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Oh no! Two Pull List posts in a row, I’m slacking.

Thankfully my stack this week is about half that of the past two and with significantly less Marvel stuff. Still looks to be some good reading though. Here’s the three I chose for this week:

Batman #686 (DC)

By Neil Gaiman and Andy Kubert
To say that I have eagerly been anticipating this two-part story is an understatement. An epic understatement. Neil Gaiman is by far one of my favorite storytellers. I use the word storyteller as opposed to author for a reason. He could be considered a novelist or author as he has several published novels that are quite good. He could be considered a writer as he has an intimate history in writing some of the best comics and graphic novels out there. But, what he really does with all these mediums is weave beautiful, intricate, archetypal stories. If you need proof or an example, you need only read his prolific and exalted comic opus, The Sandman. Read it and you will see how he can make any material timeless and amazing.
So Gaiman doing Batman. First off, the title of the story, “Whatever Happened To The Caped Crusader?” is an homage to Alan Moore’s Superman story, “Whatever Happened To The Man Of Tomorrow?”. Appropriately so, since these two are some of the headier, heavy-hitting writers in the biz. The story takes place at Batman’s funeral. His friends and enemies have all gathered to pay their last respects and Selina Kyle, Catwoman, speaks first, recounting their relationship and her version of how he died. Then Alfred takes his turn and tells a tale that can’t possibly be true. All the while, Batman himself is speaking with an unnamed character about how wrong all of this is.
Exactly where all of this is going, I can’t be sure, but I’m along for the ride. It’s only a two=part story too, which is nice, so the whole thing isn’t drawn out and we can get right into Battle For The Cowl in March. The question still remains as to just how dead Batman is because as we all know, no one really stays dead in comic books.

Incognito #2 (Marvel/Icon)

By Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips
I could have sworn I already wrote about #1 but apparently not. No time like present.
This book is on Marvel’s Icon imprint, which is not unlike DC’s Vertigo I guess. While not quite as violent as the MAX stuff, it still allows the writers to stretch their vulgar, gritty limbs and make some really cool stuff without pissing off the parents. This creative team are the masterminds behind the wonderful Criminal series. Brubaker is the current king of noir comics, a today’s Frank Miller. This book is slightly noir but more pulp than anything else.
Incognito is about a former super-villain, thought dead, who has been put into a kind of witness protection program. He’s put on power-suppressing drugs, but eventually he grows dull of his normal life and takes to the streets, this time protecting people from bad guys. The kick for him is simply in the ass-kicking though, he has not a care for the victims themselves. Since the first issue, he’s been suspected and fingered and now he’s being extorted by a co-worker and pursued by his old gang of baddies. It’s pretty good stuff and yet another win from an already established killer team.

Thor #600

By J. Michael Straczynski, Olivier Coipel, and Marko Djurdjevic, Stan Lee, David Aja, Chris Giarrusso, and Jack Kirby
I have never read a single issue of Thor before. I take that back, I did pick up the Angers: Disassembled Thor trade but that’s it. But this book is huge! And expensive at $4.99. But it is, after all, a landmark issue.
So, I find it surprising I’ve never gotten into this book before considering how much I’ve always loved mythology of all kinds. JMS has done a remarkable job of making Thor modern and relevant while mainting the themes and motifs of Norse lore. I’m not sure what happened between Ragnarokk and what happens in this issue, or why Loki is a woman now, but it didn’t stop me from following and enjoying this story. We see Loki doing his/her usual trickstering but in a way that is more Machiavelli than Anansi. SPOILER ALERT: Thor battles his grandfather, Bor, who was brought back by Loki and also put under her spell. When the dust settles, Thor is victorious, but grief-stricken when he learns of his victim’s identity. Left with no choice, Balder banishes Thor from Asgard and Loki begins to manipulate the Asgardians into relocating to Latveria to couchsurf with Dr. Doom! I think Imight have to start following this a little more closely!

So here’s the reaminder of the list, sadly not reviewed.
Green Lantern Corps #33
Hellboy: The Wild Hunt #3
G.I. Joe #2
Nightwing #153
Punisher #2

Oh yeah, ran into EB5K at the comic shop and he passed along a flier for a cool art show coming up with him and Brian Gray and others. Looks really cool!