It was a fat comic book month for me and the heavy bill from Mayhem comics along with a lackluster batch has led me to make brutal cuts.
World War Hulk #5 and Hulk # whatever: This has to go down in history as the most lackluster comic book event ever. Don’t get me wrong, comics events are always disappointing. Even Superboy punching reality and Captain America losing a fight because a firefighter, a cop and an EMT drag him down in the middle of New York City couldn’t save DC and Marvel’s last two attempts.
But World War Hulk looked like it’d be different. It was following on the heels of Planet Hulk, probably my favorite Hulk storyline since Peter David wrote the series back in the day.
Hulk has gone too far on Earth and Reed Richards, Tony Stark, Dr. Strange and Black Bolt lure him to a spaceship, launch him into deep space to a secluded planet where he can finally be left alone.
But no, the ship is knocked off course and the Hulk ends up on this wonderful dark fantasy science fiction world where he isn’t quite as overwhelming as he is on earth but still…his anger get’s him through. It entirely changed the context of the character while still keeping him rooted to what he’s about, being angry and breaking stuff.
When he finally finds peace, bends the planet to his will and marries a loving warrior-queen, the space ship that sent him there explodes and he ventures to earth and he’s pissed.
We know he’s pissed because he says it over and over. We know he’s willing to kill those who he feels have wronged him because he says so, over and over.
And he does nothing.
And nothing really interesting happens. Rather than concentrate on Rick Jones, the kid Banner pushed out of the way of the Gamma Bomb back in the original story, they bring in some new kid, Amadeus Cho.
And nothing really interesting happens. New York City is decimated, and it was kind of upsetting to me. Man, hasn’t NYC been through enough? And I don’t mean the comic book world’s NYC. I mean the real one. If the Hulk wasn’t going to paint Manhattan with Reed Richard’s cosmic radiated blood, drink wine from Tony’s Stark’s skull and shove Dr. Strange up his own man-servant’s ass, than eff it, leave poor NYC alone.
The city was like this wronged character that never got come uppance.
After my favorite Hulk story in years, I just up and dropped the title from my list.
Hulk not so smashing.
On with the disappointments:
Batman and Batman and the Outsiders: For Batman, I figured that Grant Morrison writing Batman would be fun. For Batman and the Outsiders, I thought Batman leading a team of DC’s misfits on black ops missions would be fun.
I was wrong.
I could keep on reviewing but its just going to be a kvetch-fest.
Let’s get to the good stuff.
Action Comics #858-9: Superman is contacted by the Legion of Super-Heroes to come forward in time and save the world. In the future they have changed the written history to deny that Superman was ever an alien in order to promote Earth’s xenophobic political stance.
Its this cool, political story with Superman laboring under the red sun of 30th century earth.
I’m down with it, I really am.
The New Avengers: Illuminati #5 of 5: This series has been consistently fun. Basically, Namor, Professor X, Tony Stark, Reed Richards and Black Bolt get together in order to play high and mighty and decide the world’s fate. They get together, throughout the series, after the major cross-overs and it allows Bendis to both celebrate those cross-over events while commenting on them. Its neat stuff.
This issue they go over the skrull hoo-doo that is going on now that they have found that Elektra was replaced by a skrull and none are sure how long she was an alien while running the Japanese underworld.
Who else is a shape-changer? Who can you trust?
Hopefully, the coming event will be at least half as good as the Astro City Confessor arc. Truth is, the homage stuff is better than what DC and Marvel.
The cartoons (like Justice League), the homage (Planetary, Astro City, The New Frontier) are flat-out better than what the big books are coming out with.
Still, back to the New Avengers, its worth checking out.
The monthly comics have been cut down to Action Comics, Daredevil (on probation), Powers (on probation), Runaways, Thor (has two issues to WOW me and then its gone), Thunderbolts (consistently fun), Ultimate Spider-Man, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and I’m adding Northlanders because it looks like a Burning Wheel campaign.
These comic book reviews were brought to you by the letter -i- for insomnia.
Now I’m off to finish up my presentation for tomorrow and then either get a few hours sleep or watch an episode or two of the new Dr. Who that has arrived via netflix today.
More thoughts on ditching single issues entirely for trade paperbacks later.
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