Review: Hulk #13

Writing: Hulk has been one of the titles, like Captain America and Thor, that has operated within its own continuity. Well, that ends this issue with that “Dark Reign” tag slapped on the cover. Thankfully, it’s really not that intrusive. Norman Osborn has heard that the Hulk is truly gone, which is what occurred in Incredible Hulk #600. So, he sends Ares to get to the bottom of it. What follows is a done-in-one story that involves Banner’s revelation that the Hulk really is gone, Ares reporting back to Osborn, and the reconciliation between Banner and an old friend.

Art: Of course, there’s a bit of fighting involved, which is McGuinness’ specialty. You want vein-bulging, muscular people pounding on each other? He’s your man. However, there are a lot of quieter moments in this issue too, and McGuinness did a good job rendering those as well. Hulk is always a good-looking comic, and this issue is no different.

Final Word: Done-in-one stories are always refreshing in this comic climate. Did the overall story of Loeb’s run progress much? Not enough for my liking, but this is still a quick, gorgeous comic that’ll keep you entertained from start to finish.

Grade: B

For more comic goodness, go here.

Review: Hulk #12

Hulk #12

Oh, lord. This comic will upset people. It shouldn’t, but it will. As I’ve said several times, Loeb is writing a modern Stan Lee comic, full of bombastic action, corny lines, cool stunts, and fun. This is, as I’m sure Loeb will agree, fun fluff. It’s not hurting or helping anyone, just trying to entertain. As someone who reads about 20 books a month, I feel these types of comics are necessary. They’re a good, quick ice-breaker.

Something about that upsets people. I don’t know why. If you were upset when Rulk punched Uatu (Rulk even mentions that in this issue, a bit of a wink to the reader), you are going to be steaming after this. As you may or may not have known, Hulk died last issue. What? You didn’t hear about that in the news? No, because we’re dealing with a cosmic game of chess between gods. Anything can happen, and I do mean anything. Rulk pushes the limits of what he can achieve. Oh, it was also revealed that Rulk can absorb energy. That’s why he’s so powerful.

We’ve been promised the big Rulk reveal in the next installment, Incredible Hulk #600. I’ve thought for the longest time that Rulk is this guy. We get a lot of clues in this issue:

Rulk has known Hulk for a long time

Hulk left Rulk with a broken heart

Hulk made “us all suffer,” said Rulk

I haven’t read a lot of Hulk. Anyone want to piece that together? Anyway, get your fluff where you want to, but with the zany antics and the beautiful art, Hulk isn’t a bad place to get your fluff.

Grade: B

For more comic goodness, go here.

Review: Hulk #11

Hulk #11 (Variant Cover Edition - Art Adams)

(****)

Perhaps this is your first time visiting read/Rant. If it is, please look around. Just hit that Frank Cho art at the top of the page. Even if you don’t care for my reviews, there are others who post their opinions. So if you have never read one of my Hulk reviews before, it may surprise you that I don’t hate the book. What’s that? This is Internet; why aren’t I bashing Jeph Loeb. I know. It’s shocking. But I have to tell you, for what this book is, it’s a lot of fun.

The last comic I read was Alan Moore’s From Hell. A much better comic than Hulk, but a much darker and dense read as well. What a breath of childish glee this comic is. Jeph Loeb, the worstest horrible icky man ever, according to the Internet, is channeling his inner Stan Lee in this new arc. It’s kind of a remake of Contest of Champions. We got the setup last issue, so naturally we get an all-action smash party here.

The Defenders have been plucked out of time, fighting for their loves, while the Offenders are a bunch of jerks. Basically, if you’re tired of all the darkness that now plagues our superhero titles (I’m looking at you, Dark Reign), this is the book for you. It’s jam-packed with splash pages, groin hitting, and twists that would make M. Night Shymanalan squeal. Oh, and did I mention that this is the book Ed McGuinness was born to draw? So if you’ll let it, Hulk can be a hell of a good time.

