The Incredible Hulk #604 (2009) – The Review

The Incredible Hulk #604

I can tell I am getting impatient about the Hulk’s return – because I wasn’t even excited about picking this issue up. Don’t get me wrong – I love that Pak is back – but he’s not writing the Hulk. There are two Hulk comics being released a month – one doesn’t star the Hulk and the other is so terribly written I’d rather get dragged three miles over hot coals by an elephant than have to read Loeb’s random ridiculousness the rest of my life. But this issue did serve up a few surprises…

The Harpy is back! And just as angry!

So, Korg, Wanesboro, Banner, Skaar and A-Bomb are playing a little football.  Kate tells Bruce that she likes how he’s handling Skaar and that he should relax – but Bruce teleports them into the sewers so that he can show her something.  One of the Leader’s secret – or not so secret- labs.  They find a file discussing Betty and a root analysis of her entire system (I love that line!).  Kate senses something – or someone and gets shot down.  Bruce hears a female voice condemning him and he calls out “Betty?”

She mocks him and blasts him out of the lab.  We see that it is a Harpy and she has a real problem with Bruce Banner.  Korg, A-Bomb and Skaar see this and A-Bomb tells the boys he’s seen these robots before.  Skaar says that this Harpy is NO robot.  A-Bomb is shocked, he questions whether or not it could actually be Betty – and then has to fill Skaar in on Betty.  Skaar attacks the Harpy and is ready to kill her but Banner pulls out the Old Power taser.  Skaar laughs this off until Banner actually pulls the trigger and shoots him.

Marlo is back!

A-Bomb (Rick) scolds Bruce – but Bruce defends his actions… until the Harpy begins to change form and reveals herself to be… none other than Marlo Chandler.  Rick asks her what happened – she tells him that a big headed super villain kidnapped her and transformed her into that thing.  “Big Headed”, huh?  Yes, MODOCK – or maybe the Leader!  Well, Rick takes Marlo and hops off – Skaar is pissed at Bruce now – for shooting him – and… oh yes – let’s not forget about Wanesboro…

The Leader!

The Leader makes his appearance – well, a hologram of the Leader does… and tells Kate that the lab will blow, that he hasn’t killed her yet because he’s still studying anyone who’s been around the Hulk and that Banner’s heart is still with Betty.  The lab blows and Kate is teleported back to where Banner and the others are.  Banner figures out that the Leader was behind it and then he takes everyone out of hiding – only to be alerted about the Mole Man and his HUGE minions ripping up the city – we see the FF on the case – but can assume the next issue will feature Skaar teaming up with them!

FF taking on the Mole Man... I remember this!

Again the art in the book is divided between two artists – I wish they would quit that… but other than that – it’s interesting to see Marlo back.  A hottie from the old Fixit days – and then later, married Rick Jones.  I don’t know how Rick could do it – follow the Hulk, I mean.  That’s gotta be intimidating!  I’m still awaiting the Hulk’s return – but in the meantime this storyline will do… Grade: B

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14 responses to “The Incredible Hulk #604 (2009) – The Review

  1. Hi there!!! Lovin’ your site! now i’m visiting everyday, Jo! A big green salute from Mexico City. See-ya!!

  2. In the original blurb Marvel hinted it would be the original Harpy (basically Gamma Rays effect each person differently. The Rays work on both the subjects mind and body. The effect can’t be copied 100% from one person to another). That was the rule in Marvel for year’s.

    The Leader aka Greg Pak as changed that.

    Messing with established continuity ………….. don’t feel comfortable with that.

    So, it looks like Gary Miller will be correct Red She-Hulk looks like she will be a returning Betty Ross.

    So, twice in 2008 Betty Ross will be made a She-Hulk. Oh dear ………………

    On the bright side the Lyra story is picking up. Do think it is a mistake to kill of the villains so soon. They showed promise!

    • I remember that rule… That’s why no one could ever be another Hulk. Marvel hasn’t had “continuity” in the truest sense of the word for a while…

      But I also believe, if anybody could figure a way to do it – it would be the Leader…

      But that’s why the grades have been the way they have. I sort of get a Ho-Hum feeling about this series – mainly because the whole Universe is such a mess right now. I mean, of course there are questions… How did Marlo change form? for example…

      The Harpy wasn’t able to transform back and forth. But hey – It’s still better than the other series – which elevates this grade to what would normally be lower I think – almost like a grading curve.

