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Posts tagged “She Hulk

Last Week’s Pulls

A new Star Trek book hit the shelves! The line is just being referred to as “Star Trek”. Not “Star Trek : This new series”, or “Star Trek :That new ship name” and I’m of two minds about that. Usually a title that’s just ‘ol Star Trek refers to TOS or ’09. You know, Kirk and company. This on the other hand is an ensemble book. It’s a team made up of characters from various series and incarnations, including Captian Sisko, Commander Data, Dr. Crusher, Lt. Tom Paris and Mr. Scott. I can see why it might defy catagorization, yet, I almost feel like I’d like some specific identifier for this series.

Sisko is back from the Prophets, and off on a new mission. He’s assembeled a special team aboard an experimental starship and off we go in search of dead gods.

The book itself is okay. I don’t care much for the new uniforms and don’t understand the current need to give each ship it’s own uniform (Perhaps it’s just because it’s an experimental one, like the Protostar on Prodigy, but it’s still a peeve). Not sure how I feel about Sisko’s return (Even if he is my favorite Captain). And I basically just want to slap the Vulcan. He’s a jerk. I’ll hang on for a few issues though. I’m curious to see where they’re going. Comics often get Star Trek right – sometimes even more so than TV.
 
I also picked up issue 3 of The New Champion of Shazam. I could swear I mentioned this book a few months ago – it’s a Mary Marvel book and it’s been fairly well done. Giving her some intresting character and really delving into her. That’s kind of nice to see considering the “naive little princess” routine DC had been doing with her up until the New 52.
Issue 3 starts off with a funny bit on social media.
 
I liked this. I laughed. Not just at the position it puts Mary in, but also at her flustered response. It’s a good point too – what do we call her? We’ve changed Captian Marvel to just…”Shazam”. Well, actually we kind of changed him to no name at all. But then how do we address Mary, who’s always been “Mary marvel” (The worst code name ever….after Kato that is….) Lady Shazam has a nice ring to it….
 
And then book went full She-Hulk.
 
Once again, the fans are the problem. They’re all critics and trolls and I’m just so tired of it. Fandom is Toxic and if you criticize a gender swap (which neither this nor She-Hulk were, and which NO ONE WAS DOING regarding these characters) then you’re the bad guy of the book. Forget it. I’m done with this title. a shame too because the bits with Darla (and especially the Bunny) have been gold.
 
One of the things I like to tell people is that I was a fan of George R. Martian before it was cool. I’ve never gotten into Game of Thrones, but man, I absolutely devour Wild Cards. I had the trade back in the day and I’ve been absolutely loving the series that Marvel has been publishing. (That’s another one, like Shazam, that I swear I’ve mentioned before but don’t see anywhere on the blog!). We’re up to issue four and I feel like I’m getting a different on-the-ground perspective than I do in the old Epic Graphic Novel or the books. We’re walking through the release of the alien virus, the creation of the mutants and heroes and getting reacquainted with some old friends like Doctor Tachyon and Jetboy and the Sleeper. If you’re a fan of this series from the late 80’s early 90’s, it does the property right. If you are intrigued and just looking for a jumping on point, this series is perfect.
 
Speaking of great jumping on points, there a new Guardians of the Galaxy book out. In a lot of ways, the buzz and momentum for the Guardians has basically ground to a halt, in no small part to both the too-long wait and gap between film entries, and also the news that James Gunn has jumped ship from the MCU over to DC. We may have always understood that Guardians of the Galaxy was always meant to be a trilogy and that Gunn would be bowing out after the third film, but still, this announcement definatley knocks the wind out of Marvels sails. So to generate some interest, they’ve started pushing a one shot holiday special on D+, as well as the new ride at the Disney parks and that makes this the perfect time to release a book that helps to draw you in – especially for a new crop of readers/viewers, who wern’t properly around for the MCU’s Phase two when the original film was released.
 