Review: Hulk #10

(****)

Ha! Hulk was the best comic that came out this week! Who would have thought? Now, Hulk, as I’m sure you already know, is not a book for everyone. It’s the real Silver Age throwback that everyone thought All Star Superman was. Hulk is very much a modern Stan Lee yarn. Lighthearted, goofy, and undeniably fun, Hulk proves that comics can still be entertaining without the need for darkness and nihilism. Instead of Jack Kirby, we’re treated to Ed McGuinness’ delightfully bombastic art. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, McGuinness is a perfect fit for this book! I’m happy to say that in this arc, it appears Loeb has made room for several splash pages. I think they’re trying to set a record. There are at least four two-page spreads in this issue alone.

Are you ready for the zany plot? It’s a cosmic duel to the death of course! The omnipotent Grandmaster and his devious brother are having a galactic chess game. The good Grandmaster selects Hulk as his champion. Hulk has his choice of teammates and he assembles the Defenders! How does that fit into continuity? Well, when the gods want to play, they can make anything happen. All of these champions are snatched at the very moment of their greatest tragedy. How’s that for motivation? The heroes are fighting for love, but what are the baddies fighting for? We don’t know yet, but we do know that it’s the villainous Offenders we’re supposed to boo. We don’t see much battle yet in this opening chapter, but don’t worry, the game is all set and the fists are ready to fly!

Top Ten Best Comic Artists

Why this list? I don’t know; I like lists! This is something I’ve thought about for awhile, but I’ve never had the organization skills to execute this idea. Well, I stopped bothering with some things (Sure, the west half of my house is on fire, but who cares?!?) so I could finally create the awesome list you’re about to experience.

Just to be clear, these are my top ten working artists. All ten of them produced interior work on at least one comic last year. Enjoy!

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10. Ed McGuinness

McGuinness is the Wolverine of comic artists. He’s the best there is at what he does. And what he does is draw big muscular cartoony fun! Hulk is the PERFECT book for him. The man was born to draw it. Throw in an extensive Superman (And later Batman) run and you’ve got plenty of pretty beefy heroes to look at. Did I mention that his art is a fantastic model for toys as well? Check it out! Sure, he doesn’t have much range and he’s a bit lazy, but if I ever need anyone to find a vein on my arm, I’ll go to him!

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9. Frank Cho

After criticizing EM’s range, I put Frank Cho? Am I crazy? Maybe, but Cho does actually have some range. Go check out his Spider-Man issues with Mark Millar. Sure MJ had big boobs, but his Venom was badass. He also renders some fantastic animals. Who draws Dinosaurs and monkeys better than Frank Cho? And yes, he draws some bodacious babes, but is that really such a bad thing? Yes they’re a bit crude, but it works with an American audience. We’re a bit too uptight when it comes to the female form. Cho just puts it out there. Too preachy? I like big boobs. Better? The fact is his women are tough, sexy, and usually pretty muscular. They can kick the shit out of the men. That’s a kind of female power, right?

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8. Steve McNiven

Good, we’re away from the cartoons. Steve McNiven is pretty new to the art scene. Ok, he’s been in the biz for about eight years, but I can count his projects with my fingers. I’ve always considered myself a fan of the man’s work, but his most recent project, Old Man Logan, is what got him on the list. Have you seen that stuff? It’s fucking epic! He’s created an entire future Marvel Universe, aged character designs, and zany stuff like a Venom T-Rex. He’s nailed them all. There’s no doubt in my mind that in ten years when fans discuss the best Wolverine artists, McNiven will be mentioned in the same sentence as Frank Miller and Barry Windsor-Smith. As if that weren’t enough, he also did a stellar job on Civil War, and whether you enjoyed that event or not, at least you were treated to some gorgeous images.

7. Tim Sale

Say what you want about Jeph Loeb, but when he and Sale get together, you get magic. I just picked up that new Daredevil Yellow hardcover a few weeks ago and Sale’s art was absolutely mystifying. His Daredevil is poetic. Sale captured the fallen hero, Battlin’ Jack Murdock, perfectly. Don’t even get me started on his Karen Page. Lois Lane, Mary Jane, Gwen Stacy, Selina Kyle, Tim Sale has rendered some of the most iconic women in comics and yet he always brings something new to the table. Sale is an expert at taking old characters, blowing off the dust, and making them look all shiny and new again.

