THE PURE MOOD PULL LIST – 2013/06/26 – TOO MUCH OF A GOOD THING

It’s Thursday night and we’ve got some quick drive-by comic book thoughts for you. That’s right it’s the Pure Mood Pull List!

As always, if you’re looking for the very best in Marvel reviews, head on over to http://www.marveldisassembled.com. I’m over there talking about AGE OF ULTRON #10AI, WOLVERINE #5 and UNCANNY X-FORCE #7. So check it out! HUGE SPOILERS for all titles below.

Now, there are A TON of comics out this week. I mean, all of them. Every comic a human being has ever made in the year 2013 came out on the same day. It is nuts. I haven’t finished reading my massive stack yet, but here’s some thoughts on what I’ve managed to get through. Also, WordPress is being completely insane and won’t let me upload any pictures into my posts, which is great. Anyhow, without further ado…

01SUPERMAN #21

STORY BY
Scott Lobdell
ART BY
Kenneth Rocafort
COLORS BY
Blond

I liked this much more than I thought I’d ever like a Scott Lobdell anything. But y’know what? It’s not bad. I really like the idea of Hector Hammond manifesting Superman’s biggest fears into his three best friends, and I thought the H.I.V.E. queen was fun and interesting. Rocafort’s incredibly detailed art and crazy sci-fi panel lay out was a lot of fun. Jimmy Olsen’s dead parents isn’t doing anything for me, and Lobdell’s overwrought dialogue is ever present, but it was a pretty solid Superman comic.

02LARFLEEZE #1

STORY BY
Keith Giffen, J.M. DeMatteis
ART BY
Keith Giffen, Scott Kolins
COLORS BY
Michael Atiyeh
LETTERS BY
Dave Sharpe

I’m surprised the humourless corporate atmosphere that seems to be strangling the DC of the New 52 allowed the fun credits gag in Giffen and DeMatteis’ newest series, focusing on the Lantern of greed, Larfleeze. Giffen’s eccentric sense of humour is on full display here – a gag that sees a newly born Larfleeze being dragged around by his umbilical cord is the kind of effed-up thing you’d only see in one of his scripts. Larfleeze and his rather snooty and weary butler travel through space on an asteroid, with the Orange Lantern sharing the barely credible story of his life. This was a lot of fun – a lot of laughs, and it manages to make me care about Larfleeze more than I thought possible. Giffen and Kolins artwork is serviceable, but not very memorable or inspired. Still, it’s a fine looking book, with a very sharp sense of esoteric humour.

03BATMAN SUPERMAN #1

STORY BY
Greg Pak
ART BY
Jae Lee, Ben Oliver
COLORS BY
June Chung, Dan Brown
LETTERS BY
Rob Leigh

I thought I would like this a lot more than I did. Honestly, it didn’t really do anything for me. Jae Lee’s artwork is extraordinary obviously, but it felt very ill suited to the story being told. Superman and Batman trade jabs and watch a kid get bullied, and Pak doesn’t really characterize either one in a very deep way. Tonally, everything felt off. I was intrigued by the back up – Superman finds himself meeting the Batman of Earth 2 – but beyond that, I left with a shrug.

04AQUAMAN #21

STORY BY
Geoff Johns
ART BY
Paul Pelletier, Sean Parsons

After a brief interlude focusing on Others, Johns and Pelletier are back, and this may just be their best issue yet, and one of my favourites of the whole run. The scene of Aquaman completely overwhelmed by the responsibilities of his new position as King of Atlantis comes from, I’m sure, a place of personal experience for the CCO of DC. Mera’s reunion with her fiancee is heartfelt, avoiding cheap sentiment and making us believe in her love for Arthur Curry. Pelletier’s pencils are such a gorgeous thing to behold – I felt completely immersed in the world of Atlantis, and his characterization and action sequences are breathtaking. Just a great superhero comic.

06THE FIVE GHOSTS OF FABIAN GREY #4

STORY BY
Frank J. Barbiere
ART BY
Chris Mooneyham

This was a very slight issue of FIVE GHOSTS, taking place mainly in the dream world and very action orientated, readers may find themselves breezing through pages faster than expected. In fact, Barbiere mentions as much in the letters column, sharing an anecdote in which Dave Gibbons claimed most readers spend only 7 seconds on an average comics page. I know I certainly spend more time than that – one 20 page comic takes me at least 15 minutes to read! A very fun series, but a bit of a step down from the heights of previous issues.

