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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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Courtney’s Pull Box: April 2016

[Warning:  this post contains comic book spoilers]

My April Pull Box included some great new comic issues, and this month I’ve added some new comics! Here is this months list:

  • Jughead #5
  • A-Force #1-4 (New!)
  • Steven Universe and the Crystal Gems #1 (New!)
  • Archie #7
  • Starfire #11

Jughead #5

Written by: Chip Zdarsky

Art by: Erica Henderson and Jack Morelli

Publisher: Archie Comics

Price: $3.99

Release Date: March 23, 2016

To figure out more about Principal Stanger and his plans, Jughead and his friends enlist the help of Wade, a side character who has been held back because he has bounced from high school to high school. One of those years, he was a principal in another near by city.

Reggie helps the gang get to that city to further investigate, and there they meet people who are basically their gender opposites. This was definitely one of my favorite parts of the comic because I like the idea of alternate universes and gender reversals. The characters did have little nods to the originals, like girl Jughead who had a little crown barrette in her hair. This plot line was interesting and I hope that they continue with it.

This month’s comic is basically what I’ve been asking for from this series: to move with the plot and show me a story. Before, it seemed much more focused on the references of the dream sequences, which is great and all, but stories are really helpful when it comes to comics. The dream sequence looks like it might reoccur in the next comic, so it will be interesting to see how that will further the plot.

As far as the art is concerned, the art style in this comic issue is good…as always!

A-Force #1-#4

a force #2Written by: G. Willow Wilson and Kelly Thompson

Artist: Jorge Molina

Publisher: Marvel Comics

Price: $3.99

Release Date: #1 on January 6, 2016, #2 on February 3, 2016, #3 on March 2, 2016, and #4 on April 13, 2016

There’s a place called Battleworld and a part of it, there was a paradise called Arcadia, and it was protected by the A-Force. Now that Battleworld is gone, so is the A-Force, and it is up to Singularity to bring them back together to stop Antimatter.

The team is comprised of Medusa, She-Hulk, Singularity, Captain Marvel, Nico Minoru, and Dazzler. I’m torn as to who my favorite character is. I love everyone because they each are an important part of the team, even if they don’t originally remember already being a part of a team. I particularly really love Singularity – she reminds me a lot of Starfire in that she is an innocent, naive, fish out of water type character. I also really love space and galaxies, and her whole body is just a galaxy.

I love the art in this comic. I wanted to say that Medusa was my favorite just based on looks alone, but everyone looks unique and beautiful, which makes my heart smile more than this amazing girl team. Dazzler reminded me of one of my friends, which is wonderful since superheroes are often scrutinized for not looking realistic. It’s nice to see that some of them do look sort of human (or as human as you can get).

When it comes to the story, the fight with Antimatter seemed really long. I know they prolonged it in order to properly introduce the whole team, but I feel like it could have been done in fewer comics. That aside, I did really enjoy this comic.

Steven Universe #1

Su_and_the_cgsWritten by: Josephine Fenton

Art by: Chrystin Garland

Publisher: Kaboom! Studios

Price: $3.99

Release Date: March 16, 2016

Steven and the Gems decide to go on a camping trip, much like how  Steven and his dad use to. While on the trip, Steven teaches the Gems typical camp traditions like setting up the tent and making smores. They even tell ghost stories and Pearl tells the story that they (Pearl and Garnet) told Amethyst to keep her from running off.

I haven’t watched much of the show, but from what I’ve seen, I loved it. Amethyst is my favorite character and I do see my own locked-away rebellious nature in her. The only character whose personality is really shown in this comic is Amethyst, but we do learn a little bit about Pearl, who is very levelheaded and can be strict. I hope the other stories will expand on Garnet’s reserved and quiet personality.

I thought the story was super short. I know that this is a comic for children, but half of the book is a preview for Over the Garden Wall. Really? There’s no need for it. Children don’t have that short of an attention span – they are more than able to read a fuller sized comic, especially when it’s a comic created for them.

Archie #7

Archie7-FishMainCover-666x1024Written by: Mark Waid

Art by: Veronica Fish

Publisher: Archie Comics

Price: $3.99

Release Date: April 6, 2016

Now that Veronica’s father, Mr. Lodge, has found out that Archie was the one who destroyed their mansion (thanks to Reggie), Mr. Lodge forbids Veronica from dating Archie. Archie desperately is trying to fix the relationship with both Mr. Lodge and Veronica with very little luck. Archie decides to go to Jughead at Pop’s to try and see what he could do about fixing the problem. Pop apparently is very trustworthy and holds secrets about everyone in Riverdale so without revealing anyone’s secret, Archie realizes what he must do. Sadly, when he tries it, he runs into mishaps, and this leads to a question that is probably on a few fans’ minds: #WhatDidReggieDo

I really like how this story is progressing and I can’t wait to see what happens with Reggie. I really have been enjoying the story that Archie has created. I really like the fact that even though Archie is vying for Veronica, the writer doesn’t try to make Betty look like the bad guy when it seems like she has found someone new. They could have easily had Archie be mad about it or be judging her, but instead, it does seem like he is at least wanting to find out about the guy she’s with on a carrying about without being an intrusive ex boyfriend.

Sadly, I do have to end on a sour note again, because much like in the first comic of Archie, they have another hashtag that they want the hip young millennials to interact with, much like the #LipstickIncident. Although this instance was not as blatant as Archie facing the reader and asking for them to do it, it’s still trying way too hard to get that younger audience. I find it a little lazy to try to connect with their audience in this way, and the pandering is annoying to those of us who like Archie but are not in their target demographic. I would like to think that teenagers aren’t also into this pandering, either. This reeks of the same thing that is suppose to be done with ads for Truth.Org’s campaign to end smoking. You don’t need memes or hashtags to get your audience.

Starfire #11

STARF-Cv11-ds-f044cWritten by: Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti

Art by: Elsa Charretier

Publisher: DC Comics

Price: $2.99

Release Date: April 13, 2016

Starfire, Atlee, and Stella are still on Atlee’s home planet, and they’re celebrating their victory with a girl’s weekend. While out on the girl’s weekend, Stella becomes overwhelmingly honest with Starfire at a spring that has water that will make you honest. She tells Starfire a few truthful things that make Starfire question what she’s doing and her current situation on Earth in Key West.

I’m not enjoying the work of the current artist who is working on this comic, but that’s a minor thought. I like the old style, which is shown on the covers, better. I believe that the comic art should match the cover art, but this doesn’t affect the story or anything.

Stella is a character that I’m liking less and less as the comic goes on. I understand being a cop character, but she’s just so unnecessarily overprotective, bossy, and nosy. She is such an overpowering main character, which is one of the reasons why I don’t enjoy this series as much. I still love this issue, don’t get me wrong, but it left a sour feeling in me knowing that Starfire has to requisition everything because Stella reflects her own insecurities on Starfire.

 

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