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6. JH Williams III

Whoa! JH Williams III is number six? How the hell did that happen? Because Williams is awesome, that’s why. He’s an artistic chameleon. If you read his three-issue arc in Batman recently, you’ll know that every member of the Club of Heroes had a different art style. El Gaucho is Howard Chaykin, The Knight and the Squire are Ed McGuinness, and so on. On top of that, Williams has some of the most interesting layouts in comic history. If you want to see some expert graphic design, Williams is your man. How he presents his art is almost as intriguing as the art itself. Heck, the only reason why Williams isn’t higher on the list is his lack of content (Or perhaps my lack of reading his content), but with an absolute Promethea volume and his long-awaited Batwoman run coming up, Williams is sure to make my top five soon.

5. John Romita Jr.

And speaking of Williams’ lack of content, here’s a man who has too much content. Romita has been in the biz for nearly three decades. That’s awesome, but what usually happens to artists over time is that their style gets boring. Not so with Romita, his style has evolved. Going from the traditional look of his Iron Man days, to the Kirby/Miller amalgam, Romita has proved that he’s still one of the best. Want proof? While some of the artists on this list (Even those ahead of him, sadly) produce only a few issues a year, Romita is the opposite. In just two years, he worked on a Neil Gaiman project for seven issues, a mega Marvel event for five, a six-issue return to Spider-Man, and an entirely new property with Mark Millar. Throw in directing part of a movie (An illustrated Kick-Ass segment) and you have one fabulous work ethic!

4. Joseph Michael Linsner

This is where you can stop calling my list predictable. What can I say? I feel a deep connection with Linsner’s work. There are times when I think he’s my favorite artist. His style is Cartoony yet realistic. Linsner’s women are cheesecake, yet independent and strong.  The man’s work is truly transcendent. I can just stare at for days and days. The Hulk is probably a poor example (Though funny), but please go check out his work. If you feel half the connection with it that I do, it’ll be a wondrous experience.

3. Alex Ross

What’s a “best comic artists” list without Alex Ross? Actually, when I was compiling this list, his name slipped my mind. Terry Dodson was on for quite a while, but eventually (Sorry Terry), an image of Kingdom Come Superman blazed across my mind. How is it, that a character that said so little and was part of so few stories can be as incredibly inspirational as Kingdom Come Superman? I blame Alex Ross. He brings such power and solitude to the grey-haired Man of Steel. It was hammered home this year; KC Superman is the symbol for the man who has unimaginable power, and yet he can’t save the ones he loves. A much bleaker ending than the one Jeph Loeb gave him in Absolute Power, but it’s still undeniably moving. Though Ross spends a little too much time rendering covers and writing nostalgic tales for my taste, Justice, Marvels and Kingdom Come are so well-crafted that he easily earns a spot on the list.

2. Frank Quitely

Remember what I said about Sale and Loeb being magic? Well, that goes triple for Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely. See that picture above? Why did I choose that instead of something like New X-Men and All Star Superman? Because you already know those are great, but you may have never heard of We3. You should definitely read it because it’s fantastic, and that’s what every project is that Quitely works on. His art is truly unique and I mean that in the best possible way. Quitely handles everything, action, facial expressions, and emotion, all of it, like the master he is. The only reason Quitely isn’t number one is because his art has greatly evolved into marvelous beauty within the last five years. My number one, however, has always been at the top of his game.

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1. Jim Lee

I never thought Jim Lee would be my number one. It makes sense; Batman is my favorite hero, so it’s only natural that the quintessential Batman artist is my favorite. Lee has always demonstrated greatness. Whether your first experience was X-Men, WildC.A.T.s, Batman, or even way back to Punisher War Journal, you were probably impressed. He’s worked on a few bad projects, sure. That won’t stop you from gazing at his beautiful interiors though. Why do you think All Star Batman and Robin is a best-seller? Its gloriously groundbreaking dialogue? I think not. Whether the words accompanying his art were good or not, I’ve always enjoyed Lee’s renderings immensely.

