Tag Archives: Hercules

Comics Shipping for 3/25/09

DARK HORSE COMICS

Conan the Cimmerian #9
Indiana Jokes and Tomb of the Gods #4
Star Wars Legacy #34
Umbrella Academy Dallas #5
Usagi Yojimbo #119

DC COMICS

Batman: Battle for the Cowl, Commissioner Gorgon #1
Batman: Gotham After Midnight #11 (of 12)
Batman: The Brave and the Bold #3
Cartoon Network Block Party #55
Gears of War #5
Jack of Fables #32
Justice League of America #31
Madame Xanadu #9
Oracle #1 (of 3)
Planetary #1
Resistance #4 (of 6)
Superman #686
Top 10 Special #1
Trinity #43
Unknown Soldier #6
War That Time Forgot #11 (of 12)
Wildcats #9
Wonder Woman #30

IMAGE COMICS

Amber Atoms #2
Darkness #76
Elephantmen #17
Spawn #190

MARVEL COMICS
Amazing Spider-man #589
Captain America #48
Daredevil #117
Dark Reign Elektra #1 (of 5)
Fantastic Four #565
Guardians of Galaxy #12
Immortal Iron Fist #24
Incredible Hercules #127
Marvel Adventures: Fantastic Four #46
Mighty Avengers #23
Ms Marvel #37
New Avengers #51
Nova #23
Runaways #8
Skaar: Son of Hulk #9
Squradron Supreme #9
Thunderbolts #139
War Machine #4
War of Kings: Darkhawk #2 (of 2)
Wolverine: First Class #13
X-Infernus #4 (of 4)
X-Men: Kingbreaker #4 (of 4)
X-Men: Sword of Braddocks
X-Men: Times and Life of Lucas bishon #2 (of 3)
Young X-Men #12

OTHER PUBLISHERS

Archie #595
Archie: Double Digest #197
Battlestar Galactica: Cylon War #3 (of 4)
Caped #1 (of 4)
Crossed #4 ( of 9)
Death Defying Devil #4
Futurama Comics #42
GI Joe Origina #2
Incredibles: Family Matters #1 (of 4)
Mupper Show #1 (OF 4)
Sonic Universe #2
Terminator Salvation – Movie Prequel #3 (of 4)
Transformers: All Hail Megatron

Marvel is having a big week, with a lot of titles comic out, and several miniseries coming to an end.  There’s also a good number of palindrome comics, the ones that I remember specifically were Superman and Fantastic Four, and upon rechecking, Archie.  Three for one week is pretty high.  This is a pretty heavy week for me, with Captain America, War Machine, Hercules (which I have to remember to add to my pull list because I love it), X-Men, Conan, Star Wars, as well as Batman.  Overstreet comic book pricing guides are also released this week in both hard and soft cover.  What comics are you going to pick up?  Do you have any recommendations? Let me know!

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YCR Presents: Thanksgiving Day Top 6 Marvel Titles to be Thankful For

Welcome one and all!  Welcome to the latest issue of Your Comic Relief presents.  This time?  Your top 6 comics to be thankful for this Thanksgiving!  Please take the time to comment and leave me some feedback!  It is much appreciated.

6. Incredible Hercules

A title that I am quite partial to, as I am a huge fan of Greek, Roman, Egyptian, and Norse mythology, Incredible Hercules took over from the Incredible Hulk after World War Hulk ended.  This issue has been faily reliable in terms of quality.  Hercules, accompanied by Amadeus Cho, has set off destroying just about anything in their path, and while much of this has been Cho’s conniving, it has also been Herc’s unpredictability that serves as the catalyst for their antics.  In fact, watching their interactions is one of the many joys this title offers.

