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The Pullbox – Issue #17

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Posted on December 10, 2011 AT 05:00pm

A lot of comics came out this week, but not too much really stood out as special for me and I’m even tempted to start removing some titles from my pullbox. Action Comics and Red Lantern continue to be mediocre for different reasons…Action has too much going on and Red Lantern doesn’t have enough. Marvel also saw some new monthlies start like The Defenders, but it really just concentrated on forming the team more than anything. So it actually ended up being a good week comparably for the Indies. Spawn, Mega Man, and Last of the Greats were all very solid. But only the most spectacular of all these made it into this week’s Pullbox.

1) Marvel – X-Men #22: A team of Cyclops’ X-Men continue to work with War Machine to track down several dozen Sentinels and hopefully prevent the start of World War III erupting in Eastern Europe.

I love this story arc featuring the return of the Sentinels and seeing the X-Men trying to take down the giant tin cans again. This issue in particular sees the action and the consequences of that action really amp up as the X-Men know that if they don’t disarm the small fleet of giant robots, that the entire world could fall apart. We also see Domino work her way back into the fold and surprisingly see Jubilee really start to contribute with her new vampiric powers showing off some increased agility, strength, and speed. If you’re an X-Men fan, especially an old-school one, the ending only hints at more great action coming up and now is a great time to get on board if you aren’t already.

2) Marvel – Venom #10: Now that the events of Spider-Island are behind everyone, Flash Thompson, the current Venom, has to get back to work as a covert ops agent. Unfortunately for him, the Crime-Master has other ideas and with Betty and the rest of Flash’s family in Crime-Master’s number one henchman, Jack-O-Lantern’s sights, Flash has no choice, but to listen, even if that means going through Captain America to do it.

Going back to the early themes of this monthly, pitting Venom against Captain America in this issue really helps re-establish Venom as the anti-hero he is meant to be. This issue gets everything right back on track after being derailed by the mediocre Spider-Island story line and if you missed the first nine issues, now is the perfect time to get on board as you can pick everything up pretty much from here and expect things to trend upward drastically.

3) DC – Animal Man #4: Animal Man’s family has been split up and he is just starting to become aware of what he and his family mean to the Red and what they have to do to hold back the Rot. The question though is can Animal Man and his daughter come to grips with their lofty responsibility before the Rot gets to the rest of the family?          

I wasn’t very high on Animal Man to start with, but now as things are starting to come together for a cross over between Swamp Thing and Animal Man as Swamp Thing, representing the Green and plant life, and Animal Man, representing the Red and wildlife, will have to combine their forces to put down the Rot. It is a move that makes sense and helps bolster characters that might not be strong enough to really sustain monthlies as originally suspected as they don’t really have the enemies that define them like so many other great DC characters. It’ll be more interesting to see where both characters go from here, but for now this is the perfect place to get on board for both comics as they build towards what could be an entertaining event between the two monthlies.

4) DC – Penguin: Pain and Prejudice #3 (of 5): After the passing of his mother, The Penguin is lost, but finds a kindred spirit one faithful day while visiting the penguins at the Gotham Zoo. Now Penguin has a new person to obsess over and to use his criminal enterprise to gather pretty little baubles for.     
      
This mini-series has been a great look at the psychology of the Penguin the whole way through and to see him find an unlikely love was an interesting twist. But it is only a matter of time I’m sure before the Penguin’s true nature reveals itself and he will end up alone again as the Dark Knight is always lurking in the shadows. With two issues left though it is going to be very interesting to see how everything unfolds as the Penguin isn’t one to go quietly when everything of his is threatened, as we’ve seen time and again in this series as he destroys the life of all those who choose to look down on him in the most creative of ways.

5) IDW – Raphael: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (One-Shot): Even after being re-united with his brothers, Raphael doesn’t feel completely comfortable with the family yet. So when the Turtles go on their nightly patrols, Raphael uses Wednesdays to go out with Casey Jones still as he feels closer to Casey in some instances. Just what kind of trouble can these two get into? A lot more than should possible in a on-shot.                    

This issue is massive for old-school Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle fans in terms of the new monthly as it introduces Bebop and Rocksteady (pre-mutated) as well introduces a brand new character into the fold, which makes me suspect we can start to see an all-out mutant vs. mutant war at some point with new and interesting animals being mutated and although he has been hinted at, we still haven’t even seen Shredder. I can only imagine what a revamped 2012 version of Shredder could look like as whether a bumbling 80s cartoon villain or the cold-blooded master of the Foot Ninja, he is still one of the most iconic villains out there. This one-shot is a must have and be sure to look for the alternate covers if you’re a true collector!

Ray Carsillo, Reviews Editor
Ray Carsillo has extensive roots in geek culture, as he’s written about videogames, comics, and movies for such outlets as Newsday.com, ESPNNewYork.com, Classic Game Room on YouTube, Collider.com, and Comicvine.com before finally settling into his role as EGM’s reviews editor. His main goal in life? To become king of all geek media, of course! Follow Ray’s exploits on Twitter: @RayCarsillo. Meet the rest of the crew.

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