse hot (and if you’ve read their stuff you know what I mean), Waid and Samnee go together like peanut butter and jelly and it shows here. If you haven’t read the prior Daredevil series, I highly suggest you do. Waid and Samnee pull DD out of his dark and depressed Brian Michael Bendis days and delivers one of the best superhero tales ever published by Marvel. And it looks like this will be the same. And if you’re interested in Matt and Kirsten’s actual trip to California, check out Waid and Samnee’s  digital exclusive, four issue mini-series  Daredevil: Road Warrior.  Daredevil #1 was my “must read” for the week and I was not disappointed. Long time Daredevil fans, and brand new Daredevil fans need to hop on.. well… NOW!

Written by Denton J. Tipton Art by Vic Malhotra Colors by Matheus Lopes Lettered by Shawn Lee Published by IDW Publishing

Written by Denton J. Tipton
Art by Vic Malhotra
Colors by Matheus Lopes
Lettered by Shawn Lee
Published by IDW Publishing

The conspiracy continued last week with IDW’s The X-Files: Conspiracy #5- The Crow. With the way the story was shaping up overall, I was beginning to lose hope. This was a better, and more relevant, installment. Back in The X-Files: Conspiracy #1, we saw two cops who were run off the road by mysterious men in black suits who were pursuing The Lone Gunmen. Well, this is the story of the cops.  The cops, Bernard and Robin, were partners … and lovers. Robin had just told her husband she was leaving him for Bernard when they were run off the road. Both were killed but Bernard came back with some unfinished business. But who is his vengeance directed at? The men in black … or The Lone Gunmen?

This was a fast-paced issue, written by Denton J. Tipton. How Tipton managed to introduce Bernard as the crow and tell that story in 22 pages is beyond me, but he pulled it off nicely, even though the book felt a little rushed. The Lone Gunmen take a backseat role in this one, providing the occasional joke and tension reliever, as Tipton focuses more on Bernard and his seeking vengeance. Artist Vic Malhotra delivers some solid artwork that helps with the breakneck and thrilling pace the book maintained.

With only one issue to go, this tie-in doesn’t really bridge a gap to the final issue of the series. Bernard’s tale could have been a great two or three issue tale that, like the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles story, could have worked better as a stand alone story, but instead was crammed into one issue. Not my favorite this week.

And that’s The Pull List for this week. Anybody out there reading any New 52? What do you like?  As always, if you want to talk about these comics or any others, leave a comment below or email me. Happy Reading, Kryptonics!


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Mar 062014

by Michael Brown, staff writer

Welcome back to The Pull List for the week of March 5, 2014. It was a busy comics day. Last month saw the series finale of Wolverine and the X-Men, while this week saw the Marvel NOW! series premiere of Wolverine and the X-Men. Elsewhere in the Marvel Universe, Moon Knight does Manhattan in his self-titled first issue; Magneto #1 returns the Mutant Master of Magnetism back to his murderous roots; and Loki tries speed dating in Loki: Agent of Asgard # 2. Over in the DC Universe, Forever Evil is keeping DC’s heroes and villains busy with tie-ins aplenty, and The Walking Dead vol. 20 trade paperback made it to comic book shops.

TR01_0Written by Gail Simone
Penciled by Nicolas Daniel Selma
Inked by Juan Gedeon
Colors by Michael Atiyeh
Lettered by Michael Heisler
Dark Horse Comics

This actually came out last week but I’m reviewing it now because I was actually in the middle of the game and didn’t want to read the comic and spoil it for myself. So I binge-played the game, then I read the comic, and I’m glad I waited!

This first issue picks up right after the events in Tomb Raider: the video game, and while you don’t have to have played the game to enjoy it, since Gail Simone sets up the story and explains What Has Come Before, the emotional burden of Lara Croft won’t be fully appreciated. The aftermath of the events of the video game resonates throughout the story, and while Ms. Simone does her best to convey that to the reader, part of me wonders if I would have been as emotionally invested in the characters if I hadn’t played the game and watched that story unfold. And an event in the first issue is really rather heartbreaking, but it seems like it wouldn’t come across the same if one hadn’t played the game. Now, I’m not saying play the game and come back and read it. It’s enjoyable on its own. But to fully understand the emotional and physical toll Lara and company are enduring, I would suggest it.

