Talking Pulp’s Pull List – 4th Quarter, 2019

This is my personal pull list as it stands, right now. From month to month it changes, as I read a lot of limited series stuff but I figured that doing a quarterly update would be cool for my readers that keep up with current comics.

So this is what I have my local comic shop pull for me each month, most of which I will review every time I get to the end of a story arc.

I’ve broken them out by publisher and alphabetized the list to make it flow easier.

And if there’s anything you like that I’m not reading, tell me in the comments.

Marvel Comics:
-Absolute Carnage
-Age of Conan: Valeria
-Conan the Barbarian
-Dead Man Logan
-Doctor Doom
-Excalibur
-Fallen Angels
-Fantastic Four: Grand Design
-Ghost Rider
-Invaders
-King Thor
-Marauders
-New Mutants
-Punisher Soviet
-Savage Avengers
-The Savage Sword of Conan
-Venom
-Venom Island
-X-Force
-X-Men

DC Comics:
-Batman and the Outsiders
-Batman: Curse of the White Knight
-Batman Vs. Ra’s al Ghul
-Deathstroke
-Detective Comics
-Doomsday Clock
-Gotham City Monsters

Dynamite Entertainment:
-Red Sonja
-Vampirella
-Vampirella/Red Sonja
-Vengeance of Vampirella

Image Comics:
-Coffin Bound
-Spawn

IDW Publishing:
-G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero
-Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder In Hell

Dark Horse:
-The Orville

Comic Review: Hellboy, Vol. 2: Wake the Devil

Published: February 3rd, 2004
Written by: Pat Brosseau, Mike Mignola
Art by: Mike Mignola

Dark Horse, 146 Pages

Review:

I wish I would have read this closer to when I finished the previous volume but my comic book queue is massive and it got somewhat disheveled a few months back when I acquired a ton of new stuff from a friend moving.

Anyway, this is a new story, the second in the actual history of Hellboy. Still, this builds off of the first volume and even though he’s dead, Rasputin returns in spiritual form to band together his Nazi followers, who have idolized him like a religious figure since the old days.

The three main villains here are actually the same as the trio that was featured in the first Guillermo del Toro Hellboy movie.

Overall, I love Mignola’s art style and the tone of these stories. I also love Lovecraftian horror and this just hit those notes in the right way.

However, I found this less exciting than the original miniseries. I think that’s because this isn’t as much of a self contained story as it is being used to world build now that Hellboy is evolving into a regularly released comic for Dark Horse.

In the end, this is still a strong chapter in the franchise and it only makes me want to keep reading the series.

Rating: 8.75/10
Pairs well with: other Hellboy and B.P.R.D. related comics.

Comic Review: Stranger Things: Six

Published: May 29th, 2019 – August 28th, 2019
Written by: Jody Houser
Art by: Edgar Salazar, Keith Champagne, Marissa Louise, Aleksi Briclot (covers)
Based on: Stranger Things by The Duffer Brothers

Dark Horse Books, 98 Pages

Review:

I was pretty happy with the first Stranger Things comic miniseries. With this second attempt at making a comic book tie-in, I still left pretty satisfied. However, this one lacks slightly in that I didn’t feel as connected to the characters or their personal peril.

In the first miniseries, we got to follow Will Byers, as he was trapped in the Upsidedown during the events in season one. It gave us Will’s perspective and the horror he lived through, which we weren’t able to really see on the television show.

This comic follows a new character named Six. She is like Eleven in that she has grown up in the same lab and mostly just has Dr. Martin Brenner as her only parental type of figure.

The story is a prequel, as it shows some of what happened in the lab before Eleven’s story really started for the television audience. Although, you do get to see glimpses of a very young Eleven even though her story isn’t central to the main plot of this arc.

My only real issue with this miniseries, is that it is less engaging overall because it doesn’t directly tie to the larger story. Sure, it happens within the show’s universe but it’s basically just Six’s story and she isn’t someone that we will meet on the show. And I’ve kind of mentally put the Brenner character to bed, unless there is going to be more of him in the future. Although, I’m not sure how that would work.

I prefer the approach of the first comic series. I think that these should be tied more directly to the show and give us other perspectives or events that happen parallel to what we already know. But that doesn’t mean that we can’t have wholly original stories with new characters. It all just depends on how well the comic book part of the mythos develops.

So far, I’m pretty happy with what Dark Horse, specifically Jody Houser, have been doing with the IP.

Rating: 6.75/10
Pairs well with: the previous Stranger Things comic book miniseries, as well as the show and mobile RPG game.

Comic Review: The Orville: New Beginnings

Published: July 17th, 2019 – August 14th, 2019
Written by: David A. Goodman
Art by: David Cabeza, Michael Atiyeh
Based on: The Orville by Seth MacFarlane

Dark Horse, 46 Pages

Review:

Out the gate, this isn’t a great comic but it’s a pretty enjoyable one that captures the tone, humor and humanity of the television show pretty well. And honestly, I hope that this is just the start of more comics and possibly books, toys and other products tied into The Orville.

This first story arc was a two-parter and it reads like it’s the length and pace of a regular hour long episode. This is a small, simple story but it does a good job of bringing these already beloved characters into a new medium.

