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The Pullbox – Issue #20

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Posted on January 22, 2012 AT 05:00pm

A solid week all around in terms of releases this week, but it was difficult to pick the best of the best as there were a lot of good comics, but not necessarily great comics. Interesting twists abound as plots are further forwarded, so let’s see how by taking a look at this week’s pullbox!

1) IDW – Ghostbusters #5: After saving Ray from the hands of another minion of Gozer, the Ghostbusters are forced to try to get into shape by William Peck to meet the same standards as the NYPD and other civil servants. Meanwhile, as Venkman and Peck trade classic barbs, a new paranormal entity is causing havoc in Schenectady, New York, having possessed an entire amusement park and only the Ghostbusters are qualified for the job.

I can’t praise Erik Burnham enough for being able to capture the humor and absurdity of the situations that we loved seeing in both the movies and cartoons that many of us grew up with in terms of the Ghostbusters. After a brilliant 4-issue story arc to start the series off, I can’t wait to see what he does next as many details about this new ghost are minimal besides the fact that we know it is pretty powerful. Not to mention I love the paranormal files at the back of the book outlining the powers and abilities of the ghosts we’re seeing to give some insight as if we were a part of the team.

2) DC – Batman #5: Batman is trying his best to fight against the mind games of the Court of Owls, but as he remains lost in the ending labyrinth beneath Gotham, the world above can only wonder and worry what happened to their constant protector.

Almost feeling like a filler issue as most of the issue is simply seeing the effects of what the Court of Owl’s mind games are doing to Batman, the tricks used in the book might actually start to screw with the reader as panels start going sideways and upside down and so as you start turning pages, you’re also turning the actual book. A nice way to really help the reader feel just how upside down Batman’s world is becoming. But we’ve seen Batman overcome mind games before, whether with the Batman of Zur-En-Arrh sub-personality or some other mental training exercise he’s been through so again this is why as much as I love most of Scott Snyder’s work on Batman, this is a bit more of a filler issue, no matter how much I love the rotating panels effect.

3) DC – Green Lantern Corps #5: With John Stewart and some other members of the Corps being tortured clear on the other side of the universe, Guy Gardner is rallying the troops on Oa to stage a rescue mission and bring it to the Keepers. And Gardner is calling in the big guns, specifically a group of Lanterns who redefine the term “tenured” and who don’t know how to pull their punches called “The Mean Machine”. But will even this grizzled group of veteran Lanterns be enough to save Lantern Stewart and the rest in time?

I really like how this issue is expanding the Lanterns a bit more and adding a bit more personality to Corps members outside of those from Earth. I also like that it’s getting Guy Gardner back to his no-holds-barred, dirty tricks, all about results roots as he will do anything to save his friends and you have to love that about this character. All in all, this is a really well-written issue as it looks to build up to an explosive confrontation between Guy and his group of semi-rogue Lanterns and the Keepers, whose awesome origin story as a new enemy of the Lantern Corps is also pretty sweet and is revealed this issue.

4) Marvel – Daredevil #8: The second part of a two-issue crossover with Amazing Spider-Man ends here as Black Cat, Spider-Man, and Daredevil hunt down the thieves of some cutting edge hologram technology. But ol’ Hornhead may have bitten off more than he can chew as it becomes a bit more personal with the Cat. But can her motives be trusted and if he can’t or can, I don’t think Daredevil’s radar sense would be able to figure it out anyway.

The personality that Daredevil gives off and the constant making fun of Spider-Man makes this a particularly great issue and sets itself up that Black Cat, at least for the next few issues, will likely be a guest star as the hologram technology only scratches the surface of what could be a larger and more innate plot with Hydra and other evil global organizations. No matter if you’re just getting into Daredevil or have been following this new series since the start though, this book is most likely Marvel’s best written overall monthly and it only continues with this issue.

5) Marvel – Generation Hope #15: After another mission to find one of her “lights”, Hope doesn’t realize she has actually brought the mind-wiped Sebastian Shaw back into the midst of the X-Men and Cyclops is not happy about it. The X-Men must now decide the fate of one of their once greatest enemies as he is a blank slate and looking for refuge in Utopia. Meanwhile, the rest of Hope’s team come head to head with some Morlock refugees who are furious over their second class status even amongst their fellow mutants.

There were a lot of great X-Men books this week, but the banter between Emma Frost and Hope Summers as they argued over the fate of Sebastian Shaw put this over the top for me. Absolutely hysterical as you see things start to come to a head in the Utopia War Room. Throw in the return of the Morlocks who have almost been forgotten about in Utopia and I think this could continue to be the most interesting of the X-books in the near future.

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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