So, last time I discussed this series I was pretty content to not buy it. Reviews began to surface – each and everyone of them positive – making me question on whether or not I should reconsider. I decided to make my decision after reading the first issue. So I guess the question remains, did I buy it?
Well, let me tell you what I read first. The issue begins with Cho on the beach beating up a monster that surfaces from the ocean. He pounds the monster and then turns for a fist-bump from a toddler. Yes, he asks for a fist-bump. Then a page or two later Cho is naked after another round with the monster – but, no worries, there is a large CENSORED sign over his genitals with concern over the editors losing their jobs if they showed the Hulk’s huge giant man meat. I instantly thought “Oh, wait… so this isn’t to be a real series – this is sort of tongue in cheek bullshit.” and I started to feel a little better about it.
Reading on, Banner does make a cameo for a tick but then we get back to Cho and his hormones in full force as he fights an alien queen. There is an obvious set-back to Cho being a powerful green giant that Pak addresses, like we knew he would, being the amazing writer he is. Here’s one of my issues though – this is not what I wanted from the Hulk. Never mind that Cho had his chance at comic stardom as a sidekick to The Incredible Hercules. Granted, he was not the star of the book – but he was still a huge force in the book – one that did not last. Now he is the star of the Hulk book, taking the mantle and joking his way through the whole thing. To me, the Hulk’s tortured existence made his a complicated and brilliant character – not quite a hero but in no way a villain. Cho is certainly a hero, and in that respect, not as fun to read.
This may sit well with some new comic readers but not with the veterans. Of course, that means the one thing we old fogies don’t want to hear or admit. Comics are no longer being geared towards us. Marvel especially wants to attract a younger audience and this may just work. Pak is an amazing writer and this will not be any different, I’m sure, and Frank Cho makes the book so beautiful it’s hard to deny it’s lure. Overall, I am sure of one thing – this series may be a fun new start – but not one I am looking to take the ride with. I chose to put the book back on the shelf and walk out of the LCS without the new Hulk issue for the first time in over 20 years.
Batman - your cowl is crooked
Now we’re getting down to the wire here – the jam piece is almost done and the stakes are getting higher! Last post I told you I went to go see Cho – Frank Cho. A long shot I know – but I just had to try. Well, I got to his table and saw he had a small line forming as he just showed up (it was 12:45 by the way). I joined the line and starting building up the confidence to ask for him to contribute to the jam piece. The guy at the front of the line pulled out some Liberty Meadows books. He asked if Cho would consider doing a small ske-
That’s as far as he got because Cho interrupted with “I am not drawing today.” Not even “I’m not sketching” – no, it was a flat out “I am not drawing today.” So that was that. I slunk out of line and turned to see Ryan Ottley right behind me. Ottley – for anyone who isn’t aware – is the very talented artist who pencils Invincible. I walked up and introduced myself. We talked a bit and I asked about the jam piece. He was interested! He, like Vines needed some time to get settled, as he just arrived as well, and told me to come back in a few hours. No problem! I needed to kill time – and that’s when the loudspeaker announced that the Sale panel was about to start. Perfect!
Let me just say – I have never been to a panel before and I wouldn’t have gone to one here either, but the combination of it being Sale and the fact that I was seeking out something to do – I checked it out. Man, am I glad I did! Sale, who turned 55 on Sunday (they brought out a cake toward the end – it was pretty great) was suffering from a bit from a loss of voice. He didn’t let it stop him though as he answered all the questions asked. He informed the crowd that, yes, Captain America: White is coming out. That’s all he could say about that. He also said he’d like to stray away from doing Superheroes for a while and do more of a visually prominent noir story. It was a fantastic hour and I am really glad I went. I left the panel and swung by the Fletcher/Uminga table. Uminga had my Planet Hulk piece ready. I was floored when he handed it to me:
Uminga Planet Hulk
After getting that I went back to Ottley. He was more than ready to throw something into the mix. I decided to bring up the Burning Man incident to which he laughed about. “Writers do it all the time – it’s a cathartic thing – but none of them were dumb enough to post it on the web.” Anyways, we laughed about it and he presented me with this:
The jam piece was coming together nicely – now I was worried about getting a Hulk sketch on the page that I didn’t like. I was so worried, in fact, that I almost decided to call it quits right there – but then I remembered that Dexter Vines agreed to add something on as well – and I really like that guy – so off to his table I went. Alright, come on back tomorrow to hear about what happened. Everything will be revealed tomorrow – including the finished jam piece – let me know what you think so far!
