Welcome back to another edition of The Pull List, the apartment down the street of ideas. I’m your host Brian J. Patterson, and we are back again this week to bring you some more cool comic book picks. I call this episode “Girl Power”, as the three books I picked are all female led. Thanks again for tuning in, and as always…Enjoy!
JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK #2
Writer: James Tynion IV, Artist: Alvaro Martinez
First off, let’s get the easy stuff out of the way. The art is done well. I appreciate the usage of layout and visual storytelling going on here. I especially appreciate when I can see feelings on a characters face, as I believe that is essential to storytelling in the same way that actors’ performances are essential to a tv show or movie; I need to connect with the characters and this is how I do it. So, thank you and kudos to Alvaro Martinez. Ok, now here comes the more difficult part. This story has really great potential. I love that Tynion has found a way to make magic relevant in the DC world, and I am really liking the hints of how it will affect characters like our beloved Diana and the connection to her pantheon (PS-Great job with the usage of ‘Chthonian’ which is a name associated with the earth goddess Gaea. Throwback to the Perez era there!). There is some great character work going on from James Tynion IV! Unfortunately I was left with a lot of questions: From where exactly did man get magic? Why and exactly HOW did magic go out of whack (still confused about that)? Why did Constantine appear and Swamp Thing leave so abruptly (Diana who has the wisdom of Athena should have at least wondered -pun intended- about THAT!)? What happened to Diana’s magic lasso? For an item of such legendary importance, that in particular seemed to be glazed over too quickly. This story really has some powerful potential to lay down the groundwork for the significance of magic in the DC universe. I love what they’ve done so far, I’m just hoping that they dive more into this story and answer some of those important plot driving questions soon. All in all, I say go get it!
Power level: 8/10
WONDER WOMAN #53
Writer: Steve Orlando, Artist: ACO
FINALLY! We are getting back on track with this character again. Steve Orlando is KILLING IT as a scribe on the Amazing Amazon’s book. First off, did anyone else notice the ‘HOLA!’ battle cry that was injected in there as she ‘shattered reality’? Brilliant! The second, and probably most important, thing that I noticed is that Orlando seems to understand Diana’s balance so well. Her mission is love, and she is naturally kind. She is also a remarkably formidable warrior who is burdened with the weight of ‘fighting for those who can not’ (Wonder Woman film reference). Hence, it is her compassion for others that makes her stronger. This along with the power of sisterhood, was perfectly written into his most recent script. Not only was it brilliantly written, but it was also brilliantly illustrated. ACO’s stylization is a perfect pairing to this story. The slightly ‘outside of the box’ and sharp Aztec edges in the visual storytelling did a kind of service to the story that I hadn’t imagined it could. But before I go, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention how masterfully Orlando weaved a few things into the ending of the story. First, he established that the ideas of love and sisterhood are still at the foundation of Amazonian philosophy via Atalanta’s words. Second, he showed the clear philosophical and social disconnect between the Bana-Migdall & Themysciran Amazons. Third, he rooted this in politics, and last he made a very clear parallel to the bifurcation of current American politics. One which made me think more objectively about our current political climate. This right here was true art at it’s best. Now all we need to do is honor the original theme of all female lineage/female empowerment by getting rid of the whole ‘Zeus as a father’ thing, and we’ll be good to go. Can you help at all with that, Steve? Even if you can’t this is still measuring up to be one of the coolest Wonder Woman story arcs of all time. Kudos to you, brother Amazon! 🙂
Power level: 9/10
X-MEN RED #7
Writer: Tom Taylor, Artist: Carmen Carnero
I can’t even begin to tell you how much I am enjoying this book. One week there is all drama, the next week there is all action, and another week we are given a mixture of the two. This week, I’m happy to report that it was all action. I felt as though I was right around the beginning or middle of a major motion picture’s Act II. You know what I mean. It’s that one memorable scene where something cool happens and the stakes are slightly high, but not quite as high as the climax in Act III. Yeah, that. It’s exactly what this episode (issue) of X-Men Red was like. Everyone had a moment for the most part, and the story began to see some progress toward the over-arcing goal. Very much like the two previous stories, this one has a female at the helm and you can’t help but see the through lines of female empowerment with some of the other strong women assuming pivotal roles within her team. Speaking of, way to handle those action scenes, Carmen! 😉 Go pick up this issue (and all the previous issues), today!
Power level: 8/10
Love, truth, female empowerment. They are all themes from which we can learn and apply, so that we can do better in our world today. It’s a great time to be an artist and fan of the comic arts. I bring today’s article to a close with a quote of the day from one of my favorite characters (and creators) which I believe sums up many thoughts of our current socio-political climate.
Quote Of The Week: “If the prospect of living in a world where trying to respect the base rights of those around you and valuing each other simply because we exist are such daunting, impossible tasks then what sort of world are we left with? And what sort of world do you want to live in?.” – Wonder Woman (via Phil Jimenez)
Go out there and Be the change. I’ll see you next week! -Brian