The Weekly Pull – 3/14/12 (Part 3)


Straining the bounds of how long it takes to update to their limit, we finally have the final part of last week’s pull list. In part one, we looked at last week’s offerings from DC, and in part two we examined the books from Marvel. Here in Part three, we showcase the books from third party publishers, including Image, IDW, Dark Horse, and Boom!

Speaking of Boom, we have ADVENTURE TIME #2. The second issue to this highly anticipated series continues the plot established in number one. A Lich is using a bag of holding, in an attempt to swallow the entire land of Ooo and chuck it into the sun. Finn and Jake try to find a way to escape the bag, meeting the Ice King and Lumpy Space Princess in the interim. Meanwhile, Marceline the vampire gets sucked into the bag as well, and meets up with Princess Bubblegum of the candy kingdom, and they try to meet up with everyone else.

If most of that paragraph sounded asinine like the ravings of a mentally deficient child, I remind the readers that despite how nerd cool it is, Adventure Time is still a kids’ show.

Regardless, all the same points brought up in the First Impressions apply here. It’s still a fun book (even using copious amounts of fourth wall breaking). Although the cliffhanger at the end of plot A didn’t fool me for a second. Sorry Lumpy Space Princess, but picture or it didn’t happen. However now I’m coming off as being unfair to this book because I’ve grown jaded to the wiles of the comic book industry.

The side story here, once again, didn’t quite grab me. I’m finding these additional self-contained stories to be the weakest part of this series thus far, mostly because they must necessarily be compared to the primary story. And when it gets right down to it, the writing in the side stories just isn’t as strong. Not bad by any means, just on the weak side. Actually there’s a another side story in this issue, or rather a single page of an exchange between Marceline and Bubblegum. And while the art style was a tad unusual, it was a pleasant and simple character moment. It’s time like this that give me hope for storytelling and comics. And the next generation of comic readers.

Switching gears very largely, we go to INFESTATION 2: GI JOE #1. Remember some months ago when I did a First Impressions of INFESTATION 2 #1, which sparked off IDW’s current company wide event? If not, it’s because so far I’ve basically given it no attention until now, and for a specific reason. This particular two issue story set in the GI Joe universe is the prime reason I bothered with Infestation 2 in the first place.

I first heard of it early this year, when I’d really begun getting interested in the GI Joe franchise. GI Joe was before my time, as was pretty much everything in the eighties. I basically have no fond memories of a lot of properties being resurrected these days (though I can still appreciate how terrible the Transformers films are). But as a quasi-military buff, I found the idea of GI Joe fascinating, especially since no other properties seem to care about war fiction that isn’t historical or profoundly anti-war (and therefore a buzz kill). As such, I’ve been looking for a way into the GI Joe comics for a while. Right now I’ve got enough on my plate that I can’t handle any (or all) of the GI Joe ongoings, so I thought I’d check out this miniseries at least.

And for those wondering why I didn’t just make this another First Impressions, I really couldn’t be bothered, and my earlier one functions as a FI for the event as a whole.

The plot behind this first part is that Cobra, that wily terrorist organization, has its mitts on an object of eldritch origin. Through the influence of the elder gods, a Cobra base has been overrun, and only a few unaffected Cobra agents remain trapped with the possessed. So the Interrogator, Storm Shadow, and Crystal Ball must enlist the aid of Cobra’s already insane operatives to fix their terrible mistake and turn back the forces of the gods beyond time.

First of all, Crystal Ball is a badass. He’s basically Cobra’s resident occultist and expert on all things cryptic and bullshit. He’s part of the reason why I decided to read this miniseries, because no evil organization is complete without an unkempt bearded man with finger claws that deals with magic. Also, fighting back the hoards of eldritch monsters using already insane bastards is just hardcore. Keep in mind that many of Cobras working staff could legitimately be referred to as insane already, and it’s they consider these people to be worth locking up.

I feel bad for not giving the other miniseries in this event a shot, so I might check out one of two of the others. Maybe this new one with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. We’ll see.

Next is MARKSMEN #6, the finale of the miniseries from Image comics. And I have to say I’m just a bit underwhelmed. My guess is the amount of time for this to play out severely restricted how much I could enjoy it. Which is not to say it’s a bad end to the series. Just that six months of this was a very long time, and between this and every other series I follow, I feel emotionally drained.

Maybe give Marksmen a try when they release a trade, since it’s a nice post apocalyptic war story combined with a neo-western style.

Finally from Dark Horse, THE STRAIN #4 manages to keep itself just short enough of nudity to avoid a polybag, unlike last issue. The problem with talking about this series is that it’s an adaptation from a novel, and thus I must judge it as one long narrative rather than a series of smaller narratives strung together. Added to it I’ve never read the original novel, and I can’t really judge how this series progresses from issue to issue.

No doubt anyone who enjoys a good vampire and/or outbreak story will enjoy this book, and I’ve even gotten chuckle here or there in this issue. Also there’s an instance of art that could be nothing, or be a mark of expert storytelling through art. Early in the issue, one of the initially infected people gets a visit from his manager, who enters the house to investigate his strange doings. And in a detail I didn’t even notice the first time I read the issue, multiple cameras lay strewn on the floor, broken up. Now this could just be them having been dropped by the press, because they’d been invited into the house. And I’m unfamiliar with how the vampires in this universe work. But I judged it as a detail to what transpired in the house, with the infected man being photographed, seeing that he didn’t appear in them (assuming Strain vampires work that way), and destroyed them in disgust.

If I’m not making a number of wild assumptions, this speaks of possibly a great attention to detail on the part of the comic’s art staff. Or it could just be coincidence. Again, I’m lacking information, so I can’t accurately judge on this score. Bottom line, this is another great comic and I encourage people to read it.

And thus I finally finish last week’s pull list. Just in time to start working on this week’s pull list. Luckily, it’s much shorter, so I won’t have trouble getting it out on time.

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