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Superman: Earth One

superman_earth_oneWritten by:
J. Michael Straczynski

Illustrated by:
Shane Davis

Reviewed by:
Tyrone Burns

In 2010, DC took on the challenge of giving their heroes fresh origin stories. They created a new comic book universe that does not connect with any prior continuum and thus would allow each chosen writer a chance to flex their creative muscles in bringing famous characters to life for the modernised reader.

This series would be called Earth One and DC decided that to get the ball rolling, they would start with a tale every comic book fan knows, The tale of Superman.

DC were not throwing any punches. The writer they got to script the story was none other than award winning J. Michael Straczynski. supermanearthonemugging

Straczynski has a tried and true writing history. His name is attached to television series like “Twilight Zone” and “Murder She Wrote”, but he may be best known for his classic 90’s sci-fi series “Babylon 5”.

He wrote the screenplay for the Wachowki’s “Ninja Assassin” and Clint Eastwood’s Academy Award nominated movie “Changling”.

So by getting Straczynski on board, DC was reassuring their readers that they were taking this seriously and wanted to get it right. Straczynski once stated in an interview that one of his skills is to re-examine the tropes of whatever genre he is working on.

So how do you change a character’s origin that is so affirmed in everyone’s subconscious?

Well now, you would use Superman: Earth One as a guideline!

The main flow of Superman’s origin remains the same: Kal-El was sent to Earth as a baby by his parents on the dying planet of Krypton. On Earth, Kal-El was found and raised in Smallville by country bumpkins Jonathan and Martha Kent. As a young adult (now legally named) Clark Kent, he decided to independently move to Metropolis where opportunities are more likely to arise that would earn him enough of a living to provide for his now widow mother Martha.

His first time dressed in his skin tight suit is also played out as you would expect: A group of aliens aware of Kal-El’s survival from Krypton go to Earth on the mission to kill him, a man they feel deserved to have died with the rest of krypton.p13_15-copy

It’s in the little things though that change things up, instead of someone like fellow Kryptonian Zod coming to kill Kal-El, it’s someone else named Tyrell who looks like a cross between a David Bowie character and WWE’s Goldust. His look and origin fits well into the Superman mythos, he is a somewhat familiar but refreshing villain that goes on to motivate Clark Kent to become Superman.

The familiar cast is all here with Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen taking a fair bit of spotlight in the second half of this tale. Straczynski is able to give new complexities to these characters that end up fitting beautifully. Jimmy, when asked why he puts himself in danger for just a photo replies ‘no, it’s not for the photograph, it’s for the truth!’ It’s lines like this that really give new found respect to these characters. We are in an age now where news and media often either exaggerate a story for views or lie completely. So characters like Lois and Jimmy may not have been as respected today as they once were. So hearing that line really gives a nuance to these characters we know so well. 1939367-1597989_superman_earth_one_space_super

It also showed the Daily Planet in a realistic light. Their firm stance to only print the truth has left them at the bottom of the food chain. It’s that promise though that makes Clark want to work with them.

Speaking of which, even fairly early in the story we see how resourceful Clark Kent really is. He literally has every job at his beck and call including working with some of the most intelligent scientists in the world. The fact he is so easily able to get these types of work isn’t just a testament to his physical strength but his mental strength as well. Clark is shown to be perhaps one of the smartest minds on earth and yet we see where his heart truly lies. Which isn’t money or fame. It’s keeping the world safe and keeping the world honest. From Clark’s point of view, the Daily Planet is best able to spread that ‘truth’ to the world.

Becoming his alter ego Clark Kent is probably for me the weakest part of this comic book at least in terms of the art style. Instead of looking nerdy and shy, Clark honestly looks very strange and almost a little creepy. It sadly threw me off from the reason as to why he decides to mask himself from the world.