Guardians of the Galaxy : Cosmic Rweind is named after the ride but it’s really more of a getting to know you story focusing on the movie lineup. No tagalongs like Iron Man or Thor or Venom or Kitty Pryde here… just the core team in a generic battle that’s really just an excuse to visit with the crew. We get each character taking turns doing an interview bit schtick while the flashing back and forth to the fight. It’s fun, and it ‘s charming and it’s a great intro to these characters if you’ve only just heard a bit about them and want to check out the larger world.
 
Over in the Punisher #7 we’ve got Frank facing off with Daredevil which is always a good time. Well at least it SHOULD be a good time. And I mean, those parts of the book are. They really are. The big problem with this story is the flashbacks.
 
I first called them out on this way back in issue #3 The writers here (and there’s three of them listed, so I don’t know who’s contributing what)  have decided to rewrite Frank’s backstory – or at least, reinterpret it . It’s not something I like – this attempt ot make Frank more…evil. More bloodthirsty. It’s distasteful to me. That’s not who the Punisher ever was.  It’s certinally not how he started out, and yet, there we have it back in issue three. A portrayal of a young Frank, already a killer. Already a psychopath.
 
That’s not the Frank Castle I know. And this one they are trying to portray in this issue? I don’t know this guy either.
 
When the series began it’s run, everyone was freaking out about the change of the Skull logo and removing Franks guns and how that would ruin the character LOL! I was largely dismissive of that sort of alarmism. This was never going to be a permenant change, so just treat it as a limited series and if you don’t like it, wait for the next relaunch and #1. It was never anything to really be worried about. 
 
This on the other hand, is EXACTLY what we should have been concerned with.
 
When you make it so that Frank was a psycho BEFORE he went to war, BEFORE his family was killed, then you miss the point. The Punisher is a man pushed too far. It’s a theme we still understood in the 70’s an 80’s. You would still see it in things like the Death Wish films. Even the novel – written by a stauch, proud “bleeding heart” liberal, manages to understand and explore it, despite having an opposite philosophy. In 2022 however, we suffer from a modern sensibility, a belief that we’ve evolved past such things and such highly evolved beings could never be corrupted like this unless they were really damaged from the start. Like I said,  they miss the point and misunderstand the character – especially because in modern America, the very though of a character like this is “problematic”. As such, what is being written here is a vandalization of the character, and I fear it just might do permanent damage.

Need a palate cleanser after that? (I sure did) Deadpool is relaunching again with a story that is extremely okay right up until it kicks in to high gear on the very last page. I’ll be casually keeping an eye on  this one for the time being. And then, just because I can’t stay away, I peeked a look over at She-Hulk #7 this week. All I can say is if you just do MORE OF THIS (and less of everything else the title is doing) you’d have a perfect book.
 
 
Also over at Marvel is that ongoing Spider-man series. Look, I’ll admit I’m not sure how I feel about Spidey on a Goblin glider and the whole working for Norman Osborne is just weird. The kinda murky status quo still honks me off, but here’s a real positive I have to grant. Zeb Wells is REALLY leaning into that supporting cast. He’s building up the rest of the background characters from Black Cat to MJ to Betty Brant and Ned Leeds. he’s got all of these resources and he’s using them to make it feel almost like old times. It’s cool to see.
 
Also like old times, is spending just a bit of time leaving the Hobgoblin a mystery, with misdirect on top of misdirect, leading to a fairly shocking cliffhanger at the end of this book that really left me wanting the next issue RIGHT NOW. That’s some talent there, taking a book that alternately interests and frustrates me but keeps me coming back for more. I feel like I’m back in the Ultimate Spider-Man days again.
 
I also dipped my toe back into Damage Control. The book left me REALLY unimpressed with the first issue, but I wonder if I was judging it to harshly. I’m pretty sure I was expecting something different, but either way, It looks like they really hit their stride now with issue #3.
 
The thing is, while the overall story is fine – throwaway and kind of forgettable, it’s the background gags and visual humor that really make this thing pop.
 
 
Things start off with a story about Thor fighting a giant monster in New Jersey, swings over into an insurance fraud plot, and ends with a kaiju and giant guinea pig. It’s exactly the sort of loony stuff I used to enjoy from titles like Ambush Bug or (1990’s)Slapstick. Seriously, go pick up this book.
 
