6.13.07 Reviews

World War Hulk #1 (Marvel): Wasn't Professor X part of the whole secret Illuminati cabal that banished Hulk to space? How come no mention of him here? There are X-Men crossover books with this Hulk event, but his name and image are mysteriously absent. I like how Pak brings a cinematic disaster flic feel, ala Independence Day, to this; nice framing for a mini-series. Also appreciated how the Planet Hulk story was summarized nicely for those who didn't read it. How the hell does he defeat Black Bolt? Are we to just assume that he's never been this mad/strong, and he's at a new peak of power? The defeat is handled entirely off panel! I do like seeing Hulk in command of his own little force. Dr. Strange's astral projection, hrmm... isn't he bleeding to death right now over in New Avengers since he was stabbed by Elektra? Some nice ties to the most recent Sentry mini-series with his relationship to Hulk. Romita Jr.'s art is as strong as ever, beautiful facial expressions, and great overall panel flow. Where the heck did Tony get that Celestial-y looking suit? All in all, some engaging action, a slugfest that has been properly intro'd and framed, some concern exhibited over the real world inhabitants, and most importantly, Tony actually owning his actions - right or wrong, it's a nice way humanize him for a change. The "warp core" reference smacks a bit overtly of Jean-Luc Picard and the Star Trek-verse. Not a big Thor fan, but Straczynski and Coipel just might be enough to get me buying it ('specially Olivier Coipel on pencils). Marvel always seem to go for the 9/11 imagery these days, as evidenced by the silo'd collapse of Sentry Tower. As you see, I have quite a few little quibbles, but overall this was actually really entertaining if you can get past them. Grade B+.

BPRD: Garden of Souls #4 (Dark Horse): Another doomsday apocalypse scenario is revealed to be in progess, Abe learns more about his own origin and that of the mysterious sanctuary he was drawn to, and reacts predictably opposed to the world tampering and those trying to play God (conjuring up images of his own experiences porting souls into new corporeal forms). This all converges with Captain Daimio's (my new fave BPRD member!) investigation. Solid as usual. Grade B+.

Stormwatch: PHD #8 (DC/Wildstorm): Gage gives us a cool cross-training motif that infuses old characters with new. And yes, I finally found something to bitch about with this book! Andy Smith's art is just a little too generic, not the distinct tone of Mahnke's usual lines, which ultimately brings down the charm factor significantly. Some nice house ads for Green Arrow: Year One, The Programme from Peter Milligan and CP Smith. Umm, so Jackson King is laying on the ground with a bullet hole in the head, oozing deep dark rich red blood, generally a sign that you're D-E-A-D. Umm, putting 02 on him and doing chest compressions won't really help all that much. That silliness aside, this could be the set up for a nice little closed room murder, as Stormwatch: Prime and Stormwatch: PHD reps are vying for control of the crime scene. Grade B-.

New Avengers #31 (Marvel): All of the post-Civil War New Avengers issues have been pretty solid... (wait for it)... until now. It's unfortunate that just as I thought it was hitting its stride, it loses me. The dialogue goes a little something like this: "Wow. There are many ninjas. Oh. We are making jokes. Hey. I am going to light you on fire now." In its quest to be light or funny or action-y... or something, it comes off stiff as hell and just pushed me right out. Yu's art (which I've been praising) now looks rushed in spots, with skimpy backgrounds and figures that lack definition, more representational than overly detailed. I feel like this fight has been aflutter for about 3 issues now and I can't remember why or what the point is or why I'm supposed to care all that much. Isn't it... ahem, *strange* that Dr. Strange asks Danny if he speaks Japanese? Umm, hello, Logan does, he was just doing it 3 pages earlier, and he's standing right next to you. Sorry, but I'm missing the significance of Skrull(?) Elektra, is this the "shocking last page revelation" that was promised? Wouldn't Wolverine have smelled the differene between Elektra and a Skrull? Yeah, umm, doesn't make sense, not too shocking, and just for the record - it's not the last page. The last page has some minimalist banter between Wong and Jess with Luke and Jess' baby showing green eyes. To quote Danny: "What does this mean?" All in all, a sloppy, snoozy, head-scratchin' mess. Grade C+.

I also picked up;

The Black Diamond Detective Agency (First Second): Annnnnd my LCS finally delivers a week late. Looking forward to chugging through this after the FCBD offering.

Conan: Volume 4: The Hall of the Dead & Other Stories (Dark Horse): Annnnnd my LCS finally delivers *two* weeks late. Looking forward to reading (the bulk of) this for the first time since I started skipping single issues during this run.


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