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The Pullbox – Issue #8.2

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Posted on August 10, 2012 AT 08:46am

A decent haul this week saw a couple of new number ones permeate the pile and make things interesting for this week’s Pullbox!

Note: Due to EGM’s presence at Gamescom, the Pullbox will be put on hiatus next week.

DC – Batman and Robin #12 – The new villain Terminus finally reveals himself to Batman and looks to not only destroy the Dark Knight and Boy Wonder, but all of Gotham as well!

This book was one of the most anti-climactic ends to a story arc I’ve read in quite some time. Not only did Batman easily dispose of this new villain, permanently, but the entire sequence with the bomb played out way too much like The Dark Knight Rises and it makes me wonder how much comics and movies go hand-in-hand nowadays. At the very least, we know now Batman can hopefully move on to a villain with a little more gravitas than the awful Terminus and get this book back on track after this issue jumped off the rails. Not pleased with it at all right now.

DC – Deathstroke #12 – Lobo is ready to wipe the Earth from the galaxy baby and only Deathstroke is in his way! How Lobo escaped in the first place also surfaces and it makes Deathstroke realize he has a lot more problems on his hands than just the last of the Czarnians.

Now this is how you finish off a story arc. The end battle between Deathstroke and Lobo was epic and Deathstroke’s finally few pages of dialogue really helped you see the inner workings of the character more than anything else up to this point. The art is classic Rob Liefeld meaning you either love it or hate it, but considering how much action this book had in it, I think he was the right guy for the job. The big question now is to figure out where Slade goes from here after collecting one of his biggest bounties in quite some time.

Marvel – Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe #2 – Deadpool has a new voice inside his head calling the shots and it spells disaster for the entirety of the Marvel Universe as no one is safe as Deadpool hasn’t just broken the fourth wall, he’s shattered it!

I really thought I would be enjoying this spoof spin-off of Deadpool’s usual over the top antics a lot more, but it may in fact be too crazy even for him as it moves away from the goofy and into the dark comedy realm a bit, and I’m not really sure how I like that. The Avengers, Spider-Man, Dr. Doom, and The Incredible Hulk all fall victim to Wade Wilson in this issue and do so far too easily for my liking. I mean, I’ve wanted to shoot Spider-Man in the head for a long while, too, but this left a surprisingly poor taste in my mouth, even if Spidey’s gruesome demise was at least awesome to watch. I’m still not sure how to feel about this one, but I’ll definitely be picking up Issue Three to see just where it can go from here.

Marvel – Gambit #1 – Out of the bayou, off campus from Wolverine’s school, and on a mission to get himself into some old school trouble, Remy LeBeau, best known to the Marvel Universe as Gambit, is looking to cause some trouble with some very interesting characters.

I really didn’t know what to expect from this comic, but a cross between the spy gadgets you might get in an Ed Brubaker book crossed with the crazy thieving scenarios of something like the movie Entrapment, but with a Marvel twist (and no Catherine Zeta Jones in spandex unfortunately), left me just scratching my head in a perplexed, and definitely not entertained sort of way. The coolest thing about Gambit is his power and we barely saw even a glimmer of that in this book and then the entire ending was like diving off a cliff into three feet of water. It made no damn sense and didn’t make me want to do it again. A disappointing start for this new book and yet another Marvel #1 in recent weeks that just left me asking ‘why?’.

Valiant – Archer and Armstrong #1 – The top 1% of America is actually part of a sadistic religious cult who trains children inside an amusement park and only lets the one who can rise above them all out into the real world. His mission is simple: destroy the evil that cannot be named, but who conveniently hangs out in a dive bar in New York City as is actually named Armstrong. What the…

So, yeah, my summary is exactly what happens in this first issue of this new series from Valiant Comics. And as crazy as it sounds, wow, it was really good. It got off to a slow start and I admit it gave off a weird vibe, but by the time I finished it, I seriously cannot wait to see what happens next in what could turn out to be one of the most enjoyable odd couples to watch as Archer, the boy who rose above it all, and Armstrong, a tank of a man who doesn’t seem all that bad but is branded evil by this religious cult, will have to work together in short order I’m sure. Take what you will from the comic’s clear political statements, the point is the comic is well-written, thoroughly entertaining, and setting itself up to be something that could be a regular here in the Pullbox. Do yourself a favor, and pick this up.

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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