COMICS: Quick comics reviews
So I somehow restrained myself from buying the first issue of Marvel Comics' latest overhyped, this-will-change-the-world-forever!!! crossover, "House of M." This actually was a bit of effort for me as I regrettably am still a total sucker for hyped galaxy-of-superhero crossover type comics even if, like Chinese food, I'm hungry half an hour later. Yet I've been really disenchanted with a lot of writer Brian Bendis' work the past few months, the premise (yet another "alternate universe" story) and the spine-crippling $3 a pop for 8 sttttttretched-out bi-weekly issues price all did me in. If the reviews are good (which so far, they're very mixed) I might pick up the trade paperback of the whole shebang at a discount six months from now, but for the nonce, I am "House of M"-less. I feel so inadequate.
Villains United #2
Speaking of hyped crossovers, yeah, I loathed the way "Identity Crisis" turned out, but despite the ridiculous overly grim tone the DC Universe has taken on lately, I still felt compelled to pick up one of the miniseries in the "Crisis" cavalcade of comics, mainly because I like the idea of a supervillain vs. supervillain war and writer Gail Simone's got a good reputation. This miniseries revives the old "Secret Society of Supervillains" idea (and how can you not like such a group?), featuring a huge grouping of villains coming together as a result of "Idenitity Crisis," and six villains who've chosen not to ally themselves with the powerful society. It's good fun two issues in, with the spunky, desperately outnumbered "Secret Six" facing impossible odds. Good character choices to focus on, including the mercenary Deadshot and, my favorite, "Catman!" Catman is a total loser Batman villain who's been around for years, but appears here mysteriously and radically revamped into someone actually impressive. Simone's got a sharp eye for dialogue and the story is actually accessible to someone like me who's skipping many of the other series DC's publishing right now. I do wish they'd toss in little captions identifying some of the many villains who appear in this series, though. When did captions become illegal? Grade: B+
Incredible Hulk #82
That rarity of rarities, a self-contained comic book, a story that doesn't go on for eighteen parts! I've been a bit on the fence about the last few issues of writer Peter David's long awaited return to the Hulk (in my opinion, the only writer, including Stan Lee, who's ever made the character interesting). But this nice little gem of a tale is good stuff indeed, featuring the Hulk/Bruce Banner's encounter with a mysterious London woman who involves him in a twisted campaign of revenge and retribution. Good moody art by Jae Lee and a nice "Twilight Zone" feel to it all. Sure, the basic theme of the story's been done before, but David does a nice job adding his own flourishes. Good Hulk comics, using a character that really has a lot of potential in a novel way. Grade: A-