Tag Archive: USA


Ray Carsillo returns from a brief hiatus to talk about the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Michael Sam coming out, and Alex Rodriguez dropping his lawsuit against Major League Baseball. Welcome to Ray’s Man Cave!

Music used is from “Meat and Potatoes”. Used with permission from Admiral Bob (http://ccmixter.org/files/admiralbob77/17833); licensed under Creative Commons. No changes were made to the actual music.

License can be found here: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/legalcode

We are back folks! Finally caught up with the back issues I missed over the holiday as well this week’s releases. And let me tell you, that was no easy feat, never mind actually picking this week’s Pullbox. But that was difficult, too. A lot of great comics, especially from Marvel and on the Indie side of things, made for some tough choices this week, but I think that the elite have risen to the top. So here is this week’s Pullbox!

1) Marvel – The Amazing Spider-Man #677: When the Black Cat is framed for a technology theft she didn’t commit, as Spider-Man can attest to since he was with her at the alleged time of the crime, Spidey calls in his old friend Matt Murdock to help him get to the bottom of the case and to help the Cat clear her name.

Although I’ve steered clear of Spider-Man for the most part because I think the character only regresses with every major event he takes part in, this issue sees the start of a brief crossover with a character who has been rejuvenated in past months, Daredevil. And so I decided to pick up this comic and was pleasant surprised. Brilliant artwork and the banter between Spidey and Daredevil is hysterical as they work together over the course of the issue that will be concluded in the next issue of Daredevil. There is also a point in the comic where Spider-Man questions himself and wishes he had Daredevil’s strength of character as he has had more problems than anyone else in the Marvel universe and didn’t really need a cheap character re-launch by pick himself back up. As someone who has been furious at most of Spidey’s writers for a while, that made me feel good.

2) Marvel – Carnage USA #2 (of 5): As Carnage continues his dominance of a small town in the middle of the country, Spidey finds himself getting help from some unlikely sources as he tries to formulate a plan that could finally put down Cletus Kasady for good.

Surprising I know to put a pair of Spider-Man comics at the top, but this mini-series and the last one by Zeb Wells clearly show who should be at the helm of the wall-crawler in the future. His storylines in both these mini-series and the new Avenging Spider-Man show that he knows what Spider-Man fans want. Smart, witty banter between Spidey and his enemies, some cameos from other Marvel heroes once in a while, and to pit Spidey against his more iconic villains instead of working on new threats or some thing more on a global scale that should stick to Avengers stories. Marvel touts that Spider-Man is the world’s greatest super hero. It’s stories like these that actually give them a case in defending that claim.

3) DC – Batman and Robin #5: Damian Wayne has made his choices and has decided that he is sick of being treated like the child that Batman thinks he is. So, when offered a chance to follow “Nobody”, better known as Morgan Ducard, the son of one of Batman’s former teachers, Henri Ducard he took it to satiate his killer instincts. But will Robin actually pull the trigger when the time comes? 

There are a lot of similarities between the development of Damian so far as a character to the original Jason Todd, but the fact this twisted being is in the body of a 10-year-old boy makes it a bit more creepy. With the knowledge of his past mistakes always looming in the back of his mind, it’ll be interesting to see what Batman does to not only win Damian back and if he finally starts to grow into the “father figure” role that Damian so clearly needs, but if he reveals all of his secrets to Damian who so desperately desires his trust just as much as his love. Left open on another cliffhanger ending, the next issue will definitely see some sparks fly and if you want to see just what the future of the Batman and Robin dynamic will be, you’re going to want to start with this issue.

4) DC – Deathstroke #5: Realizing his long thought dead son may actually be alive, Slade Wilson, better known as Deathstroke the Terminator, must also deal with the fact that the closest thing he’s ever had to a friend in Christoph, has just received his head as a very clear message. Along with Peabody, Deathstroke must continue to track down his clearly enraged son while also still dealing with yet another person wearing the Legacy suit. But this newest hunter has some metahuman powers that will put Slade’s own to the test.

Always guaranteed to provide tons of over the top action, this issue continues that trend while bringing up more questions of where Deathstroke goes from here as things just seem to get more and more complicated and he really doesn’t know who to trust as that short list just got shorter. The interesting thing of course will be how he handles this new Legacy and if the running joke of this new character being cannon fodder comes to an end as we also learn the extent of this new Legacy’s powers. We’ve seen some super-strength and some high level telekinesis. It’ll be interesting if there is anything else up his sleeve as he takes on the world’s greatest assassin.

5) Image – PIGS #5: The Russian sleeper cell continues to fracture from within as a new assignment has come their way and requires them to break into a prison to perform an assassination. As the ante has been raised, more of the group starts to hesitate and decides to go with the more subtle approach unlike their first mission, but things don’t exactly go according to plan. Or do they?

