First up – The Incredible Hulks #631 – Heart of the Monster Part 2
The Good: Here begins the Hulk smack down! The entire issue has the Hulk smashing his way through the new villains that showed up when Cho “wished” for some help. This issue is dedicated to taking out some of the biggest bruisers of the bunch – FFF gets a bit of a butt whopping – but the main event is Hulk vs Wendigo and Bi-Beast. The fight has quite a bit of smashing – as it does humor – I swear the theme for the Three Stooges was going through my mind as I read it. Especially the part where Hulk takes Wendigo’s tail and passes it through Bi Beast’s mouths.
We also see the Hulk coming back to being a hero for the innocent people caught in the middle of his battles – and even have the President coming to thank the Hulk – I felt like the Hulk was getting another “pardon” for his past crimes. Like the President was saying “Yes, I know you hijacked NY and sort of threatened the lives of everyone who stayed behind, not to mention causing millions of dollars of damage to the city – but the past three months you’ve really shed those bad habits and done some good stuff! Good on you!” Which we all know would never happen… but these are comics – so let’s move on!
The powers of the wishing well are interesting – I like what Pak is doing with it. Each wish is going to be impacted by the original wisher. Also, I have a real soft spot for the writers who can add a good balance of humor into the story – which Pak does really well here. I found myself laughing and cheering a few times. Then looking around to see if anyone was watching me. Thank goodness there was not!
The Bad: Now, – again you can correct me if I am wrong here – wasn’t Bi-Beast already a HUGE monster – it wasn’t until way later that PD shrunk him down. So, why was he normal sized to begin with – only for the Hulk to make a silly wish for a real fight and have him grow larger. But – and this may be just me – but the fight after Bi-Beast and Wendigo became larger than life seemed WAY easier. But hey – if that’s all I am picking on – then it must not be that bad…
The Ugly (Truth): Pak seems to be having a real blast with his final Hulk arc. He’s using the classic monsters that the Hulk has fought in the past and cutting them loose. the issue ends with a great cliff hanger – the only thing I question is where Pak is going with it? How is he going to leave things with Hulk and Betty? Can things really go back to normal with them? Has it ever been? Grade: B+
And now – Hulk #35 – Red Planet Hulk Part 2:
The Good: It started off as a strong storyline – with Pags on the pencils – what could be better? I mean, Planet Hulk was such a memorable part of the Hulk’s history, what would make more sense than try to re-live it with the Red Hulk? One of the best recent threats the Hulk has to deal with is the Omegerex – and the recent trip into another universe was just an attempt in keeping the Red Hulk from having to face the destroyer – at least until the female Watcher could warn him. It’s good to know that there are ramifications to Red’s ramifications of striking the Watcher. A feat that should not have happened in the first place – but now that it is in the continuity (what?!?! Continuity in Red’s series? Wow – that’s crazy talk! Loeb’s head must be spinning!) it has to be dealt with.
The Bad: Having to wrap up in just two issues the storyline was rushed and disappointing. It’s also the fact that the end of it is left up to your discretion on whether it actually happened or not. I am SO not a fan of the “dream” sequence ending. Not only is it a cop-out but also it feels like after you’ve finished reading it… it was a waste of time.
And the Ugly (Truth): The fun part of this series so far is seeing how Parker makes up for Loeb’s continuity issues and his frivolous writing style – but the last thing we want is more non-sense storytelling. I mean, I get WHY the issue ends the way it does – but it doesn’t make it any easier to swallow. I would have liked to see this storyline last a little longer and maybe have the Omegerex track Red down on this planet. Why couldn’t the Watcher-et have sent Red to the new planet, warned him of what was coming, Red still becomes king and has his new army trying to take down the Omegerex? That would at least be more interesting than “Just kidding – it was all a dream… maybe!” Grade: C-