Tuesday, 4 April 2017

March 2017's Pull List

I'm running a little bit late with this post, due to the unavoidable problems of Quarter end (work), Month end (again work) and my son's birthday (a genuine pleasure) all ending up being around the same time.

It also didn't help that March was a bumper month with six comics being released (Black Science got pushed back until April), meaning that I had more to read and, as a consequence, more to say.

So, let's not stand on ceremony. Let us begin.

My first read for the month was Titans #9, which saw the team encounter the Fearsome Five in their non-powered glory as they rescue Bumblebee before investigate the company they work for in order to protect their friends. Once again, as with the series' first arc, this issue seemed to make up for the opening instalment with my really enjoying the rather secret agent/heist turn the story went to as the Titans looked into Meta Solutions. I also really liked seeing the Fearsome Five turn up in this series, having originally been introduced to (some of) them in the old Teen Titans cartoon (yes, I watched it). These two things, along with my growing love of Brett Booth's art style certainly makes me glad I came back to this book and gave it a second chance.

Speaking of second chances, Copperhead #11 was next, which saw the return of this sci-Fi western series after a hefty hiatus with the sheriff beginning a new case after the murder of the town's Mayor, while also being distracted by the appearance of an old 'friend' and his news of an old 'enemy'. This was a comic which I had been toying with dropping due to its delay and this issue didn't seem to dissuade me from doing this. The problem I had with it was down to its delay, because I couldn't remember what had happened previously leaving me a little confused with current circumstances. It did all start to come back to me slowly but this wasn't enough to keep me engrossed in the issue and one major character seemed to play against type in my opinion, further turning me off the book. All in all, it probably didn't read as badly as I've implied but it wasn't great and was a weaker book of the month, to which we'll see if the next issue can amend this.

Next came Trinity #7, which is (at present) my last issue of this series as it took focus away from the big three to focus on their respective nemesis (Nemesi?); Lex Luthor, Ra's Al Ghul and Circe as they are drawn to a mysterious and dangerous force. Now for me, this was a book of two halves, with the opening pages giving us the introduction of Ra's and Lex which felt very interesting, completely drawing me in and intriguing with some good writing and cool art. However, on the flip side of the coin the Circe intro and it's following fight scene didn't really catch me, with the fight actually feeling shoe horned in instead of better story. The art though kept it's quality from the first half, overall looking dark, moody and fitting the characters. I did like the idea though, and it intrigued me for what what it's setting up but, sadly, I don't think enough to stop me cutting this book.

Thankfully, we went from bad to good with the next comic as Daredevil #18  delivered another great issue as it continued the tale of how Matt got his secret identity back in the bottle, as the arrival of the purple children spelt the return of the Purple Man. Now, while I had gripes with the start of the run, Soule has managed to turn it around as this story feels more like the kind of DD story I like. The return of the Purple Man, one of my favourite Marvel villains adds to this enjoyment. Meanwhile, Garney's art again looks great, and he manages to homage Samnee's style so well to keep in tone with the period it is meant to be set in, while still effortlessly going back to his own. With this he's really earning my love. All in all I'm totally engrossed in this story and am so glad I gave the book a second chance.

The next issue in my pile was Lazarus #26 and to this, all I can say is 'Finally!!!!' Although, my enjoyment might have been hampered a little by the gap between this issue and the last (I couldn't remember what happened and had to read the recap. God bless recaps, right DC!!! ), this issue saw Forever return to action to take on the Lazarus Smey, while Johanna took steps to help her sister on the homefront. Now, despite the need to remind myself of the lead up, this is of little consequence as all I had to say about this issue by  it's end is 'Wow.' This book is still so gorgeous; so beautifully drawn, so well written and so great in it's symbiosis of the two. Rucka really is a master as I loved the atmosphere and intrigue he's laced into this issue, with the scene between Micheal and Johanna really hooking me (if I needed it). Meanwhile, Lark's place is once again cemented with that final fight scene which was just brutal and shocking and ended in a way I didn't see it coming (although maybe I should have). This was by far the best book of the month and, while it's a shame there while now be a break before it returns, no creative more deserves a break and I'll totally be getting the Lazarus mini while I wait for this great series to return fully.

And so, that left me with Titans Annual #1 to finish out my pull list, which turned out to be another book of two halves as it saw Donna, Wally, Garth and Dick forced to work with their opposite numbers in the Justice League after finding themselves in an unknown location.With this annual, I found the first half felt very hard to get into, although I'm unsure why. While the reoccurring 'My Lord' gag regarding Aquaman was cute, the story just didn't seem to go anywhere. Fortunately, the second half improved and that was when the action really got started. That said, the thing I enjoyed most about this second was not so much the action but more the dynamic of the Titans as a revelation for Donna really showed their close-knit team which I enjoyed seeing as  well as the various teacher/student dynamics. All in all, I thought this was a largely forgettable issue which, while hinting at the overall big bad from the main series, offered very little else to Titans as a collection. I don't think it was quite a waste of my money, but pretty close. That said, my love of the Titans characters might mean this instalment doesn't hurt the series as a whole for me.

And that's March done. All in all, I thought it was a good month, especially thanks to the powerhouse comics of Daredevil and Lazarus. Now on to April, which sees my pull list down to five comics for the month. Hopefully, I can be a little more on time jotting down my thoughts for those.

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