Friday, August 30, 2013

@JohnMcCubbin3 Reviews: @Marvel Indestructible Hulk #6, Thanos Rising #1, Age of Ultron #5, Uncanny Avengers #6


Here are today's "Guest Reviews" by John McCubbin from Imagination Centre. Included are Marvel's; Indestructible Hulk #6, Thanos Rising #1, Age of Ultron #5, Uncanny Avengers #6. I have also added my rating after each review. If you have any questions about my rating or want to discuss anything just leave me a comment.


See the Review Rating Overview page for more information on how I rate each comic.


Indestructible Hulk #6 - Gods and Monster


Banner takes his lab team to Jotunheim!


Hulk vs. Frost Giants!


Guest-starring Thor!


Preview



Hulk... Worthy?


I've really been enjoying this series, and it's been one of the better series to come out of the Marvel NOW! initiative. It's also continued to be a vast improvement over the previous Hulk series (Incredible Hulk), and Mark Waid has shown that like everything else he works on that he can produce great stories.

Plot

Bruce Banner and his team of scientists use the Uru that Thor donated to S.H.I.E.L.D. to create a portal, and travel to Jotunheim.

Review

This was a brilliant issue, and although it wasn't quite as good as I'd hoped it'd be, it was still very good, and a good start to this new story. Mark Waid has done a tremendous job throughout this series, and I've really been loving what he's been doing with the series, and the characters involved. When I first heard about this story I was really looking forward to it, as I love both Hulk, and Thor, so seeing them either team-up, or fight one another would be brilliant. Unfortunately I wasn't entirely happy with how Waid's used Thor, and although I expect that there'll be a reason for why he's writing Thor the way he is, I find it a bit weird, and slightly confusing (although I think that's what Waid's going for). The main thing that I've been enjoying about Waid's writing is how he's managed to involve Banner into the equation much more than other writers have in the past, and it's been a thing that Waid's been doing quite a bit recently, as he's shown more of Matt Murdock in Daredevil, and Britt Reid in The Green Hornet, which I've liked also. In saying that I still felt that Hulk wasn't used as much as he should have in this issue, but I'm sure he will in the rest of the story.

I wasn't too sure what too make of the art, as I liked it at times, but really disliked it other times. I've never really been a fan of Walter Simonson, and although I know he's been critically acclaimed, mainly for his work on Thor, I've never been a huge fan of his art, seeing it as too rough, and unrealistic, also looking awkward at times. I was however hopeful that I'd enjoy his art on this issue, as the preview pages that I saw looked amazing, and although they weren't as good as the artists I like, it was a vast improvement, and I actually thought his art would suit this story. I have however been slightly disappointed after reading the issue. I loved the way he drew Hulk outside of his new armour (during a news report), but felt that he looked very awkward, and less awesome, and powerful in his armour, whereas previous artist Leinil Francis Yu made him look very powerful. I did however like how he drew Thor, and although it was a retro style, it appears that this is for a reason (story wise). It was also a nice touch, as it gives long time fans the Thor that they'd know from his previous work. I also liked the way he drew the Frost Giants, as they looked like the brutal beast giants that I loved seeing in the few comics I read as a child. Besides these positive points, Simonson actually did a good job with the facial expressions, as although they looked a bit awkward, they showed plenty of emotion.

Read the rest of John McCubin's Review on Comic Vine

My Rating


Cover & Solicit - 3/5
Art, Colors & Inking - 3/5
Layout & Flow - 4/5
Story - 5/5
Verdict - 4


Thanos Rising #1


What comes after "Marvel NOW!"? Whatever it is, it starts HERE.


The vile face left movie audiences in shock after last summer's Marvel Studios' "The Avengers" movie, but who is this eerily disturbing villain?


Thanos rises as the unrivaled rogue of wretchedness in this gripping tale of tragedy, deceit and destiny. Where did this demi-god of death and destruction come from and...more importantly what does he want?


The answers come from the incredible creative team of Jason Aaron (Wolverine, X-Men Origins) and Simone Bianchi (Wolverine, Astonishing X-Men) as they take you on journey that will not only change the course of one boy's life...


...but will soon change the very nature of the Marvel Universe.

Preview



The Birth of Thanos


Although not the biggest fan of Thanos I have been a fan of his for quite a while now, and have began to like him even more in recent years, but I still shamefully don't know as much about him as I should, and when I heard about this origin story I was happy as it'd be a good point to learn more about his background, something that I know hasn't been to far developed in the past.

