Weekly Comics Pull; 7-11

There’s a certain joy in the camp that comes parceled with early horror movies, the stuff of drive-in theaters, outsized insects, creaky special effects and bizarre plots. B-movies are a treasured touchstone of American cinema, but they tend to fall flat on the screen, weighed down by canned shrill strings or hamfisted acting. In the first of five books, Rob Guillory’s Farmhand neatly sidesteps that pitfall with beautiful stylistic flair. The plot is pure pulpy Saturday matinee goodness, but Guillory’s writing is offset with his evocative but distinctly loose and cartoonish style. It creates a dissonance in the reader even as they’re reading classic B-movie power moves.

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Weekly Comics Pull; 7-4

Leinil Francis Yu’s depiction of Captain America is at times elegiac and could adorn any number of faded propaganda posters as Steve Rogers greets the grim reality of his country with a tight jaw and vibranium-grade resolve. Perhaps it is for the best that the primary antagonist of the series, at least at this early stage, hails from Russia. When faced with an external opposing force, it becomes easier to define one’s own position. Just as Black Panther’s A Nation Under Our Feet showed how tumultuous it can be for a nation’s identity to fall apart, Coates picks up Captain America’s narrative in the aftermath of the collapse, embracing all of the awkward navel-gazing that goes along with the stages of loss. The timing seems appropriate, and if any comic book hero could save a world seized by hopelessness, it’s the measured optimism and hope of Captain America.

Weekly Comics Pull; 6-27

A school for gifted youngsters is a classic conceit in comic books, the most famous being Charles’ Xavier’s star-crossed institution of higher learning. Hogwart’s, a spin on the old classic escapist fantasy of a school where weird is normal, is another prime example, one which quickly seeped into the cultural lexicon. The school of wizardry is even referenced in Alan Moore’s League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Century, a time capsule of notable literary touchstones. The solicitation for Evan Dorkin’s Blackwood initially looked like a variation on a theme, which it is, but it’s one that has more in common with H.P. Lovecraft than J.K. Rowling.

Weekly Comics Pull; 6-20

As they approach their wedding, Batman and Catwoman have been off on adventures, settling old scores, solving crimes, taking names and kicking ass. Basically being the best power couple in all of comic books. Equal parts re-invention, tearful affirmation and stroll down memory lane, this Batman run is some of the best DC has turned out in years. It’s a delight to read. There’s always been an off-again, on-again game between the Bat and the Cat. They’ve always had chemistry, and it’s been the subject of multiple stories, graphic novels, and cinematic plotlines. One of the best was Jeph Loeb’s Hush, where the love story was grounded into a major part of the modern Batman canon, over 15 years ago.

Weekly Comics Pull; 6-13

Not all 16-issue crossover events are worth it, but not all of them are about Wolverine, either. Wolverine casts a long shadow, and there’s something in Hunt for Wolverine for every stripe of reader; the bad guys (Claws of a Killer), the little guys (Weapon Lost), the Avenging guys (Adamantium Agenda), the X-(wo)men guys (Mystery in Madripoor). It will all be tied together in September’s Hunt for Wolverine: Dead Ends #1, but we’re barely halfway through. Thor #1 also threw a hell of a futuristic curveball into the mix, but it remains to be seen whether that will have any bearing on the Marvel of here and now.