with a shake-up occurring at the highest levels of the NY mob, the Kingpin is taken out (almost), the perpetrators ditto (for real), and Matt is about to be blindsided when his secret ID falls into the hands of those competent protectors of our domestic freedoms, the Federal Bureau of Investigation ...
Brian Michael Bendis/Alex Maleev
now, you'd better be really innocent, because it would be worse if you were really guilty. so, there's a neat moral lesson from Brian, kids: if you can't do the time, then don't do the crime. take it from Sammy Silke. (formerly of the Chicago Ripa family, whose other prominent members include this one and this one).
the Hulk wants an audience with Professior Xavier, who was interestingly absent, when they sent Hulk to outer space. as is with costumed super types, there has to be some fighting first.
after the New X-Men's asses get handed to them, the senior team comes to the rescue. we're tired of waiting for the resumption of the Ultimate Wolverine vs. Hulk series, that we're glad we are treated to this:
now the big question is ...
remember when you used to slap your bald friend upside the head? who wants to put down bets on which state while Chuck end up? Florida? Louisiana? Illinois? Arkansas? Texas, do i hear Texas?
World War Hulk: X-Men #1
Christos N. Gage/Andrea DiVito
well, not so fast ...
Brian Michael Bendis/Alex Maleev
with that Leap-Frog thing still fresh on the readers' minds, they were unprepared for the sledgehammer blow that Bendis hit them with in the beginning of 2002. "Underboss", a six-part tornado that took Daredevil where it is today, at least in tone, with a huge nod to yesterday (hello, Frank Miller), heralded the arrival of Bendis to the mainstream (at least to casual fans). not to mention enabling him to win two Eisner writing awards (plus Continuing Series honors with Alex Maleev the next year.
did i mention the series opens with the Kingpin being stabbed by his underlings, a-la Julius Caesar on the steps of the forum (you mean he wasn't killed by Asterix?)? i actually have a better reference: the death of Admiral Bill Adama in American Me. well, if that doesn't grab your attention, you're either not a comic fan, or dead. i know, we've seen Wilson Fisk 'die' a million times, and what's another one? but it does merit an "oh, shit!", with the way Bendis does his pacing, interspersed with flashbacks. by the way, there is a secret revealed here ... i won't tell you where ... Fisk's middle name is Theodore. that's why out of earshot, his flunkies derisively refer to him as WTF.
i'll see you at the next NYC Comic Con, David (if you're gonna be there). but for now, let me check out the last two threads, starting with "Modestly Endowed Superheroines?" ...
possible wrap-around cover to JLA #13, written by Dwayne McDuffie and drawn by Joe Benitez, after the departure of (sigh) Brad Meltzer.
so who's gonna be still up and about to fight this new 40-odd strong Injustice League, after all the festivities on the horizon?
yep, Dinah just bagged Ollie. how long that's gonna last, your bet is as good as mine.
Brian Michael Bendis, David Mack, Mark Morales, Pond Scum
Jonah: "the X-Men? a menace! if they sue us, give that shyster Murdock a call!"
Robbie: "they already did. and Murdock just turned us down. something about a conflict of interest."
Jonah: "why, that myopic sonofa-!"
Thor vol.2 #58, Iron Man vol.3 #64, Avengers vol.3 #63
Dan Jurgens/Mike Grell/Alan Davis/Robin Riggs/Mark Farmer
this is how the Steve Rogers' death in Civil War could have been prevented, or how to stop World War Hulk. but that's not gonna happen, 'cause some people need to pay mortgages.
quick recap: this story arc revolves around a certain segment of a country's ("Slokovia") population worshipping Thor (who parked Asgard right above Manhattan - i must've missed the NBC special on that one). Slokovia's dictator doesn't condone religious tolerance and whacks the dissenters. Thor hears about it and righteously kicks the Slokovian military's ass. the US, not wanting to agitate Slokovia's bordering country, Latveria (Dr. Doom's little slice of heaven, for those not in the know), wants Iron Man to rein in his fellow Avenger, or else.
now, where's Happy Hogan? i guess Rumiko will make an appearance in the sequel, if the numbers warrant it. i see it makes sense (to the ordinary clueless moviegoers) for Tony to go up against corporate rival Obadiah Stane rather an old Asian geezer with 10 magic rings.
don't blow this, Jon Favreau!
overall, DC does a better job coordinating multi-titled crossover events, but Marvel earns some brownie points this time (yeah, yeah, its just the first month!).