That’s not to say the art overall is not beautiful. It’s amazing, truly! Obviously DC were not planning on making Superman: Earth One a series, so the money spent on Shane Davis to make all his pictures shine is clearly apparent. Everything is exceptionally detailed and expressed. From superman’s angry red glowing eyes to buildings in metropolis crumbling under its own weight, it’s all done just how it should be. I wish all comic books were drawn like this.4842264-earthonesuperman

Often when people ask “what Superman comic book should I get” it’s replied with “Red Son, All-Star Superman or the Death of Superman” and while all of those are wonderful choices, I would recommend Superman: Earth One. Sure it may be similar to what they have already read or seen, but because it’s done a little different in all the right places it does make it special enough for a first time Superman purchase.

 

Belushi: On a mission from God review

6194brbhmllWritten by:
Alberto Schiavone

Illustrated by:
Matteo Manera

Reviewed by:
Tyrone Burns

John Belushi is known to many as an American Icon. Dying at the young age of thirty three, John had one of the most respected comedic portfolios in Hollywood. Not only was he one of the original members of SNL (Saturday Night Live) he also went on to star in the cult classic Animal House and soon after he became everyone’s favourite ‘Soul Man’ in The Blues Brothers.

Alberto Schiavone does a wonderful job of telling the story of a man never without talent and yet always without happiness. For all of John’s skills, he was not deprived of personal demons and though we may never truly understand what they were, this telling of John’s life by Schiavone does a good job of not hiding the elephant in the room… that is, his life battle with drug consumption.

Sure, this comic book may not show John Belushi fan’s things they haven’t seen before, but it does a fantastic job of expressing (what seems) all the important pieces of Johns life in a small bite size story.

One aspect that may throw many people off from buying this is the art style. I’m sure to some it is just heavily stylised. However, it sometimes becomes unnecessarily difficult to understand what is happening on the page. It’s unsure whether this was happening because of the strong art style or just bad drawing on the part of Manera.img_4536-2

Some panels are well brought to life though, like the famous scene from Animal House where John gives the camera a cunning smirk while he stares at his college class mate getting changed. People like Dan Aykroyd are drawn beautifully but ironically it’s John Belushi himself that is drawn poorly to the point I couldn’t work out which person on the page was him.

Even with the non consistent quality of art, I still found this a worthy read and one that many should pick up for themselves.

John’s career work is full of moments that would make anybody laugh, but his personal life was anything but jolly. Often times instead of working or attending important meetings, he would be at a bar drinking or somewhere else snorting cocaine.

It’s clear he did highly value things in his life, like his wife Judy who even herself could never understand John’s lack of happiness. The most positive this book describes John is when he befriends Aykroyd. The both of them quickly form a bond of friendship and thus the Blues Brothers dynamic was born. Though Johns personal battles would continue and get worse, it is clear John held great value in many things, just never himself.img_4538

This biography of John makes you wonder how someone like him would get on today. With mental illness being understood and respected on such greater levels, the obvious question is; would he still be around if he had the help we have now? Would he of accepted it?

These are the questions that were left with me and I’m sure you will be left with your own, but one thing is clear, John Belushi had a beautiful mind most likely not compatible with the type of world the 70’s offered and yet his work (as short as it was) will be remembered for a long time.

Belushi: On a mission from God may not be perfect but neither was John. Instead it’s in the imperfections that lay a beauty and that’s why I give this comic book a thumbs up!

The Greenlight Webcomic S2EP03 – GRAND OPENING

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Star Wars: Chewbacca

star_wars_chewbacca_trade_paperback_coverWritten by:
Gerry Duggan

Illustrated by:
Phil Noto

Reviewed by:
Tyrone Burns

When I first heard they were doing a Chewbacca Comic Book, I was joyfully surprised. I assumed Han would get a solo comic before Chewbacca, but with his ‘solo’ movie coming in a few years, Marvel have chosen to give his best friend Chewy a comic book all of his own.

The story is this: Chewy crash lands on the planet Andelm IV while on his way to a secret personal mission. Here he meets “Zarro”, a young girl who wants nothing more than to free herself and her father from working the mines as slaves. The two quickly become friends and Chewy puts his personal mission on hold to rescue Zarro and her father from their evil master.

