Friday, July 4, 2008

She-Hulk, Punisher, X-Men

*** SPOILERS ***

v3: Time Trials - Good but not great. I've written about it before. I enjoyed chapters 1, 2, and 5 . Chapters 3 and 4 I could have done without.

Chapter 3 - It was the 100th issue and was drawn by 50 different artists. It wasn't a regular issue, even though it was written that way. It was a collage, an homage, but not a single story. I wanted to like it but I just couldn't.

Chapter 4 - A follow up to House of M or some such other gigantic Marvel crossover event from years past. It was not drawn by Juan Bobillo, the regular artist.

Chapter 5 - Jen/She-Hulk brings the Two-Gun Kid with her when she returns to the present. This chapter is all about the TGK trying to fit in. What's cool about it is how it is isn't Jen (but Mallory Book) who sees the solution to TGK's dilemma. It's an interesting character moment, letting one of the supporting characters (instead of the She-Hulk) step forward (metaphorically speaking) and help TGK find his place in the 21st century.

I do plan to pick up the next volume of She-Hulk, which I think is the last one written by Dan Slott.

Punisher War Journal v1: Civil War - I had high hopes for this book and so far they have yet to be met. The first four issues collected in this volume all tie into a Marvel crossover.

Chapter 1 - Not a bad start although it was a little disjointed. I'm guessing that part of the story was told in another book. I like the artwork. The black and white version of chapter 1 (that is also included in this collection) makes it abundantly clear (to me at least) how talented Ariel Olivetti is.

Chapter 2 - This is where I really started to have problems with the book. I really don't like the idea of Frank Castle fighting alongside super-heroes. Frank should not be buddies with Captain America. They may see eye-to-eye on an issue or two but I don't like seeing the Punisher following Cap's lead. Thankfully it doesn't last. Castle returns to his tried and true methods before the issue is over, much to Cap's dismay.

Hopefully things will pick up in chapters 3 and 4.

Uncanny X-Men Omnibus v1 - I'm almost there. I've read 95% of this collection: 38 of 40 issues. Its only taken me 6.5 months to get this far. I didn't care much for the Proteus storyline: X-Men # 125 - 128. I didn't think much of him as a villain. His powers were a little too vague.

X-Men # 129 introduces Kitty Pride. I'm not sure if I ever read it before. I did love the expressions on Peter/Colossus' face as he looks over Logan/Wolverine's shoulder as he is reading first Hustler and then Penthouse; priceless. I think this was also the first appearance of Emma Frost. I still can't get over the fact that she is now a member of the X-Men and Scott/Cyclops' lover. Just two more issues to go and then I'll probably have to wait a couple years or more for v2. Unfortunately the break is right at the beginning of the Dark Phoenix storyline.

Overall this has been a great purchase. I had read parts of this run of issues: # 94 - 131, but never read the whole run. It has given me a greater appreciation for what followed it and where the X-Men were coming from leading up to # 150, which is about where I began collecting the series back in the early 1980s.

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