Hey, everyone, it’s a leap year! Take your 28 days and stuff ‘em, February. We’re going for 29 and there’s not a damn thing you can do about it. This spirit of intercalated rebellion must have rubbed off on the publishers, because this week’s Pull plays it fast and loose with the nostalgia. Break out the calendars and get ready to roll back a few decades!
If you’ve come to this website on purpose, I’m going to make a few assumptions about you. One of those assumptions is that you’ve read, or are at least familiar with, James Robinson’s Starman. Whether you dug it or not there’s no denying that it was one of DC’s more distinctive series of the ‘90s. It may have taken 10 years, but one of the standout characters from Starman, the Shade, finally has his own series. It’s only 12 issues, unfortunately, but anything Starman-related is better than nothing. The story began with an attempt on the titular character’s life, and up to now the plot has revolved around our shadowy sort-of-hero hunting down the person responsible. Sounds pretty basic, but in just four issues we’ve already jumped all over the globe and taken a trip through the Shade’s largely unexplored history, and we’re not even at the halfway point yet. The Shade No. 5 drops this week, so you should really jump on while the jumping’s good. You can still probably track down the previous four issues without too much difficulty, but even if you can’t, you’ll still be able to enjoy the rest of the ride. There’s no word yet on when, or if, Jack Knight will make an appearance in the “New 52”, so I’d suggest taking whatever Starman-related stories you can get while you can get ‘em.
DC may have taken us back to the time of grunge, flannel and Doc Martins, but IDW takes us back a decade further. If you were alive in the ‘80s, I sincerely hope you’re reading the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series that’s out right now. In addition to the main series, IDW is following in the footsteps of the original comic and releasing a “micro series” in the form of four standalone issues that focus on each turtle. We’ve already had two bodacious issues, one for Raphael (rude) and one for Michelangelo (party dude). This week it’s Donatello’s turn. If you haven’t read it, the new series uses familiar elements from the cartoon, comics, and movies, but it takes them in an entirely original direction. Think of Marvel’s Ultimate universe and you’ll have a pretty good idea of the approach. Honestly, I don’t even know why I’m even trying to sell you on this. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Donatello. Woo. Done.
Jumping back even further, Image drops two heaping helpings of horror noir with the third printing of Fatale No. 1 and the second printing of Fatale No. 2. Listen. Stop what you’re doing and go find these books right now! Bail on work, leave the kids unattended, jack a car or two if you have to, just do whatever it takes to get them. In the spirit of full disclosure, I’ll come clean and confess: I didn’t get into Sean Phillips’s and Ed Brubaker’s Criminal until recently. Terrible, I know. I’m a bad person. But you have the opportunity to learn from that mistake and jump on Fatale before it’s too late. Phillips and Brubaker have taken all the jazzy crime noir from Criminal and thrown in a bit of Lovecraftian horror. If that doesn’t seal the deal…are you sure you’re supposed to be here? As with Criminal, each issue has an essay on the genre of horror, which is really just the unspeakable cherry on top of this cyclopean sundae. If you’re into crime noir, horror, or just good comics, I can’t recommend this series highly enough!