Hey. My name is David. Ratchet’s kind of taking a break from the blog for a bit, he’s dealing with some family stuff. He’s not sure when he’ll be coming back. Hope it’s not too long. I am a Hulk fan. Not as big as Ratchet, that’s hard to beat! But I do read comics on a regular basis and enjoy the Hulk stuff. I asked him if he wanted me to post some reviews while he took his break and he agreed. He really feels for the fans of this blog and didn’t want to completely ignore it. I probably won’t post as much as Ratchet does. Probably just once a week. And only reviews. Sorry in advance if they are not as good as Ratchet’s. These will still be pictures of Ratchet’s comics in his collection just not his writing. Leave a comment if you’d like a certain issue reviewed. I’ll try to get to it. But I’m not too sure how long I will be needed to post either, so I’m not sure if I will get to it.
I wanted to start with a controversial but favorite issue. Hulk #8 which shows off a classic match-up of Hulk vs. Wolverine. Eric Larsen writes this issue. Wolverine still has his bone claws from when Magneto ripped the adamantium out of his body. Does anyone else remember that? It was awesome but Magneto should have done it way before. Not sure what took him so long to figure out that he should do it but it lasted some years and gave Wolverine a new vulnerability that was interesting to explore. This is the second time Wolverine faced the Hulk with his bone claws, the first being The Incredible Hulk #454. This time Wolverine fares a little better as an opponent. There may be a reason but more on that later…
From the get go this issue has smashing action. Wolverine immediately levels the playing field by taking out the Hulk’s eyes. It’s a pretty brutal move and some might argue shouldn’t have happened. With Wolverine’s bone claws, I mean. But I for one thought it was a brilliant move! Larsen has had a interesting writing career when it comes to the Hulk, he was also the one who wrote the terrible “Return of the Sinister Six” in the Spiderman title. It was pretty pathetic having Doc Ock beat the Hulk but Peter David took care of that in #396. Larsen has said he’s a fan of the Hulk, but that fight was just ridiculous!
I will say this, Larsen is a master at writing old school style comics. He adds humor and jaw dropping action into his issues. But it never seems to add up to anything. No one talks about his issues, which is sort of too bad, because his action scenes are pretty stellar. A few pages into this issue where the Hulk and Wolverine battle the Hulk grabs a hold of Wolverine and snaps his claws off! While that battle continues we also see Tyrannus in his lair about to use his machine that controls the Hulk. And in a very uncharacteristically cruel moment the Hulk snatches a 15 year old girl to lure Wolverine out from hiding.
Amidst all the fighting we are also shown Death, one of Apocalypse horsemen, who is shown the Hulk’s very unsuccessful attempt at being a horsemen called “War”. Death’s charge is to take the Hulk out but let’s get back to the action here: Wolverine tricks the Hulk into a river bed under a bridge and with one fell swoop drops the bridge on Hulk. Tyrannus takes over the Hulk at this moment and finds him drowning. As much as Tyrannus want the Hulk to die he instead decides to save him and jump away. Wolverine goes after him but doesn’t realize he’s actually fighting Tyrannus now. He knows something is amiss seeing as the Hulk is just growling at him. Then Tyrannus actually knocks himself out by hitting a gas pocket. Tyrannus link is broken and the Hulk turns back to Banner. Wolverine helps him out of the mine and let’s Banner go on his merry way.
The most controversial part of this whole issue is that we learn later the Wolverine Hulk was fighting this whole time was a simple Skrull. That’s right, it wasn’t even the actual Wolverine! Are we to believe that the Skrull Wolverine is a better fighter against the Hulk than the actual Wolverine? Wolverine actually fought the Hulk many times before so he could have learned how to fight him more effectively over time. But the Skrulls have very rarely taken on the Hulk and never fared well when they did. But, I like this issue though enough to have it be my first review. I know Ratchet gives grades so to distinguish myself a little I will give… check marks! Best possible would be 5 and this gets: