This was a surprisingly tough Pullbox to put together this week as there just wasn’t a lot of titles that stood out to me as most issues, especially with all these re-launches going on from both Marvel and DC, are just building up to the bigger action with these issues serving more as a lot of plot development right now. Still, I was able to pull a few out that I think are worthy of your attention so without further ado, here is this week’s Pullbox!
1) DC – Red Lanterns #3: Atrocitus has picked Bleez as his lieutenant and restored her intelligence, but he may be learning that there is a reason that the red makes many of its followers blind with rage as Bleez immediately begins showing her lack of loyalty to the Red Lantern leader now that she is thinking for herself again. Great artwork obviously punctuated with a lot vibrant reds throughout this book, the story is a clear example of what I was talking about above. We get Bleez’s bio and why she was chosen to part of the red, as well as why she has skeletal wings in this issue. We also see what could become a lot of drama for the Red Lanterns later on as without a Lantern war going on to focus their rage, the infighting may begin sooner rather later and Red Lantern vs Red Lantern spells one thing: bloodbath. At least Atrocitus still has his kitty.
2) DC – Swamp Thing #3: I make it a point to try to give you some variety whenever I do the Pullbox each week, but one comic that has been consistently awesome and surprisingly so is Swamp Thing as I’ve featured all three issues now. Alec Holland realizes that he may not have a choice in becoming the defender of the green once again as he learns that while he may be the jolly green knight for the environment, that the rot, the blackness, has a champion as well and with the help of Abigail Arcane, Swamp Thing must prevent the two from merging or be thrust into an all out war for life on earth to continue! Again, a lot more story than anything setting up what can be an awesome confrontation, to see the champion of the black’s powers begin to emerge where he controls rotting and dead flesh and to see what he does in a cancer hospital…all I can say is wow. Gruesome, grotesque, and with more to come, Swamp Thing was one of my few easy choices this week.
3) Marvel – Avengers Academy #21: The original members of the Avengers Academy are forced to accept new members into the old West Coast Avengers mansion as tensions run high as they feel like they are being replaced and new enemies begin to reveal their plans against the Academy. The highlight of this issue is clearly when the lack of communication between Hank Pym and the students reaches a boiling point and erupts into a giant brawl between Luke Cage, Hawkeye, Captain America, and Hank Pym against the original Academy members (minus Veil who left last issue). This massive positive is what propelled this issue into the Pullbox this week because the reveal at the end of the comic where the Acadmey kids from the future have indeed turned evil reminds me too much of a Teen Titans story from a few years ago where the Titans had to take on their future selves. If this is the route this comic is going then as much as I’ve enjoyed this book for the past almost two years, it may be going into the territory of having itself removed if that is indeed the story Marvel is setting up.
4) Marvel – Uncanny X-Men #1: As we continue to see the fallout from Schism with the X-Men, we see just what lengths Scott Summers is willing to go in order to try to save what is left of mutantkind. Unfortunately, an old nemesis from the past, Mr. Sinister, has the same idea, but is going to about things in a very different way and the sleeping Celestial sticking out of San Francisco looks to be a key part of his plans. Although the issue is paced a bit too quickly for my liking, to see Marvel finally work the Celestial back into a story after several years of it just hanging in the background of battles taking place in San Francisco is great. Not to mention Sinister’s new hipster look makes everyone know right from the get-go that his intentions are…well…sinister. Lots of action including Colossus still struggling with the power of the Juggernaut, which I can’t wait for that fallout sooner or later, and this is a very solid re-launch to one of Marvel’s standbys from all the way back in the 1960s.
5) Archie – Sonic The Hedgehog #230: I admit that I was very tempted to pick Last of the Greats #2 as my indie pick, but when you stick a 20th anniversary label on something, I have to pick it up. Basically, Sonic, set in the cartoon universe of the early 90s where Eggman is still Robotnik and Sonic has a whole slew of friends called the freedom fighters have stopped Robotnik’s latest plan to robotize the planet Mobius. But it comes at a cost that Sonic might not be able to bear. Honestly, the fact that Sonic has had an ongoing comic for this long in and of itself is mind boggling, but if you’re like me and actually remember watching the short lived Saturday morning cartoon starring Jaleel White (yes, Steve Urkel did this voice of Sonic the Hedgehog), then you’ll probably enjoy reliving a small slice of childhood with this 20th anniversary issue commemorating the release of Sonic Generations celebrating Sonic’s grand run in gaming to date.