The Pull List #9 – For Comics Released 09/10/2014
Hello Spider-friends! This is Zach from Too Fat Dudez, and I’ll be weaving quite the web of comic book fun this week with the first venture into Edge of the Spider-Verse, the Spider Flagship title, and….just to make it fit with the theme…a new Grant Morrison book that has a dude with a bug head on it’s cover!
And I am Josh, 1/3 of the podcast known as FAwLcast. Look, I know I said I’d get my part of last week’s article up, But you have to understand that sometimes everything goes wrong and the way you cope with that is by eating so much pizza that your body enters a state of hibernation accompanied by unhallowed groans of regret. Don’t worry though, I brought the goods this week. Let’s get started with Death Vigil #3.
Death Vigil #3
Writer: Stjepan Sejic
Artist: Stjepan Sejic
I wanted to review Death Vigil #2 about month ago, but I was too busy to get to my stack that week. And I’m so sorry for that, because if there’s one book you absolutely need to be reading, it is Stjepan Sejic’s Death Vigil. People always say that shit, don’t they? I know, because every week, I read something and think to myself, “This is the best book going right now, everyone NEEDS to pick this up or they’re missing out!” It kind of makes me feel like an idiot because if The Wicked + The Divine is awesome next week, that’s going to be my “best book going” for a minute.
Someone asked me the other day what Death Vigil is about and I told them that it fits the Hellboy meets Lovecraft comparison that’s being thrown around. When you die, you have the option of staying dead, or fighting for Death. Good vs Evil. It doesn’t break the mold, it just does it extremely well.
We pick up with Clara who is now stuck with figuring out how her veilripper works. To better explain, Clara’s veilripper? A quill. If you’re scratching your head, reapers receive a magical weapon this is unique to them. Instructions are not included, so it’s on them to make sense of things. I think the big pro to this approach is that her seeking help over her veilripper really did much to add some depth to the other reapers.
A huge plus for Death Vigil comes by way of the artwork. In my opinion, for the the past three months, Sejic has put out one of the most beautiful books. This guy is absolutely on point. There’s a pretty good moment where Clara is seeking out advice about her veilripper. She walks in on Bernie, headphones on, singing and dancing around while oblivious to Clara, and then realizes she’s not alone. You could remove the dialogue from that page and easily put the conversation together through their facial expressions and body language.
Like I said, there’s going to be a book every week that I think you’re crazy for not reading, but Death Vigil is fucking great. Sejic does an excellent job crafting a story with weight and emotion while also being able to give you a good laugh without negating the moment. You should really consider checking this out. – 5 / 5 (Josh)
The Amazing Spider-Man #006
Written by: Dan Slott
Art by: Humberto Ramos
So yeah…I’m a huge Spider-Man mark. I have been for a long, long time. So of course you’re going to see a lot of Spider books from me. And prepare now people, because the Spider-Verse is coming, and I’ve already got a semi-spider-chub.
Anyway…issue 6 of The Amazing Spider-Man continues the story of Peter Parker trying to re-acclimate himself to a life post-Superior Spider-Man. This issue brings Peter and his hot, Asian counterpart, Silk (Cindy Moon) in on the worry that Peter has been outed on live T.V. as Spider-Man by J. Jonah Jameson, the Black Cat, and Electro. I won’t spoil what happens there. Just know that the issue is pretty much a mixed tag-team match between Spidey, Silk and their villainous counterparts and wraps some things up, while showing how great Silk is and how much of a raging bitch Black Cat has become. Plus Anna Maria continues to prove that she is a worthy addition to the Spider-family.
This book is a lot of fun. Dan Slott is a great writer and does a fine job of creating stories about my favorite superhero. Yeah, even when he’s being mean and killing him, replacing him with Doctor Octopus the work is still solid. Granted, I was still a little bit miffed at the time. But in hindsight, it created awesome stories. Unlike the stupid Learning to Crawl story, this one makes sense and falls in line with current Marvel events, making it much easier to pick up and read. If you stopped reading due to Superior, you need to jump back on. It’s good ol’ Peter back to fix everything and mend your broken heart.
Humberto Ramos’ art is great. It’s a nice blend of styles. I’m normally not down with really cartoonier art, but his has a slight toonie-ness that is still able to convey great emotions in all of his characters, and I’m able to take situations serious when I need to. If the story has dire consequences and I should be worried about something, I can be without feeling like I’m watching Ducktales.
I can’t say this book is a great jumping-on point. But you can find the first five issues out there in the ether, and I think it’s worth doing. — 3.5 / 5 (Zach)
Writer: Mark Kidwell
Artist: Kyle Charles
I’m not particularly in love with zombie comics. I’ve gotten my fill from The Walking Dead over the years and have been enjoying the zombie apocalypse in Afterlife With Archie and that’s good enough for me. It was a light week for me though and I decided to take a risk. ’68 has been going for around 8 or 9 years at this point, so I figured that had to be a good sign. Live and learn.