What quickly becomes impressive with Zarro is how strong she is. She is definitely no pushover. Zarro maintains a strength and a mental drive long gone from her father. While he is no more comfortable with being a slave, his strength to resist is a thing of the past, his main concern now is surviving each day at a time with his daughter. nekr8anjgggxnp_1_1

The main antagonist of this story is the slave trader/gangster “Jaum”. In a way he is just a two bit thug who happens to be in control of a group of slaves, but never does his presence encourage fear in the heart of the reader. He is just a slave trader out for one thing: money, and it might of been an intentional act by writer Gerry to just have him maintain that single mindset and goal but I can’t help wishing he was written a little bit more engaging or ominous.

It was amusing seeing how Chewy interacts with different characters in the comic, especially Zarro. Though only ever hearing from Chewy different versions of “Whhhrrrrurrraaagh”, Zarro would always just assume Chewy was agreeing with her and ready to go along with her plans. The art by Noto is appropriate here as we see what each character is thinking even when they are not saying anything at all. I loved some of the expressions Zarro would pull. Some times it was excitement, fear, determination or all of the above. 1475166813090894001

It really is the perfect story for Chewy. It’s mostly light with cuteness throughout. One of my favorite drawings within has Chewy laying back on bed of flowers. It sums up what some may see in him. On the outside he is this 7 foot hairy monster with super strength but on the inside he is all flowers of loyalty and love.

Having him team up with a young girl only exemplifies that.

The last thing I want to touch on is what we see of Chewy’s backstory. Though only hinted at, (probably because of the future film on Han Solo) we see that what ever he had been through has sadly left him with some PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) and even the simple act of climbing down a hole in the ground is made difficult for him.chewbacca-003-003

But it’s in these moments we see his true strength. It isn’t from his long hairy arms but from his big heart.

Though the story isn’t, I would say for young children, it’s theme is light and positive. It’s story is exactly what any fan of Chewbacca could want and even if your fairly new to Star Wars, the story here is self contained and doesn’t really rely on any prior movie knowledge.

As Chewy would say whrraaaauuurraaghh which I translate as “pick this comic up, it’s awesome!”

 

 

 

 

Star Wars: Lando

star_wars_lando_tpb_final_coverWritten by:
Charles Soule

Illustrated by:
Alex Maleev

Reviewed by:
Tyrone Burns

Lando is a five issue Star Wars story focusing mainly on board a special stolen Imperial ship.

Lando, as to be expected has got himself in a pickle. He owes powerful people money and the only way to pay off them is to steal from other powerful people.

I came away from this story surprisingly impressed. Though straightforward, in its simplicity lied an opportunity for character growth and exploration.

What we already know of Lando’s character does not change in this story. He is the charming gambler who bets his life in hope of a better one. So in this adventure, it’s really the secondary characters that shine and bring a complexity to the story.lando1_4jpg

Lobot may well have become a fan favourite after this comic book was released. If you have seen “TESB” (The Empire Strikes Back) then you may remember him. He was the bald man with the head implants covering his ears who seemed to be a faithful companion of Lando’s. He was also a key factor to the heroes escaping off Cloud city. Our impression in the movie is that he is just a humanoid robot with a loyalty to Lando, however, in this comic book we see there is much more to his character.

In many ways Lobot is Lando’s conscience. Always weary of the questionable choices he seems to make on the fly. He is Lando’s business parter and plays a vital part in helping him learn who he really is and to accept an unselfish path of good.lando1_1jpg

Lando is tasked with stealing a ship from the Empire. What at first seems like an easy job is made complicated when it is revealed who the ship belongs to.

To make sure there are no complications, Lando and Lobot bring along a three person crew. Two of which become extremely interesting characters. Aleksin and Pavol, highly trained fighters rivaling the best guards in the Empire. They seem to be two male characters in love with each other which is a Star Wars comic book first (if I am not mistaken.) They are made more interesting by their attire. Both of them literally look like Marvel’s Black Panther or a tribal member of Wakanda. It’s a look I’ve not seen before in Star Wars but I was much in favor of it.lan-02-02-630x470

The last character I want to talk about is Chanath Cha. I won’t reveal much as to who this is but wow!, Chanath is awesome! It literally felt like I was reading about a Marvel Avenger in a Star Wars story. Chanath kicks butt;  fly’s and even has a striking cape. I hope to see more of this character as, if I’m honest, they were my favorite part of the story.

