Comic Fodder

Dana's Weekly Marvel Comic Review

Each week Comics Fodder will bring you a number of reviews from the Marvel Universe. Some books will inevitably be missed. But should any reader feel a certain Marvel title has been shamefully overlooked by me, take a gander at my comic counterpart’s reviews. If he’s missed it too, drop a quick note and we’ll try take a look.

I’m back from vacation – well-rested and only a fraction of the way into Harry Potter. Yeah, slow reader! Anyway, on with…

World War Hulk 3

By Greg Pak, John Romita Jr., Klaus Janson and Christina Strain

I got a phone call the other day from a buddy of mine wondering what I’d thought of the most recent issue of World War Hulk. At the time, I hadn’t read it yet. And he was kind enough to keep mum on the actual details but voiced his concerns on the direction Marvel was taking in relation to their universe. My interest, needless to say, was peeked. So as soon as I got home, I sat down to read the title in question. And for the life of me, I have no idea what he was talking about.

This was another wonderfully action-filled issue interlaced with moments of emotional reflection. It’s a nice change of pace from the previous two issues. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for the smashing. I’ve loved World War Hulk from the start. But it’s nice to be reminded how personal this story truly is for a number of characters. And serves as an excellent transition between the first and second halves of this event – I suppose you could call it a breather.

Something that truly startled me in this issue was Pak’s characterization of General Ross. It was odd to find myself sympathizing with him. “He was Bruce Banner, the most brilliant scientist I ever knew – and my daughter loved him. If the Hulk did something insane, it was never Banner’s fault… So we’d forgive him. And what did years and years of that lead to? My daughter is dead.” How can you not? This quiet contemplation added a ton of fire to his assault on the Hulk and underscored the fact that the army was out for blood. If today’s superheroes are unwilling to kill him, the military will – the two of them plummeting to the ground below with Ross firing off a bullet into Hulk’s eye was an amazing sequence. It doesn’t get much better than that…

…unless your Stephen Strange. Finally, our sorcerer supreme rises to the occasion. And I mean rises to the occasion. I really think I like Pak’s handling of this character. After the wonderful pages between Hulk and Strange mid-issue, we round off the book with the red-caped one invoking the power of Zom to battle the Hulk. Excellent cliffhanger. Looking forward to number four.

If you aren’t already reading this title, pick it up!

New Avengers Illuminate 4

By Brian Michael Bendis, Brian Reed, Jim Cheung and Mark Morales

I have to admit that I’m not exactly sure why this title ever came into existence. So far we’ve seen the Illuminati face off against various “threats” and that’s pretty much as far as we’ve gotten. The first three issues in this mini were enjoyable enough but I’m still waiting for an answer. C’mon Bendis, cough it up!

This time around we get a taste of Noh-Varr, Marvel Boy, a youth from the Kree Empire, who has come to wage war on mankind. But the kicker in this issue is that he’s already imprisoned here on earth. Hmm, a strange turn of events, don’t you think? So what’s the point of having the Illuminati step in? Exactly! What is the point?

We are treated to pages and pages of Namor slamming this boy around his cell – uh-huh, his cell – with Charles Xavier slipping into his mind to show him the world of Attilan. And let Blackbolt, Iron-Man, and Strange speak to him. And Reed Richards share a memory. Darn, I just spoiled the issue for you. Wait, maybe I just saved you three bucks.

The best part of this title is the art. Cheung and company do a wonderful job of bringing every ounce of action out of the script. The fight between Namor and Noh-Varr, though completely weird, was full of life – simply stunning. And the cover rocked -- not sure what it had to do with the story but it was good all the same.

If you’re a fan of this particular art team, pick up this book. If you’re looking for a good story from Bendis, let this one remain on the shelf.


Dana Severson is one of your resident reviewers of all things
Marvel. He’s 5’9”and 160 lbs with blonde hair and blue eyes.
He likes – wait, wrong site – Never mind.

Your review of World War Hulk is similar to mine. I have not understood the complaints about the story thus far, it is progressing logically and at a great pace for a 5 issue series.

Jeff Wetherington
The Comic Guide at Athena Guides

-- Posted by: Jeff Wetherington at August 6, 2007 9:48 PM