Catching Up and Saying Goodbye to The Incredible Hulks!

The Incredible Hulks #635

I know it’s been a bit since I posted last – and trust me it’s not due to not having items to post – but now that the summer is over I will be free to post a little more frequently.  But, as you guys know, I’m sure, the final issue of The Incredible Hulks was released this past Wednesday.  I have severely mixed feelings about the final issues – there are things I loved and things I was not a fan of – but overall Pak’s swan song felt a little flat with me.  I was hoping for a big finish – but what I was left with was a little more of what we’ve always seen. 

And even worse – the Hulk clan are still around.  Now, I may have forgotten – but I doubt it – have they ever explained why Rick Jones was changed into A-Bomb?  I know that MODOK used him to experiment on before they changed Ross – but why is he… what he is?  See, that’s another thing that Joey Q and Loeb never thought about.  Originally, the way gamma rays affected people were different to everyone and that is why the Hulk was such an anomaly.  Many tried but Banner’s transformation could never be duplicated because it was unique to Banner’s personality and history – nevermind his physical self.  Which, come to think of it – how is it that they made Ross look like the Hulk then?

Variant Cover A

Here, the final arc, where everyone had a wish to wish it seems that Hulk and Betty were at their kind of peace – beating the hell out of each other for eternity.  Of course that is until Hulk is needed to save the world again and they bring him back – although, in his “World Breaker” mode he could also destroy it.  But that doesn’t happen.  No.  He saves the world again.  Amazingly, he is saving the world from the one thing that created him – the Gamma bomb.  “What?” you say, “How is that possible?  All the Gamma Bombs were destroyed!”  Yeah, well it turns out that was a lie.

The story seemed to be a bit convoluted and a bit too muddled.  Was there a real reason to bring all those Hulk enemies back?  What was the point, other than giving Hulkaphiles a Hulkgasm, of having those particular foes show up?  They certainly could have been used in a better light – although I loved seeing Bi-Beast – it was a waste within this storyline.  I thought Pak would wrap it up really nicely and had faith that things were going to all be sorted out in the end with reasons for everything – but with the obvious opportunity for the character to go on – in the end we were left with innocuous cameos of classic villains.

Blank Cover

I wish I could say I liked it more but even the unnecessary prologue with Cho and Banner fell a little flat.  Everyone likes a happy ending, me included, and it was a moment of bliss for the Hulk – but how happy can we be left with Betty as an abusive, crimson, overly strong, psychotic trigger for the Hulk?  I know that Fear Itself shows Betty as She Red – so she would continue to be the character after this issue but that doesn’t mean I have to enjoy it.

A possible Sketch Idea... who likes it?!?!

They even include a cover gallery of Pak’s entire Hulk Family run and an interview with the author – while I certainly think that Pak is worthy of that kind of attention it only made me sad thinking back on how Marvel treated PD after they kicked him off the book. PD not only wrote the book for double the time that Pak did – but he certainly had a tougher job having to tie the Jade Giant into event after event.  Not to mention that he thanks Loeb for being part of the Hulk trust and that will never sit well with me as Loeb did a fantastically, historically bad job writing one of Marvel’s best characters.

There are quite a few variant covers to check out – including a “blank” cover – which may be the first issue I try to get someone to sketch on.  All in all I thank Pak for all he’s written and keeping us entertained for all this time – but I was hoping for a little more to finish his run with – not just leaving us with the status quo.  Grade: C+

Variant Cover B

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14 responses to “Catching Up and Saying Goodbye to The Incredible Hulks!

  1. I thank the Living Tribunal that this is done. So excited to not have to read this run anymore. Even though i have the entire series 1-635 (so to speak), these last couple years have made it hard for me to want to continue buying this title. I don’t know how promising the Jason Aaron run looks to be but i’m excited for change. Not excited with buying a million variants again but it comes hand in hand with a new series.

  2. By shortly after Halloween i’ll have a ton of sketch covers, is there anyway i can email them to you once i get them done?

    I ordered 10 of this issue and 20 of #1. Got em all for cover price -25%.

  3. You hit it right with How did Rick become A bomb? As always I am sick of people getting hulked on the gamma. This was a disappointing comic for me as well. First off Loeb and Quesada ruined my favorite character and Pak did nothing to help. Planet Hulk was cool but everything after was down hill. These reds and abomb are ridiculous. Fin Fang Foom even got hulked. Just stupid. This storyline is obviously before fear itself, which is stupid too. Nice art, just cannot stand the Betty red! She does not even look cool. They are not a cute couple. I wish Caiera would come back and make she red disappear. Nice sketch.

  4. Hey Ryan-glad you’re back…there’s a ton of stuff that I could say about Pak’s final issues(unfortunately it wouldn’t be positive),Pak did some GREAT stuff PH will remain one of my favorite story lines,I hate ROSS-HULK , BETTY- HULK and A-BOMB is just plain STUPID!(I know LOEB is responsible for these B-class losers)There should be only one HULK -the Original,he is unique -guess that’s why he became my favorite,he didn’t change into a costume-he just got mad and “HULKED-OUT”…but now all Hulk’s supporting cast can do the same! It really takes HULK”s originality awayhaving to share his book with the “clan”.The only HULK character I wish that would return to the HULK book is the ABOMINATION-he was such a great villain for the HULK and has been a part of HULK’S history for many years!I realize that I’m kinda ranting and jumping all over the place here …guess just a bit frustrated on how the whole Pak story arc ended…BUT I am looking forward to upcoming series,just saw the two covers for issue #2 they look great(that’s one Big -Ass shark)by SILVESTRI and DEODATO’S cover is classic …anyway that’s my 2-cents hope all is well -take care-Mike

  5. Hey Mike – I am charged up to get more posts up – but yeah, I wish the Pak send off was better. I’ve seen the Deodato homage cover and it is fan-freakin’-tastic! I hope that the new series gets the Hulk back on top where he belongs.