What I am enjoying so far about Marvel’s Star Wars comic book’s is that they are more than just stories taking existing characters from A to B. Rather, the stories are designed to show us who they are and why they are the way they are in the movies. Lando is a two-bit gambler for sure. But deeper, he is just someone wanting to leave a mark before he dies and that is why Marvel’s Lando the comic book is a really good read.do2

The art by Alex Maleev is well presented. Lando looks just like the Billy Dee Williams we know and love. The only complaint I have is the lack of emotion shown on each character. They all look great but in some way’s they always look static, with a lack of soul or heart.

Sadly, we do not see the game in which Lando lost the Millennium Falcon to Han. Instead however, we gain a deeper look into his motivations and his treasure and that should be reason enough to pick this comic up.

 

 

Star Wars: Darth Vader Vol 01

star_wars_darth_vader_tpbWritten by:
Kieron Gilles

Illustrated by:
Salvador Larroca

Reviewed by:
Tyrone Burns

 If you were not a fan of Darth Vader, “you will be… you will be.”

What a brilliant read this was!

On screen, Darth Vader is intimidating and ominous. A big reason is because of the legendary James Earl Jones. I can’t think of another actor who equally demands your attention and respect with their voice.

 So when picking up a Darth Vader comic, it has to make up for the absence of audio with a story that is both compelling as it is riveting. That is exactly what you get with Darth Vader: Vader.

The comic starts with Vader cowering to the Emperor after a list of events occurred that put the Empire back some big steps. With each problem having Darth Vader as a key component, we know the Emperor is going to have some strong words.potw-vader-1

The conversation sparks doubt in both their minds whether they are one hundred percent loyal to each other in their quest to rule the galaxy.

What follows is Vader going on a personal mission, secret from the Emperor, to find out who the rebel pilot is that destroyed the Death Star and who The Emperor has been commuting with behind his back. All the meanwhile building a personal army again.

We meet quirky “Doctor Aphra” – A rogue Archeologist who finds and fixes weapons for private contractors.

Aphra is in support of the Empire but what writer “Kieron” expresses so well is her humanity. She is not a one dimensional character, but rather an Indiana Jones type, who happens to be on the other side of good. There is literally a scene that is obviously in high tribute to Raiders of the Lost Ark. Currently she has a type of hero worship with Vader and her loyalty for the moment is unquestionable. She is willing to die for Vader but would prefer not to.

Given her specialty, her business with Vader is to help find for him a respectable droid army. Along their travels they are also accompanied by two droids who are literally like the evil doppelgänger’s of R2-D2 and C3PO.darth-vader-2-1

The Protocol Droid’s name is “Triple Zero” (0-0-0.) he is sarcastic, evil but such a joy to read. Where C3PO is a wimp who would rather just live his life in an oil bath, Triple Zero enjoys watching the painful cries of his tortured victims.

“BT-1” is a Blastomech prototype but passes as a Astromech (which is what R2-D2 is.) He is a “shoot first ask questions” later droid who says rather little. But whenever he is on the page, expect explosions and laser fire.

Vader’s little group works so well because it mirrors appropriately the Rebel heroes we all know and love, right down to the two droids.

Throughout the story we see glimpses into Vader’s mind. It’s already clear that Darth Vader isn’t all machine. Deep within his subconscious, his memories as Anakin still linger and surprisingly they are having an effect on how Vader is handling the events around him.

