Pull List Review (3/9/11 Comics)

Batgirl #19: Gah! I just noticed this on the issues of Spider-Girl that I just read: we have a new artist on this Batgirl issue and I find I’m not liking these artist change ups. But it appears that this was a fill in since even the cover states Dustin Nguyen as the issue artist (he did do the cover, which looks amazing), but it’s really Ramon Bachs, and according to the DC Comics website, Dustin’s back for issue 20 (and Pere Pérez is back on 22!). It’s not as if Bachs’s art is bad, but I do like Nguyen’s better. Am I just getting too old and cranky? Yes, probably. :) As to the issue, I enjoyed the interaction between Batgirl and Gotham’s newest masked vigilante, the Gray Ghost. He should provide a bit of amusement for a while.

Batman and Robin #21: Meh. This title used to be so much fun (thank you, Mr Morrison). Now, not so much. This latest arc by Peter Tomasi is somewhat interesting, but not very engaging, and it’s over next issue. These three-issue arcs by different teams just isn’t working for me. I think I’m done with this title very soon.

Batman, Inc. #3: I made a comment regarding issue #1 (I think) about how the artist portrayed female and male characters differently, with the women looking curvy and, well, feminine, while the men looked rough and angular. I want to amend that because I think it has more to do with the inker. Regardless, we get more pretty women and macho looking guys in this issue. I do love the little bits from Morrison that I have come to expect. After Batman asks if El Gaucho wants to be part of Batman, Inc., and Gaucho tells him no, Batman responds with, “Wait a minute. You said what?” Hah! I love that Batman is surprised by the answer. Later, Gaucho asks Batman why he’s impersonating Bruce Wayne, and says, “I’ve met Wayne and you don’t fool me.” Again I say, hah! The layers of identity are getting thick here, and yet another reason I love Morrison’s take on this character. And apparently the glowing bat symbol is intentional, as revealed at a C2E2 panel recently, and not just an artistic interpretation. Batman can turn it on and off as it suits him (usually when holding beaten thugs he’s about to interrogate). Gag.

Birds of Prey #10: What I loved most about this issue? Huntress gets to shine. I’ve never really cared for Huntress after Crisis because she was just another pissed off vigilante with a crossbow to set her apart from Batman. And here in Birds of Prey she is little more than a background character when Black Canary is around, though I do love the interaction between the two. But here, Huntress takes charge (and yes, she’s bad ass, but we already knew that) and effectively saves herself, Dove, and the waste of ink that is Lady Blackhawk (that lobs for you, Oddfellow ;)). I really loved it when she threatens Calculator with the idea that he’s brought down the wrath of all metahumans who owed Oracle a favor: “Congratulations. You just pissed off Superman.” Another hah! (Though, wouldn’t it have been better to say Batman?) And even when Black Canary does show up to pummel the bad guys, she tells Huntress her plan for Helena: “Go be Huntress, would you?” This is why I loved this book from issue one: the interaction between the characters, and the love and respect they have for each other. Anyway, what Dinah means is to scare the shit out of Calculator, which Huntress does. Final thing: I really like how Batgirl is featured in the background (center) of the cover.

Guarding the Globe #4: I’m just not that excited about this book. I keep thinking any superhero book written by Kirkman will be like Invincible, but they haven’t been. The Astounding Wolf-Man and now this title both pale in comparison to how I feel about Invincible. I do like the art, however, and some small bits, like Yeti and the sort of depth of the problems that Chupacabra brings to the title, but it’s not enough. If this gets turned into a regular series, or even another limited series, I won’t be along for the ride.

Legion of Super-Villains: Wow, Saturn Queen is bad ass. I remember when she was pale reflection of Saturn Girl. When she actually gets her team of bad guys to the Rock of Eternity I actually said, outloud, “Whoa.” So, good one, Mr Levitz. And then when she collides two planets onto the Rock? Again with the wow. I can’t wait to see where this is going. One nit: I know I missed a lot of Legion stuff between the end of my tenure with the 5-Years-Later team and the Waid reboot series, but last I knew, Mekt was reformed and living with Garth and Imra on Ranzz. When did he become all “I hate the Legion” again? I don’t care for that return to the past. Curious, too, why have this as a special? Why not have it part of the LSH book?

Sigil #1: The first of the revived CrossGen series from Marvel. I never read the original book, so this is all new to me, but it’s written by Mike Carey, who has never disappointed me. Well, until now, but only in a bit of characterization. Now maybe I’m missing some vital information from the previous series, but the way Tamara is portrayed as wanting to beat the shit out of Samantha at the end of the issue seems a little too much. She’d really break down a door at school to do that? Too Hulk smash! for me. I’m intrigued by the time (or is it world?) hopping that Samantha does, and the promise of great power. I am aware that the yin-yangish sigil was shown across the CrossGen books, so I assume that Samantha is very important to the whole CrossGen world and I’m wanting to know more. I loved the cover art (by Jelena Djurdjevic), and the interior art (by Kirk & Tadeo) is not bad, though some pages seem rushed.

Wonder Woman #608: Continuing the trend, I like this cover, too. Unfortunately, this issue is just one big fight scene, with Diana getting the snot beat out of her. If not for the timely arrival of Dr. Psycho, she would have been toast.

Zatanna #10: That cover’s a little creepy, yeah? At the risk of being repetitive, why is this series so repetitive? First, there were all of the Zatarra appearances, and now we get a lot of bondage situations involving our favorite superhero magician. Plus, the situation Zatanna finds herself in where she’s trapped in a spell where she has no free will is similar to the story where she almost married that casino owner. I know there’s nothing new under the sun (if you’ll pardon the cliché), but variations of the same story within 10 issues of a title is insulting, to me and to the character that Paul Dini purports to love. DC, please get somebody else on this title. I love the idea of a Zatanna comic, but written by someone new. I’ll stick around for the return of Brother Night, but then we’ll see if I stick with this title.

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