Mind Capsules – New Avengers #6 and The Totally Awesome Hulk #3

New Avengers #6
New Avengers #6

Writer – Al Ewing
Artist – Gerardo Sandoval, Phil Noto, Mark Bagley
Inker – Scott Hanna
Colours – Dono Sanchez Almara, Phil Noto
Letters – VC’s Joe Caramagna

Al Ewing continues to please with stories that are short but sweet without wasting your time in any way while delivering drama, action and a little humour as well. So here in the sixth issue of the latest book to bear the moniker New Avengers, Moridun/The Demiurge has been revealed thanks to the Avengers of 20XX. They are a familiar bunch of heroes led by a Captain America with Iron Mariner, Collapsar, Marvel Woman and King Hulk rounding the team out. King Hulk is in fact the future version of Teddy/Hulkling, simply much older and it pains him to see Billy/Wiccan/The Demiurge the way he is. King Hulk knows that he must put a stop to Billy however possible and through no means but Billy’s own will, the real Billy burrowed deep down inside, he exorcises Moridun after which he is squashed like the bug that he is. While Ewing might set a breakneck pace, it keeps the book fresh and unlike many Marvel titles that are simply written for the trade, this one feels like it is being written for the reader. Long epic stories are great, but so are nice short ones you can enjoy in one or two sittings without waiting months for the resolution. At its heart, this particular story was all about Billy and Teddy, yet despite that, most of the Avengers had a moment or two in the book to their own and there were a lot of Avengers present if you include those from the future. That other team of Avengers were most interesting, especially considering how some of them were similar, yet different in many ways like the Iron Mariner who is Atlantean or Collapsar who is like a cross between Ant-Man and Nova. It is a shame that once all was said and done, they all disappeared, assumedly back to their own timeline, but it would make for a very exciting read to see them in their own miniseries or some such at some point. Joining Ewing for this tale is regular series artist Gerardo Sandoval who is doing a great job each and every issue and tagging along with him is Phil Noto for one particular sequence and Mark Bagley for another. Instead of being the mess that it immediately sounds like it will be, it worked perfectly with each scene flowing into the other without any problems. After the Ultimates (also written by Ewing), New Avengers is the best Avengers book on the stands.

4 out of 5

The Totally Awesome Hulk #3
The Totally Awesome Hulk #3

Writer – Greg Pak
Artist – Frank Cho
Colours – Sonia Oback
Letters – VC’s Cory Petit

Lady Hellbender has come to Earth to capture its greatest monster and it just so happens to be Fin Fang Foom, not the Hulk. It seems that ever since Amadeus Cho took over the mantle, he has been holding back whereas Bruce knew how to let go when needed. That of course all changes here, much to the regret of our hero. The best thing to ever happen to the Hulk is having Greg Pak back on the title and while it is not the Hulk that everyone knows and loves, this reinvention has been a lot of fun thus far. One thing that we do not know is the final fate of Bruce Banner. Pak is getting to it, slowly but surely, and he is definitely building the suspense up by doing so because every time the story flashes back to the present, you cannot help but feel a small pang of disappointment. So far, Cho makes a great Hulk and a very different Hulk to all that have come before. Cho is carefree and loves all the advantages that being the Hulk has brought him. It has not made him anymore of a hit with the ladies, but that can only change in time, or so he hopes. While Cho is great, his sister Madame Curie, or Maddy, is even better. Like Amadeus, Maddy is uber-smart and now that Amadeus has enlisted her help, she likes to take her job seriously while he, for the most part, does not. It makes for a very enjoyable combination in the book, especially as they are brother and sister and if you factor in that little bit of sibling rivalry, the smile you have while reading this gets just a little bit bigger. As for villains, Lady Hellbender is intriguing if a little one-dimensional. All we know about her is that she likes to hunt giant monsters and that she is pretty good at it. Hopefully a little more characterization is on the way, but in the meantime, enjoying the banter between Amadeus and She-Hulk is enough to keep you going. A surprisingly great book on every level.

4 out of 5

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