Brandon Borzelli’s Geek Goggle Reviews
Loeb, McGuinness, Vines & Keith
The two Hulks fight. This issue contains plenty of action, some really nice art and a story that is so far out of the Hulk continuity that I question what the purpose of this comic series is and what the overall direction is for the character. I’m at a loss as to how a character could see such a makeover after such a successful series. To be blunt, I plan to keep reading this but this bad boy is seriously in danger of being cut from my already small comic entertainment budget. This is an amazing statement coming from someone who ranks the Hulk as one of his favorite characters.
Basically the issue has the red Hulk battle the green Hulk. To be fair, this issue doesn’t hold back on big punches and solid art to back up the action. The red Hulk’s identity is basically revealed by Iron Man investigating elsewhere from where the battle is occurring. Oh, and the issue has a random appearance from the Watcher and a cool little cartoon in the back. That’s the whole issue.
The highlight for the issue is the artwork. Again, color is used to drive home the mood of the characters and the tone of the comic. I found this to be a very cool way to express the story on paper. The action is very fast and satisfying.
The low points involve the execution and direction. The most glaring is the portrayal of the green Hulk. He is dumb Hulk again. This is a huge problem because of how intelligent and calculating he was in Planet Hulk and World War Hulk. Basically you have 20+ issues of character development undone with no explanation. Hulk isn’t the X-Men. In the X-Men you have dozens of characters that can have personality and power changes go on without explanation because there are plenty of other characters or pillars to rely on and ground the continuity. In the Hulk you have, well, the Hulk. If you switch him up in a major way people tend to notice.
Next on the destruction of the character list is how the Hulk is weak. Since when did the Hulk become so easy to beat on? Since when did a gun become a threat to the Hulk to the point where one gets stuck in his face and he screams out, “NO!!!” like a scared little wimp? This isn’t the Hulk of any genre.
Am I making my point? This comic has turned the Hulk into a version that would have been the status quo decades ago. The question is: why? What is the explanation for all of this? Did the windbag known as the Sentry suck all the energy out of the Hulk? Is this series just going to ignore that the Hulk went through a major, major change?
It’s hard to review an individual issue and drag all this baggage into it from previous arcs. The bottom line is that this individual issue had nice art and good battles and basically no story and the dialogue was dreadful. That, to me, is a mixed bag and an unacceptable place to be in if you want to hold on to an audience.
On a person level this title is on thin ice. Individually, this issue is half good and half bad. Planet Hulk’s Hulk or World War Hulk’s Hulk would have beaten the crap out of both of these Hulks and he would have laughed about it. These two Hulks add up to a half of a fool. I cant recommend this to anyone. Pick up something else this week if you have some room in your budget.
2.5 out of 5 geek goggles