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Courtney’s Pullbox: September 2016

[Warning: This article will contain spoilers for current comics that are out right now in stores.]

Thank you guys for being so wonderfully patient! With school, internship, and work, I’ve been barely able to read a comic a day (if that!) AND I caught up on Afterlife with Archie so I could get #10 for review before the new Josie and the Pussycats comic comes out (which will be in this month’s box). Here’s what was in September’s box:

  • Wonder Woman #5
  • Titans #2
  • Batgirl #2
  • Archie #11
  • Justice League #4
  • Batman #6
  • Boo, The World’s Cutest Dog #1 (New to the box!)
  • Afterlife with Archie #10 (New to the box!)
  • Cyborg Rebirth #1 (New to the box!)
  • Nightwing #4
  • Powerpuff Girls #3
  • Sherlock: A Study in Pink #4
  • Archie #12
  • Jughead #9
  • Cyborg #1
  • Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #2
  • Wonder Woman #6
  • Batman #7
  • Justice League #5
  • Nightwing #5
  • Raven #1 (New to the box!)

Wonder Woman #5

ww5Title: Wonder Woman
Written by: Greg Rucka
Art by: Liam Sharp
Published by: DC Comics
Release Date: August 24, 2016
Price: $2.99

Summary: “”The Lies” part three! Steve Trevor finds himself trapped in the heart of Urzkartaga’s darkness, with Wonder Woman and Cheetah the only hope of rescue for him and his men. But how far can Cheetah be trusted?”

I’m back to not really liking this plot line.

Now it’s more confusing because of the fact that Wonder Woman, the main character that we are supposed to follow, is just as confused as we are. Readers have been given no hints as to what the truth is, and now the comic wants to feed us information we already know.

On the bright side, the art is kind of growing on me. There is one really good panel where Steve was being held down by snakes as tortue. It was a pretty cool visual, but not not cool enough to add any sense to this comic.

Titans #2

titans011Title: Titans
Written by: Dan Abnett
Art by: Brett Booth and Norm Rapmund
Published by: DC Comics
Release Date: August 24, 2016
Price: $2.99

Summary: ““Remember the Titans” part two! As the Titans prepare to do the unthinkable in order to defeat the intergalactic demon that stole time itself from the DC Universe, enter the Fearsome Five! But are the sinister quintet acting of their own accord…or are greater forces at work?”
I really love this comic and the way it’s going right now.
This issue is about Kadabra taking the Titans’ younger essences and having them fight their younger selves. It’s a fun concept that does make for awesome fight scenes.
The only downside is that I know this is going to be a “we all have to fight someone else’s self since we know all our own moves”, but then again, I could be wrong. Even if that is the turn around plot point, I think it can still be fun and interesting because we haven’t seen everyone’s current moves.
As usual, the art looks awesome. The fight scenes show this really well and I really like the cover of this issue, too. It reminds me a lot of the early 2000’s show Teen Titans where the boys had their souls trapped in puppets and the girls had theirs switched.

Batgirl #2

5205825-bg_cv2Title: Batgirl
Written by: Hope Larson
Art by: Rafael Alberquerque
Published by: DC Comics
Release Date: August 24, 2016
Price: $2.99

Summary: ““Beyond Burnside” part two. Batgirl is off to Singapore! Following the mysterious advice of the ancient superhero known as Fruit Bat, Babs dives into the dangerous world of MMA fighting. But her first opponent may be more than just an adversary in the ring. Could she be connected to Babs’ new travel-companion-slash-maybe-crush?”

Though I’m still liking this comic, the previous comic’s cliffhanger was pointless since Babs can’t train at the gym Fruit Bat suggested. She does get trained at another gym by May, but it bothered me that the cliffhanger ended so abruptly and it probably won’t matter as we continue through the comic.

I really love Batgirl as a character. Her facial expressions really crack me up and she’s really well written. It’s obvious that she is an actual human being underneath the mask and the training, which can be rare to see in super hero comics. I also love how smart she is – she noticed a few people with different Chinese tats when they were both Japanese, whichI thought that was pretty awesome.

I’m liking all the characters in this comic, really. I like May, who’s real tough and honest, but is clearly working with Babs because she has talent. I like Kai, even though the kiss between him and Babs clearly wasn’t something Babs was ready for.

The art is amazing… as usual. The fight scenes look amazing and the blood doesn’t look too jarring to the point where I wouldn’t want to read the comic.

Archie #11

386150-_sx1280_ql80_ttd_

Title: Archie
Written by: Mark Waid
Art by: Veronica Fish, Jack Morelli, Andre Szymanowicz, and Jen Vaughn
Published by: Archie Comics
Release Date: August 24, 2016
Price: $3.99

Summary: “Archie and Jughead have been playing their instruments in Archie’s garage for a while, but now it’s finally time for them to take their talents elsewhere. Veronica suggests that the two form a band — assuming, of course, that she gets to be their lead singer. This bothers Betty, since music was a deep connection that she had always shared with Archie — so she’ll just have to form her own rival band. Now it’s #TeamArchie vs. #TeamBetty in a battle of the bands that has the whole school picking sides!”

The writing in this comic is so rushed and weird.

At the beginning of the comic, Archie is literally spoon feeding us the exposition and then adding some nonsense about Veronica being a reality TV star? What? When has this been a thing at all?

The writing only gets worse when you now add in the fact that Veronica can only sing well in the band if she’s looking at Archie. That doesn’t even make a lick of sense!

