October 18, 2017

The Pull List: 11 October 2017, Part 1

Scott Snyder epic and ridiculous story of dark universes and evil Batmen continues for a third instalment. This one feels as if the story has jumped forward a little too much, suggesting that all of those Batman one-shots in recent weeks were more of a necessary read that DC had previously suggested. What we get here is a lot of fast catching-up on how America is falling to the dark universe Batmen, followed by an assembly of remaining heroes working out a plan of fighting back.

The issue moves in fits and starts. It really does lack any iconic action, although the central hero meeting in the Oblivion Bar is a hugely enjoyable one. Fans of Detective Chimp will get an immediate thrill, as will anybody who enjoys these kinds of widescreen-style superhero event titles. The combination of characters is clever and effective, and while this issue feels like a bit of a drop in quality it does set up the future well.

Greg Capullo and Jonathan Glapion's artwork is excellent, and really sells the dynamic, over-the-top nature of the story. The colours by FCO Plascencia give everything a rich and dramatic look. It's imperfect, but this issue does keep Snyder's epic going. (3/5)

Dark Nights: Metal #3. Written by Scott Snyder. Art by Greg Capullo and Jonathan Glapion. Colours by FCO Plascencia.

Under the cut: reviews of Action Comics, Doctor Who: The Lost Dimension, Hulk, Kull Eternal and Star Trek: Boldly Go.

Action Comics #989
DC Comics. Written by Dan Jurgens. Art by Viktor Bogdanovic and Trevor Scott. Colours by Mike Spicer.
Superman's encounter with his long-presumed-dead father Jor-El continues, while a suicide bomber holds the Daily Planet hostage. I am still hoping - likely in vain - that the mysterious Mr Oz is not Jor-El as he claims, but putting that aside for the moment this is a strong and dramatic issue. Like the best Superman comics it forces him into moral struggles, and makes him make difficult choices on where and how to use his powers. A last-page cliffhanger reveal really caught me by surprise. I was a bit ambivalent about where this storyline was headed; I have no idea whatsoever now, but I'm pretty excited. (4/5)

Doctor Who: The Lost Dimension Special #1
Titan Comics. Written by Emma Beeby and Gordon Rennie. Art by Ivan Rodriguez, Wellington Diaz and Anderson Cabral. Colours by Thiago Ribiero and Mauricio Wallace.
Two storylines (although three were advertised), both tying into Titan's "Lost Dimension" crossover. The first sees Professor River Song uncover a secret civilization inside an unstable asteroid. The second sees the Fourth Doctor and Romana find a confluence of parallel universe battle fleets emanating from a series of rifts in space/time. To be blunt: neither are particularly good. The River story is short and confusing, whereas the Fourth Doctor adventure combines a few too many returning monsters with some jaw-droppingly odd artwork. It all feels rather haphazard and rushed, to be honest, and does not seem to add too much to the overall crossover. Easily missed. (2/5)

Hulk #11
Marvel. Written by Mariko Tamaki. Art by Bachan. Colours by Federico Blee.
Her latest adventure over, Jennifer reluctantly goes on a date. This is an unexpected tribute to the self-aware, direct-address era of She-Hulk comic books, as made famous decades ago by writer/artist John Byrne. While not anywhere near as successful as Byrne's splendid run, it is fairly amusing and a nice one-off throwback. Bachan's artwork does get a little distracting; there's a very uneven sense of perspective from panel to panel. It's a confection really, but one that does have a fair bit of entertainment value and acts as a lead-in to the next story arc beginning next month in the retitled and renumbered She-Hulk. (3/5)

Kull Eternal #2
IDW. Written by Tom Waltz. Art by Luca Pizzari. Colours by Triona Tree Farrell.
It has been a bit of a wait between the first and second issues of Kull Eternal, a new series that takes Robert E. Howard's heroic fantasy character and throws him across time into a science fiction story. It is a clever blend, using the mythical setting of Kull's usual adventures as a base, and then stepping out into various settings. The bulk of this issue focuses on revolutionary America, with Kull coming face-to-face with General George Washington. It's odd, but also oddly effective. Pizzari's artwork and Farrell's colours give everything a bold, classic kind of a look. (3/5)

Star Trek: Boldly Go #12
IDW. Written by Mike Johnson. Art by Megan Levens. Colours by Marissa Louise.
Legendary Starfleet captain Garth has suddenly re-appeared, swapping places with James Kirk and stealing his identity. Like most issues of Boldly Go, this is a enjoyable but unchallenging read. It's entertaining for fans of the recent Star Trek films, but a broader audience really isn't going to find anything here they're not going to find in a better form in original books elsewhere. I do like Megan Levens' artwork, however; she has a slightly more abstracted and less photo-referenced look that helps to make the stories more engaging. (3/5)

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