Jack Kirby

Thor: Tales of Asgard 1 (July 2009)

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Stan Lee writes these stories with such enthusiasm, it’s hard not to get involved with them… even when there are glaring continuity errors (Lee has Heimdall taking the assignment of guarding the Rainbow Bridge after Thor’s come of age, when just a few stories earlier, young Thor is on the bridge with an already assigned Heimdall).

The first couple stories feature Odin, which is a bit of a problem, since he’s all powerful and isn’t much fun to watch. His fight with Surtur, however, is fun to see. Kirby’s art’s strongest in that story. Maybe because the outfits aren’t so silly yet.

The young Thor stories, those featuring Loki, are annoying, as Thor is constantly duped by his evil brother. That infinite gullibility is one of the things, I think, I didn’t like about the character as a kid (and therefore, didn’t read much Thor).

Again, Lee makes it work.

CREDITS

Tales of Asgard; inker, George Roussos. Odin Battles Ymir, King of the Ice Giants; inker, Don Heck. Surtur the Fire Demon!; inker, George Roussos. The Storm Giants; inker, Paul Reiman. The Invasion of Asgard!; inker, Roussos.“Death” Comes to Thor!; inker, Reinman. Thor’s Mission to Mirmir!; inker, Chic Stone. Heimdall, Guardian of the Mystic Rainbow Bridge!; inker, Heck. Writer, Stan Lee; penciller, Jack Kirby; colorist, Matt Milla; letterer, Art Simek; editor, Mark D. Beazley; publisher, Marvel Comics.

Planet Hulk (2010, Sam Liu)

I think the only reason I liked this one is because it’s incredibly harsh (no pun). Not only do they have one character–while thirteen years old–killing her parents (after they’re turned into zombies) on screen, she then kills her little brother, now a zombie too (off screen), and later having a little kid die in her arms after a nuclear explosion. It’s horrifying.

Planet Hulk runs about seventy minutes (you know, so the producers can sell it to kids television and make three easily installments) and those scenes I mentioned above hit around the fifty minute mark. Maybe five minutes sooner. Well, maybe even more for the flashback, but they aren’t in the first arc. It basically doesn’t have a first act, instead it just starts (it’s adapted from a comic book and they leave off the first arc near as I can tell).

It’s low-grade and ugly. I guess Marvel teamed with Lionsgate to produce animated movies on the cheap–the no-name cast (apparently Canadian) doesn’t help. The worst performance is probably Rick D. Wasserman as the Hulk. They should have gotten Lou Ferrigno. The best are Kevin Michael Richardson and Sam Vincent.

It’s a big dumb sci-fi movie. At its worst, it reminds of a Star Wars prequel (the comic book source character, removed from that medium, really don’t make a difference here); at its best, it provides for a decent diversion. The writing’s nearly strong at times.

Terrible opening though, just awful.

1/4

CREDITS

Directed by Sam Liu; screenplay by Greg Johnson, based on a story by Johnson, Craig Kyle and Joshua Fine and on the Marvel comic book by Greg Pak and Carlo Pagulayan and the Marvel comic book character created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby; edited by George Rizkallah; music by Guy Michelmore; produced by Frank Paur; released by Lionsgate.

Starring Rick D. Wasserman (Hulk), Lisa Ann Beley (Caiera), Mark Hildreth (Red King), Liam O’Brien (Hiroim), Kevin Michael Richardson (Korg), Samuel Vincent (Miek), Advah Soudack (Elloe Kaifi), Michael Kopsa (Lavin Skee), Paul Dobson (Beta Ray Bill) and Marc Worden (Iron Man).


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