Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Quick Super-Hero Comic Reviews

The Incredible Hulk #82
by Peter David & Jae Lee
David kicks it old school, telling a done-in-one mystery in which Banner/Hulk tries to help the ghost of a sorceress determine who killed her before her spirit dissipates. It feels like old times--ina good way--and the story draws on Lee's strengths as an artist, providing lots of opportunity for spooky, moody drawing. Yes the end may be a bit too pat, but it's such a novelty these days to read a Marvel comic that brings closure at the end rather than serving as prologue to a long decompressed slow-moving tale.
Rating: 3 (of 5)

Power Pack #3
by Marc Sumerak, Gurihiru, & Chris Eliopoulos
Those complaining about the lack of action in the previous issues of this mini will be pleased to know that there's plenty of action here, as the Pack family teams up with Marvel's first family, the Fantastic Four, to take on a bevy of Doom-bots while on a camping trip. Sumerak continues his accessible stories and spot-on characterization, and Gurihiru's art remains very attractive and looks like it jumped off of an animation cell and onto the page. It's good all-ages uper-hero family fun. The bonus story (that's 27 pages of story in all folks!) once again features young Franklin Richards messign around with one of his dad's inventions and continues the fun as well. I had high hopes for this latest Power Pack series, and so far Sumerak and company have lived up to those expections.
Rating: 3.5 (of 5)

Superman/Batman #20
by Jeph Loeb, Ed McGuinness & Dexter Vines
It's the start of another story arc in Superman/Batman, and that means more incomprehensible stuff with alternate timeslines and people acting out of character for reason that hopefully may become clear before it is over. Supes and Bats seem somehow to have made their way to an analogue of Marvel's Ultimate universe where they face off against The Ultimates-lite. But the true joy in this comic comes from a seemingly unrelated section with Bizarro & Batzarro, where Loeb totally takes the piss out of his own pompous 'voice-ovr narration' style with Batzarro's narration; I chuckled big, so bonus points for that.
Rating: 3 (of 5)

Firestorm #14
by Stuart Moore, Jamal Igle & Rob Stull
Stuart Moore comes aboard the title, and his first order of business is too smooth things out to give us a straightforward super-hero title. He ably sets the new status quo for Jason/Firestorm, moving him out of the house with a new job and preparing him to start college. In the span of one issue, Moore sets the stage for further adventures and throws in some action besides. The series is still set in Detroit, but it actually looks like one of the many non-descript suburbs, with 'Lowrence' University (actually Lawrence Tech) and Star Labe Detroit taking up space in a strip mall. The art from Igle & Stull is good too; not flashy and a bit stiff in the non-action scenes, but their Firestorm looks nuclear powerful.
Rating: 3 (of 5)

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