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Boris "bimboclon" (Wien)

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Hulk: Season One (Hulk (Hardcover Marvel))
Hulk: Season One (Hulk (Hardcover Marvel))
by Fred Van Lente
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £18.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Early Hulk revisited, 9 Sept. 2012
It has been tried several times to retell the origin of Marvel super heroes in a modern up to date way. The first trial was by John Byrne in 1998 ("Chapter One") which was a disaster. Two years later the same project (Ultimate Spider-Man) created the Ultimate line of books and made unknown Bendis a super star. And now we have "Season One". Now this is the Hulk book with writer Fred Van Lente and artist Tom Fowler. I can tell you, it is a good story, in some ways true to the original approach of the early 60s, in other ways really a contemporary story (mild **SPOILERS** from here on) with a Rick Jones much more at odds with the law, a Betty Ross that is not a 60s girl and Daddy's daughter but a tough head of military police of Gamma Base and a Bruce Banner who has all this history that had not been given to him but in the 90s when these father abuse issues were elaborated. Van Lente tells the story in a complex way with some parallel strings of action and packs in one of the earliest adversaries of the Hulk and a Thunderbolt Ross who is just Thunderbolt Ross. An appearance of Monica Rappaccini is an ironic reference to Van Lente's own Marvel work.
What I really have a problem with is Marvel's price policy. The book contains about 100 pages of original material plus a reprint of "Incredible Hulk" #1 (the 2011 one by Jason Aaron). This would match a hardcover reprint of 5 normal issues. For this the price is rather high. But because of the quality of the story and the art this should not keep you from buying this book if you want to read an excellent Hulk origin story told in an ambitious contemporary way. Something could spin out of this in ongoing Hulk plots.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 19, 2014 6:13 PM BST


Batgirl - The Darkest Reflection
Batgirl - The Darkest Reflection
by Gail Simone
Edition: Hardcover

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gail Simone: Born to write Batgirl, 24 July 2012
Gail Simone is one of the freshest voices in super hero comics. Her career originated in an online blog where criticizing the victimization of women in super hero stories ("Women in refrigerators") brought new perspectives to a cliché genre. When she took over DC's Birds of Prey she wrote the character Oracle for years and gave her a depth rarely experienced in mainstream comics. Barbara Gordon was one of those victims described above having been shot by the Joker and using a wheelchair since. As the secret leader of those Birds of Prey she grew into a role model for people with disabilities never giving up and serving her best by use of her cunning abilities with computers. Simone, a redhead herself, said that it had been her dream to write Barbara Gordon since her days as Batgirl.
When DC revamped its whole line of super hero comics in 2011 (The New 52) there were many critical voices regarding this decision, one in general that so all those characters with their long history were bereft of their history, the other especially regarding Barbara Gordon who was installed as Batgirl again, evidently not needing a wheelchair any more. (Coincidentally the most prominent wheel chair user of the Marvel Universe walks these days too, miraculously healed.)
Readers using a wheelchair themselves and having chosen Barbara Gordon as an idol felt cheated. They lived in a world where no miracles happened.
In defense of Gail Simone you have to keep in mind that it was editorial decision to make Gordon Batgirl again. And though hesitating Simone finally thought that if it would be done anyway she could be the one doing it in a decent way. And she did. The incident that brought Gordon into a wheelchair DID happen and somehow she got back onto her legs. But the scars kept their mark not only in her body but in her mind and soul. And the story is dealing with it. So the character builds on history and the individual history of the character is the center of the story.
All in all you get a comic book that is a high quality blend of Silver Age touch and modern approach. Adrian Syaf, Vicente Cifuentes and Ulises Arreola add flawless pencils, inks and colors that subordinate to the storytelling and avoid cheap effects. If you think that super hero comics are crap anyway I will not be able to convince you otherwise. But if you like comics, what you get here is a modern and classic approach to a female hero beyond a voyeuristic T&A perspective. If you like comics at all it does not really come better. By the way, compared to other recent publications of both DC and Marvel the price of this beautiful hardcover is modest.


