Comic of the Month - August 2011
- Published on Tuesday, 06 September 2011 01:00
- Written by Andrenn
- Hits: 1123
August was the end of Summer and now we are in September. Normally, September is not the most exciting month. Sandwiched between Summer and Autumn. However something huge is happening: The DCU Reboot. Or Relaunch. Or is it not a reboot? Maybe it is a retooling? No, no. Revive. No, that sounds too dark. Revivacious. There we go. The DCU Revivacious is happening. But, before everything we know (well not EVERYTHING) changes let's look back at August and see what was the best comic of that month.
Comic of the Month: Incredibles Hulks #635
I was originally planning to review this, but I think it is much easier if my review be here since it taking the title of Comic of the Month should tell you how much I enjoyed it. I picked up the finale to Greg Pak's run with a sense of excitement and worry. I really wanted to love this issue and if it sucked or was at the very least under whelming? Well, it would have broken my little Andrenn heart.
Thankfully, that was not the case. Pak ended his run and he ended it right. Along with Paul Pelletier and Tom Grummet, this was a great finale. Pak has a huge premise for the episode, world ending stuff but he never lets it get too big or drift too far from the point: Bruce Banner/Hulk. I do not want to spoil too much (another reason I am not doing a full written review) but the way it all ties back to Banner is just great.
The two spoilers I will have is for the revelation and the final page. Now the revelation is that Banner and the Hulk are the same person. Now this is something Pak has worked on before and hinted at but never flat out said. I always assumed Green Scar was Banner and Hulk working together or their two personalities doing the same. That was what made him so powerful, one was not holding back the other.
Pak handles the scene brilliantly with a simple mention from Tyrannus that there is no distinction between Banner and Hulk, that they are the same and then we move on. It is not given 20 pages of exposition or explaining it all. It is what it is and it's a great little twist for Pak to end his run on and admit it to the readerrs.
The ending is also great. I will not spoil too much but to sum it up: Bruce Banner gets to be happy, for now at least. It kind of leads in to Hulk and Red She-Hulk in Fear Itself really but it doesn't feel like it has to. This is the ending point for Pak's run and it was nice to see him end on a happy note. Even if we know everything will go back to being crazy in October.
For Pak to end his run here was pretty much the perfect stopping point. Am I sad that other characters like Lyrra and Skaar never showed up? A little. But those characters will do their own thing for now and that's fine. The way Pak ends it, with Bruce Banner is what matters.
The art is also great. Mostly. Pelletier steals the show as far as art is concerned and it was nice to see Hollowel do all the coloring for his pages. At least I think he did. If Aburtov also colored some of Pelletier's pages I did not notice which is a very good thing.
Sadly, Tom Grummet's artwork does not quite meet the same standard. Grummet is an amazing artist and one who Marvel will hopefully give a bigger project to soon. Just take a look at his artwork on The Spy Who Smashed Me, it looked amazing. Here though its very rushed and it shows that he had to push this through without much time to work out the kinks. Even rushed its far from bad artwork, just weak for such a talented artist.
I am glad I made a last minute decision to purchase Heart of the Monster. While it may not be the highlight of Pak's run (that still remains the Hulk/Skaar fight in Incredible Hulk #611. Read that already!) it was a fantastic ending for it. There was also an amazing tribute to his run with an interview and other Hulk writers talking about it briefly. Plus a cover gallery showing the huge amount of issues Pak has written for the jade giant. Its clear Marvel put an extra bit of love into this issue as a send off of the series and the run for the fans.
Now with all that said I must once again shout at the top of my lungs: Where's my Incredible Hulk by Greg Pak omnibus, Marvel?! I want everything in that damn book! Planet Hulk, World War Hulk, Warbound, Skaar, Banner and Son, the whole shebang! Make it into two volumes! Three volumes! I don't care how you do it just get it done!
Runner Ups: Invincible #82 and American Vampire #18
Most Anticipated for September: Swamp Thing #1
Wow. How did I even choose just one title? I am getting four of the new DCU books, Swamp Thing, Batgirl, Batman and Frankenstein. All of them are comics that I cannot wait to read. All of them are comics I am certain will be a great read. But how did I single out just one when they all look so good and I am so excited for all them?
I was already going to be reading Swamp Thing. I really like the creative team and despite my previous unfamiliarity with the character I was interested in it. I decided to finally order the first Alan Moore book a little over a month ago in late July. I went into it with semi-high hopes. I have disliked Moore's work before (not a fan of the Killing Joke) so I figured that despite all the praise I could come out of this not liking it or the character.
I was proven wrong to be skeptical. I absolutely loved the first book and purchased the second and third as soon as I could get my hands on them. I have become an over night fan of the character and his mythos. Though do not think I'm going into Swamp Thing #1 expecting Alan Moore work here. Not at all. I'm going into this expecting a great story about a character I now love. I love what Moore did with the character and how he wrote him but I'm more liking the character than just the run itself.
The creative team is practically a guarantee. Snyder, Paquette and Francavilla are three names you should trust when picking up any comic book. With my newfound love of the character established I couldn't be more excited to see where he fits into the new DCU. What Scott Snyder does with Alec Holland and where he stands in place with the green and where it all leads when we get down into the swamp.
Now on a side note I really cannot wait for the 3 other books. Batman by Snyder also looks amazing along with gorgeous looking pencils by Capullo. That is another sure to be great read. I'm hearing great things about Batgirl #1 from Gail Simone and despite all the controversy I could not be happier that Babara is back in the cowl. Frankenstein was another last minute decision but the mini was so great and even with an art style I'm not too crazy about I cannot wait to see where all the crazy places Lemmire takes this title.
So despite all the negativity and fear that comes with this relaunch there is a ton of energy coming into it as well and plenty of excitement. Swamp Thing is my most anticipated of all the books but I have high hopes for the other three plus several other comics. Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, Action Comics, The Huntess, Batwoman, Supergirl, Animal Man, Justice League Dark and many more. These are all comics I'm interested in and if I could I would probably be checking them and many more out. So, while the DCU relaunch may not be perfect, no one can deny its exciting.
Runner Ups: Batgirl #1, Batman #1, Frankenstein Agent of SHADE #1 and Avengers: The Children's Crusade #7