07STAR TREK #22

STORY BY
Mike Johnson
ART BY
Erfan Fajar
COLORS BY
Stellar Labs
LETTERS BY
Neil Uyetake

This issue was a blast! Uhura must face her feelings towards Spock’s lack of emotion, as he finds himself in the middle of an arranged marriage on New Vulcan. Johnson does a pretty good job with the characterizations, and manages to sell the love story between Uhura and Spock pretty well. However, before the ceromony can take place, Spock is the victim of a ‘blood fever’ which, naturally, turns him evil. Rogue Spock is always as much fun (and a big a crutch) as Rogue Superman. Fajar’s art is pretty middling, and the colours by Stellar Labs are positively bizarre – everyone looks as if they’re sculpted from wax. Still, a solid comic.

08GODZILLA: RULERS OF EARTH #1

STORY BY
Chris Mowry, Matt Frank
ART BY
Matt Frank
COLORS BY
Ronda Pattison
LETTERS BY
Shawn Lee

I don’t think IDW will EVER be able to top Vancouver’s own James Stokoe’s GODZILLA: HALF CENTURY WAR, but they’re certainly gonna go down fighting. RULERS OF EARTH is a lot of fun – the infamous ‘Zilla from the 1998 American GODZILLA blockbuster in a battle with the original kaiju we all know and love, Mowry’s script is gloriously tongue in cheek. Highlights include a seminar on Megazoology, a study dedicated to talking about giant destructive monsters, or a wonderful battle in which Gigan and Kumonga set the Grand Canyon on fire. Wonderful giant monster battles, as well as a not-so-serious but still fun and interesting look on human life in the world of kaiju, RULERS OF EARTH is a blast for Godzilla fans.

09ALL-NEW X-MEN #13

STORY BY
Brian Michael Bendis
ART BY
Stuart Immonen, Wade Von Grawbadger
COLORS BY
Rain Beredo
LETTERS BY
VC – Cory Petit

Bendis tackles Alex Summers’ infamous ‘mutant’ speech with sensitivity and depth, treating it with, at turns, gentle humour (Bobby’s mocking of the power of words), intellectual disbelief at the hands of Hank McCoy, or a personal and heartfelt reaction from Kitty Pryde. We get more from Mystique and Lady Mastermind, and a shocking splash page that, I’m sure, isn’t quite what it seems. Things are still moving at a snail pace, but the dialogue and characterization is top notch. Of course, Immonen and Von Grawbadger’s art work is stunning.

10CAPTAIN AMERICA #8

STORY BY
Rick Remender
ART BY
John Romita Jr., Klaus Janson, Scott Hanna
COLORS BY
Dean White
LETTERS BY
VC – Joe Caramagna

Speaking of Remender…honestly, CAPTAIN AMERICA may be my favourite thing he’s ever done. In this issue, Remender explores the hypocrisy of Steve Rogers’ home country, the fallacy created in a country that defines itself by independence and thus refuses to learn from its own history. Ian’s turn against his father is a perfect representation of America – the new is all that matters, the old is left to wither and die. A shocking twist ending and more wonderful Zola moments, and Romita Jr’s artwork at it’s bloody and brutal best…I love this book!

11DAREDEVIL #27

STORY BY
Mark Waid
ART BY
Chris Samnee
COLORS BY
Javier Rodriguez
LETTERS BY
VC – Joe Caramagna

Honestly, things wrapped up much quicker than I anticipated! It’s a very interesting issue – Bullseye explains in depth how he’s come to be a mastermind of sorts, having all the time in the world to focus on hatred and to make Matt suffer as much as he’s been forced to. Daredevil’s defeat of Ikari and Bullseye is kinda cute, but doesn’t quite satisfy. The ending moment with Foggy is rather touching, but I’d be lying if I said I was impressed with this issue. Beautiful art work and wonderful writing, but I suppose after such a gripping two-year build-up, the resolution had to be a let down.

12FF #8

STORY BY
Matt Fraction
ART BY
Michael Allred
COLORS BY
Laura Allred
LETTERS BY
VC – Clayton Cowles

Okay, a fight scene between She-Hulk and Medusa AND an awkward dinner with Alex Power and Doctor Doom? There was no way I wasn’t geeking out all over this thing. I love the way Allred does fight scenes – the characters seem to float on the page, posed like mannequins, in a very weird dream-like way that absolutely grips me. I mean, that’s kind of Allred’s whole thing – he really commits to the artifice of comics art, the pop cartoon sensibility that the genre seems so ashamed of. Hey, if Fraction wants to just turn this thing into a She-Hulk book, can we all just let him? The Bentley stuff is kinda fun, and Doom’s mad desire for future knowledge was spot-on. Good stuff!

