Brandon Borzelli’s Geek Goggle Reviews
Hulk Broken Worlds #1 of 2
Van Lente, Henry, Thomas, Trimpe, Benjamin, Latorre, David & Buchemi
I might be in the minority but I actually like the various Hulk one shots. I liked the Halloween one and there was a Tales to Astonish during Planet Hulk that I loved and the others have been hit or miss. This one isn’t technically a one shot because there is a second issue attached to the name but it seems like they just linked two one shots together. At any rate, this issue has four short stories that tie to previous Hulk stories, some of which are fairly old. It’s a decent read but ultimately you need some prior knowledge to get all the references and the issue probably wouldn’t be too enjoyable for someone who hasn’t read these original stories.
I’ll start with the last story because it was by far my favorite. Peter David revisits his Future Imperfect story with a bit of an epilogue. This story was as fresh as the original was. It was a brilliant way to tie in a couple of the role characters in the original story and give them a bit of an ending. Basically, one of the girls that the Maestro took from a village tries to return home and is met with resistance. Eventually the real Hulk, as he is about to make his exit from the future, crosses into the story. It’s great because all characters, like Rick Jones great-great-great-granddaughter, and all the lingo, like “I scan that” and “Studly”, make an appearance in this very short story. The story recreates much of what made the original so fascinating about the possibilities of a Hulk future that didn’t go too well for the people around the Hulk.
The first story (Van Lente & Henry) takes a look at the events surrounding the Hulk’s involvement in the House of M saga. Hulk is ruling Australia and finds a situation where some mutants try to take him down while Betty re-enters his life. The story is good, but it’s really dense and ends so abruptly that I felt either it needed more page space or it needed to separate out the two stories. It’s not bad by any means but it just had such a small space to get across two major plots.
The second story (Thomas & Trimpe) basically shows the double edged sword involving the love between Hulk and Jarella from the Microverse. This was a good look at their relationship and throws in a hook at the end. I liked this story as it left things open for more exploration and possibilities in a story that could have been left for dead years ago. Perhaps the best use of this story’s space was showing the degrading of the Hulk’s mind has he reverts back to the monster Hulk.
Finally, we have the story from Benjamin and Latorre from the 2099 story. Unfortunately I never read the 2099 story so this was tough to get into right from the beginning. The story involves a Hulk that is not Banner and really the plot is more about corruption and deception than about the Hulk. The most memorable part of this comic was the art. The pencils create an interesting mosaic of colors and shapes that have faces pop out of them until the Hulk shows up and the art goes to a different level. The art definitely captured a dream like state in the story.
So the issue has something to offer for anyone who followed the four original stories, but ultimately probably not much for those who hadn’t followed the originals. This was a good issue, but is probably passable unless you want it all, like me.
3 out of 5 geek goggles