Everything is awesome…
Deptford Goth - UNION
"I belong with everyone. Everyone I’ve ever known is here with me."
Bon Iver - Beth/Rest (live @Npr, piano solo)
- I found this a few weeks ago and keep finding myself drawn back. I always had trouble with the 80s sound of the album version (although it did grow on me over time) but this song, stripped back to Justin Vernon and a piano, is just lovely.
Marvel’s Mightiest Heroes - Who’s Mightiest?
This week I picked up the first edition of Marvel’s Mightiest Heroes, a new fortnightly graphic novel collection that collects some of the greatest stories from Marvel’s most popular superheroes. We begin with the Avengers.
The regular price will be £9.99, but the series has kicked off at a special price of just £1.99 - an absolute bargain when you consider what you get for your money. Two full stories from classic and modern era Avengers, along with extensive background information have been bound into a high quality hardback that looks and feels just lovely.
They’ve included a fold out with more info on the characters, the series and its authors on one side, and a poster on the other that includes pretty much every hero to join the Avengers roster over the years.
The two stories seem to have been carefully chosen to tie in closely to the themes of the current Marvel Cinematic Universe, making them especially interesting to new fans who have come to these characters through the recent films. In “The Coming of The Avengers” we discover the Avengers origins, banding together to battle the trickster god Loki who has come to Earth to cause mayhem and chaos - a storyline that will sound familiar to anyone who saw 2012’s Avengers Assemble (so, pretty much everyone).
In “Ultron Unlimited”, the Avengers clash with mechanical super villain Ultron and his legion of robotic clones - excellent homework for anyone planning on seeing 2015’s Avengers: Age of Ultron (so, pretty much everyone).
The quality of the printing is especially nice - the colours pop off the page, especially in the case of “The Coming of The Avengers”, which has been digitally recoloured from its original 1963 run. I actually have this same story in an Avengers omnibus and it’s just so much more of a pleasure to read it like this.
For less than two quid, this book is an absolute steal… now I’m just worried that they’ve got me hooked and I’ll have to pick up the rest! The collection would look pretty great on my shelf when complete, after all.
You can vote for your favourite Marvel hero at MightiestCollection.com for a chance to win the entire set. Which, of course, I did. And for me, there was no question. It had to be The Hulk.
The Hulk is a force of nature. Although he’s technically an alter ego of scientist Bruce Banner, he’s an entirely different character with a separate personality, unlike most superheroes who deliberately build their alter egos to hide their true identity. Because of this, the Hulk is unencumbered by the complexities of politics or personal relationships that cause problems for most superheroes. He dumps all of that in Bruce’s lap, and this allows him to get on with the job of simply smashing things up.
The Hulk is arguably the strongest and most resilient of all the Marvel superheroes - I certainly can’t think of any other earth-born hero from the 50 on the list with the combination of strength (literally limitless, depending on his anger levels), endurance (he has survived nuclear explosions and planet destroying weapons) and movement (he can jump into space and breath underwater). His only real weakness is the psychotic level of rage that fuels him, making him irrational and uncooperative. But when you really need a heavy hitter, there’s noone better.
The Hulk has featured in three movies since the turn of the millennium; Hulk (2003), The Incredible Hulk (2008) and Avengers Assemble (2012). Although the 2003 film received a lukewarm reception, I personally enjoyed Ang Lee’s effort to bring the character to the big screen. There were plenty of examples of just how strong the Hulk is, and I thought use of the comic book frames to transition between scenes was particularly cool. I actually rate it higher than the 2008 film by Louis Letterier, which was was generally better received, and counts as the Hulk’s official introduction into the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
However, we had to wait ‘til 2012, and Mark Ruffalo’s turn as the Hulk in Joss Whedon’s Avenger’s Assemble, for us to see on screen what really makes him awesome. I think Tony Stark summed it up quite nicely…
It’s no surprise that a lot of people watched Avengers Assemble and fell in love with the Hulk. Having been as feared throughout the film as Loki and his Chitauri army, he is instrumental in the Avengers finally defeating them, causing about as much damage to their enemies as the rest of the team put together. The Hulk is also the one who gets to finally take down Loki, cutting him off mid-speech and getting one of the movie’s biggest laughs in the process.
So, I’m firmly in the camp of the Not-So-Jolly Green Giant. Here’s hoping my vote at MightiestCollection.com pays off and I win the full set so I can enjoy lots more of the Hulk’s adventures in the same fantastic quality as this month’s edition.