13HAWKEYE #11

STORY BY
Matt Fraction
ART BY
David Aja
COLORS BY
Matt Hollingsworth
LETTERS BY
Chris Eliopoulos

I don’t know. It wasn’t for me, okay? Empty Chris Ware aesthetics, superhero comics desperate to appear innovative, an empty story that can’t prove gripping by a graphic narrative device. I’m glad those who enjoyed it did, but…I’m not a dog person.

14JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY #653

STORY BY
Kathryn Immonen
ART BY
Valerio Schiti
COLORS BY
Jordie Bellaire
LETTERS BY
VC – Clayton Cowles

For those of you who didn’t buy this series, we OFFICIALLY have beef! I can’t believe a comic like this isn’t allowed to run forever and ever. It’s perfection! Immonen treats Beta-ray Bill with an astounding amount of respect, exploring the tragedy of the character as well as Sif’s understanding of what makes a human. Does a cyborg deserve sympathy? Does a God? Beautiful artwork, wonderful characterizations, amazing comics pure and simple.

16ULTIMATE COMICS X-MEN #28

STORY BY
Brian Wood
ART BY
Mahmud Asrar, Juan Vlasco
COLORS BY
Jordie Bellaire

A fantastic conclusion to the NATURAL RESOURCES arc, with a speech on mutant rights from Kitty Pryde that puts her 616 counterpart to shame. After an explosive all-action issue last time around, Wood gets back to focusing on bigger issues as Karen and Kitty discuss just what the future of mutants should be. Karen wants to create Utopia into a segregated community apart from humans, which Kitty could never support. Their argument is thrilling. The mystery of just who this Pslyocke doppleganger is still lingers, but Ièm sure it will be adressed in future issues. Beautiful artwork, great characterizations, two wonderful Brian Wood X-men comics in one week is a dream come true!

Okay, and a speed round – I actually thought YOUNG AVENGERS #5 was pretty fun, a look at temp jobs in the Marvel Universe as Prodigy and Speed work at a call in centre for those in need of meta-assistance. Brown apes McKelvie’s style pretty well, and even if Gillen indulges himself in a three page opening sequence that is not nearly as cute as he thinks it is, this was still my favourite issue of YA yet. THE FLASH #21 was gorgeous as always, with Barry finally meeting Kid Flash in the New 52, but frankly, not much happens beyond this. It’s most gripping when it focuses on Iris. The art on X-MEN #2 felt rushed, but Wood’s story was gripping, THE WAKE #2 was gorgeous, a brilliant sense of mood and an intriguing look into evolution. THE LAST OF US – AMERICAN DREAMS #3 was legitimately terrifying. THE BOUNCE #2 was middling, a vapid and incoherent head trip that falls from from fulfilling it’s promise as our generation’s version of Lee/Ditko’s ASM. PROPHET #36 has my favourite meta-moment of recent memory, B.P.R.D. VAMPIRE #4 continues to be beautiful more than it is gripping, and UNCANNY #1 was an intriguing taste. Lastly, I must mention, FURY MAX #13 was perfect.

______________________________________________________________________________________________________

Well, that’s it for this week! If you’d like to talk about any of the other delicious comics I didn’t have time to talk about, leave a comment below! Otherwise, I’ll be back next week for what hopefully proves to be a lighter week and a WordPress that doesn’t make me want to strangle myself, and keep checking in at the Pure Mood for, as always, daily updates on all things comics and pop culture!

One response to “THE PURE MOOD PULL LIST – 2013/06/26 – TOO MUCH OF A GOOD THING

  1. ANXM was great. Kitty’s response to Havok’s speech was both powerful and good characterization. The overall story is coming along really well.

    Captain America was pretty OK. It’s still one of Marvel’s weakest solo titles right now.

    Daredevil was great. Just great.

    FF was really fun, as usual.

    Hawkeye was awesome. Any issue from a dog’s point of view is bound to be good. I hate dogs, but this was a really fun issue.

    JiM was excellent. I love this series, and I hate that it’s ending.

    YA was awesome. Wonderful writing, some fun interactions between David and Tommy, good art, and then a ridiculously creepy ending (which Brown did an awesome job on). Seriously, that was just horrifying.

    X-Men was awesome.

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