Friday, June 22, 2007

Weekly Comic Reviews for June 20th, 2007 -- SPOILERS

Only one monthly book this week but I also picked up the last volume of Death Note. So let's jump right into the review of the Incredible Hulk #107.

Incredible Hulk #107 -- Since we have Pak writing both the Hulk and World War Hulk you can at least expect some continuity between the two books. Though I guess someone missed that World War Hulk seemed to occur at night time where as this book seems to be showing those events happening during the day. Not a huge deal but still. Now anyone picking this up as a Hulk book may be a somewhat disappointed. Instead, it's the story of Amadeus Cho as he continues recruiting heroes to side with the Hulk. And he reveals a little bit of his plan. Using Angel's money (at least the portion of it that he swiped from Angel's bank account) he's bought an area of the desert where the initial gamma bomb test went off creating the Hulk and he plans to create a sanctuary there for the Hulk and his friends. Long story short, he recruits Hercules, Angel, and Namora (but Namor declines) and heads to New York. Still on a high from his fight with Iron Man, Hulk attacks Hercules who takes a pounding before he can finally get the Hulk to listen and say that they (Herc, Angel, Namora, Amadeus, and some other humans that have their own reasons for being there) are there to help him. It's a well written book and it's nice to see what's going on with a few other characters during World War Hulk. But the downside for me is a Hulk book that really doesn't have much Hulk to it. And as for the art, for the most part I like Gary Frank's work (maybe his older style more so than his newer stuff) but the last part seemed off. The way he draws the Hulk at the end, with is mouth curled back and teeth showing, he looks more like gorilla to me. And then the last page his head looks ... wrong is the only way I can think of putting it. He seems to have no jaw line and just a small chin. It was too bad because I thought the art was pretty solid up to that point. So the big question, would I recommend this book. That's actually a tough one. On the one hand, it's a finely done book but on the other hand, it's not really a Hulk book and for something called "The Incredible Hulk" that seems to be a disappointment. For the really big Hulk fans there's enough there to hang on to and for the World War Hulk fans who want the complete story from all angles, it's a good book to pick up. For those who just want the main World War Hulk storyline or want to see what the Hulk's up to these days, it's not so good. So take that as you will.

Death Note Volume 12 -- Again, just as I think they're going in one direction in this story the rug gets pulled out yet again. The cliffhanger from the last volume gets tied up rather quickly and we move right into a Western style showdown (by "Western" I'm referring to the old cowboy movies with the hero and villain standing off). This majority of this volume occurs during the standoff as each side reveals their plan to take the other down (one side narrates to the reader while the other narrates out loud). I'd rather not spoil anything but you know that one side has to win, the only question is how. And in the end, just when you think everything's been tied up nicely a character in the epilogue throws another twist into the mix with his own theory of what really happened leaving the reader in doubt. Which leaves you wondering, is the world really better off with what happened? Ending the story one these questions is interesting and leaves the reader thinking. And the showdown is well done though somewhat confusing to keep track of with all the twists. I had to read over things a few times to keep track of them... though I also blame some of that on my personal issues of keeping track of all the Asian names. But given the twists and turns the story took up until this point, it just makes sense. And at first I was shocked to get to the standoff so early in this volume and have to span so long but it really built up the tension that way. Though I think it worked for me here as it was in one volume, having to read each chapter on their own may have dragged it on a little too long. It was definitely an interesting and entertaining series and I'm glad I read it. It does make my recommended reading list.

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