(red) Hulk #5

August 6, 2008

OK.

I’m not usually one to get all fanboyish about this superhero vs. that one, but this issue was really, really stupid.

Wait, I meant typical Loeb.  Sorry.  Same thing.  (Since when does magic give a fuck about gravity?????)

We’re playing an overly exaggerated version of “this guy is so badass he could beat up Superman …so how is our hero <insert lame ass hero here> going to beat him??”.

Not to mention that we still don’t really have a clear transition from WWH to this drivel…I thought all the gamma was gone out of Bruce, but now it’s back?  And it brought enough friendly gamma to super charge ?Doc Samson? AND Rick whatshisname?  Or is Rick running on Abomination’s powers…whatever..either way I’m less than impressed.

To go from Planet Hulk->World War Hulk->This = comical.

Final Crisis 2 – I’m sure there’s a reason one of the evil gods is the spitting image of Al Sharpton.  I like the writing in what Morrison is doing here, but much of the rest of the DC world feels “off”.  I think maybe he’s not meant to write mainstream books…everything he does has such an obivous “not mainstream” feel to it.  If that means anything.  Storywise…it’s interesting.

Not nearly as good as Secret Invasion has been so far though…

New Avengers 42 – Great read here, filling us in on how Jessica got swapped and *gasp* what did the Skrulls have to do with House of M??  Were they just caught up in it like everyone else…we don’t know that yet.  I guess we’ll have to wait until 43.  I’m still confused by the Skrulls being able to access their normal personalities, I thought somewhere they had said all that was subsumed in the host identity.

Hulk 04 – Stupid, stupid and more stupid.  They’re doing the standard “build the bad guy up to be soooo bad that the good guy can’t possibly win.  Until he does.” routine that it hurts me just to read it.  And now next month R-ulk gets to beat down Thor?  Mmmmm kay.  Jeff/ph Loeb, I can’t stand your writing.  Please stop.  Maybe go to work for Stuff or Redbook or something yes?

Fantastic Four 558 – A little better and more interesting than previous issues – but do we really need another Hulk?

Trinity 04 – Meh.

X-Factor 32 – EEeeennnteresting.  So we’re finally out of mutant town and on to the next thing.  Which is…?  I’m actually rather annoyed that he brought Val Cooper back in in the way he did on that last page – this is probably the first thing that has pissed me off about his run.  But it’s nothing serious.  Can’t wait to see where this is headed.

Mighty Avengers 15 – Not quite as cool as as the new “New”, but still interesting.  Here we find out when Hank Pym got swapped, and some of what he/she was up to.  It looks like the original is dead, but I’m calling TINY odds on that being the case.  I’m sure everyone is stored nicely in glass tubes somewhere to be released in the penultimate issue.

New Warriors 13 – This is all over the place.  I have no idea why they went after Machinesmith “for real”…but at least it looks like it’s building to something, and I do so enjoy plot that actually builds.  Hope it’s worth the wait.

Teen Titans 60 – I’m really sad about the ending to this one.  And I HATE the way Kid Devil was drawn in this issue.  He looked like a gaunt old hippy.  Sort of like kid clockking whatever.  All in all though, TT has been decent lately.  I hope Ravager completes her little heroic loop journey and makes her way back…the pining/drama/etc. from Kid D is killing me.

Superman 677 – Bad guys calls out good guy.  I get it.  I think I’ve seen it before.

Young Avengers/Runaways – Secret Invasion – The art was horrible, but the story fairly interesting.  I’d like it at least 3 times more if it wasn’t stupid anime crap looking.  I guess part of the Whedon Runaways arc is spoiled, or did it end and I just missed it?

Young Avengers Presents 6 – This was a cute story.  I never see how the Hawkeyes of the world get by in super-adaptoid & Skrull armada world…but they do.

New Exiles 05

Don’t be tricked by the Alan Davis cover!

Oh my god! The pencils…stabbing my eyes out…alternating between anime knock off and horrible Davis knock off. I’m sorry Roberto Castro, but if you can’t even stick to one style to knock-off, please don’t try. You’re going to give me an ugliness seizure. I really hate singling out individuals and calling their work bad – but this stuff is painfully irregular. The script isn’t particularly strong, but it would be fine with serviceable pencils. Since it doesn’t have those, the book sucks.