With so many comics revolving around super-heroes and crazy powers and worldwide threats from extraterrestrial beings and whatnot, it’s great writing like this that makes me a fan of comics. An espionage thriller like this is a rarity in today’s market, but hopefully it continues for a good long while, or at least as naturally as the story will allow it to. The rift that is forming in the group and knowing everything that is riding on it, you don’t know who to root for as its easy to lose sight of the fact that the story really revolves around bad guys. So now the big question becomes when will the US government start to step in and really up the ante for what is already an interesting and high intensity book.

This last Pullbox of the year before our winter break sees a lot of limited series take the spotlight as we’re simply seeing better potential for more complete stories from these limited series than a lot of monthlies lately. We also feature our first independently published Indie as it doesn’t get more independent than that. So enjoy this Pullbox and we will be back the week of Jan. 11!

1) DC – Batman and Robin #4: Ghosts of Batman’s past continue to haunt him as the son of Henri Ducard, one of Bruce’s most influential teachers, has surfaced calling himself “Nobody”. And he looks to teach Batman a lesson he will never forget. And it may cost him Damian in the process.

The most compelling aspect of this story so far is really the dynamic between Bruce and Damian. As Bruce tries to protect him more and more, he seems to push Damian farther and farther away and possible right into the arms of Nobody. More old-school fans might not appreciate this dynamic though because it has a very Bruce/Jason Todd feel to the banter. Of course, Damian is also Bruce biological son and there is a lot more history in a much shorter time because of his origins than what needed to be laid out with Jason.  Overall, definitely a story to keep an eye on though and very strong so far. It will be interesting to see how this continues to play out and is finally resolved.

2) DC – Deathstroke #4: Deathstroke is up to business as usual as he continues to use his infinite resources to start tying up loose ends and finally verify the contents of that briefcase that has haunted him since the first issue.

After an action packed opening sequence to set the tone of the issue as Deathstroke performs another hit, you would think it was father/son week at the DC offices as we finally learn that the contents of the briefcase are a freshly bloodied Ravager mask and knife insinuating that somehow, Deathstroke’s son is still alive. When you couple this with the bloody conclusion of the issue with a mysterious assailant attacking one of Deathstroke’s allies and you start setting up a few potential rivals for this major DC Universe player. It’ll be interesting to see though if DC strings this out over a few issues much like they did with the reveal of the briefcase or if they jump right into it, but it is unlikely. They’ll look to build some suspense first as Deathstroke hasn’t shown the depth of character in many other ways through these first four issues and this can give them a chance to build some while building up to an epic confrontation.

3) Marvel – Carnage USA #1 (of 5): After months of planning, Cletus Kasady has finally decided how he is going to exact his revenge not only on Spider-Man, but on the entire world.

After the critically acclaimed five-issue series Carnage by Zeb Wells that brought one of Marvel’s best villains back into the spotlight, this mini-series looks to follow up where that left off. While Carnage was hiding, he finds that his powers have grown in new and interesting ways and decides to set up his most elaborate trap for the wall-crawler before making himself a new powerhouse in the world and not just looking to kill a town or a city, but to finally go global. Honestly, if you’re like me and got into comics right around the time of Maximum Carnage, then that story and everything that has come after it still holds a special place in your heart. And to see Zeb Wells start working on these epic symbiote style storylines that make sense really hits that sweet nostalgia spot that Dan Slott has not been able to for me in the main Spidey continuity. Add in Clayton Crain’s spectacular artwork and this is a must for old-school Spidey fans.

4) Marvel – Avengers: Sanction #1 (of 4): The ultimate soldier of fortune is back and Cable is none too pleased with what he has learned. Thought to be dead, he merely timeshifted to a future so distant that only his old time traveling mentor Blaquesmith is there waiting for him. There Cable learns he will be consumed by his techno-organic virus within 24 hours, but when Blaquesmith explains the world he currently stands in is a wasteland because Hope had died before her time, Cable knows what his final mission must be: to go back in time and stop Hope’s would be killers, the Avengers.

Considering this is only supposed to be four issues, expect the action to be hot and heavy. Aside from taking on Captain America and the Falcon in the first issue and using them as bait for the other Avengers, the big question that this series brings up is what will become of Cable now? Will this be his true swan song? Is this how he will be brought back into the fold? And if so, you’d have to assume he would side with Cyclops, right? Lots of questions come from this one issue and by that definition alone, if you’re a Cable fan you need to pick up this issue.

5) Independently Published – Sacrifice #1 (of 6): An epileptic boy with strange tattoos and on an array of medication is somehow connected to the ancient Aztecs and their massive empire from hundreds of years ago.

Time travel, human sacrifice, psychedelic trips, and a lot of questions makes this one of the more interesting comics I’ve read in a while because I have no idea where it is going to go because I barely have an idea where it’s just been. Flashing back and forward through time with each turn of the page keeps you on your toes and the action and plot is definitely intriguing enough to pick up a second issue, but I admit if things don’t start to come together fast, there may be too many moving parts to stick with this the whole way through. But the first issue? Definitely worthy of our indie pick as it clearly has a lot of awesome elements that if brought together in the next issue or two can make for a very entertaining mini-series.