Posted On:12/19/2012 6:14pm
The I have completely gutted my Marvel books. All avengers and X titles are canceled. Pretty much, I'm finishing whatever hasn't ended.
Like others, I have read the Hulk for decades and watched them completely screw up the Character in the last decade. Basically, if Planet Hulk and World War Hulk are the best stories in a Decade something is wrong. Yes, I enjoyed those stories, but none of it stuck minus the stupid Red Hulks. Better known as, "OMG let's make tired characters relevant again by giving them powers."
Still, as a Hulk fan, I broke down and purchased the book. I argued with myself and realized I have bought trash. When they upset Peter David, I stuck around. The John Byrne And Ron Garney reboot wasn't fun and I stuck around. I kept running through the revolving door, including Jeph Loeb and the "everyone is now a hulk" fiasco.
I like Mark Waid. I know he has his ups and downs, but he is consistent in my book. In this issue, he lays it all on the line. There is no cliffhanger, nagging question, or hint of an overreaching arc. You learn why Maria Hill is in the small town, why Banner has decided to reach out to shield and of course you get the Hulk. I enjoyed reading a book that didn't try to hook you with a mutant Autopsy cliffhanger (Avengers Now 1).
It also carries on from the end of the last book. The discussion Hulk and Banner had is slightly changed, but still referenced in the book. Actually, it is why I enjoyed the stories leading up to Planet Hulk. There was an alliance between Banner and they "just wanted to be left alone." This feels like it will be a new take on "being left alone." One thing I really enjoy from the movies and the books is that Banner is as smart as Stark and Richards. Anyone reading Marvel knows, they have been pushing this pint off and on for the last six years. Heavily pushed since Loeb took over the book. It actually feels like a natural progression for the character.
The movie Avengers push. You can tell that they want the book moving towards the movies. There are aspects of the Avengers and the Incredible Hulk in the book. They fit, but as a long time fan it irks me when a book tries to capture or change itself to match the movie. Still, they aren't bad and they make sense.
The art. I'm not sure where this push of still, splash pages and implied action came from, but I do not like it at all. I miss the days of an artist drawing a fight. I have many favorites, but you rarely see action scenes unless it is a crossover. When the fight occurs, you get a splash page, mini scenes and a small splash of Hulk's strength. The dialogue is cool, but the art is bleh IMO.
Overall I'd give it a 4 out of 5 for a new beginning book.
Posted On:12/19/2012 6:15pm
A warning, If you are an Iron Man fan do not read this issue.
Mark Waid continues writing a Hulk I am starting to enjoy. Issue 2 builds on the S.H.E.I.L.D set up by Maria Hill. Yes, Iron Man is there to help push sales, but his purpose makes sense. Stark finds out that Banner is now working for S.H.E.I.L.D and can't believe it is true. Some hilarity ensues in the conversation between Maria/Stark, Stark/Banner, and Banner/Stark/Maria.
Once again, Waid continuing to establish Banners' Genius level intelligence when he is allowed to work. For hulk fans, like me, who enjoyed the short lived Hulkless Banner and Son, it is that Banner IMO. The armor is explained, thank you, and it is not what you or I thought from the pre-release images. Also, it makes perfect sense when they give a quick explanation of the armor's purpose.
If you pay attention to some of the Banner/Stark exchange, you see that Waid is dropping hints to an ulterior motive. The data gathering "gamma fracker" doesn't engage in fracking. When Tony notices, Banner flips out and you know who shows up.
This is closing in on the Banner/Hulk dynamic I like. Piss him off and the flip switches. The only difference, Banner is done trying to cure himself of the Hulk. Personally, if this holds true, I am glad.
The humor that I enjoyed during the Peter David run is back. I missed the snarkiness of Mr Fixit, Banner and other main character during David's run. This is subtler, but it feels organic.
The Art. Once Again, various splash pages and poor Action. Honestly, how some artists get work makes no sense to me. Green blurs for speed, posed action shots, and nothing gives you the impression of motion. I like the coloring, the back grounds and even the Hulk "armor" that I disliked with the initial images.
The "Avengers movie push" is till there, but it is what Marvel has done since Blade. If they keep going this way, it won't bother me at all.
Still maintains a 4/5.
Posted On:12/19/2012 7:26pm
Are these a complete reboot of the continuity like DC does every few years? A 'side continuity' like the Ultimate line was? Or are these set in regular continuity?
I've just been getting back into comics, slowly, in the past couple of months, and kind of avoided a lot of the main Marvel books just because of how much catch up I thought I'd have to do continuity wise.
I can see how it'd be fucked up and gimmicky to take long running characters and tweak them to be like their movie counterparts, although in Blade's case I don't think that was a bad thing. Wesley Snipes as a half vampire psychopath was way better than the old Dracula chasing doofus with wooden knives in a red disco jumpsuit. (I think it was red. Maybe green?)
Posted On:2/18/2013 6:25pm
Nope. They are just restarts of all the main issues with some changes. All of the history is intact. They are tweaking and introducing characters, but in some cases it fits.
Hulk has constantly moved from smart to child like throughout his history. Banner has always been extremely smart, but he was always the hulk. The only one really changed is Hawkeye.
Posted On:3/08/2013 2:05pm
So, as I said, the art has been Blah!
In issue six, Walt Simmons returns:
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