The comics are ordered in reading order ( not in alphabetical order just so that you are forewarned ) which is a difficult beast in itself. So I will be elaborating my reading system at the same time as I am going over the pull list. Now I have my ECHTE EUKALYPTUS MENTHOL sweets, the latest episode of RedJazzradio playing on my headphones and my handwritten pull list - so let´s begin.
We start with the order in which I read my comics. I usually start with the " Read first ! " comic. That is the comic I´m most anxious to read, the one that had the best cliffhanger last month or simply the one that I have to read to understand any of the other comics. Basically the one I can´t wait to get my fingers on. Since I´m going to the comic shop less frequently in the past months the comic on the number one spot has mostly been the same. In past years it has been occupied by different books like JSA, Flash or Wolverine. This month the comic in the number one spot is ( of course ) INFINITE CRISIS 6 and has been since the beginning of the series. If any comic ever fell into the " Whatever you do - read this comic first ! " category it is INFINITE CRISIS. Since all titles are going to make the ONE YEAR LATER jump this month you better read this series first before you read any spoilers in the other series.
INFINITE CRISIS is on my pull list because DC executed the build up in such a clever fashion. Having read IDENTITY CRISIS, OMAC PROJECT, ADAM STRANGE, RANN / THANAGAR WAR, VILLAINS UNITED and DAY OF VENGEANCE and highly enjoying them I just have to know how the big finale unfolds. There are a lot of comic crossovers where there is much hype and little happening where you know that nothing is going to be drastically altered forever, everything is going to be as it was before and the respective universe will be the same again - ever ! There are not so many crossovers where a real change is happening and where you don´t have to read all the involved series or spin-offs. But you want to because they are just so good. And there are even less that start three years before the actual event takes place. It´s not so often that a comic company takes the time and effort to lay the groundwork and plant some seeds and start with little hints. Where you get to see small things that independently just strike you as odd, then begin to pop up in more and more issues until finally it all falls into place and makes perfect sense. Maybe I watched too many episodes of the A-TEAM but I just love it when a plan comes together. The story so far on INFINITE CRISIS has been entertaining and the art by Phil Jimenez shows he has more to offer than being just a George Perez clone. The only negative point so far about the series has been that my comic dealer has the uncanny mutant ability to always pick the wrong cover for me. And that with only two covers to choose from ! So far every time I liked the George Perez cover more I was sure to find the Jim Lee cover in my bag and vice versa. I don´t know how he does it.
Next category in my reading order are the " writer " comics. There are two sorts of comics I read : the ones I read because of the artist and the ones I read in spite of the artist. So here come all series I am reading more for the story and not so much for the art. The comics I sometimes read on the crapper ( just the best location to read comics ) and the comics I consider dropping. Or the ones that have already dropped from my pull list. So the next one is TEEN TITANS 34. TEEN TITANS started as a a-list series that was one of the best team books the DC universe offered. Since Mike McKone left as penciller - not so much. There were some spectacular fill-in issues done by Tom Grummet but ever since the Rob Liefeld issues it has been slowly deteriorating. This series was already on my to drop list when DC announced Ivan Reis would be the new artist for TEEN TITANS. Of course at the moment Ivan Reis is the new penciller for GREEN LANTERN and has been replaced on TEEN TITANS with Tony Daniel which has me not too happy. I don´t know what happened but i liked his art much better on THE TENTH. Issue 34 is the ONE YEAR LATER issue and I wanted to wait till the end of INFINITE CRISIS before reading it. But considering the fact that there will still be a yearlong gap between the end of INFINITE CRISIS and all the ONE YEAR LATER issues ( this gap will be filled in the 52 series ) I will not wait. For the moment the story is keeping the series on the pull list but I have the feeling the days of the Titans are numbered for me. Unless Jerry Ordway announces tomorrow that he will be doing the series as part of his new exclusive contract with DC.
UNCANNY X-MEN 465 is the next comic. I already canceled the series when Alan Davis left the series and just kept the series on my list till the end of the four part story. I started reading Uncanny around 218 or so and read it till the issues by that japanese guy who drew those big pointy noses. That was the final straw for me since the stories had become more and more difficult to read and much too expensive to follow because it was diverted into too many series. Ever since I only had Uncanny on my pull list for particular writers or artists like Alan Davis.
SPAWN 150 also is the end of this series for me. I began reading with issue 1 but with the replacement of Angel Medina with Billy Tan the series has fallen from the " because of the artist and in spite of the writer " into the " in spite of the artist and in spite of the artist " category. Yes, that´s right. I said there are only two categories on my pull list and this is definitely not one of them. That´s the reason why it is not on my pull list anymore. I sticked with the series as long as there was good art but the story just takes forever.