5. Uncanny X-Men

Uncanny X-Men had some problems with messiah Complex, it really was just OK.  Not as awesome as it should have been or really as we were promised it would be.  However, the last 6-8 issues of Uncanny have been absolutely fantastic.  Another product of Brubaker’s undeniable, and often simply unbelievable contributions to Marvel.  Now co-authored by Matt Fraction and Ed Brubaker as of issue 502  My favourite part of the last 3 or so issues have been the (re)introductions of each of the characters in each issue, which the authors have taken as an opportunity to make some much appreciated jokes.  Of the jokes, I think the best one has to be calling Wolverine “ubiquitous,” meaning everywhere at once.  I have to assume this is a reference to Wolverine appearing in so many Marvel publications, I remember over the summer there was a week where he was in every single release, and I’m sure that can’t be the only time – just the time I noticed.  Another aspect of this that I have greatly appreciated is the expansion of Pixie as a character; previously a side character in the x-men B-team, but she is now turning into an actual relatable character.  This, mixed with the recent storyline, allows Uncanny X-Men to make the cut into the Your Comic Relief Thanksgiving Top 6.

4. Cable & Deadpool and Deadpool

I have included both titles in this, because in my mind, the star of C&D really was Deadpool, with Cable serving to create meaningful plot devices and serve as a rational figure by which we could appreciate how utterly absurd Deadpool is.  The last several issues of Cable & Deadpool, the “X and Deadpool” run, while we were supposed to believe Cable was dead.  Did anyone raelly think that?  The new Deadpool series features Deadpool still actively ambiguous about his allegiances, and whether this is a function of his dubious (at best) mental compas, or his ever blossoming psychosis, I don’t think even Marvel Knows.

3.  Wolverine Origins

Written by Daniel Way, and illustrated by Steve Dillon, Wolverine Origins has delivered unique story arcs to us all year.  With guest appearances from Deadpool, Captain America, and most recently Daken (Wolverine’s Son).  Probably one of the best arcs of the year in my opinion was the confrontation between Wolverine and Deadpool.  A matchup that people had been waiting for for years; while they did meet up in Cable & Deadpool, it was overhyped and anticlimactic at best.  This time, it went on for several issues, and really delivered.  This title has had the ability to run the gamut of emotional possibilities, from the more serious aspect of the Cap’s storyline to the sheer ridiculousness of Deadpool.  It didn’t stop there however, the story right now of Wolverine and Daken is a reminder to the seriousness of Wolverine’s past, the decisions he has had to make, and stands in stark juxtaposition to the humor of seeing the Wolverine-Deadpool confrontation through the warped mind and eyes of Deadpool.

2. Iron Man

This title has had its ups and downs as of late.  Back when it was Iron Man: Director of Shield, which was before 2008 if I’m not mistaken but bear with me, it was very hit or miss.  There was some subplot of “Iron Man might be Crazy!!!”  Very hit or miss unfortunately.  However, with the most recent story arc of nuclear threat (which as an aside, reminds me of the Ultimate Iron Man II series of 4), Tony Stark has had the opportunity to return to his self-sacrificing…. self.  If you get right down to it, I firmly believe that this is why the Director of Shield thing didn’t work out so well.  he had too much responsibility that he couldn’t afford to do something that everyone else saw as incredibly stupid.  More often than not, his decisions have been incredibly reckless, but he saw that it had to be done, and he was the only one who could do it, such as defusing a nuclear weapon about to go off.  As with Uncanny X-Men, the most recent story arc really makes this much more of a contender than it previously would have been, not to say that before this arc has been bad mind you!  Also, Warmachine is totally badass, and anyone who disagrees has to answer to giant space robot.  They should pay me to love Ironman and the Number One pick this much, am I right?  Now for the number one reason to thank marvel this Thanksgiving!

1. Captain America

Captain America has been Ed Brubaker’s work this year, and damn does he do good work.  In my opinion, this has been THE title to read this year.  Every issue has just been stellar.  I’m not even sure to begin, and am a little ashamed that this paragraph is so much shorter than the others, but honestly, it’s just all good.  It is always the first comic I read whenever I get it home, bar none.  Bucky is shaping up to be a fantastic new Cap, ant the interplay between Faustis and the Red Skull has been fantastic, with plots within plots.  Agent 13 and Falcon have been well developed, but really, the best part has been how in each issue a little more of the Skull’s plot has been revealed to us.

