This was a difficult Pullbox to put together this week, let me tell you! With X-Men: Regenesis starting it was hard for me to not put an X-Men title on this list, but I’ve been showing the Children of the Atom a lot of love lately and there were a couple of other worthy titles from Marvel that also deserved the limelight. I do recommend though that you read your other monthly X-books before reading the Regenesis one-shot. That’s my tip of the day there. DC did not have as strong a showing as Marvel, but the two I picked there I think more than pick up the slack. And we had a little competition for indie pick of the week, but as I always try to feature new and different books as time goes on, I went with one I’ve been enjoying for a while, but haven’t gotten around to featuring yet. So, without further ado, here is this week’s Pullbox!
1) Marvel – The New Avengers #17: Continuing with the story line started in this monthly’s annual a few weeks ago, we see Norman Osborn back in a position of power. But unlike last time where he was hiding in plain sight of the public, he has taken up arms with AIM, Hydra, and several others of the big bads of the Marvel universe. Setting an Ultimo robot after a Stark Industries laboratory, the New Avengers leap into action. Unbeknownst to them though, this is all just a test as Osborn and several AIM scientists are piloting the robot and collecting as much data, and a very special sample of Wolverine’s blood, from the skirmish. The issue ends with a bang as Osborn’s plan have clearly just begun. What is great about this comic is that along with his entire time as the head of HAMMER, these global threats that Osborn is producing has brought him to a new level of villainy. For a long time he wasn’t even Spider-Man’s greatest threat. Then he moved to the front of that line. Then he was on the bottom rung of the community threat. And now, he’s top dog there, too. Great action and the start of something that is going to be huge, my only complaint with this comic is that they put Daredevil prominently on the cover and he wasn’t in the issue at all. What’s up with that?
2) Marvel – Amazing Spider-Man #671 (Spider-Island Part 5): I’ve been really disappointed with Spider-Island thus far, but aside from a couple of pages early on with Mary Jane finally getting powers, this was a really great chapter in what has been a subpar event to this point. Spidey finally gets to the bottom of everything that’s been going on with the return of the Queen and gets his Spider-Sense back after having it turned off by the psychic bubble placed over Manhattan to keep the spider people locked on the island. We also see the Jackal hopefully meet his fate as I doubt any true Spidey fan has ever liked him as a villain, although I’m sure like Emperor Palpatine in Star Wars, he probably has a bevy of clones of himself waiting in the wings too. As things finally start to come to a head with Spider-Island you hope that it isn’t like many events that Marvel has done in recent history where there is a quick climax and fast let down after this unnecessarily long build-up. As a whole, I have not been impressed though and am still leaning towards returning to my boycott of Amazing Spider-Man once this whole arc is finally done. Maybe I’ll go re-read my Maximum Carnage graphic novel so I can remember when I really cared about Spider-Man as a character.
3) DC – Green Lantern #2: Hal Jordan is forced to make a “Monkey’s Paw” type deal with the newly reinstated into the Green Lantern core Sinestro and he might actually learn a thing or two from the dictator from Korugar. I’m still a bit on the fence about this comic as I still want Hal Jordan to have his ring back, but his dynamic with Sinestro is something to behold. And with what Sinestro plans in order to give Jordan his “ring” back could break Jordan as a character if done improperly. So far so very good though. Seeing what Sinestro could do with a Green Lantern ring makes you start to truly fathom the power they contain and makes you wonder what has held back the four-honor guard Lanterns of Earth that we’ve followed all these years. In one awesome page, Sinestro did more than Jordan has done with that ring in a year and it only looks to make this odd-couple relationship thrive even more in the pags of this book. Like I said, it could turn sour in the end, but right now this is a must read.
4) DC – Deathstroke #2: An explosive first-issue left me curious to see where things would go plot wise with this book, and the plot has led to a lot more explosions and a lot more action. As Deathstroke is on the path of trying to figure out who is setting him up for something much bigger than he realized he was getting into in the first issue, some hired assassins get in the way after an exchange goes bad. Nothing Deathstroke can’t handle though and before you know it you’ve got body parts, blood, bullets, and swords flying in every direction. It’s gory, it’s brutal, and it’s a heck of a lot of fun and I can’t wait to see where it goes from here. I would like to see Deathstroke with a bit more of a challenge though in future issues because in these first two issues he has just blown through his no name opponents like wet-tissue paper. Let’s see some heroes or something in there to mix it up!
5) Archie – Mega Man #6: If you’re like me, you can’t get enough of the Blue Bomber and this relatively new monthly series starring Mega Man is typically a bright spot for me. The first four issues basically followed Mega Man (or as he is affectionately called by Dr. Light, ‘Rock’) through the first game with Wily taking the six robot masters and sicking them on an unsuspecting public. Now, Wily is off to prison, but in every Mega Man game there has always been eight robot masters beyond that first one. So introducing Oil Man and Time Man, two brand new characters that were “held back” by Wily as they were still further in a prototype phase when he stole them from Dr. Light. Now, Mega Man and the reprogrammed original robot masters have split up into two teams. One to help fix the damage they caused initially and another to find Dr. Wily and put a stop to him once and for all. This comic is everything I would have hoped from it and more. New and old robot masters alike make this comic just as enjoyable as the games and to see Mega Man absorb and use their powers makes me wish Mega Man 11 would be announced. But this comic is fine in place of that and so my only real gripe with it is that I have to wait 30 days between issues. If you are a fan of Mega Man, do yourself a favor and start picking this up every month. It consistently finds a way to balance plot, character development and action and is worth it every time.