Pull Box: March 20

Sometimes you just need issues like this. No crazy arcs, no over-arching stories and hints. Just a single issue, with little to no dialog, some incredible art, and a frantic foot chase between the Joker and Batman through Gotham. Brutality reigning supreme as the two try to one-up each other, and take the other down. This was a gorgeous issue that really eased up on the tension in favor of just telling a good, simple story.

These future designs for the Justice League are incredible, with particular focus on Superman and Flash. Even Wonder Woman has a kick-ass future design, and it’s great. In fact, this future is clearly too good to be true. Some insane form of deceit from Mxylptlk to be sure, but how is the more important question here. I absolutely cannot wait for the next issue of this. Batman sees through the veil, not trusting what he’s seeing, and J’onn and Kendra have had thir eyes opened to the truth. But what is the truth?

Naomi is full of some crazy twists and turns, with her small town seeming more and more like a small refugee camp for aliens than anything. Dee the mechanic is a Thanagarian, her parents are both aliens from another world, and what does that make her? Her connection to Superman implies Kryptonian, but that just seems like such a reach. So many mysteries, with such loving and fantastic characters are really making this book great.

After years and years of build-up, it’s finally here! The War of the Realms is upon us, and every God across the realms will be sucked into the largest conflict that Yggdrasil will ever see. Jane Foster is in complete remission, opening the door for her return, and Thor has finally come to terms with the loss of Mjolnir, tossing his last remaining piece into the sun, to return it to the rest of its remains. The Earth’s heroes are ready to fight one hell of a war, and I’m certainly ready to read it.

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Pull Box: January 30

Lois Lane telling her Father, Sam Lane, one of Superman’s biggest opponents since his introduction about his secret identity is insane. I’m sure she wasn’t expecting it to go down that way, but it did, and she’ll eventually have to deal with the repercussions. The real crazy thing in this issue is the mysterious blue explosions wiping out groups of heroes and villains alike. The most interesting thing is that these explosions look near-perpetrated by the same energy as Dr. Manhattan. Has Leviathan learned something? Man, so many crazy mysteries!

The lead-up to the Flash Annual, and the climax of the Force Quest, we now know the truth. Barry was never meant to work with the other Force users. They have always been destined to clash, which explains why they just seem to naturally disagree in so many different ways. Not to mention, Hunter Zolomon has already escaped from Hypertime, and revealed to be the murderer behind Gorilla City. Lots of questions answered in this issue!

A heartbreaking issue, capped off by the Flash Family finally dealing with the sudden loss of Wally West at Sanctuary. It happened months ago, but with The Flash off on his Force Quest, there was never any chance for them to address it, but now it’s finally happened. But with the loss of one speedster, comes the arrival of another, as Bart Allen, aka Impulse has escaped the Speed Force! The best speedster, not seen in years has finally returned, and I could not be more excited.

Holy crap. It all comes down to this. After being weakened by the events of Dark Knights: Metal, the Source Wall has been destroyed, and the creator of the Multiverse, and mother of The Monitor and Anti-Monitor, Perpetua, has been released. We’re rocketing toward one of the biggest comic book events in history, as decades of stories converge onto this single point, and it’s beautiful.

Finally! The Secret Origin of The Silencer! This was one of the most important things that we still needed for Honor Guest’s character arc, and now that we have it, I can’t say I’m disappointed. Honor is a metahuman that was stolen from the League by Talia to see her own ambitions through. Used from the very beginning. Now as Talia attempts to wipe her family’s memory from existence, she thinks she the Silencer under control… I’m not no sure.

The escape act with Miracle Man was awesome, and yet another highlight in this incredible arc leading up to the 1,000th issue of Detective Comics. Given the unique characteristics of the creature that’s been chasing Batman, my guess was Clayface in a beautiful and tragic twist of character that would use the recent history of Detective Comics against it, but with Batman attacking Hugo Strange, it would seem maybe I wasn’t quite accurate. It’s still very possible, though. We’ll find out as we approach the penultimate issue.

A massive piece of the puzzle is now in our possession. Wally West at Sanctuary is too old to be the Wally West we know. That still seems like quite a mystery, but it strangely makes sense in a way that only comic books can. Ted Kord, aka Blue Beetle, trusts Booster Gold, and Batgirl trusts Harley Quinn. Both have collided, but now where do they go from here? This was a beautiful issue, using the speech by Superman as its backbone, and it was gut-wrenching, and real, and everything that comics have really never been, but always needed to be. Absolutely beautiful.

Darkseid being in the Ghost Sector at the time saved him from the inevitable as the New Gods were all obliterated by Perpetua, as well as Apokolips and New Genesis. But, Darkseid is… ever the planner, as he hopes to reshape the planet in the Ghost Sector into a new, even more powerful Apokolips to use as a crazy war machine. Insanely enough, the Coluans knew that, and bottled all those planets to stop Darkseid! That’s some insanely good retconning.

