Friday, May 30, 2008

Weekly Comic Reviews for May 28th, 2008 -- Major SPOILERS

Well, I'm sick with an annoying summer cold so let's get to it shall we. I've got three books to review this week with She-Hulk #29, Giant Size Astonishing X-Men #1, and King Size Hulk #1.

Giant Size Astonishing X-Men #1 -- After the last issue I think it was pretty clear that Kitty would be the one who doesn't return. Not to mention the fact that this book got delayed so much that we've seen all the other X-Men running around in other books. But throughout this book I just kept thinking "Don't do it Joss." This was in part due to the fact that I like the character and I've really enjoyed how Joss has written her but I also felt that it was falling into his usual story, two people who have had feelings for one another for a while get together and you squash the romance by eliminating one of the characters (often by killing one of them). So as much as I felt the emotion of the scene it also rubbed me the wrong way given just how often it seems Joss does this. Now obviously she's not "dead" so there's always the possibility but still. As for the book itself, despite what I felt were a few hiccups in the storytelling or dialogue it was well written and I felt the story lived up to the expected big conclusion. There were a few things that I felt were left dangling (such as the Danger Room who only made a brief appearance here) and were a bit rushed (like the Beast/Agent Brand stuff) but that can be dealt with later by other writers and doesn't really hurt this book too much. The art seemed slightly rushed in a few panels and I didn't really care for Cassaday's take on the Thing but other shots (such as the Spidey over New York ones) were pretty amazing. So in the end, I felt it lived up to my expectations but didn't really exceed them. Joss' run on the X-Men will go down as one of my favourites and I recommend picking up the TPBs if you haven't been reading the monthlys. In some ways you'll be better off, you won't have to deal with the lengthy delays.

King Size Hulk #1 -- With the movie coming out we're bound to see more and more Hulk related stuff. For a Hulk fan such as me, this can be a very good thing (though bad for my wallet). It also can be hit or miss as to the quality of said "stuff". This book will go down as a "miss" for me. To start, we get Banner looking over files on the Red Hulk and picking out one encounter with a Wendigo. A few points are brought up such as the Red Hulk getting hotter as he gets angry but overall, I was actually rather bored by this part of the story. And the introduction of a group of Wendigos and the hint that the Red Hulk has made them into enemies that will come after him just doesn't seem to mesh well with the overall story, with all the confusion currently going on do we really need to start wondering who these Wendigos are and where they fit in? Art wise I like Art Adams' Red Hulk but his Wendigo was... different. I did wonder about the Hulk's size as when he's eating the deer it appears to be smaller than his head. And where did he get a machete that big??? But in the end, the story didn't really do much for me. Next up was She-Hulk getting her butt kicked as we see what happened between her and the Hulk on the SHIELD helicarrier. Not much here either. She says this Hulk is more brutal than Bruce ever way, is that really a shock for readers? That's been a thing with the Hulk for a while now, he's always been reigned in by Banner. Then we have Ross going over the Abomination's history. Since the Abomination is supposedly dead it seems odd to do this now unless you're setting something up (such as Blonsky being alive or Ross being the Red Hulk). Or perhaps it was just to tie into the movie but that also seems wrong since they are going with a very different Abomination origin for the movie. It also seemed weird that he talked about the time the Hulk got shrunk down and became the Abomination "conscience" and then mentioned the Abomination getting disfigured in nuclear waste considering that was out of order (the nuclear waste incident happened first and as Trimpe's art shows, the Abomination was disfigured during that other story). So again, I felt a little let down here. Then came the "extras". We get another reprint of The Incredible Hulk #180 and 181. I'm guessing it was to tie in with the new Wendigo story but I thought it was poorly thought out considering those issues are remembered more as the first appearance of Wolverine and not for the Wendigo appearance. Not to mention that I feel these isssues have been re-printed enough already. Next up was an Avengers book with the Lady Liberators. This book really seemed out of place as it didn't seem to tie in with the Hulk at all. But I've read that maybe She-Hulk is going to assemble her own "Lady Liberators" team to go after the Hulk. That just seems silly to me but I'll wait to read it before I criticize it too much. But including this issue here just seemed more confusing for people avoiding reading spoilers online and was a bad move in my opinion. So yeah, this book was a general disappointment for me.

She-Hulk #29 -- This book had the unfortunate situation of being read after King Size Hulk when I was already tired from my cold and having a general feeling of disappointment with the Hulk book. Here, we get to see what got Jen Walters/She-Hulk disbarred. It's a decent story but it almost felt like a letdown in some ways. Since Peter David took over this book we've had the question looming of just what happened to get her disbarred. It's been brought up a few times and put aside, teasing fans. So finally getting the story it almost felt like it had been hyped. And as I said, it's decent but not a story worth hyping in my opinion. I am intrigued that there's someone pulling the strings from behind the scenes so there's that. The art wasn't as solid as it could have been. And I felt in some parts that the gratuitous shots of She-Hulk's chest bursting out of her clothes seemed a little unnecessary (given the search terms that bring some people to my blog I'm sure this sentence will bring a couple more... *sigh*). But don't get me wrong, I still think that this was a good comic and moved the story along well but I wasn't blown away by it. I think Peter David has done better and most likely will in the upcoming issues. So I think the series is still worth checking out.

I guess that's it for me. So if you'll excuse me I'm off to make myself another hot cup of tea and hope the fog currently engulfing my head clears a bit because it sure would be nice to be able to breath normally again.


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