Humbug decapitates a Miek-ling
Heroes for Hire #14, by Zeb Wells, Clay Mann, Terry Pallot
is there some kind of 90's decute-ification revival going on? y'know, fun hero morphs into tough, dark persona (Speedball = Penance; mutant postman = The Collective). to be fair, Humbug was like a Wonder Twin of H4H. now, he's ... badass. but we are now skeptical of the company Hulk keeps.
Bart, as Flash, loses the Speed Force (the thing that powers all Flashes, except Jay Garrick), and proceeded to get a royal beating courtesy of his Rogues' Gallery. but he went out like a hero, buying enough time (with some help from his grandma Iris, wife of the greatest Flash, Barry Allen) for his love Valerie Perez to prevent a Speed Force backlash that would destroy the West Coast (there goes the Oden/Durant sweepstakes - wait, so that's why Kobe was trying to get traded!).
i remember the Daredevil reboot back in 1998 (when i started semi-collecting again back in Orlando) and it was such a big deal because they were getting Kevin Smith to write it. Frank Miller raised the bar so high that the succeeding writers had to make it work (Ann Nocenti) or else (D.G. Chichester's 2nd run, anyone? but i confess to liking "Tree of Knowledge").
that being said, let's take a walk in the park that is Daredevil version 2.0.
Greg Pak/John Romita Jr./Klaus Janson
not even Captain America can talk down that one.
in the Hulk's mind, these puny humans are laughing at him. i mean, even Iron Man's armor is malleable enough to show an evil grin.
and to help Joe Q. Public (and the readers) understand, Hulk also runs his own propaganda tape. kinda like a terrorist.
a terrorist, of course, has to have demands. and if you're the kind of terrorist who can beat up a guy whose whisper can level mountain ranges, your demands merit a lot of attention.
ever since the inception of comics, most of the events (and where the superheroes are) are based in NYC. so, with the Hulk threatening to level Manhattan in 24 hours, speedy mass evacuations need to happen. imagine the sighs of relief in Des Moines or Boise.
and despite the catastrophic threat, New Jersey is still not a preferred destination.
caught unaware, Tony Stark issues his last will and testament and his teary-eyed farewell letter to the public, and goes to eat his broccoli.
i guess these guys will never work at the lab again
and we all know where that's going.
two down, two to go. i can't wait.
did you guys see the checklist? its not as extensive as Civil War was, but 37 issues/tie-ins? not a problem for richie-rich fanboys who still live under their mommy's skirt.
J Michael Straczynski/Gary Frank/Jon Sibal/Juan Barranco/Vicente Cifuentes
being a fan of the Squadron Supreme, a middle-class version of the Justice League, from its formative years thru pinnacle during the Mark Gruenwald years, i eagerly followed its critically-acclaimed reboot (Supreme Power) 4 years ago, courtesy of Babylon 5 creator Straczynski. my respect for Mr. Straczynski more than doubled when, even though his autograph-signing session for last February's NY Comic Con was a ticketed event (which of course, i lost out on), he stayed behind much longer than necessary to accommodate stragglers like me. as a result, all three Supreme Power TPBs i had bear his Hancock.
just to recap, let's have a quick roll call of the (rebooted) team:
1) the return of ... Night Thrasher?!
right. this is why i don't read Wizard or other solicitation publications much. i like being surprised once in a while. that better not be Dwayne Taylor underneath that mask. oh i know ... its Dwyane Wade!!!
New Warriors #1
Kevin Grievoux, Paco Medina, Juan Vlasco