Comic Book Review – Hulk #3 (Marvel Comics)

Our pal Kit reviews comics for us! This is one of those reviews.

Warning: minor spoilers (including Civil War II spoilers)

“What’s worse? Dying? Or getting that close to death… and getting turned around… and dragged back into the world…” – Jennifer Walters

 

Issue #3 of Hulk caught my eye this week. Partially because Jennifer Walters was on the front cover and I’ve always found She-Hulk to be that little bit more engaging than The Hulk himself, and the simplicity of the title. Only Hulk, not Incredible, Unstoppable etc. With so many the Adjective Super hero comics out there one with such a simple name stands out. This comic was bought to us by:

Cover by Jeff Dekal

Cover by Jeff Dekal

  • Writer – Mariko Tamaki
  • Artist – Nico Leon
  • Colour Artist – Matt Milla
  • Letterer – VC’s Cory Petit

We pick things up with Jen after the end of Civil War II. She had been knocked into a coma during the war, and her cousin Bruce’s death served as one of the key catalysts to the whole battle. I didn’t read Civil War II myself, so I was playing a little catch up here in learning the background to the comic. You don’t need to know too much of the detail though to understand the story telling approach taken by Tamaki. Jen is dealing with a hell of a lot. Work is both uninspiring and too much at the same time and she always looks tired, finding it hard to engage with her friends. In the mean-time crime is still taking place in New York, and conspiracies as always are developing.

Art by

Art by Leon & Milla

The art is bright and simplistic throughout. I think this was done to create that artificial light feel anyone who’s working into the evening on a winter’s night in retail will know well. It slightly clashes with the mood of the comic, which in actually helps set the tone. Jen is pushing on and trying to get back to day to day life because she has to. She has to keep at it even when it’s the last thing she wants. Even so, this approach by Milla may not be for everyone. Leon did a great job in portraying Jen throughout the issue. His line work leaves her looking exhausted throughout and as if she cannot be bothered to deal with people.

However, even a Hulk has hands. How well are they drawn this issue? This is not a combat issue at all. There’s no action to speak of and character interactions are entirely social. Hands are well used to convey emotion throughout the issue, however Leon and Milla’s art style is light on detail. Although hands are drawn well there are not many knuckles in this issue. 8/10 for hand drawing skills!

Final Verdict

I always enjoy a character exploration issue. It did take me a moment to catch up with things not having read Civil War II, however if this series continues along its initial set up we may be treated to a deeper engagement with Jen’s personality. I would like to see more Hulk myself too. For a series simply named Hulk, it was a little light on Hulk.

Score: 8.2 Hairnets out of 10

 

Comic Book Review – Star Lord #1 (Marvel Comics)

Our pal Kit reviews comics for us! This is one of those reviews.

Warning: minor spoilers.

“It’s not MY fault, I’m stranded on Earth with your STUPID drinking rules!.” Star-Lord

With the trailers for Guardians of the Galaxy 2 both out and a huge success I thought I’d pick up with Peter Quill in the main comics this week. Marvel are starting a new solo run with this Guardian of the Galaxy, bought to us by:

  • Writer – Chip Zdarsky
  • Artist – Kris Anka
  • Colourist – Matthew Wilson
  • Letterer – VC’s Cory Petit
star-lord-cover

Cover by Anka

We pick things up after the events of Civil War 2. It’s not something you need to know the background on fortunately, we do find out early on though that the Guardian’s ship has been wrecked and Peter is stranded on Earth. Which he’s spending his time doing exactly what I plan to on Christmas Day – drinking far too much before lunch. He tries to make the best of things while he’s stuck on Earth by reconnecting with friends and getting out for a bit.

The scope of the comic is small, Star-Lord isn’t adventuring around the universe saving everyone but trying to cope with being bought down to Earth, literally. It doesn’t help that he is not the most popular vigilante amongst Marvel heroes. I wasn’t familiar with Zdarsky or Anka’s work before this comic, however their take on our hero trying to deal with day to day life is a great way to introduce new readers. We’re also treated to a couple of cameos which lighten the overall sombre mood of the comic.

star-lord-interior

Art by Anka, Wilson & Petit

The art at first appears simple but effective, but manages to match the fluctuating mood throughout the comic – light and fun to sombre and tense. The colouring feels very clean as well, Wilson and Anka teaming up to deliver a sense of texture and detail to the panels. Petit keeps the lettering minimalist to allow for broad and colourful scenes throughout the issue. Star-Lord also spends a fair bit of time shirtless if that’s your thing. However, although Anka and Wilson are great with chests, how are they with hands?

Can Anka draw hands? Being critical there are a couple of instances where the hands aren’t quite up to the rest of the art. That isn’t to say they’re bad as such, but simply aren’t quite as good as the rest of the art throughout the issue – one passer by caught in a cross fire and in a guest appearance by Wolverine his claws appearing to come out of his fingers Lady Deathstrike style, 7/10 for hand drawing skills!

Final Verdict

I really dug this as a start to a new series. Focusing on the small stuff and giving us a character in a more relatable environment helps make them more human and gives a surprising weight to the situation when things do go to hell. The writing and art team have also got off to a promising start and I’m looking forward to the rest of the work they can deliver.

Score: 8.75 Sarcastic Voice Messages out of 10

 

Comic Review – Moon Knight #1 (Marvel Comics)

Our pal Kit reviews comics for us! This is one of those times.

Warning: Minor Spoilers.

“Is – is it true what she said? Is this all in my head? Are you all in my head?” Marc

Dammit Marvel. I’m sat here, I’m supposed to be saving for a wedding and cutting back on costs here and there and you keep getting me hooked on these £3 an issue comics. That isn’t cheap and you know it. And you know what the worst part is? I really enjoy them. Especially when, even with your literal 1,000s of super heroes you manage to give me a story which feels fresh and different.

56058c4b7164bSo, yeah, Moon Knight (written by Jeff Lemire, art by Greg Smallwood, colour art by Jordie Bellaire, lettering by VC’s Cory Petit). I picked this one up before because I’d heard that the character was very interesting, supposedly a Marvel counterpart to Nightwing? So far this has not proved to be true at all, it hasn’t proved to be anything like I expected, and that’s a very good thing.

This is the story of Marc Spector, a mercenary who died in Egypt under a statue of the god Khonshu. Marc returned from the dead as Khonshu’s aspect to fight crime for his own redemption…. Maybe?

 

The thing is, Marc kind of lost it and went insane. This whole Moon Knight thing may well only exist in his head.

This in itself was more than enough to get me interested. This comic was off to a great first impression. Then I looked at the first page. The artwork in this comic is outstanding. The first scene we’re given is a memory? Hallucination? Dream sequence? Where Marc died and gets his powers. You’ll notice I mentioned a lot of people who were involved early, and that’s because they all deserve credit. Smallwood and Bellaire’s art is very sketchy for lack of a better term which makes the whole thing feel surreal and look grainy, like and old fashioned not properly tuned TV. It really suits the tone perfectly. As well as Cory Petit’s lettering, especially when Khonshu is speaking to Marc (in or out of the panel) stands out. Art team, well done on this one, really. I should probably describe the art in the rest of the comic as well.

MKI

Art from Greg Smallwood & Jordie Bellaire

As soon as the sequence ends we find Marc, dress in white on the floor, two nurses come in, and beat the hell out of him. By contrast, where the art at the start, while sketchy was colourful, here everyone’s shaded grey (it is night time) and any light is a sickly yellow.

And yeah, Marc is in an institution, one with nursing staff who do not treat their patients well. When Marc recovers he’s on a table undergoing shock treatment. Things are in full colour now.

