I know I'm a little ahead this week as I normally don't post reviews until Friday. But yesterday was my father's birthday and since he decided to go hit golf balls with his buddies we have to get together for dinner tonight. And that pushed my comic run up a day. And if that makes no sense to you, just ignore it and skip to the reviews.
As for the reviews, this week was a really busy week by my standards with 8 books coming out so let's get right to it shall we. And a warning that SPOILERS are throughout (especially in the Hulk review):
Hulk #2 -- If this book was written as some sort of alternate dimension book or just fan fiction I might be mildly okay with it. Yeah, I think it's crappy writing but at least the art is pretty. But as it stands, I think it's just ... very bad (that's not what I want to really say but I'm trying to be nice). There are so many things that just make me cringe in this book. The giant pistol that SHIELD has sitting around that seemingly can kill the Abomination. Iron Man standing around doing absolutely nothing while She-Hulk gets beat all over the SHIELD helicarrier. He even waited until she was knocked unconcious and almost killed before he put his mask back on. Oh, he did bark a couple orders but that's not Iron Man. Iron Man multitasks. He barks orders as he does other stuff (like throw on his mask and confront the monster taking down his ship). And why is he surprised that the Hulk's hands were red? We got the red description from the kid in Russia. And why does he even insist on calling this the Hulk considering Banner is still locked up? And Rick Jones is the new Abomination (or "A-bom" as he calls himself), really??? That makes no sense to me. I actually had to double check that there was some confirmation that this was Rick Jones and not just Blonsky with long hair. I really hope there are some extremely good answers for this because at the moment it makes me wonder if Loeb was just given carte blanche to do whatever he likes whether it made sense for the characters or not. And as for the theory that Samson is the new Hulk, this issue really seems to push that but it's pretty obvious and wouldn't make much sense to me either. But then again, maybe not making sense actually makes sense. So yeah, I'm not recommending this series. Maybe when it's all played out it'll redeem itself but for now I just have too many problems with it.
Ultimates 3 #3 -- Meh. That's pretty much how I felt about this issue. Yeah, we get some flashbacks and more icky talk about Quicksilver and the Scarlett Witch (I really do hope that Loeb turns it around and says that Logan wasn't actually watching them ... you know). The art was good. But overall, I just can't really put this book on my recommended reading list. It seems to be pushing certain things (Clint's obsession with getting someone to kill him and the Pietro/Wanda love connection) just for the sake of seeming "edgy" and more "mature". And I felt quite a bit of the book could have been cut out except they wanted to see more of Maduira draw "sexy" women. Only two more issues to go and I'm hoping they are an improvement over what we've seen so far.
Angel: After the Fall #4 -- I really think the art is holding this book back. Not only are likenesses and issue but the art in general was just lacking. Characters looked weird, not just in their likeness. And it's too bad because I'm really enjoying the story. The dialogue may be somewhat lacking at times but the overall story is really good. Yeah, it makes my recommended reading list but I wish it could be a bit better.
Incredible Hercules #114 -- I keep thinking that this book could show a turning point in the character of Ares back to being a villain. I mean, he's trying to kill Hercules, he's turning Avengers against Herc to try and get them to kill him, and he's beating up his teammates. But since he's in the Mighty Avengers and this is just a Hercules book I'm sure he'll remain the good guy. You would think that the Black Widow would eventually say something about him though. Anywho, I'm surprised to say I'm still rather enjoying this series. I didn't think a Hercules series could keep my attention. I don't know how long it'll last though and I'm eager to see the Hulk back (with Pak writing him). The art was pretty solid and you got a good sense of Hercules' insanity from the Hydra blood. Things don't look good at the end though with Amadeus seemingly being pushed over the edge with the injuries his little pup sustained. It's too bad, as I liked Amadeus as a good guy but I guess we'll have to wait and see where it goes. So yeah, this series is on my recommended reading list.
Runaways #29 -- This book's biggest problem continues to be the amount of time between issues and with this particular storyline, that's a bigger problem. With the Runaways having travelled back in time and meeting a number of characters (I think someone counted it to be 25 characters including the Runaways themselves in this particular issue) and all those characters being part of groups and subgroups and such a 4 month wait between issues can be problematic. Not only do I not remember where the Runaways left off after the last issue I don't remember all these extra characters. Yeah, the page at the beginning helps a bit but it can't cover everything. And maybe the problem would be solved if I just wait until all the issues are out or read the TPB but this is supposed to be a monthly comic, I shouldn't have to do that to enjoy it for what it's supposed to be. Having said that, after the initial headaches of figuring things out the issue was a solid continuation of the story and the characters. You get a lot of poignant moments (Molly is such a scene stealer) and some depth to what's going on. And the art is solid and reflects the story's setting well. So yeah, it makes my recommended reading list but perhaps you should wait for the TPB, there's no telling when the last issue will come out.
Ultimate Human #2 -- After some Hulk action we're treated to a brief Iron Man versus Hulk. And then some talky-talky between Bruce and Tony, and the Leader and his men. Then it's time for the main storyline to take over with the Leader's plan being executed. Overall, I enjoyed this issue. It had some cool moments in the fight and the "talky-talky" parts were really interesting for someone who wants to really get in to the characters' heads and see what makes them tick. This take on the Hulk (in his Ultimate form) is a very interesting one and a departure from the 616 Hulk. That's not a bad thing, I kinda like seeing other takes on the character. So yeah, it makes my recommended reading list.
World of Warcraft #4 -- What I liked about this issue: The art didn't bother me quite as much as usual though there were a few panels where I had to spend a bit more time figuring out what was going on. And it was interesting to add depth to one of the main characters. But on the other hand, it felt a little odd. The two main characters just happen to show up just as the elves and humans are about to be ambushed and come up with the plan to ambush the orcs back. And the other elf just happens to show up in time to start following that guy who's chasing the main human character. It just seemed rather convenient how things fell into place. And now they have a new mission to go on. It almost seems to be playing out like a game, finish one mission, get the next. Overall I thought the issue was okay but it didn't blow me away or anything. I don't think it makes my recommended reading list but it may be worth checking out.
World War Hulk Aftersmash Warbound #3 -- I'm actually enjoying this series. I know it's not hugely successful or popular but I kinda liked the characters from Planet Hulk and it's great to see them being developed further as now they can be explored more fully in their own book. The art isn't overwhelmingly great but it tells the story well. And it's an interesting story at that. I'm not quite sure what the Leader's full story here, why he's dying and such, so I'm hoping that gets cleared up at some point. I know it's not for everyone as it mostly deals with second or third tier characters from the Incredible Hulk (characters that most people would barely know if at all) but I really do think it's well done. So it makes my recommended reading list.
Whew! That's it for this week and what a week it was.