Artistic Styles Inform Character Perspectives in The Immortal Hulk 3

by Michael DeLaney

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

slim-banner

In The Immortal Hulk 3, reporter Jackie McGee is following up on a recent Hulk-related incident, interviewing four witnesses: “The Cop”, “The Bartender”, “The Old Lady” and “The Priest.” Series artist Joe Bennett is joined by Leonardo Romero, Marguerite Sauvage, Paul Hornschemeier and Gary Brown to visually highlight the there characters different perspectives on one Hulk sighting. Continue reading

Sensational Irony in The Immortal Hulk 2

by Patrick Ehlers

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

What scares you in media? I mean, we’ll all flinch at a well-timed jump scare: a sting of music, a flash of light, and suddenly we’re face to face with a monster. That’s a scare based on your senses, the creators manipulating your biological responses like buttons on a controller. Writer Al Ewing and artists Joe Bennett, Ruy José and Paul Mounts use sense-based scares as a smokescreen for the real horrors of The Immortal Hulk 2: irony.

This issue is so thematically compact and wonderful, it’s one of those rare superhero comics I’d recommend to anyone with a passing interest in The Hulk or horror comics. Even as Banner’s narration dips into some Civil War II plot nonsense, everything you need to understand the issue is contained within these 20 pages. Continue reading

(Re)defining the Hulk in The Immortal Hulk 1

by Drew Baumgartner

The Immortal Hulk 1

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

It might be stating the obvious to suggest that the Hulk’s identity is fraught, but I don’t mean it in the Jungian dualistic sense. Obviously, the tension between Bruce Banner and the Hulk is the primary source of drama for the character, but the Hulk has long suffered from a different kind of identity crisis, in that no two writers ever seem to agree on who and what he is. Is he a senseless destructive force, or is he capable of reason? Is he a monosyllabic brute, or a brilliant physicist? I’ve only occasionally checked in on Hulk’s solo series over the past five or so years, and I’ve seen takes that pretty much run the gamut, if that’s any indication of how rapidly and wildly consecutive runs can change the character. And to be clear, I don’t necessarily see this as a weakness — I’d argue that the flexibility of superheroes to fit the themes different creative teams are most interested in exploring is a huge part of their longevity — but I do think it demands a strong statement of purpose at the start of a run; something to clarify exactly what kind of Hulk we should expect to see. Something like Al Ewing and Joe Bennett’s The Immortal Hulk 1, which introduces the specifics of this particular iteration with remarkable efficiency. Continue reading

The Price of Being an Icon in Captain America: Sam Wilson 24

by Spencer Irwin

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

As Falcon, Sam Wilson was free to be Sam Wilson. Falcon no doubt meant quite a bit to many people, but it was still a very personal identity for Sam. Captain America, though…Captain America is an icon, and what Sam does as Captain America automatically means more to the public, for better or for worse, than anything he ever did as Falcon. Captain America is a responsibility, Captain America means something. I don’t think Sam ever fully understood that, or was ever fully prepared to shoulder that awesome responsibility, until now. Continue reading

Serve the Community, or Save the World? The Dilemma of Captain America: Sam Wilson 23

by Ryan Mogge

Captain America Sam Wilson 23

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

The central conflict of Captain America: Sam Wilson 23 is not between the Avengers and the Mole Man. Instead, it’s a reverberation of the themes that Nick Spencer has been exploring throughout the series’ run. Sam Wilson is a hero because he believes in helping people. His work begins at a human level, functioning as part of a community. By contrast, the Avengers present a plan to save the world. Their goal to rescue Steve Rogers using the cosmic cube could alter the course of human history. Continue reading

Indestructible Hulk 19

hulk 19Today, Spencer and Shelby are discussing Indestructible Hulk 19, originally released February  26th, 2014.

Spencer: Our heroes’ greatest enemies are often their polar opposites: While Batman is a dark, brooding creature fighting for justice, his nemesis is a silly-looking clown obsessed with evil; while Superman is the most human alien around, Lex Luthor has foresaken his humanity to stroke his ego; while the Flash always looks forward, the Reverse Flash is caught up in his own past. In Indestructible Hulk 19 writer Mark Waid and his expansive team of artists provide the Hulk with an opposite of his own: while the Hulk is fueled by his rage, Jessup gains power from stealing other people’s anger. Continue reading

Deathstroke 7

Today, Shelby and Peter are discussing Deathstroke 7, originally released March 14th, 2012.

Peter: Sometimes I would kind of like to see comic book story lines not follow the expected progression. Most of the time, after about the first half of a story arc, you can guess what is about to happen; maybe not the specifics, but you can pretty much figure it out. That’s what I thought was going to happen with Deathstroke. I figured, “How hard could it be?” he’s an assassin. He kills people. He gets paid. Sometimes he takes on superheroes…for money, or personal benefit. So really I thought I had this all figured out, and then I read Deathstroke 7. As it turns out, I had nothing figured out, and you know what? I am extremely okay with that. Continue reading

Deathstroke 1-6

Today, Shelby and Peter are discussing Deathstroke 1-6, originally released September 14th, October 12th, November 9th, December 14th, 2011, and January 11th and February 8th, 2012.

Shelby: I picked up Deathstroke at the recommendation of my local comic shop. I was looking to broaden our pull list with something the guys weren’t reading. Plus, Deathstroke is a virtually unknown character to me; I first encountered him when I read Identity Crisis last year, and I what I learned from that book was the limit of my knowledge of Slade Wilson. He’s classified as a meta-human, with enhanced strength, speed, tactical abilities, and a regenerative ability allowing him to heal faster than your average blogger from nearly all wounds. I have, in previous posts, compared titles to action movies, but I have been forced to take it all back. Deathstroke is the ultimate killing machine; he does so with precision, accuracy, and impunity. It’s almost kind of refreshing; so many superheroes make a point of not killing their enemies, enough so that on the rare occasion when they do, it’s shocking (Wonder Woman, I’m looking at you). There is something really appealing about a character who exists solely to kill others. Moreover, if this character isn’t a villain, isn’t someone I despise, then I think we’re onto something interesting.

Continue reading