Thursday, July 06, 2006

Weekly comics review

A somewhat big week for me with the Hulk, the Great and Secret Show, the Thing, and Ares. Spoilers to a minimum on all counts (especially Ares because I know Carl hasn't read that yet).

Hulk: On the one hand, I'm loving the Hulk right now. Great storyline, great artwork, and a bit of a push by Marvel to make him mean something again rather than be the punching bag of every character in the Marvel universe. This issue was slightly different. Even though it moves the main Planet Hulk storyline along a bit and provides some differentiation between some of the new characters that have been introduced in this storyline, this issue seems more like the older days of one issue stories that show just who the monster really is. And it focusses more on Miek, one of the Hulk's followers and for once, Miek shows some real strength and determination (but I won't spoil it just in case). It was a good story over all but yet again, I don't feel that Pak has the flow down right. Some parts seem rushed, like he's trying to cram too much into the single issue, and things get lost along the way. I usually end up flipping back a page or two to see if I missed something that explains how we jumped to this point. And the setting will jump from one place to another with no real mention of it or any of the usual artistic indicators (like providing a distant shot of the new setting the reader is being moved to). I'm still loving it but I think it could use a touch on the editting side to improve the overall flow of it.

The Thing: The final issue and I'll have more spoilers in this review so you were warned. I've been real hard on this book in the last few issues but Slott won me back with this issue. And he uses the Thing's infamous poker game to provide closure. The Thing and Alicia seem to be back together (maybe too quickly, I think he needed a few more issues to break down her current boyfriend before sending her back to ol' blue-eyes), the Thing finally gets to say that he beat the Hulk (in poker), and the final hand has the Thing facing off against "stretcho" but this time it's Flatman from the GL* (the * is there because none of the heroes like the Avengers or the Defenders want these losers to use their name). Ben was looking good with four fours (a "fantastic four of a kind" as he put it) but Flatman counters with a straight flush. All in all, an enjoyable book and a good end to a series that seemed to be going downhill. I only wish that that Andrea DiVito was able to do the interior art.

The Great and Secret Show: For once it felt like something happened after I finished reading this book yet looking back at it now, I can't think of too much (other than the Jaffe started to build his army) yet the story seems to just keep growing. I'm really enjoying this series and think it's a great translation of the original novel. The art is consistently good and fits. The face that hovers over the Jaffe is really well down (angling perfectly with Jaffe, when his head is turned 15 degrees, so is the face above him). Yep, I'm really enjoying this book.

Ares: Storywise this issue was ok but a little too happy. I can't give too much away but I was only mildly pleased with how this series came to an end. There was one issue that seems to be left dangling but we'll see when that's addressed. But overall, Oeming shows once again that he can handle the mythological superheroes. Artwise, the characters are done well but again, the backgrounds are left out (or just simple colour patterns). Perhaps this is intentional, we (as humans) can't really see where the gods are fighting or there really is no background to this place but it still bugs me a bit. I can really see why people complained about lack of backgrounds in my own webcomic. But overall it was a good mini-series although I'd much rather read more about Ares as he was at the start of the series and less so on how he ends up. The former being a different character than what I'm used to seeing from Marvel.

So that's it for this week.

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