August 26, 2018

The Pull List: 18 July 2018, Part 2

Aisha is not expected to survive in her hospital bed for much longer, but before she can get to her Medina has to survive escaping the apartment building. This is a rocket of a horror comic, sprinting at breakneck speed with everything brought up to a terrifying climax. It caps off a sensational five-issue miniseries.

Aaron Campbell nails the artwork in this finale, shifting style and tone from page to page to match the requirements of the script. As for that script, Pornsak Pichetshote absolutely perfects the ending. This has been a tremendous story about racism, religious intolerance and nightmarish surreal horror. Horror is a hard genre to do in comic book form: it relies so much on the unknown, yet unlike film - which can flash moment of fear at a viewer - or prose - which forces the reader to imagine the nightmare - the comic book delivers still images which can be stared at and examined for as long as the reader chooses. It's a challenge that the writing and art absolutely meet. If you like horror, you need to put the impending trade paperback onto your to-read list.

This has been a fabulous debut for Pichetshote. I cannot wait to read what comes next. (5/5)

Infidel #5. Image. Written by Pornsak Pichetshote. Art by Aaron Campbell. Colours by Jose Villarrubia.

Under the cut: reviews of The Avengers, Justice League, Star Wars: Poe Dameron, Vs, and The Wild Storm.

The Avengers #5
Marvel. Written by Jason Aaron. Art by Ed McGuinness, Paco Medina, Juan Viasco, Mark Morales, and Karl Story. Colours by David Curiel.
Ghost Rider rescues Captain America from Loki and the Progenitor, while the Avengers prepare to save the Earth from an ancient alien infection. This opening arc from Jason Aaron has honestly become stronger each issue, with back story and plot developments bolstering things up and transforming a weird meandering semi-reboot into a hugely entertaining superhero romp. This issue it's Ghost Rider who gets the best deal, with a sort of wobbly weak re-working of the character finally getting a bit of individuality and strength. (4/5)

Justice League #4
DC Comics. Written by Scott Snyder. Art by Jorge Jimenez. Colours by Alejandro Sanchez.
The Justice League continues to fall in the face of the mysterious Totality. Superman and the Martian Manhunter are ambushed by a miniaturised Luthor and Joker hidden inside their bodies. Cyborg and Green Lantern fight against a super-charged Sinestro. Wonder Woman, Aquaman and the Flash are at the mercy of Gorilla Grodd. The Legion of Doom is back at the worst possible time and now the entire universe is in danger. Big picture action, crazy science fiction ideas, beautiful artwork and colouring. When DC gets the League right, it's a wonderful thing to read. (4/5)

Star Wars: Poe Dameron #29
Marvel. Written by Charles Soule. Art by Angel Unzueta. Colours by Arif Prianto.
In the aftermath of The Last Jedi, Black Squadron head out on a secret mission to secure support against the First Order - only to find themselves cruelly deceived. This comic emerges from its needless "meanwhile" story arc covering the events of The Force Awakens, and dives straight into a fairly dull and predictable story about fighter pilots visiting an alien planet with its own political troubles. You can guess where the plot is going from the outset, and none of the characters seems particularly interesting or distinctive. The art is attractive but remains fairly stiff. Unless you're in the hardcore, miss this. (2/5)

Vs #5
Image. Written by Ivan Brandon. Art by Esad Ribic. Colours by Nic Klein.
It is time for Satta Flynn to make his final stand, as the authorities attempt to kill him for good. The artwork has always been the star of this series, with Esad Ribic presenting a phenomenally high budget look and a constantly growing sense of power and scale. The design work is second-to-none, and Nic Klein's colours have ensured everything looks rich and cinematic. It's in Ivan Brandon's scripting and story where the series has wobbled a little. There's a lack of clarity that, if filled, would have turned a fun and visually exciting book into a genuinely great one. (3/5)

The Wild Storm #15
DC Comics. Written by Warren Ellis. Art by Jon Davis-Hunt. Colours by Steve Buccellato and John Kalisz.
Skywatch and IO sit perched on the edge of global war. John Lynch's latest attempt to warn a Thunderbolt test subject that IO is hunting them down ends in violence. Jack Hawksmoor discovers he has been redesigned to survive a post-apocalyptic Earth in the future. The art in this 15th issue is particularly strong and effective, notable Jack's flashbacks to having his body rebuilt. The story, as always, steps forward in multiple separate threads without too much consideration for pacing. On a scene by scene basis, however this issue is particularly well written and illustrated. (4/5)

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