Well, after a few slow weeks I get hit pretty big this week with 5 books. So here are the reviews (I promise to make them shorter than last week although there are 5 so it might look daunting), spoilers to a minimum.
Incredible Hulk - Hulk's off planet and starting to enjoy himself. He gets to smash all he wants and gets women handed to him so long as he keeps smashing. He has no desire to join the resistance (against the oppressive and corrupt King) because he knows that afterwards he'll be back to being treated like a monster just like the humans do (ask him to save the world then treat him like a monster). But he also has no desire to be sent off to live in peace because he knows that will never last. He's getting stronger (the effects of the portal are wearing off), he survives a trap that was orchestrated by the King and his team is starting to come together (even though they lost two members this issue), and in the end the King's next plan is revealed. Next issue it'll be the Green Scar (Hulk) vs the Silver Savage (Silver Surfer). Finally, the Hulk is getting some respect in the comic world with Marvel maintaining a solid writer and artist team on the book and pushing just how much of a monster the Hulk can be. Great book.
Astonishing X-Men - Keeping the spoilers to a minimum on this one (you're welcome Carl). Although I'm not sure I know what the heck is going on so I probably couldn't spoil it if I tried. Whedon continues to weave an intriguing tale and you just know it's leading to something cool even if this issue didn't reach that level of coolness on its own. And of course we have the humour. My only complaint, having to wait 2 months for each 22 pages.
Thing - Now I've been hyping up Slott's writing for a little while now thanks to She-Hulk, GLX, and this series but I think he's letting things slip here. There's nothing in particular that's wrong with this issue by itself (other than the fact that they had the Hulk green in a flashback shot yet he was gray when he was part of the New Fantastic Four) and having Spidey make an appearance led to a few good one liners (it's funny that Slott would take shots at the New Avengers and Spidey's suit even though this must have been written before Bendis took his shot at Slott's writing and the theory about the Hulk not killing anyone... but Slott's comments all had a good natured feeling to them). But the series just seems to be dragging on for me now. It's almost starting to come across as one of those books they make for children to teach them values like "money won't solve all your problems" and "nice guys don't always finish last". If the series doesn't pick up soon I may be dropping it.
Villains United Special - The Villains United series was a very pleasant surprise for me during the build up to Infinite Crisis so I had higher hopes for this special than I did for the OMAC one. Unfortunately, I found the issue lacking. The art was ok I guess but the writing was choppy. There didn't seem to be a flow to the book. You'd have a page with 4 or more panels but each were from a different storyline. Maybe it was supposed to give the impression that all this was going on at the same time but it was just too jarring for me. And the art didn't help. It wasn't always clear what was going on (like a panel where Black Adam was fighting a Nazi guy, it looked like they were fighting on the ground but I guess they were supposed to be high up in the sky... but that could have been a problem with the inking and colouring as the background was just done all one shade of green). And at least the OMAC special tied up some loose ends, this series didn't really seem to have any so it showed some background of how Alex Luthor went ahead with his plan to release all the villains and send them to Metropolis. But they lacked the motivation behind it all. And the big finale, Doomsday. *yawn* If this was the first time we'd seen Doomsday since he killed Superman I would be drooling like a fanboy but DC has really mis-used this character. He's popped up more than a whack-a-mole mole and been beaten down each and every time. He's gone from unstoppable Juggernaut to that guy you keep bringing out to show just how bad things are getting. Well sooner or later if you keep using that trick it becomes a lot less effective on the reader and makes the character seem downright beatable. It's like that classic Jaws story where Spielberg learned that if you keep having the shark pop up throughout the movie sooner or later the audience stops jumping. A disappointing book to be honest.
Clive Barker's The Great and Secret Show #2 - As I read this book bits and pieces of the novel come back to me but it's been so long (and my memory is so bad) that it's almost a new story for me. The art still seems to work and the writing is pretty solid and makes you want to know where exactly this story is going. The problems, it's a quick read and still comes across as a recap. The narrative still reads like "this is what happened previously before our story starts" and I'm starting to wonder when it's going to get into feeling like "and this is the story". Now trying to fit issue 1 and 2 into one book would probably have ruined a lot of things but I'm wondering if the story could have been presented with less of the "backstory" feel to it. And although the art is nice I kinda wonder if the pace of the book could be picked up with smaller panels. Although I also notice that comics seem to move quite a bit faster when there are no ads to slow up the reader. So perhaps that also throws me off. But these are really small issues with the book over all and this has been a very good adaptation of the novel so far (at least for me but as I said, I don't remember the book all that well). Plus, it's got topless chicks! Always a plus. Sorry, I had to let the immature fanboy out at some point. ;)
Thanks for keeping out the spoilers :)
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