Pull List: Iceman, Mister Miracle, and Existential Crises

We’re kicking off a new year of Pull List with two series that couldn’t be more different. Both feature men who are haunted by their troubled families, and each is still trying to untangle the damage to his psyche from his unpleasant childhood. But that’s about where the similarities end. The divide between the characters is bigger than Marvel vs. DC. Where Iceman is charismatic and playful, Mister Miracle is deep and introspective. Bobby Drake is a charming do-gooder and walking dad joke factory while Scott Free is an angst-ridden warrior who may be losing his mind.

Perhaps the biggest difference is that one comic book is demonstrably better than the other.

 

Iceman

Bobby Drake finally gets his own solo series, but unfortunately Iceman disappoints with missed potential. It’s not the easiest series to jump into if you, like me, avoided Civil War II like the plague and nothing ...

Trapped in a World They Never Made — Howard the Duck and Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.

The 1960s was the decade of the secret agent: James Bond, Our Man Flint, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., Danger Man, The Avengers (the British TV show, not the American super-team), and so on. Marvel decided to cash in on this trend by taking the star of their World War II comic Sgt. Fury and His Howling Commandos (which debuted in 1963), aging him 20 years and making him a colonel, and putting him in charge of the Supreme Headquarters of International Espionage, Law-enforcement Division, or S.H.I.E.L.D. for short. (It was later changed to Strategic Hazard Intervention Espionage Logistics Directorate.)

The 1970s was the decade of wackiness: mainstream comics took their superheroes into different places, from martial arts to horror to blaxploitation to just plain crazy. One of the particularly crazy ones came from Steve Gerber ...

The 10 Best Comics Written by Alan Moore

Let’s talk about the best of Alan Moore’s comic book work. Looking at his career, what should we designate as the capital-b Best of the Best? What ten comics would be the ultimate incarnation of Moore’s genre-bending, highly-influential comic book scripting?

I’m glad you asked!

Here’s the All-Time Alan Moore Top 10, as determined by me, the guy who has reread all of the Alan Moore comics and written about 100,000 words on the topic. All of the Alan Moore comics are worth reading (well, maybe not all of the later Extreme or Wildstorm work, but even those have something interesting going on at times), but these are the cherries on top of the ice cream sundae that is the Alan Moore oeuvre.

 

10. V for Vendetta, by Alan Moore and David Lloyd

Cover art by David Lloyd (DC Comics issue#1, 1989)

I will still always dream of ...

Hit Comics Properties that Became Movie Flops — Steel and Spawn

The seeds of this week’s superhero movie rewatch—both 1997 releases—were sown in 1992.

At DC, there were four monthly titles starring Superman: Action Comics, The Adventures of Superman, Man of Steel, and Superman. In ’92, “The Death of Superman” was the major storyline running through all four titles, culminating in the man of steel’s death at the hands of Doomsday. Four heroes took on the mantle of Superman following his death, one in each of those titles. In Man of Steel by Louise Simonson & Jon Bogdanove, they focused on John Henry Irons, a ballistics expert who created a suit of armor and called himself Steel.

At Marvel, several of the company’s most popular artists—Jim Lee, Rob Liefeld, Marc Silvestri, Erik Larsen, and Todd McFarlane—left Marvel to form their own creator-owned company, Image Comics. McFarlane’s contribution to Image’s first wave of titles was a dark hero known ...

Never Mess With the Trees, Part 2: Nathan Carson and Sam Ford’s “The Willows”

Welcome back to the Lovecraft reread, in which two modern Mythos writers get girl cooties all over old Howard’s sandbox, from those who inspired him to those who were inspired in turn.

Today we’re looking at Nathan Carson and Sam Ford’s adaptation of Algernon Blackwood’s “The Willows”. Issue 1 came out in November 2017, and #2 will be out in February (not June as originally reported). Spoilers ahead, but minimal for #2.

“We had ‘strayed’, as Hala put it, into some region where the risks were great, yet unintelligible to us; where the frontiers of some unknown world lay close about. It was a spot held by the dwellers in some outer space, a sort of peep-hole whence they could spy upon the earth, themselves unseen, a point where the veil between had worn a little thin.”

Carson and Ford’s take on Blackwood’s classic is remarkably close to the ...

Wow, People Are Really Mad at Poe Dameron

Star Wars, The Last Jedi, Leia, Poe

I mean, I’m not. But other people are.

At first glance, there’s an interesting theme at work in The Last Jedi. That theme seems to turn on practically every female character in the film looking to their male cohort and saying “Don’t do that!” and the men turning around and saying “I’m definitely going to do that!” And then things go generally wrong and we all plant our faces in our hands and sigh.

Here’s a brief (not comprehensive) list to that end:

  • Leia tells Poe not to continue his attack on the Dreadnought, but he does;
  • Rose tells Finn how disappointed she is to see Resistance fighters trying to cut and run, then realizes he’s doing that exactly that;
  • Amilyn Holdo repeatedly tells Poe to stop bothering her about her plans for the fleet, he commits mutiny after barging in on said plans;
  • Rey tells Kylo Ren ...
The Force Awakens, Poe Dameron
The Force Awakens, Poe Dameron
Star Wars, The Last Jedi, Poe
Star Wars, The Last Jedi, Leia
Star Wars, The Last Jedi, Poe

Wow, People Are Really Mad at Poe Dameron

Star Wars, The Last Jedi, Leia, Poe

I mean, I’m not. But other people are.

At first glance, there’s an interesting theme at work in The Last Jedi. That theme seems to turn on practically every female character in the film looking to their male cohort and saying “Don’t do that!” and the men turning around and saying “I’m definitely going to do that!” And then things go generally wrong and we all plant our faces in our hands and sigh.

Here’s a brief (not comprehensive) list to that end:

  • Leia tells Poe not to continue his attack on the Dreadnought, but he does;
  • Rose tells Finn how disappointed she is to see Resistance fighters trying to cut and run, then realizes he’s doing that exactly that;
  • Amilyn Holdo repeatedly tells Poe to stop bothering her about her plans for the fleet, he commits mutiny after barging in on said plans;
  • Rey tells Kylo Ren ...
The Force Awakens, Poe Dameron
The Force Awakens, Poe Dameron
Star Wars, The Last Jedi, Poe
Star Wars, The Last Jedi, Leia
Star Wars, The Last Jedi, Poe