I dug the artwork and all the characters’ likenesses were good. Additionally, it just felt like a real extension of the show and didn’t get bogged down by the artist trying to stamp their own style on the book.

The story takes place around the beginning of season two, between some episodes. I think that the comic may have stated where it took place exactly but I don’t recall from my shitty memory.

In any event, I like that this exists within the television show continuity and isn’t some alternate timeline or new take on the franchise. Yes, I said “franchise”. Because with a comic and some other things in the works, this is more than just a simple television show. It’s kind of becoming a mini phenomenon even if it has left Fox and is taking a year off to prepare for its move to Hulu.

Rating: 7/10
Pairs well with: I’m sure future story arcs for The Orville. Also, IDW’s Star Trek comics.

Comic Review: Godzilla Vs. Barkley

Published: December, 1993
Written by: Mike Baron, Alan Smithee
Art by: Jeff Butler, Keith Aiken, James Sinclair, Dave Dorman (cover)
Based on: Godzilla by Toho Co. Ltd.

Dark Horse, 22 Pages

Review:

I have this weird obsession with collecting product tie-in comic books. This one is based off of the famous Godzilla vs. Charles Barkley Nike commercial.

Here we have a story that was penned by Alan Smithee, meaning that it was written by someone that didn’t want their real name on it. However, comic book great Mike Baron left his name in the credits, as he wrote the dialogue and did the fine tuning.

While this isn’t Baron’s best work, his humorous side comes out and it seems as if he enjoyed the project and made the best of it, giving us a pretty amusing tale with some charismatic characters, despite the ridiculous premise.

I thought that the art was also good. Charles Barkley’s likeness was captured well and the action panels of Barkley and Godzilla going head-to-head on the court were pretty dynamic and fun to look at.

The story is about a boy that’s given a special coin. The coin has magical properties that make Charles Barkley grow to kaiju size when he touches it. Frankly, this is all the plot that you really need because you don’t buy something like this for a compelling story, you just want to see these two behemoths throw down.

I’ve wanted this comic for awhile, so I’m glad that I finally got my hands on a copy. No buyer’s remorse here and I was pretty satisfied seeing my favorite monster go up against one of the greatest sports personalities of the last few decades.

Rating: 6/10
Pairs well with: other product tie-in comics, as well as all the other Godzilla comics put out by various publishers over the years.

Comic Review: William Gibson’s Alien 3

Published: August 6th, 2019
Written by: Johnnie Christmas, William Gibson
Art by: Johnnie Christmas, Tamra Bonvillain
Based on: William Gibson’s unused Alien 3 script

Dark Horse, 138 Pages

Review:

I’ve heard great things about William Gibson’s original script for Alien 3, which was drastically different than the film we got in 1992. So when news came out that it was going to be adapted in comic book form, I was pretty stoked to check it out.

As far as the story goes, I like it more than the film. It was a lot more interesting and took the franchise in an interesting and very different direction. However, some of the more bizarre parts of the script were then used in the 4th Alien film a few years later.

But even though the story was good, the execution in this comic book was not.

It lacked suspense for the most part and the story is really a thriller more than it is a horror movie for the first two acts. In fact, we don’t really get some solid xenomorph action until the fourth of these five issues.

Also, the story seems like it would work better in the film medium. It’s a very wordy story with lots of dialogue, plotting and scheming. Not to mention a great deal of science stuff. It’s interesting but it doesn’t make for an interesting comic book when that’s mostly all you get for the first 60 percent of the tale.

Additionally, the art isn’t very good. It’s not terrible and it is mostly competent but it doesn’t feel as good as it should be on a book of this caliber.

Overall, this is worth giving a read if you are interested in the original idea for the film but you could also just read the script. I know it’s floating around out there, somewhere.

Rating: 5.5/10
Pairs well with: other Alien comics from Dark Horse.

Talking Pulp’s Pull List – 3rd Quarter, 2019

This is my personal pull list as it stands, right now. From month to month it changes, as I read a lot of limited series stuff but I figured that doing a quarterly update would be cool for my readers that keep up with current comics.

So this is what I have my local comic shop pull for me each month, most of which I will review every time I get to the end of a story arc.

I’ve broken them out by publisher and alphabetized the list to make it flow easier.

And if there’s anything you like that I’m not reading, tell me in the comments.

But, as you can see, my list keeps shrinking.

Marvel Comics:
-Absolute Carnage
-Conan the Barbarian
-Daredevil
-Dead Man Logan
-Guardians of the Galaxy
-The Immortal Hulk
-Savage Avengers
-The Savage Sword of Conan
-Silver Surfer Black
-Spider-Man: Life Story
-Symbiote Spider-Man
-Venom

DC Comics:
-Batman and the Outsiders
-Batman: Curse of the White Knight
-Deathstroke
-Detective Comics
-Doomsday Clock
-Justice League Odyssey

Dynamite Entertainment:
-Red Sonja
-Red Sonja: Birth of the She-Devil
-The Shape of Elvira
-Vampirella

Image Comics:
-Spawn

IDW Publishing:
-Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder In Hell

Dark Horse:
-Stranger Things: Six