Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Hunger #1, and Superman/Batman review

Hunger #1 is the first book of the Marvel Universe-spanning event. Hot off the heels of Age of Ultron, it is rooted primarily in the Ultimate Comics universe, though repercussions may be felt on the main Marvel Universe titles as well. Hunger is new reader friendly, so you don't need pick up any previous Ultimate Comics titles to be able to enjoy this read.

Hunger #1 features Rick Jones, who is the Ultimate Comics version of Nova. Rick is told by The Watcher that a universe altering event is on the horizon, and that can mean only one thing: it's time to observe. Rick watches as a hungry Galactus reaches from his universe into theirs, while the Gah Lak Tus swarm (the Ultimate Universe version of Galactus) pays a visit to the eater of worlds. That's when things go from bad to worse.

Hunger #1 is a solid issue from beginning to end, and it's setting up something big for both the main Marvel titles as well as the Ultimate line. It was rumored that the Ultimate line might be coming to a close with Hunger, though that was quickly dismissed by Marvel at San Diego Comic Con this past weekend. Evidently, it's quite the opposite. It was mentioned that Hunger is just the beginning of an incredible upcoming change in the Ultimate Universe, and for that reason, Hunger is one of the must-read Marvel books this summer. 

Fialkov (currently writing The Ultimates) has done a fine job with the characters in Hunger thus far. Hunger has a very "cosmic Marvel" feel, as almost all of it takes place in space and will utilize characters like the Kree and the Chitauri. It fits well into the direction Marvel has been going in with the recent Guardians of the Galaxy ongoing title. Marvel has also announced that there will be no tie-ins for this event. After Hunger concludes, another event called Cataclysm will begin, picking up where Hunger leaves off and dealing with the consequences of Galactus' impact on the Ultimate Universe.

The artwork by Leonard Kirk and Jesus Aburtov is fun, and there are at least a couple double page spreads to enjoy. One of which features the Marvel Universe version of Rick Jones, who has ties to Hulk and Abomination. It's a clear sign of things to come in signaling the potential merging of universes, or at least the adverse effects of the tear in space-time due to the Age of Ultron conclusion.

Hunger seems like a promising miniseries for both the Ultimate Universe as well as the Marvel Universe. As it builds up to Cataclysm, it will be interesting to see which characters become involved and how their stories play out.

Superman/Batman #2 takes everything fun about the first issue and amplifies it tenfold. Fans of the first issue are going to want to pick this one up for sure.

 The first issue pits Batman against Superman, though it raises many more questions than it answers. Why does Superman end up face to face with his parents? Why does Batman unexplainably change costumes during his fight with Superman? What was inhabiting the body of Catwoman? These mysteries have a light shone upon them in issue #2. There is still a lot of mystery and intrigue involved in the story, but Superman/Batman #2 will answer some of these questions. Along with the cryptic nature of the story, we're also presented with some excellent action sequences and interesting interactions between characters.

In this issue, we see a look at a different version of our favorite characters. Batman and Superman have been transported into a familiar, yet completely different version of their world. But by whom and for what reason? Greg Pak has done a great job at weaving an awesome Batman/Superman mystery story with this new ongoing title. You'll certainly want to reread Batman/Superman #1 after enjoying #2. There are quite a few story points that make much more sense after the second issue, and we are also introduced to a few alternate versions of fan-favorite characters.

The art by Jae Lee, who draws the entire issue this time round, is  phenomenal as should be expected. An added bonus to the book is at the end, in the form of extra art pages. It's always nice when publishers feature a look at rare or unseen art, which was also the case in Superman/Batman #1. Combined with the action packed, character driven story and the well written characters, Superman/Batman has so far been a good addition to DC's monthly titles. With the additional content, it's certainly worth the $3.99 price tag wether your a fan of the characters, or just comic books in general.

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