Geeklings, a very Happy New Comic Book Day to you all! What a twenty-four hours it has been, huh? I know that most of us are kind of thrown into a bit of tizzy with Sony and Marvel seemingly parting ways leaving us with a Spider-Man sized void in the MCU. I’m not going to lie, I’m stressed. And not to re-hash a column I wrote yesterday but I can’t stress enough how big of a mistake I think Sony is making here, but I’m optimistic. What do I base this optimism on? Blind hope really. Sony’s statement that it was Disney who chose to break the deal reeks of a company trying to save face. Why would Disney/Marvel break a deal involving one of the top three most important characters to the future MCU? It makes zero sense and I have a feeling this comment might have swung the leverage in Disney’s direction. As I said, I’m just being optimistic.
With all this Spider-Man induced stress it would be perfect if we could just find a way to escape? An outlet to distract us from what is looking like some serious possible heartbreak. I’ve kind of thrown myself into Googling pictures of quokkas and it’s made me happy but it isn’t enough. If only there was something else… like a mini-weekly holiday. Something like… New Comic Book Day!
That’s right New Comic Book Day is here and unlike the movies, Spider-Man can interact with any Marvel character imaginable within the pages of the comics, and if this Sony thing forces more people towards reading comics then I’ll consider it a semi-win. The thing is, there are no new Spider-Man books today which is probably for the best considering the wounds are still pretty fresh. But fear not Geeklings, just because there aren’t any Spider-Man books doesn’t mean there’s nothing worth reading. In fact, there are a bunch of kickass books to read this week. Some that will melt your faces and others that will leave you heartbroken. What do you say we kick things off with…
Batman #77– As you know, I spend the early hours of New Comic Book Day reading one book to jump-start the day before I can get to the rest of my pull list at lunch. Today I choose Batman #77 because there was a ton of hype surrounding it. I’d been looking forward to this read for days. So this morning, I sat on my couch, opened my Fancy Comic Book Reader, and read… and then promptly cried. Oh. My. God. For starters, please stay away from spoilers. At all costs. Outside of that what can I tell you guys? Issue #77 is a stressful read that is filled with a sense of legit urgency. King’s writing is masterful as he almost effortlessly calls back to previous issues making everything all the more impactful. It helps that he’s backed beautifully by the art of Mikel Janin and Tony Daniel who help balance the tone of the book. “City of Bane” has been a fascinating read that is still escalating, if that’s even possible, and things just took a turn here. Read this immediately. Then find me on Twitter, we can work through this together. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it all the way to the end, Tom King’s run on Batman will be the Batman run.
Powers of X #3- Week five of Jonathan Hickman’s reinvention of the X-Men and I could honestly spend the entire Pull List writing about this series. These books are the most exciting thing in comics right now, and as I stated last week, one of my favorite things to discuss lately. Issue three of Powers of X is a big one, aren’t they all at this point, and does something the other books haven’t done thus far… stays within one timeline. I won’t say anything else other than this entire series is a massive puzzle and trying to piece things together has been an absolute mind-melting blast. If you’ve participated in any Twitter chats with yours truly then you’ll know that I was right on the money with some of the things revealed in this issue. I felt the need to brag because HoX/PoX is like a complicated math equation and I want to inform you all that I feel smart (#notsohumblebrag). This story is picking ups steam and we got some pretty clear answers for things that are going on in the tenth lifeline of Moria. We still have seven issues left of this event and no mention of life six which leads me to believe that at some point soon the bottom is going to drop out on us, and I can’t freakin’ wait.
Black Mask: Year of the Villain #1- DC’s Year of the Villain is in full swing which means we’re going to be getting a bunch of fun one-shots concerning some of DC’s greatest villains. I’m all for that. We already had a really enjoyable book about Sinestro and this week we have Tom Taylor writing about the Black Mask. I love Taylor’s DC work (DCeased, Injustice, Batman Annual) and this one-shot is a perfect way to get him to play in the sandbox a little more. Add in the fact that Black Mask is set to be the villain in the upcoming Birds of Prey movie and this book suddenly becomes very worthy of your eyeholes. Mask has managed to get himself free of the Teen Titans prison, been given new powers from Lex Luthor, and is now trying for a new power grab. If Batman doesn’t stop him first. A solid read from one of my favorite writers makes this a worthwhile read.
Daredevil #10- End of an arc alert! If you haven’t been reading Chip Zdarsky’s Daredevil run allow me to ask you… why the hell not?! Zdarsky has been killing it on this title. This book is only ten issues in and he’s already flipped the script, changed the game, or any other big-time analogy you’d like to apply to the impact of his storytelling. Issue ten is the end of the “No Devils, Only God” arc and includes some stellar art from Jorge Fornes. Seriously, the atmosphere of this book is just as big a character as Matt Murdock himself. As for Murdock, my man is going through some serious stuff right now. Like, finding himself in the world type stuff. What does this mean for Hell’s Kitchen? More importantly, what does this mean for Daredevil?
Guardians of the Galaxy #8– This was originally going to be in the honorable mentions for today’s Pull List and then I read it and instantly knew there was no way I could possibly leave it off. I’ve been a massive fan of Donny Cates’s Guardians of the Galaxy run and think it might be one of the most underrated books on the shelves currently. That’s beside the point, since Cates took over the title there has been one thing missing from the series… Rocket. Cates uses issue eight to catch you up on all things Rocket and, man, this is a heavy read. I read most of it through blurry eyes as I was instantly choked up. The reveal last issue that Rocket has some kind of illness is expanded here as we get a heartbreaking origin story as well as filling in the gaps of why he hasn’t been a part of the team. Cory Smith’s art here is phenomenal and there are some really tremendous pages. Cates’s love for these characters is almost tangible in every panel and every piece of dialogue. If you’re a fan of the Guardians of the Galaxy then you’re not going to want to miss this. Also, that last page… bonkers.
Honorable Mentions- Criminal #7, Pretty Violent #1, & Superman Year One #2
There you have it Geeklings, all the best books to get your mitts on this week. As always, if you feel like I’ve left anything off this week’s Pull List be sure to sound off in the comments. If you’d like to talk more comics with yours truly then feel free to contact me over on Twitter @iamgeek32. With the events of Batman, Guardians, and Powers of X there is plenty to be discussed so let’s discuss it. Now if you’ll excuse me, today’s reading has left me emotionally drained and I think I might need to lay down… or read more comics. Probably read more comics. I’ll see you all next week for a new edition of the Pull List. Until then, happy reading and many huzzahs!
Images from Marvel, DC, & Image Comics