The Hulk is an interesting character if you dig psychological dramas. The best stories are usually getting inside his head and it’s mostly a solitary affair until he needs to beat up a monster. In the latest issue from Al Ewing’s new take on the character, we begin to see how he’ll be fleshing out the character’s world.
So what’s it about?
Read the preview.
Why does this matter?
This issue does two things very right. It builds up the villainous apparatus that will be chasing our hero and revealing something about the Hulk you may not have seen coming. This issue leans heavily on reminding us how Hulk gets to live in the night and Bruce lives during the day. Keep that in mind when reading this one.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
With the explosive reveal of the last issue behind us, this issue slows things down and focuses on new characters while Bruce attempts to figure out what to do next. Last issue we learned Hulk’s father may not be 100% dead and he may in fact be inside the Hulk. That has made Bruce very worried about changing back into the monster and we get to see what his next steps are to solve this problem.
As that progresses, Ewing reveals a technology-based group that’s basically like General Ross mixed with millennial hackers. We get our first introduction to them via strange characters hanging from a ceiling with wires going into their eyeballs. Ewing does a great job humanizing these weird looking characters and brings it down to a human level even further when one of them gets into trouble. As you learn more about this group you’ll be fascinated by how inhuman they are, but also how they also function like a regular business with good people working there too.
This issue also progresses a bit with Sasquatch as well as introduces a team element. These are nice developments to keep the plot moving, but it’s the very end that’ll get you talking by the water cooler. We essentially learn Bruce is…you’ll have to read it to find out! If it’s true it’s quite an interesting twist on his coming back to life.
This issue is drawn by Lee Garbett with colors by Paul Mounts. Garbett’s style suits the character since he’s dark and reeling with a lot of pain and anguish. Garbett has to draw a hell of a lot of characters in this issue (I bet his hand is still hurting) and all of them look quite good. The creepy folks hanging from the ceiling in particular, and how they are introduced in a double page layout, is very well done. He was a maestro on Lucifer so it’s not a surprise he’s very good at drawing weird and monstrous things.
It can’t be perfect can it?
The pace of the issue is clunky at times, especially when it zips from scene to scene filling us in on what is going on with Alpha Flight and others. The Alpha Flight scene, in particular, seems to go nowhere especially since it’s setup by the fact that Sasquatch may be in big trouble very soon. It is further slowed down later in the issue with Hulk discussing things with a few characters. Given the creepy horror vibes from this series so far, these two scenes do the opposite. Don’t get me wrong, there are still horror vibes in this issue, but the last nine pages get away from that.
Is it good?
A good issue mostly because it drops a crazy revelation on the last page and also develops a group of bad guys you’ll want to see Hulk tear limb from limb.