Listen, I use to watch The Naked Brothers Band as a kid. It was terrible and they even had one plot where their babysitter could only sing well in the shower. Though that could have easily been chalked up to acoustics, that’s not how they played it. This still makes more sense that Veronica only being able to sing well when looking at Archie. Is she a Disney Princess or something? It makes no sense.

The shitty writing of this comic continued with its rushed ending, which saw Archie and Betty apologizing and hugging (causing issues for the next comic with their significant others).

I can’t even applaud the art style. They got a new artist for this and it’s definitely off. At some parts, Jughead looks like Flynn Rider from Tangled. Which perhaps make sense considering the faux Disney aspect of the writing.

Maybe #12 will be better. Maybe.

Justice League #4

justice-league-4Title: Justice League
Written by: Bryan Hitch
Art by: Jesus Merino
Published by: DC Comics
Release Date: September 7, 2016
Price: $2.99

Summary: ““THE EXTINCTION MACHINE” part 4! In the center of the Earth, Superman faces three doomsday machines set to tear the world apart, while Earth’s two Green Lanterns discover just what a purged planet is truly like. The Kindred are awake and hold the truth about the beginnings of humanity.”

This issue continues the plot of the Justice League attempting to stop all these natural disasters and the people/god things creating them, and I’m so over it. I want this to be over and moved on.

Throughout this, any idea I had of defeating these characters was brought up, which begged the question, why didn’t they do this earlier?

It’s frustrating to have to deal with Superman in this comic. He’s still trying to stop the power in the center of the Earth, and I’m hoping the whole time that the power is too strong and will kill him, as he mentions near the end that he if he fails, Lois and his son will die. Really? That’s all that matters? Not the fact that your team and THE ENTIRE PLANET will die. I understand he’s an alien, but if he doesn’t care about this planet, why even bother saving it?

The art is nice, but not nice enough to make up for this tiring plot point and Superman’s poor characterization.

Batman #6

bm_cv6_575f448af13504-46600219Title: Batman
Written by: Tom King
Art by: Joe Prado and Ivan Reis
Published by: DC Comics
Release Date: September 7, 2016
Price: $2.99

Summary: ““I AM GOTHAM” epilogue. In this stand-alone tale, Batman seeks redemption as he tries to keep Gotham Girl from going down a dangerous path. But can the Dark Knight save someone who doesn’t want to be saved?”

This one is a bit of an annoying comic, too.

It wasn’t implied previously that Gotham died, so seeing Claire’s reaction (which came out of nowhere) and talking to herself is too sudden and confusing. The writer really never explored her powers until now,  where she is slowly killing herself. It is not okay to bring this up out of nowhere and just accept it. Claire talking to herself gets super annoying, as well (even though she’s supposed to be talking to her brother).

The only part I really liked was Batman trying to help her grieve. He goes to Alfred and asks how he helped him with grieving his parents. I think it’s really nice that he reveals his secret identity to her and wants to help her. Nice, but sadly it’s out of nowhere.

The art style is okay. There’s no big changes or anything that I really think is amazing, but I did like it.

Boo, The World’s Cutest Dog #1

boo2016-01-cov-c-fleecs-f6a3eTitle: Boo, The World’s Cutest Dog
Written by: Kristen Deacon, Audrey Elizabeth, Fernando Ruiz, and Joelle Sellner
Art by: Tony Fleecs, Robbie Robbins, and Fernando Ruiz
Published by: Dynamite Comics
Release Date: September 7, 2016
Price: $1.99

Summary: “The World’s Cutest Dog comes to comics! He’s Boo, the Pomeranian pup that’s become an internet sensation, and he’s ready for four-color adventures in his first-ever comic book! In this debut issue, Boo and his canine companions Buddy and Blueberry Pie create kitchen chaos when they can’t control their tummy rumblings; our favorite doggie becomes a “Boo-vie star” when he lucks into a Hollywood audition; and finally, Boo celebrates the birthday of adorable eight-year-old Audrey… but the party gets out of hand! Comic readers of all ages will love the whimsical, fun-filled escapades of Boo, the World’s Cutest Dog!”

This comic is all around adorable.

I really like these stories and I particularly enjoyed this one. Plus, all of the advertisements were at the end of the comic, as to not clog up the story. It was kind of cool.

There were three stories in this issue, but I’m only going to mention two of them.

The first story is “Boo and the Birthday Bash”,  and I have never felt as bad for a character than I did for the little girl in the story. She gets Boo for her birthday and all her friends are so distracted by the cute dog at her birthday party that they ignore her. It was so sad – I felt bad since she’s just a little girl.

The second story – and my personal favorite – is titled “One Boo Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”. This story is about Boo and his doggy friends trying to feed themselves since their Human is sick. It’s super cute because they are genuinely worried that Human won’t be able to take care of them. Though in the end, she of course does get up to take care of them. It was a super cute read!

Afterlife with Archie #10

alwarchie10Title: Afterlife with Archie
Written by: Robert Aguirre-Sacasa
Art by: Francesco Francavilla
Published by: Archie Comics
Release Date: August 31, 2016
Price: $3.99

Summary: “Interlude with the Pussycats BETTY: RIP Part 5, “Interlude with the Pussycats” Before the end of the world began, a female pop trio was setting charts on fire. But in a world of TMZ and paparazzi-driven media, somehow these women kept their private lives a secret from everyone — until now. A full-access interview promises to show the tragic and terrifying origin story of Josie and the Pussycats. For TEEN+ Readers.”

This is the second story from Afterlife where they pull away from the group (who are trying to survive the zombies). The first one told the story of Sabrina getting her punishment, while this one starts a new story line all together.

I really like this comic series, and this issue in particular. This comic is a really good example of how to tell stories about existing characters in a new and interesting way without randomly shoving characters together and having them shovel all this story out via exposition.

I really love the story of thes orphan girls growing up in the early 1920s and becoming singers. It shows them being naive and paying the price for it. The set up is amazing, the explanation for how they can go unnoticed is wonderful, and how they lead up to being in Riverdale is fantastic.

One part in particular that I would recommend based on this alone is the fact that Valerie is almost kicked out multiple times because she is black, and how does she get vengeance for all this racist hate? She and the girls literally attack and kill multiple groups of the KKK. It’s absolutely beautiful to read and I’m glad that they brought up this issue at all.

This could easily be one of the best comics I have read all year.

Cyborg Rebirth

cyborg_reb_1cover_575eeb38bf00c2-46954474Title: Cyborg
Written by: John Semper, Jr.
Art by: Tony Kordos, Sandra Hope, and Paul Pelletier
Published by: DC Comics
Release Date: September 7, 2016
Price: $2.99

Summary: “Victor Stone was once a star athlete and brilliant student with a bright future. But after a tragic accident destroyed over half of his body, Victor was kept alive by merging flesh with advanced technology. Today he is the Justice League co-founder called Cyborg. But is the young hero a man…or a machine that merely believes it’s a man?”

Though I haven’t read the new Titans Rebirth yet, I would have to say that this right now is probably my favorite first story (though I really liked Batgirl too). This comic was amazing and I really loved it!

The art style was absolutely great and paired perfectly with the story. I think it was beautiful and I would recommend this comic on art style alone.

When it comes to the actual story, the writer goes back far enough to do background on Cyborg’s parents. I really like the characterization of his parents, especially with his father, who has an internal conflict of saving his son with alien technology and possibly losing his son personality wise. It was something that really pulled at my heartstrings when I read it.

Nightwing #4

ntw_cv4_575f47ffba7c85-66541202 TitleNightwing
Written by: Tim Seely
Art by: Javier Fernandez
Published by: DC Comics
Release Date: September 7, 2016

Price: $2.99

Summary: ““BETTER THAN BATMAN” part 4! At last, Nightwing and Raptor enact their endgame to shut down the Parliament of Owls permanently! But the Parliament has one last card up its sleeves: The Moloch, a giant owl monster whose mission is simple: eviscerate Nightwing and Raptor.”

This comic was very much a character building relationship story between Raptor and Nightwing. The two are fighting side by side a lot of the time in this comic, saving innocent people, and even reveal that Raptor was part of the circus like Dick was. I really liked it, but I feel like the writer was not doing any real plot structure.

The one part I really enjoyed about this comic is the building relationship between Dick and Bruce. It’s something that they still work on because Dick has left for so long. It’s really nice and it was nice to see it outside a fighting setting.

The art is starting to grow on me, but it’s still very weird that Bruce looks more like Dick than Dick is suppose to.

Powerpuff Girls #3 

ppg2016_03-cover-330x500Title: Powerpuff Girls
Written by: Jake Goldman and Haley Mancini
Art by: Derek Charm
Published by: IDW Comics
Release Date: September 14, 2016

Price: $3.99

Summary: “Donny the Unicorn may have magical unicorn powers but you know what he doesn’t have? Money. Lucky for him, Princess Morbucks is hiring a personal assistant and is more than willing to have a superpowered magical unicorn in her employ. But when she wants him to help her destroy his BFF’s Powerpuff Girls, Donny must decide what’s more important to him!”

I really have been enjoying this comic series so far, but sadly, this comic is my least favorite so far.

I hate the character Donny. I know he’s new and from the show, but he’ so annoying. At one point, he even references The Legend of Zelda TV series from 1989 doing the signature phrase “Well, excuuuuuuuuuse me!” Really? What child is going to get that reference? I barely know the reference and I was born in 1994. He also mentions waffles constantly. What is with Cartoon Network shows referencing waffles so much?

Another thing I really didn’t like about the comic is the fact that there’s loose references to the old show. Princess is in the comic, but then at the beginning of the comic, the girls have after school jobs. How old are they? Aren’t they suppose to be 5?

The art is really the only good thing, but again, it looks better as a comic, not as a show.

Sherlock: A Study in Pink #4

sherlock_manga_asip_04_cover_a-1

Title: Sherlock: A Study in Pink

Written by: Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat

Art by: Jay

Published by: Titan Comics

Release Date: September 14, 2016

Price: $3.99

Summary: “Sherlock and John take to the streets of London on a breathless foot chase – but is their quarry any closer to being caught? What kind of mind does it take to baffle – and challenge – the peerless Sherlock Holmes?! The mystery deepens in the latest thrilling issue of the Sherlock manga!”

This comic really almost ignited my shipping heart again. I use to heavily ship Johnlock and the scene of them at the restaurant is probably what started it. The dialogue is very funny and it’s shown a lot better through the show.

One of the benefits of having this medium is the fact that you get a panel seeing John leaving his cane behind. You could argue that this would ruin the surprise, but I found it very cute. I also really like showing the maps and streets of London so you could see where they would be going.

The art style is still really nice, but I’m glad they’re using the medium to their advantage.

Archie #12

arch12Title: Archie

Written by: Mark Waid

Art by: Thomas Pittilli

Published by: Archie Comics

Release Date: September 21, 2016

Price: $3.99

Summary: “The end of an era for Riverdale’s power couple! The romantic rivalries and not-so-friendly competitions in Riverdale will finally come to an end as newly-crowned queen of Riverdale Veronica Lodge is sent packing once and for all! What does this mean for Archie? You won’t want to miss this one!”