  6. I felt the same way as you did after I read this issue the first time. BUT after reading it again, I realized this issue is actually awesome. I was also expecting a big, explosive finish, but I realized that the Hulk didn’t need one. He is already awesome, and having a big, explosive finish would have been too predictable.

    The ending (not the back-up) is probably my favorite part of the story. It implies to the readers that Hulk and Banner ARE the same person, and in the end he did get what he wished for: To be left alone. (Not involving the back-up)

    Overall this may be my favorite Hulk issue since……um probably since the epic battle between Hulk and Skaar. But then again I’m also the same person who liked Loeb’s run on HULK, so I don’t most people on this site will care. Just sharing my opinion.

  7. No worries T – I am glad you liked it. The only thing is… and it’s what I meant by us getting the same thing over – is that we have been served the “Bruce and Hulk are one in the same” over and over again. We already knew that they are one in the same – one cannot live without the other – Banner is Hulk, Hulk is Banner. It’s been a theme going strong for at least 3 decades long.

    Now, Pak is still the best Hulk writer in a long time – but to give us an ending that has been a theme for years ongoing is a bit of a let down!

    I don’t begrudge you your favor for Loeb’s run – I would just like to know reasons – solid reasons – on WHY you liked it. I have given countless reasons on why the run was detrimental to Hulk history – but I would like to know what was to like about it.

    Opinions are always welcome here – especially when they are shared the way you have chosen to.

    • Except for the wonderful Planet Hulk where all the praise is deserved, Pak only struck gold once with Hulk and in my opinion has been incredibly overrated. And what he has been churning out lately… well let’s say I won’t miss his departure

      Who may turn out the best writer of the decade is Jeff Parker’s work with the Red Hulk. Its been outstanding. I can’t wait for his Hulk of Arabia storyline too which has been previewed on the Red Hulk blog:
      http://www.comicvine.com/myvine/redhulk/advance-rulk-review-hulk-issue-42/87-72503/

    • There’s parts I liked and parts I didn’t like in Loebs run. I really like the first arc, first six issue, but admittedly it was because of the action and the art. But to be honest I never thought there was anything SPECIFICALLY wrong with it, there are things wrong with, mainly the punch to the Watcher. But I did like that story overall, it was mostly the dialogue that bug me little bit (and the punching of the Watcher).

      The issues that that follow the first arc (including the HULK issues after Incredible Hulk #500) were mostly eye candy, and didn’t read some of them. Some of the issues that I did read (like #500) were mostly O-Kay, certainly not the worst issues ever. That’s until Fall of The Hulks happen, and that’s when I started to REALLY liking the series again. I love the prologue issue with Samson in therapy, I liked the funeral of Thunderbolt Ross, I liked the Hulk(red) fighting against the X-Men, I liked the Hulk(red) fighting against all the HULKED-OUT heroes on board the Hellcarier (and WINNING), I love the extra sized issue that revealed the Red Hulks back story, and LOVED the final issues of Loeb’s run.

      Overall, the biggest problems I had with Loeb’s run was some of his dialogue (only some) and some continuity concerns (How was Talbolt not a Robot in TIH yet he was in HULK?). Admittedly compare to Pak’s excellent Incredible Hulk stories during Fall of Hulks and World War HulkS, HULK was the inferior series.

      Ironically I’ll stop reading BOTH titles after World War HulkS ended, but it was ALMOST ENTIRELY because I couldn’t afford all the comics I wanted, and had to make cut-backs. But honestly, even though I KNOW Parker’s run on HULK is good, the series never really caught my eye again after Loeb left (except for Planet Red Hulk, which was AWESOME).I guess certain people like certain writers.

  8. Parker has done wonders with Red. I concur!

  9. My personal top 10 favorite moments on Pak’s run with the Hulk.

    1. Hulk wages war in Manhattan (World War Hulk #1-5)
    2. The Incredible Hulk vs Skarr (The Incredible Hulk #611)
    3. Bruce Banner sees his ‘dead’ wife for first time since he came back from space (Incredible Hulk #606)
    4. Sakaar blows up, killing nearly everyone, including the Hulk’s wife (The Incredible Hulk #104-105)
    5. Hulk’s former wife, Jarella (now part of the undead), Stabs Hulk’s father (also undead) in head, proving his love for her was greater then his fears for his father. (The Incredible Hulks #620)
    6. After Betty Wishes for whatever Bruce wants, the Hulk knocks everyone off there feet, and turns back to Banner. He got want he wanted: to be left alone. (The Incredible Hulks #635)
    7. Hulk vs Arm’chedon in Las Vegas (The Incredible Hulks #632)
    8. Banner and Skaar start working together, and develop a bond with him (The Incredible Hulks #601-608)
    9. Hulk lands on a distant planet, and becomes its King (Planet Hulk/ The Incredible Hulk #92-103)
    10. Bruce Banner does everything he can, even manipulating several heroes and personal friends, in order to save his wife, Betty (The Incredible Hulk #606-611)

  10. lol for your sketch get one of WWH about to be-head Red Hulk with his battle-axe. ^_^ 😛

  11. Glad Pak is finally over – didnt enjoy a single one of his issues. Hope the next writer will be more to my taste. Dont like the look of Silvestri’s Hulk from the cover though – to me hulk is a huge lump not a body builder. Also not a fan of Parker’s stuff, but I am hoping my opinion will change as he seems to be held in high regard by everyone.

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