Well, that’s that.  Those of you that know me may have noticed something.  Where’s Thor? Thor this year has been rather lackluster this year, and much to my chagrin (I’m trying to use that word more often, as I always have to look it up).  And this makes Thor sad:

While there have been some cool Thor tie ins, the Secret Invasion was entertaining if nothing else, the bit that happened about Egypt was pretty cool too, and was a cool insight into how the Marvel universe allows for seperate sets of deities, especially if you read the Incredible Hercules as well, issues like 114-117 or something like that.  But I decided to limit myself to regular titles, and not consider limited series such as Logan by Marvel Knights (which is beyond fantastic by the way), or the numerous Thor extra releases recently.  Once again, let me know what you think of my list, and, if any comic bloggers who are big DC fans would like to do a DC version, I would be honored to publish it, and of course link to it.  Just in the spirit of fairness, I would like to have a DC version, but in the spirit of honesty I don’t know much about DC.  That’s it for YCR Presents, have a happy thanksgiving!

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Scrull Secret Invasion, who’s a liar?

With the secret invasion looming in the near future, I’ve been getting to thinking about who could be a Scrull.  Yeah, I know, me and everyone else who’s read a marvel comic in the last six months, right?  Specifically, conclusions I may have drawn in comic reviews, that may be viewed in a different way in the light of the secret invasion.  I said in my review yesterday that I love the writing that Brian Bendis has been doing, and he’s going to be writing the Secret Invasion series, according to Marvel.

Ares – in Incredible Hercules:
Here’s a  Scrull candidate if I ever saw one, and from there we can conclude that Hercules probably is not a Scrull; Ares is attempting to use SHIELD to eliminate a non-Scrull under the vise of sibling rivalry.  This is consistent with Ares’s attack on Wonder Man as well.

Namor – in The Sub-Mariner:
Namor, in hind sight is acting very strangely, evacuating Atlantis, teaming up with Dr. Doom, who may also be a Scrull, we can never know.  Although, these conclusions may not be as sound as they could be, because he did save the surface world from the secret sleeper cells, but if we consider that he has essentially positioned all of Atlantis to be a first wave in an invasion, we must always be cautious.

The Night Nurse – in New Avengers :
Very chummy with Jessica Jones, who made a Scrull baby, so we can be relatively sure that she is a scrull.  We’ve seen very little of her recently, other than being friendly with Mrs. Jones and sleeping with Dr. Strange.

More to come in the future, have your own theories?  Leave a comment!

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Review: Daredevil #105

Lead-up to the Story

This has been an eventful story in Daredevil, Hood and Mr. Fear have been at each other’s throats during a turf war. The hood has allied almost every B and C list villain, and the Fear has concocted a new drug that makes his thugs unstoppable, and unwaveringly loyal. To make matters worse, Fear got his hands on Milla, and drugged her. Milla then went crazy and pushed an innocent bystander into an oncoming train, killing her. She was then convicted and committed to a psych ward, as Matt Murdock struggles to keep Milla out of jail, and stop her from admitting to what she did (she’s still crazy), Daredevil has to focus on protecting Hell’s Kitchen.

 

Plot Synopsis

Ed Brubaker provides us with the final part of the six part story line, and with such a lot of buildup, he has to deliver or Daredevil will have just been a total flop. Daredevil, before this story arc, and even in the beginning of this one, was horrifically poor, as I referenced in a previous post of mine, when I claimed I was going to drop DD from my pull list, but gave it one last shot, and he delivered. In short, if this issue bombs, you can be sure that this series is going is lose some readership. Thankfully, it seems we can always count on Ed Brubaker to deliver the comic goods.

