The GeekNation Pull List – 2/20/2014

By February 20, 2014
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This week on the GeekNation Pull List: the absence of the Justice League means a new team must rise to fill the void in the DC Universe, the return of a beloved X-Man pulls at the heartstrings, and its a bad idea to get in the way of a lady and her gorilla! Check out this week’s comic reviews below!

 

Cover art to Justice League #28 by Ivan Reis.

Cover art to Justice League #28 by Ivan Reis.

From DC: Justice League #28 by Geoff Johns (Script) and Ivan Reis (Art)

It’s not too often that an issue #28 comes with an origin story more befitting a #1 than anything else. Forever Evil has placed the DC Universe in an interesting set of circumstances, though, and with the Justice League largely incapacitated, the burden falls on Cyborg to lead a new team that can pick up the slack left by their absence. To that end, Cyborg approaches brilliant cyberneticist Dr. Will Magnus, who had created a team of robots, to try and enlist their help in taking on the Crime Syndicate. The resulting story that we get is the New 52 origin for the DC Comics team known as the Metal Men, a group of element based robots with very distinct personalities that beautifully rise above their programming to become true heroes.

Johns manages to make this issue very memorable, because while the trademark humor of the team is present, he makes a far bigger splash by unequivocally aiming for the heart. This is an emotional story for not only the Metal Men, but for their creator Will Magnus, who has received a fitting 21st century update for his appearance in the new DC Universe. Magnus put a great deal of pride in his scientific creations of the robots themselves, but they also manage to teach him a lot about some aspects of his own humanity that he seemed to have discarded. When you have a team of robots teach you what it means to be human, it makes for good storytelling that ends up being far more emotional than I was prepared for. Which is a good thing!

Ivan Reis once again provides beautiful pages to behold here, and much of the emotional weight of the story is made possible by the way that Reis renders the faces of his characters. This is a gorgeous book all around, and for an issue of Justice League that doesn’t have the eponymous team present within its pages, this is a very solid outing that provides some interesting moments as we barrel toward the conclusion of the Forever Evil event. Very solid all around, and highly recommended as the GeekNation Pull List Pick of the Week9/10

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Preview images courtesy of Comic Book Resources.

Honorable Mentions from DC This Week: Batman and Two-Face #28, Wonder Woman #28

 

Cover art to Amazing X-Men #4 by Ed McGuinness.

Cover art to Amazing X-Men #4 by Ed McGuinness.

From Marvel: Amazing X-Men #4 by Jason Aaron (Script) and Ed McGuinness (Art)

When I reviewed the first issue of this series back in November, I wasn’t completely sold on the idea of bringing Nightcrawler back to life relatively quickly after his death. The multitude of different characters belonging to the X-Men can make you lose sight of some of the traits of specific characters within the group, and making a big deal out of Nightcrawler’s return felt sort of like a disingenuous comic book ploy surrounding death that Marvel usually plays way too fast and loose with. This issue of Amazing X-Men has changed my perspective a bit, though, because its core focus is on something that feels far more real and relatable: Nightcrawler’s relationships with other X-Men. Too often in the pages leading to a triumphant return of a once-dead character, some comic book stories can become a little too self-indulgent in the purported importance of the actual event of bringing a character back to life. The truth is that a superhero’s resurrection is meaningless without the weight of character moments, and writer Jason Aaron seems to know this.

Amazing X-Men #4 is full of plot moments that move the story forward toward next issue’s conclusion of the opening arc, but its also bursting at the seams with reasons for us to care about what Nightcrawler’s return means for the X-Men as a team. Meaningful moments between Nightcrawler and his fellow team members – particularly Beast and Wolverine – help to give greater understanding not just to the fun of seeing the character active again, but in what his return represents to a team that has become increasingly fractured in recent years by Schisms and battles with the Avengers. Nightcrawler represents something that the X-Men have lost in recent years, and his return could be the key to a healing the team desperately needs as they remain so fractured.

Ed McGuinness’ artwork in this issue is, again, a key component of the emotional weight on display here. Unlike Ivan Reis’ more realistically proportioned anatomies and facial expressions on display in this week’s issue of Justice League, McGuinness’ stylized and slightly more cartoonish signature design can pull back and show the fun that was lost with Nightcrawler’s death through flashback, and also splash us with easily recognizable emotions from normally stoic characters like Wolverine. Overall, Amazing X-Men #4 is my favorite issue of the series thus far, and in the future I hope character takes precedent over plot a bit more often…it definitely works here. 8/10

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Preview images courtesy of Comic Book Resources.

Honorable Mentions from Marvel This Week: New Warriors #1, Daredevil #36

 

Cover art to GoGetters #1 by Christopher Peterson.

Cover art to GoGetters #1 by Christopher Peterson.

From Monkeybrain: GoGetters #1 by Shawn Aldridge (Story) and Christopher Peterson (Art)

I’m high on Monkeybrain right now! After two solid robot stories in D4VE and Copernicus Jones: Robot Detective, the publisher has a new online exclusive title hitting today featuring a private “retrieval service” headed by a chronically sarcastic detective, and a gorilla named after one of the Beatles. How would that not sound fun?

GoGetters #1 follows Maya Diaz and her white gorilla George Harrison (don’t call him just “George”) as they take assignments, well, getting things. These could be people, treasure, or anything in between. The first issue sets up a plot that follows our two protagonists on another job before it becomes clear that not everything is quite as it seems. The plot, while perfectly reasonable and new-reader friendly, almost takes a back seat to the introduction to the characters themselves. Maya, although no-nonsense in her desire to get her work done, is extremely sarcastic and oftentimes hilarious in how she deals with prospective clients, and the people she gets out of a tight spot in the first few pages of the issue. The gorilla George Harrison is equal parts lovable and terrifying, and the way that the two characters communicate is relatively similar to the way that Han Solo and Chewbacca talk to each other. George Harrison’s vocalizations are limited to a few “o’s” accompanied by an exclamation mark or a question mark, but Maya understands exactly what he’s saying perfectly.

Some of the situations in the first part of the story here made me laugh out loud, particularly the beginning when both Maya and George Harrison take a moment for themselves to enjoy a beverage. The way they talk to each other and enjoy each other’s company is sweet, and you get a very efficient sense that this is a friendship that goes back a long way, even though we as the audience are just now being introduced to it.

Christopher Peterson’s artwork reminded me in no small way of comic book superstar Sean Murphy, since there’s a similar amount of grit and style to the work of both men. Peterson, though, leans on the laurels of the story’s humorous tone and accentuates those pointed moments of laughter in a very fun way. All in all, I found GoGetters #1 to be well worth anyone’s time if they enjoy irreverence, but there’s also some pretty high potential for the humor to be dialed back and for the story to explore a more serious line of thought in the future. Either way, GoGetters is recommended, and can be purchased digitally for .99 cents at ComiXology8/10

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Honorable Mentions from Independents This Week: Star Trek: Khan #5, All Star #2

 

That does it this week on the GeekNation Pull List! Be sure to come back next week, and if there’s ever a series you want to see covered in a future edition, don’t hesitate to leave a comment below! Have an awesome week!

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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.
  • If your last few Pull Lists are any indication, Monkeybrain is putting out some really interesting stuff right now.