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JUMBO-SIZED Pull Wisely: Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #1 and Archie #4

It’s my pleasure to bring you this special JUMBO-SIZED Thanksgiving edition of Pull Wisely to get you through the long holiday weekend! This week, I have two comics in our Spotlight Review: Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #1 from Marvel, and Archie Comics’ Archie #4.

As always, first video transcript, then my Top Five recommendations for the week. Aaaaaaaaand, go!

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Hey! This is Teresa Jusino and welcome to Pull Wisely! I have a jumbo-sized Pull Wisely this week, because it’s Thanksgiving week, and you have a long weekend ahead of you to enjoy some fabulous, fabulous comics…once you get out of your food coma. So, this week I’ve got two Spotlight Reviews for you, because I couldn’t decide which one I wanted to do, so I’m doing both.

First up, Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur is finally here! Issue one comes out this week, and it’s by one of my favorite comics creative teams, Brandon Montclare and Amy Reeder. Art is done by Natascha Bustos, and colors are done by Tamra Bonvillain. It tells the story of an awesome little heroine named Lunella Lafayette. She is fabulous, and all of us geeks are going to be able to relate to her, because she’s the smartest girl in the room, and she knows it. She loves science, and her science class has nothing left to teach her, her school has nothing left to teach her…she’s trying to build things to detect Kree and design things that are way beyond her grade-level. So, she’s trying to go to a special school – nobody gets her, nobody understands her. Until she discovers a really interesting artifact. This artifact is known as the Nightstone, and we discover that the Nightstone has a tie to Moon Boy and Devil Dinosaur.

I love how all of that is written. I love how the connection is made to the old Moon Boy stories – and Devil Dinosaur was created by Jack Kirby back in the day – and they make it really easy for a new reader to jump on. You don’t ever have to have read Devil Dinosaur to get something out of this issue. So definitely pick up Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #1 from Marvel out this week.

The other title I’m so excited about this week is Archie #4! And I’m excited 1) because Archie has been doing an amazing job of revamping and revitalizing these characters for the current generation. Fiona Staples had been doing a great job, but with Issue Four, we’re getting a new artist on board! One of our favorites, Annie Wu! She’s doing the art, and Mark Waid is still doing the writing on the title, and both of them are a great team. This issue is focused primarily on Archie telling us the story of #LipstickIncident, or what happened between him and Betty to make them break up, which is currently where the storyline is in the new Archie title. And apparently, he and Betty were doing great, until some other girls befriended Betty and started telling her things like, Maybe you should wear makeup. Maybe you should wear a dress. Maybe you should ‘girlify’ your appearance, rather than being a gearhead like you want to, and wearing sweats like you always do (even though that’s what Archie’s always liked to begin with). Maybe you should change your appearance, because then Archie will like you even more, and you’ll actually be dating (even though they totally were already dating)! Long story short, Archie’s not entirely sure of this change Betty goes through.

And I love the complex analysis of that. It’s not just black or white in this comic. There’s definitely two sides to this story. You see Archie’s point of view, you see Betty’s point of view, and they’re both right, and they’re both wrong. Mark Waid has been doing a great job on this title, and this issue in particular is really amazing. It breaks the fourth wall, which I love – I love when comic book characters talk “to the camera” – and it really updates the comic’s attitudes about gender roles while at the same time staying true to the way things are in real life. There is internalized misogyny. There is still a sense that boys have to do certain things and girls have to do certain things. So, while it’s updated, it’s not a utopia, obviously. Archie still deals with stuff as they happen in real life, and sometimes those things aren’t great, but it’s amazing how all of that stuff is being analyzed in a really complex way even though these are Archie comics, which all of us have kind of grown up with, and we’re kind of used to them being very simple, and very fun, and very sweet – but now, they’re really very smart. And I love the work that Waid is doing.

Not only that, but I love Annie Wu’s art. Her art is rock n’ roll. She makes Veronica and Betty real people through her art alone. On top of Mark Waid’s great writing, she makes them real. When you look at Betty’s face as Annie Wu draws her, she’s smart, she’s not naive. You look at Veronica’s face, and she’s not this hardcore, bitchy rich girl. She’s a nice, decent person who just happens to like Archie. And neither one of them can be reduced to a stereotype, and it’s largely in part thanks to Annie Wu’s artwork.

So that’s it! I’ve given you two great choices for comics this week. If you want more choices, definitely look down in the post below and check out our Top 5 for the week, and as always, reach out to us on social media with the hashtag #PullWisely. ‘Til next week, I’ll see you at the comics shop!

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And now, here’s our Top 5 Comics Recommendations for the week!

saga 31

Saga #31 – written by Brian K. Vaughan, with art by Fiona Staples, published by Image. Saga is just, hands-down, one of my favorite titles of all time, and one of the most interesting original worlds in comics today. This issue comes after a TIME JUMP and Hazel is about to embark on a new adventure…kindergarten!

silk 1

Silk #1 – written by Robbie Thompson, with art by Stacey Lee, published by Marvel. Silk’s quest to find the missing members of her family after the events of Spider-Verse goes down a dark path, and she ends up teaming up with our favorite Marvel feline, Black Cat!

unbeatable squirrel girl 2

The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #2 – written by Ryan North, with art by Erica Henderson, published by Marvel. Squirrel Girl is one of my all-time favorite Marvel heroines, and in this issue, she’s getting sent back in time and then erased from history! Only her BFF Nancy remembers her existence, and so she reaches out to Iron Man to help. Oh, and there’s a SURPRISE VILLAIN who’s not Galactus, because they’ve already done him. But it could be ANYONE ELSE.

doctor who 11th

Doctor Who Eleventh Doctor #14 – written by Al Ewing, with art by Rob Williams, published by Titan Comics. The Eleventh Doctor is my doctor, and this month, this issue with the 2015 SDCC exclusive cover is now available in limited quantities.

DC Bombshells

DC Bombshells #5 – written by Marguerite Bennett, with art by Laura Braga, published by DC Comics. One of our favorite titles gets intense as Wonder Woman leads an American infantry division in an attack on an Axis battalion, and Harley lands in France and meets a woman with an affinity for plants. (Ivy!)

What are you all going to be reading over Thanksgiving? Let’s talk comics and recommendations in the comments below, and I’ll see you all tomorrow at the comics shop!

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