Now we have left the bad stuff and come to the good stuff. These comics have good writing and good art and are in no danger to be dropped. Since I like to safe the best for last the better ones are the last ones I read. I begin with WOLVERINE 40 and work my way up. Having been an off and on reader of the series I really liked this new incarnation of everyone´s favorite canadian. It had an excellent start with Darick Robertson´s urban version that offered probably the most realistic Logan of all times before switching gears to Mike Millar´s high-octane spandex clad superhero / superspy blockbuster slugfest.
The current storyline involving Logan having all his memory back ( come on, that´s no spoiler - the story has been going for six months now ) has me really on the edge of my seat which is in no small part because of the cool art by Javier Saltares and Mark Texeira. I really love the reunion of the old GHOST RIDER art team. Here are some previews :
Issue 25 / Issue 26 / Issue 27 / Issue 28 / Issue 29 / Issue 30 / Issue 32 / Issue 33 / Issue 34 / Issue 35 / Issue 36 / Issue 37 / Issue 38 / Issue 39
FANTASTIC FOUR 536 begins to my understanding a new story that ties in to CIVIL WAR, Marvels big crossover for this year. I´m not sure if it really is going to be that big of an event and if there are any long lasting ramifications once it´s over. I just hope that the new Spider-Man suit is only a temporary thing. Of course Mike McKone´s art is one of the reasons I read FANTASTIC FOUR but somehow it doesn´t seem as energetic and powerful as on TEEN TITANS. Or maybe that´s just my subconsciousness at work here reminding me that he should be doing the titans instead. The writing has been entertaining so far and I really liked the first story and the second one with the Hulk. No Gwen Stacys so far on this series so I am still reading. I´m not sure what the story is about but with someone holding Thor´s hammer on the cover there is not that much to guess.
Issue 523 / Issue 524 / Issue 525 / Issue 526 / Issue 527 / Issue 528 / Issue 529 / Issue 530 / Issue 532 / Issue 533 / Issue 535 / Issue 536
I just love Power Girl ! Okay, I said it. I guess my webblog just officially appeared on all internet searches like google so pretty soon there will be some comments on this page. Ha ha. No, I really like Power Girl and what´s not to like about a confident, strong woman with a great " pechonalidad " like they would call it on Los Comicgeekos. She´s just the breast superheroine ! Now I don´t know why DC has in all the years they have had this character never released a series that really highlights her strong points. Either they don´t want to earn money or there is some kind of unwritten law that no babe artist like Adam Hughes, Terry Dodson, Frank Cho, Bart Sears or Jim Lee is ever allowed to draw comic series with good looking female leads. I think it is the latter and it isn´t limited to DC alone - it happens at almost all comic companies. Now the reason why I mentioned Power Girl - apart from showing up on internet searchmachines - is JSA 84. Since the start JSA has been the best teambook of the DC universe leaving JLA far behind. In the second ONE YEAR LATER issue Power Girl is again a member and Rags Morales really knows how to draw her. There is also an interesting story unfolding with little hints dropped to what happened in the lost year.
BATMAN AND THE MONSTER MAN 6 is the conclusion of Matt Wagner´s first miniseries taking place during Batman year 1.5. So far it has been a top notch series and I can´t wait to read the end and find out what the next miniseries will be. there is not much to say about this series after
so I won´t even try.
Issue 2 / Issue 3 / Issue 4 / Issue 5 / Issue 6
Next on my reading list is USAGI YOJIMBO 92 by Stan Sakai. I discovered this series reading the SPACE USAGI miniseries and have stayed with the title since it´s new beginning at Dark Horse. Not only does it offer a realistic depiction of feudal Japan with great art and captivating stories but it also excels in one of the forgotten arts of comics : the single issue story. Stan Sakai is one of the few comic writers left who really know how to tell wonderful tales in the span of one issue. Of course not every issue of the series is a single issue story and it has a nice balance between the one issue stories and longer story arcs like the unforgettable GRASSCUTTER story. USAGI is definitely staying on my list for as long as the series is going to last....which hopefully will be a very long time.
The same goes for SAVAGE DRAGON 124. As long as Erik Larsen is publishing the adventures of everyone´s favourite finhead I will be reading it. Thankfully the series is back from it´s hiatus which was caused by Erik Larsen´s new responsibilities as big muckamuck of Image comics. But now we are back in business and I can´t wait what happens next with Mr.Glum, the god-gun, Dragon and his powerloss and what´s up with the weird looking cover.
The rest of my pull list posting just got lost because Netscape crashed again and naturally I forgot to save all I wrote before posting it. Maybe tomorrow I will write about the rest of the list.
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