We discover, fairly early on in this issue than the turf war was really just a ploy by Mr. Fear to mess with Murdock, to try and push him over the edge, to mess with his wife, and to wreak havoc in Hell’s Kitchen, which Daredevil considers his personal responsibility. It seems to be working. As the previous five issues of this story arc consisted mostly of text, it was a breath of fresh air to have some serious action. Murdock squares off with Mr. Fear, who has seemingly drugged himself to make himself fearless. Despite this attempt at giving himself at an advantage, Daredevil still emerges victorious, and demands he cure Milla. But, much to his dismay, there is no cure, Milla is permanently doomed, good news for those who were not fans of Milla. Could Quesada be on a quest to kill off every romantic figure in the hero’s lives? Does he want all characters to be miserable like Peter Parker before MJ fell in love with him? We’ll have to wait and see, but the similarities are there.

 

Art Critique

Michael Lark, Paul Azaceta, and Stefano Gaudiano do a good job with the art. One might think that having three different colorist, and then an inker, Matt Hollingsworth, on top of that would lead to a very mismatched art style, but it doesn’t. It is done in a fairly bland, and simplistic style that fits the Daredevil franchise very well. Of course it is art, but I’m going to call it a very artistic style, using a very limited colour palate, and because of the limited palate, a strong and confident use of shading. All of these features give this comic a very powerful visage. The other day, when I did my review of The Incredible Hercules, I noted how almost every panel seemed to be filled with motion. Well, here the art style is almost the exact opposite, and was part of my decision to review this one; in Daredevil each panel seems to be entirely static, that is to say, frozen in time. Not just frozen in time, but frozen in high speed action. The fact that this issue is more action orientated really gives the artists the chance they have needed to be able to show off their abilities. Almost every panel is filled with a sense of urgency, and combining this with the more Spartan art style gives the impression that the action had paused for only a second, and the artist had to draw it that instant. It is done very well.

 

Is it Worth Buying?

If you have not been following Daredevil, I would say no, but start up with the next issue, and the new story arc. If you had been thinking about possibly dropping Daredevil from your pull list, I would very strongly urge you to read this issue and reconsider, because it really looks like things will be picking up in Hell’s Kitchen in the coming months.

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The Incredible Hercules, formerly known as the Incredible Hulk, #114

            Hercules continues in his own title, not the first time he has had his own comic, he appeared in his own right for the first time in 1982, in a series that ran for a total of four issues, and again in 1984, again for a stunning four issues.  The last time, we, as the collective comic book community saw the son of Zues (this one at least), was in 2005, after a fairly lengthy hiatus, he appeared in an unprecedented five part mini-series, entitled ‘The New Labors.’  If you don’t understand the title, go buy a book on Greek mythology, I’m not just being annoying about it, you’ll get more out of these comics if you do.  Given this somewhat lackluster series for Herc, I found it fitting to do a write up on his latest series that looks like it COULD reach a grand six episodes.

 

Lead-up to the Story

            Written by Greg Pak and Fred Van Lente, and penciled by Paul Neary, this has been an issue I’ve been excited to see in my box each month so far.  Partially because of my love for Greek myth, as well as math, which manifests itself in the form of Amadeus Cho.  I have declared my somewhat controversial adoration of Cho in the past, and I understand that he can be an unloved feature in the Marvel universe.  Bully to all of you I say, I like him, and his coyote.  In the previous issues, we have seen Cho become steadily darker and more bent on revenging his idol, the Hulk.  Hercules has also started questioning Cho’s decisions with increased regularity, although he has been forced to go along with him, generally to avoid capture by his Ares, the god of war.

