Brandon Borzelli’s Geek Goggle Reviews
Loeb & McGuinness
Hulk provides a puzzling issue this time around. It’s not the usual, all-action, no plot issue. Instead, the issue has a purpose and a one-and-done plot but it has an unusual set-up and provides yet another mystery. The comic gives terrific artwork, but I find the frustration level to be at an all time high for this title and I just don’t see the end in sight in terms of getting the nagging questions (new or old) answered. This was a rather disappointing issue.
The comic carries the Dark Reign banner on the cover but this comic is not at all part of the bigger Dark Reign storyline. Norman Osborn makes an appearance and that warrants the banner, but beyond that it really isn’t involved much with the plot. At least not yet.
Norman Osborn recruits Ares to find Bruce Banner and determine if it’s true that Banner can no longer turn into the Hulk. Banner, who apparently can’t turn into the Hulk, is defenseless against the giant Ares, but Banner isn’t alone. He gets help from the A-Bomb aka Rick Jones. That’s the gist of the entire issue.
The story setup is a strange one. Why would Osborn send Ares after Banner if wanted to see if he could still turn him into the Hulk? Why not just fire a missile at him or drop a boulder on him. Heck, all he needed to do was hang out in the helicarrier and wait for Rulk to find Banner and pick a fight with him. It just seemed so bizarre to deploy Ares.
The contents of the issue are good enough. Lots of flashy art as the A-Bomb unveils a new talent. There’s some good action. There are some nice character moments. There is even a nice little twist at the end to stop the conflict. It all sounds well and good.
However, the second nagging problem with the issue is about Banner. How is it that Banner can no longer turn into the Hulk? This apparently occurred in issue 600 but it just seems out of nowhere with little explanation and not much in the way of setup. If you are tired of asking who is red Hulk then this is not the issue to purchase as we seem to get a second question from that mold.
I found this issue to really be in the wheelhouse for the art lovers out there. Those, and the folks who consider themselves completists. I personally found the issue baffling at worst and just strange, but pretty at best. I’d like to see some resemblance of grand plan at some point. This issue reassured me of nothing unfortunately.
2.5 out of 5 geek goggles