Sunday, April 12, 2009

The X-Axis - 12 April 2009

See below for Exiles #1, and check out the podcast for discussion of that book, Flash: Rebirth #1 and Warlord #1. I'll do Wolverine: Weapon X #1 tomorrow. And that leaves... not much, actually.

All-New Savage She-Hulk #1 - Fred Van Lente and Peter Vale with a miniseries about... well, not the usual She-Hulk, although she does show up at the end. It's actually a book about Lyra, the daughter of the Hulk and Thundra from a one-shot you've probably never heard of. Thundra, if you don't know, is one of those thumpingly crass 1970s takes on feminism, where women and men live apart in a dystopian future, and woman are mighty warrior types. It's absolutely stupid, and the basic joke here is to play it straight, in a world where the surviving men are living in a forest and dressing as Wolverine to express their proud manly traditions. Whether the joke can sustain a whole miniseries, I have my doubts - Thundra is one of those characters who works in very small doses, every five years or so - but as a piece of absurd camp, it does raise a laugh.

Irredeemable #1 - I was going to review this last week, but didn't get around to it. It's by Mark Waid and Peter Krause, and the basic premise is "What if Superman was driven mad by everyone sniping at him?" Our Superman stand-in is the Plutonian, and unlike the real one, he doesn't take criticism very well. It's a fair enough twist on the original idea, although at this stage we've really just got a Superman who's turned psychotic, and it remains to be seen whether Waid can pull off the idea of him being driven nuts by an unappreciative world. So I don't quite share the breathless enthusiasm of Grant Morrison's afterword, which rather seems to suggest that this is supposed to be some sort of parable about the importance of being nicer to Mark Waid on the Internet. Let's hope there's more to it than that. A perfectly decent first issue, but too early to tell whether it works on any deeper level than "Superman went nuts and tried to kill everyone."

Ultimate Wolverine vs Hulk #4 - The origin of Ultimate She-Hulk, and I have to admit that it's a nice piece of misdirection. Lindelof spends the better part of an issue on scientist Jennifer Walters trying to solve the problems with the Hulk serum, only for Betty to actually take it. And since he was using Betty prominently, it's not really cheating - just exploiting the audience's preconceptions to swerve them. Of course, this sort of game-playing is all well and good. But is there anything more to the book? Not really - but it does have a gleeful absurdity about it which is somewhat likeable, such as the Hulked-up lab rats. Don't much care for Leinil Yu's take on She-Hulk, but for the most part the book is amiably harmless nonsense.

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