Archive for She-Hulk

Girls Who Make the Earth Move

Terra #1

Longtime DC Comics readers know Terra as the underage blonde Teen Titan who betrayed the team. Obviously, this looks to be a different character, darker hair, a more heroic attitude, but the same mineral telekinesis powers. She’s racing around the planet saving folks from underground menaces and races, who have all been stirred up by something else deep underground. And speaking of underground menaces, a wealthy engineer demonstrating a new, more powerful laser drill for the government unexpectedly gets turned into a rock-skinned super-psycho with a special talent for killing large numbers of people. Meanwhile, Terra finds herself in big trouble in Hawaii, but gets saved by Power Girl, and a later medical examination by Dr. Mid-Nite reveals some unexpected surprises in the new heroine’s DNA.

Verdict: Thumbs up. The story is really fine and dandy — absolutely no complaints here. But the real selling point is the artwork by the always crackerjack team of Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti. Conner’s penciling is insanely reader-friendly, expressive, action-packed, and Palmiotti’s inks complement her wonderfully. I expect I’ll get every issue of this one, just so I can enjoy the artwork.

She-Hulk #34

She-Hulk teams up with an informal team called the Lady Liberators that includes the Invisible Woman, Valkyrie, and Thundra. They’re planning on providing earthquake relief for a region where a corrupt government is hoarding all relief supplies for itself. And while initial relief efforts go well — the government may be rotten to the core, but they don’t have anything capable of shooing off a bunch of angry superheroines — the good times can’t last forever.

Verdict: Another thumbs up. The patter here amongst the Liberators while sitting around Shulkie’s trailer is just awesome.

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Everything’s Coming Up Green


She-Hulk #33

Shulkie battles the Super-Skrull and tries to convince him not to kill Jazinda, his daughter. Meanwhile, Jazinda is fighting the Skrull Talisman. Is there any way to stop Jazinda from getting killed?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Yes, it’s a nice, simple, straightforward plot, but I really did enjoy it. Lots of excellent brawling and action, lots of great dialogue, a primo plotline. It’s not Shakespeare, but it’s a good story. I approve — I wish they could all be this good.


Hulk #6

Green Hulk fights Red Hulk. Thor comes along for the ride. A bunch of other superheroes don’t really do much. We’re promised an answer for who the Red Hulk is, but we don’t get one. Though it’s apparently not Doc Samson (who’s somehow grown his hair long again) or Thunderbolt Ross.

Verdict: Thumbs down. Utter and complete garbage.

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Stand Up for your Rights

Liberty Comics

Here’s one of the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund’s periodic fundraiser comics, designed to both raise a little scratch for the organization and educate readers about the continuing need to support the CBLDF and oppose censorship of comics, graphic novels, etc.

This one features a number of different stories by a number of different creators, but the real standouts are Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson’s short vignette about The Boys and the horrible, violent things they do to super-people, Darwyn Cooke and Dave Stewart’s tribute to “The Deadly Book,” Mark Millar and John Paul Leon’s modern re-telling of “House of Dracula,” Art Adams’ great pinup of Monkeyman and O’Brien, Ed Brubaker’s “Criminal” story about pressuring the press, and the short strips on “Tales of Comic Book Censorship” by Mark Evanier and Sergio Aragones.

Verdict: Thumbs up. You’ve joined up with the CBLDF, haven’t ya? Twenty-five smackers is all it costs to get a membership, and you help support efforts to stamp out comic censorship.

Birds of Prey #121

The Joker is moving in on the Silicon Syndicate in Plantinum Flats; the Birds get acquainted with Infinity, their newest operative; and Misfit enrolls in a new school. That’s pretty much it.

Verdict: I’m thumbs-downing it. It’s a place-saver issue. Worse, it’s a fairly dull place-saver.

She-Hulk #32

Shulkie and Jazinda have captured the Nogor, the Skrull’s “Talisman”, or spiritual leader. So they, umm, keep him tied up. With ropes. In their RV. She-Hulk rescues a bunch of humans captured by the Skrulls, and then they get attacked by Jazinda’s dad, the original Super-Skrull himself.

Verdict: I’m turning thumbs down on this one, too. The main problem is that it’s just not interesting.

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Unhappy Homecoming


Justice Society of America Annual #1

In the last regular issue of “Justice Society of America,” Gog, in the process of fulfilling a number of wishes for the Justice Society, sent Power Girl home — to her original home on Earth-2. Kara gets reacquainted with all the retro heroes, and the Huntress makes plans to kill the Joker. And Power Girl discovers something very unwelcome about Earth-2.

Verdict: Thumbs down. Sorry, but I just never got into Earth-2’s heroes, and there’s really not much here but fanboy nostalgia. I did get a kick out of the elderly and decrepit — but still dangerous — version of the Joker. But that wasn’t enough to make it a win for me.


