Tag Archive: The Pullbox

A huge week last week means no surprise that this week was a bit of a lighter hit on the ol’ wallet. That doesn’t mean we didn’t have some quality comics though for us to deliver in this week’s Pullbox!

Marvel – Wolverine and the X-Men #12 – Wolverine and the Avengers continue to keep Hope away from the Phoenix Five as a massive fight breaks out in one of Wolverine’s favorite dive bars. Hope escapes though after Wolverine and Rachel Grey have an impassioned speech explaining both their cases and Rachel must return to Cyclops empty-handed.

So, I’ve been avoiding the whole Avengers vs X-Men event, but with the slim pickings this week, it was an inevitability. There were a lot of great things about this issue. The two-page spread of the Avengers amping up for battle was the first ‘Oh wow’ moment I’ve had in a while from a comic book in terms of art and with the cheap shots that Wolverine throws at Rachel like saying it’s great her mother wasn’t here to see this was just wonderful writing. It shows how personal this fight has really gotten. The only thing better was the ending where you see that Rachel starts to remember who she really is and Gladiator finally reaches Earth, setting up an epic fight for the next issue!

Marvel – X-Men Legacy #269 – Rogue starts coming into her own as she sees the real good that the Phoenix Five are doing and borrows Iceman’s powers for a short while to assist some folks down in the Gulf of Mexico. Unfortunately for her, Ms. Marvel crashes the party (looking as hot as ever) looking to talk. Rogue isn’t really in a talking mood though.

Again, this issue shows how personal things are starting to get for a lot of these characters as Rogue tries to absorb Ms. Marvel’s powers again and Ms. Marvel freaks out as these two had a long and sordid history caused by Rogue absorbing too much for a long time and putting Ms. Marvel into a coma. The fight though between Rogue with a hint of Ms. Marvel’s power and a hint of Iceman’s versus a fully powered Ms. Marvel was epic to see play out, but I admit I was a little disappointed in how brash Rogue acted as it didn’t offer up a chance for the quality dialog like what we saw in Wolverine and the X-Men. The twist ending though with Magik helps us see where this whole event is going though as it looks like a lot of the X-Men not touched by the Phoenix may start rebelling soon.

DC – Before Watchmen: Nite Owl #1 (of 4) – The Nite Owl we know from Watchmen is actually a legacy hero, carrying on the mantle for the original when he grew too old. This book explores his origins, his relationship with Rorschach, and his first encounter with Dr. Manhattan and Silk Spectre, also a legacy hero at that point inheriting it from her mother.

Honestly, this Before Watchmen event has been hit or miss with me so far and DC is only batting .500. The Comedian book was stellar, Minutemen and Silk Spectre were both disappointing, but Nite Owl falls on the side of awesome. Seeing how young Daniel was inspired by robotics and designed a lot of his tech from an early age was something we never really saw from the character. Or the crush he instantly developed for Silk Spectre. His rapport with Rorschach was also comical and so this book lays an interesting foundation of action, humor, and romance in only its first couple dozen pages in this first of four mini-series.

DC – Green Lantern: New Guardians #10 – The Reach are on the verge of claiming the Hope Lanterns’ Power Battery, but Kyle, Arkillo, and Fatality arrive on the scene to provide aid and allow the Hope Lanterns to reach their full offensive potential. But is the battle already lost and what will happen should the Hope Power Battery fall into the wrong hands?

It’s rare to see the bad guys win in comics, but Kyle’s uncharacteristic lack of hope is the downfall for the group here. Saint Walker is not pleased with abandoning the homeworld of Hope and you may start to see some other lanterns exercise other emotions…like rage. I admit, this new Green Lantern monthly has slowed down some in the past few issues and it doesn’t seem to know what direction it wants to take. The characters are definitely dynamic enough if properly written, but aside from Arkillo and Saint Walker, no one has really stood out since the first couple of issues. If this trend continues, this monthly may no longer have a place in my box.