So there’s the list. I doubt you’ll agree completely. “Good art” is purely opinionated. I only wish that if you haven’t heard of one of these talented men (Why isn’t Amanda Conner on the list?), you’ll go check them out. Hopefully, you’re in for a treat.

-Bruce Castle

Review: Ultimate Fantastic Four #60

Ultimate Fantastic Four #60

(**)

Listen to this song while you read my review. And so, another title bites the dust. That seems to occur more and more in these harsh economic times, but when it comes to this title, I have to say, it’s well-deserved. This series hasn’t been enjoyable since Millar left, and that was almost three years ago. Oh sure, some of the stories weren’t terrible and I enjoyed Mark Brooks’ art (He only rendered a few issues), but let’s face it, no disrespect, but Mike Carey drowned this series long before Jeph Loeb did. Why did I stick around? Because I made the foolish mistake of declaring myself as an Ultimate completionist. Completionism, no matter how cool it may appear, is a bad thing.

So how was this sad conclusion to an overall poor series? Well, nothing concluded, does that answer your question? Quesada has chosen to show no respect, even when cancelling the books, to Ultimate X-Men and Ultimate Fantastic Four. In addition to Ultimatum, you have to follow the FF’s “death” in a requiem one-shot as well. Oh joy! Logically, I’d say that it’d be best to not waste my money on the last issue of UXM and the two following requiems, but alas, there’s no logic in completionism.

Review: Ultimate Hulk Annual #1 – Spoilers!

Ultimate Hulk Annual #1

(***1/2)

Wow, what the hell is it with Loeb? He inspires so much fanboy hate! I read this issue once and I had a blast. Then I talked to some friends and whah whah bitch bitch! So I read it again. The fiasco in question? Hulk got his ass handed to him by Power Princess. Okay, a little weak right? But think, Power Princess=Wonder Woman. Maybe even more powerful actually. Remember Ultimate Power? Squadron Supreme vs. Everybody! This Power Princess seems to at least be more vicious than our current Wonder Woman. So Wonder Woman sucker punches Hulk in the face. Hulk fights back and eventually gets cut on the arm (Wonder Woman has awesome axe and shield). Hulk smashes back on shield and does hurt Wonder Woman.Wonder Woman then punches Hulk in the balls and knocks him out with one last giant punch. Now c’mon, it’s a bit silly, but not very. This is comics people! Anyway, it didn’t bother me much.

Here are ten reasons to read this comic:

1. The Ed McGuinness art!

2. The Marko Djurdjevic art!

3. Hulk doesn’t have those stupid tattered pants!

4. Hulk naked (If you’re into that kind of thing)!

5. Naked Hulk has money somehow!

6. Hulk gets laid!

7. Hulk gets laid!

8. Hulk gets laid (Is that enough?)!

9. Hulk gets laid (Now it’s enough)!

10. This comic is tons of fun! Nuff Said!

Top Ten: Comics That Work Best As Monthlies

Recently in the comments section of this post, I brazenly asserted that Batman, by Grant Morrison & Tony Daniel, fails as a monthly comic reading experience. Basically, I feel the plot is too convoluted or complex for easy monthly digestion, although I’m sure it’ll go down very easy in trade.

So, what makes a good monthly comic? A couple of things:

Comics that put “character” first!

Comics that tend to focus more on character than plot are inherently more readable as monthlies. When jumping into the middle of a six issue arc, its character that pulls you in and fills in the holes. With the exception of Fantastic Four, every comic on my list stars a single character.

“Done-in-One (or two)” Stories!

There’s no need to wait for the trade if each arc is only 1-2 issues long, right? Again, this type of story goes well with character writing. Since the plot isn’t required to sustain itself for 3-6 issues, it can be pared down and used primarily as a vehicle to reveal the titular hero’s character. Batman and Zatanna team up to stop the Joker!?! Reading that story you find that it’s not really about catching the Joker as much as it’s  about developing Bruce and Zatanna’s relationship. Also, without really sacrificing the overall plot, these “done-in-one” stories can be framed like TV episodes that when viewed over an entire season combine to reveal a hidden master plot. Think Buffy, Heroes, etc… As many of us know, it can be very intimidating for a new reader to jump onto a book with a long running story, so hiding the plot in this manner is a great way to eliminate that intimidation factor. It also allows the writer to integrate sub-plots with clearly defined conflicts into the background that can be slowly developed and brought to the forefront at a later date, as Mark Millar does in Fantastic Four.