My only complaint is that, even after the events of the game, Lara still comes across as sweet, loving, caring … not hardened at all … and still more than a little naive. But Simone has said that Lara will eventually be a complete badass.  I’m a longtime fan of Gail Simone’s work (all the way back to Marvel’s Agent X which was really Deadpool, but Marvel was in a fight with Rob Liefeld over the property) and I’d follow her into Apokolips itself. She says stay, I’m staying. Overall, a good read … slow with the build up … but I’m eager to see issue 2.


Moon-Knight-1-coverWritten by Warren Ellis
Art by Declan Shalvey
Colors by Jordie Bellaire
Lettered by Chris Eliopoulos
Marvel Comics

Marvel’s newest wave of Marvel NOW! titles hit shelves Wednesday, along with the much anticipated return of Moon Knight. When last we saw Marc Spector, the Fist of Khonshu, he was in Los Angeles where his Multiple Personality Disorder now included Captain America, Spider-Man, and Wolverine, driving him even further insane. But Moon Knight has gotten better, in a sense, and has returned to New York … reinvented. Gone are the cape and cowl we’re familiar with. Now, Moon Knight dons a white suit and mask and, as writer Warren Ellis has said, is going back to his horror roots as he explores and investigates the shadowy corners of the Marvel Universe.

Warren Ellis’ Planetary, The Authority, and Global Frequency have all garnered Ellis critical acclaim and are some of the best stories in comics, and he’s among the top names in the industry. It’s been years, in fact, since he’s done anything for Marvel and his name alone should make Moon Knight a top seller this week. Fortunately, his name isn’t all comics fans have to rely on. Ellis has said his primary goal now is to make Moon Knight a good book and not worrying so much about team-ups and crossovers. Peeling back but not discarding What Has Come Before. Ellis has said that he wants to take Moon Knight back to his horror roots, and investigating a slasher who is apparently weak but killing fit, strong men is a good start. Ellis also expands on Moon Knight’s role as Khonshu’s avatar, and the definite price for that job, and there is one. This first issue is hard, gritty, spooky, and as Ellis was saying he was going for, “weird”.

Fans of Daredevil and Superior Spider-Man should be able to fall in line and like this book. And Warren Ellis is one of those writers, like Gail Simone, that I will entertain. I do want to see where he goes. I liked the book, but his new costume will take some getting used to. But it looks like Ellis has something up his sleeve. I hope so. Moon Knight was originally put out there to be Marvel’s version of Batman. But Batman was already Batman and not many people latched onto Moon Knight, so he became a C-Lister than everyone experimented with but couldn’t make last. But he does have his fans, and I hope this version of Moon Knight will attract readership.


DIG017375_2Written by Charles Soule
Art by Javier Pulido
Lettered by Clayton Coules
Marvel Comics

The owner of the comic shop where I hang out has a saying. “The first issue snags you. the second issue keeps you.” And that’s what She-Hulk has done. I’m still not won over by Pulido’s art, but Charles Soule has something good going here, with a couple of genuine laugh out loud moments. Jennifer’s just opened her practice with no clientele, although a mysterious “blue file” that names a number of significant players in the Marvel U., including herself, in a lawsuit, has come into her possession. She’s hired a creepy new paralegal, Patsy “Hellcat” Walker shows up, and … well … no spoilers. Soule uses this second issue to expand on She-Hulk‘s supporting cast and I think this book is going to take off. And next issue looks to be just as good. A short review on this one, but She-Hulk is one to read.

And that is The Pull List for this week. As always, leave any comments below, or send me an email at, about my reviews and whether or not you agree or disagree. Let me know what you guys are reading and let me know if there’s anything so awesome, I need to be reading it. But please be kind and respectful if you do. We’re just talking comics fans talking comics.

Happy reading, and keep those folders empty.


Mar 052014

Marvel’s new television spot for the upcoming film, Captain America: The Winter Solider, gives us a sneak peek of The Falcon character who will be joining the contemporary Avengers franchise in this film. He’s got a new look, which is a pretty big divergence from his original red-and-white costume; it’s very 21st Century, but will fans accept this sleek new all-black kit? Check it out and let us know what you think!