Brandon Borzelli’s Geek Goggle Reviews
Monster-Size Hulk #1
Parker, Niles, Tobin, David, Hardman, Parrillo & Williams
Finally we get a spectacular sized, giant sized, over sized, monster sized issue that is worth the increased cover price. Usually these types of issues contain what seem to be throw away scraps of stories followed up with a reprint of some 30 year old story which typically involves Wolverine. Not this issue though. This issue has an actual theme. It has four unique stories that all touch upon the Hulk and some old school monsters. It’s a very good issue cover to cover and it helps to restore my faith in the usually more expensive one shots.
The first story, which is also the longest story, is produced by Parker and Hardman, is Bruce Banner getting recruited by Victoria Frankenstein to help repair and resurrect her ancestor’s monstrous creation. Banner uses his mind to help patch the old bolt-head together. He has an interesting relationship with Victoria as they seem to be hooking up on the side. Eventually, Banner’s failures leads to Victoria looking for some Hulk DNA. Hulk doesn’t like to get prodded. Things blow up until the two monsters figure out their lives aren’t so different. This story has a very rough look to the artwork, but it fits with the old setting and musty dungeon. Not to mention the old, out of date clothing that the monster seems to own. It’s a very good story, it might be a little predictable or cliché, but it’s a good read. The interaction between Banner and Victoria is done very well.
The second story is Bruce Banner meeting Jack Russell, the man, not the dog. This story is by Niles and Parrillo. This story is interesting because the two men seem to share a common problem – they have alter egos they aren’t fond of. It’s a good story to show how each man handles his other side. Of course, it wouldn’t be fun if the Hulk and the Wolfman didn’t eventually mix it up. It’s a very good story that uses conversation between the characters as the driver with the action as a supporting role. This story has a couple of funny lines mixed into the fray as well. I enjoyed the art nearly as much as the story. It’s a black and white comic with a glossy look to it. It just feels like the moon light is bouncing off their faces which is a nice foreshadow to how old Jack becomes Wolfman. I liked this story probably the most out of the four.
The third story is a simple two page spread by Tobin and Williams. It’s a baby monster getting told a bedtime story by his monster parents. The story’s subject is the Hulk. It’s a fun way to show how Hulk is the creepy monster in even the ugliest of monster’s stories. I got a kick out of the some of the old Hulk villains who make a quick appearance in this short story. The artwork really captures the old version of the Hulk where purple pants and a bad haircut on a square head was the norm. This is a fun little story that is very effective.
Finally, Peter David with art by Gabriel Hardman gives a mostly narrative tale about the Hulk’s encounter with Dracula. This story is beautifully crafted. Hulk has to deal with angry villagers, Dracula and his bride over the ten page narration. The story has excellent interactions between both Hulk and Banner with Dracula. The story had some hilarious moments when Dracula would watch in awe of Hulk’s indifference to some of the old tricks he likes to play, like opening and closing doors without the use of his hands. Hulk seems to enjoy his visit with the vampires, which makes it all the more funny. This was a fun read that captures the characters perfectly. The artwork gives a very serious tone to it, which made me wish there were more illustrations. They really made for powerful images, even if with only about one per page.
So there you have it, four stories in one comic. If you like your Hulk to be dumb then this is the story for you. If you like your Hulk to interact with some legendary characters then here you go. Maybe Hulk can take on the Mummy and the Blob in a sequel. Hulk hate Blob.
4 out of 5 geek goggles