I think that Marvel beat DC this week. Also unprecedented: I read more Marvel titles than DC this week. I read Avengers #31 because of all the hype, and because it's a title that I've been mostly following. I'm not going to review it because the big ol' surprise didn't mean that much to me. I mean, I get it. I just don't know if I care.
Again I have failed to get caught up on Green Lantern Corps. Bah. And I haven't read the Avengers Classic #1 comic yet, but it looks like fun.
World War Hulk #1
Oh hell yes. This was not only very fun and exciting, it was also tremendously satisfying. I love that Marvel understands that what fans really want to see right now is each of their biggest heroes having the holy living shit kicked out of them. THEY ALL DESERVE IT.
This premise is so great. Hulk gets shot into space by the Illuminati, Hulk figures shit out, gets really angry, and comes back to Earth with a list of names and his murder clothes on. The Illuminati realize he's coming back and are like "Oh, Jesus."
Here he comes:
He makes a quick stop on the Moon first to have a chat with Illuminati punching bag #1, Black Bolt. I know we all saw this scene in Marvel Previews months ago, but seriously. It's the greatest.
The next time we see Black Bolt, Hulk is holding his battered body up for all the world to see as a warning. Not bad, Hulk.
He lands in Manhattan to tell Earth a little story...about how everyone is going to die.
So Manhattan gets evacuated, and Iron Man puts on an enormous suit in preparation for battle. It does not go well for Iron Man, despite the massive missile strike that rains down on Hulk. It turns out that Hulk does not like missiles, and what doesn't kill him literally makes him stronger. Iron Man is afraid.
Is there anything more satisfying than this:
Marvel has what could potentially be the perfect summer blockbuster crossover series. It's fun, it's straightforward, it involves a lot of characters, but pretty much only the biggest and most recognizable ones. There are quite a few issues on the checklist if you want to read everything, but not nearly as many as most cross-overs. Plus, the story is probably not going to get that complicated. ("So, I missed it. What did Hulk do to Professor X?" "Oh, he smashed him.").
I am all the way down with this series. Don't prove me wrong, Marvel. You wouldn't like me when I'm angry.
Countdown Week 46
I don't say it enough, so I'm saying it now: Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray are awesome and deserve all the high fives in the world. Jonah Hex is one of my favourite comics, but it's one of the ones that usually gets bumped when I am deciding which comics to write reviews of.
I wish I could get into Uncle Sam and the Freedom Fighters as a concept, because I love their writing so much, but I just get confused and frightened when I read those comics.
What I am saying is, good writing is saving Countdown, which is teetering on the brink of just being a total mess. Every issue has whole pages that I just don't understand, but there are little pockets of radness too. The beauty of these weekly books is that they take characters that I otherwise don't really think about, like, say, Piper and Trickster, and make me love them. Let's hear it for minor characters!
Hey, look who Jimmy runs into:
It's our old pal, Sleez! Porno agent to the stars! I have no idea what he's doing here, or what is going on, but it seems that Jimmy doesn't either, so that's cool.
Mary Marvel (Black Mary?) has also run into a disgusting weirdo. He is the harvester of stillborn souls, and he's made of dead babies. It's really gross.
Oh, Fredric Wertham. Were you only alive to see this.
Moving on, there's a great Reservoir Dogs-style scene with the Flash Rogues:
As usual, the Rogues scene is the best part of the comic. I would love a comic that is just called Rogue Gallery Follies that follows these guys around.
Watch as they bet on each other in fights:
Aw, Trickster is betting on Piper. That's nice.
Watch as Inertia drinks a shot off Mirror Master's frozen fist!
That's just awesome.
Oh, some stuff happens with Donna and Jason and the Monitors too.
Green Arrow #75
Mostly it's just a cool fight that pits Mia and Connor against Drakon, and Oliver and Dinah against Deathstroke. It almost ends badly for everyone:
Fortunately for Green Arrow (and, kinda unfortunately for the readers), the ENTIRE Justice League shows up and puts a stop to the fight. I just...aw forget it. The book is done.
So Oliver resigns as Mayor of Star City, and symbolically tears down the wall that has been dividing his city since the City Walls series. This is where the writing starts to get very cheesy:
And what do the arrows do to the wall?
I'm sorry, Batman invented what? The concept here is so insane that I can't decide if I love it or hate it. A big part of me can't help but love the idea of Batman in his lab, on the phone with Ollie, saying "Wall, eh? I might have just the thing to take care of that. Now, a lesser man might tell you to just tear it down, but let me ask you, Oliver, how do you the citizens of Star City feel about getting unexpectedly buried in a massive wave of sweet-smelling water?"