IDW – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #11 – The TMNT are still without Master Splinter, but a lucky break may point them in the direction they need to finally track down the Foot headquarters and bring home their father. Meanwhile, Splinter is trapped in a life or death battle against the entirety of the Foot Clan as the Shredder watches on!

Kevin Eastman’s return to comics with a re-launched TMNT has been glorious and this issue continues that trend. It’s build up to the battle we’ve longed to see between Splinter and Shredder is terrific and Splinter’s inner dialogue is something of pure beauty, only eclipsed by the banter the two ninja masters have with each other as Splinter takes down lackey after lackey. It will be interesting to see where the turtles themselves go from here though as the spotlight really hasn’t been on them for a couple of issues and if they can get to Splinter in time before exhaustion allows one of the Shredder’s deadly blades to hit a critical blow and just what will happen when they take on Shredder for the first time.

A huge week for comics this week and so it was hard to pick what five to give you folks reviews on. We continue to steer clear of the major Marvel event with Avengers vs X-Men mostly because it would be hard to jump into right now and I don’t want some of the other great titles to get lost. We also have a new comic from Robert Kirkman, creator of The Walking Dead that highlights our indie pick. And DC maintains the course. So, here is this week’s Pullbox!

DC – Green Lantern Corps #10 – John Stewart’s verdict has been passed down by the Alpha Lanterns, but even the Guardians are somewhat shocked that they’ve called for Stewart’s death. Guy Gardner won’t be having that though!

John Stewart always seems to be a moral compass for the Green Lantern Corps and issues that tend to be polarizing seem to always surround this character. So this story that deals with duty, honor, commitment, and a lot of other military-like values really does a great job of sticking true to form. On the other side of the coin, the brash Guy Gardner stays true to form as well as he orchestrated Stewart’s prison break. What’s most interesting though is how the rest of the Corps has rallied around Stewart and his big break out from prison is only the beginning of what looks to be an epic fight between the Alpha Lanterns and the Corps in the next issue. Plus, it will be interesting to see how the more villainous acting Guardians react to all this even further down the line. Right now, this is probably the best read of the Green Lantern monthlies and this issue continues that trend as well.

DC – Red Hood and the Outlaws #10 – Never a dull moment is to be had for our three favorite rejects. Shortly after the Night of the Owls incident has calmed down, Roy, Jason, and Kori are having some quiet time with loved ones. But right as Red Hood was in the middle of something, Starfire is visited by some old friends from her home planet and she is called back into action to fight for them…and Roy and Jason come along for the ride!

This is one of my favorite books of the ‘New 52’ and much of it revolves around the dynamic that Arsenal (Roy Harper), Red Hood (Jason Todd), and Starfire all have with one another. Plus Starfire may be the best drawn character in DC right now. I’m not sure exactly where this storyline is headed, but with possibilities of Starfire’s sister being involved, it could have an old school Teen Titans feel to it, which could be an interesting aside from how the book started and then the brief Night of the Owls interlude with Mr. Freeze. All I know is that this is usually near the top of my reading list every month and although this issue was a little slow, it’s yet to disappoint as a whole. Not to mention I’m absolutely loving Kenneth Rocafort’s art on this series. It’s just very visually striking and I love how he makes things stand out or blend together depending on the message needing to be sent.

Marvel – Winter Soldier #7 – A sleeper agent named Leo Novokov that Bucky Barnes trained years ago has been forcibly awakened. With no mission and little recollection of his past, all he wants now is vengeance on Bucky for what has happened and he will do anything to accomplish this, including forcibly removing anyone and everyone that is related to Bucky in any way from the picture. I think he’ll get the message.

