Before I get into the reviews I need to rant a tiny bit. The topic? Greg Land's She-Hulk cover. I really wonder why Marvel switched covers at the last minute on this one as I actually thought the Mike Deodato (who I am not a big fan of either) cover was better. To start, Land pulls out one of his stock images for her face (an image that he's already used a handful of times) and it looks like he did a rush job of it. Of course he has to add a body to this face now and it's a mess. The hands and forearms are blobs and her left shoulder seems to be coming out of her head. It doesn't match her head at all. I know he's popular and his art seems to sell books but I just can't stand it. His constant use of actors or wrestlers (Triple-H seems to be a favourite of his as everyone seems to be doing his signature pose) and re-use of images over and over again ruin books for me. As a graphic storyteller he should be drawing the characters to match the situation in emotion and body position, instead he tries to force a picture of Jessica Alba into a panel seemingly not caring about what's actually going on in the story. It's really getting to the point where I want to avoid buying anything with Greg Land's name on it. Of course that won't mean squat as I'm in the minority here but I really think comic fans deserve better than this and I wish they'd realize it.
Putting that aside, let's get to the reviews...
Hulk #3 -- I'm really getting bored of this series. I just don't care who the red Hulk is anymore. The big thing for me is that things just aren't being explained or even mentioned. The Abomination has his powers back and is walking around Russia even though the last we saw him he had the nano stuff in him and was captured by SHIELD, Stark, Samson, Ross, and She-Hulk don't say a thing about it. Rick turns into "A-Bomb" for some reason, the red Hulk (who is someone who knows Rick) doesn't react with surprise or anything even though I'm confused as hell. Banner goes from nearly destroying the world to being put in a cell where if he touches the glass he gets gassed. As he says himself, all he needs to do is hold his breath. Or turn into the Hulk without touching the glass. I could go on and on but this book continues to make no sense to me. I know what some of you are saying "Give it time, it'll be explained" or "You're being too picky" but to me, this is just lazy writing. It reminds me of Bruce Jones' run where nothing made sense and after 3 years they revealed that... it wasn't supposed to make sense as the Leader had some master plan that relied on him confusing the Hulk. It's the Hulk, he's actually not that hard to confuse. But enough about Bruce Jones and since I've ranted long enough I'll stop dissecting the story. Art wise, it's pretty and the two panel spread of the red Hulk and A-Bomb is cool looking. But I hate how Banner looks like a 20 year old nerd with Coke bottle glasses in some panels. Oh yeah, one more thing about the writing (you should have known I couldn't let it go) I hate it when someone grabs a gun that is part of something and then starts shooting it as though it was also designed for handheld use. And why the heck would the red Hulk think a machine gun could even hurt A-Bomb? And why is he surprised that he has bulletproof skin (comparing him to an armadillo)? It's not like a gun like that should have any effect on the Hulk, Abomination, or this new A-Bomb. Some things may get explained but some things just make no sense and no explanation works. Despite this being a very popular book (so again I'm in the minority) I don't recommend it.
She-Hulk 28 -- Okay, I've ranted about the cover so what about the inside of this book. We get back to the story of the bomber and now learn it's somehow connected to She-Hulk's disbarring (is that the right word?). It's got some humour, some action, and some character depth to it. Everything I've come to expect from Peter David. And for the most part I liked the art (though one panel where She-Hulk is buckled over from a punch to the gut yet still throwing an uppercut, that one looked awkward and like something you'd see back in the comics of the 60's). I think my only really downer in this issue is the "24 hours ago" trick. It's a personal thing but I'm kinda getting tired of so many stories doing this (I was watching Battlestar Galactica a while back and they had quite a few episodes in a short time do this). When Peter David took over this book we were already thrust ahead in time with the understanding that we'll eventually see how She-Hulk got where she is and this book starts off with the same thing, She-Hulk being thrown into jail and then flashback to find out how she got there. But I'm ranting about something minor that most people won't pick up on. This book is well crafted and nicely drawn. I'm intrigued by where it's going and Jazinda is one of the few Skrulls I care about in the Secret Invasion story. So it makes my recommended reading list.
Hulk VS Hercules -- I was actually a little disappointed in this one, I was expecting "Hulk VS Hercules" and it felt more like a "Incredible Hercules" special featuring the Hulk. All the character exploration centers on Hercules and Amadeus Cho and the Hulk is just a plot device used for their story. Having just dropped Incredible Herc from my pull list I felt a little deceived here. But just like the Incredible Hercules series, this book is well written and has decent art (though the multiple artists thing still bugs me even if it's not too bad in this book). You just have to know what you're getting when you pick it up. It makes my recommended reading list for Herc fans or people reading Incredible Hercules. Those looking for a Hulk fix or just a Hulk VS Herc one shot should probably move on.
Mice Templar -- I think I'm going to have to re-read this series from the beginning at some point and I'm going to have to do it with a clear head. Because by the time I get around to reading this on Thursday a lot of the myth and folklore goes right over my head. And the fact that my beloved Habs where playing the Flyers last night while I was trying to read this didn't help. Yeah, it's my own fault here. So given all that, the art is gorgeous to look at and tells the story well. The story itself is an entertaining one on the surface but also pretty complex. You'll need to invest a bit of time into it to full appreciate it (though I am still enjoying it even if I haven't invested the time just yet). I recommend checking this out but it's definitely not everyone's cup of tea.
So that's it for me for this week. I think next week will be a slow one for me as I only noticed Elephantmen: War Toys #3 on the list (though I usually miss a book or two when I look at the list). But that's good for me as I just received Wanted and the first two Criminal TPBs in the mail. And I want to track down volume 1 of Fables too. And just to make sure it's not all comics I'm also reading "When Science Goes Wrong". So I have a full plate at the moment. But feel free to offer some suggestions or let me know what you're reading.