Plot

Thanos is born on Titan, and is the son of Mentor, and Sui-San. He grows up wanting to be a scientist like his father Mentor, and vows not to kill any creature, so what makes him become this evil villain?

Review

This was an excellent issue, and although it wasn't exactly what I was expecting, it was still very good, and a brilliant opening issue to this mini series. Jason Aaron has done some brilliant work in the past, having had a brilliant run on Wolverine, and currently doing a marvellous job on Thor: God of Thunder, but his Incredible Hulk series was very disappointing, and his Wolverine and the X-Men series became boring real quickly, so I wasn't too sure how he'd fare on Thanos, but so far he's done a fabulous job, and I hope he keeps this level of quality throughout. What I liked most about Aaron's writing was that he portrayed a different side to Thanos than we've seen before, which was nice, but I'll talk more about that later on in my review.There was however the odd moment were this issue was slightly slow, but with this being the opening issue of an origin story it's expected, and it wasn't that bad, with the rest making up. I also felt that Aaron handled the birth of Thanos brilliantly, as there was plenty of emotion in his birth, and that was a very interesting, dramatic, and entertaining sequence.

I wasn't too sure what to make of the art, as I liked some points, but disliked others. Overall I feel that Simone Bianchi has done a very good job on the art in this issue, and although I'm in tow minds whether I like it, I do think that it's unique, and better than a lot of other artists. I've loved Bianchi's his work in the past, both interiors, and covers, and especially his work on Wolverine, but at the same time I've felt that his art hasn't always suited everything, as I didn't feel his art suited the likes of the Green Lantern issue he drew, but overall I've enjoyed his art over the years. Most of the art I loved, but the only real thing I questioned whether I liked was the way he drew Thanos, as he was awful grotesque, and much more gruesome looking than he usually is, and although this wasn't necessarily a bad thing I wasn't entirely sure if it was a good thing. I did however like how it was unique though, and overall his style suits this type of story. The detail in Bianchi's art was also brilliant, and the emotion was also fabulous, as you could really see innocents in the younger Thanos, which was nice. The colours from Simone Peruzzi were also fantastic, and really helped set the tone for this series, making it look even more beautiful.

Read the rest of John McCubin's Review on Comic Vine

My Rating



Cover & Solicit - 5/5
Art, Colors & Inking - 3/5
Layout & Flow - 5/5
Story - 5/5

Verdict - 4.4


Age of Ultron #5 - Book Five


The super hero survivors of the Ultron devastation follow a trail to the Savage Land in the hopes of finding a way to survive or turn the tide of the Ultron apocalypse.

But with half the Marvel heroes dead, what chance do any of the survivors have?

The choice that will forever change the course of Marvel history...!

Preview


Finally More Backstory


I was really looking forward to this event, but it's been nothing but disappointing so far, and although it's had a couple of moments where it was good, overall it's been very disappointing, and I can't do anything but hope that the second half's much better.

Plot

Now in the Savage Land the hero's head to Nick Fury's base, and find none other than Nick Fury himself. Also Iron Man, Mr. Fantastic, and Hank Pym work on fixing Vision months prior to the events of this series (appears to be not long after Avengers Disassembled).

Review

This issue was better than the previous issue, and actually one of the better issues in the series so far, but the series is still not at the level of quality that I hoped it'd be at by now, and with the series being half way through, the remaining half will need to be extraordinarily amazing to make this series an overall success, something that I no longer see happening (but I still hope that it does). I don't know how Brian Michael Bendis has managed to do such a bad job of this series, especially considering he's doing such a good job on All-New X-Men and Guardians of the Galaxy, and although his Avengers run was inconsistent it's sad to see it end on such a catastrophic low. The positives I can say about Bendis' writing in this issue is that he's managed to develop the overall backstory, whilst also slowly developing the future of the story. In saying that as you've probably guessed from my last statement, the progression of the actual story is still going very slowly, and although it appears that the next issue will finally have something exciting it probably wont, as each issue as left me with the feeling that the next one will be when it finally kicks it up a gear, but when the time comes it never does, which is a shame. I did however like how Bendis re-introduced Fury back into the Marvel Universe, as he's been gone too long, but I'll talk about that more later. Overall the writing wasn't bad, but the story is still slow, and I still blame the length of the series for that.

