The Positive: So here it is – the final arc in Pak’s run – and the title. You know what’s funny? They relaunched TIH with it’s “original” numbering in December of 2009 – only to end it not even 2 years later. I’m sorry – did I say funny? I meant pathetic. The major issue being that people will still buy into the new Hulk title – whatever that may be – Marvel will have further proof that slapping a #1 on a book will always produce sales – and then in a few short years they will do this all over again.
So, let’s talk story… well, there isn’t too much story to talk about yet other than Betty has gone mad with power, it seems, with a wishing well. I like Cho’s foreshadowing diatribe about wishes coming true – but the Gods not letting get what you want for free – only for it to be him to screw up and send “help” in the form of monsters Hulk has faced in the past.
The art – the art is superbly fantastic and I can’t wait to see if Paul Pelletier & Danny Miki can keep up the fantastic job throughout – but other than that – let’s talk negs…
The Negative: It’s pretty much confirmed here that Betty and Tyrannus did it – which, for one reason or another, disappoints and dismays me. I mean teaming up with him to do villanous acts is one thing – but to actually have a sexual relationship with an arch-nemisis is… well, unforgivable in my book. Not to mention – the fountain of youth has mystical qualities – I get that – but to somehow change into a “wishing well”, well, – look I know these are comics and we’re talking about a guy who turns into a green muscle-bound engine of destruction – but COMEON!
Who picks the monsters that come back, by the way? Anyways, let’s move on – Betty surely has become one of the Hulk’s most terrible enemies – much like his sons were for a time – an enemy that the Hulk doesn’t want to just smash to get rid of. The idea is fantastic – but the execution… not so – not so far anyways. At least we’re not still in the days of Loeb where these characters would appear with no rhyme or reason and leave the same way – never really having a point being in the story anyways. Man, I am so happy Loeb isn’t writing any Hulk stories anymore. I still blame the masses for making his books so popular in the first place.
The Conclusion: I say, since we’re talking the end here – and it’s Pak’s end – we stick it out these remaining issues. Pak can still knock it out of the park in the end. Remember – he had a lot to overcome – first having to work WITH Loeb’s ridiculous plot points and then having to work with the aftermath. Some things were just left forgotten and never explained (I am looking at you, not LMD Talbot) and other things were wrapped up too quickly (The powerful Red Hulk being beaten by… a Thunder Clap…) but Pak at least gives a story behind what’s going on – and things lead from one thing to the next with explanation and real ramifications. Unlike a few years (years? Really?) ago where Banner was in Vegas for no reason and never really explained why he was there or for what reason – and then Fixit showed up for half an issue… again – for no reason. So, you might be able to take that reason alone that I am sticking with the idea that Pak might be able to close things out nicely here. I mean, it’s better than the alternative that we were handed for an excruciating two years… Grade: B-