This comic felt so rushed and short. Every single bit. The fighting, the blowing over the election, Veronica leaving. I think this is so that way we can forget about all those little pesky story lines when the next issue is going to be about the arrival of Cheryl Blossom.

I understand wanting to only have one bitchy rich girl, but I don’t feel bad about her leaving. Throughout this entire comic series, Veronica has ruined relationships, made Archie look like a jerk with not caring about his family or friends, technically ruined a teaching and political career, and have her uproot Archie’s family so that way she can have what she want. Oh yeah, I’m suppose to be sympathetic and miss her. Not gonna happen.

Minor nit pick, but someone please teach Archie Comics how cellphone batteries work. While trying to get in contact with Veronica, Archie’s battery starts at 20%. When she finally contacts and all he did was get dressed, it’s dropped to 3. Either Archie has the literal worst battery ever or the Archie comics needed to add more unnecessary tension.

The art style is not even something to really enjoy because it looks like something from an anime made not in Japan. It’s a shame because I do like this comic series, though it frustrates the hell out of me.

Basically, this whole issue and Veronica leaving left me like this:

Jughead #9

jughead9charmTitle: Jughead

Written by: Ryan North

Art by: Derek Charm

Published by: Archie Comics

Release Date: September 7, 2016

Price: $3.99

Summary: “(It’s kind of like a) BRAND NEW #1… except it’s issue #9! SABRINA makes her debut in the NEW RIVERDALE and things are about to get INSANE! New story! New arc! New creative team! Pop Tate’s has a new mascot: it’s a lady in a burger costume with a giant burger for a head! And she never takes off that giant burger head! And she and Jughead really hit it off, probably for that very reason! But is it possible Burger Lady is MORE than she appears? Find out what happens when Jughead meets a burger he REALLY likes—and a POWERFUL and unexpected new force in Riverdale is revealed!! P.S.: that powerful and unexpected new force is SABRINA THE TEENAGE WITCH! SHE’S the Burger Lady!”

I really like this comic series still. Even with the new writer, I’ve really enjoyed it.

From beginning to end, this comic is fun, and it kind of worried me a bit. The whole comic is about Jughead slowly becoming friends with a Burger Lady that advertises outside of Pop’s. He does eventually get asked out by her, and he’s going through the “I have no idea what to do with dates because asexual”.

The only thing I didn’t like is the fact that we don’t really know it’s Sabrina until the end and we don’t get to know her at all. Hopefully, it will be made up for next comic.

Cyborg #1

cyb_cv1_575eefd05a2c38-70731788Title: Cyborg

Written by: John Semper Jr

Art by: Will Conrad

Published by: DC Comics

Release Date: September 21, 2016

Price: $2.99

Summary:“THE IMITATION OF LIFE” part one! Cyborg is thrown into conflict with every robotic threat to the DC Universe as a brand new era begins for Victor Stone, courtesy of writer John Semper Jr. (Spider-Man: The Animated Series) and artist Will Conrad (Angel & Faith)!”

I really like this comic as well. The internal struggle of “Am I still who am I with these robotic parts or am I just a shell of it?” is a really good and it’s better than most of the Rebirth issues where this issue is dropped.

One of the things I really liked is the fact that almost all the characters are black. They could have easily just made Victor and his folks black with everyone being white, but instead, they really take advantage of the Detroit setting. From seeing Blue, the blind veteran that sings the blues, and his friend Sarah, it’s great to see the diverse characters. Even little fans that come up to him while he was trying to be incognito to get ice cream are black and it’s cute.

The only thing I really didn’t like was the reference to Superman in the Justice League (this is the third one this month I noticed) and they were shitting out exposition when Cyborg Rebirth is a thing. If this was fixed, it probably would have been my favorite comic this month.

Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #2

5271496-bg_bop_2Title: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey

Written by: Julie and Shawna Benson

Art by: Claire Roe

Published by: DC Comics

Release Date: September 14, 2016

Price: $2.99

Summary: ““WHO IS ORACLE?” part 3! Batgirl, Black Canary, and Huntress must team up with the GCPD to protect a mafia capo from an attack by his one-time friends! He’s the only man with a lead on the nefarious new Oracle…but dead men tell no tales! Of course, it’s hard to make a team-up work when the team’s ready to tear itself apart on its first mission!”

This comic is very action packed at the beginning, but as we get into more it, it’s a heavy dialogue comic. I did love the commentary except for when Batgirl’s thoughts were interrupting someone while they were talking since it was clunky.

I really didn’t like the fact that Gordon, Barbra’s dad, literally called Batman to help out with this. Sure, he doesn’t know that Batgirl is Babs, but really? Batman? She couldn’t handle this at all herself?

I would have to say that this is my least favorite of the series so far, but it’s not terrible like Powerpuff Girls #3 was.

Wonder Woman #6

ww_cv6_57605bf60db6c5-77380902Title: Wonder Woman

Written by: Greg Rucka

Art by: Nicola Scott

Published by: DC Comics

Release Date: September 14, 2016

Price: $2.99

Summary: ““WONDER WOMAN YEAR ONE” part 3! Diana brings Steve back home, but the reception is not what either of them expected. Amid suspicion and a looming threat, the Patrons pay a visit, and new friendships are forged.”

I didn’t think I was going to like this issue. It started off with a bunch of “They’re going to be love interests” cliches between Diana and Steve as well as “foreigner in a new land” cliches. I wasn’t holding out for much on this one, and sadly, this is the story line I like of the two going on so it would be disappointing.