He reminds me of famous pirate Blackbeard who became one of the most feared pirates of all time. He knew how to use his brutal reputation to his advantage while often avoiding confrontation all together. He used fear and spectacle to intimidate his enemies and achieve what he wanted. Often times his enemies would surrender without there being a fight.vader1b

Salvador’s art is so impressive! Darth Vader’s outfit consists of the colour black… black and black, but he still intimidated the heck out of me while reading. It must be a number of factors; the lighting, the shades, the prospective. All of it together made every scene with Vader intense and thrilling.

One scene in particular has Darth Vader remembering a moment with Padmè. It was an emotional memory and after all we see is a large panel showing an up close shot of a Vader’s mask. It works wonders as it paints the perfect picture of what Vader want the world to see, not of a man in doubt or confusion but a relentless symbol of fear and order.

The ending involving the Emperor was visually impressive but if I am honest, it wasn’t the ending I was looking for. However, this is only Volume 1. There are so many new factors presented within that make up for the lacklustre conclusion. I can’t wait to learn what will become of Doctor Aphra!

Overall the comic was a joy to read! I luckily have Volume 2 right next to me to get into which is what I will do right now.

Star Wars: Princess Leia

star_wars_princess_leia_1_coverWritten by:
Mark Waid

 Illustrated by:
Terry Dodson

 Reviewed by:
Tyrone Burns

The Star Wars original trilogy should be praised for having a strong female leader in a time of Hollywood where such a thing was almost unheard of.

However, we have come along way since then and the freedom in how a woman’s strength is shown has greatly expanded.

This five-issue volume has a contained story that though small, offers the best look at Leia’s personality and mental drive (in the existing cannon.)

The story starts literally straight after A New Hope.  The award ceremony over the destruction of the Death-Star has ended and sadly the Rebels rest is short lived. They need to start preparing to look for a new base of operations, since Yavin is obviously a bigger target than ever for the Empire.

Some of the Rebel’s feel bitter towards Princess Leia, calling her the “Ice Princess” for her visual lack of empathy towards the loss of Alderaan (her’s and many rebel’s home world.) We see that Leia isn’t a person who uses grief to feel sorry for themselves, but rather uses it to fuel them into action. But considering the massive bounty price on her head, she has been refused by one of the Rebels big honcho’s “General Dodonna” to go out and help look for a new base.leia4

After personally hearing a few Rebel’s murmur behind her back regarding Alderaan’s destruction, Leia realised what she must do.

Going against General Dodonna’s orders, Leia goes on a personal mission- to find and protect the last Alderaanians throughout the galaxy before the Empire pick them off, thus reaffirming her position as Princess of Alderaan.

With her is “Chief Advisor Evaan”, a loyal soldier and fellow Alderaanian. At first she is the biggest doubter of Leia’s love for their planet, so their time together makes for some interesting and sometimes comedic moments where the two are trying to hold back their initial distaste for each other.princess-leia-2-page-004

It was refreshing to see multidimensional characters among the Rebels. Loyal as many of them are, some are doubtful of the direction their leaders are taking. This was something hardly touched on in the movies, so it was a treat to witness it here.

However, this is a story about Leia. About her leadership, her loyalty and especially her humanity.

There is a cute flashback to Leia as a child, learning the ways of a good queen and how important it is to eat your vegetables or in this case “Ruica”. The art here is beautiful as we see through the pictures that Leia “even as a child” isn’t someone who wants to be a stereotypical queen who sits on a throne all her life listening to problems from the people. She wants to be in the thick of the action, helping with her own hands, rather than ordering someone else to use theirs.

starwars-leia01The extent Leia goes to rescue her people from the clutches of the Empire is admirable. We meet Alderaanian’s who are paranoid doubters and even some who are betrayers and yet her loyalty to her people never faults. Leia has a code she has set for herself and she will do everything and anything so she never has to break it. She is still so young and yet we see her power as a leader. Leia is able to persuade the most doubtful of Rebels to lay down their arms and follow her.

This is exactly what any Leia fan would want out of her story:  adventure, strength, love, action, humor; it has it all.

You have to give it to Mark Waid and Terry Dodson, they are excellent together. They both understand what the other wants and therefore the final product is master-class.