That’s it for this week. I’m encouraged that I’ve got a couple titles that really have me wanting to come back to them next time. Hope you’ll be here too!
 
 

 

 

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Week of 9-22-22

I finally did it! I finally got around to catching up on Stargirl! I’m not sure why I dropped off exactly… I know that Maddie wasn’t really interested in watching it much anymore, but honestly, I thought I Was way further behind than this. There were only four episodes left in the Summer School season, and maybe it’s just because we’re at the climax, but wow, did they deliver.

So, where were we? Eclipse it was free, he’d blasted shiv into oblivion, and was now in the process of haunting each of the JSA members. That’s not too big of a problem, because they’re each dealing with her own baggage. Yolanda still has guilt over killing Brainwave Jr, Beth is watching her parents marriage fall apart, and her only solace is the slight contact she’s managed to get with the original Doctor Midnight. Hourman’s hourglass is broken, and for some reason he’s developing a bond with Solomon Grundy… All of this is fertile ground for Eclipso to work in. Nevertheless, they manage to come together to try and defeat a clip so… And the process, Stargirl is blasted away. It’s pretty shocking, considering how close to the end of the series we are… But we discover that what’s happened is she’s been banished to a shadow realm. a sort of purgatory where Eclipso can toy with her and others, to feed off their negative emotions. It turns out, Shiv is also there… As well as Dr. Midnight. With the help of the shade end guidance from Dr. Midnights goggles, Courtney’s parents managed to rescue them, and heading for the final showdown.

It’s really good, really well done. The characters are rich and complex, and current politics, while sneaking in around the edges, are kept to a minimum… Kind of feels like the good old days.

With that finished, it’s time to move from the summer school season into the Frenemies season. I don’t know if this will be a full 22 episode run or another 13… I have to admit, doing the 13 episode runs has really worked for stalker all. It’s giving them just enough time to do what they need without bogging everything down with filler.

If I have any real complaint about the Frenemies season… It’s that they’re building it as a murder mystery, but the title doesn’t feel congruent with it. Frenemies is a very high school kind of term, well this is leaning heavily into the sort of Agatha Christie murder mystery milieu. On the other hand, it makes sense because the beast storyline is an exploration of whether or not villains can really change… Whether they can truly reform and become allies. This is a very superman take. I pointed this out both and superman and early Supergirl… That part of what they want to do is take the bad guys, find them and fix them… Maybe turn them into friends instead of enemies. Courtney’s cut very much from that same sort of mold… Really trying to embrace shiv and incorporate her into the justice society. Of course sports master and his wife have also moved in right next-door to her, complicating things more than a little bit. Artemis also wants a spot on the GSA… And let’s just say, her mother is quite insistent. Hon

She Hulk on the other hand is a whole different story.

I gotta tell you, it almost feels like a chore watching the show now. Like, I don’t want to give up considering how far into the season we are, and I’ve managed to stick it out this far… But the show is just such a disappointment. This week sees Jen at a wedding, and it really reinforces the whole victim complex that she constantly revels in. Everybody’s mean to her, nobody’s nice except for her… Course the fact that she gets raging drunk and then gets into a fight with a super villain… Well that’s not her fault. Titania hit her first right? Of course back in the B storyline, the assistant and the lawyer from last week are taking over her current case… A “mister immortal“ who can’t die… So he gets married to unsuspecting people, then once he’s gotten what he wants financially or if it just starts to go to Dale, he dies, which terminates the marriage contract, and then comes back to life. It’s one of these stories that you could almost watch them going down a checklist. Seriously, it’s custom made… A “men are bad“ story with room to display a conveniently diverse group of ex-wives… And one ex-husband. Everyone’s different ethnicity, and everyone has a different beef… And it’s just so intentionally politically correct that it knocks you right out of the story. If it had been a group of white haired ladies in their late 50s and 60s, it would actually ring more true and feed into the stereotype they’re going for. I’d also be more convinced if they looked similar. Same race, same general figure. And you can’t make them all black… Because that would just mean Mr. Immortal is a racist. But seriously, most guys have a type… Just look at Hugh Hefner.(sorry, but he’s on my mind because of the trashy podcast Holly and Bridget from the girls next-door are doing). That sort of guy who can get just about anybody he wants is going to go for the same type repeatedly. Doesn’t have to be blonde and busty like Hefner, but skinny, fat, African-American, Latino, men… This is not a natural pattern, and again, it’s smacks of a diversity checklist Rather than organic chemistry, and it’s so jarring that it yanks me right out of the story.

