Pull List!

I just spent an awesome two years catching up with comics that I missed. See, I’d been out of the comics reading biz for about 10 years, so there was a whole lot I hadn’t seen. I’m now caught up on most of the major series I used to follow. I bought a lot of trades. A lot. In fact, 129 of them by my quick scan of the nearby bookshelf.

Realizing that I’d like to one day have some sort of career in the comics industry, I knew it was time that I got back to my roots and started supporting the creative teams by buying the single issues. While I haven’t gone back to issue format on all series I read (at least, not yet anyway), here are a few series I’ve been following over the past month or so, and some thoughts on them.

SAGAPublished by Image Comics / Written by Brian K Vaughan / Art by Fiona Staples
We’re 2 issues in to Vaughan’s triumphant return to comics, and I’m still completely jazzed on it. I really enjoyed the Ex Machina series so I was curious to see what he’d bring to the table. What we get is a Space Opera following an inter-species rebel couple who are trying to get their newborn baby to safety while the rest of the galaxy seems to be on a mission to locate the infant (simplified x100). The dialogue is fantastic, the art is amazing, and I can’t wait to see where this series takes us.
Verdict? Stickin’ with it!

THIEF OF THIEVESPublished by Image Comics / Story by Robert Kirkman & Nick Spencer / Art by Shawn Martinbrough
I’m a Kirkman fan (almost caught up on Walking Dead) and a Spencer fan (read Morning Glories vol 1&2) and a heist fan (check out my comic book, The Undoubtables, coming in 2013) so how could I not pick this up? We’re three issues in and the story of career thief Redmond is still holding my attention though we’re still being introduced to characters and back story. Each issue is poignant and holds up on it’s own. I’m looking forward to seeing where it goes. The creative team on this book is absolutely fantastic!
Verdict? Stickin’ with it!

SCARLET SPIDERPublished by Marvel Comics / Written by Chris Yost / Art by Ryan Stegman
I grew up on 90’s Spider-Man comics. It’s what made me love comics as a whole. I survived the Clone Saga. Bought and read that whole darn thing. All 18 years of it. When I saw the Scarlet Spider name being tossed around, how could I NOT get on board? Though I’m only reading Amazing Spider-Man in trade currently, I wanted to support this new series as it launched. The art is great and Stegman shows us his versatility in creating a new approach on a different Spider-Man. You can tell he’s put a lot of thought into the way our main character moves. He’s developed a new style on an old classic all while helping to show us a Spider-Man with “all the power, but none of the responsibility.” It’s fun to see how Marvel has brought back Kaine and displaced him into Houston, Texas. The humor is great, and story has been fun so far, though so far lacking the heart of the main Spider-Books. I’m hoping it will find it’s footing and gain some momentum soon. 4 Issues in, hoping to see if the first story arc takes us somewhere intriguing.
Verdict? Stickin’ with it… for now.

SAUCER COUNTRYPublished by Vertigo / Written by Paul Cornell / Art by Ryan Kelly
I read some great reviews about this book and picked up issue #1 a week after it came out. Sadly, it just wasn’t for me. The characters didn’t really hold my attention and the ending didn’t make me feel the need to read on. I hope it finds it’s audience, but I’m going to pass on this one moving forward. I can only hope that it gets awesome and reads as a great trade paperback.
Verdict? Droppin’ it.

SUPER CROOKSPublished by Marvel Icon / Written by Mark Millar / Art by Leinil Yu
Mark Millar is hit or miss for me. I really enjoy the majority of his work, but sometimes it’s a little too extreme for my tastes. I’m happy to report that Super Crooks #1 absolutely hooked me and I can’t wait for more. The concept is simple, smart, and this book will full of fun little jabs at Superhero clichés and rich humor. It was my pick of the week when it came out. Grab it if you haven’t!
Verdict? Stickin’ with it!

AVENGERS VS. X-MEN Published by Marvel Comics / Written by Brian Bendis / Art by John Romita Jr.
It’s been about ten years since I read a Marvel event in issue form so with the hype machine rolling behind this title and and two amazingly talented creators at the helm of the first issue, I just had to give it a shot. My local comic shop, A Comic Shop in Orlando, Florida, even gave me the #0 issue for free so how could I say no? It was a rollicking good time, even though I didn’t have the slightest clue who some of the newer characters were, and the Augmented Reality feature was a fun use of new technologies. They’ve gotten the biggest Marvel talent together to tell this story, so I’ll definitely give the next issue a go, but at its current price point, I’ll really need it to deliver!
Verdict? Stickin’ with it… for now.

THE MANHATTAN PROJECTSPublished by Image Comics / Written by Jonathan Hickman / Art by Nick Pitarra
Much like with Millar, I either love Hickman’s projects, or just don’t get them. When it took me a whole month to track down a copy of the first issue, I was really hoping for the best. I’m glad to say that I wasn’t disappointed. I loved every second of this book and can’t wait to see where it takes us next. The plot and concept are firing on so many cylinders and so many balls are in the air that I love the feeling that anything can happen. Check this out if you even moderately enjoy sci-fi on any level. The fact that it borrows folks from history (Oppenheimer and Einstein, with more to surely come) grounds it in a really fun “What if?” type place. Highly recommended!
Verdict? Stickin’ with it… If the next issue doesn’t sell out so fast!

AMERICA’S GOT POWERSPublished by Image Comics / Written by Jonathan Ross / Art by Bryan Hitch
Bought the first issue on a recommendation from someone at the local comic shop. It didn’t thrill and excite, but it held my attention through the double-sized issue. Playing off media tropes that currently exist in our world (Super heroes battle on television, the winner joins a Super Team) and taking them to the next level is fun, but seems the thing to do right now and I worry that I may tire of it before the miniseries ends. This creative team has a history of lateness, so hopefully it won’t affect the book. I’ll pick up issue #2, but right now, the main character isn’t anything I haven’t seen before. It has potential, I just hope a big hook is unleashed upon us readers soon!
Verdict? Stickin’ with it… for now.

THE SECRET SERVICEPublished by Marvel Icon / Written by Mark Millar / Art by Dave Gibbons
Back to my Mark Millar conundrum – Super Crooks was great. Tons of fun. Then I read this. The Secret Service #1 with art by the legendary Dave Gibbons. How could I NOT pick that up? As expected, the art is absolutely fantastic, but sadly, I just did not care about the characters. In fact, if I hadn’t read the back cover synopsis, I would have finished the issue and still not known what the ongoing plot was supposed to be (something about spies? I think? Maybe?). Too much excessive action and swearing, not enough plot movement and hook. Still, the art was great! It’s a good looking book, but I think I’ll be exiting the ride.
Verdict? Droppin’ it.

SECRET – Published by Image Comics / Written by Jonathan Hickman / Art by Ryan Bodenheim
Back to Jonathan Hickman. Another win for this guy. This was by far the best book I read last week. The plot is intricate and well-paced and, while predictable, the dialogue and characters all have a charm about them that made me want to know more. I’m really excited to have two Hickman books (both with amazing art teams) that have me excited for the future of comic books and are a perfectly display of what you can do with creator-owned works. Support his work and enjoy a story that makes you think! I’d try to explain the plot, but it’s a secret. Actually, it’s not, but it’d be very difficult to explain. Read it!
Verdict? Stickin’ with it!

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