What instead happen was I ended up feeling bad for Diana. She’s trapped in jail in a world where she doesn’t know the language and little to no one is really trying to help figure out what she’s saying or why she’s here. It’s not even until the end of the comic that someone can attempt to figure it out.

I also really love the cover for this issue. The animals are the Gods visiting her and they really captured how happy she is to have things that understand her.

Batman #7

batman-7-08367Title: Batman

Written by: Tom King

Art by: Riley Rossmo

Published by: DC Comics

Release Date: September 21, 2016

Price: $2.99

Summary: ““NIGHT OF THE MONSTER MEN” part 1! The first crossover of the “Rebirth” era is here! As a huge storm approaches, Batman, Batwoman, and Nightwing try and prepare Gotham City for the worst, but nothing can prepare them for enormous tall monsters rampaging through the streets! Batman will need all of his allies to unite in order to stop these mad science monsters from tearing their city apart!”

This was a very heavy plan story. Batwoman is introduced and she’s there to help with not only the flooding but helping the grotesque monster men that show up near the end of the story. I don’t know much about her, but between this issue and Nightwing, I’m excited to figure out who she is.

One of the little things I liked was the fact that Luke wanted to go out there and be a part of the action. It’s very much a Robin trait and even though he’s not one, it’s cute to see. I also like that Batman told him to “check the syllabus” for when he could go and help out and be ready. Especially since I’m in college now and am always checking my syllabuses (syllabi?), it cracked me up that even Robins get one.

I did like the art for this. Though it was a little nasty to look at the monster men, that means the art style is doing its job!

Justice League #5

justl_cv5_dsTitle: Justice League
Written by: Bryan Hitch
Art by: Sandu Florea and Tony S. Daniel
Published by: DC Comics
Release Date: September 21, 2016
Price: $2.99

Summary: ““THE EXTINCTION MACHINE” part 5! In this concluding chapter, the race to the corners of the Earth is on for Aquaman as he holds the key to saving our planet from destruction—if he can make it in time before the last doomsday machine powers up! Can Superman survive his trip to the Earth’s core? Is this the final battle between the Justice League and The Kindred—or just the start of something far worse?

We’re finally finishing this fucking plot and I can’t wait for it to be done. This issue really showed all of them working as a team to defeat these creatures, even when they were taking some of their powers. Even Superman actually helped out.

One of the things that I really liked about this was the art. The art looked amazing for this issue. The backgrounds and the textures for the monsters were really awesome. I can’t wait for next issue and see what happens.

Nightwing #5

ntw_cv5_575f4a55bb3568-32152773Title: Nightwing
Written by: Steve Orlando and Tom Seely
Art by: Roge Antonio
Published by: DC Comics
Release Date: September 21, 2016
Price: $2.99

Summary: ““Night of the Monster Men” part 2! The Monster Men are stomping their way through Gotham City. How can the Bat-team face the monsters and the storm of the century? And when Nightwing goes behind the scenes to discover where the monsters came from, what lurks in the shadows may be worse than the monsters themselves!”

I honestly can’t understand why this plot was continued here and not in the next issue of Batman. I kept sitting there reading this going “Great story. Why is it in Nightwing though?”. I did like this story and it looks like it’s continuing in another comic I don’t get.

It’s sad this isn’t continuing in a comic I’m reading because I want to see what happens to Claire. They threw in this “she dies if she uses more of her power” story and she’s disobeying Batman to just that. I do want to see it.

I really liked the fact that there was a Bat Beacon, which was a recorded message for Gotham to get them to safety. I think it was really sweet and thoughtful of Batman to do that.

Raven #1

raven_cv1Title: Raven
Written by: Marv Wolfman
Art by: Alisson Borges
Published by: DC Comics
Release Date: September 21, 2016
Price: $2.99

Summary: ““The White Carnival” part 1! In a tale set between TEEN TITANS #24 and TEEN TITANS: REBIRTH #1, Raven takes a break from the team and moves to San Francisco to stay with her estranged aunt and face her most perilous challenge yet: high school! As Raven discovers more about her human side, one of her classmates goes missing under mysterious circumstances, and she must face an evil like none she’s known before!”

This comic is not in the Rebirth series, but I loved it none the less. From the summary alone, I knew I was going to like it, and I was absolutely right.

I loved the fact that Raven sees her cousin praying to God while eating dinner at her aunt’s house. It’s so different from Raven’s world and it’s going to be interesting to see if she will connect with this family.

I love the actual art style (which the comic is not it) and I love her outfit (pictured below) that she’s in. It looks goth like and like her uniform without it screaming “I used to be a hero with the Teen Titans!” I also love the fact that her speech bubbles are different from everyone’s, too. It adds to the style.

raven-1-2-3

Tune in next month to read my October pull box reviews!

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Courtney’s Pullbox: July 2016

[Warning: Spoilers ahead]

I was very blessed to get a lot of comics this month including a few new ones! This month’s pullbox has:

  • Archie #9
  • Wonder Woman #1 (New to the box!)
  • Disney Princess #4
  • Steven Universe and the Crystal Gems #4
  • Sherlock: A Study in Pink #2
  • Wonder Woman #2
  • Powerpuff Girls #1 (New to the box!)
  • Batman #2
  • Justice League #1 (New to the box!)
  • Nightwing: Rebirth #1 (New to the box!)
  • The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina #6

Archie #9

Archie-cover-7b282 Title: Archie
Written by: Mark Waid
Art byVeronica Fish, Andre Szymanowicz, Jen Vaughn, and Jack Morelli
Published by: Archie Comics
Release Date: June 22,2016
Price: $3.99

Summary: Archie is forever barred from Lodge Manor! Now Veronica has to live in Archie’s world if she wants to see him—and she’s turning the whole Andrews family upside-down!”

