The first of what will hopefully be a recurring series showcasing the awesomeness that can be found in discount bins. This is what I’ve stumbled upon recently.
Incredible Hercules #122 – I don’t know if I can describe this book any better than Chris Sims did, but I can certainly make it wordier and more boring.
Clayton Henry’s artwork is top-notch. It expresses the action (and facial expressions) without excessive linework. Greg Pak and Fred Van Lente write a story with healthy does of action and humor. Hercules is exuberant and boisterous, and Namor is powerful and pompus. Namora ties them both together quite nicely, in a pleasant guest appearance outside of Agents of Atlas. And speaking of AoA, this issue of Hercules has the greatest first-page recap outside of that book, a modified version of a Sappho poem. I will definitely be looking for more.
The Thing #1 –Matt hasn’t been pushing this on me, but he has been talking about the virtues of this title for quite a while. He was definitely right. Ben Grimm has never been better represented as an everyman and idol to millions (at the same time) than he is right here. The story is fun, accessible, well-drawn, and I will snap up any others I can find.
Marvel Team-Up #104 – It’s a comic with a cover where The Hulk and Ka-Zar are fighting an army of M.O.D.O.K.-controlled dinosaurs. Does it even matter what happens on the inside? It’s a sign of how messed-up the comic industry is that it costs me $4 to get 1/6 of a new story every Wednesday, but I can pick up this piece of deliciousness for 25 cents.
Hercules: Prince of Power TPB – Sure, there are 2 Hercules books here, but it’s just a coincidence. To be honest, I’ve never really gotten the character until recently, when Sims made me want to check out the ongoing (thanks!). However, this one is something I’ve always wanted to read, what with the concept of Hercules in space with Galactus. Still, even as I bought it, I was worried I was making a mistake. I wasn’t.
In order to teach Hercules humility, Zeus banishes him from Olympus…into space! Taking Apollo’s sun-chariot, Hercules encounters strange new worlds and civilizations. And yes, Galactus. Writer/artist Bob Layton does stop us from seeing what would have been the greatest plot point ever in a comic book, but he makes up for it by showing us Galactus without his helmet on.
Wasn’t Helios the sun god? Why doesn’t the chariot burn up everything it touches? How can Hercules and his space horses survive in the cold vacuum of space? You’re obviously taking this too seriously (though the answer to the last one is “because it is the will of Zeus,” obviously).
Kudos to Mr. Layton for creating a modern classic.
Dark Reign: The Hood #1 – I’m intrigued by the concept of Dark Reign, but not enough to spend cover price on the books, so I jumped at the chance to spend a quarter for a Parker book following up an excellent Brian K. Vaughn mini. I did really enjoy the original Hood series, but now that he’s such a big player in the Marvel U., I thought it would have changed his personal life. No, he’s still the Peter Parker of villainy, competent in costume but not master of his domain. This was a great start to the series.
I had a really strong week in the discount bins and found some quality books. It’s a shame that the state of comics books is such that a $4 comic becomes quarter bin fodder in 6 months, but hat’s another post…