Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Weekly Comic Pull #2: Sad Pull Edition

Welcome back to the Weekly Comic Pull! Every week, we go through my weekly pull list, checking out the newest comics that I've been reading. This week, we've got an interesting assortment of comics. First, a bit of house-keeping. Unfortunately, my local shop seems to have not gotten a few books from my pull this week, namely Uncanny Inhumans #7, Mighty Thor #6, and Action Comics #51 (which particularly irks me since that's the reappearence of Supergirl), so those won't be covered here. I'll try to get my hands on copies of those, and I'll include them in next week's post. Now, without further ado, onto the comics!

Haunted Mansion #2

Written by Joshua Williamson
Art by Jorge Coelho

I can't deny it, I'm an avid Disneyphile. I adore anything and everything Disney, and the Disney Parks are one of my favorite subjects, so I went into this series being very familiar with the Haunted Mansion and its history. And honestly, I think that's the kind of people this comic is best suited for, because, unfortunately, it doesn't really do much else besides providing that fan service. The story continues with our main character, a kid named Danny, trying to find the ghost of his grandfather in the mansion, while having to tangle with the minions of an evil pirate captain's ghost. This issue finds Danny encountering the ballroom, and the debaucherous party within, which makes for a quirky, if typical tale. Unfortunately, the issue gets bogged down with a bunch of exposition, a good amount of which was actually already delivered in the first issue, and another piece being the pirate captain's origin, which is awkwardly placed and not all that interesting. Outside of that, there's a few nods to pieces of Haunted Mansion lore and some nods to the ride, including a nod to the Haunted Mansion Holiday that Disney puts on in December. Danny is your typical kid protagonist, and aside from a short flashback showing him with his grandpa, he's not exactly anything special. This really is a book that is really only entertaining if you already know the ride, and know it well. Otherwise, there really isn't much here.

Tony's Score: 6.5/10

Superman: American Alien #6

Written by Max Landis
Art by Johnathan Case

Max Landis can be a pretty divisive figure in the movie world. Whether it's calling Rey a Mary Sue or his videos about Superman and Wrestling, the one thing people seem to agree on is that Superman: American Alien is exceptional. With each issue essentially being its own one-shot, this issue takes a look at Superman's evolving effect on the world. Clark Kent is meeting two of his old Smallville friends who know he's Superman, and they're not entirely comfortable with it. For the most part, the issue focuses on Clark struggling to truly grasp what Superman is becoming and what he can mean, which is very compelling. Clark is written like a relatable 20-something, someone who understands he has responsibilities, but doesn't quite have a grasp on what responsibility truly is. He's a kid trying to make the best of his powers, and it's about as smooth a transition as one would assume. Johnathan Case captures the frankness and the weight of this exceptionally, giving us a grounded look to the story after last issue's more bombastic style for the more bombastic story. I'm not sure where I'd place it among the other issues (#4 is probably still my favorite), but it's as exceptional as the rest of them. Somehow, Landis does it again.

Tony's Score: 8.5/10

Captain Marvel #4

Written by Michele Fazekas & Tara Butters
Art by Kris Anka & Felipe Smith

It's weird how effortless this issue feels. Everything that happens feels like it's a natural extension of the last issue, but yet it's so tightly done that I can't help but love it. Captain Marvel and her crew, the Alpha Flight, are engaged with an enemy ship that's mistaken them for an old enemy, and Cap has to use every trick she can think of to save the station, her crew, and potentially the whole Earth, all the while facing the possibility of there being a traitor in her midst. Everything about this issue is tightly paced, tightly drawn, and tightly written. Carol is written wonderfully, working well under pressure, but still showing that even she is at the end of her rope. Her repertoire with the members of Alpha Flight and the members of her crew is well written and fun. The art from Anka and Smith is wonderful, and makes this feel like the epic it should be. This series has been shaping up to be the epic space adventure I'd hoped it would be from the first issue, and it's only getting better. Issue #5 can't come fast enough.