We learn that Marc has been a resident here since he was a child, with Moon Knight apparently in his head, and he’s suffered a relapse. Which he does, in a big way. It seems he literally sees the world in a new way as Moon Knight (even if the outfit is just some bed sheets…) and he is given his calling and his opponent to beat. Maybe? It still could all just be in his head. He’s not even sure if the other patients are actually patients or people he knows as Moon Knight, which gives us new mini-flashbacks.

Final Verdict

Marvel – Shut up and take my money!

Final Score – 9 Hallucinations out of 10!

Comic Review – All New, All Different Avengers #1 (Marvel)

Kit is taking over the weekly comic book review because Adam is in the unenviable position of attempting to finish off his PhD.

Warning: minor spoilers.

“Great, she thinks I’m a lunatic. Don’t be nervous, just say something funny. SAY SOMETHING FUNNY.” – Nova doing about as well as I did when I met my now fiancé.

First things first, I’m engaged. I asked the question last weekend in the most spectacularly nerdy way I could – buy building my now fiancé a game where I ask her in the end. Bearing in mind I know nothing about programming I feel this was quite a feat! She said yes, she’s stuck with me now, success!

Anyway, you’re more interested in getting into the comic book review, aren’t you? Well now I’ve got that personal note out of the way I’ll get on into it. I’ve had a hell of a busy week with work and feeling smug, but I have managed to fit in an issue of the All-New, All-Different Avengers! Written by Mark Waid with art by Adam Kubert and colours by Sonia Oback for the main story, and Mahmud Asrar and Dave McCaig in the back up story, with letters from VC’s Cory Petit.

It’s yet another Marvel new starter, I picked it as I’m sure it’ll be one of their big pushes over the coming months, bringing in a lot of familiar faces into the line-up. Sort of. We currently have Captain America, Thor, Spider-Man, Iron Man, Vision, Ms Marvel and Nova. And only two of these are the ‘original’ versions of themselves. Currently wearing the titles we actually have Sam Wilson (you’ll know him as Falcon in the films), Thor – but female (actual identity is a secret), Miles Morales (started off as Ultimate Spider-Man after Ultimate Peter Parker died), Tony Stark, Vision, Kamala Khan (took over as Ms Marvel) and Sam Alexander (not the original Nova, I don’t know much about him yet!). So there you have it, it’s an All-New, All-Different Avengers, literally (not counting Iron Man or Vision).

avengersI went into this comic quite hopeful, I’ve really enjoyed this Thor and Spidey’s stories so far and I always like seeing stories mix things up a bit. And this is the ultimate mix up!

The very first page shows Ms Marvel calling Nova a jerk, standing on a huge pile of rubble, no context given, yet. The story itself begins with Captain America and Iron Man meeting up and stumbling across a huge explosion/blast of energy that Spider-Man was near. It turns out Warbringer, one of Nova’s enemies has teleported to Earth and is there to well… bring war. He happens across a potential ally is his war-bringing plans, only to be set upon by the Avengers.

After a very quick bout the story cuts away to Ms Marvel and Nova. A beast has been let loose and is on the rampage and they team up to take it on. To then VERY awkwardly introduce themselves. Nova tries to hit on Ms Marvel, he’s about as smooth as I am, which is roughly on par with sand paper.

I think there was a bit much happening by coincidence in this issue, but the character interplays were great. I enjoyed the Ms Marvel – Nova exchange a lot and I feel team up stories are usually built on these moments and on that front it’s a good start.

Final Verdict

It’s a start. I was disappointed not to see much of Thor (who has been incredibly badass in her own story!) or Vision yet, but there are only so many pages and bringing all seven characters into one issue may have been a bit much. As I mentioned I feel there was maybe a bit much happening be coincidence in this issue, but with some good writing coincidence can be fine to start a story as long as it isn’t used to end a story. I’ll give issue two and three a try most likely, it’s a fine start.

Final Score – 7.5 Awkward Pick-Up Lines out of 10!