Sweet lord, I blew another $30 dollars on comic books last Wednesday. Honestly, it’s a good thing that comics are the only thing that I purchase for myself otherwise I would be straight broke! This week Beasts of Burden/Hellboy takes the cake for my favorite issue but that aside, ON TO THE COMICS!
Hellboy Beasts of Burden: Sacrifice
Story: Mike Mignola, Evan Dorkin
Art: Jill Thompson
When the stoic hero of the self-titled Hellboy series makes an appearance on Burden Hill things get even more out of control for the cutesy little members of the Wise Dog Society. This one shot ties in to the original Beasts of Burden series in Dark Horse Presents but you don’t need to know anything about BoB to enjoy this great little book. Jill’s watercolors jump off the page and the dialogue between Hellboy and the dogs is priceless. This book brings the solemn humor of Hellboy and the vibrant yet horrific adventuring of the Burden Hill gang and melds them together into a book well worth it’s cover price!
Story: Brian Michael Bendis
Art: John Romita Jr.
Here we have the conclusion and/or the beginning of the tale that was started six issues ago. As with most time travel jaunts this one seems to get itself a bit befuddled. This is supposed to be the end of the arc but I can’t help wondering, “What happened?” Obviously the Avengers saved the day but did anything really change? The end of this series harkens back to the first pages of issue #1 so I can’t help but think we’ve been left with nothing of any real substance. Bleh.
Story: Brian Michael Bendis
Pencils: Rafael Sandoval
I think what I’ve liked most about this series is the transformation of Benjamin Grimm from rocky monstrosity into what appears to be Ultimate Wonder Man. For me the story has become less and less fun as the issues roll on and #4 is no exception. I did enjoy the Roxxon “Brain Trust” and all that entailed, simply because it showed off some Earth 616 Ultimate counterparts. Did that make sense? I don’t know where this story is going but I’m going to follow it to the end. Why? Because I’m stubborn and I want to know what Reed is up to.
Story: Jason Aaron
Art: R.M. Guera
Scalped is the most emotionally taxing and psychologically visceral comic book that I’m reading right now. Everything these characters do has consequences, often unforeseen and never quite what you’d expect. I’m addicted to the train wreck lives of Dashiel Bad Horse and Carol Ellroy and what’s left unspoken in this issue breaks my heart, but that’s why I read it. Jason Aaron has somehow tapped into the rampant emotional turmoil in our world and focused it onto the printed page in a way that’s both immensely appealing and yet unbearably tragic. Read it.
ULTIMATE COMICS AVENGERS 3 #3
Story: Mark Millar
Pencils: Steve Dillon
Sigh… I really do want to like this series but I read the Ultimate Universe to get a different look at my favorite 616 characters. Here we have a little Daredevil vampire, Hulk vampire, and pseudo Iron Man vampire trying to transform the world’s most powerful metahumans into vampires. Oh… is that happening in X-Men right now? Are vampires trying to turn mutants to add some extra firepower to their undead army? Ultimate Blade might as well be 616 Blade and… Know what? Who cares? Read it if you want, it isn’t terrible but it’s not all that much fun either. Everything aside, if Steve Dillon could fit a little more into each of his panels I would REALLY like the art here, I think his style fits perfectly with the more gritty Ultimates stuff.
SPIDER-MAN AND THE FANTASTIC FOUR #4
Story: Christos Gage
Art: Mario Alberti
I only have one word for this series: FUN! Combining the cheeky attitude of your favorite neighborhood Spider-Man with Marvel’s First Family has lead to an absolutely phenomenal four issues. Much like the Spider-Man/X-Men series before it, this book manages to dig into the hearts of its heroes and show us that no matter how super they are, they’re human first. This is a story about family, as all the greatest Fantastic Four tales are, and it comes to a heartwarming conclusion. I really enjoyed this series. Plus Mario Alberti’s art? Dynamite!
UNCANNY X-MEN #529
Story: Matt Fraction
Art: Whilce Portacio
I can’t say that I’ve been super thrilled with the 5 Lights story arc but it’s barely underway so I should probably hold my tongue. I haven’t seen Whilce Portacio’s work in comics since way back in high school when I was getting back issues of The Darkness Tales. To be honest his pencils don’t quite seem to fit this title. His scratchy line work and strange facial expressions make the characters look gaunt and a little weird. I’m not a fan of the Age of Apocalpyse-style Wildchild named Teon, but hopefully the dynamics between Hope’s little team start to come to the forefront in the coming issues. I look forward to that. And more Cyclops.
The Incredible Hulks #615
Written: Greg Pak
Art: Barry Kitson, Scott Hanna
I’ve tried to stick by the Hulk and his recently expanded family but I’m starting to lose interest. I thought we got father/son closure with the Hulk and Skaar battle only to find out he has yet another son that’s hellbent on destroying Earth? C’mon. I do enjoy seeing Banner and the Hulk working in tandem because they do it well and Greg Pak writes them well. There’s not much here to keep my interest but as long as the Hulk keeps proving he’s the strongest there is I might just keep buying. MIGHT!