Brandon Borzelli’s Geek Goggle Reviews
Incredible Hulk #601
Pak & Olivetti
On the surface this issue seems like it would be both boring and just a filler issue seemingly waiting for the next Hulk event. Bruce Banner allegedly can’t turn into the Hulk anymore so what fun could this issue really be? Well, this issue has an interesting twist in it as Bruce Banner uses his mind to really shake things up. It’s a decent issue but the story does still feel like the start of a filler arc to some extent. I’m not totally convinced that the set up at the end makes a whole lot of sense.
Banner goes to New York where he is met with a ton of heroes. This reminded me of the red Hulk series with all the guest stars, except these characters seem to have a specific purpose in this issue. They don’t believe that Banner can’t change into the Hulk anymore so some of the smart guys analyze him. In some ways Banner and Reed reconcile from the World War Hulk situation and the whole shooting Hulk into space thing. However, the key to the interactions is that Banner still refers to items as “mine” when those items clearly used to belong to the Hulk. It seems Banner still feels the connection the green guy.
Banner eventually heads off into the desert and lures in Skaar. Banner uses some of his technology to avoid getting split in half by Skaar. Banner, it seems, wants to train Skaar. This is the part of the comic that doesn’t quite develop in this issue. Why would Skaar listen to anything that Banner has to tell him? Even if Skaar believes that he’ll eventually find the Hulk by hanging around Banner why would be bother to interact with him? It’s a bizarre angle at this point that needs to play out further.
The issue includes a back up story for the new She-Hulk. It has its moments but if you aren’t into the character this issue probably won’t hook you in. On the other hand if you do follow She-Hulk you don’t get a ton of story here to latch on to. Basically She-Hulk gets herself captured by some sort of gamma bad guys.
The artwork has a water-colored style to it. It has layers of focus that seem to add some depth to it. While it doesn’t have to become too grand because there is no Hulk in the issue it does get to show off a wide range with a little battle and a large cast of characters. I found the art to definitely add something to the story.
The comic has some interesting concepts in it and has moments that make you see just how clever Banner is. However, how much longer will it make sense that Banner hangs out with Skaar? What will the other heroes do when they find out they are paired? This issue sets up those plot threads and more. It’s a good start to this new Hulk-less era.
3 out of 5 geek goggles