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REVIEW: LAST HERO STANDING

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  • drobbins
    Yes, your inestimable reviewer realizes this is, like, way late. But your reviewer has a reason. Note. Reason , not excuse. And yes, your reviewer realizes
    Message 1 of 8 , Nov 2, 2005
      Yes, your inestimable reviewer realizes
      this is, like, way late.

      But your reviewer has a reason.
      Note.
      'Reason', not excuse.
      And yes, your reviewer realizes
      that sages far wiser assert
      they are one and the same,
      but your reviewer digresses.

      Ahem.

      You might recall that when Marvel,
      in their infinite inanity, opted to kill
      off the son of Odin, your reviewer swore
      off any and all Marvel comics except
      for those dealing with, well,
      the Real Deal.

      He had no inkling this mini would
      include Thor. It wasn't until well
      after the fact that he even found
      out Loki was involved, and when he
      investigated, viola.

      More after our friendly Midgardian---

      S

      P

      O

      I

      L

      E

      R

      LAST HERO STANDING
      A five part mini
      Script, plot
      and art:
      DeFalco
      and
      Olliffe.
      And some other nice folks.
      And that danged Q.

      Remember the old WHAT IF?
      Because what we get here is
      basically a WHAT IF stretched
      out over five issues.

      This is pertinent for those of us who
      suffered through the last several years
      of Jurgens' run on the monthly
      THOR. Why? Because initially 'that'
      travesty was intended as a sort of
      WHAT IF mini, but the decision came
      down to turn it into a sustained arc
      in the regular title---in effect killing
      the title, and the Real Deal, off.
      But your reviewer digresses.

      In this WHAT IF, the Watcher
      shows us an alternate future
      time line in which a mysterious
      arch villain is out for revenge.

      That villain, we learn by the third
      issue although the astute among us
      divined the truth by the end of the first,
      is none other than Loki.
      So what is Loki ticked about?

      It seems the old Mischief Maker
      has been steamed for decades
      over the slight blunder on his part
      that resulted in the creation of the
      Avengers.
      To soothe his pique, as it were,
      Loki decides to end the age
      of superheroes on Earth.
      (Something Marvel is doing
      quite well without him.)
      But your reviewer digresses.

      Loki, in league with the trolls,
      sets about abducting all sorts of
      Midgardian heroes---many of whom,
      be it noted, have absolutely nothing
      to do with the Avengers---and then
      stripping them of their moral and ethical
      conscience, in effect making them meaner
      and grittier.
      Think a bevy or Punishers or a gaggle
      of Wolverines and you pretty much
      have the idea.

      Loki then sends the warped heroes
      back to Earth, and it isn't long before
      they are in conflict with the heroes
      Loki hasn't mucked with.
      Why he doesn't muck with all of them,
      thus ensuring victory, only Loki and his
      psychiatrist know.

      In any event, things plod along at a rather
      predictable pace until issue 4, which
      is largely devoted to a mucked-up
      Hulk single-handledly beating the bejesus
      out of every superhero in sight, and having
      a fun time doing it.

      Issue 4 is also notable in that Thor
      is finally made aware of Loki's
      machinations, and vows to foil him.

      Halfway through issue 5, we
      get to the big smackdown.
      As Thor/Hulk tussels go,
      it's neither exceptionally notable,
      nor exceptionally lame.
      It demonstrates, yet again,
      that the Hulk is ultimately
      no match for the God of Thunder.
      In fact, at one point Thor is about to
      blast the Hulk out of existence,
      but spares him.

      In the end, Thor not only defeats the Hulk,
      he also defeats Loki.

      And then Thor does something 'really'
      remarkable.
      What?
      You'll have to read the mini.

      Quibbles:
      Quite a few.
      A lot of characters are introduced and then
      go nowhere. Plot threads are not fully developed.
      The dialogue is, at times, borderline
      infantile. But hey, this is TD, who gave
      us some pretty sweet THOR and some
      godawful THOR, so it's nice to see
      he's being consistent and still bowling strikes
      and gutters, both.

      Bright Spots:
      There's an interesting subplot
      involving Captain America
      that ends in stellar fashion.

      Thor is the Uncle Walt version,
      in full battle armor.

      Thor godhandles the Hulk
      rather sweetly.

      Mjolnir gets to do more
      than just bust heads.

      On the Mjoly Meter we'll
      accord this one a 6 out of 10.
      Yes, it's a fun read, but it's not
      one you are apt to remember
      for the rest of your born days.
      And the art is rather plebian.

      Still, if you can snag the issues,
      treat yourself.

