Totally Awesome Hulk needs a break and considering what happens if he doesn’t unwind that’s a good thing! This issue is all about his attempts to unwind, which doesn’t sound all that exciting, but is it good?
Totally Awesome Hulk #13 (Marvel Comics)
So what’s it about? The summary reads:
GUEST STARRING BROOKLYN NETS’ JEREMY LIN! Amadeus Cho can calculate parabolas all day…but can he hit one from downtown? A classic Hulk villain returns, but not like you remember: Meet QUASI/MO/DO! Hulk’s on fire! Boom Shakalaka!
Why does this book matter?
A new story arc begins here and it uses a real NBA star to drive its main narrative. Sounds zany, but if they can pull it off that’s some fun cross promotion eh?
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
Based on the cover you already know who that star is and it’s fitting considering Amadeus Cho and Jeremy Lin are some of the most famous Asian Americans in the world today (at least in the MU that is!). Greg Pak writes a fun character-first issue as Cho gets to relax and play some ball. Lin may not be the most famous basketball player in the game today, but using him allows Pak to show how famous Cho is on some level. As the characters chill you get some interesting interaction that feels genuine.
It’s not all hanging out though as the characters enter some Space Jam territory in more way than one. If you dig superheroes playing sports you’ll most likely dig this issue as Cho Hulks out playing against other super powered characters. A surprise guest shows up which ramps up the action from b-ball to more smashing though its short lived before the issue reaches its To be “Lintinued” (yes that’s not a typo) page.
Art is split between German Peralta and Luke Ross, who are especially good at faces. Jeremy Lin looks spot on and all the characters, even side characters in scenes, look realistic. There’s some sweet basketball action too with a nice posterizing by Lin in one panel.
It can’t be perfect can it?
I’m not sure this comic is going to appeal to many folks, especially those who don’t know who Jeremy Lin is or those who don’t like basketball. The general combo of Cho and Lin makes some sense, though it’s hard to not get a forced vibe from the premise. The fact that the plot takes things into a Space Jam like competition may make you roll your eyes too. Generally the issue doesn’t offer much action either.
Is It Good?
The premise is certainly hokey, but Pak does a good job characterizing Lin and Cho with a premise that’s conceivable. What the point of it all is certainly something I was scratching my head over as it doesn’t feel much more than a publicity stunt rather than a story that needs to be told.