State of the Pull List 2013

I've decided to take stock of what I'm reading regularly these days.  This is probably more for my benefit than anyone else's, but I figured I'd share the list and the reasoning behind some decisions anyway.

DC
Reading - Batman Incorporated, Legends of the Dark Knight (monthlies); All Star Western, Superman Family Adventures (trades)

Dropped in (roughly) the past year (or at least since the New 52 relaunch) - Animal Man, Aquaman, Batman, Demon Knights, Supergirl, Worlds' Finest (well, just about to be dropped)

Going to give a shot in the future - Adventures of Superman (especially since dropping the Card story), Wonder Woman (at least the first trade), Action Comics (ditto... Morrison reads better in chunks, anyway), The Green Team (creative team and weirdness of concept earns a look), The Movement (ditto)

Thoughts - I've been pretty solidly a DC guy since about 1988 or '89, around the time a then-friend pretty much forced a John Byrne Superman book into my hand and said "you need to read this, Marvel Zombie."  So the fact that I'm down to reading just two regular DC monthly books feels very weird for me.  And of those two, one is ending soon, and the other is a continuity-free Batman book completely removed from the rest of the company's storytelling universe.  I'm not staunchly opposed to the New 52 (well, aside from they're doing to Captain Marvel Shazam... and Superman's costume), and in fact have quite liked some of what has come out of the relaunch.  But between some glacial pacing (Animal Man, Demon Knights, Worlds' Finest) and seemingly endless cycles of crossovers (everything else), I've lost a lot of interest in what they're doing over there these days.  I'm willing to be wowed, of course, and I'm happy they're doing some of these non-continuity digital-first projects for old timers like me, but for the most part, they're not exciting me much these days.


Marvel
Reading - Hawkeye, Daredevil, Captain Marvel, Avengers Assemble, FF, Fearless Defenders (monthlies); Amazing Spider-Man, Indestructible Hulk (trades... or I plan to with Hulk, anyway)

Dropped in the past year - Fantastic Four, Young Avengers, Indestructible Hulk (this one so I could switch over to trades)

Going to give a shot in the future - Avengers, All New X-Men (both in collected form)

Thoughts - So obviously since I've been a big DC guy since middle school, I haven't been as big a Marvel fan.  I read my share, of course, but it's Coke and Pepsi or Elvis and the Beatles... you can like both, but you always have a preference, and a switch like this is very much like going from, I dunno, Blue Hawaii to Rubber Soul.  Marvel is rocking my comics loving world right now, and I think a lot of it is because it seems like they are taking more chances on smaller, quirkier books with distinct authorial and artistic voices and giving them the opportunities they need to thrive.  Captain Marvel, for instance, looks and reads like no other book on the market right now (whether featuring a female or male lead character), and like no other Marvel book in at least the past 10-15 years, either.  Hawkeye is just barely a superhero book, more like a 70s buddy cop / heist-gone-bad character piece.  Over 20 issues in, Mark Waid is still turning in Daredevil scripts that reflect and respect the character's past but have helped break the streak of "we must all ape what Miller and Bendis did" stories that haunted him for so long.

I also think it's funny that so many of my favorite Marvel books are coming from either Matt Fraction or Kelly Sue DeConnick.  That's one hell of a talented household right there.


Other
Reading - Doctor Who: Prisoners of Time (currently) and the TNG crossover Assimilation2 (recently completed), Garfield, Snarked! (recently completed) (monthlies); Adventure Time (trades)

Dropped in the past year -  Hypernaturals (plan on switching to trades), The Black Beetle (ditto), Saga

Going to give a shot in the future - ???

Thoughts - Non Marvel and DC books are so wide-ranging in reach, scope, and availability it's hard to talk about them as one category, but for some reason I don't plan on letting that stop me.  First and foremost, Boom Studios is absolutely killing it with All Ages books that are actually appealing to all ages.  Roger Langridge's Snarked! is about as clever and funny a comic book as has come down the pike in a while, and familiarity with the works of Lewis Carroll was helpful but by no means necessary (which is good, because I am sadly underread in Carroll!).  And Adventure Time is that rarest of licensed books, that which is as consistently good as the source material from which it spawned.  IDW's Doctor Who projects are inconsistent, but a.) Doctor Who comics are always inconsistent in quality; and b.) if I'm being honest, so is the show.  The Star Trek crossover was awkward and sloooooooooooooooow at times (3-4 issues of ready room discussions, while maybe consistent with some of the lesser episodes of TNG, was kinda painful), but the fanboy in me was so happy to see it happening that I was able to forgive a lot.  And Prisoners of Time has been a fun era-by-era take so far (the Troughton issue was especially good) and I'm looking forward to seeing where that goes.

As for the drops, Hypernaturals was fun sci-fi superheroics, but Abnett & Lanning read better in chunks.  Francesco Francovilla's artwork on the Black Beetle mini-series is gorgeous enough that it needs a nice, sturdy place on my shelf, hence the decision to switch there.  And Saga, well, it's good, I can see why people like it, and Fiona Staples is killing it on the art, but for whatever reason it just wasn't my cuppa.

Random Final Thought
I know, I'm really underread on indies at the moment.  Make some recommendations!

No comments: