Let’s catch up on some comic book reading! I usually only read two comics a month – not because of anything other than the two comics I read are the only ones I am interested in. So, What has been happening in:
The Indestructible Hulk Issues #11-15 – Agents of T.I.M.E.
W: Mark Waid
I: Matteo Scalera, Kim Jacinto, Mahmud Asrar,
Wolverine destroyed the timeline in Age of Ultron. He didn’t just destroy it – he decimated it – and now the heroes are feeling the effects. Bruce Banner, who is now working for S.H.E.I.L.D., is frustrated with the unfortunate timing of his newest discoveries – things that will help humanity – except he is a bit too late. Every time! Stark, Reed and the other intellectual heavyweights keep beating Banner to the punch. But with the threat of the timestream destroying the universe, and chronarchists using the broken time as their playground, it’s up to Hulk and robot Banner to save the day. Hulk has to stay furious, though, because traveling through the timestream will rip his fragile alter ego’s fleshy covering apart. Waid’s handling of this story line is at times hilarious, confusing and exciting – but always a fun read! Watching the Hulk travel to mid-evil times, chasing the baddies Khotto and Zarko, trying to stop their meandering ways is wonderful. Hulk battling Abomination on the moon and fighting Fin Fang Foom on the high seas are pretty enthralling – and then back to the beginning… the Hulk’s beginning that is.
This time jump leaves the Hulk rescuing past Banner as he rescues Rick Jones. The Hulk takes the brunt of the gamma bomb (again) and is turned into uberHulk… which is a just as silly as it sounds. I thought it would be fantastic to see Maestro at ground zero again, like we did at the end of the Future Imperfect, but we can’t have everything we want. Zarrko and Khotto’s motives aren’t exactly clear and the story does get wordy toward the end with Banner trying to explain it all – but still, Waid’s handling of the Hulk thus far has been a fun ride. I am happy that this particular storyline is over though as it was getting a bit long in the tooth – of course – we have now moved the Hulk’s story into the latest Marvel event “Inhumanity”. I am not sure if this is part of Waid’s plan or if it is being forced upon him by the higher ups at Marvel to have the Hulk title intertwined in the events – but here’s to hoping this next arc really wraps up better than this one did.
Grade *** out of 5
Thunderbolts Issues #14-18
W: Charles Soule
I: Jefte Palo, Terry Pallot
I have followed the Red Hulk from his inception. Every article leading up to the premier of his own title (Even though Marvel really dropped the ball when coming up with a name for this character. Something a little more original would have been better) I read – and bought the title, even under protest upon learning that Loeb was writing this character into the gutter of the Marvel Universe. As the inconsistencies and continuity issues continued to rise the sales (and people’s interest) began to falter. By the time the Red Hulk’s identity had been revealed no one cared anymore. His titled was turned over to his as equally crimson daughter and Red moved to this group title, now sharing the spotlight with The Punisher, Flash Thompson’s Venom, Elektra and Deadpool. While I can’t stand Deadpool as a character I do like this book. The art can be hit or miss (IMO mostly miss) but the stories have been worth the ride.
They continue to bring back forgotten Hulk villains, the first was Madman – and lest we forget that a ruby reincarnation of his brother, the Leader, is along for the ride – they also have Mercy, who was released inadvertently by Ross and now keeps her close until he figures out a way to destroy her. While the original arc began with the “team” doing Ross’ bidding on a secret mission it is now the other members turns to choose the mission. Up first is Punisher – who has a simple request – kill the mob family that all the other scum on the streets answer to. The thing is, with Infinity happening, an alien invasion is occurring just at that moment, making completing Castle’s request a bit more complicated.
The thing that makes this comic so enjoyable, for me anyways, is that the group never seems to stay together and each member, even if they are working with other teammates, have their own adventures to follow. This is an unexpected, consistent good read month after month. I say to pick it up!
Grade: **** out of 5