Caught My Eye: Blade #10, New Avengers #31, World War Hulk

Blade vs. Spidey, Round 1, Fight!
Marvel Comics

Blade #10

First off, we have BLADE #10. Blade has been a great series from the very beginning. It’s written by Marc Guggenheim of the Civil War issues of Wolverine as well as the latest writer on Flash. The art is drawn by long-time comic legend Howard Chaykin.

I’d like to start out by saying that this series is the first comic I read the Wednesday it comes out. That’s not because I’m some hard-core Blade fan, but simply because it’s just that good. I have very limited knowledge of Blade outside of the three movies and short-lived television show. That being said, I had no trouble getting into this series from the first issue.

Guggenheim has an interesting way of telling the story in each comic of this series. With few exceptions, each comic is a done-in-one story that is self-contained but has over-arcing elements that give the long-time reader something to look forward to in the next issue. One of the most impressive aspects is that you get three timelines in each issue: where the story begins, a glimpse of his long past that has relevance now, and where the story ends. This might sound like it would be hard to follow, but I assure you it is not.

The art took a little getting used to, but I ended up really liking it. I half expected a cool, sleek look like what you see in the movies and on the cover, but got a more old-school style. While it’s not bad, it takes a few issues for Chaykin to get into the flow of things.

So why am I reviewing a series that’s about to come to an end in just two issues? Well, the answer is simple: It is simply a great comic. It doesn’t take itself too seriously, but at the same time it gives you a fairly dark story. It’s just a fun book that’s hard to beat. If you were on the fence about this title or just want to check out something fun, this is your comic. The first half of the series is either out in TPB or will be soon.

The New Avengers #31

Electra, getting killed, again
Marvel Comics

Next up, we have The New Avengers by Brian Michael Bendis and Leinil Yu.

The post-Civil War New Avengers team is somewhat like the classic TV show A-Team. They’re fugitives from the law trying to do the right thing. This team comprises Luke Cage, Iron Fist, Spider-Man, Spider-Woman, Ronin and Doctor Strange. They’re following the path that Captain America started in Civil War by fighting crime and answering to no one. Their main goal and purpose is to figure out why the world is so screwed up and who is responsible for making heroes the villains in the grand scheme of things.

Bendis has gotten a much-needed charge from Civil War, and this title is excelling because of it. No other comic can match witty banter between Spider-Man and Ronin. I’m not sure if it’s because he writes Ultimate Spider-Man and is used to the character or what. All I know is I like it. On a downside, this is the third issue taking place in basically the same spot. I would have thought they’d have defeated those damn ninjas by now.

Yu is an interesting choice for New Avengers because he captures the grit of these characters, but at the same time it seems a little excessive. The art looks like it needs to be cleaned up with an eraser or something, but he does a brilliant job of delivering the high action and filling the pages chock full of ninjas.

I normally wouldn’t review a book in the middle of an arc, but this issue has an important revelation at the end that we’ve been promised will roll into next year’s big Marvel event. What is that revelation exactly? Mums the word from me – go read it yourself! Besides, this issue will probably be worth something this time next year and you can’t say I didn’t warn you sooner.

World War Hulk

Hulk get mad, Hulk break stuff
Marvel Comics

Finally, we have this year’s mega blockbuster World War Hulk. That pretty much sums up everything you needed to know right there.

Greg Pak just finished an epic arc on the main Hulk series, where he was shipped off to a far-away planet by four members of the Illuminati: Tony Stark, Reed Richards, Doctor Strange and Black Bolt. Needless to say, things don’t go as planned and the Hulk is pissed off beyond belief. He has a serious mad on for those heroes and wants to make them suffer.

This series promises big action and it sure seems like it’s on the right path. I’m not a huge Hulk fan, but everything you need to know is explained in this issue. The reader is given a good background as to what events occurred leading up to this point. So don’t fret – if you haven’t read those dozen or so Planet Hulk issues, you don’t have to worry about selling off your first-born for them to know.

The price for the first issue is $3.99. While that is a little more than most comics these days, you definitely get your money’s worth. The story was great, the art was great, everything was great. If you longed for summer events to bash and smash and just deliver a high-energy fun romp, then this one is for you.