The Weekly Pull: Immortal X-Men, War for Earth-3, Astro City, and More

It’s almost another new comic book day, which means new releases hitting stores and digital platforms. Each week in The Weekly Pull, the Comic Book.com team highlights the new releases that have us the most excited about another week of comics. Whether those releases are from the most prominent publisher or a small press, brand new issues of ongoing series, original graphic novels, or collected editions of older material, whether it involves capes and cowls or comes from any other genre, if it has us excited about comic books this week, then we’re going to tell you about it in The Weekly Pull.

This week, a new era of X-Men begins, the War for Earth-3 continues, and Astro City returns. Plus, Jun Ba does Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Jonathan Hickman’s X-Men gets an omnibus, Hulk’s Grand Design, and more.

What comics are you most excited about this week? Let us know which new releases you’re looking forward to reading in the comments, and feel free to leave some of your suggestions as well. Check back tomorrow for our weekly reviews and again next week for a new installment of The Weekly Pull.

Astro City: That Was Then…Special

Written by Kurt Busiek

(Photo: Alex Ross, Image Comics)
  • Art by Brent Eric Anderson
  • Colors by Alex Sinclair
  • Letters by Tyler Smith and Jimmy Betancourt
  • Published by Image Comics

It’s not worth recounting the many phases of Astro City‘sexistence; since it began in 1995 the series has regularly bounced between publishers and forms of publications – delivering one-shots, miniseries, and continuing series at intervals throughout the subsequent 27 years. What is very much worth mentioning is that from its beginning through today, Astro City has never skipped a beat and always delivered one of the absolute best superhero series available. So its return to comic book stores, now at Image Comics, is something very much worth celebrating. The first new publication arrives this week in the standalone Astro City: That Was Then (accompanied by a Metrobook collecting the series’ first 20 issues for only $29.99) that flashes back to 1969 for some retro vibes. It focuses on a group of five teenage sidekicks calling themselves the Jayhawks who strike out on their own in a story bound to remind readers of the earliest Teen Titans comics. How the Jayhawks’ story will impact Astro City’s history or establish the foundation of the newest ongoing series at Image Comics is anyone’s guess. However, there’s no doubt that That Was Then… will deliver another in a long line of excellent superhero comics from the team of Kurt Busiek, Brent Eric Anderson, and Alex Ross. Let’s go. –Chase Magnett

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Hulk: Grand Design – Monster #1

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(Photo: Jim Rugg, Marvel Comics)
  • Created by Jim Rugg
  • Published by Marvel Comics

Marvel Comics’ “Grand Design” series are a consistently intriguing highlight of talented cartoonists whose work doesn’t typically see them working within the familiar world of American superhero comics. Tom Scioli’s Fantastic Four and Ed Piskor’s X-Men were both fascinating takes on pop culture properties that have reshaped comics alongside cartoons, film, and the imaginations of children the world over. They were distinctive, idiosyncratic reimaginings of the essential lore that made these characters into icons and now it’s time to witness another reimagining from the incredibly talented minds, eyes, and hands of Jim Rugg. His comics by him rarely intersect with the superhero genre, although there’s an abundance of action and exaggerated designs to be found in his work by him. His vision of him for the Hulk-Marvel Comics’ original anti-hero-is bound to deliver a vision unlike anything fans of the character have seen before. Rugg is an outstanding designer as well, including multiple Eisner nominations, ensuring that the first issue of this Grand Design will provide an object where every single page requires parsing. These experiments inevitably go in odd and unexpected directions, but simply knowing that a cartoonist like Rugg is ready to experiment with an icon like the Hulk is enough to know that Hulk: Grand Design – Monster is must-read material this week. –Chase Magnett

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Immortal X-Men #1

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(Photo: Mark Brooks, Marvel Comics)
  • Written by Kieron Gillen
  • Art by Lucas Werneck
  • Colors by David Curiel
  • Letters by Clayton Cowles
  • Published by Marvel Comics

