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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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Courtney’s Pull Box: ‘Archie’, ‘Jughead’, ‘Starfire’ & More!

I have a pull box at the comic book shop I frequent, which ensures that I will get all of my current favorite comics immediately when they come out. In addition to this I can get discounts on graphic novels and a free comic on my birthday! Pull poxes are great, so I highly recommend talking to your comic shop to see what they offer.

My current pull box list includes the following comics:

  • Archie  – current incarnation with no digests (older comics)
  • Jughead – current incarnation with older comics at the end of issue
  • Starfire
  • Chilling Adventures of Sabrina
  • Disney Princess
  • The Legend of Wonder Woman

Even though I love getting these comics, some of them do have their problems. Occasionally these comics will frustrate me or include something I don’t like, so I’ve decided to summarize each comic and explain the pros and cons of each one.

Check them out below!

Archie

Summary: Archie is now set in modern day Riverdale High. Archie and Betty have been together since kindergarten and are absolutely enamored with one another…that is, until the #LipstickIncident. The whole school is abuzz trying to find out what happened, but things get further complicated when Archie lays eyes on new girl Veronica Lodge, whose famous millionaire family just built their mansion in town. Will Betty be able to convince Archie that Veronica is not all she seems to be?

Pros: This series proves that Archie characters will always translate well in nearly every situation. Bringing these characters into modern times may encourage younger readers to be more interested in reading comics,  and older fans will be happy to see that Archie can still be interesting and new.

Archie has been redone in a new art style that works amazingly well, much like how Afterlife with Archie and Chilling Adventures of Sabrina did –  each have their own distinct styles, but still work very well.

The Archie characters are still who they always have been, regardless of the era: Archie is still the clumsy, slightly clueless lead that makes him the perfect every man, and Veronica is still the spoiled, rich girl who always gets her way thanks to her father and his money.

Cons: Some of the references to modern day things are a little difficult to deal with. I felt really ridiculous typing out #LipstickIncident, and it felt as if the writers were trying too hard to get teens into this series.  At the end of the first comic Archie even directly asks the readers for their suggestions on how he could get out of his predicament by using @archiecomics on Tumblr, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

There’s no need for the writers to pander to the audience by relying on hashtags and self promoting – people will send in their suggestions if they find it good enough.

Jughead

Summary: When the principal is replaced with a military-type tyrant who changes everything about their school (including stricter policies and the food), it’s up to Jughead and the gang to find out what happened to Mr. Weatherbee and stop the new principal’s rule.

Pros: Jughead is done in the same art style as Archie, and like Archie it ended up translating really well. I thought Jughead looked cute in this art style when I read the first issue of Archie, and after reading Archie I wanted to see more of him. The story is perfect for Jughead since it puts him in a new situation where he looks like a bad kid. To be honest, I mainly bought this comic because Jughead is Archie Comics first openly asexual character, which is awesome because I always did imagine him that way. Jughead is seemingly more in love with food than people, and he’s only ever been seen with a few girls throughout his run,  so I was happy when it was announced that he was indeed asexual.

Cons: The story really doesn’t seem to be going anywhere yet. There’s been a few things Jughead has done to further the plot, but as of right now the story seems to be slightly more focused on his dream sequences having references than plot development. These dream sequences are all very similar and each seem to cement the fact that Jughead is asexual. I would still recommend this series, but I hope that the story goes further.

Starfire

Summary: Starfire has escaped from being a prisoner and has come to Earth. She tries her best to blend in with normal people and gets a job at the aquarium, but ultimately she ends up being a hero for the planet. Starfire tries to learn about the Earth, which you can see through her very cute thought process of idioms.

Pros: I am in love with the art style of this comic, and this is the cutest interpretation of Starfire that I’ve ever seen. Some of her outfits match her very sweet thoughts and personality, while other outfits are bold and reinforce the fact that she is still very strong. I really love this story because Starfire is the perfect fish out of water character, and the way she interacts with people and discovers things is really sweet and cute.

I really loved this comic all the way around, and I’m sad that it’s ending soon.

Cons: The New 52 story line has a huge plot hole. Half way through the comics Starfire meets Grayson, who, according to the New 52 line, she hasn’t met. She was never in the Teen Titans so she doesn’t him, but in this story, she apparently mourned over him and knew him. I didn’t miss any of the Starfire comics either, so I was very confused by this –  it didn’t make any sense.

The New 52 plotline also altered the fact that Starfire’s sister was the one who sold her to where she was imprisoned, instead having Blackfire and Starfire being very close.

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina

Summary: Sabrina Spellman is just your average teenager growing up in the 1960s… except she is half mortal, half witch. She lives with her aunts, Hilda and Zelda, and her cousin, Ambrose. As her sixteenth birthday approaches, Sabrina must decide if she wants to be a mortal or a witch.

Pros: This story is definitely darker than the Sabrina the Teenage Witch series that aired in the 1990s. It has a similar art style as Afterlife with Archie, but it has a Rosemary’s Baby feel to it, especially in the first comic. Sabrina looks more like her older comic incarnation, which looks wonderful with this art style. The art is very creepy and perfect for Sabrina’s story. If you like creepy stories then I definitely recommend this series, but if you don’t, then I would incline you towards Archie and Jughead.

Cons: Chilling Adventures of Sabrina is amazing, but release dates for this series are very long and sparse. It’s hard to keep up with when this series will be released unless you are constantly checking Facebook for the next release date.

Issue number 5 is set to be released on May 18th.

Disney Princess

Summary: These are short little comics that feature a large range of Disney princesses, each of whom has her own story, making it difficult to accurately summarize these comics. These comics are unique in that they are held vertically, rather than horizontally.

Pros: This is definitely the cutest comic that I’m currently reading. There’s no fighting or action, and it’s a perfect comic for those who want to get into comics but don’t know where to begin. I had low hopes of seeing Snow White (one of my favorites) since she is an older princess, but I was so excited when I saw her in this comic! There’s good mix of the older princesses and the newer princesses, so Disney fans old and new will feel right at home.

Cons: There are no cons since only one issue of this comic is out, and as such there isn’t much to judge on.

The Legend of Wonder Woman

Summary: This is Wonder Woman’s origin story as told as far back as the beginning of the Amazons. Readers are treated to a young, mortal Diana who is destined to be queen. However, Diana shows the strength of her mother, and she wants to be trained.

Pros: There’s only two issues of this comic out right now, but I already love it. Diana as a child is the absolute cutest thing I’ve ever seen, but at the same time she’s very strong. I love the art style, which is a lovely mixture of Greek-style art and comic book art. It makes a beautiful collaboration and it’s something I could stare at forever.

Cons: There are only two issues of this comic currently out, so as of right now there are no cons.

Which comic are you most likely to pick up? Let us know in the comments!

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