Green Lantern #33

We continue our re-telling of Hal Jordan’s origin. Sinestro — at this point in his history, still a Green Lantern — knocks out loony telepath Hector Hammond, then he and Hal go hunting the alien demon Atrocitus, who’s after a kid named William Hand — the future supervillain Black Hand.

Verdict: Another thumbs down. It’s just not coming across as very interesting.


She-Hulk #31

It appears I’ve missed a few issues of this. The Skrull Invasion is beginning, and Shulkie and Jazinda are tracking a Skrull called the Talisman, a religious figure whose well-being will determine how the invasion will go. If they can take him out quickly enough, the entire Skrull army will give up the invasion and flee for their home. They run into X-Factor, now re-imagined as a bunch of private eyes. They’re after completely different targets, but She-Hulk gets into a fight with the X-Factor kids that even she admits is an incredibly stupid and pointless thing to do. Jazinda, meanwhile, catches up with who she claims is the Talisman — namely, Longshot. Jazinda gets knocked out by Darwin, a rapidly evolving mutant, but Darwin later spontaneously evolves a power that forces Skrulls to reveal themselves. And as it turns out, yep, Longshot’s a Skrull.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Sure, I missed a few issues, but I was still enjoying what I was reading, so I approve.

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Magic and Mayhem


Madame Xanadu #1

The new Vertigo revamp of DC’s fortune-teller character Madame Xanadu starts out in Arthurian England, when she was a rune-reading nymph named Nimue. She has an uneasy relationship with her eldest sister, the Lady in the Lake, and a much worse one with the middle sister, Morganna, who is very eager for her son Mordred to wipe out Camelot and become king. She doin’ the horizontal jitterbug with Merlin himself, and she tangles with the Phantom Stranger, who’s trying to get her to realize that she can’t change the future doom she’s foreseen for Camelot.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Interesting beginning, since I figured we’d start out with the modern-day gypsy Tarot-reader we’re more familiar with from the mainstream DC Universe. Writer Matt Wagner, creator of the comic book “Mage,” has a very strong interest in all things Arthurian, so I’m looking forward to some more of his take on the classic Camelot. Oh, and the artwork by Amy Reeder Hadley is just plain gorgeous.


She-Hulk #30

Shulkie finally gets released from jail to deal with a local emergency, and as a condition of her release, Shulkie insists that her new friend and fellow prisoner Monique be released as well. The big emergency? Possible Irish terrorist Bran Murphy has grown to giant size and is trashing the city, while Hercules tries in vain to stop him. Yes, that actually is a jumbo-sized order of crazy. And even crazier — it turns out that the giant Bran Murphy is actually Bran the Blessed, an actual mythological Welsh giant, and he has a symbiotic relationship with the real Bran Murphy, who’s in the process of dying a few miles away. Well, in the end, they manage to save Bran Murphy and defeat Bran the Blessed, the Celtic demigod gets an unexpected new host, and Shulkie and Hercules do the nasty canasta.

Verdict: Ehh, neither thumbs up or thumbs down. I still think the ongoing storyarc is equal parts ridiculous, stupid, and meandering, but this issue was full of tons of crazy stuff, and that helps soften the blow.

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Running to Catch up…

Thanks to having the blog shut down for a week and then spending most of last week promoting the Comic Book Expo, I’ve fallen way, waaaay behind on my comics reviews, so I’m gonna try to get as many of these out of the way as I can.


DC Universe #0

This is the one everyone was talking about last week. Superman hangs out with the Legion of Super-Heroes in the distant future, Batman hangs out with the Joker, a bunch of bad guys want Wonder Woman dead, the Green Lanterns are unaware that the Black Lanterns are coming for them, a minor villain called Libra is trying pretty weakly to get a bunch of villains to join the Cult of the Crime Bible, and Barry Allen comes back to life.

Verdict: Thumbs down. It’s an ad for “Final Crisis,” and it’s not even a particularly well-done ad. And was anyone here really jonesing for Barry Allen to come back? I wish DC would quit being stupid and quit screwing their comics up for no good reason.


Justice League of America #20

A nice little done-in-one story about Wonder Woman and the Flash taking on the Queen Bee.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Seems like the Queen Bee should be more of a regular threat — I thought comics thrived on things like hyper-evolved space bees, right? Still, fun stuff, some good speed tricks from the Flash, and a nice Silver-Age feel to the story.


Tangent: Superman’s Reign #2

The Tangent Universe’s Green Lantern gets her magic lantern back, restoring her youth, and the Tangent version of the Flash, along with the regular DCU Flash and Green Lantern come along for the ride. The Tangent GL summons the spirit of the Tangent version of the Joker, who was a superhero, to fill in the gaps of the Tangent Superman’s ruthless rise to dictatorial power.