      :)
      David
    • Lundonj
      ... Well, we the loyal readers of all things Thor...forgive you. Just this once. ;-p Actually, this one almost got by me as well, but as a reader of all things
      Message 2 of 8 , Nov 3, 2005
        --- drobbins <drobbins@...> wrote:
        > Yes, your inestimable reviewer realizes
        > this is, like, way late.

        Well, we the loyal readers of all things
        Thor...forgive you.

        Just this once. ;-p

        Actually, this one almost got by me as well, but as a
        reader of all things Nova, I knew he was in the story
        going in. Only after I saw all the Asgard
        connections, starting with Loki, did I run here to
        inform our lovable Thor Fans here a few months back.

        > He had no inkling this mini would
        > include Thor. It wasn't until well
        > after the fact that he even found
        > out Loki was involved, and when he
        > investigated, viola.

        Ah, you must have missed my ramblings on the series
        then. Not that I was expecially informative, but I
        did suggest it for folks who may have enjoyed the look
        of Thor in his Uncle Walt armor. :-)

        > More after our friendly Midgardian---
        >
        > S
        >
        > P
        >
        > O
        >
        > I
        >
        > L
        >
        > E
        >
        > R
        >
        > LAST HERO STANDING
        > A five part mini
        > Script, plot
        > and art:
        > DeFalco
        > and
        > Olliffe.
        > And some other nice folks.
        > And that danged Q.
        >
        > Remember the old WHAT IF?
        > Because what we get here is
        > basically a WHAT IF stretched
        > out over five issues.

        According to DeFalco, this one was intended more to
        fit somewhere in continuity, but just down the road a
        little bit. Certainly, it is plugged into his M2
        Universe, I'm just going with some of his online
        comments.

        Someday, we should talk up his M2 concept, because I
        think Marvel missed an opportunity there.

        > This is pertinent for those of us who
        > suffered through the last several years
        > of Jurgens' run on the monthly
        > THOR. Why? Because initially 'that'
        > travesty was intended as a sort of
        > WHAT IF mini, but the decision came
        > down to turn it into a sustained arc
        > in the regular title---in effect killing
        > the title, and the Real Deal, off.
        > But your reviewer digresses.

        Yeah, but I kind of like the idea of the last couple
        years of Jurgens run being a long "What if" arc. As
        in, "What if I never read that crappy story, would I
        be better off?"

        > In this WHAT IF, the Watcher
        > shows us an alternate future
        > time line in which a mysterious
        > arch villain is out for revenge.

        Or potential future timeline if you ask Tommy D. Sort
        of like the Guardians of the Galaxy.


        > Issue 4 is also notable in that Thor
        > is finally made aware of Loki's
        > machinations, and vows to foil him.

        Thor was more than a little stiff here. DeFalco
        didn't always write him that way -- not until after
        Masterson became Thunderstrike. For some reason,
        anytime after that, he seemed to write Thor with no
        personality. Like some kind of competition for his
        "better" idea of modern Thor in Thunderstrike? Maybe.


        > In the end, Thor not only defeats the Hulk,
        > he also defeats Loki.

        A walk in the park for the Real Deal...to TD's credit
        on this one.


        >
        > Quibbles:
        > Quite a few.
        > A lot of characters are introduced and then
        > go nowhere. Plot threads are not fully developed.
        > The dialogue is, at times, borderline
        > infantile. But hey, this is TD, who gave
        > us some pretty sweet THOR and some
        > godawful THOR, so it's nice to see
        > he's being consistent and still bowling strikes
        > and gutters, both.

        Several of the jokes seem to be related to his M2 line
        of characters, developed there in A-Next, the
        Fantastic Five, Spider-Girl, etc. This was supposed
        to be a bit more new reader friendly, but it did feel
        a bit bogged down by some of those other characters.

        > Bright Spots:
        > There's an interesting subplot
        > involving Captain America
        > that ends in stellar fashion.

        Yeah, a nice Cap story overall.

        > Thor is the Uncle Walt version,
        > in full battle armor.

        Good stuff.

        > Thor godhandles the Hulk
        > rather sweetly.
        >
        > Mjolnir gets to do more
        > than just bust heads.

        Good and good.

        > On the Mjoly Meter we'll
        > accord this one a 6 out of 10.
        > Yes, it's a fun read, but it's not
        > one you are apt to remember
        > for the rest of your born days.
        > And the art is rather plebian.

        I give it a seven, I like some of that M2 stuff.

