September 21, 2016

The Pull List: 21 September 2016, Part 1

Adam Osidis lives among the mountains with his family, led by his exiled father - the one man who dared to stand up against the powerful Mud King's offers. When the Mud King's magically powered servants come to the farm and kill Adam's father, he finally rides down to the city and face the Mud King for himself.

Seven for Eternity is a new fantasy comic from Rick Remender (Black Science, Low) and artist Jerome Opena (Fear Agent, Infinity). It presents an immediately intriguing fantasy world, one that only really gets touched upon with this first issue. There are broadly traditional high fantasy elements here: kingdoms, wars and magical creatures abound, but at least on an aesthetic level Adam Osidis is clearly a cowboy. It feels as if something quite distinctive and visually arresting is going to be developed here, and I'm keen to see how Remender and Opena develop it.

Opena's artwork is simply beautiful and intricately detailed. It strikes me as unlikely that this book is going to stick to a monthly schedule, but to be honest if the art quality holds up to the standard this first issue has set, I'm happy with any delays. It is one of the best-looking comics I've seen this year. Matt Hollingsworth's colours make it all look ever better. (4/5)

Seven to Eternity #1. Image. Written by Rick Remender. Art by Jerome Opena. Colours by Matt Hollingsworth.

Under the cut: reviews of Joyride and The Wicked + the Divine, plus bonus delayed reviews of Spider-Man from last week, and Giant Days from two weeks ago.

Joyride #5
Boom Studios. Written by Jackson Lanzing and Collin Kelly. Art by Marcus To. Colours by Irma Kniivila.
Joyride was intended as a four-issue miniseries, following three young humans, an alien and a robot as they escaped Earth's military dystopia and enjoyed an 'out-there' adventure across the universe. It was so popular that Boom Studios expanded it into an ongoing series, starting with this fifth issue. It's a fantastic self-contained little story as Catrin, Dewydd, Uma, Kolstak and Bot discover an entirely new and previously unexplored planet - only to discover it has some particular unusual wildlife. It's brilliant: the dialogue is funny and the characters are incredibly warm and well-rounded, and the one-shot story still provides the opportunity to explore and develop the characters and their relationships. This is one of my absolute favourite comics at the moment. Each issue has been a delight. (5/5)

The Wicked + the Divine: 1831 AD
Image. Written by Kieron Gillen. Art and colours by Stephanie Hans.
The Wicked + the Divine posits that about every 90 years or so a pantheon of gods are reborn inside human beings, who then live gloriously for two years before dying. The main series is set in the present day. This intriguing one-shot leaps two pantheons back to March 1831, for a look at how another group of immortals went about their affairs. It is drawing a lot of obvious inspiration from stories of Mary and Percy Shelley and Lord Byron at Lake Geneva, not to mention Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. While as a basis for a story it's a bit trite, Gillen develops it fairly well and ties it in nicely to recent events in the main storyline. The real draw card here is Stephanie Hans' beautiful artwork. The colours in particular are wonderful. It's definitely not a must-purchase for WicDiv readers, but fans of the title will clearly get a lot out of it. (3/5)

Spider-Man #8
Marvel. Written by Brian Michael Bendis. Art by Nico Leon. Colours by Marte Gracia.
Ran late with reading this one, from last week's pull list. This is an issue with two halves. In the first, Miles Morales gets ambushed by Luke Cage and Jessica Jones. They warn him that he is doing a terrible job of keeping his secret identity a secret. It's well written with snappy dialogue and plenty of humour. The second half replays a key event from Civil War II from the perspective of Miles, Ms Marvel and Nova - who are forming into a pretty tight and entertaining team, almost as if they have a team book coming soon (hint: they do). It is a brilliantly realised character piece, and I suspect for readers of Civil War II it adds a lot of value. For people who tend to avoid Marvel's underwhelming event crossovers, it's unlikely to have a similar effect. Good art and character work go a long way, though. (4/5)

Giant Days #18
Boom Studios. Written by John Allison. Art by Max Sarin and Liz Fleming. Colours by Whitney Cogar.
It's the final day of the school year, and Susan, Esther and Daisy prepare to say goodbye to the rickety environs of Catterick Hall. Esther and Ed also have a freak-out over whether or not their participation in an essay-writing scam is going to get them arrested. It's basically a wrap-up issue for the current story arc, tying things up neatly and setting the book up for the cast's second year at university. The dialogue is snappy, the characters and likeable, and Sarin and Fleming's artwork is bright and expressive. This is a really fun comic book that provides a nice respite from all of the superhero action, science fiction and fantasy that dominates the shelves. (4/5)

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