Verdict: Thumbs up, but just barely. The characters are pretty interesting, but I’m having trouble accepting this as a story that needs 12 issues to tell. They could make it a heck of a lot shorter by cutting out those useless history lessons that take up about a third of the pagecount.


Teen Titans #58

We focus on Miss Martian, trying to make a life for herself and ignore the voice of her evil future-self, who has taken up residence in her head. On top of that, she’s also being stalked by the Terror Titans’ Disruptor, and Kid Devil is still being horribly tortured to try to get him to turn evil.

Verdict: Thumbs up, I think. I don’t much like the idea of Evil Miss Martian, but the story is well-done and does a good job of continually raising the stakes.


The Flash #239

The new supervillain Spin managed to use Keystone City’s fears about the Flash’s money problems to turn him, temporarily, into a superspeedy thief. Now everyone’s more afraid of Flash than ever. He also manages to mind-control Jay Garrick into attacking Wally. Oh, and Wally has gotten a legitimate job at last — watching videotapes at super-speed? Weird…

Verdict: Thumbs up. Spin is still a pretty dumb villain, but the scheme is getting better, bit by bit. Still, next time they want to use a supervillain with fear and mind-control powers, why don’t they just raid Batman’s rogues gallery for Scarecrow and Mad Hatter?


She-Hulk #28

She-Hulk gets arrested again after causing a ruckus at a football stadium while trying to apprehend the guy who knocked down an apartment building a few issues ago.

Verdict: Thumbs down. Dangit, this storyline completely vanished several months ago, then it’s back and running hard like we’re supposed to remember it again? Guys, please stop jumping randomly from one storyline to another.

Oookay, that’s enough for now. Another review-burst tomorrow…

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Sketch Club News, Plus Reviews

Before I hit the reviews, here’s some late-breaking news from Will Terrell of the Lubbock Sketch Club:

Well, its another busy week with the Lubbock Sketch Club. I will be on NBC / KCBD channel 11 tomorrow (Thursday) at noon in the New Notebook segment. I’ll be talking about the Lubbock Comic Book Expo coming May 3rd. Tune if you get the chance!

Also, Make sure to come visit us Friday for our First Friday Art Trail! Here’s the blurb….

“Drawing on Inspiration! The Lubbock Sketch Club art show and Sketch Night! The First Friday art show where YOU are part of the fun! Visitors are invited to view the groups exhibit of cartoons, comics, and fine arts, check out the costumed figure drawing demonstration in the studio, and Sketch with the artists in the Sketch Club classroom. Located on the third floor of the Asbury/Hope Shalom building at 20th and Ave T, room 301, from 6-9pm.”

And with that out of the way, let’s hit a couple of quick reviews.

I picked up a couple of comics last week that I wasn’t expecting much from. Frankly, they’d both been so awful in recent months that I was actually expecting to drop both titles. But both surprised me with excellent stories.


She-Hulk #27

She-Hulk and Jazinda learn that Larry Ryan, the guy they saved last issue, is now in jail, accused of killing his wife. Outraged that he’d be falsely accused, Shulkie returns to try to convince the authorities to let him go. Unfortunately, she gets a bit too agitated and tears his cell door open, and that gets her arrested, too. She’s not in any serious trouble, but she’s no longer a lawyer, which was the only way she would’ve been able to get Larry out of jail. Luckily, she still has some friends — no, wait, they’re actually enemies — she can call for help.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Lo and behold, She-Hulk’s entertaining again. Her characterization is back on the money, and we actually get her back in a courtroom, thank the heavens! Shulkie really is at her best when she’s kicking ass in battle and kicking ass in a courtroom. She just ain’t any good as a bounty hunter, and she’s even worse as an angst-ridden whiner. Sure, sure, she’s probably going straight back to bounty hunting next issue, but maybe this is an indication that she won’t be angsty or non-lawyerly for long…


Teen Titans #57

It’s a Ravager spotlight issue, as Rose Wilson takes on Copperhead, Persuader, and Dreadbolt of the Terror Titans. It’s pretty much wall-to-wall fighting. Sure, we see Kid Devil getting tortured, and we see Robin and Wonder Girl act like idiots… but forget about them. The bulk of this issue is Ravager beating people senseless, and it is very, very good.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Sure, Ravager’s completely insufferable most of the time, but it’s pretty clear that she’s a character who’s best suited to action sequences. Now if only they can figure out a way to keep her fighting next issue and leave Robin and Wonder Girl out of the comic for a bit longer…

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Stuff that Sucks

Ya know what sucks? These two comics suck. Let’s get reviews of them over with in a hurry.


