With the last issue heavy on talking in what was frankly a nearly perfect issue, issue #16 brings the action! We delve into its story–is it good?
Totally Awesome Hulk #16 (Marvel Comics)
So what’s it about? Read our preview!
Why does this book matter?
Mahmud Asrar is quickly becoming one of my favorite artists due to his ability to capture character emotion and acting. Then you have writer Greg Pak, who can write a mean dialogue exchange and action to boot. I’m not sure why this series isn’t talked about more!
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
This issue is seriously the opposite of the last, but read together I’m sure fans will be rollicking along splendidly. The action comes fast and hard (complete with creepy human eating aliens!). Hulk gets to shine most–it is his book–but like in issues past Cho’s cocky nature gets him and others in trouble. The team is all Asian American, but less is made of that in this issue than it was in the last. Instead, civilians keep asking where the Avengers are and a team name for this all Asian group is cooked up right quick.
The key to this issue is the subtle humor in believable civilians. There are a few reaction panels that help convey the insanity of the situation, but also a fun use of captions that name characters that plays with the idea. Generally, the alien threat is a bit over the top–though I can’t recall a single human-eating alien race before–which needs a bit of levity.
Pak and Asrar balance out the characters well too. So often team books forget to show off a hero, or give them nothing to do, but everyone gets a chance to shine here. Asrar draws another fantastic issue with well-composed layouts that draw you into the story. Characters are drawn very well and spatially it’s easy to follow all the action. I really dug the sound effects in this issue too, which are loud enough to call attention but look splendid over the art. Props to Cory Petit for the lettering. Since comic books are a team sport, Nolan Woodard should get props for the color work as it doesn’t get too out of hand with the bright colors. The final page is a testament to this team working together. It’s a group shot of many civilians with interesting details for most of them via clothing, a realistic look in color, and well-timed dialogue to convey the team spirit a group of determined New Yorkers can bring.
It can’t be perfect can it?
It’s truly hard to fault this book, especially after the high bar set last month. The character dynamics are on point, the art stellar, and the plot compelling.
I love the sound effects!
Is It Good?
Three cheers for Hulk (the Incredible kind!) for its strong characters, excellent art, and fun plot. Come for the characters, but stay for the big action. They may specifically be Asian American, but they are the people’s team.