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!
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!
If you enjoyed this article, check these out:
- BOOM! Studios ‘Big Trouble in Little China‘
- Ol’ Jack Burton and the Pork Chop Express are barreling your way in a new comic series this summer.
- Comic Review: ‘The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys’
- Another swing-and-a-hit from My Chemical Romance frontman Gerard Way, who is no stranger to writing awesome comics. If you’ve never read his Umbrella Academy series, also from Dark Horse, you are missing out.