Category Archives: Comic Review

Friday Review! Avengers * Defenders Tarot #1 (2020)

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Writer: Alan Davis
Artist: Pencil/Inks Paul Renaud
Artist: Colors Paul Mounts
Cover Price:

Secondary Market:

$4.99

$3.85 – $12.99

Variants: 2
  • Alan Davis Variant
  • Diablo Variant
Publisher: Marvel Comics

Who doesn’t love a good Defenders story?  Especially from Alan Davis who gave us the excellent, underrated and short-lived Savage Hulk series.  This time around he hands the art over to Paul Renaud who gives us some really exciting scenes and makes this gorgeous comic that much more enjoyable.

Back in the 40’s, with Namor, Cap and the original Human Torch forming the Invaders, lending a hand in fighting back the Nazis in WWII the trio of superheroes are faced with some mystical magic.  A man named Okkults uses his magics to  bring the stone statues to life and fight our heroes.  In this moment when the statues overwhelm the trio suddenly Captain America Hulks out. Seriously – he Hulk’s out, green skin and anger issues and all!

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After taking out the horde of stone people Steve reverts back to human form with no memory of what happened.  We join the Defenders some time later with Namor spacing out thinking back to that moment in time all while they are about to take out another bad guy who has amassed an army of people possessed by evil magics.  Namor recognizes the runes that have formed on the people in said army as the same runes on the statues from years before.

The current situation isn’t as dire as it seemed as Strange was actually feigning weakness in order to trick Cyrus Black in gathering his troops so that Strange can take the evil magic, Ichor, back and cure the followers.  All goes well except that Strange can’t banish the magic from the Earth since there is another source of the same magic elsewhere on the planet.  Where exactly?  That would be the Avengers Mansion!

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The Marvel Non-Team transport to the mansion but arrive at an obviously bad time as they witness Vision kicking Iron Man’s ass.  Cap let’s the quintet know that Vision has had a malfunction of sorts and they have to bring him down.  The only one with the ability to take on Vision is Scarlet Witch who does so and knocks the android out.

At this point the Avengers split the Defenders up having the Hulk and Valkyrie help fix the damage done to the mansion, the Surfer help take the Vision down to the medic bay and Strange and Wanda heading down to the containment area to locate the rest of the Ichor magic.

Namor takes Cap aside to ask about the memories he had in the beginning of the issue but Cap doesn’t have a clue what Namor is talking about.  He gives access of the files to aquatic king to research as much as he’d like.  Stark has Norrin Rad helping him try to figure out what happened to the Vision while Thor is conning the Hulk into doing the heavy lifting – but all is a ruse!  As Strange enters the containment area he’s confronted by Diablo who has collected the Ichor and are in control of the entire Avengers team!  The only member who he wasn’t able to control was the Vision which is why they were all trying to kick his ass!  Diablo then uses the rest of the Avengers to take out the certain members of the Non-Team and uses the Ichor to take control of Strange as well!

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The end of issue #1 is quite exciting with quite the cliffhanger ending!  I think we’re in for quite the ride!  I question whether or not it would have been just as good to know what was happening at the Mansion before the Defenders show up, knowing the entire team was heading into a trap, and rooting for the team to figure it out before crap hit the fan!  Overall, this is an excellent start to a new Defenders adventure!

 

Villains:
  • Diablo
  • Avengers (sort of)
Grade: Bag and Board It

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Friday Review! The Immortal Hulk #28

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Writer: Al Ewing
Artist: Penciler Tom Reilly
Artist: Inker Matias Bergara
Cover Price:

Secondary Market:

$3.99

$2.77 – $6.99

Variants: 1 Hulk 2099 Variant
Publisher: Marvel Comics

I am going to attempt to review this issue straight from my memory.  This series continues to chug along nicely – Ewing is absolutely killing it and it.  After the Hulk took down the Shadow Base I wasn’t sure where they would take this story but sure enough they have doubled down bringing in the Minotaur and Roxxon!

