The Good, the Not-so good, and the UGH: Reviews The Incredible Hulks #621, Secret Avengers #9 and more!

The books I picked up this week are The Incredible Hulks #621, Secret Avengers #9, Star Wars: Darth Vader and the Lost Command #1, The Grim Ghost #0, and Phoenix #0.

THE GOOD

The Incredible Hulks #621– Team Hulk is recovering from the events of “Chaos War.” (Spoilers present if you are reading Chaos War and have not read issue #5) Apparently, Hercules for a moment had the power to restart Mount Olympus as an island in the Long Island Sound. Bruce approaches Hercules to ask him to repair the mental, psychical and psychological damage caused by the Chaos War. Hercules can’t because he gave up the power to restore Earth and Olympus. Banner (as the Hulk) battles Gods and Titans to approach Zeus with the request. I sense a big fight coming. Another great issue by Greg Pak and company. I won’t mention the backup story. I didn’t care for it.

Star Wars: Darth Vader and the Lost Command #1– This is a miniseries that takes place after Revenge of the Sith. Vader is order to find a missing Star Destroyer commanded by Admiral Garoche Tarkin, the son of Grand Moff Tarkin (not sure who he is? He’s the Peter Cushing character in Star Wars: A New Hope). Tarkin doesn’t trust Vader after his last mission was a failure, so he sends Captain Shale to accompany him. Shale is a friend/competitor of Tarkin during their academy days. This is an interesting Vader. He has not yet earn the reputation and the fear/respect within the Empire, much less the galaxy. Not familiar with Haden Blackman’s writing, but this is a nice start. Wish I could say the same for Rick Leonardi. I remember enjoying his art from the New Mutants, X-Men, and a couple of others. I did not this time. I don’t know if it’s Daniel Green’s inking or what, but I didn’t enjoy the art.

THE NOT-SO GOOD

Secret Avengers #9 – For the first time in my reviews, I have placed this book in this category. Most of the time I don’t have too much of a problem with retcons, but this pushed it BIG time. The mystery of John Steele is revealed, and I don’t buy it. Steele is indestructible, and possibly immortal. He fought in WWI and was an ally of Captain America in WWII. He led Professor Erskine to develop the super-soldier serum that created Captain America. ANYWAY, the Shadow Council and Secret Avengers do a trade – Shang Chi for Sharon Carter. Expecting a trap, Rogers planned his own. I won’t spoil the ending, but it ain’t over yet. Why? Because story arcs can no longer be three or four issues. The stories have to be five issues at least. I’m sorry, if you read this blog, you know I am a big Ed Brubaker fan, but these days the big two companies want to stretch out stories to make more money, not tell great stories. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.

THE UGH
None

OTHER

Joel Simka at Comic Book Craze gave me a chance to get these books. He knows I liked the Atlas titles from the 1970s and figured I would want them.

The Grim Ghost #0 – A man who has no memory, is walking around not being heard by anybody (guess what he is – you’re right!) He runs into a man named Jonathan who is helping someone else (crossing over). The guy with no memory helps move the body much to the surprise from Jonathan. Jonathan urges them to leave but it was too late. A demon named Braddock and his gang show up and kill Jonathan. They start questioning the guy who starts to remember pieces of his life and his name…Michael. The Grim Ghost shows up, kills most of the gang, and reveals to Michael what I knew early on…that he’s dead. This was OK, but I hope it gets better.

Phoenix #0 – Wall street guy Ed Taylor returns to his hometown and looks up his best friend Max. Ed finds out that Max is dating his old girlfriend Alexis. Just then a series of lightning bolts strike and the people of the town disappear. Ed wakes up to find that they are all dressed in strange uniforms and periodically, a person is taken away. Literally, the floor swallows him or her up. The next to go is Alexis and she is experimented on. She dies from the experiments. After a couple of others disappear, Ed goes. He dies from the experimentation as well. However, he comes back to life. The aliens decide to make him comfortable…before they kill him again. Great start!

I’m excited about the return of Atlas comics. The Fellowship Live will do a special episode devoted to Atlas comics on Feb 28th. Just in time for Grim Ghost #1, Phoenix #1, and Wulf #1 to be released that Wednesday!

Don’t forget – the Fellowship Live goes weekly starting Monday February 7 @ 7:00pm CST! Please join us!

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