        -Don




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      • Lundonj
        All wow, all the time with the arrival of the hardcover AVENGERS: The Ultimate Guide by DK publications. These DK books have been published over several
        Message 3 of 8 , Nov 3, 2005
          All wow, all the time with the arrival of the
          hardcover AVENGERS: The Ultimate Guide by DK
          publications. These DK books have been published over
          several years, the ones with some visibility at about
          any major bookstore covering Hulk, Spider-Man,
          Superman, Batman, and they did a very, very nice DC
          Encyclopedia.

          If you like the handbook guides with tons of art and
          character information, you'll enjoy these books. The
          price point is fair for a hardcover as well, only 25
          bucks. I had been waiting for a Thor edition, but he
          shows up quite a bit in this guide, as he should.

          Several of these books are edited and assembled
          by....Tom DeFalco. So, Tommy D is hanging around the
          industry in more ways than one. I think these books
          are a nice window into the genre, and TD deserves some
          more credit for his effort on these projects.

          Eh, this doesn't mean he gets off the hook for two
          years of no Thor in his own title, but still, this
          stuff is cool.

          The big quibble is...no Thor on the cover. Or the
          back cover. That aside, lots of face time for one of
          the founders. And yes, the Ultimates make a cameo, as
          do the New and Young Avengers.

          Really nice recap of the major players, the miner
          players, and the foes of the team with info from every
          decade. Stan Lee does the intro as well.

          -Don



          __________________________________
          Start your day with Yahoo! - Make it your home page!
          http://www.yahoo.com/r/hs
        • drobbins
          Don said, ... I think it was your rambling that alerted me to the Asgard connection. I then asked the local comic guy to find the issues for me, and he just
          Message 4 of 8 , Nov 3, 2005
            Don said,
            > Ah, you must have missed my ramblings on the series
            > then.

            I think it was your rambling that alerted me to the
            Asgard connection.

            I then asked the local comic guy to find the issues for me,
            and he just turned up the first couple last week.

            > >
            > > S
            > >
            > > P
            > >
            > > O
            > >
            > > I
            > >
            > > L
            > >
            > > E
            > >
            > > R
            > >
            > Someday, we should talk up his M2 concept, because I
            > think Marvel missed an opportunity there.

            Did you read the titles?

            > Yeah, but I kind of like the idea of the last couple
            > years of Jurgens run being a long "What if" arc. As
            > in, "What if I never read that crappy story, would I
            > be better off?"

            LOL

            > Or potential future timeline if you ask Tommy D. Sort
            > of like the Guardians of the Galaxy.

            With the 'fat' Thor?

            > Thor was more than a little stiff here. DeFalco
            > didn't always write him that way -- not until after
            > Masterson became Thunderstrike. For some reason,
            > anytime after that, he seemed to write Thor with no
            > personality. Like some kind of competition for his
            > "better" idea of modern Thor in Thunderstrike? Maybe.

            One gets the impression he was deliberately trying
            to make Thor suck so Thunderstrike would
            shine by comparison.

            > Several of the jokes seem to be related to his M2 line
            > of characters, developed there in A-Next, the
            > Fantastic Five, Spider-Girl, etc. This was supposed
            > to be a bit more new reader friendly, but it did feel
            > a bit bogged down by some of those other characters.

            Yeah, the narrative flow was way off.

            Hmmm.

            Maybe Oeming learned to write
            from TD.

            :)
            WG
          • Lundonj
            ... Well, if my ramblings help just one comic fan out there, then I have done my duty. :-) ... How much longer until he closes up shop? ... I tried out the
            Message 5 of 8 , Nov 4, 2005
              --- drobbins <drobbins@...> wrote:
              > I think it was your rambling that alerted me to the
              > Asgard connection.

              Well, if my ramblings help just one comic fan out
              there, then I have done my duty. :-)

              > I then asked the local comic guy to find the issues
              > for me,
              > and he just turned up the first couple last week.

              How much longer until he closes up shop?

              > > >
              > > > S
              > > >
              > > > P
              > > >
              > > > O
              > > >
              > > > I
              > > >
              > > > L
              > > >
              > > > E
              > > >
              > > > R
              > > >
              > > Someday, we should talk up his M2 concept, because
              > I
              > > think Marvel missed an opportunity there.
              >
              > Did you read the titles?

              I tried out the whole line. I never liked the Wolvy
              daughter angle, but A-Next was probably my favorite.
              It was actually Young Avengers six years before Young
              Avengers. Tom DeFalco was the first to make Scott
              Lang's daughter a hero, he used an Iron Man program
              based on Tony Stark, much like the new Vision
              character in Young Avengers, etc. Except that TD
              utilized Kevin Masterson as the new Thunderstrike, and
              J2, the son of Juggernaut/Cain Marko was a good guy.

