Another "busy" week for me comic-wise, what's up with that? :) A whopping 5 books to review so let's get to it.
Hulk #4 -- Yes, I'm one of those crazy comic fans who will continue to buy a series with my favourite character despite not liking it. And I continue to not like this series. A lot. The Watcher scene at the beginning? I guess some fanboys will enjoy it but I thought it was a joke and not in a good way. I thought it was childish and a bad idea on Loeb's part. I've heard that this idea of having the Hulk punch out the Watcher was one of the first things Loeb thought up when he was looking at writing a Hulk book. I think he should have left it as a thought or put it in some cartoon somewhere. Then we have the fight, not much writing there so it was going okay for a while. Then it happened, the Red Hulk wins by breaking the Green Hulk's arm. REALLY? The Hulk, who has been disembowled by Speedfreak, who had 2/3rds of his body mass ripped away by Vector, who had a hole cut open in his chest by Wolverine, passes out from a broken arm. And not only that, the Red Hulk has to carry him around as he remains unconcious or semi-concious and keep shaking him so he won't turn back into Banner. Please tell me that there's more to it, that the Red Hulk is somehow absorbing the Green Hulk's strength or something because that just seemed pathetic. The art was pretty to look at for the most part but it doesn't make up for just how bad I think the writing is here. The issue supposedly sold out so people are buying it but personally, I don't recommend it. Though in two months we get to see how Thor does against the Red Hulk. As I already said to Carl, I'm half-expecting that fight to end with Red Hulk beating Thor by kicking him in the shins.
She-Hulk #30 -- I like Peter David's work for the most part, I really do. And I think this was a solid issue. It had fun moments, it tied up some story elements well while leading to more, and it was well paced. So I'm trying to figure out why it felt a little hollow. I can't really pinpoint anything wrong with it but it didn't really make me go "wow" like some of Peter David's other work or Dan Slott's stuff (I know, I have to stop going back to the "not Slott" factor). I think the overall story just didn't have the "oomph" it needed to go on this long. For those thinking of checking the series out, this probably isn't the issue for you. But with a new art team and an X-Factor crossover in the next issue (and a Secret Invasion tie in) that might be a book you'll want to check out.
Ultimates 3 #4 -- More Jeph Loeb "fun". Honestly, I'm losing track of what's going on and I don't really care. With the Savage Land we get flashbacks that I felt were poorly executed and made reading this book even more of a chore. We have the whole "who is the Black Panther?" thing (hmm, where's Cap?), does everything need to be confusing and a mystery with Loeb? And then we get the robot Ultimates at the end who actually appear like the Ultimates during Millar and Hitch's run (ie. Thor looks like his hippy self) but seem to have two Captain Americas (one who looked like the Cap from the first few issues of this Ultimates run and one in his World War 2 getup). And that "vibrator" line, that stuck out like a sore thumb. Is that Loeb's attempt at making this book "mature"? By making 30 year old guys with the maturity of a 12 year old giggle? And it was the wrong time for a line like that, how can we be worried about a villain who equates himself to a vibrator? The best part? That there's only one more issue and then I'm done. I do have to say that just like the Hulk, the art was pretty to look at in this issue.
Runaways #30 -- Whedon's run on this book has kinda been in decline for me. I can see some of it being from the delays which made reading it really challenging, especially with the large number of characters and story elements that were thrown in with the last few issues. But mostly it's just that last part. The story quickly became a tangle of I don't know how many characters being introduced as quickly as you can and then fighting and me losing track of who's who or who I should be cheering for. Having said that, this issue actually tied up a lot of it without me needing to go back and plot out who came from where. But the real character moments that Vaughan had used to make the series great, scenes where they were just hanging out in their hide out or shopping or whatever, disappeared. Maybe for some people that may have worked but not so much for me. It was still a decent story and maybe it's better to pick it up now, without the constant delays spreading the story so many months. But I'm actually looking forward to the re-start by Terry Moore and as a Whedon fan, it hurts me to say that.
Runaways/Young Avengers Secret Invasion #1 -- It was funny how this book started with what I felt was missing from Whedon's run, a simple moment of the Runaways going out into the streets and talking. It's a good moment that gets cut short when the invasion kicks in. I was extremely curious to see how Xavin and Hulkling react and I'm happy to see neither of them turning evil (at least not yet) as I like them both. But it was also interesting to see the two reactions and how each approached it differently. The art was a cartoony style and maybe didn't fit the seriousness of the story at parts yet in some ways, it fits the Runaways and still works for me (though probably not for everyone). I do wonder if there will be some overlap in story elements with the She-Hulk/X-Factor SI crossover (it just felt similar with a "special" Skrull that's been on earth and a plan by the invading Skrulls to kill them off) but I think there's enough difference that it won't be too much of a factor. It's just funny that those will be the only two Secret Invasion stories I'll be reading. Now I can't say how important this issue will be for Secret Invasion fans (how big Hulkling's role might be or whether it's explained in the Secret Invasion series remains to be seen) but it's important for Runaways and Young Avengers fans. And I recommend picking it up if you're a fan of either of those teams. Secret Invasion fans? You may be a little disappointed, especially in the art area, that this book might not fit the tone of other Secret Invasion books.
So that's it for this week. And in case I don't get around to posting on the weekend, Happy Canada Day to my fellow canuckleheads out there.