This issue opens with reports of Hulk supporters protesting Roxxon and thier social network in the total dumpster.  We are also gifted to Minotaur’s man-scaping ritual.  Even more graphic than I feel in needed, but hey, who am I?  Minotaur is racking his little brain on how he can turn things around and profit off this terrible Hulk incident!

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We also meet a father, a Roxxon security gaurd, who is proud of his life but laments the estranged relationship he has with his daughter.  He can’t escape the thought that these Hulk demonstrators are just no good rouble rousers who deserves whatever may happen to them.  I also love how the Hulk youth group is calling themselves “Teen Brigade” – a call back to Rick Jonse teen group from the 60’s.

Turns out Minotaur does have a few tricks up his sleeve as he has Roxxon churn out Hulk masks for this Teen Brigade to don while protesting.  Genius!  Also, don’t correct Minotaur.  Just take my word for it.

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Moreover, the security guard is ready to Charles Bronson a collected group of protestors outside his location.  That is until he notices a familiar pair of eyes staring at him through a Hulk mask.  Sure enough, it’s his daughter.  The man squeezes the trigger anyways but thank goodness the Hulk is there to absorb the shot.

Minotaur does have a plan though – a plan to get someone to take the Hulk on.  Someone who might be able to take the Hulk out for good.  Who else than a former Hulk to take out a Hulk?

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Villains:
  • Minotaur
  • Roxxon
Grade: Bag and Board It

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Friday Review! The Immortal Hulk #27 (2019)

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Writer: Al Ewing
Artist: Penciler Joe Bennet
Artist: Inker
  • Ruy Jose
  • Belardino Brabo
  • Marc Deering
  • Sean Parsons
Cover Price:

Secondary Market:

$3.99

$2.77 – $6.99

Variants: 1 Hulk 2099 Variant
Publisher: Marvel Comics

So, it seems the shine is wearing off this series.  While it is still very popular it’s no longer a buzz book with speculators buying up a bunch of copies.  The book was selling close to 90K units at it’s highest and has leveled to a healthy 53K.  I’m hoping the current readers stick with the title as it truly is fantastic!  But honestly, I’m glad the insane amount of exclusive variants are over. It was just too much!

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Kudos to those that continue to read this fantastic series!  In the last issue we saw that the head of Roxxon, The Minotaur, had some shady dealings going on.  After taking down the Shadow Base, the Hulk isn’t letting any shadowy organization continue!  With Roxxon believing that they are untouchable, the Minotaur suggests that no matter what happens as long as they can sell the public the narrative that they will remain the powerhouse they have been.

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Of course the Hulk has his own plan and attacks a data center – but not just any data center – THE data center!  The center that houses Roxxon’s entire social media and essential the soul of the company.  Having a few transforming soldiers to contend with hardly holds the Hulk up as he makes quick work of them.

Even more shocking?  The Devil Hulk has a way of working together with the other personalities to stay out in the daylight!  The Immortal Hulk is TRULY unstoppable now!  Who will be able to stop his ultimate plan of destroying the world?

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Villains:
  • Minotaur
  • Roxxon
Grade: Bag and Board It

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Friday Review! The Immortal Hulk #26 (2019)

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Writer: Al Ewing
Artist: Penciler Joe Bennet
Artist: Inker Ruy Jose
Cover Price:

Secondary Market:

$3.99

$2.39 – $4.00

Variants: 0 NONE!
Publisher: Marvel Comics

After the insane barrage of variant covers that have littered this series it seems we finally get a break and, with issue #26, it’s a single, gorgeous Alex Ross cover!  It’s a refreshing change of pace as the well written comic is usually over shadowed by the sheer insanity of covers available!

With the Gamma group taking over Shadow Base it’s finally time for Bruce Banner to have a little camera time informing the world of his plans to kill humankind.  He even meets with the most unlikely of heroes – Amadeus Cho, or as he’s apt to calling himself these days “Brawn”.  Amadeus, who, as we all know, stole the Hulk’s power back when Greg Pak was still ruining his legacy as one of the better Hulk writers and Bruce sort of acknowledges why he did it.  Amadeus wants answers though stating that the Hulk is born from anger and it can only consume you if you let it.  Like Bruce needs to be reminded of that.

