Thursday, September 6, 2012

Pull List Review: Agents and Outlaws (and Stuff)

This post will finish off this month's Pull List Review -- there shouldn't be that many more titles than the last post.

Venom #22
This issue stands as a sort of epilogue to the Crime Master run. It is the "final" show down between Venom and Jack O' Lantern.

Between images of Venom hunting and then fighting Jack, we are shown many images of his childhood in relation to his abusive father. It's laid on pretty thick, leading up to the ending where, despite all the horrible things Jack has done (including killing Venom's uncle and desecrating Venom's father's corpse), Venom decides to capture instead of kill him, sending him to a super-villain prison.

Because it would be wrong to kill the big name killer, but not the several foot soldiers we saw Flash kill on the way to Crime Master...

This is a 5/10 for me. Art is fine, writing is fine, alcoholic father is harped on too much and the ending makes little sense for a character like Venom.

Venom #23
This issue has Venom tracking down and then fighting an Occult Nazi group, apparently led by the fallen Hellstrom. For some reason, Venom has some mild protection from Hellstrom's magic and fire, something about a mark Mephisto placed on him. The issue ends with Venom getting covered in possession goop, turning Flash/Venom into a campy, demonic-looking symbiote (with horns and wings to boot).

Throughout, more harping on Flash's abusive father. Apparently we've forgotten since last issue or every other time it's been brought up.

6/10, only because I'm interested to see what happens. I'm already sick of Flash's flaws being spelled out every issue.

Red Hood and the Outlaws #12
The cover alone makes this an awesome issue.

As always, I love the art style. The story is interesting as well, with a fairly nice twist that has Starfire's sister being a good guy, only pretending in the last issue. We'll see how long that lasts, but I'd be happy to see something a bit different.

I'm still really enjoying the differences with this trio, it almost reminds me of Marvel's Thunderbolts -- they're all damaged characters trying to get by in their own way. This is a solid 8/10 -- it's not higher simply because it was a relatively low key issue and I feel like Red Hood has been tacked on for this adventure.

The Ravagers #4
This title, more than any other, really drives home that the New 52 was a complete universe reboot. Sure, some things stayed in tact, but apparently more did not. Since I only had a working knowledge of DC before, this comes as a bit jarring when I'm learning something that doesn't quite mesh with my understanding of characters.

In this issue, we are following Beast Boy (and Terra) as they rescue the others from Brother Blood. In an attempt at humor, the ritual Brother Blood is trying to accomplish is elaborate and not fully understood. That being said, we do lose Lightning to the "Red Place" and the group escapes, finally back together (well, sans Lightning).

Early on, we find that Terra and Best Boy's powers seem to be growing/changing as they get farther away from the Colony -- it will be interesting to see how this plays out in them and the others.

The final note is Caitlin asking herself if she's made a mistake -- not longer are the young Meta-Humans abused children to her; now she realizes that they are time bombs waiting to explode, with no thought given to the lives of others or themselves.

Issue gets a 6/10 for the characters being mildly interesting. The story itself is still in the 'meh' stage, which isn't good for a new series -- they need to pick it up somehow.

... And, instead, next issue is going to be #0, the origins of Terra and Beast Boy. Maybe the promised Superboy vs. Caitlin after that will be interesting.

Avengers vs X-Men #9
Namor is defeated but many of the Avengers are held captive. With the help of Storm, the Avengers locate their missing team members and stage a rescue mission.

Unfortunately, Colossus and Illyana are waiting for them. Spidey steps up to the plate and stays behind to hold them off while the other Avengers make their escape. Spidey takes an epic beat down but, as he's on the floor in a pool of blood, he goads the siblings into fighting each other -- neither feels the other is using the Phoenix Force appropriately. They are both knocked out, transferring their power to Emma and Cyclops.

The power is affecting Emma negatively -- she is beginning to reach out and read everyone's mind, and is concerned about what she'll do next. Cyclops uses his extra power to punch a hole between dimensions, uncovering the Avengers' hide out.

Rated a 9/10. I liked the Spidey last stand, and Emma going nuts will be interesting.

Avengers vs X-Men #10
This issue is the first show down between Scott and Hope. The few Avengers available throw themselves at Scott while Hope flees. While Cyclops ruins everyone in his way, Hope meets up with the Thunderer, and they use a mystical dragon (who apparently beat the phoenix in a previous incarnation) to hurt Scott. Unfortunately, the dragon is too young.

Hope surprises herself, then, when she unleashed mystical dragon flames at Scott -- somehow she absorbed the power. Then she flees and runs into Scarlet Witch. Scarlet takes a stab at Scott but is inneffective against his new strength -- and then there's Hope, who's now absorbed the dragon fire AND Scarlet's Chaos magic. She CHAOS PUNCHES Scott to the moon (literally), and the turning point in the battle is revealed.

Scott, after waking up, realizes he's going to need Emma's power. Emma is busy on Utopia, making sure every mutant thinks what she wants to think -- or else.

Next issue looks to be Scott vs. Emma. This issue gets a 7/10. It's interesting enough, but the mystical dragon popping up was a little too convenient (possibly because I'm not reading any other related issues).

I'm hoping this event ends soon, it hasn't particularly held my interest.

Age of Apocalypse #6
In this issue, we see Monet St. Croix revealing herself to the world as Penance. She plans on making the world a better place for mutant-kind so that they aren't living in filth and squalor. Weapon Omega decides to recruit her, but in the process she reverts Colossus back to his old, Apocalypse hating ways.

Prophet reveals himself after the confrontation and explains his hand in her rebirth, and makes a trade -- he'll give her Sugarman and help her overthrow Omega for special consideration in regards to the remnants of the human race.

Deadeye, whom this book follows, doesn't agree with this plan at all -- the only good mutant is a dead one, as far as she's concerned.

Pretty boring issue, actually, and I don't care for the art still. 4/10, but I'm not kicking the book yet -- next issue promises the inclusion of Dr. Doom, and I'm looking forward to that at least.

Batman #12
This issue... was barely about Batman at all. It's about a girl who lives in the Narrows with her brother. They run into trouble and Batman saves them. She then tries to help him out after figuring out how Batman accesses the power grid (because she's an engineer down in the sewers where the grid is kept).

She sort of helps Batman, he tells her to cut it out, and it ends with her saying no, basically.

I ran a Google search and found out that she actually made an appearance in Batman #7, where she uses a defibrillator on Batman after he is beaten by the Owls. I assume they have bigger plans for her, but I don't know why they'd give her such a backwards introduction.

5/10. The writing was done well and I didn't hate the overall story, but the art was very inconsistent and I'd rather have Batman in my Batman comic...

I am still missing/behind on Teen Titans. I'll lump them all together next month or do a quick catch up post if I get the missing issue before then.

Additionally, I'll be dropping Batman from the pull list -- I'll pick up issue zero the next time I pick up pulls, but after that I'm done. Eventually, Batman and Robin will take its place, I just need to do some catching up. I'll also be looking to catch up on X-Force and see if I should add that, but for now there will just be a short reduction. Ravagers and Teen Titans haven't held my interest very well, so their suspect to be dropped soon too. We'll see.

Remember, if you're ever looking to get into comics and needs some suggestions or tips, feel free to ask! I reply to all comments!

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