Thursday, 1 June 2017

May 2017's Pull List

May 2017 has quickly become my busiest month in a good long while.

With Free Comic Book Day, a couple of delayed comics finally being realised and DC doing a load of crossovers which have affected the series of theirs I pick up, my pull list for the month has increased by six times it's regular size.

Anyway, with the free comics having been read through, I figured my regular pull list be crammed through next to get my thoughts down on those before the big (DC) crossover.

My first (proper) read of the month (and by far the longest) was the Lazarus Sourcebook #2, which focused only providing the detailed information regarding Carlyle's bitterest enemy. I have to admit, while I enjoyed the first sourcebook, this second was even more enjoyable (while also feeling like it took far longer to read) and I really found myself engrossed in the inner workings of the good doctor's Kingdom. Once again, this sourcebook was displayed on some great page design and, as such, this book is another reminder to me about how rich the Lazarus world is and it now has me pumped for X+66, the series proper and maybe even more of these sourcebook down the line (maybe Morray next time).
Next up was Copperhead #13, with Sheriff Bronson moving ever closer to finding the old Mayor's killer, while his replacement plots Hickory in order to keep the Sheriff under control. Unfortunately, once again, Copperhead really failed to capture me with yet another lacklustre issue. The problems seemed to show from the start with the cliffhanger from last issue skipped over to move the story on, so much so I actually went back thinking I'd missed something. The plot itself is rather simple and fine enough but it's overpowered by the new dynamic between the Sheriff and Boo, one I really can't get on board. Finally, the art by Drew Moss Doesn't have the same flair as Godlewski's did and does look considerably rougher. By the end of this issue, it's safe to say I'm done here. It's been fun while it lasted but unless something amazing happens in issue 14, then that'll be the end of my time in Copperhead.

My third read was Star Trek The Next Generation: Mirror Broken #1, which followed on from the Free Comic Book Day issue by returning us to the Mirror Universe and seeing Captain Jean-Luc Picard and his crew of the I.S.S Stargazer decide to take action in the wake of the Empire's dire circumstances; by stealing the new advanced warship Enterprise. Now I've got to admit, I'm in two minds about this book after issue one. On the one hand, I love the artwork, with J.K. Woodward's style having the same photo-realistic, dark tone of the FCBD issue and I also really like the concept regarding the universe and the story arc. However, this issue did seem a little slow to get off the ground (although, admittedly, it took me three attempts to actually read the thing). One other, small thing which bothers me is why on Earth would the Warlike Empire call a ship the 'Stargazer' or the Shipyards 'Utopia Planitia'? That said, these are minor gripes compared to the pacing but, hopefully, this is a book which will pick up from the next issue.

Anyway, moving on from all the relatively middle road books, next up came possibly my favourite comic of the month up until this point, Daredevil #20, which finshed the 'Purple' story arc and completed the story about how the Man without Fear got his secret identity back into the bottle. I've got to admit, I know I have had problems with this run in the beginning, but this issue and the arc in general were outstanding. I loved the story during issue 20 and, while I kinda saw how it was going to play out beforehand, it nevertheless still pulled me in when it happened. I think Charles Soule has finally gotten comfortable with the character in this arc as he read exactly how Murdock seems to me while the artwork continued to be fantastic and exactly as a Daredevil book should look (while I did enjoy Garney's initial style in the early issues). Also, while it was still sad to see the end of Kristen McDuffie, I'm glad that Soule didn't kill her off as it gives the chance for her to return in the future (although hopefully a little better written than in this arc. This just didn't read like her). This was a great issue and it's tease in the last few pages now has me pumped to see what the next arc brings.

Next came something of an anomaly as while not released in May, I did happen to pick it up during the month (on Free Comic Book Day) and that was Justice League of America: Rebirth - The Ray. This issue, one of four set up issues for the new JLA comic, introduced us to Ray Terrell as we learned about his life from child who was allergic to light all the way to the introduction of his light powered alter ego, The Ray. Unfortunately, while I had high hopes for this issue, I really found the story to be a struggle to get into, something not helped by a lack of clear explanation behind his powers. However, it wasn't all bad as I really enjoyed how Steve Orlando put across Ray's isolated life as well as Stephen Byrne's always awesome artwork, which did make up for the books shortcomings. In the end, despite its issues, I think the book was still somewhat of a worthy purchase, if not my strongest read of the month.

Finally, I got to read Black Science #30, the final issue of this most recent arc which saw Grant and Brian fighting to survive as their world comes under siege from two evil alien races which then begin gunning for each other, with the McKay brothers stuck right in the middle. Once again, Remender, Scalara and co, steal the best comic for the month title in my eyes, easily outstripping the other books I picked up (some of which were also fantastic) with a fantastic story running at a frantic pace which didn't hinder it as I devoured this issue. Remender continues to dump more and more on his characters, with more chaos and trouble being added with no end in sight. That said, there were a lot of great moments in this issue, like Chandra's moment of reflection, Block long awaited departure and a nice throwback to issue 17 (I think). What was really great about this issue was the art because, while it continues to be top notch, the fact that Matteo Scalara can deliver this level of quality with a bust hand is incredible and he continues to earn my respect for that. It's a shame that this book is going on hiatus now because issue 30, like every other before it, just leaves me needing more immediately after.

And so that's the Pull List proper done and, while there was one book which didn't measure up to my high standards, it was a relatively good month with three great ongoings, a fun little one-shot and a mini-series which holds some promise.

However, I'm not done yet for even after 13 three comics, 6 bought comics and who know how many reviewed comics over May, next up will come the Lazarus Contract.

And I'm going to try something a little different there.


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