Sorry for the lateness for this week’s Pullbox. Our big reveal for NFL Blitz this week forced a lot of people’s responsibilities to be pushed back some, including mine, and so I’m still in the process of catching up on everything. Never fear though as it was another solid week in comics as we’re seeing the return of H.A.M.M.E.R. storyline ramp up in the Avengers, Fear Itself finally came to an end and ANOTHER Marvel event has started with The Fearless. Meanwhile, we also saw the end of Uncanny X-Men so a lot was going on with Marvel to compete for my spotlight. DC continues to be strong with several new titles and a surprising new Indie comic makes it into the Pullbox this week. So here’s this week’s Pullbox!

1) Marvel – Avengers #18: With Fear Itself wrapping up this week, we also are starting to see the comics revolving around its fallout. This comic is one of those fallout comics, but also details an unseen figure from several of the most recent Marvel events. All this while Captain America has a mandatory Avengers meeting in Avengers Mansion since Avengers Tower is nothing but a pile of rubble now. You could see some lineup changes here after this while also you have the groundwork being laid more importantly for the return of the Dark Avengers, which was immensely popular its first time around. This is just continuing to build up the foundation to make Norman Osborn one of the biggest bad guys in the Marvel universe once again while also allowing what has been a revolving door of heroes on the Avengers roster to settle down with all the other events going on in the Marvel universe. The Thing is doubting himself and his involvement with the team after Fear Itself, Beast is working on leaving to be with Wolverine and the new school in Westchester, and Iron Man is poor. Like really poor. So he’s not sure how much help he can be right now as he tries to get his affairs back in order. All in all, this is a key issue to the future of the Avengers and is a better read than the major Marvel event books that came out this week so I highly recommend it.

2) Marvel – Uncanny X-Men #544: The final issue in this official volume of the Uncanny X-Men, more or less details once again who is going where, whether they are staying in San Francisco with Cyclops, or going with Wolverine back to Westchester. It also finds a way to work in a classic villain who has been laying low and has obvious interests in this split amongst the X-Men standbys, the one and only Nathaniel Essex, best known as Mr. Sinister. As everyone’s personalities are highlighted and you get to see how this affects everyone on an individual basis, you also see the groundwork for the two new monthlies that will come out of this and I personally am looking forward to seeing how each new team will do as this harkens back to the X-Men Blue Team and X-Men Gold Team of my early childhood. A must read for any and every X-Men fan, there is a reason why this is the best thing going on in comics right now and this issue sums it up well in the matter of a single issue.

3) DC – Red Hood and the Outlaws #2: After the mysterious cliffhanger of the first issue, this continues to be one of the best comics of the DC New 52 because of the tremendous team dynamic between Roy Harper, Starfire, and Jason Todd. After giving people who may be unaware of how Jason Todd came back from the dead a brief catch up/origin story, we learn what all the mysteriousness of the last issue was all about and got into some awesome action where the banter of the team was no complimented by how they fought together against some undead martial arts masters. We also see Starfire in sexy clothing again, which for me is just full of win. Really though, this is probably the best written comic DC has right now and I love the art work and am happy to have this as a part of my Pullbox. Now if we could just get Justice League and half of the rest of the New 52 up to this level and DC might be able to fight back a little better against all these ridiculous Marvel events.

4) DC – Nightwing #2: What had started off at a decent clip in the first issue has amped up tremendously in this issue as it seems everyone knows now who Nightwing really is! A blast from Dick Grayson’s past comes back to surprise everyone, especially Dick, but this new assassin who is meant to take him down has the biggest surprise of all. The assassin known only as Saiko uncovers Dick’s biggest secrets and looks to send them with him to the grave. A lot of great action, a ton of surprises that really push Dick Grayson’s character forward, and a new villain that reminds me of an old Nightwing villain in some ways named Lady Vic has me really enjoying everything about this comic. I can’t wait to see what happens next as both Batman and Nightwing is centering right now around the idea that Dick Grayson is the most dangerous man in Gotham somehow. It’s a story line we haven’t really seen probably since the Bruce Wayne: Murderer story from a decade ago and it will be interesting to see how the characters work their way out of it. To me, this was an easy addition to the Pullbox.

5) IDW – 30 Days of Night #1: Picking up where the tremendous graphic novel of a few years ago left off and capitalizing on the success of the movie by the same name, this new monthly from IDW gives people what they should want, horrific, blood-thirsty vampires tearing people to shreds. Now though, the vamps from the graphic novel and movie have moved southward to warmer pastures than Barrow, Alaska, and are looking to take out the people who know of those events and are working feverishly to keep their presence a secret still to the larger world. I will say that I am a huge fan of vampires being the monsters that they are supposed to be and not the stuff you see in that True Blood or Twilight crap and that’s exactly what this comic will be and I know that because it did not get off to a slow start. You had people getting torn apart about midway through the book and it just didn’t stop. My only concern with this comic is that I’m not a fan of this particular art style, but that’s my personal tastes and my enjoyment of seeing people’s jugulars ripped out overcomes that any day of the week. If you’re looking for a new good horror related comic, then look at this book.