Comics : Super Hero Squad: Hulk Saves the Day!

Staff Only
Edit Review
Edit Title

This review was first published on: Apr 2011.

Background...

This book is 8" x 8". Soft card cover, glossy pages with full color throughout.

In Detail...

Super Hero Squad: Hulk Saves the Day!
Apr 2010 : SM Guest
Find ISBN 0316055719
Summary: Spider-Man Appears
Publisher:  Little, Brown & Co.
Writer:  Chris Strathearn
Illustrator:  Marcelo Baez
Staff Only
Issue
Review
 Reprinted In: Marvel Super Hero Squad: Storybook Collection

Wolverine and Iceman are playing "slice the ice" on the front lawn of the Xavier mansion when the unlikely combination of Doc Ock, Abomination and Mystique drive up in an equally implausible lilac-colored van.

The villains are here to do the bidding of Doctor Doom - specifically their task is to plant mutant super-fast growing plants on the lawn. They succeed in this, which is surprising to me, since I would always have imagined that if I were Wolverine, I would hope to notice when three super villains parked a purple van on my front lawn, 20 feet away from me. But no.

Without attracting notice, the mutant plants are planted. Soon afterwards, they are activated by a few drops of melted ice (from the game the two X-Men are playing), causing the plants to immediately grow to a huge size, invading the X-Mansion and destroying it.

Iceman and Logan destroy the plants in no time flat, but clearly there is evil afoot. General "Thunderbolt" Ross assembles the Super Hero Squad. It's time to "Hero Up!". No, seriously. That's the official motto of the S.H.S. Time to "Hero Up!".

The villains' next target is City Hall. But they've only just planted the super-flora when the S.H.S. arrive at breakneck speed, alerted by... well, actually, it's never really explained exactly how the Squad knew the location of the attack. I guess they're just the good guys. So they get to win.

And win they do. The "heroes" beat up the "villains", and Hulk smashes the giant plants... thus "Saving the Day" as per the title of the tale. Mind you, Wolverine and Iceman had previously proved themselves more than capable of doing the same thing, back at the mansion. Still, if a giant green psychopath wants to claim the credit, far be it from me to object.

The heroes then bundle up the bad guys into the back of the van and "push them down the hill back to Villainville", where the plants cause havok without upsetting the citizens of "Super Hero City".

In General...

So, in case you missed the implications... "Villainville" is at the bottom of the hill next to "Super Hero City", nearby, but clearly inferior.

More importantly, the "Heroes" think nothing at all of releasing the giant plants in the neighboring "ghetto". Remember, other people live there too... but the "good guys" don't give a damn. And the police will let the heroes get away with causing as much pain and suffering as they want, as long as they stick to doing it in the lower socio-economic areas of the urban conglomerate.

This "heroes" versus "villains" thing is starting to look less like an evil vs. good thing, and more like a complex socio-economic struggle between two competing classes. In this context, Doctor Doom's team seem like freedom fighters, and the "Heroes" seem like a bunch of supremacist jerks.

Overall Rating...

In general, the story is consistent and well written. To me, it has the depth of detail that makes me think it might be the adaptation of a cartoon episode, though that is pure speculation on my part as I haven't seen the series at all.

Unfortunately, I struggle with the message that the "heroes" can get away with whatever they want. Their brand of collective punishment on all of Villainville in revenge for the acts of the few seems heavy-handed and unfair.

In deference to politically correct deconstructivism, I'm going with a two-web rating.