18 September 2012

on hulk, endings & the creep

Hulk # 53-57: "Mayan Rule" (Jeff Parker/ Dale Eaglesham) is the final arc of the Hulk series as presently constituted.  The title is getting a makeover in October, with Red She-Hulk assuming the lead role and numbering from #58 forward.  The final arc featured Red Hulk, A-Bomb, and the two green She-Hulks (seriously, there are a LOT of Hulk-people) teaming up with Alpha Flight to take on some Mayan "Gods" who steal their lifeforce.  There's some cover copy, as you can see, indicating that this is "the end" of Rulk and so on.

But [SPOILER ALERT] it's not.  Rulk doesn't die.  Actually no one dies.  Rulk and company end up defeating the Mayans and restoring everyone to health (at least everyone they like).  And I have to say, there's something really refreshing about that.  The end of Hulk #57 isn't any different from the end of any other arc of the series since Parker took over.  Story ends, good guys hug, the end.  There's part of me, though, that really likes the idea that the end of the series doesn't have to be the end of the character's adventures, though.  Rulk and Machine Man and the LMD that Rulk has a crush on (yup) can just go on having adventures.  As a practical matter I'm sure Rulk will be featured in some other book in a few months - Parker basically makes that clear in the text piece after the story's conclusion - but for this moment, I thought it was a cool way to wrap things up.  I'll miss this series - it was never at the top of my reading list but I don't remember a single bad issue.  Even the Fear Itself stuff was imminently readable.  I like She-Rulk too so it'll be interesting to see where that goes, but Parker really did a terrific job evolving T'Bolt Ross into a credible protagonist.  

A-Bomb seems to be over that whole thing where Ross gut-shot him in a church, too.

The Creep (John Arcudi/ Richard Case) seems to be an interesting new series as well.  This is a Dark Horse book about a PI with acromegaly who is asked by an old flame to look into the suicide of her son.  It hit me at a weird time, because I've also been reading Misery Bay, a novel by Steve Hamilton about a retired PI who gets asked to.. wait for it.. look into the suicide of a U.S. Marshall's son.  Very similar setups, but very different executions - they've both got that Citizen Kane thing going for them where the protagonist pieces together the details of the dead person's life, though, and that hook appeals to me.  Misery Bay quickly takes a left turn into something else entirely - not sure if The Creep will do likewise yet.  Arcudi and Case are also playing with the idea that their erstwhile PI has an unresolved torch for his "client", who has not seen him in 20 years and does not realize he's all gross and stuff.  We'll see where it goes - I've been digging some of these under the radar Dark Horse books lately.  Cf Resident Alien.

Etcetera:

- I did, as promised, get around to reading Avenging Spidey #11.  I dug it but was not terribly enthused about Steve Dillon's art.  Certainly it was a very "talky" script, and I'm not sure that's in Dillon's wheelhouse.  I did enjoy seeing the immediate aftermath of Uncle Ben's rice death, though, as that is something that tends to get glossed over in the Spidey mythos.

- Sometime down the road I'm going to do a longer overview of the Before Watchmen books.  But if you're only reading one of them, read Silk Spectre.  Amanda Conner has seriously made The Leap.  She's always been good but this is a cut above.

- I am, to say the least, not a "shipper", and I tend to be REALLY suspicious of pairings of superheroes who each have their own series.  I kind of bought the whole Superman/ Wonder Woman thing, though.  I have no idea what the two of them would ever talk about or have in common other than "work", but that particular scene?  Yea, I thought it worked. Now if DC will just re-name WW's comic "Superman's Girlfriend Wonder Woman", we can all sit back and watch people's heads explode.

- I don't get what Matt Murdock is so upset about.  Do you know how many times Foggy Nelson has been disbarred from the practice of law?  It's atrocious - pretty sure the only attorney in NY who has been disbarred more often than Foggy is Murdock!  Was there a scene where they officially kicked their other partner ("Blake?") out of the firm?  Did she not get disbarred often enough?

- The new editions of the Knightfall TPBs, which were supposedly comprehensive, do not include Knightquest: The Search.  Don't you think the issues where Bruce Wayne's back gets healed is kind of important to that story?  Maybe a bit moreso than, say, the entire Prodigal storyline, which was included?  Weird, DC.  Weird.

1 comment:

dl316bh said...

I'm kind of okay with the whole "magical back healing" thing being left out. It makes it easier for me to pretend Bruce Wayne came back from it through sheer perseverance and will. Aside from, you know, magic. How much better would the overall story have been had that been how Bruce came back?

I've always loved Knightfall in spite of its flaws, but the magic back healing is a part I hated above all else.