Ed Brubaker’s work on this book so far has been absolutely stellar. Tying Cold War era spy story motifs into modern super heroes has been brilliant and the dynamic between Bucky, the Black Widow, and their handler should be turned into a handbook for a lot of other writers out there when it comes to interaction. Couple that with an intriguing story where Bucky’s past as Winter Soldier keeps coming back to haunt him in ways where there is always some crazy twist and this has been a fun and enjoyable ride thus far and I can’t wait to see how it continues from here. 

Marvel – Daredevil #14 – With the Omega Drive supposedly taken out of the picture, the five families of Mega Crime are in shambles after taking themselves out trying to get it back from Daredevil. Matt Murdock is indeed mighty pleased with himself. Until he is suddenly teleported to Latveria and must face the wrath of Victor von Doom who had his own plans for the Omega Drive!

Daredevil has been a constant joy every month and this issue leaves us on yet another cliffhanger as Matt Murdock’s world goes from bad to worse. His sudden disappearance is once again destroying his personal life and his crimefighting life may be down the toilet as for revenge for disposing of the Omega Drive, one of Doom’s cronies has infected Daredevil with nanites that are meant to remove all his remaining senses. And without his other senses to guide him, Daredevil is all but lost. I can’t wait to see how he gets out of this one next month. Maybe a little help from his friends, the Avengers?

Top Cow/Image – Hardcore #1 – A top of the line assassin named Drake never sees his targets. At least not in person. No, this assassin uses advanced technology that allows him to ‘plug-in’ to those close to his targets, monitor them for several days, and the pull the trigger with no one the wiser. They simply think the person has gone mad. And just before the puppet triggerman is done away with, Drake jacks out. But what happens if someone tires to do something to Drake’s body while he’s jacked in?

Part of Top Cow’s ‘Pilot Season’ two years ago, this one shot by The Walking Dead’s Robert Kirkman has finally been turned into a monthly and it definitely looks intriguing as the twist in this first issue is a doozy and sets up an exciting start to this series. With Drake suspended in stasis while his consciousness is in another’s body, he has only 72 hours to use the borrowed body to save the real one that is under attack right now. Chock full of action, this book looks to be something that everyone should add to their pullbox right now if they enjoy a little conspiracy theory stuff thrown in with their violence as this book blew me away.

After a lengthy hiatus, The Pullbox has returned! After careful thought, we have decided to bring it back in a way that hopefully improves it and also makes it more timely, for you, our faithful readers. Instead of picking a Top 5 every week, we will simply pick five books, still in the two Marvel, two DC, and one indie format, to give our thoughts on. This way we can warn you of what may not be a good book as well raise up those that are worthy. And so, without further ado, here is the beginnings of The Pullbox, Volume 2!

DC – Batman #10 – As ‘The Night of the Owls’ story arc begins to wind down, Batman still must tie up the last few loose ends that plagues his city. More specifically, the remaining members of The Court of Owls. Little does he know though that the menace that has tormented him over the past few nights of his life has roots as far reaching as his parents and his becoming Batman.

I understand that in order to try to modernize Batman within this ‘New 52’ that new villains have been created and small changes have been made along the way to Batman and his history and that as a whole, he has received the least amount of changes of many of DC’s classic heroes. But when you couple last week’s Batman Annual #1 that radically changed the origins of Mr. Freeze and now you create basically a main universe Owl Man that is related to Bruce Wayne and I’m just left shaking my head. The ‘New 52’ isn’t even a year old and it has already jumped the shark with most of its major characters and this is just another example of taking things too far. Much like Batman Annual #1, this issue started off fantastically and then took a nosedive off a cliff and has me worried for the future of The Dark Knight.

DC – Batman: Arkham Unhinged #3 – Delving deep into the stories that took place between Batman: Arkham Asylum and Batman: Arkham City, this month’s issue re-examines the relationship between the Joker and Penguin and just where their now infamous feud started that would of course carry over into the game.

