The Pull List 4/3

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  • Detective Comics #19:Disregarding the renumbering of the New 52, this is actually the 900th issue of Detective Comics and DC is celebrating with a big, 80 page blowout that introduces Man-Bat into the New 52 universe and also shows that Bane and Emperor Penguin are scheming as well.  The main story is that Emperor Penguin (not The Penguin but his traiterous second in command) has stolen Dr. Kirk Langstrom’s Man-Bat serum and given it to Zasz, with instructions for him to kill someone with the knife coated in it.  This causes a viral outbreak of people transforming into mutant bats.  Dr. Langstrom sacrifices his humanity by turning injecting himself with a different serum that transforms him into Man-Bat and spreads an antidote to everyone else.  Bane, meanwhile, is gearing up an army to take on the Court of Owls and their Talon assassins and Emperor Penguin is scheming with Poison Ivy.  The issue also features great art pages from a variety of artists and is definitely worth checking out.
  • Shadowman #6: The bizarre supernatural action continues in Valiant’s Shadowman, with the hero breaking up a drug den that is manufacturing a drug produced by children’s nightmares and then coming face to face with a resurrected Baron Samedi, who may actually be an unlikely ally against the, equally as evil, Master Darque.  I really like the cajun supernatural vibe of this book and it’s just a cool and well thought out universe.
  • Age of Ultron #4: The surviving heroes are able to fully regroup in the Savage Land this issue, thanks to sacrifice of She-Hulk and Luke Cage, the latter of which is able to reveal that Ultron isn’t even in their time period, he’s controlling Vision from the future as his avatar.  Black Widow and Moon Knight uncover a Nick Fury contingency plan and the heroes are set to put it into action.  This is one of the best Marvel events I’ve read and I can’t wait to see just how crazy it gets and what heroes survive.

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  • Deadpool #7: Making fun of the “Marvel Now” moniker, this issue of Deadpool turns it into “Marvel Then” and tells a story set in the 80’s, complete with four color, 80’s style art and takes on the classic “Demon in a Bottle” storyline from Iron Man.  Deadpool is approached by a demonic agent to get Tony Stark off the wagon, so Deadpool heads to Los Angeles to party but takes as much pity as Deadpool can on Tony and figures out a loophole to get himself out of the demonic contract by taking Tony’s armor and drinking his way to saving a nuclear plant.  If you’re an old school Marvel fan, there’s tons of great jokes about the 80’s era of Marvel Comics, including an opening involving Peter Parker and there’s a great cameo at the end from Cable which will hopefully continue into the next arc.  Definitely one of the highlights of the week.
  • Indestructible Hulk #6: Bruce Banner and his super science team head to the Frost Giant filled land of Jotunheim in this issue.  Bruce is experimenting with a piece of uru metal, the same metal as in Thor’s hammer Mjolnir, and uses it to open a portal to Jotunheim in search of other metals.  They encounter a very retro Thor who doesn’t seem to know who Bruce is or remember much of anything that has happened in recent years.  There’s no time for explanations as the Frost Giants attack, leading to the crazy final image of Hulk being able to wield Mjolnir.  The mission statement for this comic seems to be “What’s the craziest, coolest situation we can put Hulk into?” and then trying to top it in the next issue.
  • Green Arrow #19: Oliver Queen vs Komodo continues in this action packed issue where Green Arrow is in the fight of his life against this new, super deadly fellow archer.  The art in this book does a great job of highlighting dramatic moments by cutting to black and white and one color and the action is extremely well paced and visceral.  The big reveal in this issue is that Oliver learns how his father actually died when they crashed their helicopter on the island Oliver trained himself on and that Komodo’s daughter is just as dangerous as he his, maybe even more so.  If you’ve been watching the Arrow show on CW or just interested in the character, definitely check this book out.
  • Animal Man #19: An extremely dramatic epilogue to Animal Man’s Rotworld story finds Buddy Baker and his family attending the funeral of their son, killed by the disgusting Hunters Three in the last issue.  His daughter Maxine, who has been chosen to be the avatar of the red power when she is old enough, could potentially bring her brother back but Ellen Baker wants nothing to do with powers and leaves Buddy.  Faced with this, Buddy goes directly to the red totems and demands they release him from his powers.  They refuse and cut him off from the red, leaving him his powers.  Now, he’s just a superhero with animal powers, as opposed to a elemental force like his counterpart, Swamp Thing.

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  • Godzilla: Half Century War #5: The ongoing Godzilla book has been kind of stupid and the art definitely leaves something to be desired.  This miniseries, which wraps up this issue, has been the complete opposite with an amazing story and mind blowingly detailed and colorful art.  The story has followed Japanese soldier, Ota Murakami, as he spent the last 50 years of his life trying to stop Godzilla and his fellow monsters.  From his first appearance in the 50’s in Japan to Vietnam to now, 2002, where Ota has his final battle with the King of the Monsters.  In an updated Mechagodzilla, Ota first works with Godzilla to take down Gigan and King Ghidorah, who are thrown into a mini blackhole generated by the latest weapon in the anti-Godzilla task force’s arsenal.  Ota then sacrifices himself to push himself and Godzilla into the black hole.  If you’re a Godzilla fan you have to either get all five issues or wait for the trade paperback, but either way, this is a must read.
  • Swamp Thing #19: Swamp Thing had a slightly easier time than Animal Man in the aftermath of Rotworld, although he did have to say goodbye forever to his love, Abby Arcane, and his physical body.  Now entirely plant, Alec has been criss crossing the globe trying to balance out a series of mysterious botanical events that have sprung up from a person calling himself, The Seeder.  After being forced to destroy an oasis in Sudan, Alec heads to Metropolis to clear his head in the botanical gardens.  In a triple cross over, he finds Scarecrow trying to steal a plant that will create a potent new fear gas and Alec is gassed by one of Scarecrow’s many variants, causing his green powers to go into overdrive, catching the attention of Superman.  It’s a new team on the book but it still seems to have the same quality and you get to see a good variety of Swamp Thing’s powers, like a cactusesque form for when he’s in the deserts of Sudan.

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  • Thanos Rising #1: Get to know the big bad of Marvel’s cinematic universe, Phase Two by checking out this new miniseries showing the early days of Thanos.  Despite causing his mother to go insane at the sight of him, Thanos actually seemed to have a good childhood on the moon Titan, excelling at school and making a ton of friends.  A mysterious classmate of Thanos seems to want him to unleash his darker side and tricks him into exploring a cave where a cave in occurs and Thanos’ friends are killed by flesh eating lizards.  Thanos returns to the cave and murders all the lizards, thus seemingly putting him on the path to eventually killing half of the living things in the universe.  It’s interesting to get a more sympathetic side of Thanos but hopefully this series will flesh him out with out destroying his evil bad assery, a la Darth Vader/Anakin Skywalker in the Star Wars prequels.

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