With stories from the comics becoming an ever more dominant force in pop culture, it’s important to remember their origins. Comic books have become the laboratories of our movies, tv shows, and video games. So every week, we pick out our three favorite comic books of the week. It’s our Pull List, and it’s the thing we look forward to most each week.
This week we picked a new issue from DC Comics, Marvel, and Image. Two issues are the start of new series, while one is a continuation of a well-known story.
Vertigo (DC Comics)
Joshua Williamson, Riley Rossmo, & Ivan Plascencia
Antonio Luna claims his life story is the most interesting one of all time. Whether or not that’s true remains to be seen, but it’s certainly off to a good start. Death Bed introduces us to Luna via his newly commissioned biographer, Valentine Richards. While Luna battles mummy assassins and assorted ethereal enemies, Richards struggles with deadlines and poor finances. But despite their problems being on sometimes literally different planes of existence, Luna and Richards seem to recognize a kindred adventurous spirit in each other. It’s not the most original dynamic, but it works well in Death Bed.
Joshua Williamson and Riley Rossmo rush through the book at a refreshingly dynamic pace, the banter between characters flowing quickly and maintaining the kind of frenetic pacing a wacky adventure like Death Bed needs. The art, Ivan Plascencia’s coloring in particular, effectively balances Luna’s extravagant and cartoonish lifestyle with Richards’ comparatively more mundane. The page layout deserves some particular praise, mixing up the format from one to the next and keeping the fast-paced action intelligible without becoming monotonous. It’s an intriguing start and, if it can keep up the exciting pacing and sense of thrilling adventure, Death Bed could be a new ongoing series to keep an eye on.
MIGHTY THOR #704
Jason Aaron & Russell Dauterman
As Jane Foster’s tenure as Thor begins to approach its conclusion, it does so with a characteristic mix of captivating fantasy epic and tragic personal drama that has defined Jason Aaron’s run with the character. Issue 704 feels ripped out of the Walt Simonson run on Thor in the best possible way; specifically some heavy doses of the Surtur Saga. Thor and the All-Father do battle against a seemingly unstoppable foe across Asgard, and what could have been another trite punching brawl becomes an epic battle of unparalleled scale in the hands of Russell Dauterman’s art. The Casket of Ancient Winters even gets a name drop.
But that’s not even what makes Issue 704, indeed the whole Jason Aaron run on Thor, feel so special. It’s that it mixes this epic story with the very personal, and heartbreaking, journey of Jane Foster. Where the battles give us wide views of combat, the panels inside the cancer ward are up close. They play with focus. There are pages with virtually no dialogue. And in an issue filled with flashy battles and massive stakes, it’s the one inside Foster that weighs most heavily. Where the two come together is breathtaking and makes Issue 704 of Thor more than worthy of picking up.
POSTAL: MARK #1
Matt Hawkins, Raffaele Ienco
There wasn’t anything wrong with the old Postal. It was a series built on a great concept; a town where criminals get a second chance. There are some interesting characters and situations, like a young man with Aspergers who was raised in the town but has no criminal record. But it never quite got the widespread notice it may have deserved. Now, though like the residents of Eden it has some troubles escaping its past, Postal: Mark is the second chance the series has needed.
Postal: Mark is still centered around characters and ongoing storylines from earlier arcs in Postal, but there’s enough background provided and context clues slipped throughout the book that a new reader to the series may lose some of the finer details but it can still serve as a jumping on point for the series.
New art by Raffaele Ienco brings some new life to the book as well, providing a very different perspective on familiar characters and settings. The old style could be hit or miss depending on personal preferences, and Ienco’s work feels more conventionally styled in a way that impresses while still remaining grounded.
Oh, Post Mark. I get it now.
Those are our 3 favorite comics from this week! What do you think? Which books were on the top of your stack this week? Let us know in the comments, or on Twitter @NerdItHereFirst. And don’t forget to follow us so you won’t miss a single one of our comic book recommendations.