Brandon Borzelli’s Geek Goggle Reviews
Hulk Let The Battle Begin #1
Snider, Kurth & Hennessy
Let the Battle Begin sounds like a lead in story for the upcoming storyline World War Hulks. It is not. You also might expect the issue to be wall to wall action. It is not. What we have is a charming story (yes, I said charming) about Banner’s life after he comes to, trying to piece together the events that took place as the Hulk prior to his black out. It’s a well constructed story and really captures the aspect of Banner that is not just ultra-geek-scientist. The issue is really only held back because the backup story is a reprint leaving the anthology anything but, at a price point that is out of bounds at four bucks.
The comic begins with Banner’s narrative about waking up in the middle of nowhere with just his torn purple pants on. He tries to make sense of where he is and how he got there, knowing full well that it was the doing of the Hulk that got him there. These opening pages capture the essence of what Banner went through during the 1970s TV show. Basically Banner was a drifter. Sure, he was smart, but he just wandered from place to place, lying low, until the Hulk would ruin everything. This was a nice look into that aspect of the character.
The issue picks up steam as Banner begins to recall what occurred. During these scenes we also get the full picture of how he transforms himself from a purple-pants rag man back into a regular man just walking from the countryside into some nearby town.
The final dilemma is presented as Banner is recognized by someone in one of the Podunk towns he finds himself in. Normally Banner is met with hostility when he gets made, but this particular character seems to be a fan of his. But is he?
The story is a good one. It reminds me of some of the classics from the 1970s with the action scenes that are literally action for the sake of fighting. However, the issue also calls on some of the elements of character evolution seen in Peter David’s run. The difference here is that Banner’s character is expanded and not the Hulk’s smarter personality that David mastered.
The artwork evokes all of the 1970s classic Hulk but in modern terms. It’s a good mix of old and new. The coloring offers up sharp greens and purples to really emphasize aspects of the story. Really, this is a terrific addition in making the story a fun and entertaining read.
I am all for anthology comics about specific characters, especially ones about the Hulk. It’s not even that the backup reprint from Marvel Comics Presents is a bad story, but that it’s the only other story in the comic book. As far as anthologies for $4 about the Hulk this really isn’t a worthy purchase. However, the story is so good it would be difficult to pass up. If you like to read Hulk stories about Banner the drifter that has a great story and fun artwork then go ahead and pick this one. Just be warned that it’s the only original material in the comic. Awesome story, shame on Marvel.
3 out of 5 Geek Goggles