Scorpion: Poison Tomorrow Digest
Scorpion: Poison Tomorrow Digest
by Fred Van Lente
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars Great story by Van Lente and Kirk!, 14 May 2012
This is really a good book. Carmilla Black who has accidentally killed her prom date when unknown powers of her triggered returns to the town of her childhood after her parents have been murdered. And she learns that her parents were only foster parents and nothing was like she believed it was.
I do not want to spoil too much of the story but you can read this graphic novel as an espionage thriller with political message, as a coming of age story or as a super hero comic. It is totally fun. And Fred Van Lente has done his homework. He throws in knowledge about S.H.I.E.L.D., AIM and Madripoor that keeps the reader busy recognizing all the hints to continuity, and the twists and turns of the story keep you reading.
I have never seen Leonard Kirk deliver such great art. This story first appeared in six parts in the long forgotten Amazing Fantasy Vol. 2 and the reprint in digest format did nothing to boost sales. It is a shame that the best work for Marvel until now by Hercules writer Van Lente has been read by practically nobody. I sure did enjoy this book and reread it two times since.


Wolverine & the X-Men by Jason Aaron - Vol. 1 (Wolverine and the X-Men)
Wolverine & the X-Men by Jason Aaron - Vol. 1 (Wolverine and the X-Men)
by Jason Aaron
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great approach to an old concept, although rather pricey, 29 April 2012
Maybe you have read in the web how good this book is. I can only tell you: it is that good. The approach of Jason Aaron is singular in the history of the X-Men although there are not few great writers who have contributed to this mainstake feature of the Marvel Universe. (Mild spoilers ahead:) Making Wolverine the headmaster of a new school for gifted youngsters is a new interpretation of one of Marvel's most multi-facetted characters. And the approach is odd both storywise and in style with a lot of humor. Characters of all periods of X-Men history pop up, partly in new incarnations. It is genial blending of tradition and contemporary interpretation of the Marvel mutants, the story has many layers and a lot of suspense and action. Chris Bachalo's art is sometimes congenial, sometimes a bit confusing (I had to watch some panels for some time to figure out what they showed). Nick Bradshaw, who drew the fourth issue took me a bit getting used so, but he is a great graphic storyteller.
My only complaint is that packing only four issues (Wolverine & the X-Men #1-4) and a little bit of bonus material into a pricey hardcover does not seem very customer friendly. So highly recommended, but you might want to wait for the trade paperback or maybe later an Omnibus to be expected.


Heights Of The Depths (The Hidden Earth Chronicles Book 2)
Heights Of The Depths (The Hidden Earth Chronicles Book 2)
Price: £3.80

4.0 out of 5 stars desperately waiting for volume 3, 21 April 2012
This is volume 2 of Peter David's "Hidden Earth" trilogy. I loved the first novel and had to wait four years to read the second one. This one held to my expectations.
The Damned World has been conquered by the Twelve Races (if you have not read vol. 1 I recommend that you stop reading here and go to Hidden Earth: Darkness of the Light), but a single female of the Mort (humans) desperately tries to make a difference. She has been abducted by the Travelers in behalf of the mysterious Overseer. Meanwhile the Ocular have gone extinct, the last of their children have been taken care among all by a Piri... - Confused? - Oh yes, you will be. But its worth the effort! Read this, and you will be entertained in spades.
One more great novel by Peter David, writer of stuff, known for his Star Trek New Frontier series, his King Arthur and Sir Apropos novels and for scripting Marvel Comics like Hulk and X-Factor. Recommended for lovers of qualitiy SF-Fantasy crossovers.


Incredible Hulks: Dark Son (Hulk (Paperback Marvel))
Incredible Hulks: Dark Son (Hulk (Paperback Marvel))
by Greg Pak
Edition: Paperback
Price: £14.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Would have expected more, 8 Sept. 2011
Among the recent collections of Pak's Incredible Hulks series (I have dropped my opinions on "Incredible Hulks: World War Hulks" and "Incredible Hulks: Chaos War"; see there) this story line seems unexpectedly bland and inconsistent to me.
This volume collects the main stories from #612 to 617 (the "Smash Files" have been collected in "Incredible Hulks: Chaos War"). (Attention, spoilers ahead!) The Hulk and his son Skaar detect that there is another son of the Hulk and his former love Caiera. And this one is on his way to destroy earth. It seems a bit much to imagine the Hulk getting two sons grown to adulthood within months and the being shaken up of an otherwise less sensible character. Why this Hiro-Kala thinks that earth must be destroyed eludes at least me. Also the bickering between the Hulk and his estranged wife does not really work here. And I am definitely tired of Rick Jones after all these years still being portrayed in speechless awe at the pure existence of "Captain Freaking America".
The rotating artists (Raney, Ching, Kitson, each of them flawless) add to the inconsistency of this book. One of the weaker performances of the otherwise formidable Greg Pak.