This issue focuses on Veronica moving in with Archie’s family and the radical changes in the house after Archie’s mother, Mrs. Andrews, lets Veronica make herself at home. Some of these radical changes include huge televisions and maids. This leads to Mrs. Andrews not even doing the things she enjoys, like gardening, since there are now people doing it for her.

It’s very clear that the writer of this comic, Mark Waid, is trying to push sympathy for Veronica and Archie. Waid is trying to have the audience feel “Oh poor Archie and Veronica! They can’t be together anywhere it seems!” but I personally couldn’t feel it, and I felt so bad for Mrs. Andrews this entire comic. Archie’s mother was having her life uprooted and she couldn’t even get support from her husband, who was so absorbed in the new TV Veronica got for the house.

There is also a brief mention of Betty admitting her feelings to Archie, which lead to an almost kiss, but it wasn’t something that stuck with me ( even though I like Betty and Archie together). Most of the comic featured the obvious changes in the Andrews’ house and feeling bad for poor old Archie and Veronica.

The only thing I liked in this entire comic was the part where Mrs. Andrews was setting the table for dinner and Veronica, who wanted to help out, asked where the “wine glasses” were. She was holding in her hand a Josie and the Pussycats glass while asking, and I appreciated the little nod since it has been announced that a comic about the girl band will be coming out in September.

Archie was a huge jerk in this comic to those around him, making this the third comic to portray him this way. I sincerely hope the next comic shelves his poor attitude.

Wonder Woman #1

WW-Cv1-ds-b4e0f

Title: Wonder Woman #1
Written by: Greg Rucka
Art byLiam Sharp
Published by: DC Comics
Release Date: June 22, 2016
Price: $2.99

Summary: ” “THE LIES” Chapter One. Why has the Lasso of Truth stopped working for the Amazon Princess? Start down the rabbit hole as dark secrets from Wonder Woman’s past unravel her present! THEY SAID IT: “Drawing Wonder Woman isn’t just drawing a comic, it’s drawing an icon — the most famous and recognizable female superhero in the world,” exclaims artist Liam Sharp. “To get to draw her in her 75th year, with a new storyline scribed by no less than Greg Rucka, makes this without a doubt the most important drawing gig of my 30 years in comics.” “

Sorry to be blunt, but this is not very good for a first comic.

Readers don’t get to know really anything about Wonder Woman, nor do they learn anything about Steve besides the fact that he’s an army dude looking for Wonder Woman. Though it was interesting enough and made me want to continue reading this comic, the story was really confusing, and it just wasn’t a comprehensive way to introduce these two story lines.

The only positive thing about this comic is the art. All of the characters look like they are real people, and I really like how Wonder Woman was designed (which was something I mentioned this when I saw the first Rebirth comic).

I will be later reviewing Wonder Woman #2 in this Pullbox so let’s see if my views have changed!

Disney Princess #4

3491861

TitleDisney Princess #4
Written by: Geoffrey Golden, Georgia Ball, and Amy Mebberson
Art by: Amy Mebberson
Published by: Joe Books
Release Date: June 29, 2016
Price: $.299

Summary: The hit series continues! Disney’s beloved heroines have returned in this hilarious collection of Disney Princess comic strips! Featuring laugh-out-loud stories from the worlds of Ariel, Belle, Rapunzel, Tiana, Cinderella, Aurora, and more, this charming ongoing series will make all your royal dreams come true.”

The writers have finally added titles to the comics, and I’m very happy with this change. Before this issue, none of these short comics had titles, so I would have to sit there and write in my notes whose comic it was. The titles make talking about the comics so much easier in a review format.

My favorite comics from this month’s issue were “Tryouts”, “Tumbleweeds”, and “Defensive Training”. “Tryouts” is a Tiana comic, while “Tumbleweeds” is a Belle comic, and “Defensive Training” is a Mulan comic.

“Tryouts” is about Charlotte and Tiana trying to find the perfect guy for Charlotte in a speed dating type system. Though I love the outfits in this comic (especially Charlotte’s) I feel like the message was wrong for this. Near the end of the comic section, Tiana tells Lottie that she doesn’t need a man, but throughout this comic, you can see Tiana and Naveen together and even occasionally kissing. It seems a little hypocritical for that to be the message from her.

“Tumbleweeds” is a very short comic about Beast’s fur/hair collecting up around the house enough to make tumbleweeds. I found this to be a very funny and very relatable situation, since when I have very long hair, it will fall out all over the place. In fact, it was once so bad that my hair ruined our vacuum. In all, I found the comic to be very short and very cute.

“Defensive Training” is one of the longer comics, and even though I have a strong stance on Mulan not being a princess, Mulan’s stories are almost always the best. This specific story was about her teaching the men how to fight like she does. The thing I really liked about it was that the three men have different styles with fighting. It’s easy to play into characteristics when it’s something simple and you can easily spread it out between characters.

Steven Universe and the Crystal Gems #4

SU-CrystalGems-004-A-Main-84569

Title: Steven Universe and the Crystal Gems #4
Written by: Josceline Fenton
Art by: Chrystin Garland
Published by: Kaboom! Comics
Release Date: June 29, 2016
Price: $3.99

Summary: Final issue! Steven and the Gems try to defend themselves against the Glass Ghost.” 

Though I’m sad that this comic is now over, I actually really enjoyed this comic as an individual issue and as a series. What I really enjoyed about this is the fact that all the Gems were captured and so Steven had to defeat the Glass Ghost pretty much by himself. It was hinted earlier in the series that he probably could defeat the ghost by himself when he made the bubble to protect him and his dad. This was a really nice callback that shows that Steven can do things on his own.