 

Plot Synopsys

            The story begins with another mythological reference, but don’t worry, its explained in a few pages.  In short, Herc is kicking major SHIELD ass, and thinks he is being denied magical horses.  Most Greek myth was created while people were drunk, true story.  While this is entertaining, the more important parts off the issue have to do with Amadeus Cho, and with Ares.  While attempting to take over a SHIELD helicarrier, Cho is thwarted by Black Widow, but his pup is caught underneath him in his fall, and we’re left in the dark about the fate of his coyote, although, on the last page of the comic, we see requests for names for it, so I’m fairly sure we won’t be seeing the of it, and it’ll have a name, so I won’t have to keep on coming up with novel pronouns for the animal.  Wonder Man figures out that Ares is trying to use both him and SHIELD to take down his rival Hercules, and we should wait in eager anticipation to see how this plays out.  Wonder Man vs Ares anyone?

 

Art Critique

            Paul Neary does a good job of giving the action a sense of action and movement in almost every panel.  Also, he really tried to give Hercules a crazed expression during his hydra blood induced state, but it doesn’t seem to work all too well all of the time.  Drawing can be like writing, similar to how an author does not want to use the same adjective all the time, an artist will not want to use the same expression to depict a certain emotion, however, this results in Herc just having near perfectly circular, round, red eyes.   Also, sometimes Amadeus Cho looks either pudgy, not so much because he has an animal in his jacket, but more so in his face.  Overall however, I must say I am pleased with the artwork as it is provided.  Also, I wonder if Neary himself did the oldschool arts featured in the middle of the book, also, oldschool Ares reminds me of Mr. T.  Mention should be made of the cover art, provided by Arthur Adams, Herc’s arms have extra muscle mass, and this isn’t usually something that bugs me, when I draw I tend to add extra as well, but this is kind of ridiculous. 

 

Is it Worth Buying?

            If you have an interest in Greek mythology, I would say absolutely.  Also, it looks like this story arc with Herc vs Ares, and with Cho attempting to mess up SHIELD may prove important to the overall Marvel storyline, especially with Tony Stark having so many problems in his storyline.  So overall, it is well written, and entertaining to read, definitely earning its spot on my pull list.

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Rapid Fire Reviews: Gamma Corps, New Avengers, Incredible Herc, and Avengers: The Initiative

World War Hulk – Gamma Corps #4 of 4

The gamma corps is a group of five individuals who believe their lives to have been decimated by the Hulk. They have had their bodies augmented by hulk DNA. The members are Grey, who is essentially a grey, smaller and less berserk version of the hulk, Mess, who has had parts of her skin grafted with skin samples grown from gamma DNA, Mister Gideon, a former pastor who has some titanium hands, Griffin, who’s just crazy, and he flies, and Prodigy, who was a child born autistic, but then was taken into the gamma corps program and is now a super genius with limited telepathic powers. The issues of this mini have been rather entertaining, without standing out as being amazing; this final one however, is pretty good. Nothing amazing in and of itself, however, it shows a character change in the Hulk that we’ve been seeing over the past few months in World War Hulk. While the Hulk always had depth in his character, much of this came from the dichotomy between Bruce Banner and the Hulk, not from the Hulk himself. Now we see the Hulk are more than just a smashing machine, but he’s calm, and calculating, this has been represented well from the artists as well, not only Carlos Ferreira who has done Gamma Corps, but from everyone else who has been drawing in the WWH series. There is a brain behind this new Hulk, and it shows in how he disarms the Gamma Corps with little more than words, even manipulating the leader, Grey, through a deeper understanding of his own psyche. Overall, the series has been worth it, and is worth buying, if you have been following World War Hulk at all.

