July 7, 2016

The Pull List: 6 July 2016, Part 1

Kurtis Weibe scored a major cult hit with his fantasy comedy series Rat Queens, which followed a group of archetypal Dungeons & Dragons style adventurers - all women - fighting monsters, getting drunk and generally behaving very badly. That book seems to have foundered under something of a cloud, but Weibe is keeping busy. This week sees the release of Bounty, an all-new 10-part miniseries from Dark Horse. Weibe is writing, with Mindy Lee providing the art.

The book follows wanted criminals and sisters Nina and Georgie who, after a mission goes wrong, take on new identities and become intergalactic bounty hunters themselves. It is a jump in genre for Weibe from fantasy to science fiction, but it's a jump he had made before and in many respect it acts as a sister title to Rat Queens relocated to a different genre. The tone is relatively similar, but the characters and the background detail are completely different.

Mindy Lee's artwork reminds me quite a bit of Annie Wu. It has that same spiky, exaggerated energu to it, and it matches Weibe's script very well. This is a violent book, but not to Rat Queen's extent, but it is also a genuinely funny book. If it keeps up its current quality, I can see it giving Rat Queens a run for its money in the cult comic book stakes. (4/5)

Bounty #1. Dark Horse. Written by Kurtis Weibe. Art by Mindy Lee. Colours by Leonardo Oler.

Under the cut: reviews of 4001 AD: Shadowman, Doctor Who: Supremacy of the Cybermen and Poe Dameron.

4001 AD: Shadowman #1
Valiant. Written by Jodie Hauser and Rafer Roberts. Art by Robert Gill. Colours by Michael Spicer.
Like all good comic book publishers, Valiant cannot let an event miniseries get away without adding a few spin-offs. Thankfully, rather than interrupt their regular titles Valiant do things like this: a special one-shot revealing the Shadowman of the year 4001. It is set in two cities, one populated by the living and another by the dead. Every year a group of young people are sacrificed to the city of the dead - only this year three youths have been assigned to fight back. There's some great stuff in here, with strong and dynamic artwork, but like a lot of these one-shots it's hammered by only being one issue. When the end does come it is abrupt and frustratingly open-ended. It's a fun comic, but its promise ultimately goes unrealised. (3/5)


Doctor Who: Supremacy of the Cybermen #1
Titan Comics. Written by George Mann and Cavan Scott. Art by Alessandro Vitti, Ivan Rodriguez and Tazio Bettin. Colours by Nicola Righi and Enrica Eren Angiolini.
After the success of last year's big crossover miniseries, Titan are back with a follow-up. This time around they are celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Cybermen with the five-part storyline "Supremacy of the Cybermen". This busy first issue is practically a dictionary definition of fanwank, drawing in the Ninth through Twelfth Doctors, Gallifrey, Karn, Sontarans, dinosaurs, and Silurians. To be honest it is enough of a mess that I doubt Mann and Scott will manage to rein it all in by the end of the fifth issue, but I'm happy to wait and see. The artwork is a little underwhelming, but the colouring makes up for much of its shortfalls. (3/5)


Poe Dameron #4
Marvel. Written by Charles Soule. Art by Phil Noto.
Truth be told I was about to give up on Poe Dameron. This Force Awakens prequel comic seemed to lack the energy and originality of Darth Vader, and after its initial three-issue arc I was ready to put it down and move on. I am glad I gave it one more chance. This issue feels like somebody put a bomb under Charles Soule's script. It is more interesting - Poe heads to talk to a Hutt inside a maximum security prison - and it features a lot more character development for his squadron of fighter pilots. The setting is clever, and Phil Noto illustrates it really well. Thankfully there are no X-Wing versus TIE dogfights in this issue, because those spaceship-based scenes are where Noto does not seem to manage too well. This is a smart, funny, well-plotted tie-in comic - Star Wars fans will find an awful lot to like. (4/5)

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