Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Savage Hulk #3 - Marvel Comics

SAVAGE HULK No. 3, October 2014
Presumably on paper the plot to Issue Three of “Savage Hulk” seemed like a reasonably good idea. Take one of the Marvel Universe’s most popular and powerful telekinetic super-heroines and imbue her with the near limitless strength of one of the comic book industry’s strongest anti-heroes. Certainly such a staggeringly formidable combination of super-powers within one individual provides writer and penciller Alan Davis with the opportunity to illustrate a ‘hulked up’ Marvel Girl towering over a defeated (original) X-Men for the edition’s front cover.

Unfortunately though, once the English author actually starts to explore the creation of such a “jade giantess” and begins to move his storyline forward things frankly start to get very silly and extremely confusing rather quickly. Indeed by the end of this comic book, having lost my way on several occasions with the numerous and seemingly random plot twists and turns, it came as a massive relief that the entire twenty pages are actually nothing more than ‘just a dream’. The entire concept being a simple ploy by The Leader to distract Professor Xavier whilst his robot army ambushes and defeats the X-Men.

In fact, if a regular reader of this title was on an especially tight financial budget, I strongly doubt their enjoyment of entire “The Man Within” story-arc would be in any way impinged if they gave this third and penultimate instalment a miss entirely.

Unfortunately Davis’ artwork for this edition is almost just as much of a mess as the plot, and seems almost rushed as his figures’ facial features appear slightly distorted from the norm. Now this could be due to the artist wanting to hint at the ‘dreamscape’ nature of the adventure, or emphasise the mutant super-heroes strange almost bestial aggressiveness towards their mentor when Jean Grey takes command of the team. But that seems doubtful.

"The ClanDestine" creator's design for the new-look Marvel Girl is also sadly disappointing though arguably fitting bearing in mind the story is attempting to emulate the sexist Late Sixties and Early Seventies. Relieving Lorna Dane of her headgear, as Polaris coos “My headdress looks so much better on you”, Marvel Girl transforms her costume into a bizarre bikini-like assemble with leggings. A move which clearly meets the approval of her eager male team-mates who whoop “Hhhot… with a capital sizzle!” and “I’ve always had a thing for tall women.”

The English artist does however still manage to impress with a series of panels towards the back of the book, which depicts a ‘Professor Hulk’ battling a horde of Marvel characters; both friend and foe. The Rhino, Sandman, Absorbing Man, Abomination, Sub-Mariner and even the Silver Surfer all make brief appearances as a result. But the ‘battle in Bruce Banner’s mind’ is a fleeting one and is quickly replaced by (even) more pages of “supercharged” and “wildly escalating…” explanatory dialogue.
Writer & Penciler: Alan Davis, Inker: Mark Farmer and Colorist: Matt Hollingsworth

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