A great week for my own social media exploits! Firstly, this is issue number ten of Comic Burger, and while I’m still flying this thing solo, Ty has assured me he has a nice batch of reviews planned for next week when he steps up to flip burgers alongside yours truly! Also, this week my podcast Red Barrel Radio made it’s iTunes debut, so you can get everyone(that I know)’s favourite video games discussion hassle free from that place where you get podcasts.
Who wants to try my new variety burger? This issue I review four titles from four different publishers: Marvel, DC, Image and IDW. So far I’ve been pretty DC heavy, and now it’s time to mix it up a bit. It’s all good too. Enjoy!
The Incredible Hulk #1 Back in issue #1.2 of this very blog I said a fond farewell to Greg Pak’s well served tour of duty on Incredible Hulk and promised to comment on the new volume when it arrived. Well, it’s been out for a few weeks, but I’ve only just read Incredible Hulk #1 and I’m proud to report that the new team of Jason Aaron and Marc Silvestri tick every box on the Hulk want-list.
Firstly and most importantly, these guys don’t throw away the strangeness that served this book so well, with Hulk fighting huge monsters deep beneath the Earth’s crust right from page one, which he drags back to a tribe of mole men for food. While these guys may well shape this book into another direction, it’s nice to see they don’t pull the rug out from fans like me who appreciate the loopy angle Incredible Hulk often took to separate it from so many other super hero comics out there. There’s another part of the story that sets things up for future issues that I won’t spoil here, but it seems a bit has happened behind the scenes since the events of Fear Itself.
The other sweet news is that with Silvestri drawing this book, it now looks SEXY AS FUCK, with almost every panel oozing thin-pencilled detail that really looks like this guy feels pretty special to be drawing Hulk. I’m in danger of not being able to accept any other penciller on this book and it’s only one issue in! Hopefully Silvestri is in for the long haul, and while I’m not really familiar with his work I’m fast becoming a fan.
Superboy #3 Goddamn I love this book. It’s not the art, which while functional is still on the average side, and the same can be said for the dialogue. But it’s the way Superboy is targeted at people like me: people who have only just jumped on to DC and don’t want to rely on previous knowledge to enjoy a character. This Superboy is an origin story, and one that succeeds in bringing you along for the ride as you discover what this character can do and who he is as he does. It’s really the formula for any good super hero origin, but this one has got me well and truly signed on. In this issue Mini-Supes discovers he needs to concentrate on his powers for them to work (could he be shot dead if he was asleep?), and not everyone working at N.O.W.H.E.R.E. is quite who you thought they were. Not too late for you to backtrack all three issues and jump on to one of my favourite titles this year.
Pigs #1 - #3 It’s been an age since I’ve picked up a new title from Image, but something about the front cover made me pick it up and take a flick through. I accidentally read the final page of the first issue, and I while it’s a huge spoiler, it’s what made me buy it thirty seconds later. Cold war politics are the order of the day here, and the story focuses on a sleeper cell in Cuba, seemingly brainwashed by the previous generation into their political beliefs, and trained their whole lives for an attack on the United States. The first issue begins with the group entering the USA by sea, tells some of their back story in flashbacks, and cliffhangs as an American agent slams a severed hand in a plastic bag down on an interrogation table exclaiming “Where the fuck is the rest of the President?”. The following two issues hold the answer to that question off as the group recruit a former member and we see more flashbacks to flesh out the history. Pigs is looking promising, and is a perfect story for the comic book format, because while I’d watch this as a TV show, no network would ever have the balls to make it. Well worth a look.
Ghostbusters #1 & #2 When I was seven years old I saw Ghostbusters for the first time, and I’ll never forget that first library ghost and completely shitting myself as she roared towards me on the screen. Yep, this franchise is pretty tied into my childhood, so it’s pretty much a rule that as an adult if I revisit Ghostbusters it has to remind me of what I’ve always liked about it while not being too condescending, and here’s the great thing about the Ghostbusters comic: you can read it and really enjoy it, then give it to your kids and they could probably dig it just as much. There’s fan service all over this book for those that have watched the movies a hundred times, but this never slows things down or confuses the story. It’s drawn in an almost Saturday-morning-cartoon style that is rich in colour and keeps the light-hearted attitude of the films intact for this format, without ever really looking too much like a comic for children. Everyone’s in character, and there’s a warm familiarty with the humans, the ghosts, and the backgrounds that seems to be designed specifically for the curious comic shop browser thinking to themselves, “Hmm, a Ghostbusters comic, wonder if it’s any good?”. Guess what? It fucking well is, and you should get it. It’s a bitch to find in Australia though, so this is the best excuse I’ll ever get to plug my friends at All Star Comics in Melbourne, who can get this for you and ensure you never miss an issue, all while providing a high level of friendly service sorely absent from too many retailers of geeky wares.