The Pull List is Nico’s ongoing recommendations for what to pick up at the comic shop this week. Check back each week for the best of brand new releases.
Editor’s Note: This is supposed to be published on Wednesday, but David sucks this week.
Batman #21 by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo
By this point it really should be no secret that Scott Snyder has crafted some of the best Batman stories ever. He invented one of the greatest foes ever in the form of the Court of Owls, told a utterly horrific Joker story, and now he’s setting his sights on the past in the form of a year long arc being called “Batman: Year Zero”. Now, given that “Batman: Year One” by Frank Miller is one of the most revered Batman stories of all time, it’s possible that Snyder is setting himself up for failure. But if there’s one thing he has proved it’s that on some fundamental level, Snyder understands both Batman and Bruce Wayne, how they work, how they think, and what the nature of their relationship to their rogues is. Given that in last year’s Batman #0 Snyder teased the early days of the Joker as the Red Hood, and has already said that the Riddler will be playing a major role soon, I for one can’t wait to see what his version of the birth of Batman brings.
Superman Unchained #1 by Scott Snyder and Jim Lee
Oh wait, there’s also a new Superman title out from Snyder too? That’s crazy. But also incredibly exciting because seeing as how Snyder has proven he can do Batman justice, DC has decided to give him a Superman series too. Sure, Man of Steel might have something to do with it, but still, it’s Scott Snyder writing Superman and the art is being done by Jim Lee (Justice League). I don’t need to know the plot and I don’t really care if it is a quick Man of Steel cash-in, this is pretty much a fever-dream of a comic, and with so many bad Superman comics coming out right now (looking at Scott Lobdell), hopefully Snyder is a writer who can do the character justice.
American Vampire: The Long Road to Hell by Scott Snyder and Rafael Albuquerque
Holy shit, that’s three comics from Scott Snyder this week. His American Vampire series over at Vertigo was one of his big breakthroughs and after 34 issues, Snyder decided to take a break (probably because he was writing Batman, Swamp Thing, and now Superman Unchained and The Wake). However, he has already stated they’re going to be relaunching American Vampire later this year, and The Long Road to Hell is supposed to tide fans over until then. If you’ve never read American Vampire before, it’s about different species of vampires clashing throughout history, with the main family emerging out in the West during the 1800s. Long Road to Hell is a 64 page one shot though and a great introduction to the type of mythology that Snyder has been weaving (although really you should just go out and buy the first volume).
Wolverine and the X-Men #31 by Jason Aaron and Nick Bradshaw
Jason Aaron’s Wolverine and the X-Men holds a soft spot in my heart. It hasn’t always been the most consistant title, perhaps because it usually double ships every month, but it’s always fun and has a playful tone that many comics over at Marvel lack. At times, it’s almost like a teen comedy that happens to take place at the Jean Grey School for Higher Learning, and despite the multitude of books that Wolverine is in every month Wolverine and the X-Men shows him at his most interesting. We know that Wolverine is a killer with a checkered past but it is far more compelling to see him struggling to teach young mutants and deal with keeping those violent impulses at bay, as he tries to be a good role model. The last story, involving Wolverine’s brother Dog, fell a bit flat though and this month Aaron is launching the Hellfire Saga, which sees the Jean Grey School’s conflict with the new Hellfire Club come to a head. With students defecting/being taken hostage and the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants involved, it should be a great start to this new arc.