And then, gazing down at Star City with its new rivers of milk and honey, and soggy residents, Oliver asks Dinah to marry him. But we don't get to find out the answer until the Black Canary mini-series. Bah. (I'm putting good money on "Yes").
If you can get past the cover (this may take awhile), this is a pretty good comic.
Oh, Namor. You don't just rule Atlantis. You rule everything. You just rule.
Iron Man is involved in yet another tense situation, this time with Atlantis as a potential enemy. A town in Kansas gets blown up, and there are victims with gills carved in their necks and traces of Atalantean DNA on the bodies. This all points to Namor, the sharp-dressed Prince of Atlantis, and full-time human-hating snob. Iron Man calls him up:
I really like that little emotional slip-up where Namor calls Iron Man 'Tony.' Very nice.
Namor is pissed. He gathers up his council and drills them for information. They aren't saying anything, which makes Namor angry.
He ends up killing a guy when he learns that he has betrayed him. It turns out that there are a number of Atlanteans who want to destroy the surface world, and they are responsible for the recent attack. Namor is not happy about this, especially since it means America, lead by S.H.I.E.L.D. is going to war against Atlantis in response.
It's a comic full of war, treachery, and political intrigue! And it ends with Namor putting his battle suit on. This could be fun. I'm glad he has his own title again. Obviously it's important if the Sub-Mariner movie is actually getting made.
It takes me a really long time to read an issue of this series. This is not only because there is a lot of art to look at, but because it's very hard to follow. I really liked this series, though. It's definitely a little heavy-handed in places, and overly nostalgic and glowing, with the whole "We are heroes. We are here to save the world. We are the the perfect line-up of beautiful, perfect heroes. See how we shine! You are hideous by comparison! Your comic books are also hideous by comparison, with their bastard heroes of today. Your Flash is garbage! Barry Allan is a beautiful glowing ball of perfection! When he returns you will not be fit to receive him!"
Hal is looking good:
Ray's looking good:
Bruce is looking good:
Arthur is looking really good:
Wonder Woman, not so much:
Yargh! Put it back on!
I thought the scene where Superman was giving Zatanna mouth-to-mouth was really sweet.
I especially love how he reminds himself to be gentle when trying to get her heart started. Zatanna looks very cute in this series.
Well, that's the end of that. Twelve issues, two years. It was good. I liked it. Even if it made my brain hurt.
Betty & Veronica Double Digest #152
Alright, I have to admit. This is just terrible.
The thing is, they have updated the art without updating the writing. The kids are all super lame, with super lame jokes and insults. They are into super lame things, and maybe it's because I also read the very good Re-Gifters this week, but there is nothing even vaguely realistic about this high school drama. I'm not saying that there needs to be, but it seems that they are going for that, and failing. Hard.
Ok, so last we left the gang, Veronica had a new "bad boy" boyfriend named Nick. Nick is superbad. How bad? Check this out:
Chicken noises! Badasssss!! (oh, and check out Moose, Jughead and Dilton as they make their updated debut. I like that they kept the crosshatching in Archie's hair, too).
He loves this gag:
Good one, Nick! Did you learn that one on the streets?
Well, Reggie liked it:
At least, I assume that's Reggie.
As usual, the best character is Dilton. I love Dilton. So much.
Seriously. Somebody date that guy. Betty, I'm looking at you.
Minx does it again! Another delightful, intelligent all-ages book that starred a cool, realistic teenage girl. Boiled down, it's a romance story, as it centers on the massive crush that the lead character, a Korean-American high school girl named Dixie, has on a boy named Adam. The reader can tell pretty much immediately that Adam is not worth Dixie's affections, but that's just the way these things go in high school. Who hasn't had an all-encompassing crush on a complete idiot? Especially as a teenager.
I liked this book because it didn't omit any of the completely embarrassing, and, again, absolutely realistic things that a teen girl does when she has a crazy crush on someone. Her actions and thoughts were so familiar, that I wanted to bury my face in a pillow several times while reading this. Not bad, considering the entire creative team is male.
Mike Carey, who is better known for his...not quite all ages appropriate work at Vertigo...creates a likable, layered character with Dixie. She's a black belt in Hapkido, she has an Orlando Bloom poster on her bedroom wall and a Kill Bill alarm clock, she's tough, and she makes some bad decisions. The book is funny, and the art, by Sonny Liew and Mark Hempel suits the writing really well. Good stuff, Minx!