The #NerdsRead Pull List – October 28, 2015

We’re pretty much in agreement here at Nerdophiles that Fight Club 2 might just be the worst comic of 2015… and yet we’re still reading this trainwreck to see it defy expectations of just how awful it can get every month.

That being said, Arcadia continues to be one of the best comics of 2015 and Jackson enjoyed the newest Hellboy entry and the handling of Barbara and Dick’s relationship in the latest Batgirl.

Check out our reviews and let us know what you think!

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Kylee’s Reads

Arcadia #6

Arcadia_006_A_MainAuthor: Alex Paknadel
Artist: Eric Scott Pfeiffer
Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Source: BOOM! Studios DRC
★★★★★

Part of the reason that I enjoy Arcadia so much is because Alex Paknadel trusts his audience to keep up with the incredible complexities of the story without having everything spelled out. While this was perhaps the most straight-forward “info dump” to date, we learned that Arcadia wasn’t meant to be the civilization it grew into, but was only supposed to house one individual. That glitch in the system led to the virus infecting Arcadians, which Giacomo seems to have gotten to the heart of in his journey.

The incredible work put into the first five issues continues to pay off as once again readers are given layered answers that lead down the rabbit hole of more questions. Paknadel does a fantastic job tying up certain lose ends, while unraveling new mysteries that still move the story along. Eric Scott Pfeiffer continues to effectively convey the slight differences between reality and Arcadia and gets to showcase some impressive action sequences this issue. One of my favorite scenes to date is the featured image for this entire article.

Fight Club #6

27007Author: Chuck Palahniuk
Artist: Cameron Stewart
Publisher: Dark Horse
Source: Dark Horse DRC
★☆☆☆☆

For anyone who hasn’t bothered to think about Fight Club critically at all – like, really at all – Chuck Palanhiuk takes the heavy lifting out of the equation with the latest issue of Fight Club 2. If readers weren’t already aware, Tyler Durden is an archtype!!! As told to us through the turncoat shirnk, “Tyler works like a superstition or a prejudice. He becomes part of the lens through which you see the world.” Even more obviously spouted, “Tyler survives across time by infecting one generation after another.”

That’s it. That’s all you need to know about this issue. Marla’s not dead, Sebastian couldn’t mimic Tyler if his life depended on it, there’s that network of dying support group participants, the aforementioned shrink. Do you care? Does anyone care what happens at the end of this? Even lowering my expectations significantly, I’m still rolling my eyes through every issue of Fight Club 2. At this point, I’m not even sure reading all the issues together would save this pompous sequel…

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Kylee Sills is an associate editor at Nerdophiles. Arcadia is as insanely fascinating as that picture would lead you to believe. Also, that’s a Bitcoin mine in the palm of that hand. Follow her on Twitter @kyleewho.

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Jackson’s Reads

Hellboy and the B.P.R.D. 1953: The Phantom Hand and The Kelpie #1

306228._SX640_QL80_TTD_Author: Mike Mignola
Artist: Ben Steinbeck
Publisher: Dark Horse
★★★★☆

Since about 2007, Hellboy has been on a strange path, one where he was finally forced to confront his destiny, his birthright as an Apocalyptic force and the heir of the underworld. The more narrative bent of the last Hellboy stories before his death have its highs and lows but the most disappointing thing about it is that it occasionally loses some of the lyricism of Mike Mignola’s shorter Hellboy stories. While the lead-up to “The Storm and the Fury” is full of great character beats, it lacks the mythological, ironic twists and the more forboding, unknowable darkness that some of the shorter stories are able to hold onto.

It’s nice to see Mignola go back to the shorter, more atmospheric stories in the limited miniseries. The sequel to this year’s Hellboy and the B.P.R.D. 1952, this week’s Hellboy and the B.P.R.D. 1953: The Phantom Hand and The Kelpie are a pair of short tales of a young Hellboy and Trevor Bruttenholm heading to a haunted European castle and confronting an unearthed secret of the past. This is classic Hellboy, familiar to fans who lovingly remember stories like “The Chained Coffin,” “The Wolves of St. Augustine” and “The Vampire of Prague.” Mignola’s illustrated here by Ben Steinbeck who he recently collaborated with on this year’s Frankenstein Underground miniseries and he does a wonderful job here again. His Hellboy is cartoony and set out of place in the same anachronistic way other artists like Mignola and Duncan Fegredo often do so well.

Despite being set back in time and being something of a minor story, Mignola seeds some things into this issue that will pay off for those who’ve been keeping up with Hellboy in Hell or B.P.R.D. Hell on Earth but the real meat here is in a story that harkens back to some of the most formative stories in this franchise. As a longtime Hellboy fan, this is a nice change of pace but it’s not one that’s going to stand among the best of Mignola’s short stories.

Batgirl #45

Author: Cameron Stewart and Brenden Fletcher
Artist: Babs Tarr
Publisher: DC Comics
★★★★★

It’s crazy to think it’s taken the relaunched Batgirl 10 issues to meet up with Dick Grayson. There are few comics characters whose relationship has such baggage and expectation from readers as the one between Barbara and Dick. The pair’s relationship is often so important to who these heroes are that most eras of the two’s history as characters can be defined by what their romantic relationship is at any given time.

What’s interesting about the way writers Cameron Stewart and Brendan Fletcher and artist Babs Tarr show the characters’ interaction in Batgirl #45 is the way the team has put both of these characters in a position where them not getting together feels right. On the day of Alysia’s wedding, Babs is being pulled apart by her duties as maid of honor as well as her burgeoning romance with Luke Fox only to have a flirting Dick Grayson crash the party. This is a low stakes issue of Batgirl, almost entirely focused on Barbara trying to establish her independence as a hero and as a character.

She doesn’t want to be the girl who falls into Dick’s arms anymore but the creative team does a good job here making sure that it doesn’t feel like there’s any love lost between the pair. For those who haven’t followed this romance for decades, both Barbara and Dick realize their shared history will always keep them connected in a way that goes beyond friendship and that’s important and something that’s been missing in some of the pair’s interactions in the New 52.

It’s interesting to see a creative team on a major DC comic devote an entire issue to something that wouldn’t feel out of place in a romance comic but this is an issue built on years of comic book plotting. It’s one that doesn’t feel out of place and I’m sure will be remembered by fans of all stripes, whether for its first portrayal of a transsexual marriage in comics or for it being another pivotal chapter in the relationship between these two star-crossed characters.

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AslO75XCIAExmT4Jackson Adams is a staff writer at Nerdophiles. Babs and Dick are really the only comics couple he wants to get together. Follow him on Twitter @JacksonInACup.

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