Thursday, April 28, 2011

Rant Reviews--Thunderbolts, Hulk, X-Factor, Iron Man...I Couldn't Think of a Pun.

The latest issues of Thunderbolts, Hulk, X-Factor, and Invincible Iron Man, and not one disappoints!

Thunderbolts #156
The Raft looks at new potential team-members for the "Underbolts," as it is called--a back-up team for the Thunderbolts, and Luke Cage and crew go on a mission to a creepy castle. More happens than that of course because Jeff Parker is a great writer and Kev Walker is a master artist who knows how to chop up panels into interesting ways that makes even scenes of characters talking interesting. Still, nothing too crazy happens this issue so I wasn't knocked out of my chair with amazement, just give my usual level of, "Wow, this is a good comic."
3.5 out of 5 stars.

Hulk #32
Another comic penned by Jeff Parker, this time focused on the Red Hulk AKA former General Thunderbolt Ross. Gabriel Hardman turns in beautiful art and the creepy villains are starting to get more and more interesting, with a fun twist at one point with someone being built up as scary actually turning out to be pathetic (sorry, spoiler, but more happens, so don't worry). A good story and man I love the art of Hardman.
4 out of 5 stars.

X-Factor #218
Okay, big spoilers for this issue and series in general. Peter David is a great writer, pulling the, "character has a miraculous recovery" cliche' off despite my hating the, "someone comes back from the dead at the last minute" plot element 99% of the time. Why do I not mind it? Well, he kind of has been setting this up with a character who has been established as having the ability to bring people back--but with them coming back as not quite right (Layla Miller, as it was revealed a bit ago in the series as bringing folk back from the dead being her power). Therefore, this normally stupid, "Hey, everything's fine after all!" plot element is actually not that at all, but instead a very dark new subplot that may simmer for years, but will definitely play a big part sometime in this series--as David always has a master plan. Why am I detailing all this? To illustrate how much of a master writer Peter David is and how when it comes to writing comics and planning stuff out he is nearly unparalleled. He's got this shit down.
4.5 out of 5 stars.

Invincible Iron Man #503
This issue quickly wraps up Tony Stark's conflict with Doctor Octopus in an incredibly anti-climatic way and then segues into Fear Itself kind of awkwardly, and I still loved it. Why? Well, the fact that it was so anti-climatic was kind of refreshing, with the bad-guy kinda-sorta winning and Stark for once not being the smartest guy in the room being a unique twist. Matt Fraction is a great writer and the genuine discomfort I felt during a particular scene between Stark and Doc Ock drives home his skill. Seeing as how Fraction is also writing Fear Itself maybe this series will be really important, providing Tony Stark's view on the whole event. Oh, there is also a bit with art by Howard Chaykin about how Tony Stark's mom and pop met, so that's slightly interesting.
4 out of 5 stars.

There, reviews. Have fun watching the royal wedding if you actually stay up until 3AM for some insane reason. I'll be sleeping and watch the highlights tomorrow.

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