I love the little details in this comic. Amethyst got a little bit of a comeuppance when it came to Garnet and Pearl scaring her with the original Glass Ghost story. Even though it was a quick little scare, it was a really sweet thing to put into the story.

I think this short comic series is perfect for those who are fans of the television series, or, conversely, for those who are wondering if they should get into the show.

Sherlock: A Study in Pink #2

Sherlock-Manga-ASIP-02-Cover-A-f02b8

Title: Sherlock: A Study in Pink #2
Written by: Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss
Art by: Jay
Published by: Titan Comics
Release Date: July 13, 2016
Price: $3.99

Summary: “The Japanese SHERLOCK Manga continues in an all-new English edition, adapting the episodes of the smash-hit BBC America/Hartswood Films TV show! As Sherlock (Benedict Cumberbatch) and John (Martin Freeman) move in to 221B Baker Street and begin their tentative crime-solving partnership, the mystery of a citywide spate of ‘serial suicides’ remains – and Sherlock is dragged deeper into the depraved world of the killer!”

This may be really weird to say, but the details of the hands in this manga are either really good or really bad. When Sherlock is holding things or when he was checking the dead woman’s clothing, his hands looked great, but then there are scenes with Anderson where his fingers are as long as the side of his face. Manga is still a weird art style to me.

Sally Donovan looks awesome in this comic. I know a lot of people do not like Sally, but I think she looks really good in the comic, and it’s definitely worth a mention. It’s hilarious that Anderson looks better in the comic compared to the show. It’s clear in the show that the actor is wearing a terrible wig, but in the comic, it doesn’t look that way at all.

But as with the previous issue, this comic once again doesn’t bring full effect in regards to Sherlock’s thinking. When his thinking is on the screen, you feel like you can see exactly what he’s thinking, as if you’re in his brain with him. With manga as the medium, the effect isn’t the same. This medium also ruins reactions at times. During the show, when Anderson comes in to give his opinion, the door being slammed in his face is funny because it’s such a quick reaction, but it’s hard for readers to pick this humor up in the manga.

This comic is still following the show pretty closely, and though I have minor complaints, I’m enjoying it.

Wonder Woman #2

WW-Cv2-ds-1dfbb Title: Wonder Woman #2
Written by: Greg Rucka
Art by: Nicola Scott
Published by: DC Comics
Release Date: July 13, 2016
Price: $2.99

Summary: ““WONDER WOMAN YEAR ONE” Chapter One: Running parallel to Greg Rucka and Liam Sharp’s “The Lies,” Rucka and artist Nicola Scott weave the definitive and shocking tale of Diana’s first year as Earth’s protector.”

I really loved the art in this comic, especially when Diana is being shown with the Amazonian-type society of women. It’s done in a slight ancient Greek style of art.

With the subtle change between Diana and Steve, you can see Diana becoming slowly more human. However, the parallels between Diana and Steve went way too long in my opinion. It felt like the writer included a lot of long filler to try and get exposition out until the plane crashes. They really want the plane crash to be a cliff hanger ending to get you to read it, but when you’ve gone through half a comic with filler, you’re kind of glad it’s over.

I did enjoy this comic for the most part, but much like with the first issue, I’ll have to keep reading and figure out if it’s worth continuing. I do like some aspects, but there isn’t a real story yet.

Powerpuff Girls #1

PPG-2016-01-pr-1-b3904Title: Powerpuff Girls #1
Written by: Haley Mancini and Jake Goldman
Art by: Derek Charm
Published by: IDW Comics
Release Date: July 13, 2016
Price: $2.99

Summary: “Ah, the City of Townsville, home to none other than: THE POWERPUFF GIRLS! But things have been pretty calm lately… So much so, that Blossom, Bubbles, and Buttercup have fallen out of the public eye-which makes it the perfect time for their super-simian arch nemesis Mojo Jojo to take over and win the hearts of millions, backed by his army of paparazzi!”

I was reluctant to pick this comic up. I used to watch this show a lot as a kid, but after seeing some of the new episodes, I wasn’t interested in the series revival. I was hoping and praying that the comic wasn’t written like the show, and luckily it wasn’t.

The plot of this comic is actually really funny. I was found especially funny that they made Mojo Jojo slightly out of character with his speech pattern. Everything that lead up to the final battle at an award’s ceremony was pretty funny and ultimately, I did enjoy the comic for the most part.

The art isn’t that bad in a comic form as compared to the television show. I think it works much better on this medium (much like Teen Titans Go!) This comic doesn’t feel like the show, which is very pandering and unknowing of the characters at times, but instead a new story from the girls.

Batman #2

batman-2-cover-a0299Title: Batman #2
Written by: Tom King
Art by: David Finch and Matt Banning
Published by: DC Comics
Release Date: July 6, 2016
Price: $2.99

Summary: “”I AM GOTHAM” Chapter Two: In issue #2, after a brush with disaster, Batman struggles to reconcile the fate he could be leaving behind for his city, and reaches out to the idealistic new hero, Gotham. But an evil is building that may overcome both Batman and his new ally.”

This comic was not only stuffed with filler, but it was also confusing and missed parts that should have been explained better. At the end of the last issue, Batman, Gotham, and Gotham Girl all met up while Batman was trying to save the city, but when it came to the beginning of this issues, they’re working together. They never mention how they got to that point, so it’s confusing for people who are following a series that just started not even a few months ago.

The art is still good and there are a few funny moments, but it was really just filler. There was action occasionally, but really, this is filler all around, and I might not continue with this comic unless it gets a better story.

