The Pull List – Week 8, 2011

Ouch. SEVEN BOOKS THIS WEEK. My wallet is hurt. A bunch of good Marvel books came out this week (including a much-needed second printing). I keep wanting to cut back on books, and I do in a way (Superman and Wonder Woman are out of the list), but then I keep picking up new books. Comment on my list and tell me how you manage your monthly titles.

Avengers #10 – Marvel, Brian Michael Bendis writing with John Romita Jr. illustrating.

All three Avenger teams and the Illuminati go after the remaining Infinity Gems, hopefully before the Hood gets to them first. This issue is full of great character interactions and dialog as everyone comes to terms with what the Illuminati has done and their secrecy from the rest of the super hero community. In back is a reprint of the recent Heroes for Hire #1 relaunch. It’s a good book, and reprinting a sample from these smaller books in the flagship titles is a good idea for hooking more readers. Needs to be done more often (and not as ad nauseam as DC does with the same preview for weeks on end).

Fantastic Four #587-588 (Pick of the Week) – Marvel, Jonathan Hickman writing with Steve Epting (587), Nick Dragotta (588 – “Month of Mourning”)  & Mark Brooks (588 – “Uncles”) illustrating.

After months of waiting and fearful anticipation (and a month late for me as my shop sold out), we finally discover that the member of Marvel’s first family to die is none other than Reed Richards Sue Storm Richards Ben Grimm H.E.R.B.I.E. Johnny Storm! Issue 587, “The Last Stand,” is an edge-of-your-seat book as every FF member faces a surely fatal situation built over the previous four issues. Sue and Namor have a particularly awesome moment, but Johnny Storm is the man of the hour as his sacrificial last stand is as inspirational as it is heart breaking. The only down side is that we don’t get to fully see him go out in the blaze of glory befitting the Human Torch. But hey, you need some doubt to leave room for his eventual return, right?

Issue 588 is a somber issue. The main story features almost no dialog as the Fantastic family mourn. It’s heart felt, but unfortunately having no text means relying even more on the art, and with some questionable and confusing angles and panel layout, it’s not quite where it needs to be. The supplemental “Uncles” story with Spidey and Franklin is both wordy and emotional as Spidey tries to help Franklin deal with an issue he knows a little thing about. This entire arc made me pick up the book, and I really have to say it’s been fantastic, so I’ll stick on with FF #1 in March.

Iron Man 2.0 #1 – Marvel, Nick Spencer writing with Barry Kitson, Kano & Carmine Di Giandomenico illustrating.

Iron Man 2.0 is War Machine. That’s it. Clear and simple. Rhodey is now Stark’s military liaison and back in his army uniform, and that’s about it. Previews for the book previously released aren’t even in this issue. No telling when the actual “Iron Man 2.0” will appear, but in the mean time, don’t be fooled by the title. It’s just War Machine, which is great for War Machine fans.

Invincible Iron Man #501 – Marvel, Matt Fraction writing with Salvador Larroca illustrating.

Tony Stark vs Doc Ock and the Sinister Six. That just sounds awesome. Apparently Tony was a dick to pre-octopuc Octavius back in the day, which is just as awesome and also deserved.

Jericho Season 3: Civil War #4 – IDW, Matthew Federman writing with Matt Merhoff illustrating.

Jericho is an awesome franchise that just won’t die. Show gets canned after season 1, so the fans get it a second season. Show ends at season 2, so it moves on to comics. Devil’s Due Publishing drops it with a long hiatus, do IDW comes along and saves it halfway through. This is the first new issue under IDW, and it reveals why John Smith destroyed several major US cities. Familiar faces show up but aren’t the focus. Stay tuned for issue 5, providing the title stays afloat long enough yet again.

Thor #620 – Marvel, Matt Fraction writing with Pasqual Ferry illustrating.

I have to admit, Fraction’s arc started off slow, but it grew on me and I’m really digging it. The survivors of the nine worlds have banded together under Odin to defeat the World Eater, all covered in a rain of blood. The cosmic scale of this battle and its consequences is captivating, and I’m looking forward to its finale in two issues (next issue is a pointless .1 issue… crap, I made a pun, didn’t I?).

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