- The Brave and the Bold #20, by David Hine, Doug Braithwaite & Bill Reinhold (DC)
- Top 10: Season Two #3, by Zander Cannon & Gene Ha (DC/America’s Best)
- Hulk #9, by Jeph Loeb, Arthur Adams & Frank Cho (Marvel)
- The Immortal Iron Fist #21, by Duane Swierczynski & Timothy Green (Marvel)
- Thor #12, by J. Michael Straczynski, Oliver Coipel & Mark Morales (Marvel)
- Gigantic #2 of 5, by Rick Remender & Eric Nguyen (Dark Horse)
- Mister X: Condemned #1 of 4, by Dean Motter (Dark Horse)
- The Umbrella Academy: Dallas #2 of 6, by Gerard Way & Gabriel BÃ¡ (Dark Horse)
- Invincible #57, by Robert Kirkman & Ryan Ottley (Image)
- The Astounding Wolf-Man #11, by Robert Kirman, Jason Howard & Cliff Rathburn (Image)
- Atomic Robo: Dogs of War #5, of 5, by Brian Clevinger, Scott Wegener & James Nguyen (Red 5)
I think this is the end for me for this run of Hulk: Three issues to tell two trivial stories of the green Hulk and the red Hulk is a lot of time wasted, and I’m not sticking around to see if Loeb gets on with it anytime soon. The series started out with a bang, but quickly ran out of gas. It’s doubly disappointing since Greg Pak did such a great job with the Planet Hulk/World War Hulk stories in the previous Hulk series.
Anyway, the two stories wrapping up here are the green Hulk fighting a horde of Wendigo in Las Vegas, and the She-Hulk and a group of female super-heroes fighting the Red Hulk, and getting pwned by him. The Art Adams art on the first story is fun, but the story doesn’t give him any great panels to draw. The Frank Cho artwork on the second is pretty much Frank Cho drawing a whole slew of buxom women in tights, which is pretty much what you’d expect.
At this point I don’t understand why I moved to this book rather than sticking with Greg Pak when the previous series became The Incredible Hercules. Don’t I know that I should stick with creators, not characters? Oh well.
|The Immortal Iron Fist continues its trend of punctuating its major stories with one-shots about Iron Fists from different eras. This one features the Iron Fist of 3099, who’s sent to save the dying world of Yaochi from its oppressive tyrant. The story’s pretty good, and Timothy Green’s artwork is fantastic: Elegant layouts with lines for shading rather than use of blacks, giving it a little bit of a European look. The final panel, a 2/3-page spread, is terrific. Even if you’re not reading Iron Fist regularly, you might want to check this issue out.
The original Mister X series came out back when I was still pretty much only reading superhero comics, and it was so not a superhero comic. Although it’s been collected, it doesn’t hold up terribly well: The story arc is sketchy and the artwork is erratic.
So what is Mister X? Well, creator/writer/designer Dean Motter has done a trio of comic book series about three cities which all have a retro-futuristic architecture, a mash-up of styles from the 20s to the 50s and what those decades thought the future might look like stylistically. Mister X was the first, Terminal City the second (and the best), and Electropolis the third. Mister X takes place in Radiant City, a dark place whose architecture drives its citizens mad, earning it the nickname Somnopolis. Mister X himself was the designer of the city, now a lone renegade who’s driven to try to fix the city, although he has mixed results.
This second series opens with Radiant City’s leadership hiring demolition companies to take out the more rotten parts of the city, but they’re not entirely in control of what’s happening, and things start going awry, and people get killed. Then, Mister X reappears in the apartment of his old girlfriend, Mercedes, asking for the plans.
Motter isn’t the most versatile artist, but his esthetic and layouts are enough to carry the story, and this issue is a good place to get acquainted with the character. Time will tell if the advances in storytelling that Motter displayed in his later projects carries over to Mister X, but it’s off to a good start.
The second Atomic Robo wraps up this week, and the last issue is a bit of a letdown after the first four, with a single-issue adventure to stop the Nazi scientist Skorzeny in 1944. He gets captured and is rescued by a Scotsman with a very heavy accent, who steals the show from Robo in his own comic. It feels so disjointed from the rest of the series that it feels like a throwaway issue, just when the series seemed to be hitting its stride. Oh, well.
It features an epilogue with a later meeting between Robo and Skorzeny, which is better than the main story.
As I said when I reviewed #4, I think better character development is the key to this series taking off. Robo is not much of a character, and the supporting cast is mostly too sketchy. They need to develop a few more characters and make them memorable. Until that happens, the series is just going to feel like a set of vignettes, ultimately not going anywhere.
(For a dissenting opinion, see this review at Major Spoilers.)