Thursday, January 2, 2014

Comic Book Report: 'The Twilight Zone,' 'Marvel Knights Hulk' and 'Doc Savage'

"" | | No. 1

WRITER: | ARTIST: Guiu Vilanova

"The Twilight Zone" is one of my favorite classic television shows. The series, 1959 to 1964, was a brilliant, original and creative series that explored the strange, bizarre and darkly ironic stories of a world that looked exactly as ours except for the slightest of pushes toward the strange.

J. MICHAEL STRACZYNSKI wonderfully captures Serling's eerie narration. The story involves a Wall Street thief on the verge of being caught by federal investigators. A mysterious organization offers to change his appearance through a magic pill. His body slowly turns into a different man. He's gotten away from his crimes, but then he sees someone on the news with his face.

The book is terrific. I'm disappointed the story extended past a single issue. One of the best aspects of the original "Twilight Zone" was the stories were self-contained into a single half-hour episode. I would have liked to have seen that with this series. Still, Straczynski's writing is excellent and I am excited for the next issue. So, I guess if you're goal is to sell me comic books, Dynamite Entertainment has succeeded in getting my $4 for at least two months.

" " | | No. 1

WRITER: | ARTISTS: , Nick Filardi

One of my many complaints about Marvel Comics series these days is that every character is in every book. The art of the solo title is nearly completely lost. and WOLVERINE are on every team. The X-MEN and the AVENGERS somehow created a corporate merger. never managed to make a blockbuster HULK movie, but the character stole "The Avengers" movie. The result is the usually uncontrollable monster is slightly more controllable, wearing a sort Iron Man-like armor and fighting on teams as an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. To all of this I say, "Blah."

Thus, "Marvel Knights Hulk" was a nice deviation from the pattern. is lost in Paris. He doesn't remember who he is. A kindly woman helps him. A series big, green monsters hunts him. The chase is on. A showdown in the subway station looms. A secret terrorist conspiracy envelops Banner. Boom.

Writer JOE KEATINGE gives the four-issue limited series a strong debut. The lesson of "The Avengers" movie is less Hulk is more Hulk. I wanted the Hulk to appear and put a pounding on Banner's tormentors, but he does not appear in a single panel of the first issue. The chase and conspiracy keep the story tense and fast. The Piotr Kowalski art is strong and renders Paris so faithfully it makes the setting a lively part of the story. I'm more likely to invest $16 in a four-issue Hulk series than fall into the morass of an ongoing Hulk title interconnected to every other Marvel title. So I'll be back for the second issue.

"" | Dynamite Entertainment | No. 1

WRITER: Chris Roberson | ARTIST: Bilquis Evely

DOC SAVAGE is a character I think I should like. I'm very fond of old adventure stories and the bare-knuckle brawlers that starred in them. Yet each time I've read a modern incarnation of Doc Savage in a comic book, I've been nonplussed. I'm sorry to say the Dynamite Entertainment incarnation of Doc Savage leaves me similarly disengaged. I don't know if I can blame writer CHRIS ROBERSON or artis BILQUIS EVELY. I just don't think Doc Savage is a character I like to read.

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