Cliffhangers that punch you in the face!

I mean, does this one really need explanation? There are quite a few comics (many on this list) that use the “final page splash” to great effect in almost every single issue. The rush you get from experiencing these in a floppy is much different than when experiencing them in a trade. Actually, it doesn’t even come close.

Getting that “OMG I can’t wait for next month!” Soap Opera feeling!

Of the four I’ve listed here, I think this last one is probably the most important (although it is very closely related to the Cliffhanger thing). For me, it’s the most important factor in deciding whether or not to wait for the trade. I ask myself, as many of you probably do, “Can I go more than a month without reading about BLANK?!?” If you answer “NO!”, then you obviously have a great monthly in your hands!

With the pretentious explanations out of the way I present to you, in no particular order, my “Top Ten Comics That Work Best as Monthlies”:

ACTION COMICS by Geoff Johns & Gary Frank

I could NEVER read this comic in trade; I just love the characters too much! And the cliffhangers are the epitome of punch you in the face. There haven’t been many done-in-ones in the Johns run, but that’s okay, since at least half the comics on this list barely utilize that comic book storytelling device. But Johns does love the sub-plots, wherein he writes some of the best (or, THE best) character moments in comics. CONS: More done-in-ones would be nice.

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN by “The Spidey Brain Trust”

With the exception of the current arc, “New Ways To Die”, Brand New Day has been nothing but 1-, 2-, and 3-issue arcs filled with character, character, character… the Soap Opera mojo has been strong. Because of the weekly shipping schedule, the Spidey team has been using the last page splash to great effect. CONS: Actually, maybe there are too many characters? Sometimes it gets confusing.

CAPTAIN AMERICA by Ed Brubaker, Steve Epting & Luke Ross

All of the above? Without all the little Bucky character stuff, I would not be enjoying this book as much as I am. It’s funny, but to me, most issues of Captain America feel like single issue stories set in an epic tapestry whose true significance won’t be seen ‘til Brubaker ends his run. It’s one long, ongoing story that excites me month in and month out.

DEADPOOL by Daniel Way & Paco Medina

We’re two issues in and I’m in love. For now. Plot? What plot? If you’re looking for a story, you’re in the wrong place, duder. This is all about Deadpool. That’s it. Do you need to read issue one to understand issue two? Hell no! Enjoy the funny!

DETECTIVE COMICS by Paul Dini & Dustin Nguyen

Current master of the 1- or 2-part story (yeah, yeah, I know the RIP tie-in breaks the rules). Reading Detective for the last two years I remember more about Bruce sex life (obv lack thereof) than I do the details of any of the stories. And to me, that’s awesome writing. Dini has made Bruce likable. This is new, folks. Bruce Wayne as an actual character in comics? Not since pre-DKR, I would think, have we seen the identity of Bruce Wayne written as a real character. Ah no, I disagree with you, Morrison’s Wayne is a flimsy piece of cardboard. Maybe he had something at the beginning of his run, but fleshing out Batman’s alter ego took a back seat to RIP setup long ago, maybe around the time Adam Kubert left the book. Anyway, yes, Dini isn’t writing Batman, he’s writing Bruce Wayne as Batman. And there is a difference, and that difference is quite refreshing.

FANTASTIC FOUR by Mark Millar & Bryan Hitch

The character stuff is lacking, but the sub-plots, cliffhangers and OMG moments make this a top of the stack must-read. Here’s a recent review that reads more negative than it actually is.

GRAVEL by Warren Ellis, Mike Wolfer & Raulo Caceres

The way the current arc is framed, it works wonderfully as a series of single issue stories filled with scenes exploring the character of William Gravel. Oh, you know what? Thank God Ellis finally got around to fleshing this guy out. Gravel started life as a boringly hollow SAS thug who starred in a series of idea-driven minis. In those minis, there was never anything particularly exciting or compelling about the Gravel character and the fact of the matter is, I probably only read them because they were written by Ellis. Now, under the watchful eye of Mike Wolfer, I really grown to like this guy and each month I can’t wait to read Gravel’s next adventure. Shocking. That’s good stuff, brother.

