August 27, 2018

The Pull List: 25 July 2018, Part 1

It is the final issue of another of Saga's six-episode story arc, and as always it ends with surprises and gut-wrenching emotion. The Will has killed Prince Robot, and all that stands between him and the other refugees is Marko. A fight ensues.

That makes it a somewhat unusual issue of Saga. We don't usually see actual honest-to-god comic fights in this book. Moments of violence, yes. Character beats, yes. Enormous genitals honestly more often than I think non-readers would guess. A pitched one-on-one fight really stands out. It has a proper and genuine impact. Of course the writing is always good, and it is here too. The art and colours are always impressive and beautiful to read - except maybe for the enormous genitals. This issue, however, is one of those particularly impactful ones - and in part that's really frustrating because this is the last issue before creators Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples take a minimum 12 month sabbatical.

You can't really discuss this issue without ruining it. If you're reading Saga this issue is one of the particularly good ones. If you're not reading Saga I can only urge you to buy Volume 1 and read it from the beginning. You'll probably thank me. (5/5)

Saga #54. Image. Written by Brian K. Vaughan. Art and colours by Fiona Staples.

Under the cut: reviews of Doomsday Clock, Justice League Dark, and Mera: Queen of Atlantis.

Doomsday Clock #6
DC Comics. Written by Geoff Johns. Art by Gary Frank. Colours by Brad Anderson.
As Mime and Marionette are taken prisoner by the Joker, their lives are revealed in flashback - and the blunt violence of Watchmen invades the more abstract villainy of the DC Universe. There is a question that keeps coming up in this series, issue by issue, and thus far writer Geoff Johns has failed to give his readers an answer: what is this series for? The original Watchmen had a strong purpose that helped to make it a masterpiece, but Doomsday Clock simply doesn't seem to have one. It mimics the Moore/Gibbons original well enough stylistically, but it lacks the original's intelligence. It feels less like a story and more like merchandise. The art is pretty and there's some solid dialogue, but it lacks purpose. (3/5)

Justice League Dark #1
DC Comics. Written by James Tynion IV. Art by Alvaro Martinez Bueno and Raul Fernandez. Colours by Brad Anderson.
If DC wanted to know the secret to securing my love, it's their second-stringers: all the weird characters who are never popular enough to warrant their own ongoing series. They're pretty much on the money with their relaunch of Justice League Dark, which teams up Wonder Woman with Man-Bat, Detective Chimp,Swamp Thing, and Zatanna. The events of Dark Nights: Metal blew a hole in the universe, and while the main League fight against whatever weird menace threatens the Earth Wonder Woman is covering something entirely different that seems to be attacking magic instead. The premise is great, the set-up is effective, and James Tynion IV has picked one hell of a team to play with. I'm onboard and then some. (4/5)

Mera: Queen of Atlantis #6
DC Comics. Written by Dan Abnett. Art by Lan Medina and Norm Rapmund. Colours by Vernoica Gandini.
To claim the throne of Atlantis and save both the kingdom and Aquaman, Mera fights a trial by combat against Orm, aka the Ocean Master. This miniseries finale leads directly into Aquaman #38, so if you're reading the latter it's worth tracking down the former. It's been a fairly run-of-the-mill superhero series, but it's been great finally seeing Mera get her own book - even if it's just for six issues. Sometimes it's nice to read a straightforward superhero book without pretension. (3/5)

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