She-Hulk #26

On the one hand, the issue starts out with people actually throwing bears at each other, which ya gotta admit is pretty cool. But after that, you’ve got She-Hulk, still insisting she’s not a superhero anymore, fighting an alien bounty hunter, even after she realizes they’re on the same side. You’ve got Jazinda the Skrull dying but coming back to life. You’ve got Cazon the evil mass-murdering prettyboy taking a completely useless hostage solely for the purpose of — actually, there’s no purpose. He didn’t need the guy as a hostage, and he’d already killed the guy’s girlfriend. And the girlfriend gets brought back to life, too, but only temporarily. You’ve got five pages of She-Hulk holding onto the side of a speeding spaceship — which really shouldn’t be boring but nevertheless is. You’ve got She-Hulk improbably losing her pants for the sake of clumsy and ineffective smirk-and-wink geek-giggles.

Verdict: Thumbs down. Good gravy, remember when this book used to be good? Shouldn’t a guy like Peter David be better at writing a comic book than this? Could someone please get Dan Slott back to writing this one so maybe it can stop sucking?


Teen Titans #56

Kid Devil really does have it rough. The other Titans come up with a plan to stop a bad guy, don’t tell him the plan, and then blame him for not knowing what the plan is. Wonder Girl’s a jerk, Robin’s a jerk, Ravager’s a jerk. Miss Martian’s getting all set to turn evil. Of course, Kid Devil’s also dumber’n dirt, so he throws a giant party at Titans Tower when everyone’s out, and sure enough, everyone who shows up breaks stuff, steals stuff, and prank-calls Batman. And after the rest of the Titans show up and act like jerks again, he runs into the only cool guy from the party, and it turns out he’s a supervillain named Dreadbolt, who’s working with a group called the, um, Terror Titans, run by, um, the Clock King. Oooo, scaaaary.

Verdict: Thumbs down. This comic is just absolutely inept. Why am I still reading it? Partly brand loyalty, I think, and partly because I want to see just how bad this one is going to get.

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It’s Not Easy Being Green


She-Hulk #25

She-Hulk and Jazinda are road-tripping across the country. After they get buzzed by a UFO, they stomp around the woods while She-Hulk whines (and whines and whines) that she doesn’t want to be a superhero anymore. They run into an alien monarch on the run from an interstellar bounty hunter. And there are two different backup features.

Verdict: Thumbs down. Remember when this comic used to be fun? It ain’t anymore. The storyline, if there really is one so far, is just meandering all over the place. Even the backup features were dull and pointless. Dangit, a comic about a six-and-a-half-foot-tall, green-skinned, super-strong super-babe should not be this boring.

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Green Girls and Wonder Women

Well, there won’t be any new comics coming in this week here in Lubbock, but I’ve still got a lot of comics I can review from last week, so let’s hit a couple of them right now.


Wonder Woman #15

We start off with a glimpse of the distant past as Queen Hippolyta’s honor guard slowly lets their loyalty to her be replaced by demented and ultimately treasonous obsession with her. From there, we jump to the modern day, as Wonder Woman beats the snot out of Captain Nazi and then, touchingly, empathizes with the tortures he suffered as a child. From him, she learns that a bunch of neo-nazis are about to take over the mostly-deserted Paradise Island (though it looks like Hippolyta herself is doing some good old-fashioned nazi-stompage of her own). Diana wants to get to the island, but Athena has blocked off all access to the island, so she has to go ask members of Earth’s other pantheons for assistance in getting back home.

Verdict: Thumbs up. First, Terry Dodson’s artwork is just outstanding. Second, I actually enjoyed the scene with Captain Nazi — yeah, he gets thoroughly clobbered — as all nazis should be clobbered, of course — but when she forces him to confront the abuse he suffered as a child, and he starts just weeping and blubbering about it, and she feels sympathy for him — that’s getting something that’s been missing from Diana’s character for an awfully long time. The character seems to work best as a compassionate ass-kicker, despite all the contradictions involved. And the idea of Diana pledging her allegiance to a pantheon other than the Olympians is looking like something that’ll be really, really interesting.


She-Hulk #24

Well, we meet a little more of She-Hulk’s new supporting cast. Besides Jazinda, there’s an arrogant cop, the folks at the trailer park where Jen and Jazinda live, the people at the bonding company where Jen works, the mysterious new terrorist who’s got a mad on for She-Hulk. There’s a bombing, and She-Hulk pulls people to safety.

Verdict: I gotta give it a thumbs down. I love seeing good character development and interaction, but right now, we don’t have a plot or a direction for the comic. Once we get a good overarching plot going, this book is gonna start shining, but for now, it’s motionless.

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