HULK by Jeph Loeb & Ed McGuinness

Heh. I really do love this book. Honest. HA!

INVINCIBLE by Robert Kirkman & Cory Walker

Ever since the #51 reboot, this book has been one of the most anticipated monthlies in my stack. LOVING IT… happy now, Bruce?

JACK OF FABLES by Matthew Sturges & Bill Willingham

Awesome title character? CHECK!
Outstanding sub-plots? CHECK!
Cliffhangers? CHECK!
SOAP OPERA?!? TRIPLE CHECK!!!

Bruce Castle Presents: Green People + Red People=Christmas Time!

 

Hulk #6 (*****)

Isn’t it funny that all of the “late books with great art that are hated by everyone” comics came out in the same week? Yes, I’m reading all of them. Again, this book is sooo fun and it’s sad that only me, Billy and like 10 other people know it. Last issue wasn’t quite as cool as usual but this one more than makes up for it. Like every issue of Hulk there’s humor, action, and gorgeous art! Oh, and all you fanboys who cried “Whaahhh! Rulk can’t beat Thor (even though I don’t know Rulk’s power level)”, you should be happy now. The art is beautiful. There are a lot of awesome guest appearances and sea monsters and they’re all drawn wonderfully. We even get the classic “duh duh duuuuuuuh (music)” ending. Did I mention Ed McGuinness rules? Hulk is entertainment, laugh-out-loud moments, and McGuinness drawing the hell out of this book. This is the series Ed was meant to draw and I hope he’ll come back on issue #10. Until then we can enjoy Art Adams and Frank Cho and they’re fantastic artists too. If you haven’t tried this series yet, pick this issue up. If you dislike it, don’t read it anymore. If you like it, join in on the marvelously drawn fun!

Hellboy: The Crooked Man #3 (*****)

Why is Mike Mignola so awesome? Hellboy has been around for over 15 years and he still manages to surprise me. Do you think of Hellboy adventures as European fetishistic tales about ancient legends or mysterious artifacts? How about a Hillbilly Gothic story that takes place in the Appalachian Mountains? Not only is this new territory for Hellboy, but the lovable demon is almost a supporting character. This is about willpower. It’s about corruption and the relationship between man, God, and Satan. Richard Corben has been around for a long time but he’s still producing marvelous work. If you think Hellboy can only be properly drawn by Mignola, this may change your mind. Corben manages to stay true to his own style as well as Mignola’s which creates a fantastic mixture. Have I mentioned this is the scariest Hellboy series yet? I have in my other reviews and I will now. It’s Deliverance with creepy religious undertones that will make your skin crawl. I love Hellboy and this is another example that explains why.

  

New Avengers #45 (***)

I read House of M, but it’s been a long time. It’d be hard to remember anyway, but it doesn’t help that I didn’t like House of M very much. Does this issue add to the SI story? Yes, but I wish it would’ve been more than it is. Bendis uses Cheung well and poorly at the same time. There are several wordless panels which look beautiful, but I wish there was more meat when it comes to a story this dense. There are questions that remain unanswered and the Skrulls are again portrayed as incredibly powerful. The green meanies winning seems to be almost a foregone conclusion at this point. If that is the case, am I the only one who wishes Marvel would have made it less predictable? All of these Embrace Change advertisements shoved brutally down our throats is not appreciated. I guess Bendis is trying to show why they can conquer us which is cool. But now, whether the Skrulls win or lose I won’t be surprised. How crazy would it have been if out of the blue the Skrulls won? It’d be like Cap dying at the end of Civil War. I don’t know if this an editorial decision or Bendis’, but considering how much power Bendis seems to have at Marvel, I’d guess the latter. Anyway, this issue isn’t bad. In fact, it’s more than passable. Cheung’s art is impressive and I’m sure if you’ve enjoyed the previous SI Avengers tie-ins, you’ll like this. I just can’t help letting my overall disappointment of this event seep into my opinions of these issues. Plus, there are a few things in this issue that I didn’t like.

