Pull List Review (2/9/11 Comics)

Adventure Comics #523: What does it say when I enjoy this companion book more than the main book (LSH)? They’re both done by the same writer. And it’s really not the artist so much (I think), though I absolutely LOVE Phil Jimenez’s work (have you read Otherworld, hmm? You should.), and while Yildiray Cinar is not a bad artist, there’s something in his style that I find a bit grating, but not enough to make me dislike LSH as a whole. Maybe I’m responding better with this story (so far) because Paul Levitz has a bunch of new characters to play with in this title? I’ve felt since the beginning of LSH that Levitz seemed hamstrung by the continuity of the current LSH characters (post “Superman and…”, the “Lightning Saga”, and Legion of Three Worlds), and he doesn’t really have that here. Speaking of Jimenez’s art, my god, Night Girl has NEVER looked so hot! :) Plus, I bet he enjoys drawing Dragonwing.

Of note is that Glorith, whom long-time fans of the Legion in general know, but of the 5YL run in the 90s especially, joins the Academy as a new, overwhelmed recruit. Also, Comet Queen is back (huh?) and Power Boy and Lamprey seem to be a couple now. It looks promising, at least.

Batgirl #18: What is it with Bryan Q. Miller and holiday themed stories? I originally got into this comic because of the Halloween issue guest-starring Supergirl, and now we have a Valentine’s Day story. While I really do dislike Valentine’s Day as a whole (don’t get me started on manufactured “holidays”), I did enjoy this little tale of love and jealousy.

I prefer the art of Lee Garbett on this series over Dustin Nguyen (again, like Cinar, Nguyen isn’t a bad artist), but I did enjoy the painted sequences of this issue, and it fits very nicely with the Klarion, the Witch Boy, sequences. I love how Miller portrays Batgirl as matter of fact when she realizes she’s dealing with magic, and a situation where she’s really in over her head–but then, that’s what this series has been about since issue 1. I loved, too, how, after Stephanie kisses Klarion to prevent him from turning someone into a frog, he tells her, “You taste like Christmas.” Stephanie: “You say that like it’s a bad thing.” Klarion: “I hate Christmas.” Of course he does. And I just bet she does!

Batman & Robin #20: Now that this title is (ahem) absent of the previous storyline, we now have the Peter Tomasi three-parter (followed by a Judd Winick three-parter–is this how this comic is going to be now? And is that a bad thing?). It opens with the Batmen sitting down to watch the Mark of Zorro together as a family. Is anyone else creeped out by how Bruce is being, like, all nice and fatherly? Is Bruce Wayne now scarier than the god-damn Batman?! *shudder* I liked the interaction between Commissioner Gordon and Damian (I have trouble referring to him as Robin for some reason). Damian is such a little brat! So, what is up with all the white, liquidy bats? Batman (Dick) says at the end of the issue, “This isn’t good”, and I hope it isn’t portentous for this storyline.

Birds of Prey #9: Well, you get a nice romp through the dark recesses of Black Canary’s brain this issue. I thought the resolution to her predicament was a little pat, however, but it does show that despite all of her issues in her past, she’s a strong person and can get past them. But haven’t we seen that all before? I miss how much I enjoyed this comic at the beginning. I have to wonder how much editorial edict is affecting this series. I get the feeling that when left to her own devices, Gail Simone can write the hell out of this title.

I read a tweet about the poor art of this issue, but I didn’t think it was that bad.  A little cartoony maybe, but Inaki Miranda wasn’t bad (though I can’t stand how Batman is drawn–it’s too much like the movie version of Batman for my taste). I am looking forward to Jesus Saiz coming on to the book starting with #12.

DC Universe: Legacies #9: The penultimate issue. When I first started getting this series, it was out of a love for DCU history. Since the events of Infinite/Final Crisis essentially recreated the DCU, I wanted to know what was changed. I was expecting something like the great History of the DC Universe that we got after Crisis on Infinite Earths, but this series isn’t that. While I appreciate the summary history lesson to some degree, it’s just been a “yeah, I remember that event” feeling for me. However, at least with this issue I got to see some events summarized that I’m not all that familiar with, namely, Final Night and Day of Judgement. Funny how Hal Jordan plays a significant role (or seemingly so) in both, despte that the series were three years apart. After reading this issue, I want to read those original stories, plus, DoJ was written by Geoff Johns!

Incognito: Bad Influences #3: I am loving the hell out of this book. It’s my new Batgirl! :) It’s everything that Incorruptible wasn’t for me (which is not necessarily the fault of Mark Waid or his series–I just had expectations for the series that never bore fruit and I was disappointed): moral ambiguity on both sides of the good/bad fence, the struggle with that ambiguity, and a more “real” setting, I guess (which does say more about the writer’s style, I suppose). I’m so glad Matt at my LCS recommended the original series (in trade now), and then got me the first two issues right before this issue came out. I will be checking out the Brubaker/Phillips Criminal trades.

Superman #709: Setting aside that J. Michael Straczynski is no longer actively writing this or Wonder Woman, I am liking this story less and less, the WW story more and more, but it wasn’t always that way. Here, as you can tell by the cover, Superman meets up with the “new” Diana. But what an anticlimactic pairing. I did like the Superman Squad stuff in the issue. I love those splash pages that show alternate versions of the heroes we all know and love. Mostly for me it’s the different costume designs that the artists design, not to mention any homages or Easter Eggs that might be included (though, sadly, there’s nothing I saw in the latter group). Basically, I find myself wanting this particular storyline to be over with, while I don’t feel that way with Wonder Woman. I do continue to like the Eddie Barrows art, though I could do with fewer pouty Superman faces–I get it!

Unwritten #22: I really have nothing to say about this, except, I enjoyed it as I do every month. And the covers never cease to amaze me. Yuko Shimizu gets my vote for best cover artist (now that Buffy, Season 8 is over and Jo Chen isn’t doing those covers anymore).

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