The GeekNation Pull List – 10/3/2013

By October 3, 2013
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This week on the GeekNation Pull List: DC continues its event showing us a universe where evil has created a new world order, Marvel continues its latest tale that will affect the entire world of the X-Men, and Dark Horse keeps giving us an alternate take on a worldwide favorite franchise!

So, without further ado, let’s dive into reviews for all three!

Cover art to Forever Evil #2, by David Finch and Richard Friend.

Cover art to Forever Evil #2, by David Finch and Richard Friend.

From DC: Forever Evil #2 by Geoff Johns (Script) and David Finch (Pencils)

After the cataclysmic events of the first issue in the series, which saw everything from Dick Grayson’s identity revealed to the world to Lex Luthor wishing Superman were around, Forever Evil continues by delving a bit deeper into what the planet is like now that the likes of Ultraman and Owlman have completely taken over. While the main heroes of the Justice League are all nowhere to be found, the planet is not without heroes, as Red Robin and the Teen Titans decide it’s up to them to try and save Nightwing, and end the reign of the Crime Syndicate.

I probably don’t need to put much of a spoiler tag on this, as you can probably figure out that even as skilled as the Titans are, they likely don’t stand much of a chance against an evil analogue of the Man of Steel (especially when he has the dark reflections of the Flash and Wonder Woman on his side, too). Johns does a great job in keeping the tension very high, especially as it becomes exceedingly clear that Superman’s nemesis may be the hero of this story. On the earth belonging to the Syndicate, Lex Luthor was the only hero who was able to successfully stand against them effectively. While “our” Luthor isn’t exactly heroic, he still may be the one thing that we ultimately need if our heroes are out of commission. But, are all of them gone…?

Johns really gets Luthor, and it shows here. He also understands that alternate universes present good storytelling opportunities when it comes to familiar faces to characters from different worlds: Owlman’s sympathy and advocacy for keeping Nightwing alive is definitely an interesting thread, and it’ll be very interesting to see how it’s explored. Add to that the gritty and dynamic visuals of David Finch, and you have the makings of a pretty awesome comic book. 8/10

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Honorable Mentions from DC This Week: Green Lantern #24, Earth 2 #16

 

Cover art to All-New X-Men #17 by Ed McGuinness, Dexter Vines, and Marte Gracia.

Cover art to All-New X-Men #17 by Ed McGuinness, Dexter Vines, and Marte Gracia.

From Marvel: All-New X-Men #17 by Brian Michael Bendis (Script) and Stuart Immonen (Pencils)

In chapter 6 of the crossover event “Battle of the Atom,” the time travel shenanigans get even crazier as no less than four different X-Men teams from different eras all collide in this latest issue. At times, it’s a little hard to wrap my head around entirely, but it’s far simpler than I imagined it being thanks to the efforts of the writers involved. With the original X-Men from the past now being actively engaged by other teams from other eras over whether or not they should return home to avert a great disaster, the young X-Men are torn: should they go, or are they instead giving up a part of their own lives by simply taking the words of others at face value? Getting into more specifics on the plot would likely spoil it too much, but suffice it to say that this is an eventful story with a lot of surprise cameos from across X-Men history.

While the classic “Days of Future Past” story is an obvious influence on this one, I was happy to also see that the possible future as realized by Grant Morrison during his run on New X-Men from the early 2000s (my favorite X-run of all time) also makes an appearance of sorts. That’s good news for X-fans, but even if you’re not one, you’d likely be able to follow the events of the narrative as long as you catch it from the beginning.

Stuart Immonen’s pencils are always awesome. His line is clean and strong, and he really renders the high-strung emotions of the young X-Men and the tempered wariness of the older X-Men very well. Immonen’s name on a comic, to me, always means it’s worth taking a look at, and his artwork here doesn’t disappoint. Overall, this is a pretty good continuation of the story, and as we start to move toward the end, it puts a lot of interesting pieces in play for the upcoming issues. 8/10

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Honorable Mentions from Marvel This Week: Captain America: Living Legend #1, Mighty Avengers #2

 

Cover art to The Star Wars #2 by Nick Runge.

Cover art to The Star Wars #2 by Nick Runge.

From Dark Horse: The Star Wars #2 by J.W. Rinzler (Script) and Mike Mayhew (Art), Adapted From the Screenplay by George Lucas

Reading The Star Wars is an awkward experience, not because the book is bad by any stretch of the imagination, but it feels like looking at a cracked mirror’s reflection of the universe we know so well. In this second issue, Jedi-Bendu General Luke Skywalker has taken his friend’s young son Annikin Starkiller as a padawan learner to become one of the Jedi, all the while trying to prepare the planet Aquilae from an invasion by the evil forces of General Darth Vader’s (General?) invading Empire. While I enjoyed the first issue for its novelty, I started to get a bit more into the story of this second one and am looking forward to #3 in a way that I wasn’t exactly looking forward to this one.

With this issue, we get a greater look at the character of General Skywalker: what his priorities are, what he’s willing to do to get the job done, and what kind of teacher he can be to young Annikin. With all-out war close to breaking out on the surface of Aquilae, and an enormously scaled space battle taking place above the planet’s atmosphere, Lucas was definitely thinking very big when he was fleshing out his ideas for the original Star Wars film…bigger than the original film, and even later installments, ended up being.

Much of this sense of beyond belief scale comes from the incredible painted artwork of Mike Mayhew. Scriptwriter J.W. Rinzler describes each page and panel of Mayhew’s work as a “frame worthy painting,” and he is definitely not kidding. Mayhew gives each event an enormous amount of weight and frenetic amounts of high-octane action, while simultaneously showing that he has the strength and skill to give more intimate scenes a more quiet and appropriately and comparatively peaceful overtone within a single page-turn. While Rinzler’s voice is hard to find in comparison to Lucas’s dialogue, a few lines I recognized from the original film managed to make it into this issue, and I’ll bet that’s a nod that was deliberate on the part of Rinzler.

The Star Wars continues to give an increasingly intriguing look at what this franchise might have been if things went a bit differently, and while the first issue helped get the preliminaries out of the way and allowed the shock to wear off, issue #2 is a solid continuation that has me very interested in where things can and will go next. 9/10

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Honorable Mentions from Independents This Week: RoboCop: Last Stand #3, Morning Glories #32

That does it this week for the GeekNation Pull List! What do you think of these picks? Is there anything else you think should’ve been profiled instead? Be sure to sound off in the comments below, and we’ll see you next week!

This week’s list was purchased at AW YEAH Comics in Skokie, IL! Find your local comics retailer at the Comic Shop Locator Service.

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Chris Clow
As a former comics retailer at a store in the Pacific Northwest, Chris Clow is an enormous sci-fi, comics, and film geek. He is a freelance contributor, reviewer, podcaster, and overall geek to GeekNation, Batman-On-Film.com, The Huffington Post, and Movies.com. He also hosts the monthly Comics on Consoles broadcast and podcast. Check out his blog, and follow him on Twitter @ChrisClow.