              The premise of the line was to bag three cheaper books
              in packs (like they did in the 70's, early 80's) and
              sell them in Wal Marts and big chains. All in a self
              contained future timeline and aimed at...get
              this...YOUNGER readers. DeFalco has had some crazy
              notions in his day (i.e., kidnapping Thor for way, way
              too long), but I can't question his care of the genre
              or comics in general.

              The plan may have worked, but then the Q happened. He
              did spare Spider-Girl twice off the chopping block,
              but he (or someone else above him) crushed the M2 idea
              and the concept of mass distribution for younger
              readers. That's when Q basically said he didn't
              believe in younger readers, that it was an industry
              fallacy. Well, sure, after the industry chased them
              all off with no access to the adult oriented arcs and
              no comics in corner stores.

              Anyway, he is singing a different song these days --
              due primarily to bean counters who are reintroducing
              Marvel characters in various early reader programs.

              > > Or potential future timeline if you ask Tommy D.
              > Sort
              > > of like the Guardians of the Galaxy.
              >
              > With the 'fat' Thor?

              The only stories I ever read with Thor and the GotG
              were cool, i.e., the Korvac stories leading to the
              Avangers Korvac Saga. I guess I missed the one you're
              referencing there.

              > One gets the impression he was deliberately trying
              > to make Thor suck so Thunderstrike would
              > shine by comparison.

              Most likely...which is too bad. I actually think the
              MU was big enough for both T-Strike and Thor IF...and
              only IF DeFalco hadn't made it a competition and
              embraced the idea of the Real Deal being "allowed" to
              exist as well. His argument, to this day, was that
              Thunderstrike was a better character. But I think it
              goes to chicken or the egg. T-Strike couldn't have
              been born without Thor or the powers or the history he
              borrowed from. Ah well, I'm rambling again. :-)

              > Hmmm.
              >
              > Maybe Oeming learned to write
              > from TD.

              Hehe. Oh, I think Oeming has a way to go yet,
              although he has mastered (or Masterson'ed) the art of
              making the Real Deal disappear for a couple years.

              -Don



              __________________________________
              Yahoo! FareChase: Search multiple travel sites in one click.
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            • Hoang Thai
              ... Hey, if you re always this late, I can keep up with reading reviews instead of always avoiding them and wondering what the heck is happening in those
              Message 6 of 8 , Nov 8, 2005
                > Yes, your inestimable reviewer realizes
                > this is, like, way late.

                Hey, if you're always this late, I can keep up with reading reviews
                instead of always avoiding them and wondering what the heck is
                happening in those issues.

                Of course, I do peek a little sometimes. but that's bad me.

                > S
                >
                > P
                >
                > O
                >
                > I
                >
                > L
                >
                > E
                >
                > R
                >
                > LAST HERO STANDING
                > A five part mini
                > Script, plot
                > and art:
                > DeFalco
                > and
                > Olliffe.
                > And some other nice folks.
                > And that danged Q.
                > That villain, we learn by the third
                > issue although the astute among us
                > divined the truth by the end of the first,
                > is none other than Loki.
                > So what is Loki ticked about?
                >
                > It seems the old Mischief Maker
                > has been steamed for decades
                > over the slight blunder on his part
                > that resulted in the creation of the
                > Avengers.
                > To soothe his pique, as it were,
                > Loki decides to end the age
                > of superheroes on Earth.

                my quibble with this though is how many times has Loki tried this and
                failed? He's known for a long-time that he blundered when he let the
                Avengers form. It reminds me of Avengers #400 almost though of course
                this involved a future generation of characters not specifically
                relted to the Avengers.

                > (Something Marvel is doing
                > quite well without him.)

                Rofl. Too true. Too true.

                > But your reviewer digresses.
                >
                > Halfway through issue 5, we
                > get to the big smackdown.
                > As Thor/Hulk tussels go,
                > it's neither exceptionally notable,
                > nor exceptionally lame.
                > It demonstrates, yet again,
                > that the Hulk is ultimately
                > no match for the God of Thunder.
                > In fact, at one point Thor is about to
                > blast the Hulk out of existence,
                > but spares him.

                That was indeed one of my most favourite parts. It wasn't just about
                Thor getting pummelled (okay, it was... maybe) but it was Thor's
                display of power. Truly reflectings his godly nature.

                > Quibbles:
                > Quite a few.
                > A lot of characters are introduced and then
                > go nowhere. Plot threads are not fully developed.
                > The dialogue is, at times, borderline
                > infantile. But hey, this is TD, who gave
                > us some pretty sweet THOR and some
                > godawful THOR, so it's nice to see
                > he's being consistent and still bowling strikes
                > and gutters, both.