If your a fan of Princess Leia or if you felt she was a little to one dimensional in the movies then pick this up. You won’t be disappointed!

Star Wars Volume 1: Skywalker Strikes review

 

Written by:stk677493
Jason Aaron

Illustrated by:
John Cassaday

Reviewed by:
Tyrone Burns

When describing this comic, I feel like the old grandpa in “The Princess Bride” expressing the book to his grandson. While asked if the book “The Princess Bride” has any sports, the Grandpa replies: “are you kidding? Fencing, fighting, torture, revenge, giants, monsters, chases, escapes, True Love, miracles…. ”

The first volume of Marvel’s Star Wars has all that too.  Doesn’t sound too bad does it?

Set between the events of “A New Hope” and ” The Empire Strikes Back”, volume one’s story is split into two halves. The first is an undercover mission led by a group of Rebels on a Correlian industrial cluster called Cymoon 1. Their objective  is to destroy one of the biggest weapons factory’s in the galaxy. The second half swaps action for adventure. Luke while soul-searching is also on a quest for clues Obi-Wan may have left him in his quest to become a Jedi.

With the covert mission, it starts with a welcome surprise. Han Solo reveals himself to the Empire unit in charge of the weapons factory. He is pretending to be part of a envoy still working for Jabba the Hutt. This checks out as no one other than the Rebels would know that Han had a part in bringing down the Death Star. The Empire has planned a meeting with Han to ‘negotiate’ terms involving weapon materials in exchange for pay. However, the real reason for the Rebels presence is to destroy the factory’s energy core and thus destroying one of the biggest weapon supplies used by the Empire.
star-wars-skywalker

Along for the ride with Han is the whole gang. Luke, Leia, Chewbacca, C3PO and R2D2. The comic does a wonderful job of giving each of them purpose and a notable presence. Its impressive how just in this first volume, each member is given good page time.

What we start to see even early on is character growth. There are moments where Han and Leia’s famous love/hate relationship is on clear display. Where (like the movies) they go from dismissing each others skills and talents to then fearing for the others life. Each drawing perfectly reflects the contradiction of emotions the both of them are feeling. It works fantastic because “The Empire Strikes Back” is so etched into our brains that everything in it makes sense because our mind tells us it must. Perfect example is how Han and Leia’s romance was barely touched on in “A New Hope.’ Yet at the beginning of “The Empire Strikes Back” they already seem to have strong feelings for each other (even if they were not ready to admit it). So now because of this comic book, there is more context to their eventual romance.
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It’s not just Han and Leia’s relationship that is given more colour. Vader learns that the boy who destroyed the Death Star is none other than a Skywalker. You have to give this comic some credit. It’s just volume 1 and yet it’s clear Marvel are not holding anything back. Being the big Star Wars fan that I am, I can’t express how much of a relief that is.

A lot more could be said about the first half, but I want to leave you with some surprises.

What makes the second half of “Skywalker Strikes” so intriguing is seeing how Luke’s coping with the death of Ben.

Luke currently lacks any real Jedi skill, so he starts to question why Ben would die for him. Surely Ben would have left something for him, something that could help Luke continue his training. It’s here Luke goes on a mission to look for what ever it is Obi-Wan would of wanted him to find. Of course, things do not go smoothly on this journey and a fan favorite character ends up appearing whose story coincidentally interlaces with Luke’s mission. Without giving away the character’s name, bringing this player in shows what the comic is doing great. It’s bringing more life into the Star Wars universe! Especially on characters that many of us would have loved to seen more of in the movies.
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I never read Dark Horse’s Star Wars run. So unlike some, I have nothing to compare this to. Even so, I still think this was marvelous. The fear is that with Star Wars movies coming out every year, the comic series would be afraid to delve deep into existing stories just in case they bring out a movie that contradicts the comic. But it looks like Marvel is smarter than I give them credit for and that’s awesome.