Marvel’s X-Men line has been going through an awkward transition over the several weeks. With Jonathan Hickman wrapping up his time as Head of X, Marvel’s X-Men comics have been on hold. Meanwhile, the dual X Deaths of Wolverine and X Lives of Wolverine have bridged the gap between the Reign of X and Destiny of X eras. With Immortal X Men #1 this week, Destiny of X begins in earnest. The series focuses on the Quiet Council of Krakoa and promises to dredge up secrets from its members’ sordid pasts. The issue marks Kieron Gillen’s return to the X-line after his underrated run on Uncanny X-Men in the early 2010s. Rising star Lucas Werneck joins him for the book that will set the tone for the future of Marvel’s mutants. –Jamie Lovett

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killer queens

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(Photo: Claudia Balboni, Dark Horse Comics)
  • Written by David M. Booher
  • Art by Claudia Balboni
  • Colors by Harry Saxon
  • Letters by Lucas Gattoni
  • Published by Dark Horse Comics

I recommended killer queens when the first issue came out last year and now that the limited series is out as a trade paperback, I am recommending it again. Campy, funny, just a little vulgar, and absolutely bonkers, this send-up of 1950s nostalgia really comes through as a timeless delight. The book is also “super gay” as are its main characters. It’s fun, it’s wild, it’s not for kids but it’s a hoot and you don’t want to miss it. — Nicole Drum

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Pearl Volume 1

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(Photo: Michael Gaydos, Dark Horse Comics)
  • Written by Brian Michael Bendis
  • Art by Michael Gaydos
  • Published by Dark Horse Comics

Out of all of the entries of DC’s Jinxworld imprint, Pearl particularly knocked my socks off, crafting a crime-fueled assassin tale that exceeds expectations at every turn. Ahead of the series, and the imprint as a whole, moving to Dark Horse, fans get an opportunity to dive into, or revisit, the first arc of the series. Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Gaydos’ work on the tale is a beautiful, bizarre joyride, one that further cements why the Jessica Jones creators are such a dream team. If you missed out on this series the first time around, you should use this as an opportunity to fix that. — Jenna Anderson

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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Annual 2022 #1

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(Photo: Juni Ba, IDW Publishing)
  • Created by Juni Ba
  • Published by IDW Publishing

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles fans are in for a treat this week. There’s the next issue of Sophie Campbell’s run writing the main series arrives, reason enough to celebrate. But there’s also the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Annual 2022 from Juni Ba, the talented cartoonist behind Djeliya and Monkey Meat. Ba produces powerful, layered stories with stunning artwork, and it will be an absolute delight to see what he brings to this special Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles one shot. –-Jamie Lovett

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War for Earth-3 #2

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(Photo: Rafa Sandoval, Alex Sinclair, DC Comics)
  • Written by Dennis Hopeless and Robbie Thompson
  • Art by Kieran McKeown, Dexter Vines, Ariel Olivetti, Julio Ferreira, Brent Peeples
  • Colors by Matt Herms
  • Letters by Simon Bowloand
  • Published by DC Comics

If I’m being honest, War for Earth-3 #2 wouldn’t be my go-to as a suggestion just based on how overstuffed the first issue was, but the overall premise is just weird enough that issue two is one that I personally wanted to give a try and while it has its weaknesses , there’s still a lot here to be interested in, particularly with the use of some unexpected characters. If you’re looking for something a little different than maybe your usual DC fare, this is it as Amanda Waller is up to something big over on Earth-3. — Nicole Drum

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X-Men by Jonathan Hickman Omnibus

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(Photo: Leinil Francis Yu, Marvel Comics)
  • Written by Jonathan Hickman
  • Art by Various
  • Published by Marvel Comics

While I always enjoyed the X-Men, Jonathan Hickman’s work on that corner of the Marvel universe turned me into a bonafide believer. The writer’s take on the X-Men world began with the downright revolutionary House of X and Powers of Xwhich led into compelling stints on X Men and Giant-Size X-Men. This week’s omnibus provides the best opportunity yet to absorb that work in its entirety, illuminating a number of Marvel’s merry mutants and new and familiar threats for them to face. Joined by a wide array of artists, this collection of Hickman’s work undoubtedly gives you your money’s worth — and probably gives you a piece of Marvel history in the process. — Jenna Anderson

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