Death of the New Gods 08

Talk about talking heads! But that’s ok I guess. What I think was really shoddy was how the “character” of Orion changed so much btw. this and Countdown 2…he can’t talk at all then suddenly he can yell prophecies.

Superman-as-Jimmy-Olsen was kind of amusing, but overall I think this issue just fell really flat. Having the finale blunted/broken by Countdown 2 didn’t help things much either.  The whole continuity jar-up is really annoying (Orion DID die…and Darkseid knew the Source had resurrected his “spirit” already…except that was the real Orion and not just a spirit. DUM dah DUM DUM D-U-M-B) and seems like it could have been fixed too, but whatever.

Justice League of America 20

Wow, if this wasn’t a phone-it-in-issue I don’t know what was. Maybe I’m just not a fan of done-in-ones because the seem so out of pointless – as this issue certainly does – or maybe this one in particular just sucks. The pencils are pretty middling too (not as bad as New Exiles above), which doesn’t help. Not to say that they are bad, but nothing “pops”. All the red coloring in the first section is really boring too – even though it’s a fire scene it doesn’t have to be so damn RED! (Leave that up to the new Hulk please). The panel of the side of Wonder Woman’s face on page 12 or so, bottom right is fucking fearsome.

Here, I’ll save you from buying/browsing this painful issue. See obvious pic at right. What the hell is that? She looks like a devil mannequin from the 14th layer of hell. You’ll know it when you see it. Scary isn’t it?

Hulk 03

This one went too fast. I don’t think I’ve ever been a fan of Loeb’s writing, but I didn’t find this one particularly bad, just strangely paced – it felt like it only took me 2 minutes to read it.

Secrets are closer to being revealed, but nothing yet.

Oh, well Banner is back to dumbass Hulk again. Yeah, that’s awesome. After Pak spends so long building us a wonderful new Hulk incarnation, we’re back to dumbass Hulk. I’m sure there’s a good reason for it, but there’s a reason I’ll buy Pak’s Hulk hardcovers and won’t touch this (or anything Loeb writes really) with a 14.3 foot pole.

Uncanny X-Men 497

This arc’s not bad, it’s a decent diversion. Nothing to get excited about though, at least not yet. I’m not digging the plastic-y looking pencils. Hmm…maybe it’s the coloring I don’t like? I’m not “artsy” enough to be able to tell – basically, everything just looks like it’s coated in a layer of plastic and slightly muddied up.

Young Avengers Presents 04

Some cute character work here, but it’s been so long since I saw them in action I don’t remember Vision’s story. Going to have to re-read some trades I guess. Pencils weren’t bad here :).

Thor 08

The whole package here – great writing, a bit of violence, and beautiful pencils and colors. I’m really liking the JMS take on Thor, just like I liked his take on Spider-Man (it was the only one I’ve really liked since I started reading comics and now, unfortunately, it’s all wiped away. So it goes.).

Ultimate Fantastic Four 53

I’m loving Tyler Kirkham’s pencils and the green hair. Carey’s plot is pretty decent, almost old school, ff-stylings. I’m wondering if he wiped the other heroes memories…because they were killing a loootttt of people.

Mighty Avengers 12

Since Avengers members only appear in scattered panels, I’d call this more of a Marvel Spotlight on Nick Fury/Secret War, and not “Avengers” so much, but hey it’s all Bendis so it’s a mesh anyway right?

We find out how Fury found out, and get a little tie-back into that Secret War thing from a few years back, not to mention get left with what is supposed to (I think) be a nasty cliffhanger – but I suspect it’s mostly red herrings. No way Wolverine & Spider-Man are Skrulls, sorry, that would be too stupid and really, really not make any sense. Lockjaw I buy…hmm…ok wait, flip it. Maybe the faces that are circled are the ones he knows are not Skrulls. That I buy. Still, Lockjaw. I miss that guy (remember, he’s actually an Inhuman, not a dog!).

I’m not buying Spider-Woman as cool or interesting though, sorry Bendis. Maybe with a new name or something that makes sense for her powers. The costume + flying & energy blasts + name is just too much cognitive dissonance for me I guess.