Welcome to this week’s Pull List, where I run down the comics from my weekly Wednesday pull and new series that have caught my eye.
This one is short, and I’m sorry for that, folks, but this week…you can guess why this week has been rough on me. (It rhymes with “Shmonald Shmump.”) I wanted to bring this to you this week, though, to put the focus, even for a few minutes of your day, on someone loving some art. I really hope it helps, and I really hope we get through this. I’ll be here. Even if it’s just comics, I’ll be here.
The usual disclaimers:
Spoilers: I try not to spoil the issues themselves, but I do post cover images, and I reference past events when they are germane. This is your spoiler warning.
Credits: I have given all the credits I can find in the comic itself and online; if you see something wrong or have information I’m lacking, let me know and I’ll fix it.
Ratings: The Pull List rates a comic’s power level on a scale of 0 to 5, where 5 is something thought-provoking, groundbreaking, and/or masterfully executed and 0 is something I wish I hadn’t even started reading.
OK, here we go. I hope to see you and your pull list in the comments!
The ongoings and miniseries I can’t live without
Writer: Mark Waid
Penciler: Barry Kitson
Inker: Mark Farmer
Colorist: Jordan Boyd
Letterer: Ferran Delgado
Cover: Barry Kitson & Jordan Boyd
Variant Covers: Alan Davis, Mark Farmer & Matt Yackey; Alex Maleev; John Tyler Christopher
This issue confused me at first (Issue…1.1? Giant-Man? OG Iron Man?), but then I considered the current Kang War One storyline and there was some sense made. This purports to be the untold story of Hawkeye, Scarlet Witch, and Quicksilver joining the team, and it seems to be just that, a fun, Lee-and-Kirby-esque yarn (complete with a Lee-speak-drenched letters column!). The story also serves as an echo of events ongoing in the current Marvel Universe, showing that heroes have always been a bit distrusted and their teams a bit divided, while the villains always seem to unify at exactly the worst time. It’s a bit more poignant today than I suspect Waid expected it to be, but at the same time, a throwback to the old days is nice on multiple levels: The good guys have been knocked down before, and they’ll get back up again soon. I’m looking forward to the continuation of this little tale almost as much as the continuation of the main Avengers story arc. Thanks for this, team, I appreciate it.
Power Level: 3 of 5
The Uncanny Avengers #16
Writer: Gerry Duggan
Artist: Pepe Larraz
Color Artist: David Curiel
Letterer: VC’s Clayton Cowles
Cover Artists: Steve McNiven, Jay Leisten & David Curiel
Yeah, that cover does this justice. This issue is the straight, unadulterated fighting issue of this arc, meaning it is sort of interstitial, but it’s a really interesting fight, even without Deadpool being Deadpool to spice it up. There’s some great slow-burn character work going on here, too, as the disbanded Unity Squad slowly starts to re-unify, with each team member falling into a role and putting themselves where they’ll do the most good, and with Rogue, Elektra, and Doctor Voodoo especially pulling out some creative applications of their powers. (Rogue especially is amazing here; it feels like she learned more from Professor X than a lot of his “top” students.) Larraz’s art is up to the task, as are Curiel’s colors, making the fight feel animated and dynamic and giving characters exactly the right amount of emotional detail. This story reminds us that when it comes down to it, Marvel’s heroes with problems are still heroes at the root of it, and that’s great to see.
Power Level: 3 of 5
New and Shiny
The Issue #1s that caught my eye this week
Invincible Iron Man #1
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: Stefano Caselli
Color Artist: Marte Gracia
Letterer: VC’s Clayton Cowles
Cover Artists: Stefano Casselli & Marte Gracia
Variant Cover Artists: Jeff Dekal, John Tyler Christopher, Mike McKone & Jason Keith; Adi Grandy; Tom Raney & Frank D’Armata; Skottie Young
It’s Riri! I needed Riri today! One issue in, and Riri is already one of my favorites: She’s smart, and kind, and good-hearted, with believable and engaging flaws. The mystery of what, exactly, happened to Tony Stark post-Civil War II continues in this issue, with some nice twists thrown into the mix near the end (you’ll have to read it). The storyline is otherwise pure introductory stuff, but it does a good job of introducing Riri and her little slice of the world without feeling belabored: we see her inexperience, her creative problem-solving, her genius, a little nod to the relationships between superheroes and cops (which are, not coincidentally, also direct metaphors for the experience of a black superhero with the cops, though she’s masked in the one scene they shared so it doesn’t seem to be literal). Credit for that belongs to both Bendis — who is, again, in his element with this character — and Caselli and Gracia, who gave the characters in this story life on the page. I look forward to more of this series, and I look forward to seeing Riri on an Avengers roster. This is definitely worth the pickup.
Power Level: 4 of 5
Most Comics Quote of the Week:
“Master Rogers. May I be of service?”
“Do you have an eight-foot-tall block of ice I can crawl back into?”
“I’m afraid not, sir.”
“Then no, thanks.”
– Jarvis & Captain America, Avengers #1.1
That’s all for this week, but keep the conversation going and let us know what you picked up this week, and what you thought of this week’s comics!