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We also get quite a few responses from different perspectives in the world.  While some are immediately ready to paint the Hulk as a villain others are picking up the movement and lashing out!  Meanwhile, Amadeus wants answers that Bruce doesn’t have exactly.  We see Samson discussing the details with McGowan who seems on board with Bruce’s new direction for Shadow Base.  We also catch up with McGee who is getting all sorts of accolades for her reporting on the Hulk situation.

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Amadeus leaves Bruce with a warning about how he is watching him.  Not sure is that’s a threat or a joke but in the end Namor in drag comes over letting the readers know he is ready to take up the “death to humankind” movement with Bruce and Devil Hulk.  Before we go we are treated to a Roxxon board meeting being headed by… The Minotaur!  I guess this means we’ve just met the new big bad in the series?  Reminds me of the Man-Bull from TIH #341 but… whatever.  I mean, how amazing would it be to have it be the Man-Bull, seeing as we last left him for dead, to make his way all the way up the chain to Roxxon chairman?!?!?

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While still a great issue and a fun read it wasn’t as intriguing as the last volume – but we’ll see how it pans out!

Villains:
  • Brawn
  • Minotaur
Grade: Bag and Board It

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Friday Review: Absolute Carnage: The Immortal Hulk #1 (2019)

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Writer: Al Ewing
Artist: Pencils and Ink Filipe Andrade
Artist: Colors Chris O’Halloran
Cover Price:

Secondary Market:

$4.99

$3.59 – $149.99

Variants: 4
  • 1:25 Codex Variant
  • 1:50 InHyuk Lee Variant
  • NYCC Variant
  • NYCC Virgin Variant
Publisher: Marvel Comics

While I am enjoying the Absolute Carnage event the issue I have – which happens with most event comics – the tie-in comics really don’t do much or add any real content to the base storyline.  This issue deals with a lot of behind the scenes of events that have occurred in the regular Immortal Hulk series.  We get a deeper look at Bruce Banner in the hotel room with Betty and the groaning Rick Jones corpse.  His moment he hears about Ross’ stolen body from the grave and a quick mention of the conversation he had with McGee out of the balcony.  Mostly Bruce talks to us from inside of his head space where the Green Hulk, Joe Fixit and the Devil Hulk all wander around grumbling about the situation they find themselves in.

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After telling Betty about her father missing the two set off to find the missing corpse.  True to Betty’s word, she brings the Hulk to Ross’ body located inside of a mass grave.

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Banner finds Spider-Man and Spidey brings him up to speed with what they’ve been dealing with concerning Venom and Carnage.  Hearing about Knull – who Spidey calls a “Cosmic Satan”, and that rings a bell about the “One Below All” for Bruce – and the super smarty pants decides to help.

When finally confronted by Carnage – as seen in Absolute Carnage #3 – drastic steps must be taken!  Meanwhile, inside Bruce’s head, Bruce convinces the many personalities running around his head to let in this new entity in – and that new personality?  Venom!  Welcome Venom Hulk!

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Villains:
  • Carnage
Grade: Bag and Board It

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Friday Review! Immortal Hulk 24 (2019)

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Writer: Al Ewing
Artist: Pencils Joe Bennet
Artist: Ink
  • Ruy Jose
  • Belardino Brabo
  • Mark Deering
  • Roberto Poggi
Cover Price:

Secondary Market:

$3.99

$2.87 – $68.39

Variants: 1
  • 1:50 Wraparound Bennet Variant
Publisher: Marvel Comics

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Did you ever think you’d see a Hulk comic where our favorite emerald hero would use a slab of his own melting flesh from his face and fling it onto a rando soldier just doing his evil boss’s bidding?  Yeah – either did I – yet, here we are in 2019 and this is the new normal.  Fortean, believing he has finally taken the Hulk down with his corrosive spittle, is taken aback when a faceless Hulk keeps coming ready to fight!  As we all know, and as the Hulk reminds us here – the angrier the Hulk gets…

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Things don’t get any better when even more reinforcement show up and Fortean projectile vomits all over his help.  His entire team watches in horror as they see their leader truly losing his mind!  Realizing that Fortean is gone Dr. McGowan announces she is taking control of Shadow Base and tells everyone to stand down.  As you might imagine, Fortean does not like hearing this but continues his assault on the melty jade giant.