Tony's Score: 9/10

Power Man and Iron Fist #3

Written by David Walker
Art by Sanford Greene

Power Man and Iron Fist has turned out to be a fairly enjoyable, and surprisingly laid-back, series so far. As much action there's been, there's always been a good amount of down time focused on Luke and Danny's relationship, and this issue was mostly that, as we essentially set up the last part of this arc. We even got a lot more Jessica Jones in this issue than usual, which was probably the best part. The art style is one of my favorites in comics right now, and even though not a whole lot happened, the chance to just see a lot of this beautiful art was enough reason to read. For what it's worth, the story is fairly enjoyable, seeing Luke and Danny trying to get more information on a mystical amulet that's in the hands of an old ally-turned-foe, even managing to squeeze in a Doctor Strange cameo. All in all, the book's quality. It's just good fun to see these two hanging out together, with Cage almost reluctantly getting back into the hero game. I don't know if Walker's run on this book will be the MOST memorable, but it's good enough, and it's a book I don't mind reading at all.

Tony's Score: 7.5/10

Red Sonja #4

Written by Marguerite Bennett
Art by Aneke & Diego Galindo

Red Sonja's never been a character I've bee super familiar with, but when I found out Marguerite Bennett was taking the book over, I just had to check it out. Bennett's one of those writers where I'll read anything she writes right now, So, I jumped on with the first issue. In this issue, Sonja continues her fight against the evil king who has taken over the land and established a tyrannical rule of fear and scapegoating. In that fight, Sonja comes to recruit an old friend, while encountering the king's warrior women, three women fashioned after Sonja herself. Bennett has shown in Angela: Queen of Hel that she can do fantasy, and this is no exception. The dialogue in general can sometimes be a bit tough to get used to, in a different way than say Asgardians in Thor are hard to read. The dialogue gets fairly wordy, but the story's as sound as ever, with the only real criticism being that it does get a tad predictable. This series has also always felt like it would be a lot more enjoyable if I already knew some significant backstory with this character, particularly Sonja's relationships with a few of these characters, so consider that research I need to do. It's not as bad here as in some previous issues, though, and overall, I still really enjoyed the book. I just perhaps need to brush up on my Sonja.

Tony's Score: 7.5/10

Spider-Gwen #7

Written by Jason Latour
Art by Bengal

Okay, so technically this came out last week, but Silk #7's in my pull and I missed this last week, so might as well do this now. Spider-Gwen's been a book I've had mixed feelings about, but it's really picked up since the All-New, All-Different started, and this Spider-Women crossover is really shaping up to be something great. This issue sees Silk and Spider-Woman stuck in Spider-Gwen's universe, and having to try to find a way back. Silk, though, is far more concerned with finding out what may have become of her family in this universe, having lost them in her universe, leaving Spider-Gwen and Spider-Woman the task of hunting down leads. The story is really fun, especially seeing Jess react to the pretty lame villains that Gwen is usually facing in this universe. Silk is mostly absent in this issue, so Jess and Gwen take up the majority of the book. The art's always been the best part of Spider-Gwen, and this is no exception., the crazy pastels of pinks and purples making everything seem alive and vibrant. I can't wait for the set up at the end of the issue to pay off. Fortunately, I don't have to wait long...

Tony's Score: 8.5/10

Silk #7

Written by Robbie Thompson
Art by Tana Ford

...because we get to go right into the next part of the story! Don't you love segues? Anywho, this issue of Silk fills in those gaps from last issue showing where Silk ran off to, first to her family, in a pretty sad scene that manages to raise some interesting questions about this alternate universe. Aside form that, we get a glimpse at what this universe's Cindy Moon does for a living, notably super-villainy. Seeing Silk trying to act villainous for her minions is pretty entertaining, but unfortunately, a lot of it is spoiled by the lackluster art. Silk tends to be drawn by one of two, sometimes three artist, one of whom is Tana Ford, who honestly, I really don't like her art style. She's drawn for this book before, and every time she does, it looks so awkward and bad, particularly her faces. It always makes me pine for Stacy Lee to return on art duties, and no less on this issue. Otherwise, though, it's as quality as ever, though, it does manage to be my least favorite of the Spider-Women books so far, somehow. Regardless, it's not bad, not even close. And it leaves off on a last panel that teases two really cool encounters to come.

Tony's Score: 8/10

And that about wraps things up for this week. Again, I'll try to get the books I missed in for next week. What was your favorite issue this week? What did you think about any of these books? Do you hate Tana Ford's art as much as I do? Let me know in the comments, and I'll see you guys next week, same bat-time, same bat-channel.

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