This was exactly what it needed to be, and it was great. A fun anthology of short stories that spotlight the ups and downs of love and its many nuances. The Superman story especially was fantastic, telling yet another story about how Clark Kent is the hero, and Superman is the mask. My only issue with this was the way they drew Hawkgirl in her Galentine’s Day story, which was not accurate, of course. Hopefully someone catches that next time.

Plastic Man’s son has every right to be mad at him, but I really would have loved to hear more about his explanation for being stuck as an egg. Rex Mason is Metamorpho again, and it seems that every issue Doc Dread is allowed to be a villain, he gets more villainous. Big surprise there, but it’s nice to not have him being some comical throwback to the inept villains of old. Now The Terrifics are getting back together, and my favorite Super-Team is whole again!

This was a much-needed, fun and lighthearted issue that helped introduce some new characters, with a fresh love story of mythological creatures at its heart. It also introduced a random new human ally for Diana, and even set up the story for the future with Veronica Cale, the largest antagonist for Wonder Woman since Rebirth began, in possession of one of the apparently many Gods that have landed on Earth.

Pull Box: January 9

The War of the Realms is finally on its way, and we’re getting a peek behind the curtain of the unsung heroes of War that gather information, and spy on enemies such as Malekith. The growth of Roz Solomon as a hero, and agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. (now Agent of Wakanda) has been one of the bigger character pieces throughout the last several years of Thor, and arguably one of its biggest successes. The tragedy that follows her drives her now, and has really helped her flourish into a greater role behind the scenes.

Are we finally gaining traction on the return of the previous universes across the DC Multiverse?! They just said that “this universe is not the first!” That could mean so many things, but the constant restoration of the DC status quo cannot be ignored in this case. Mystery on top of mystery abound here as the entire universe is united against the Justice League for the destruction of the Source Wall. Thanks, Batman.

That was a wildly interesting issue. Though, when Tom King and Mitch Gerads are together, nothing but the weirdest stories are in order, and it’s great. With only one page of spoken dialogue, we’re in Batman’s head as he awakens in what is most certainly some sort of nightmare. The good thing? We’re finally back on track somewhat with Flashpoint Batman as Bruce finally remembers what’s happening. But what made him forget? This is an intense story with so many crazy mysteries in play.

I figured that the Green Lantern vs. God thing would be a ploy, but if anyone would be willing to go there, it would be Grant Morrison. Unfortunately, it was a ploy for a planet eater to trick the Earth into complacency while he fattened up the planet and its population to eventually consume it. Clever. This version of Hal Jordan is much more of a “Space Cop” than any other instances, being more grizzled and utilizing more aggressive tactics. Even going so far as to kill the slave trader, though he certainly deserved it.

This moved so quickly, and in such insane fashion that it was hard to really pull it all together. But being so quick moving, and being a thing that involved Impulse in any capacity, made it a hell of a lot of fun. The quick introduction to Young Justice, and the re-emergence of several younger characters for no apparent reason was a bit strange, but in the world of comics, anything is truly possible. Hopefully Bendis is able to slow that pace down just a bit, though.

Pull Box: December 5

NEWCOMICS

BM
Holy crap that was so unexpected and amazing! Oh my God, I cannot believe how that ramped up so quickly. Batman on the hunt for information on Bane and his current role in Arkham, knowing from the Penguin that there’s something amiss with it all. But then the reveal at the end! The biggest mystery of all! Flashpoint Batman! Thomas Wayne! Is it really him?! So many questions. I’m freaking out. This is the best.
DC
This was an intensely emotional issue that finally put an intense focus on the DC Universe proper, and the importance of Superman, and the Supermen Theory that’s dominated the news in this world. The obvious interference by Dr. Manhattan, as well as the manipulation to put Superman on the side of the metahumans was well-played, and I’m genuinely interested to see where this goes next.
JL
This is a war of ups and downs for the Legion of Doom, they lost Black Manta in Drowned Earth, and now they’ve lost the Joker. The one clearly ahead of all of them in more ways than one, he could have killed the entire Legion if he felt like it, knowing that the Batman Who Laughs is an unlike anything the Multiverse has ever seen. Now, with the inclusion of Brainiac to the Legion of Doom, things should continue to be quite interesting.
SHAZ
With the movie coming out in a few short months, one has to wonder if this new series is going to be any indication on what to expect from the film. If so, I’m definitely in for it, because the Shazam Family are some fantastic characters with rich history that is ripe for exploration, much in the same way Hawkman is being handled right now. Fortunately, that’s exactly what’s happening with the introduction of the Station, and more magical aspects of Shazam being explored.
GL
The insane aliens that Grant Morrison comes up with are so fantastic for Green Lantern that I’m not entirely sure why it took him so long to get on this character. But, here we are, and it’s ridiculous. With an old school design, the Blackstars are back, and it’s fun. Surprisingly, the story here is even moving along at a good pace, with questions being answered regularly, as we even quickly found out who is abducting planets. Given a lot of the stranger books recently, that’s quite a relief.
MM
The revival of Martian Manhunter across the DC Universe has been great. He’s such a fantastic character, and I truly missed him. His first solo book in years started off pretty strong, with dynamic art, and a story that’s going to be pretty interesting given J’onn’s police history on both planets. I love the focus and unique stories that are being told with these interesting characters lately, specifically with DC.