Last issue Bryan Hitch's artwork wasn't quite as good as it's been throughout the series, or in fact as good as it's been in the past period, but this issue (his final issue on the series) his artworks back at the level that I've come to expect from Hitch, and it's truly magnificent, and the best thing about the issue, which is nice considering it's his last piece of art on the series. The detail in his artwork was simply brilliant, and although it still had the very minor imperfections it was much more detailed than his last issue, and you can see that he's put a lot of effort. I've also loved the way Hitch has laid the artwork out throughout his time on the series, as it's truly marvellous, and adds a brilliant dramatic feel to the series, making it feel more alive. The emotion he showed through the characters facial expressions was also brilliant, as you could really tell what they were feeling, especially Wolverine when he was angry, which overall made the story better, and yet again more dramatic. The pieces of art that I loved the most from Hitch on this issue was the gear that Fury had collected in his bunker, as it was brilliant, and there were some real nice retro pieces there.

Read the rest of John McCubin's Review on Comic Vine


My Rating


Cover & Solicit - 3/5
Art, Colors & Inking - 3/5
Layout & Flow - 4/5
Story - 4/5
Verdict - 3.6



Uncanny Avengers #6


The Apocalypse Twins part 1

New regular artist Daniel Acuña joins just in time for Thor vs Apocalypse in the 11th Century! Wait until you see these two titans first meeting and first battle!

The Avengers' ancestors are being hunted and only a young Thor can save his future companions!

And with Rama Tut and Kang pulling the strings, you know nothing good can come from any of it.

The future begins in the past! This is it! The future of the all-new, all-different Uncanny Avengers begins here and the effects will reverberate across the Marvel Universe for years to come!

Preview



Thor vs. Apocalypse


Overall I really enjoyed this, and although it had a slightly poor start, overall it's been a good series, and seems to be getting better and better with each issue. Also with the new story continuing from where Rick Remender left of with The Dark Angel Saga I'm sure that this will be amazing.

Plot

A younger Thor is bested by Apocalypse, and longs for revenge.

Review

This was a brilliant issue, and the series defiantly seems to be heading in the right direction. In saying that the last issue was very good, and it itself showed plenty of promise for the future of the series, but due to the lack of proper development, and excitement it made it slightly bellow the quality of this issue, whereas this issue gives us a brilliant insight in to the next story, as well as a very interesting story, and some brilliant, and exciting action, which is amazing. I had high hopes when I heard that Rick Remender would be working on this series as I loved his work on Uncanny X-Force, but due to the first story being poor at points, along with the varied shipping schedules, I just couldn't get into this series, but with the last two issues I can, and the fact that he's continuing from a story he started in Uncanny X-Force has me all the more excited. What I loved most about Remender's writing in this issue was how he handled the dialogue, especially in conjunction with the fight sequences, as it really added more drama, and made the story flow smoother. I also liked how he used elements from the last issue, and the addition of the Apocalypse Twins in the last issue more relevant, and although it'll be even more relevant during the next issue, it was still nice to see the connection in this issue.

The art from Daniel Acuña was simply magnificent, and although I've loved both John Cassaday, and Olivier Coipel's art on this series, as well as the fact I enjoy Cassaday, and Coipel's art more in the long run, on this particular series I feel that Acuña's art has out shined them, as it's both beautiful, and majestic, something that you don't get too often in comics. I've always like Acuña's art, but there were certain times on series like Uncanny X-Men when it just didn't suit the tone of the story, or certain character's, whereas in this issue it did both, which I really liked. The detail in Acuña's art was also brilliant, as even when the character's were in the distance he'd draw them in a way were they'd look realistic which I was very happy with, as some artists simply draw an outline, which I find disappointing. I also loved the way he laid everything out, as it gave the right tone for the issue, as well as adding ton's of drama, also making the fight sequences more intense. He also did a fabulous job with the facial expressions, as it showed the character's expressions perfectly, as you could easily tell whether Thor was smug, angry, or happy, as well as if other characters were similar, which also made the issue more dramatic, and life like. Another thing I've always liked about Acuña's art is that he does his own inks, and colours, which I personally think makes his art stand out over others, especially the colours, as it gives a nice shine, making the art look even more beautiful, and I'm happy that he'll be working on the series on a permanent basis.

Read the rest of John McCubin's Review on Comic Vine


My Rating


Cover & Solicit - 4/5
Art, Colors & Inking - 4/5
Layout & Flow - 5/5
Story - 4/5
Verdict - 4.1


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John McCubbin is a blogger at http://imaginationcentre.blogspot.co.uk/ and a comic book reviewer at Comic Vine. The use of this review has been authorized by the original author.
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