The Sunday Pages #92

31st January 2010 | by | No Comments

This week: Reviews of Dark Reign: Hawkeye #5, Fall of the Hulks: Red Hulk #1, New Avengers #61 and Superman: Secret Origin #4!

Review: Dark Reign: Hawkeye #5
Diggle’s take on Bullseye (and his pseudo-heroic stint as Hawkeye) was probably the best of all the Dark Reign minis – so it was pretty galling to learn that the conclusion was going to be postponed as long as it was. Of course, I thought that the series’ initial promise had already been somewhat squandered by making the main villain a previous nemesis of Bullseye – so it’s almost a surprise that this issue pulls it back around and gives an enjoyable action-movie ending to the story, in a way that gives the whole series a believable emotional core. If I’m being honest, it’s not the book I was hoping for, and the publishing gap really killed the momentum – but when the trade comes out, it’ll still be worth a look if you’ve been waiting. [JHu]

Review: Fall of the Hulks: Red Hulk #1
Ah, finally. The answer to the question we’ve all been waiting for: where did that Cosmic Hulk robot come from in Incredible Hulk #606. What? You thought it’d be something else? This appears to exist solely to fill in that continuity gap, and to be honest, it’s pretty damning that even Jeff Parker, a writer about as unlike Loeb as it’s possible to be, can’t squeeze any interesting material out of the Red Hulk. Probably, that’s because we STILL don’t know who the character is, and this all his thoughts and feelings are completely meaningless. This issue also brings back “A-Bomb”, if only to try and give us something worth reading about. Also, a final tip: When your limited series is called “Red Hulk”, it really confuses matters to put nothing but a picture of the Green Hulk on the cover. I mean, really? [JHu]

Review: New Avengers #61
After an underwhelming initial issue of the Siege main series, the first part of its New Avengers tie-in is rendered rather more engaging by having Brian Bendis playing to his strengths. It’s become a cliché to remark on the writer’s instinctive grasp of Peter Parker, but here he also builds on the outcome of Ed Brubaker’s recent Captain America event to provide plenty of the introspective character drama that made his name. With the story kept closer to street-level, where Bendis’s pseudo-politic intrigue works best, the smaller scale and a more fluid status quo result in an issue that outshines the writer’s more high-profile activities in reshaping the Marvel Universe. Not even the combination of two pencilers can spoil the fun. [JHa]

Review: Superman: Secret Origin #4
Helped largely by the continuing excellence of Gary Frank’s art, this remains a fairly strong book – but at the same time, there’s a strangely hollow feeling to some of it. And it’s still more “Superman: The Early Days” than an actual origin story – we’ve still had, for example (and despite the cover image) barely anything of Krypton, and I find myself wondering just how important creating a new origin for the Parasite (or indeed having him around full stop) is to the “origin” of Superman. It’s also disappointing to see certain classic elements, such as the Lois-Superman interview, left out entirely (particularly given the increased prominence given to a generally quite good interpretation of Lois). Still, on the other hand, it is just quite nice – given the current state of the Super-books – to have a Superman comic kicking around that is (a) actually about Superman being Superman and (b) quite “classic” in tone and style. And it’s undeniably a very pretty piece of work. [SP]