      I do like the Lyra story – I haven’t read the latest installment – yet – but I guess the villians die, huh?

  3. Yep! Two villains dead and axion is so far the last one standing.

    NOTE – To all Greg Pak has yet to contact me to put my fears to rest as to where Hulk is going in general. My questions regarding Jeph Loeb (n0 surprise yo anyone) have been ignored so far.

    This so reminds of what happened with Spider-man in the 90’s.

  4. Hi Ratchet. This is great website you have. I noticed a few things in this issue regrading Pak’s storyline and the fall of the hulks comic that is coming out today. Banner has been using Leader’s teleportation techonology since 601. Considering what happend in the Warbound mini series do you think Kate and the Warbound have been working with him and gave Bruce the telportation device this from the Leader’s lab they took over in the end of the miniseries? Also notice Banner said that all of his old hideouts were declassified but he and Rick/Abomb were in one of them in Hulk 13. He might have reasons for lying about this. What are they?

    As for next issue, we know it will have Tyrannaus and the Mole Man. Skaar and Kate’s Old power affects the plates inside the Earth therefore the recent use of it has likely been wreaking havoc on those underground kingdoms. This is probably why they are attacking the surface world in the next issue. Maybe Bruce knew this would happen.

    Finally, as for the new Fall of the Hulks storyline starting today, I am guessing it wil reveal that Modok and the Leader were together in the creation of the red hulk from the start.

    Any thoughts?

    • Some really interesting ideas there Zeno! The only problem is that comics are released on Thursday this week so we won’t find out until tomorrow!

      Make sure you check out Son of Hulk #16 too – because we find out more about this “Old Power” and it’s effects.

      Don’t forget that something was done to Samson – some experiment to make hima dual personality. While he maybe involved in the creation, I don’t think he was willfully part of anything until MODOCK did something to him first. We will see though…

      • how come you don’t review “Son of HULK” anymore?

      • I’m going to – It’s on my list of things to do…

      • Ratchet, it is interesting that you mentioned the Son of Hulk series. In issue 15,I think, Old Sam of the shadow people says the old power is really a form of the power cosmic. The power the Silver Surfer uses. We don’t know where the shadow people originally came from. That gave me another idea. In Peter David’s Trojyan war story it was shown that these people have mastered the power cosmic. Could the shadow people be related the Troyjans? Maybe they are a offshot of the Troyjan race. Also Pak had Amadaus Cho mention that story in World War Hulk.

        Something to think about.

  5. That is something to think about! Thanks! I’ll have to go back and do some re-reading

  6. Ratchet did you read fall of the hulks yet? One of my predictions was proven right. Since the comic showed Tyrannus and Mole Man have nothing to do with the Leader’s group and I am little more confident about the fact that the old power wrecked havoc on their kingdoms and that is why they attacked and Bruce knew this was going to happen.

    Thinking of what you said about Samson’s new personality that could explain Pak’s making Marlo the Harpy. If Modok could give a new personality
    to someone then that would affect how the gamma rays affected them. Did he give her one similar to Betty’s the way he gave Samson another one? This would be consistent with the rules about gamma radiation and thus no continunity problem.

    That leads me to my next idea. About ten years back was the last Tyrannus appearance and in that storyline it was shown there was technology that could transfer the exact gamma powers from person to another. He tried to use it to get the Hulk’s powers. This was techonology from the enternals and deviants. Now perhaps Modok stole this and used it to siphon the powers of Abomination to Rick and maybe even Betty to Marlo also. Maybe this is what issue 605 is going to reveal.

    However I haven’t followed Red hulk and may have some other clues. Does anything contradict these ideas?

  7. I will be posting the review for Fall of the Hulks on Monday – so make sure you check back in then so that we can discuss it!

  8. The recent issue did not tell us any more about Marlo/harpy. The Leader seems to have set the harpy situation up. Bruce goes to say the Leader is trying to control his mutations. The question is why was he trying mutate Bruce? We should ask how would that help Leader/Modok’s plan? To fight the red hulk? Anyone want to speculate?

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