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All-New All-Different Pull Wisely: Last Sons of America #1

Happy Tuesday! It’s time for another episode of Pull Wisely, in which I give a spotlight review to a book that might interest you — this time, it’s the first issue of BOOM! Studios’ Last Sons of America — and also delineate a few more comics that I plan to check out this week. First off, I’ve included the transcript for the video above; scroll beyond that and you’ll find my five comic book picks for this week.

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Today we’re going to talk about a comic called Last Sons of America written by Phillip Kennedy Johnson, illustrated by Matthew Dow Smith and published over at BOOM! Comics. This story is sort of similar to the movie Children of Men, if you’ve seen that, and the description of the comic name-drops Children of Men – so I guess that might be an intentional reference.

So let’s make a bad-good sandwich here. Here’s the bad part: the lead character is a real jerk! The story follows these two brothers, Jackie and Julian, and they are doing some dubiously moral stuff here. They work for an adoption agency in a world where children cannot be conceived easily, due to a biological terrorist attack. So, basically all of the parents in the nation are having a whole lot of trouble conceiving a child, and that means that children are being traded on both the black market and a sort of theoretically-legal market by adoption agencies, like where Jackie and Julian work.

Except, Jackie – who is the protagonist – is not only a jerk, but keeps making decisions that put his brother in danger and other people in danger. So, it’s sort of a stressful story, just because you don’t understand why he’s doing that.

Anyway, here’s something great about it: the art is really astounding and beautiful, and I would say the pacing of the story is excellent.

This is a story that is undeniably about child kidnapping and child trafficking. If that’s something that is going to alarm you – especially since a lot of the children being traded here are poor children of color – then you might not be able to enjoy this story. It’s a presentation of a deeply unfair and horrifying situation in what I would say is a noir storytelling fashion that does take the issue seriously, and possibly gets at some systemic inequalities that already exist within adoption systems now.

It’s definitely an unusual comic. As for me, I think it was a really compelling read narratively and structurally, and as I’ve said the art is very striking and beautiful – but as for whether or not its for you? I guess you’ll have to take into account what I’ve said here, and let me know if you decide to check it out.

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Here are my Top 5 Comic Recommendations for this week!

All-New Wolverine

1.) All-New Wolverine #1, written by Tom Taylor, illustrated by David Lopez and David Navarrot. This is the first issue of a new series in which Laura Kinney, a.k.a. X-23, a.k.a. the female clone of Wolverine, takes up his mantle and wears his mask. I already waxed poetic about how rad that’s gonna be last week, and tomorrow I’ll finally get the read the whole thing. Woo!

(image via Marvel Comics)

Limbo_01-1_362_557_s_c1

2.) Limbo #1, written by Dan Watters, illustrated by Caspar Wijngaard. I love detective stories, femme fatales, and mixtapes — so this new series from Image Comics looks like it’ll be my jam. The setting: “surreal neon-noir series crossing 50s pulp with an 80s VHS visual aesthetic.” Groovy.

(image via Image Comics)

FasterThanLight03_Cvr

3.) Faster Than Light #3, written and illustrated by Brian Haberlin. This Image Comics title has a classic sci-fi vibe: a diverse cast of astronauts live in a world where faster-than-light travel has just been discovered. The first couple issues feel like a slow start to a story with a lot of exposition, but I think it’ll pick up steam soon — I like the premise, the characters, and the world, so I’m sticking around.

(image via Image Comics)

CTW_Cv46_55cbb4cbb03c21.88450415

4.) Catwoman #46, written by Genevieve Valentine, with art by David Messina. I know — I already gave Valentine’s excellent work on Catwoman a shout-out last time I took on the Pull Wisely picks, but I’m giving her one more. I keep seeing folks lambasting this book as “cancellation fodder.” And it’s true! Catwoman is the best DC comics book that no one is reading (except me, and probably also you). Anyway, let us treasure the death throes of Valentine and Messina’s vastly under-appreciated run. Sigh.

(image via DC Comics)

adventure-time-masked-mayhem-cover-by-drew-green

5. Adventure Time Original: Masked Mayhem, written by Mark Waid, with art by Marcio Takara. The Adventure Time graphic novels are, of course, longer than the accompanying comic series (Issue #46 of which also comes out tomorrow — those are great, too, by the way). This one features BMO and Jake solving a party prankster-related mystery together.

(image via Graphic Policy)

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