Super-Villain Team-Up: Modok's 11 TPB: Modok's v. 11 (Graphic Novel Pb)
Super-Villain Team-Up: Modok's 11 TPB: Modok's v. 11 (Graphic Novel Pb)
by Fred Van Lente
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars George Clooneys they are none, 19 July 2011
This is an odd variation on superhero comics. Because there are no heroes in here. There are only bad and worse guys. There is a plotting of super villains against super villains and nevertheless when reading you take a stance and sympathize with the guys in lighter shades of grey. Of course the title is a paraphrase on Ocean's Eleven, but neither looks nor characters are the likes of Clooney and Pitt.
A thrilling story with many twists and surprises and odd characters like Modok, the Spot, Armadillo and so on. A masterpiece in a very small niche of the Marvel Universe created by Fred Van Lente.


Silencers: Black Kiss
Silencers: Black Kiss
by Fred Van Lente
Edition: Paperback
Price: £18.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Maybe the best graphic novel I have ever read, 19 July 2011
This review is from: Silencers: Black Kiss (Paperback)
This is definitely one of the best graphic novels I have ever read. This story works on so many levels. It is satire without being pure parody, a full-fledged mob thriller on its own and an epic tale of loyalty and treason. You could call it Superman meets the Sopranos.
In a world where roughly recognizable versions of Spider-Man, Superman and Captain America run around the Silencers are the special enforcement unit for the Syndicate. Head of this group is the Cardinal who is nicknamed because of his wish as a young man to be a priest. But when a family debt had to be settled everything changed.
The story is very elaborated and I cannot tell too much without spoiling all the fun. But the tone of the book is so full of enjoyable facets, full of irony and small cynic gags. You just have to read it. The pictures of Steve Ellis are so linked to the story that it is really a total work of art. I pity so much that Van Lente and Ellis have terminated their cooperation. I hope that this series sometime will be continued.


In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3 (Armory Wars)
In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3 (Armory Wars)
by Claudio Sanchez
Edition: Paperback

4.0 out of 5 stars Odd fantasy space opera, 19 July 2011
This is really an odd comic book. It is a fantasy saga that is not really worse than Star Wars, but you have to know that this story originally was published as a concept album of the American progressive rock band Coheed and Cambria. Front man Claudio Sanchez tells a centuries spanning tale in meanwhile 5 studio albums and accompanies it with comic albums or novels. This book is the first of three paperbacks collecting the third mini-series of comics.
I stumbled upon this book because I read practically everything written by Peter David, be it comic books or prose. And this third mini-series has been co-written by David as well as the prequel novel "Year of the Black Rainbow".
If you are really interested in reading this book (and the two following of which the last is not out yet) I would recommend that you go to Wikipedia first and read the article about Coheed and Cambria. Then you should decide your personal approach to this feature.
As I told you I read it (and the hard-to-get novel too) because of Peter David. And I have to say although all the mythology is by Claudio Sanchez David leaves his hallmark by the complex structure of the storytelling which continually jumps both in location and in time. David is used to work with other people's features (Star Trek, Marvel movie novelizations...) so with a little of background information you can read and enjoy this story arc by its own.
The art is ok and flows with the story. Why the publisher chose to publish only 4 issues in one paperback instead of 6 or all 12 only the stars know.


Robert E. Howard's Hawks of Outremer
Robert E. Howard's Hawks of Outremer
by Michael Alan Nelson
Edition: Paperback

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fast forward tale in Conan style, 7 July 2011
Although this tale is situated in the middle ages at the time of the crusades Robert E. Howard's take on the story reminds of his most famous later creation Conan. Cormac Fitzgeoffrey, a freelance sword from Ireland who knows no king and no allegiance to anything else but his personal sense of honor. A man, strong like an ox, black hair, steel blue eyes, a no nonsense character with a vengeance. Somebody has killed one of his few friends at the border to the Muslim controlled area of the holy land. He is going to avenge him. Alone. Otherwise the delicate truce would be in jeopardy. And you can watch him doing his avenging for about 100 pages.
Adaptor Michael Nelson uses his own words very unobtrusive. On one hand whole passages are original Howard, on the other hand for pages only the pictures talk. The action is very dynamic and straight forward, the art by Damian Cuceiro is outstanding, the covers by Conan veteran Joe Jusko add to the reminiscences to this older (timeline wise) or younger (historically) brother to Cormac.
You will not find more than homeopathical doses of philosophy here (except at the end maybe), but you find a very entertaining story that economically interweaves words and pictures to something that deserves the name graphic novel although it is the collection of a mini-series.


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