Thursday, July 19, 2007

Partial weekly comics update

I said I wasn't going back to my old weekly comics updates, and I'm not. I'm only going to highlight a few of the books I read each week - mainly those that I think you really shouldn't miss. Today we'll hit the Marvel comics of note from my pull this week. Tomorrow or Monday I'll throw out the DC comics of note (of which there aren't quite as many).

World War Hulk 2
The wild ride that has been World War Hulk continues as the Hulk and his warbound take on first the Avengers and then the Fantastic Four. (Complete with a wholly unsuccessful attempt by Reed Richards to emulate the Sentry, who apparently is able to calm the Hulk just by being near him.) Following this failure, the Earth's heroes try to convince the actual Sentry to help, with no immediate sign of how he will react. Rick Jones arrives to talk sense into the Hulk, only to have Dr. Strange use the moment as an attempt to magically force the Hulk to give up. Talk about bad timing. And at the end, we have the re-appearance of an old, old foe of the Hulk - though one who I honestly don't know what he expects to accomplish.

Hulk v. X-Men 2
Somedays the X-Men are just dumb. This whole issue was one great fight after another - but the X-Men should have just let Xavier be responsible and turn himself over to the Hulk. Scott, Hank and Emma especially should have known better. It was interesting to see the Juggernaut again, though I must confess that I am completely lost about how he became a part of Excalibur, or why Cytorak is messing with him. A shame, really, because a fully-powered Juggernaut against this vicious, intelligent, and stronger than ever Hulk would've been a phenomenal tussle. A personal favorite moment? Watching the Hulk beat Logan down as the insignificant creature he is.

Ultimate Spider-Man 111
I am not an art person. I've mentioned this before, but wonderful art in a comic won't make up for bad writing. Wonderful writing, on the other hand, will usually trump bad art in my eyes. (Case in point - I find the art in Watchmen and Miracleman both to be rather atrocious. Yet I love both of these comics.) So, the fact that this is Bagley's final issue of USM shouldn't bother me.

But it does. 111 issues (not counting annuals, and specials). That's a lot of comics. Bendis and Bagley are Ultimate Spider-Man, at least to my eyes.

The good news? Their one-hundred eleventh issue? As good as their first. So we don't end with a sense of "at least THAT's over".
The bad news? Their one-hundred eleventh issue? As good as their first. Which means they probably had more in them.

There's a "Spider-Man versus the Spot" story in here, but really, it's secondary. This issue is all about Peter and Aunt May, and what his being Spider-Man means. I didn't read Amazing Spider-Man when this was revealed in the 616 universe, so I can't compare, but I can say that this is exactly what I wanted. Humor in places. Tense moments in others. Moments of hurt that make sense on both sides. But above it all, two people who clearly love one another trying to come to terms with what this issue means.


Blogger Tom said...

Juggernaut... Excalibur...

Right. They started mellowing Juggernaut a long time ago and I saw this coming. The problem is he just doesn't make a very good hero.

And while I can see why you would appreciate Wolverine being flattened by the Hulk, it bugs me. It bugs me because in an origin story perhaps now lost in the madness that passes for his continuity Wolverine was originally meant to fight the Hulk. It bugs me because his battles with the Hulk in the past were excellent, with the little 5'4" ball of fury clearly holding his own.

2:00 PM  
Blogger Aaron said...

And I'll actually concede your point. But this is also a Hulk who is madder then he's ever been (and correspondingly - stronger), who is in full possession of Banner's intelligence, but with none of Banner's personality and sentiment holding him back.

Wolverine hurts the Hulk - and badly (though temporarilly). He slices right through the Hulk's eyes. But the Hulk is ready for that, and lets him - because it means he can get ahold of the runt. At which point he illustrates the fact that while he probably can't break adamantium, he can punch Logan hard enough to make his brain bounce around in that unbreakable skull causing all sorts of brain damage.

Sure, Logan'll get better eventually. But it's a remarkably effective demonstration of force, as well as brute cunning and viciousness.

7:52 PM  
Blogger Tom said...

Okay, that sounds cool in a very brutal and... well... "ewwww" way.

11:20 AM  

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