Not there’s really much story here to begin with. She hulk shows up at a wedding, gets to complain about how they don’t want her to be Seahawk at the wedding and take attention away from the bride… She feels like everybody’s being mean to her, Gets into a fight,and then goes home. Seriously, I had a bridesmaid like this. We kicked her out of the wedding party. It is true, that most of the people in this episode are portrayed as jerks and pretty bad folks… The problem is, so is Jen. I don’t like Jen… But I’m supposed to be following her and rooting for her. And that’s kind of the root problem with she hulk in general. She’s just written as such a jerk, and that’s not the Seahawk that I know. It’s a shame too, because I like she hulk. The CGI model looks just fine to me, and I can’t wait to see her team up with the fantastic four. But man, this version is just a drag.

It’s no wonder the show is hemorrhaging viewers, and even though I’m sticking with it for the sheer masochistic duty of it, it’s not one I could recommend. Ugh. Just give me more Stargirl instead.

 



Last couple weeks’s pulls

It’s been a busy few weeks, so I’ve fallen behind on stuff like comics and television, but I finally made it back out to the shop to pick up my pull list,  and a couple of things off the shelf. Nevertheless, my stack was significantly smaller than I would’ve expected.

I’d actually forgotten about the Human Target. It’s been a while since the last issue came out… And seeing this on the shelf made me wonder if I had just missed a few months and the series had wrapped up without me? No. It’s still solicits issue seven at the back, so apparently the title was just paused or late. I’ve got a bone to pick though, with calling this tales of the human target. This is not a human target book. This is a justice league international book. That’s a problem. Not just the branding, but dropping a JLI book into this run, because the thing about justice league international was the book was funny. It was at just the right time, right in the middle of the comics boom, and shortly before the implosion… At a perfect time for an experiment. A perfect time for a silly book that could play with superhero tropes and give us something a little more lighthearted. It worked in that context for a while, but as the market shrink, we would see the pendulum swing back towards adventure and playing it straight with Gran morrison’s JLA.

Human target is not a funny series. And when you drop a group like the JLI into a slightly nihilistic deconstruction, it’s just awful. Justice league international when written as a satire is goofy and silly and fun. But when written as a straight up deconstruction, it makes the heroes look sad and incompetent. It’s just not a fun book.

What’s even more frustrating, is that I was warned. I’ve been enjoying human target, with a quibble here or there, a few decisions I wasn’t big on, but for the most part Tom King has just slightly touched these characters bringing them into visit as side characters in the background.They told me Tom King was up to no good, and I should’ve listened. Because this book right here is no good. I don’t know if it was planned as a bunch of back up stories or a companion piece, maybe something to throw in the back of the tree paper back… Dropping it right here in the middle when you’re already late feels like a misstep. It stops everything dead cold, and quite frankly turns me off enough that I’m not so sure I’m interested in continuing the series. Maybe I’ll just take a peek when it’s over.

Ghost Rider on the other hand continues to be good. It’s an interesting supernatural adventure… And one that’s very much in ghost riders wheelhouse. Out in the wastes we called the devils backbone, there is an annual motorcycle race… At the end of the race, you meet the devil. When you meet him, you can ask a question or a boon or something… And it’s just a cool concept well done. We need more of that. It’s interesting, because you look at some of the faces here, Dr. doom, wolverine, a lot of familiar marvel characters and it makes sense to put them in this context, that’s sort of desperation. It’s almost reminiscent of the secret six story arc about the various villains chasing after what basically amounted to a get out of jail free card, only for hell. I like this. It’s one of the better runs of Ghost Rider I’ve ever seen, and I hope they keep the creep and the quality up.

