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All-New All-Different Pull Wisely: Cognetic #1

Welcome to the latest episode of our Pull Wisely, now featuring solo video reviews by staffers here at The Mary Sue. This week, I’m on camera with a quick review of a gory and dramatic apocalypse tale: Cognetic #1, written by James Tynian IV, illustrated by Eryk Donovan, and published by BOOM! Studios. Read below for the transcript of my video review of Cognetic #1; keep scrolling on down the page if you just came for our Top 5 list.

***

Hi! Welcome to Pull Wisely. I’m Maddy Myers, and this week’s spotlight review is Cognetic from BOOM! Studios, written by James Tynian IV with art by Eryk Donovan. This comic is a spiritual successor to a series called Memetic by the same duo, which I haven’t read.

[In Cognetic,] there is a psychic hive mind that takes over the city of New York – or, I should say, the residents of the city of New York – and convinces a whole bunch of people to fling themselves off the Empire State building. And the art by Eryk Donovan pulls no punches when it comes to showing what that might look like! There are a lot of spooky angles and creepy perspectives. So, that’s excellent, but also not what I expected from the comic.

Mostly, the story revolves around our heroine, whose name is Annie. She works for the FBI; she’s an assistant to a really skeezy boss who I hope we don’t see much of. She is also married to a woman and has a daughter, which they introduce pretty quickly. Weirdly, the comic starts out with Annie getting out of bed wearing nothing but a bra, and then taking a shower. Not exactly my favorite thing to see in a comic, but it’s an interesting way to approach the beginning of a story … and when I say “interesting,” I mean it wasn’t interesting.

The comic actually surprised me. I don’t want to spoil the ending for anybody, especially since it’s the first in a three-part series — it’s over 40 pages long; it’s not a short comic. The direction taken with the hive mind and the FBI is pretty interesting. In addition to being illustrated in a really strong way, I think the writing here could turn out to be good. So don’t be fooled by the fact that it starts out with a shower scene. I was skeptical. But it wasn’t that bad!

Also, I like the idea of a story about an apocalypse that isn’t entirely reliant on technology. This comic is kind of old school in terms of its themes; there’s a 9/11 theme running in an undercurrent through it, in the sense that it takes place in New York, and it’s about an event that seems out of the control of authority figures, that supposed authority figures get swept up in. So there’s some political intrigue there, and a lot of different options for where they could take the heroine’s story. I’m interested to check out the rest of it. Why don’t you all read it and let me know what you think that ending means? Anyway, see you next time!

***

Now that the transcript’s out of the way, here are my personal Top 5 Comics Recommendations:

1. Catwoman #45, written by Genevieve Valentine, with art by David Messina and additional inking by Gaetano Carlucci, published by DC. I’ve adored Valentine’s take on Catwoman’s story, as well as the tortured romance that’s developed between Selina and Eiko. I know Batman is the great love of Selina’s life, and all, but it’s nice to see her in a relationship with somebody else who’s just as cool and complicated.
2. Lumberjanes #19, written by Shannon Watters, with art by Carolyn Nowak, published by BOOM! Studios. I’m cheating a little here, since this was actually one of Jessica’s old picks for this week and I should be choosing all of my own — but I’m not caught up on Lumberjanes yet. However, what I’ve read makes me feel certain that I’ll enjoy #19 once I’ve caught up to it. If you’re caught up, then you’ve probably already got this one on your pull list!
3. Ms. Marvel #19: Last Days of Ms. Marvel, written by G. Willow Wilson, with art by Adrian Alphona, published by Marvel. Can you tell I like mainstream superhero comics? My list, my rules! Anyway, as far as the mainstream stories go, Ms. Marvel (and Catwoman up top) remains one of the best of the bunch. I’m happy to read about Kamala Khan doing anything, whether she’s dealing with apocalyptic circumstances (as in this story) or just the run-of-the-mill mundanities of her teenage life.
4. Constantine: The Hellblazer #5, written by Ming Doyle and James Tynian IV, with art by Scott Kowalchuk and Riley Rossmo, published by DC. Ming Doyle was one of my favorite interviewees at Boston Comic Con this past year, which inspired me to pick up the series she’s been cowriting with Tynian — and it does not disappoint! (You might also notice Tynian’s the writer on the comic I chose for my spotlight review above.)
5. Adventure Time #45, written by Christopher Hastings, with art by Zack Sterling, published by kaboom! I actually like the Adventure Time comics series better than the show itself at this point, and I don’t care who knows it. The extended universe of this world is charming; there’s so much more to explore beyond the scope of the show. Plus, did you hear that Adventure Time‘s antagonist, the Ice King, will have his own comic book series soon, too?

What do you plan to pick up this week? Feel free to drag me by force out of my narrow superheroine mindset … but I’m serious about those Catwoman and Ms. Marvel recs. They might surprise you!

(Image via BOOM! Studios)

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