The past two issues of Hulk have been rather enjoyable, though a bit sketchy in some regards (in the sense that the depowered Hulks seemingly accept everything too easily).
However, the writing and the characterization has been fantastic for the most part and I have been nervously anticipating this issue’s big draw: Doc Green Vs. Red She-Hulk. Who ya got? Is it good?
Hulk #8 (Marvel Comics)
I’m cutting straight to the point with this issue and looking at the story. Hulk #8 was… really underwhelming. It does wrap up the storyline about Bruce being shot in the head a couple of issues ago and deal with the Red She-Hulk issue… but the results are less than satisfying. Both of these stories are tied together and as such, both should be shocking or surprising, but for some reason, they aren’t. It feels like each storyline is rushed over and there isn’t nearly enough time spent dwelling on what has happened. It just doesn’t make for all that of an exciting issue as previous issues.
There were some other problems that stood out: there’s the whole situation with Red She-Hulk and how anticlimactic her confrontation was with Doc Green. Seeing that cover and knowing the character, you would expect a huge brawl or something very deserving of such a character (especially one that had her own series at some point). However, she’s abruptly depowered and almost immediately accepts the fact. She isn’t even depowered by Doc Green — the depowering comes courtesy of Rick Jones (by somehow sneaking the cure into her food, despite the fact the cure has required injection every other time). Speaking of which, his character is very questionable here with just how much accepts being depowered as well, saying how great his life has been since then. Considering everything I have seen with the character in previous stories (especially during Jeff Parker’s Red Hulk), this feels out of character or sketchy for that matter.
You are really going to miss that rush when some of those big name Marvel villains you fought realize you don’t have you powers anymore…
Now, despite all of this, the issue isn’t all that bad. There are some nice scenes and interesting plotlines bubbling underneath the main story. The most interesting development seems to be that Doc Green is losing control of himself and is slowly cracking. These moments are very well handled and really piqued my interest. Also there’s is some brief dialogue early on between Doc Green and Leucenstern about there being something else programed into the nanites in the Gamma Cures due to how much code there is. You might even miss it or forget about it quickly since the main story quickly takes over after. That bit of dialogue, even if it wasn’t expanded upon much, is quite intriguing and adds some good mysteries to the story about what it could mean. Heck, it could explain the passive behavior shown by the depowered Hulks. Either way, while the main story had a lot problems, the small stuff being developed or alluded to in the background was well handled and helped boost the story a bit.
The characterization was definitely mixed across the board like explained, with the exception of Doc Green, who still remains a relatively interesting character. The pacing and storytelling is good for the most part, but again, the story seems to be rushing a bit in areas. The dialogue is fine and handled as well as it can considering the characters’ portrayal. Overall, there’s not much more to say about Gerry Duggan’s writing.
Finally, there is the artwork and that honestly looks perfectly fine. The characters are drawn well (though they tend to have some similar faces), the Hulks look great and are well depicted, the brief bit of action is exciting, and the layouts look good overall. It’s not the most jaw-dropping artwork we’ve seen in superhero comics, but it looks solid overall and still seems like some of the best work Bagley has done in comics.
Is It Good?
Hulk #8 is rather sad to me. The story was just not well put together, being too rushed and anti-climactic while the characterization and portrayal of our characters felt very off and not befitting of them. There is definitely some good to be found in here, especially when it comes to the subplots that are developing underneath the main story, but that’s just not enough. This is just disappointingly, especially how good the story had been up until now and how much potential it had shown.