Current Reviews


Heroes for Hire #13

Posted: Monday, September 17, 2007
By: Shawn Hill


Writer: Zeb Wells
Artist(s): Clay Mann, Terry Pallot (i)

“Stinger Arm”

Writer: Fred van Lente
Artist(s): John Bosco, Terry Pallot (i)

Publisher: Marvel Comics

Plot: Still inside the alien ship, Misty and her crew have not the slightest recourse against their insect captors. Which is pretty depressing.

Comments: Okay, first, no comments on the dread hentai cover. We’ve all talked that to death. No, they haven’t made any of the suggested improvements to make it less sleazy, which is sad, because without all the suggestive goo there was a real chance to achieve a wide-eyed sense of wonder like last issue’s far superior cover by Miyazawa. Sana Takeda succumbs to crass sexual pandering.

Inside, no surprise, one of the frightened victims writhing on the post of chains is actually the usually shirtless Shang-Chi, and the girls aren’t quite falling out of their clothes to the same extent. This is thanks to Clay Mann, who, while still not a great fit for this book (they should let Miyazawa do a few issues, or see if they can get Adrian Alphona), is a decent artist who tells a story with more than a Penthouse sensibility in his arsenal. Why, his characters even have emotions that fit with the story!

Why is everybody chained to a post? They’re all being washed, cleaned of the alien insect blood they used to attempt to infiltrate the ship, a brilliant idea of their former ally Humbug that spectacularly backfired. Humbug was overwhelmed in the Savage Land by the colossal bugs that live there, and he hasn’t been right since.

His creepy interaction with the Brood warrior queen, while wearing his new cool badass exoskeleton, remains disturbing, but it’s stuck on replay. You know there’s something off about a book when the lead character flatly states “We have no business fighting space aliens!” Misty knows that all the rest of them can do is punch things, and not things on the Hulk power scale, either. Shang-Chi took a super-powerful blow last issue from one of their captors, and it nearly killed him. That was one blow. They need off this ship, quick.

In fact, this supposed “World War Hulk” crossover doesn’t even feature Hulk, though the backup story spends a lot of time aiming the Scorpion at him as a deadly weapon of SHIELD. She’s one of their many backup plans, and her story tangentially fits in here because the mercenary Paladin is used to manipulate her into place to strike. It’s an okay little story, but it’s also a distraction from a series that can’t afford any more.

The life hasn’t gone out of this title, but the humor has, and that was a big part of it. Soap opera angst and torture scenes (of our heroes, not their quarry) aren’t what we signed on for. They need a savior, and soon.

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