                Yeah i agree. It was infantile but I think it has to do with being
                more reader friendly. It's basically focused on Spider-girl a heap and
                trying to build something out of that for S-G sales.

                I think there might have also been a few set-up issues because Hawkeye
                and Wanda go back to active status in the S-G future from
                solicitations I believe. I think it makes for interesting story-
                telling, seeing where and how yesterday's heroes cope in a world that
                has changed around them.

                One last quibble of mine was 'Last Hero Standing' was very deceptive.
                I thought this was going to be about superheroes duking it out against
                one another but it really wasn't. It was just Hulk beats up everyone
                and then Thor saves the day and puts Cap's memory in the stars.
                If it's talked up as a last hero standing affair, then make it one. I
                hate feeling cheated.

                > Bright Spots:
                > There's an interesting subplot
                > involving Captain America
                > that ends in stellar fashion.

                yeah, that was nice.

                > On the Mjoly Meter we'll
                > accord this one a 6 out of 10.
                > Yes, it's a fun read, but it's not
                > one you are apt to remember
                > for the rest of your born days.
                > And the art is rather plebian.

                I gotta be quibbling with you here. Sure not one to remember but I one
                i'm more likely to enjoy then Bloodoath. The only memories Bloodoath
                looks like leaving are tragic ones. I'd say about 7-7.5 out of ten be
                a fairer bet.
              • Lundonj
                ... Sure, Loki has tried a bunch...but he s a bad guy and they never seem to give up. The premise didn t bother me too much, I just wish it would have stayed
                Message 7 of 8 , Nov 8, 2005
                  --- Hoang Thai <flying__blind@...> wrote:
                  > > S
                  > >
                  > > P
                  > >
                  > > O
                  > >
                  > > I
                  > >
                  > > L
                  > >
                  > > E
                  > >
                  > > R
                  > >
                  > my quibble with this though is how many times has
                  > Loki tried this and
                  > failed? He's known for a long-time that he blundered
                  > when he let the
                  > Avengers form. It reminds me of Avengers #400 almost
                  > though of course
                  > this involved a future generation of characters not
                  > specifically
                  > relted to the Avengers.

                  Sure, Loki has tried a bunch...but he's a bad guy and
                  they never seem to give up. The premise didn't bother
                  me too much, I just wish it would have stayed more
                  focused. It was only a mini-series, seems like they
                  didn't have enough time or space to lose focus, but
                  they did. I would agree with some lost potential
                  here.


                  > > In fact, at one point Thor is about to
                  > > blast the Hulk out of existence,
                  > > but spares him.
                  >
                  > That was indeed one of my most favourite parts. It
                  > wasn't just about
                  > Thor getting pummelled (okay, it was... maybe) but
                  > it was Thor's
                  > display of power. Truly reflectings his godly
                  > nature.

                  Which goes to show, DeFalco "gets" Thor, he just
                  preferred his new age T-Strike. :-)

                  Good moment though, I agree.


                  > I gotta be quibbling with you here. Sure not one to
                  > remember but I one
                  > i'm more likely to enjoy then Bloodoath. The only
                  > memories Bloodoath
                  > looks like leaving are tragic ones. I'd say about
                  > 7-7.5 out of ten be
                  > a fairer bet.

                  Too early for me to call between the two mini-series,
                  but this one certainly had some FUN momemts. Fun...too
                  rare these days in most books.

                  -Don



                  __________________________________
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                • drobbins
                  HT said, ... 325,587. LOL ... We laugh. But it s so sad. So very sad. ... Yeah, that would have been a better premise, and they might even have been able to
                  Message 8 of 8 , Nov 9, 2005
                    HT said,
                    >
                    > > S
                    > >
                    > > P
                    > >
                    > > O
                    > >
                    > > I
                    > >
                    > > L
                    > >
                    > > E
                    > >
                    > > R
                    > >
                    > my quibble with this though is how many times has Loki tried this and
                    > failed?

                    325,587.
                    LOL

                    > > (Something Marvel is doing
                    > > quite well without him.)
                    > > Rofl. Too true. Too true.

                    We laugh.
                    But it's so sad.
                    So very sad.

                    >> One last quibble of mine was 'Last Hero Standing' was very deceptive.
                    > I thought this was going to be about superheroes duking it out against
                    > one another

                    Yeah, that would have been a better premise, and they might even
                    have been able to extend the mini a few issues.

                    :)
                    David
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