I think my main complaint with it would be that when you’re starting a new series, it would be nice to have some kind of refresher so you know where you’re at. The greaser character makes reference to his brother being a soldier in Vietnam when he tells his girlfriend he’s enlisting to be a sniper… knowing the other minis have been based around Vietname makes me wonder if he’s related to a character from a previous chapter, but that’s all I get. It’s a very cold introduction. There’s nothing that happens in these pages that really pulls me into their universe and makes me care, maybe a little history would have changed that.
Artiscally, I’m on the fence. Charles has a muddy, scratchy style that seems to fit the world very well. The zombies are bloody and decrepit, but so are most of the people. Don’t get me wrong, it’s clear who’s dead and who’s alive, but there are a lot of lines where I think the living should be a bit a cleaner. – 1.5 / 5 (Josh)
Written by: Grant Morrison
Art by: Frazer Irving
Yep…there’s that bug head I promised.
Grant Morrison brings to us what seems to be a story about a popular, yet troubled Hollywood script writer named Ray Spass , whose career is on the downslide. He’s trying to write a new Sci-Fi haunted house story about an exiled genius in space trying to bring his dead girlfriend back from the dead, and it all takes place at the center of our galaxy near the monstrous black hole known as the Annihilator. But in the real world Spass gets some bad news and we begin to see the cracks in the surface as he begins to lose touch with reality.
Frazer Irving’s art is spectacular! He takes care of all the art himself and all I can say is, wow! Everything from characters to inanimate objects jump out with great attention to detail and the wide open, sparse scenery really adds to the feel of the book in a big way. Plus the decision to color the book with heavy use of warm colors in Spass’ world and cool, darker colors in his writing/Nomax’s world makes the book even more enjoyable to look at.
This story is all about art and dialogue. You get to know Spass and his mindset by seeing him deal with his agent (or editor, I’m not sure which), a realtor, some drunk/high prostitutes, and some others. A clear portrait is painted of him, and is spliced with Ray actually writing his script about a character named Max Nomax. We, of course, are taken inside the story to see firsthand what Max is up to, which is cool. This is a very dark read, so I don’t suggest letting kids near it. We’re talkin’ murder, drugs, alcohol and titties. But if you can deal with titties and you are mentally capable of breaking through the surface to the story that is happening just below ground, then Annihilator #1 will make you very happy.
Plus there is a robot teddy bear that is programmed to give hugs. You can’t front on that. — 5 / 5 (Zach)
Edge of Spider-Verse #1
Writers: David Hine & Fabrice Sapolsky
Artist: Richard Isanove
Seems like we’re gearing up for the team-up of all team-ups, eh? I watched a fun interview with Dan Slott the other day where he talked about all the Spider-Men he’s getting involved and some of the ones he can’t use because of licensing, weird how that worked out.
I think Hine and Sapolsky do a good job introducing people to the world of Spider-man Noir in this book. We get a bit of the lore, and appearances by Aunt May, MJ, Felicia Hardy, Kingpin. I enjoyed the take on Mysterio, a bitter carny magician who lures Spider-Man into his trap in an attempt to acquire the blood of Anansi.
I’m not familiar with Isanove’s work. I understand he was mainstay on the Dark Tower, but I never got around to checking that out. So I came into Edge of Spider-Verse most familiar with Carmine Di Giandomenico’s take on Spider-Man Noir, but I think Isanove’s art fit the tone extremely well and found myself preferring the detail he put into the costumed characters.
As Zach points out, this doesn’t really further the prep of Spider-Verse aside from showing us how Noir gets involved. What it does a great job of is making me want more of the Spider-Man Noir universe right now. We saw what you did there, Ms Hardy. We’re along for the ride with Spider-Verse, but it’s a great sample of Spider-Man Noir. – 4 / 5 (Josh)
For those of you who are unaware, a huge even called Spider-Verse is coming in November involving every Spider-Man who has ever existed in the long history of Marvel. Someone is going around killing Spider-Men throughout history and from different timelines as well. Doc Ock/Superior-Spidey happened upon this fact by accident and is putting together a massive team of Spidey’s to deal with it. I’m cautiously optimistic that it will be awesome.
So this is the second book of the pre-cum of that event. Edge of the Spider-Verse is going to reintroduce readers to different Spider-folk who you may not remember, or might not know at all. In this case we get a 1930’s version of Peter Parker who got his powers from a mystical spider that came out of a statue of Anansi, the Spider God. The issue deals with a fun version of Mysterio trying to kill Spidey and get his blood for nefarious reasons. Plus, you get to see some more fun 30’s versions of other characters, and get a piece of their story along the way.
For the most part I really liked Isanove’s art. It floats between being very nicely detailed, to being not so detailed. I’m a stickler for great shadowing, and this book gives plenty. It gives a solid portrayal of the era the book takes place in and doesn’t make you want to close the book and stop caring. Which is awesome!
It really does nothing to further the prepping of Spider-Verse except to let you know that Spider-Man Noir winds up on the team by the end. So if you don’t care about a stand-alone tale then this book is unnecessary. But if you’re looking for a fun story revisiting a creative reimagining of an iconic character then you should pick this up. — 3.5 / 5 (Zach)
As always, thanks a lot for checking out The Pull List and giving me and Zach a couple minutes to ramble about comics. We look forward to bringing you another edition next week!