Remember, everything now is cannon. Do you want to see characters you have grown to love in more fun, exciting stories that are just as cannon as the movies themselves? Check out Star Wars Volume 1: Skywalker Strikes

The Totally Awesome Hulk Volume 1: Cho Time review

Written by4926848-hulk2015001_dc11-0
Greg Pak

llustrated by
Frank Cho and Mike Choi

Reviewed by
Tyrone Burns

The quickest distinction between Amadeus’s Hulk and Bruce’s Hulk is the mindset. Where Banner’s Hulk is mainly an aggressive weapon that needs to be aimed, Cho’s Hulk for the most part is just a larger representation of Amadeus himself; albeit a funny, relaxed and cocky Hulk.

For those who know me, I am “a little bit” of a Hulk fan. I have heaps of Hulk merchandise from a sideshow statue to some awesomely cuddly Hulk plush toys. So when I saw that they took Bruce out of the Hulk equation and replaced him with Amadeus, I was a little skeptical, but also excited.
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For the uninitiated, Amadeus isn’t a new character. He has been in and out of Marvel for the last 30 something years. Though his character never reached the popularity of other Marvel heroes, he is known for something pretty special. According to the Pym-Von Doom raw calc scale, Amadeus is ranked 8th smartest person on earth.

Now where most of Marvel’s geniuses intellect is often only shown on scribbly giant white boards or in metal suits, Cho’s intelligence is displayed often over the years in his ability to quickly think of every solution to a problem in just a fraction of the time it would take us dumdum’s to think of one. This has enabled Amadeus to get out of some rough situations in Marvel’s history. So when I saw that it would be him that would become the Hulk it seemed rather fitting, as Bruce has also one of the smartest minds on earth. However, that is where the similarities between the two stop.

The first volume of The Totally Awesome Hulk tells a simple story that involves Lady Hellbender hell bent (cough) on acquiring the strongest being from earth to become her mighty prize. Naturally then, the Hulk is brought into the equation. Being a fairly generic story offers Greg Pak the opportunity to flesh out the “New Hulk”. We see the Hulk in situations we could never imagine before. Like quipping, not just quipping but flirting, not just flirting but accidentally flirting while naked. Obviously then, this comic is a lighter read for us Hulk fans. But the funnier/lighter tale does not make it bad. No, in fact this is one of the best Hulk reads I’ve had in a long time and it’s Amadeus’s quirky personality that really does it for me.
totally-awesome-hulk-1-preview-3

Helping him along the way is She-Hulk, Miles Morales’s Spider-man and Amadeus’s own sister Madame Currie “Maddy” Cho who so happens to be a genius herself. The interplay between Maddy and Amadeus is fantastic and is a big factor to making the comic so enjoyable to read. She is doing everything she can in helping her brother be the best Hulk he can be, meanwhile Amadeus is finding it hard taking things seriously. Their chemistry seems genuine and you really get the idea they mean everything to each other, which makes sense considering they are each other’s only family.

The new Hulk isn’t one dimensional though, as each issue in the Volume concludes, we see there is something looming in the Hulk’s subconscious, something darker and full of rage. Things become clearer as eventually we see more and more into the back story on how Amadeus gains the power of the Hulk and the current status of Bruce. I won’t spoil anything here but I will say that while the origin of the new Hulk makes sense, I wish it was told a little bit more extensively. It’s only ever teased throughout the volume and though we do get some closure towards the end, it just felt a little short on detail.
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It’s possible that many of the audiences current negative view on origin stories is hitting the writers and they themselves are looking for less generic means of introducing new characters.

I am a huge fan of the art here, especially Frank Cho’s portion. Say what you will about the man, his art is exceptional! The new Hulk looks fun and chilled while still remaining the look of ‘incredible’. Being that Amadeus Cho is Korean, I was nervous that Frank would overdo it on the whole Asian stereotype and thankfully, I came away relieved. Each panel is beautifully drawn.

I loved the humor in The Totally Awesome Hulk and the art brought everything up to 11.

If you have found Hulk in the past to be a little one dimensional, or if you’re like me and have been a Hulk fan for years, pick this comic up. It guarantees a good time!

The Greenlight Webcomic S2EP02 – ABN

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