Pull Box: June 20

NEWCOMICS

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The last issue before the wedding, and it’s just what we really needed. A heart to heart between Catwoman and the Joker. Two villains, with Batman from the start. Both, trying to save Batman in two completely different ways. Their gossip about the past, and the villains they called friends. Catwoman is a hero, now. With friends who truly care about her well-being. Joker is a villain to end all villains, with nothing and no one. Just how he wants it. there was something almost tragic about the two of them talking, and it was fantastic.
JL
Already so many questions! The formation of the Ultraviolet Corps is one of the coolest things I’ve seen in years, and the mystery of who that baby is, is going to be ridiculous. Lex Luthor clearly is several steps ahead of everyone, but the reason is still a mystery, as well. This has already been a great read, but the questions just keep stacking up on top of one another. Hopefully, we get at least one answer, soon.
RH
As hard as he tries, Red Hood will always be a great confidant to Batman. Batman trusts him, even with the life of his fiancee. While this seemed the most throwaway of the Wedding Prelude books, it was also the most charming. Interestingly, the Joker story was still pushed forward, bit by bit. That’s culminating into quite the build for a crazy event.
MOS
Rogol Zaar is clearly a formidable foe, but he’s new to Earth and the effects that a yellow sun has on Kryptonian physiology. He could barely control its effects on himself. The fight was brutal and great, but the real revelation is the identity of the person appearing in the Kent family kitchen being Jor-El. Is this Doomsday Clock Jor-El? Another Jor-El? Does Doomsday Clock not affect Man of Steel? There are a lot of questions. Because Clark seemed more than calm in the face of all of this.
BNB
This is coming to a pretty grand conclusion, with a shocking twist that now makes perfect sense. King Elatha, thought murdered, was still alive and opening the causeways. Freeing his folk, and helping them to remember, but in his quest he has unleashed an ancient evil, and now the world will pay the price. This looks to be a pretty grand battle, and I hope that the final issue pays off as much as the rest of the story has.

Pull Box: June 6

NEWCOMICS

BM
This was an intensely strange issue. Batman seemed almost uncaring for the hostage that Joker had, which is very unlike him. Additionally, the way he played into the Joker’s plans the entire time were just… strange. As if there’s a deeper plan at work, here. King’s run on Batman has shown him as a master planner in almost any situation, having come out ahead of the deepest of scrapes, and I can’t imagine this will be any different.
MOS
Yet again, Bendis gives us more questions, with even fewer answers. The story is clearly moving forward, but we’re moving forward in the dark. Just following along, and waiting for things to reveal themselves. It’s admittedly a nice change of pace for Superman, who’s usually pretty black and white. I said it last week, I’ll say it again now: I really hope we get some answers as to what exactly is going on here, because it’s all very high up in the air, right now.
UE
This is an interesting addition to the New Age of Heroes books, as this seems to be the first one that really seems affected by Dark Knights: Metal in more ways than just “the dark multiverse created me.” The stakes here seem real, and incredibly high in comparison to the more personal stories they’ve been telling in the other books. I’m actually quite interested to see where this goes. They already wiped out several of the “new” characters they introduced, so they’re clearly not playing games.
WW
After a great setup for the Dark Gods, this felt anti-climactic in some way. The monoliths are so incredibly intimidating, but the first Dark God we’ve met, Karnell the God of Love, seemed like more an underling than a God. At least we now have an explanation for where they’ve come from, with the events of Dark Knights: Metal affecting damn near every book in the DC Universe. The Dark Gods are remnants, ripped away from the Dark Multiverse unwillingly. That alone makes things quite interesting, as it leaves the door open for Diana’s heart to steer the ship and help them back to their world, if they’ll allow it.
GGPR
It’s interesting that this one Pink Ranger from Drakkon’s guard would be able to outwit these younger Power Rangers so easily. It speaks to how much they’ve grown in the main Mighty Morphin Power Rangers book, that they can somewhat keep up with Drakkon himself. I also can’t see the story with Matthew ending in a good way. He’s reckless, and completely misunderstood the situation that happened to him, which of course he did. Who would ever believe that their friends, all of them, are Power Rangers?JL
This new Justice League feels so fresh, so different. It’s all the same characters we love, with the famous animated series lineup back in action together, but it all feels so new. The threats here feel real, and with Lex Luthor forming a new Legion of Doom right alongside the new Justice League, there’s the potential for all of this to be just what the world of comic books needs, right now. Scott Snyder is on a roll that hasn’t been seen since Geoff Johns during Blackest Night, and I haven’t been this excited about a book since then, either.