At first the idea of a continuing comic book monthly telling the untold stories within the Arkham City universe sounded tremendously appealing to me. But after reading this issue I came to realize there is nothing original about these stories at all really. These comic stories are based on a lot of the recordings that you collect in game revolving around various villains because I remember hearing this actual story being told in Nolan North’s over-the-top cockney accent from the game. As much as I enjoyed Arkham City, there is really no reason for me to waste my time reading stories I’ve already been told in comic book form. It just seems like another way for DC to try to capitalize on the Batman franchise as many of their other books struggle along. The only positive was the short scene where the Joker was in ‘human face’ in order to blend in with the public a bit before unceremoniously having it removed to reveal his true color and causing havoc in the Iceberg Lounge.

Marvel – The Incredible Hulk #9 – The Hulk has realized that whereas he used to occupy Banner’s body, the gamma bomb that was set off on Banner’s own Island of Doctor Moreau early in this recently re-launched series has turned the tables and now Banner occupies Hulk’s body instead. And Banner only emerges when Hulk calms down. And much like how Banner had no idea how he ended up in the various predicaments the Hulk used to get him in, Hulk is always surprised to find the surroundings Banner takes him to when he’s in control. This time, they end up at the bottom of the ocean.

For as much as DC has screwed up their universal relaunch, it seems that Marvel has gotten a lot of their individual relaunches right and that includes this monthly. Basically picking up right where the old series left off, The Incredible Hulk relaunch marked a different tone, different writers, and reset the numbering, but kept in line with the continuity and in this case found a way to turn the Hulk on his head for the third or fourth time in the past decade as a character and still kept him interesting. And he still smashes everything in sight. Everyone wins. This was another exciting issue that had a great beginning, middle, and end, but still left it open enough that we want to pick up the next issue as Hulk starts under the sea, and ends up in deep space. A terrific adventure as the Hulk continues to battle the enemy within makes The Incredible Hulk a monthly to definitely to keep an eye on.

Marvel – Deadpool #56 – The Merc with a Mouth continues trying to adjust to being without his healing factor and feels he needs to get his mojo back as years of relying on the healing factor has taken away his edge. So he calls on Taskmaster to help him. But Taskmaster obviously is someone who can’t be trusted and so Deadpool learns a hard lesson in dealing with the world now that he is powerless.

Even without his healing factor, Deadpool is still one of the funniest books out there as the inner dialogue with the voices in his head, and the rise of Paste Pot Pete as his new nemesis, is just great to see develop over the past couple of issues and continue here. The thing that I worry about is that it took 50 issues for Deadpool to change even slightly as a character and although still entertaining to read, now that he is without his healing factor and blowing himself up a lot less, the book seems to have lost something. So I hope that Marvel gets Deadpool out of this ‘finding himself’ funk sooner rather than later because this self-pitying ‘pool could get old fast.


Archie – Mega Man #14 – The anti-robot activist group known as The Emerald Spears has trapped dozens of robots in the convention center and its up to Mega Man and the rest of the robot masters to make sure that humans and robots alike make it out alive! Meanwhile, Dr. Wily is lost in the wilderness concocting his next scheme and getting ready to deploy his next group of robot villains.

I was worried a bit about this monthly because in only 12 issues, they blew through the first two Mega Man games basically. But introducing new enemies like The Emerald Spears to delay moving into Mega Man 3 really makes me think that this book could have a long and ongoing shelf life. And that thrills me to no end because this is possibly the best-written monthly video game inspired comic book we’ve ever seen. It gives a lot of great characters personality we didn’t know they had and delivers on the action that we grew up actually playing. And as new robots are introduced like Quake Woman in the last issue, you wonder if the comic book may lead to some new game inspirations down the line for the Blue Bomber. It may be because the Mega Man franchise has always been one of my personal favorite gaming properties, but I can’t get enough of this book. I love the tone, the character arcs, and the fact that a lot of the robot masters that Mega Man liberates return to Dr. Light’s care and add a lot of surprising depth as the roster grows as the stories move through the games. If you love Mega Man, then get on board with this book NOW.