Over at Iron Man I am again a little confused, because it felt like I missed an issue. No, this is actually going back in time a bit. Before the previous issue where Tony’s captured and fighting for his life, we’ve got a rewind to remind ourselves of his relationship with war machine. That’s gonna be important, because war machine someone coming after him, complete with that black stealth suit that we see painted onto the cover. It’s a set up and a pause and again, I have to note that these sort of stories really do killed him I meant about the title, but at least in this case, it’s done well and stays engaging. Unlike that pause in human target, this issue does a good job of setting up where we’re going next.

And then there’s Batgirls. This title is also in the middle of what feels like a bridge story. We’re kind of done with the last arc, and setting up the next one, which gives us a nice excuse to hang out with the Batgirls for shenanigans. And shenanigans it is. Look, one of things I’m really enjoying here is the character development. You know, I dipped in and out of Cassie‘s Batgirl series back in the day. I was particularly interested in the brief “will they or one day“ with Superboy, and shocked by the whole “getting fired“ storyline. There was good stuff here and there on the cruise ship, things that helped us get to know Cassie, but the entire point of her character is that she doesn’t have any character. She’s basically a blank slate, and it’s harder to develop that and draw it out when you’ve just got her paired up with a mentor like Barbara. Pairing her up with Stephanie, I feel like we see so much more character development here in these nine issues than I’ve seen in the past 10 years with the various appearances in and out of her own series.

There’s also some interesting character development going on over in Spider-Man. We’re starting to see some carryover from the past series, particularly in how they’re handling Norman Osborne. It’s interesting, I’ll definitely give you that. There’s so much here that I like, and yet I’m still not sure if it’s enough to balance out the frustration over what I don’t know. This is one of those titles where I find myself more often than not dipping in and out of i’m not consistent with my reading on this one, simply because without enough information, I just don’t feel committed. The JR JR art isn’t helping me any either, but I’ve looked past that before and the colorists really does help prop him up.

Nevertheless, the writer definately has a handle on Peter’s voice. Spidey is always at his best when the writer gets him and his humor, and I think my single favorite moment in this issue is when the Vulture complains about Spidey telling someone he’s a murderer –

“But aren’t you trying to murder me right now?”

Then there’s She Hulk. Not necessarily a comic, but certainly a comic property. The first episode was OK. I think OK is really the operative word, otherwise some things that I didn’t care for. In particular, don’t let your kids watch the after credit sequence. Dropping that F bomb was a little bit shocking and didn’t make any of us particularly happy. The series has of course gotten the majority of his coverage over Jennifer‘s rant about how she does being angry better than Bruce… I don’t need to cover that here, except to say it was a dumb thing to insert. It’s not compelling, if anything it’s a self-inflicted wound. I can blow it off though, because this Jennifer Walters… She’s not a good person. She’s narcissistic self involved and aspires to victimhood. “She Hulk? That name better not stick. I can’t even exist without being a derivative of the Hulk?“ Well no. You can’t. Because that’s exactly what you are… A derivative of the Hulk. That’s what the character always was! It’s stuff like this it just turns me right off and sours the stuff that actually manages to be funny. I think Mecharandom42 on Youtube put it best – “Stop lecturing me about how bad you have it.” I agree. You office and home are WAY nicer than anything I’ve ever had. It’s just…..*sigh*.

And the funny parts? You’ve already seen all of episode one in commercials basically. It’s not untill we get into part two that we really start to get in to the story, but even then, the pity party continues. Jen is hired by a firm developing a new superhuman division. However, they want her because she’s She-hulk. She walks through the halls, bitter and angry; “I’lll never know if they hired me for my skill or just because I’m She-Hulk!”. No, you do know. You ABSOLUTELY were hired because you’re She-Hulk. And it’s gotten you a massive corner office and high salary. Here I’m just hoping that this is a character arc and that she’s a better person on the other end of this, because right now- she LOOKS like She-Hulk, but the character is still utterly unrecognizable. The Jen Walters I know, doesn’t resent being She-Hulk. Big and green actually gives her confidence and makes her feel beautiful and empowered, not….whatever this is.

Disney/Marvel? In the words of Sam Wilson  – “Do better”.