The Vanier Report: Tales From A DC Pull List (Action Comics #40 Review)

Comic book writing sure has changed from the Silver Age. In the 50s and 60s, nearly every comic book published was a one-and-done or a two-shot story. There were no sweeping arcs over five, six, seven, or more issues. There was no expectation of collecting issues into trade paperback and hardcovers to be sold as complete stories. Of course, this meant that Silver Age superhero stories seldom had the complexity and depth of their modern-day counterparts, but there is something much more liberating in writing quick, concise adventures. This is why Action Comics #40 is such a breath of fresh air.

The Vanier Report: Tales From A DC Pull List (Swamp Thing #40 Review)

From the beginning of the arc, “The Machine Queen” has been about legacy. Initially, it was about the legacy of the Kingdoms of Earth; the birth of each Kingdom led to war as it tried to subjugate the ones that came before it, eventually submitting and striking a balance (albeit grudgingly) between them. The same was true of the Machine Kingdom, whose initial attempt to destroy the Green was unsuccessful. The arc then became about the legacy of Alec Holland – the choices he made against Lady Weeds, Anton Arcane, the Mycos, and even the Parliament of Trees came back to haunt him…

The Vanier Report: Tales From A DC Pull List (Secret Origins #10 Review)

You know when you have been writing an ongoing column a certain way, with formatting you have crafted to be clear and pretty and intelligible? Yes? Well, have you ever encountered a situation that throws all of your lovely formatting out the window? Yes? Turns out that reviewing a comic book featuring three distinct stories does exactly that. Buckle up while I work my way through Secret Origins #10 by reviewing the stories not in the order they appear, but in a way that allows me to finish with the one on which I want to spend the most time and energy.

The Vanier Report: Tales From A DC Pull List (The Multiversity: Mastermen #1 Review)

Before we get started this week, I wanted to address what I consider to be an argument central to one’s potential enjoyment of The Multiversity: Mastermen #1. As I was browsing Twitter, a wonderful comic creator, lover, and blogger – whose writing and opinion I admire immensely – made the comment that she is getting tired of the deconstruction of Superman. More specifically, she lamented the continued exploration of “bad” versions of the character. Frankly, I have to agree with her. It’s been a problem with the writing of Superman since “The Death of Superman” in the 90s…

The Vanier Report: Tales From A DC Pull List (New Suicide Squad #7 Review)

Suicide Squad was one of those New 52 titles that struggled to find its feet. Though never stumbling so badly as to get cancelled, it was never one of the best books of the line, despite the team’s long and storied history and the critical success of previous incarnations of the title. The book 100% lost its way during Forever Evil, when its tie-in storyline failed to resonate at all on its own merits, let alone in the context of the wider event. But since the Crime Syndicate’s defeat at the end of Forever Evil, DC relaunched the team under the name New Suicide Squad: a move which has proven to be one of the quieter successes of the New 52.

The Vanier Report: Tales From A DC Pull List (Swamp Thing #39 Review)

The New 52 run of Swamp Thing has been not only a seminal chapter in the long catalogue of the character’s mythology, but it has been one of the most consistently challenging series in DC Comics’ recent memory. Its tone, its subject matter, and its incredible depth of storytelling have built on previous iconic runs of Swamp Thing, as well as within this volume from creative team to creative team. With Swamp Thing #39, Charles Soule and Jesus Saiz are bringing this incredible title one step closer to its end next month.

The Vanier Report: Tales From A DC Pull List (The Multiversity Guidebook #1 Review)

After years and years of anticipation, it’s hard to believe that we’re over halfway through The Multiversity, Grant Morrison’s epic exploration of the entire DC Multiverse. And though I’m incredibly excited to continue following the unfolding narrative, I can now say that I am in possession of the issue I have looked forward to the most. With the release of The Multiversity Guidebook, I now – quite literally – have the entire Multiverse in my hands. Did you hear that? That was me squealing.

The Vanier Report: Tales From A DC Pull List (Wonder Woman #38 Review)

Let me start this review off with an apology.

Recently, I have slipped into a horrible habit. I find that I am frequently caught in the trap of the “lazy reviewer”; that is, constantly comparing the work of one creative team against the work of a previous team on the same title. This sort of thing is especially apparent following a run of critically strong storytelling and artwork. I’m guilty of the comparison after the Lemire/Sorrentino run on Green Arrow, and I most certainly have been guilty of it in the wake of Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang’s triumphant run on Wonder Woman.