Review/RANT: Hulk #5

Sooooo, Hulk #5… let me first point out that when I’m wrong, I’m more than man enough to admit it, but this is not one of those times. The current Hulk series is still incredibly entertaining and magnificently drawn. These opening panels were cheesy fun, and fit well with the established tone of the series. I also loved the panel where Hulk kicks the helmet off Thor’s head. All said, the series has been great stuff so far.

The following RANT will have nothing to do with story direction or tone, and will not contain complaints about Jeph Loeb’s quote unquote talent. What I want to discuss is simple: LOGIC.

EXHIBIT A:

Does the idea introduced here by Mr. Loeb make sense to anyone? How about this one?

EXHIBIT B:

Pulling and Zero gravity? Do we buy this? C’mon! WHAT THE ####, MAN!?! This is some of the most asinine stuff I’ve ever read. Everybody knows how Thor’s hammer works, and BROTHER, it does not work like that! Pulling something, for all intents, is the same as picking it up. And the space thing? NO ####ING WAY. It’s a magic hammer, Loeb, it doesn’t follow the laws of physics!!! If the enchantment says that “none but those that are worthy may lift this hammer”, than that’s exactly what it means. No pulling! No Zero-G! And definitely no swinging it over your head and propelling yourself through space!!!

I can understand Loeb trying to be clever. That’s fine. It shows initiative. It shows that despite popular opinion, Loeb actually cares enough about this book to get creative. I like where his head’s at. But, #### dude, this was a dumb shit of an idea. Where was the editor on this one?

I lied, I do have a nit to pick (obviously, I don’t consider logic to be a nitpick). It’s dialogue related:

Thor refers to his hammer as “My Mjolnir”, and the problem with that is that Thor would never use the possessive. He would just say “Mjolnir” because there’s only one! It’s not a collectable with an edition size! They made one, and it belongs to Thor. The corrected word balloon should read: “What kind of beast are you that you do not fall before Mjolnir.”

Again, besides all that, I’m still loving this book. “Suck it”, haters!

Bruce Castle Presents: Hulk vs. Punisher

Hulk #5 (****)

There isn’t a need to say much about this issue. Those who love it will still love it and those who hate it will still hate it. Like the book, it’s that simple. I’ve tried to look under the belly of this behemoth but there is no need. It’s just plain dumb fun with really pretty art and I’m one of the people that love it.

 

Punisher War Journal #22

Punisher War Journal #22 (***1/2)

This was the best issue out of this series that had Chaykin’s awful art. That’s not saying a whole lot but it’s something. Matt Fraction has written probably the most human Punisher. That’s not great, but I commend him for trying something new and making his Punisher unique like Ennis did. I liked this issue. There are twists and turns and the Wrecking Crew! I still have to complain about the art because it’s not my style and really detracts from my enjoyment. Another thing that bugs me is that this is supposed to be Jigsaw’s finest moment and he’s barely in it! He wasn’t in the last issue and he was only in two panels of this one. Anyway, this issue was much better than the last and I hope that continues.

Hulk #4: This is Where Gods Go to Die

I’m not even going to bother posting the cover. We’ve all seen it, and it doesn’t deserve it.

This is, quite possibly, the worst written book in the history of the universe. People could stop decrying All Star Batman and Robin and this is getting a free pass? Why aren’t we rioting in the streets? Why aren’t we loaded up on pitchforks and torches storming Jeph Loeb’s office (while being very respectful to stay out of the way of Geoff Johns and Allan Heinberg) and throwing him out on his ear so someone that can actually write dialogue can come in and I can actually enjoy the art. It actively pisses me off that Ed McGuinness is on this book, because I can’t read it and I want to see him draw the Hulk. It’s like I discovered a time machine, and it was the early 90’s, and there was that little silhouette of the Image I in the top right corner where the Marvel logo should be. All style, and a giant black hole sucking in all rational thought where the content should be.
REBEL! STOP BUYING THIS BOOK! IT’S COMPLETE GARBAGE!

My Rating: Negative Eleventy Billion Stars. A childish rating for a childish book.