August 1, 2018

The Pull List: 11 July 2018, Part 1

Carter Hall's investigation into his past lives takes him to the British Museum - and an unexpected slip back thousands of years to ancient Egypt.

Full credit to writer Robert Venditti, who has certainly committed one hundred per cent to his strategy of untangling Hawkman's tortured and contradictory back story by making all previous takes on the character true at the same time. It will take time to see if this plan results in a satisfying story - which is always the bottom line - but this second issue feels more focused than the first, and does show off the concept in a clearer fashion.

Of course the larger selling point for this new volume of Hawkman is Bryan Hitch's artwork. It is tremendous, as Hitch's work generally is, with a strong combination of splash pages and smaller panel-based art. It's well inked by Andrew Currie and Daniel Henriques, with solid colours by Jeremiah Shipper. Even if this time-crossing storyline stumbles, it will at least look great while it does. (4/5)

Hawkman #2. DC Comics. Written by Robert Venditti. Art by Bryan Hitch, Andrew Currie, and Daniel Henriques. Colours by Jeremiah Shipper.

Under the cut: reviews of Daredevil, Ms Marvel, Oblivion Song, and Star Wars: Darth Vader.


Daredevil #605
Marvel. Written by Charles Soule. Art by Mike Henderson. Colours by Matt Milla.
The Battle of City Hall begins, with Daredevil and a team of Catholic knights facing down an army of ninja and an honest-to-god actual demon. Meanwhile Wilson Fisk is awake and keen to resume control as New York City Mayor. It's a big climax to a long story arc that perhaps summarises and hand-waves a little too much, but does hit enough satisfying beats to be well worth the read. It also refuses to tie things up neatly, which provides a good lead-in to whatever story comes next. This book has really developed well over the course of Charles Soule's tenure. (4/5)

Ms Marvel #32
Marvel. Written by G. Willow Wilson. Art by Nico Leon. Colours by Ian Herring.
Bruno is back in New Jersey, which is a wonderful thing to see: the will they/won't they tension between him and Kamala was one of the most entertaining and soap-like elements of Ms Marvel's early issues, and it's great to bring it back. He's clearly her Mary-Jane Watson. Throw in second-string Spider-Man villain the Shocker, and you have yet another issue that is smart, funny, and action-packed. This issue really is Ms Marvel at its best - and its best is so good. Five-star comics are usually first issues or story arc finales, but sometimes it's worth acknowledging those issues in the middle that are simply so effective and readable. (5/5)

Oblivion Song #5
Image. Written by Robert Kirkman. Art by Lorenzo De Felici. Colours by Annalisi Leoni.
When Robert Kirkman unveiled his new ongoing series Oblivion Song, it seemed a pretty obvious story to guess: a cataclysmic event threw a huge section of Philadelphia into a nightmare dimension. The protagonist Nathan uses experimental technology to teleport into oblivion and rescue survivors one by one, all the while looking for his lost brother. That seemed a great set-up to run for a solid two or three years, but instead here we are issue #5: the lost brother has been found, and the survivors that live with him don't seem to have any interest in leaving their new homes at all. The beauty of this is that I have no idea where this comic is headed any more, and that's a better hook than any superficial cliffhanger. (4/5)

Star Wars: Darth Vader #18
Marvel. Written by Charles Soule. Art by Guiseppe Camuncoli and Daniele Orlandini. Colours by David Curiel.
On an isolated and uninhabited planet, Moff Tarkin and a team of crack Imperial soldiers are hunting down Darth Vader. Precisely what has happened to cause this unexpected turn of events is the central focus on this done-in-one adventure. It is great to see Tarkin get such a strong focus for an issue - he is a great character, and Charles Soule's script captures Peter Cushing's screen performance in the role wonderfully. Providing stories that pair Tarkin and Vader up in the lead-up to A New Hope is a smart move, and looks set to generate further effective stories as time goes on. (4/5)

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