Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Quick GN Reviews

She-Hulk, vol. 1; Single Green Female
by Dan Slott, Juan Bobillo, Paul Pellitier, Marcelo Sosa, Roland Paris, Tom Simmons & Don Hillsman
Sometimes you can believe the hype. She-Hulk turns out to be one of the most interesting and fun titles that Marvel has put out recently, and this trade colelcts the first six issues. After She-Hulk's partying lifestyle causes her to get kicked out of Avengers Mansion and her super-hero doings cause her to lose her job as a prosecuting attorney, she finds heself approached to work for the prestigious law firm of Goodman, Lieber, Kurtzberg & Holliway. The catch is that the firm wants Jennifer Walters, not her alter ego She-Hulk, so Jen has to spend her time in court de-powered, a state that she is not used to living in. Thus begins the fun as Jen adjusts to her new life and takes on cases with a non-traditional bent, such as a ghost testifying at his own murder, or Spider-Man suing J. Jonah Jameson for libel. The art in the first four chapters is by Bobillo, whose clean line and slightly cartoony style and really shines in the many non-action scenes. The final two-part story is more of a traditional super-hero story, and Pellitier's more action-oriented art serves it well. If depressing super-hero mega-events are getting you down, try She-Hulk for a dose of old fashioned fun with a modern twist.
Rating: 3.5 (of 5)

Human Target, book 2: Living in America
by Peter Milligan & Cliff Chiang
In this second collection of the regular Vertigo series, Milligan continues to explore the concepts of identity and American nationality in ways both interesting and thought-provoking. The opening chapter is a story of Christopher Chance taking on the identity of a priest who has been targeted by an assassin, and while you won't be surprised by where the plot goes, it does offer an intriguing look at the nature of faith and forgiveness. The longest story in the collection is the three-part "Which Way the Wind Blows," which finds Chance entangled in a web of violence and deceit involving ex-60's radicals, modern-day anarchists, and the Feds, and interoduces what may be a long-term antagonist for Chance. The book closes with another one-shot, in which Chance takes on the identity of an escaped convict who wants the chance to live free for just five days so he can live life to the fullest. Throughout the book Milligan's writing skills are at the top of their form, and the art by Chiang looks great and moves the stories forward with seeming effortlessness (though as we can see by Chiang's bonus materials, it does require a good deal of effort!) Anyone looking for intelligent action comics should give Human Target a look.
Rating: 4 (of 5)


Kevin Church said...

Well said, well said. The Human Target is a really underappreciated book and I should do something about offering a review of the series in my own blog.

Johanna said...

Please elaborate on the HT bonus materials?

I agree, I wish more people were talking about how good HT is, especially with Cliff Chiang's art.

Dave Carter said...

Bonus materials are seven pages of "A Special Behind-the-Scenes Look at Drawing The Human Target by artust Cliff Chiang." He talks about how he went about illustrating the story "Five Days Grace," showing several pages in their initial sketch form, then pencils, then final inks. He also spends a couple of pages talking about (and showing) the various cover concepts for Issue #9 and for the trade itself.

Anonymous said...

Dave, since you liked SHE-HULK, you might take a look at the SPIDER-MAN/HUMAN TORCH mini that starts today. It's also written by the wonderful Dan Slott, and it promises to have the same light, fun touch.

Dave Carter said...

Yeah, I was considering Spider-Man/Human Torch, but I think I'm going to wait-for-the-trade, which is something I'm trying to get myself to do more often with Marvel series (and this one has 'trade in time for the FF movie' written all over it--maybe even a digest?)