Today I finally got into LOTRO after trying all week. I also got around to looking at how my fantasy baseball teams did…One did pretty well so I focus on that one of course. I also read the next installment of Hulk…I’m almost out of 1962 and I’ve enjoyed things so far but these Hulk stories could use some help.
Finally Starting LOTRO
Ok, well I’m not really just starting LOTRO, I’ve actually played a few characters to their early 20s. This time around though, I really am planning to stick to the game. Not only do I have some determination this time around, I’m also moving on to a different class. My previous attempts at leveling have been as either a Lore Master or a Rune Keeper. Both are pretty cool and I enjoyed them, but for whatever reason, I never got out of the 20s with any of them. So this time around I’m gonna give the Minstrel class a shot. From my limited understanding (at this point), the Minstrel is a pretty versatile class that does pretty decent damage and is considered the best healer in the game. I figure that since I usually enjoy healing I’d finally pick the healing class in the game. I never rolled one before mostly because I didn’t have a group that I was leveling with so I figured healing might not be needed much. Screw that – I want a character with survivability and desirability – able to survive solo and desirable to groups if I want to group up. Along with a new class, I went with a new name…one that I checked the spelling of before I committed to it…
Meet Miaow, my Hobbit Minstrel. I’m looking forward to walking with her into the bowels of Mordor and challenging Sauron to a fiddle contest.
Constable Odo’s Redshirts
I had another good week this time around in my Hybrid Head-to-Head/Roto league. My other teams seem to have taken the week off, just like the Angels, but I pretty much dominated the Fantrax league for the 2nd week in a row. This format pits every team against each other every week in a “mini” roto contest with 10 hitter stats and 10 pitcher stats. This allows a total of 20 points for each matchup. We’ve got 15 teams in the league – it was 16 at the draft, but someone quit the next day – so there are a total possible point count of 280 points a week. With 2 weeks behind us, I’ve got 365 points in the win column which is about 65%. More to the point, I’m 44 points above the 2nd place team – so I feel pretty good so far. Sure, I know it won’t last all season but it’s a good start. I just hope to remain competitive for the rest of the season.
Hulk #4 Part 1
This is an interesting issue in the Complete Marvel Reading Order in that it encompasses 2 different Hulk stories and they are treated separately by the order. So since I’ve been using the CMRO site as my guide, I’m gonna only talk about he first part of this issue now and the second part next time.
The Monster and the Machine is the first story of the issue and it revolves around a machine that Doctor Banner created before he became the Hulk that should help control the transformation…and that’s just the start of the questionable decisions I’m seeing in this issue. Banner didn’t know that he would need a machine to control the Hulk before he was hit by gamma rays so I’m guessing he had a premonition or something.
In any case, I’m also confused as to why we need to get another reselling of the origin story, but we do. I think modern day movie writers must get this idea from these early Marvel comics since each series seems to repeat the origin for in the first bunch of issues – it’s getting old.
Another issue I have with this one is that the day/night cycle transitioning of Hulk is gone, replaced by…he’s permanently Hulk until they zap him with this new gun. And I’m not too sure about the mind control that Rick has over the Hulk.
Anyway, we get the origin story again, General Ross yells about taking out the Hulk with a new weapon, the army captures Rick but the Hulk gets away and does some nice hero type stuff. He saves a school bus from a train, saves a movie set from bad acting, and he flies around until Rick contacts him telepathically. The Hulk rescues Rick from the army and they head to the secret lab where they Zap Hulk with more gamma rays and he turns into Banner again. But Bruce isn’t happy to be restored, he want’s it all and zaps himself again hoping to get the Hulk’s strength and Doctor Banner’s intellect. It works…so far. So now whenever the Hulk is needed they’ll zap Banner with the gamma ray gun and blamo – Hulk.
One thing I did like about this issue – yes I know I bashed it a bunch – was that Betty Ross seems to be showing signs of intelligence. She’s starting to play with the idea that there’s something fishy about Banner, Hulk, and Rick, and I think she’s gonna figure out the secret soon.
The art was definitely the high point of this issue and I think Kirby is getting pretty solid in his drawing of Hulk. Too bad the stories seem to be getting worse. I rate this part a C-, but we’re getting awfully close to a D.