5 Hulks down... 5 HULKS DOWN!
The Incredible Hulk #608
Thanks for your patience. The end of March is a killer – I hardly have time to log on let alone leave a post – but I will try. Here’s the review that I should have posted last week: Let’s be honest here – I am putting these 2 issues in the same post because… well, they are basically the same comic – just written by 2 different writers. Loeb’s book has one of the most cringe worthy ideas since Wendi-Hulk – which is: Hulkpool. For freakin’ all that is holy! Really? Hulkpool? I and it was passed through the editor? Without question? Holy hell…
#608 1:25 Cho Variant
Well, let’s get down to the brass tacks – the Skaar, Wolvie, Banner, Spidey, etc. team are attacking the base – when it’s revealed that Banner is actually Cho – being hidden by a holographic cloaking device. Skaar pissed… again – because he’s being lied to… again. Betty doesn’t want to be saved and go with Banner, Cho, or anyone for that matter. Talbot is not an L.M.D. – nor is he the Red Hulk – which pretty much ONLY leaves Ross at this point. Even though he is dead… *chuckle* The Red Hulk is trying to take care of his part – but he is caught and used to help shoot a ray back to Earth that “Hulk-ifies” all the heroes, and soldiers on the planet. Bruce is caught and linked up with all the other geniuses. We do get a flash forward that shows Bruce in bed with Betty and Betty saying how he (Bruce) saved the day… was that a dream? Who knows at this point – I tend to lean on the side of non-dream – but we will see.
Shocking ending? Not really. I mean, it didn’t hit me like the ending to Ground Zero did. It was more like “Really? All that for nothing? Seems like a waste” And I still feel that way. It was a bummer. Here are some thoughts though… Banner WANTED to get caught. It’s all part of his plan that he hasn’t told anyone else about, including Red Hulk. Which would follow the personality traits that Banner has been displaying recently. I’m starting to grow a little weary of this “devious” Banner. It’s hard to root for someone who is constantly lying to the people relying on him. But we will see where this heads in the months to come. Grade for these comics: TIH – C+ / Hulk – D
Next month we get the conclusion to all of this. Come to think of it – we should have seen it coming – with the storyline titled Fall of the Hulks. I just can’t wait to get the actual Hulk back. It’s been way too long – looking forward to getting some better Hulk stories being told – putting this dark age behind us – and the whole terribly written mystery of “Who is the Red Hulk” over with! At this point if it’s not Ross – then… oh, right – I don’t care! I could really care less! It was supposed to be a 6 issue mini-series that actually turned into one of the darkest ages in Hulk history – right up there with Bruce Jones! Which was hard to beat! But congrats Loeb – you did it.
Hulk #21 1:25 Cho Variant
Hulk #9 - Art Adams Cover
I was going to make you wait for this – but since they brought it out before the holiday the least I could do is post it by the end of the week.
Let me start off by saying – this issue? – Not so bad. At least not AS bad. So, get comfortable, here we go…
The Hulk jumps into the fight with the Wendigos. They attack and begin to bite the Hulk while Ms. Marvel and Sentry fix the Mile High Tower. Back at the Wendigo fight, Moon Knight says “When you all revert back to being people — assuming you are going to revert back–” (that’s supposed to be a premonition of sorts). Then one of the worst things happen – Hulk turns into a Wendigo himself – calling himself a WendiHulk (yeah – that’s bad but the idea is kind of cool) Sentry comes flying in to save the day and fight the WediHulk, too bad that it’s not interested in fighting, but eating the Sentry instead. Ms. Marvel calls Brother VooDoo in to help. Brother VooDoo basically stabs Moon Knight and does a little spell and BAM everyone is fixed. The naked people stand around confused, barfing, naked, and remembering everything they did. So, this story, as hacky and terrible as it is in explaining anything – like what happened that the Wedigo curse changed? Why did Hulk change from grey to green? But you know what? It wasn’t as terrible as the first arc. I’ll be generous here and give it a C-
Now, since the book is still broken into two seperate stories we still have a Red story to deal with. We join the Lady Liberators as they take on Red. At first Red is swatting them like flies but then She-Hulk gets an advantage and the ladies start to get the better of him. The Invisible Woman creates a force feild around Red’s head so that he can’t breathe. Storm throws a lightning bolt into the bubble and knocks Red out. Instead of taking him bach or putting him into a cell they say let’s wait till he reverts back. Well, bad idea because most of the ladies start to leave and Red gets up without transforming and grabs Thundra and takes off. Red tells Thundra that he wants to recruit her – because she’s the only one with a killer instinct. Thundra contacts She-Hulk to let her know she’s alright but doesn’t tell her about the deal she made with Red. So, this… wasn’t THAT bad either I give it a C- as well.
The whole book really needs to be turned back into a one-story book. Give the Red his own book! The whole book still reads pretty shoddy – pick it up if you’re loyal, like me, but it’s time to put Loeb out to pasture. How much more can he screw up these stories? He’s telling about things but never telling us why or how or who. It’s just frustrating is all.
Hulk #9 - Frank Cho Cover