Justice League #1

JUSTICE-LEAGUE-Cv1-by-Tony-S-Daniel-and-Tomeu-Morey-eb0de

Title: Justice League #1
Written by: Bryan Hitch
Art by: Tony S. Daniel and Sandu Florea
Published by: DC Comics
Release Date: July 20, 2016
Price: $2.99

Summary: ” “THE EXTINCTION MACHINE” Chapter One The oceans rise. The earth quakes. And an ancient power rises to reclaim not just the world, but the universe itself—and not even the combined might of the Justice League can stop it. An all-new era begins with this epic by comic book legend Bryan Hitch (JLA, The Ultimates) and master storyteller Tony S. Daniel (BATMAN: R.I.P., DEATHSTROKE).”

This whole comic was the Justice League acting like they can’t do anything without Superman. Now I don’t hate Superman, but he’s my least favorite superhero in the Justice League (and in general). Though this is something I know, this whole comic was talking about how the League can’t fight without Superman.

Superman is supposedly “dead” and now living somewhere in secret with his wife, Lois Lane, and his young son. Because the town is to be destroyed by a monster that no one on the team can defeat, Superman comes back to the team and helps save the day. The fact that apparently none of these superheroes are anything compared to the only Superman is maddening.

I’m not sure if I’ll continue this series, but I’ll read the second one and see what comes up. Stay tuned!

Nightwing: Rebirth #1

NTWREB_Cv1_57082f747debd3.72475684Title: Nightwing Rebirth #1
Written by: Tim Seely
Art by: Javier Fernandez
Published by: DC Comics
Release Date: July 13, 2016
Price: $2.99

Summary: “He’s been Robin, Batman, a spy, a ghost. Now, Dick Grayson returns to Gotham City to reclaim the life that was taken from him. But when a new evil threatens those he loves most, Nightwing faces being torn away from home once again in order to destroy the dark force once and for all. Powerhouse artist Yanick Paquette (BATMAN, SWAMP THING) joins series writer Tim Seeley (GRAYSON, BATMAN & ROBIN ETERNAL) to return Nightwing to the DC superhero stage!”

This comic was pretty okay for a starter comic. Dick doesn’t become Nightwing again until the end of the comic, but it’s still really alright. I liked the moments with Damien, trying to figure out what’s best, and talking to Alfred as well as Batman himself. The writing for this is pretty good and I will be continuing reading it, but there’s one thing I don’t like about this.

The art style makes Dick Grayson look not human. He’s over muscular and not proportional in any way. I know that this is a comic book, but he doesn’t look like he’s even supposed to be human. This is more obvious at the end when he’s in his Nightwing suit. Everyone else, however, looks normal (which is weird to me). I don’t know how long I’ll be able to handle this art style.

The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina #6

ChillingAdventuresOfSabrina-06-0-d6598Title: The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina #6
Written by: Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa
Art by: Robert Hack
Published by: Archie Comics
Release Date: July 13, 2016
Price: $4.99

Summary: “The ongoing series continues! “Familiars” is the perfect jumping-on point for the critically acclaimed horror hit Sabrina! Every witch needs a familiar, and through the ages, Salem has faithfully fulfilled his duties to Sabrina. This chapter lifts back the cloak of time to reveal the dark history of how Salem came to be and serve his master. For TEEN+ readers.”

This issue is a perfect example of how you do a filler comic well.

There have been a few filler comics this Pullbox, but this one is the only one that I really think did it right. Instead of taking the time to fill it up with action that leads to nowhere, this comic focused on character development for a character that usually doesn’t get a full story: Salem. Though it’s not just up front and immediate, the art paired with the stories being told for this one go really well together.

Sabrina’s cousin, Ambrose, has two snakes (his familiars) who ask Salem about how he became a cat after seeing that he wouldn’t eat a mouse. The two snakes try to ease Salem into telling his story by telling their own story of how they got that way and how they got to Ambrose. The story, in short, is that the two of them were the son and daughter of a sultan who was about to remarry someone that was around the same age of siblings. The two decide to go to a psychic, who tells them to try and kill the soon-to-be stepmother and wait for their father to pretty much die of old age. The psychic tells the King the plan he told the kids to do and ultimately it ends up with them being snakes, no longer allowed near the house, and moving from place to place in hopes that someone with magic will change them back (P.S. The two of them end up dying in an elephant trampling anyways). This part of the comic is amazing because with the art paired with the story, you get to know characters without it feeling like they’re force feeding you exposition and backstory.

So what’s Salem’s story? Known as Samuel, his real name, he arrives in Boston in 1692 where almost all of the passengers were dying of the Black Plague on a ship except for him. He hears of work at Salem Village and meets John Proctor, who lets him do land work as long as he’s okay with being paid only with food and sleeping in a barn. He accepts, of course, and ends up sleeping with his boss’s servant, Abigail Williams. As Samuel grows closer to the Proctor family, he finds out that he has impregnated Abigail and she wants him to marry her. Samuel says he can’t do it and suggests that she should abandon the child in the forest since neither of them can raise it. It turns out that Abigail is a witch and with the help of the Dark Lord himself, Samuel gets turned into a cat, now named Salem after the mayhem he has caused. He was also told that he will have be a mentor to a girl who is half magic and with him mentoring her, he might be turned back human.

This story is amazing and I would say that if you want to read any of the Sabrina comics, this one should be it. The art works best with this story, and the story it’s told so far. This is exactly how you do filler that’s not boring and worthless to read.

My August pullbox will be here before we know it! Check back next month for more reviews!

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