The Weekly Pull – 3/14/12 (Part 2)


Took a little time since the first part of last week’s pull list, but I’m feeling more up to tackling this particularly crowded batch of comics. In part one, we looked at DC’s offerings. Now in part two, we’ll be examining the books from Marvel. Later in part three, we’ll look at the third party books.

First on the list is THE PUNISHER #9, which picks up where the last issue left off. The Punisher takes down Exchange member Poulsen, with the help of Rachel Cole-Alves. This is the first real collaboration between the veteran vigilante and the justice starved newbie, but while not trying to spoil the issue, it hints that the two will work in tandem from now on. For the first time, the Punisher has a partner in his war against criminal scum, and from what I can tell he’ll need it.

Something that’s been advertised lately (in addition to the upcoming AvX crossover event) is a three issue storyline that will span over three separate books. It will begin with AVENGING SPIDERMAN #6, then go into PUNISHER #10, before ending in DAREDEVIL #11. And since I follow two of the three already, I might as well pick up the issue of Avenging when that comes out. It’s called “The Omega Effect”, and it rocks the books this April.

So why did I take out a portion of this post to talk about an upcoming event when I could be talking about the Punisher? Mostly because as usual I don’t have much to say about books I really like. Which bugs me, because as a critic I should be capable of finding fault in anything and talk up a storm about it. If pressed, I’d say the cover has crap all to do with the content of the issue. It shows the Punisher acting as the driver for a fat man as he detonates a bomb by remote while being caressed by champagne drinking women. What exactly does this have to do with the Exchange, the budding partnership between two souls out for vengeance, or Black Spectre?

Oh yeah, agents from Black Spectre make an appearance in this issue as well. But that’s not important.

Next up is SCARLET SPIDER #3. At least a portion of this issue works to develop the Web Head’s supporting cast, particularly Doctor Donald Meland. One of two people who know Kaine is the Scarlet Spider (although he doesn’t do a whole lot to hide his identity, or maybe just doesn’t have enough of an identity to hide), he’s also the object of focus and the target for assassination. The inciting action is actually kind of subtle, to the point where I forgot why he was even being targeted. I blame this book for being generally engaging.

Anyway, the point is that the Assassins Guild targets Dr. Meland, and Kaine has a history with them. Apparently. This is news to me, but then I’m not too familiar with the specifics of Kaine’s past. Regardless, it looks like the Guild will be gunning for our intrepid clone next issue, and they’re tough. Just one of them gives Kaine a run for his money in this issue, and they’ll no doubt come in force next time.

Ever get the feeling I’m just writing the blurbs comic companies would use to entice you to buy their product? Maybe I shouldn’t be dropping books. If I do, I’ll just be left with the ones I enjoy and can’t find criticism for.

Finally, we come to CARNAGE USA #4, penultimate issue in the limited series. And boy does it ramp things up for the climax next issue. There’s a battle royale between the infected townsfolk, the symbiote-using special forces, the Avengers in thrall to Carnage, Venom, Spiderman, and the crazed psychopath himself. Even Scorn gets in on the action, setting up a cliffhanger.

Surprisingly I have two problems with this issue. One, the first two pages are awkward. But then again, I think that was the point. It just upsets the flow when Spiderman tries to rally the free townsfolk, and fails miserably at speeches. And second, also involving Spiderman coincidentally, is that Spiderman doesn’t allow Carnage to get killed even when he could have been. Then again, this is at least consistent to Spiderman’s nature, as evidenced in the classic Maximum Carnage. So I guess I can’t really complain.

The Marvel side of things was a little light this week. But rest assured, the collective books from third party publishers would have filled an entire Pull on their own. Sure, I’d be able to say the same thing if I’d only bought a single issue in a given week, but you get the idea. Next time it’s the offerings from IDW, Image, Dark Horse, and Boom!

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