Thursday, 6 August 2009

Flip The Page Review: Hulk #13

Prepare for a mildly boring tale of woe and missed updates of minor proportions as I regale you with how annoying it has been to jump back on the comic reviewing horse this past week and then some.

Amazing Spider-Man destroyed my soul with its 100 bloody pages, which were to be followed by me going at Incredible Hulk #600 and a variety of other series in Quick-Fire Reviews. None of this happened. In frustration I stopped and started various full reviews (finished none) and took a break.

Now I've returned, everything is outdated, I missed a chance to worship the Savage She-Hulk back-up in Inc. Hulk #600 and have only just got halfway into writing about #10 of the Top Ten Writers (admittedly that last one is okay, each writer will probably get an article of their own).

So what does one do when they're still getting out of a funk? Review something they like like, I don't know, Black Panther? NO. No because it's too hard to track down. Something that works as a follow-up like Amazing Spider-Man #601? No, I'm slightly sick of Spidey for now and I refuse to wipe my arse over him when Tim is gonna get out his AstonSpid review soon.

No, what one does is review the most god-awful comic series still running.

They review..... HULK.

HIT THE JUMP T-..... ugh.... Hulk... fucking... ugh.

So if you hadn't guessed so far I'm not going to be particularly pleasant to HULK, Jeph Loeb or Ed Mcguinness. Though to be fair the horrors of HULK aren't the fault of McGuinness, so I shouldn't be so harsh on him. Still enough of that, let's move on to the writing and art in earnest.

When attempting to write my Incredible Hulk 600 review I hit a wall; Just how do you sum up how bad a writer Jeph Loeb is nowadays? The man has shat all over the ultimate universe, writes the worst comic for Marvel (this very comic) and is a douche. I mean a HUGE douche. Ya know, the sort of annoying prick who declares himself down with the kids when he's just rehashing fads from years ago. Except the kids are Marvel readers and the fads are his shitty Long Halloween mystery template being reused again and again and again and again and again. Thankfully his writing has improved tenfold this issue for ignoring wholesale his shitty RED HULK mystery and focusing on miserable banner and useless A-Bombed-up Rick Jones. Both are written pretty poorly but then I preferred Rick Jones when he spoke in lame 70s speak and lived in Captain Marvel's mind or something and have read this week's Agents of Atlas, wherein Banner is written with far more skill by the future great Jeff Parker. So when your feature characters have been done better elsewhere, what can you do? Make them fight Ares. 'Cause he's the only character a blind, retarded monkey could write.

In short... Loeb sucks. Like REALLY sucks.

The art is actually pretty good, though McGuinness has this strange talent that only he and a few other artists share (I'm looking at you Leinil Yu); the ability to make every character of a certain build look the same. In this case Ares has Leonard Samson's face. This is just a niggling annoyance but when this sort of thing reoccurs over all McGuinness' comics you start to really get pissed at it. With that out of the way the art is competent and knows what it's supposed to do. So I suppose it's okay.

Almost don't want to do the moments, but seeing as they don't necessarily have to be good or bad it means I'll get a chance to rip it a new pooper at the same time as admit some small praise, so let's have at it!

1. Zoom In, Zoom Out
Ooh look text BEFORE the pictures! Perhaps I intend to narrate my reactions with these first few pages!
"Okay this looks interesting, kinda good effect, might go somewhere..."

"Oh, a shitty spread. Totally worth two pages. Yeah."

"Yeah that's right. Go back where you came from, you shitty opening mechanism you."

Complete anti-moment, nothing much else needs to be said.

2. Oh look a lazy arse recap

Oh he can't? Wow I never would have imagined with it being the big climax of Incredible Hulk #600. Oh you're showing me that by using the actual page where such a revelation occurred? That's not lazy. No that's some sort of amazing foresight into time-saving Mr. Loeb. By doing this you can spend even more time writing a shit story.

Seriously when you have comics like Agents of Atlas go to some actual fucking effort this is just a slap in the face. Admittedly similar processes are used in other hulk books, including my beloved All New Savage She-Hulk, but at least they don't just go "OOH ONE BIG IMAGE YAY NO WRITING INVOLVED AT ALL WOOOOOO".

3. Rick Jones, Giant Ineffectual Chameleon

Okay, whilst I have to shamefully admit this is a cool entrance, A-Bomb is easily the worst thing to come from Loeb's Hulk. An unnecessary replacement for a character they senselessly killed at the start of the ongoing. No, not just that. A completely horrific RAPE of Rick Jones, which is saying a lot, for Rick Jones is the eternal whipping boy of Marvel as far as changes go. Oh and also "Ooh a full page panel, less writing for Mr. Loeb!" comes to mind.

4. The Chopping Block For Rick Jones, Giant Ineffectual Chameleon?

Wait, wasn't I supposed to be, ya know, reviewing? Got caught up there. Still in a weird ironic way this is actually a good moment, just for getting my hopes up.

5.... Wait... Is This A Good Moment? I Think It Is!

One small part of a page, but this open panel of Ares' overly pissed off stare looks amazing. Perhaps I didn't give McGuinness all his dues, for this is a sign of brilliance hidden under all the rest of the pile of sputum that is this comic.

And that's it. I could highlight Loeb nicking the Thing's jacket and hat schtick for A-Bomb, or how I think he writes his stuff for Marvel with a crayon but I'm saving a lot of Loeb-hate for a very special post on the horizon. With that in mind, 5 moments, 2 of which aren't awful... combine that with thoughts on art and writing...

What the hell is the rating here?

Oh yeah!


Perhaps I need a less crude bottom rating... Next up is Tim's AstonSpid review, then another full review from me for a comic I actually care about (sadly it isn't going to be Black Panther from the looks of it) and something resembling Quick-Fire reviews. Heck maybe you'll get to see who's number 10 in my top ten writers as well. Things can happen.

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