Brandon Borzelli’s Geek Goggle Reviews
Incredible Hulk #611
Pak, Pelletier, Miki & D’Armata
The latest issue of the Incredible Hulk is the big payoff for a storyline that has been running for about a year now. The story is more than just the World War Hulks story that has been running through both Hulk titles for a few months now. Really, the story has been Banner’s relationship with his son, Skaar, and this issue brings about a new status quo for them. It’s a very loud and smashing issue that does manage to link up other character and historical elements to make the issue more than just some fighting. There is a lot to like in this issue but it does leave a tiny bit to be desired at the end.
This issue marks the return of the green Hulk. I’m sure everyone expected that the problem Banner was having where he couldn’t turn into the Hulk would be short lived and it was. This brought about the obvious confrontation between the Hulk and his son, Skaar. Skaar has been fairly adamant about wanting to kill the Hulk. He’s been hanging around Banner for a couple of reasons and one of them was basically just waiting for this moment.
However, Skaar was also forming a bond and a relationship with Banner. The underlying question for the past few issues was how can Skaar really kill the Hulk knowing it would also kill Banner? Based on the events of this issue it appears Skaar just doesn’t care. The Hulk and Skaar battle it out and it is fairly epic.
Pelletier saves his best for this issue. The fight scenes rival just about any of the more recent Hulk stories, red or green. The comic book isn’t designed just as a series of splash pages as the fight sequence is depicted over the course of several panels and pages. I think the art was really enhanced by the inking because it definitely captures more emotions than just anger and it serves the character details very well. I also think the issue’s coloring set a perfect mood for the book. There was more to this issue than just flash and bright coloring as you would hope for this type of battle of wills and confused emotions.
During the fight, and subsequent resolution, we find the father-son relationship played up on multiple levels. Not only is Banner’s relationship with his own father brought into this but Skaar’s relationship with both of his parents as well as Hulk’s with Skaar’s mother. The drama isn’t forced into the issue and serves to provide some background for the readers that may not have read previous stories such as Planet Hulk.
The only downer for the issue is just how easily things are resolved. I’m not sure what I was expecting but it felt like things just simply ended. That, and I can’t figure out why Betty Ross needed to be involved. I suppose it was to provide a little lighthearted dialogue but I felt it killed some of the momentum a little as I paused to ponder her inclusion in the book.
The backup story by Reed and Munera is the conclusion to the Hiro-Kala story. Hiro-Kala is yet another Hulk offspring that appears to have some interesting stories ahead of him based on the events in this book. The backup feature is good but just doesn’t have the space to spread out the way it needs to. The creative team squeezes all it can out of the space but this is an example of how the backups just don’t work because they can’t do justice to the story at hand.
There is a new status quo for the Hulk and there seems to be a new story over the horizon. The character may keep saying how he wants to be left alone but it’s obvious to everyone involved that the supporting cast is vital to the title and is here to stay. This was a fun issue that offers a lot of action and a good story to back it all up. Pak’s letter at the end puts the whole thing into perspective. This is a fun issue.
4 out of 5 Geek Goggles