Incredible Hulk 1-2:

incredible-hulk-2The Hulk is one of those characters that I rarely wind up reading. But the 2011 series by Jason Aaron featured art from Marc Silvestri. That got my attention. Having the 1990s be part of my formative years, I have a soft spot for his art and checked out the first two issues of Incredible Hulk.

Most of my Hulk reading these days have been of Red Hulk, so I jumped into this not knowing much of what the character has been up to since the World War Hulk story line finished. Apparently Doctor Doom was able to split the Hulk and Bruce Banner into two separate people. And to think we all thought he was a villain.

Hulk has been living pretty happily under the earth’s surface with the Moloids. They have a pretty sweet living arrangement; he protects them and their village from subterranean monsters. They cook the monster for him and treat him like a hero. It’s a win-win situation for everyone. Hulk grows a pretty sweet beard and dresses like a caveman now. It must be hard to find purple pants under the earth’s crust.

This happy living arrangement gets interrupted by Amanda Von Doom (Aaron takes the time to make the “no relation” joke and it is very well played) who is part of a government agency that stops rogue mad scientist types. Apparently since they’ve been separated  Banner has gone nuts, and they need someone to stop him.

While this is going on, Banner has been working on finding a way to recreate the original gamma ray incident that caused him to turn into the monster. He’s pulled one of the worst boyfriend moves ever; he tricked on-again/off-again girlfriend Betty Ross to vacation with him on a nearly deserted island, only because it had been exposed to gamma radiation. Once Betty finds that out, she rightfully becomes jealous, transforms herself into the Red She Hulk and leaps away. This scene was almost comical, as to how little of her swimsuit was left after she changed into her hulk form.

Hulk, Amanda and her forces are en route to the album where we get one of the most ridiculously awesome things I’ve ever seen in comics:  the incredible Hulk fighting mutant sharks! I’m very sure I was smiling the whole time during this part of the story.

Unfortunately, that smile was turned to a frown. Issue #2 ends with Banner getting ready to send a brigade of his own mutant animal pals to attack Subterranea and kill all of Hulk’s Moloid buddies. Sadface.

These two issues were a lot of fun to read, and I’ll be checking out what happens next. Is it because I’m a Silvestri fan? Kinda. Is it because I like books that have giant sharks? Sorta. Fear of what will inevitably happy to the Moloids and wanting to see Hulk get his revenge? Definitely.

 

Arrow Season 1 Episode 4: “An Innocent Man”

arrow-episode-4 “An Innocent Man” was a good episode. Probably a great episode just for the Moira subplot alone, but we’ll talk about that later.

This episode had Oliver as the Green Arrow teaming up with Laurel to get an innocent man off of death row, as he was framed for a crime by one of the businessmen on Oliver’s father’s vengeance list. This accomplishes two things for Oliver: another target can be dealt with and somehow he can start rebuilding his relationship with Laurel, albeit as a vigilante. As this goes on, Laurel’s detective father tells her she shouldn’t get involved with the archer, as he’s just as dangerous and violent as the criminals on the street. And unfortunately for Oliver although he did free the wrongly convicted guy, he did prove Laurel’s dad right about how prone he is to violence. Unfortunately, there’s some grainy video footage of Oliver armed with a quiver that leads to his arrest for allegedly being the vigilante terrorizing the criminals of Starling City.

The episode also dealt with the fallout from the previous episode, as Diggle has recovered and wants nothing to do with Oliver’s archer vigilante-ism. Diggle winds up quitting working for the Queen family as a result, but doesn’t snitch on Oliver. There’s also a bunch of flashbacks in this episode to Ollie’s time on the island, where the Asian man who was protected him forces him to kill animals to survive. These scenes were a little creepy and unsettling.

Throughout the episode, Oliver’s stepfather Walter is investigating some weird financial records in the company. It turns out that his wife Moira (Oliver’s mom) had purchased an aircraft hangar. When Walter goes to investigate it, he finds the wreckage of the sunken Queen family yacht that was assumed to be lost at sea. The ending cuts to Moira on the phone with an unnamed man about how all the business men that are being targeted and wonder if it has anything to do with her deceased husband turning over the list of evil business people to the vigilante.

If this isn’t a cliffhanger ending, then I don’t know what is. Oliver is in jail for being the vigilante and his mother is responsible for the shipwreck that killed his father. And the next episode has Deathstroke in it!

Arrow Season 1 Episode 3: “Lone Gunmen”

arrow-deadshot-episode-3The third episode of Arrow (titled “Lone Gunmen”) brings in the highest-profile non-Green Arrow character into the series to this point. We’re talking about the master assassin Deadshot.

Without his trademark goofy costume, Deadshot is in town and murdering various business people attempting to buy out a company. Things get extra personal for Oliver, as Deadshot has turned his sites on his stepfather Walter. Oliver now has to find a way to work alongside Detective Lance and the rest of the police, in order to not only stop Deadshot but to protect his family as well. Green Arrow stops Deadshot, but along the way his bodyguard Diggle gets shot. This forces him to reveal to Diggle that his disappearances are in fact him going out as the archer vigilante of Starling City.

It was a good episode with a lot of action. But what’s best about this episode is that it’s planting seeds for future issues, and I’m not just talking about Oliver’s reveal to Diggle. There’s a lot of other stuff being sent out. Oliver’s sister Thea seems to be building to some sort of personal crisis, between the drug abuse and legal woes. Their mother is also up to something. But the biggest reveal has to do with Oliver’s ex-girlfriend Laurel an his best friend Tommy–while he was presumed dead, they were hooking up. In short, his best friend was sleeping with his ex. Eep.

And this brings me to something else I wonder about. Tommy is loosely based on Thomas Merlyn, a villain from the Green Arrow comics. I guess it’s only a matter of time before he and Ollie have a falling out. Now that I can’t wait for.