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When the Hulk pushes his thumb right through Fortean’s eye he ends up in hell along side the likes of Bruce Banner (Joe Fixit), Samson and even Brian Banner.  Fortean realizes he’s screwed up and landed himself in eternal damnation.  Coming through the green door Hulk and Samson come back to the land of the living.  The Hulk realizes he can now use McGowan and Shadow Base.  Samson worries about what the Hulk may do and suggests he should stick around to keep an eye on him.

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Back on the meteor we saw a few issues ago with an anemic Banner and a hollowed out Mr. Immortal.  Metatron is clued in to the fact that Banner has destroyed Franklin Richards, Craig and even Galactus.  Then, to the horror of every reader, Banner monsters out and swallows Metatron whole!

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Villains:
  • General Fortean
  • Shadow Base
Grade: Bag and Board It

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Friday Review! Immortal Hulk #23 (2019)

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Writer: Al Ewing
Artist: Pencils Joe Bennet
Artist: Ink
  • Ruy Jose
  • Belardino Brabo
Cover Price:

Secondary Market:

$3.99

$2.87 – $20.00

Variants: 1
  • Keown Wraparound Betty Banner Harpy Variant
Publisher: Marvel Comics

Last review I left off saying the this issue should be a doozy – and I was right!  I didn’t even know HOW right but I can confidently say that if you’re not reading this series by now you obviously don’t enjoy comics.  Well written, exciting, surprising and downright thrilling comics!  We left off with the Hulk (and Gamma Flight) bringing the fight to Fortean at Shadow Base.  We’ve all seen Fortean these last few issues seemingly losing his mind so now he has the opportunity to back up all that bravado with some action!

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We begin, though, with a McGee flashback of the day that she first encountered the Hulk.  A scared little girl looking into the eyes of an angry, overgrown child.  Years later she is jumping into action with the Hulk and his family, Samson, Jones and Betty… well, a version of Betty.  As the family sets off on their mission the Hulk stays behind with Gamma Flight to distract Fortean and the gang!  Unfortunately for the gamma-crew it seems Fotean in fact does have back up plans for back up plans as every move they make is met with a swift and devastating counter move!

Early on it seems the gamma gang will pull this one out as Creel is able to figure out how NOT to get drugged and Hulk laughs off a direct threat.  Once the Hulk is hit with Solar Emitters it seems as though their best weapon is down for the count!  Until Puck, finally being useful for the first time in his super hero career, rips the literal brains out of the machines!

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Dr. McGowan watches the carnage through the security cameras  and realizes she has brought this upon her and her team.  For once she begins to feel regret – not excitement for the gamma research and advances they’ve made – but relief that all the “science” she’s tampered with has finally come back for payback!  As Rick, Betty and McGee enter the lab they notice Del Frye in the corner.  McGowan informs them that she has been trying to ease his pain.  That saves her from an inevitable end at the hands of Jones.

Back at the Fortean fight, Samson is taken out, Creel and Titania are down for the count, followed quickly by Puck.  Hulk is the last one standing, and with a quick reguritiation of acid, Fortean believes he has won the fight.  That is until the Hulk rips off the melting skin, still ready to fight!

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Wow, what an ending!  I thought when Betty ripped the Hulk’s heart out was gruesome – this might just top it!  Pick this issue up is you haven’t already and catch up on this series!

Villains:
  • General Fortean
  • Shadow Base
Grade: Bag and Board It

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