What to get into first? I have so much to share! I was lucky enough to have the morning off and planned to get to the LCS before it opened – waiting outside the door until they opened the doors, rush inside and get my issues. But it was raining – so I just waited in my car until the neon “OPEN” sign came on and then strolled into the shop. No rushing needed – as I was the only one there. But that’s alright – I was still excited! I knew there were quite a number of variants to get – 7 covers in all – and I had the manager putting them aside for me – so I wasn’t worried about getting them all. But I was interested in picking up quite a number of blank covers because I am working on something… secret right now!
So, what do I discuss first here? Story? Art? The variants? Let’s start with just that – the variants! The regular cover has become well known now as it’s the same art that was used in all of the promotion for the re-launch. My favorite cover is the 1:15 Ladronn Hulk cover. The sheer intensity of the illustration screams out “Hulk!” Another – the Neal Adams cover – is a cool idea but I think the face sort of ruins the whole cover. Portacio’s art is… what it is – a decent cover. Some say it’s a “3 per retailer” variant – and others have it listed as a 1:15. Either way, I have it. The Keown variant – a 1:50 – is an amazing shot… of the Hulk’s foot. I know what he was going for here – but it doesn’t work.
The rarest variant of them all is the 1:100 sketch cover. I HATE that. A black and white version of the regular cover? What genius! And by genius I mean loser. But yes, I have that one too…
My favorite variant:
The story is an interesting one – I didn’t read very much of the Fear Itself event – didn’t really interest me – but I do know that the Hulk and Banner were separated. Aaron has made a curious and enthralling debut with the Hulk being asked to stop the one thing more dangerous than himself – and that’s… himself. Or, his other self. Banner. He’s asked to stop Banner. Banner looks as though he’s gone a little batty – trying to make himself another Hulk.
A few years ago we could have all said “That was a unique set of circumstances that could not be duplicated – Hulk is one of a kind” but of course, that is all ruined now (thanks Joey Q and Loeb – please, do me a favor, punch yourselves in the face) because MODOK and the Leader created the Red Hulk – who is basically the same character – just red. So why can’t Banner? But whatever – like I said, Aaron has written an interesting jumping on point.
The art – I wasn’t so jazzed about. Silvestri is a great artist, don’t get me wrong, but he’s NOT a great Hulk artist. There are some great looking pages – and others… not so much. I did dig the Dr. Moreau feeling that Banner’s lab had to it – but I was underwhelmed with the issue’s art overall. And that’s all I will really say about that.
Now, the Hulk has been separated from Banner a few times before – under Byrne he became a mindless raging monster – and under PD he is much pretty much as he is here – only now, he’s going to stop Banner! It’s something I didn’t think I’d ever see. It’s certainly an interesting premise. So, should you guys bother picking this issue up? Absolutely – buy it – buy it NOW! I’m thinking we’re in good hands with Aaron. Grade: B+