The New Avengers #37

New Avengers is a series that has been causing quite a stir recently. As the issue that looks to be leading up to the coming Skrull War, it’s polarizing much of the comic book community. I have heard many people say on various forums, that they intend on dropping this series, especially after #37. However, I’ve been enjoying it, it has been going at a good pace, it has some of my favourite characters, and the interaction between Spider-man and Iron Fist during the fights is downright hilarious. The unmasking of the Hood in this issue was interesting, to say the least, but regardless we need to see how it’ll play itself out, perhaps it could even branch into Dr. Strange getting his own title again, I know many people who would be happy about that. As many of you know, I love reading and watching the fights in comic books, and this issue is almost entirely one giant fight, using Dr. Strange’s powers to make it seem as if the new crime syndicate lead by the Hood was entirely surrounded. Speaking of the Hood, he is turning into a fantastic villain; he’s cunning, ruthless, determined, and charismatic. Frankly, I thought this issue was pretty outstanding, and Brian Michael Bendis is doing an exceptional job, one thing I would really like to see though, would be a crossover between Daredevil and New Avengers, because both of their stories are currently revolving around the Hood, yeah, I know I said I was dropping DD, but I’m a sucker for Murdock, and DD is one of my favourite characters, so we’ll see if I actually stick to my guns on this one. The host of characters that Bendis is employing on the villains side is very interesting, and the cast of New Avengers is just astounding, Cage, Strange, Wolverine, Spider-man, Iron Fist, Ronin, all in the same issue, it’s like a Marvel close combat dream team.

The Incredible Hulk #112 – The Incredible Herc

In the aftermath (read aftersmash) of World War Hulk, we find boy genius Amadeus Cho teaming up with Greek demi-god Heracles. Such a combination of brains and brawn is pretty formidable. The issue opens shortly after where #111 left off, with SHIELD attempting to arrest the renegades. The plot and story is pretty good, and bringing in Ares is neat, up until the last page which is kinda cliché. But all in all it goes over well, even if you are of the opinion that no Hulk in a Hulk issue is a waste of time, and I can understand that opinion, but look at how Captain America has been going, we haven’t had a Cap in that issue in almost 10 months, and it is one of the ones I look forward to over any other. There are quite a few reasons I enjoy this beyond the story and art, both of which are very good, it references Greek mythology pretty accurately, and it has Amadeus Cho in it, and that means there’s lots of math going on. Personally, I think math looks pretty when it’s drawn out like this, and the way Amadeus uses it to do all kinds of crazy stuff is just fascinating. I also spend an inordinate amount of time figuring out how the equations have been derived, as they are generally derivations of basic formulae. The cover art, while not usually something I mention, is pretty interesting, in that the artists pay homage to other artists and comic covers by basing their art on theirs. You could call this lazy, but I think it’s interesting. Greg Pak and Fred van Lente have done an outstanding job writing this issue, and it looks set to do nothing but improve. I would highly recommend this issue, and indeed the series to anyone with even a passing interest.

Avengers: The Initiative #7

This issue is a pretty big one as well, we find out loads of things, such as who’s in the scarlet spiders, what happened to MVP, and what the hell is Dr. Baron von Blitzschlag up to? This issue even brings up more questions about One More Day, because Peter Parker essentially has his name cleared as Spider-man in this issue, however, it should be conceded that OMD was more about Aunt May than anything else. In this issue, the Scarlet Spiders are sent after a stolen briefcase that contains plans for a weapon of mass destruction, and during the chase, Peter Parker gets wicked ticked that people are masquerading around as him, in the costume Tony Stark promised was “unique.” Fairly early on in the issue, we do see that Scarlet Spiders do not seem to be mechanical, as I had previously thought them to be, but are indeed manned by people, and you discover who at the end of the issue, but it’s a huge revelation for anyone reading the series, and you should be. There’s some humor, such as when J.J. Jameson says “God, I hate clones,” I think we all hated the clone saga. And Warmachine is about to flip out with people trying to run his initiative base. All in all, this issue of Avengers: The Initiative is packed with stuff, but somehow, the author Dan Slott keeps everything going at a good pace, and at no point does it seem scatterbrained, and it’s a credit to his skill. The art, as written by Stefano Caseli is exactly what I would call ‘comic book art’ and feels exactly how it should. If you have been reading this series, there is no reason to stop now, and if you haven’t, I’d say it’s probably a good idea to start.

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