Lest anyone think I actually enjoy giving a negative review let me say this: I had an opportunity to read through some of Aaron’s Punisher run and I thought it was well written in the essence of the Punisher. He had the Punisher doing what he does best. Extreme violence. In the same respect, Aaron has ZERO of that in the Hulk… except for the violence… which is probably one of the last thing the Hulk is really about.
I was wondering how well this storyline would come off with the guest shot of the Punisher – unfortunately we have more of the same shoveled at us that this series has given us before. The dual inner monologues prove to be nothing but a clumsy attempt at showing the Hulk’s struggle to understand what is happening – and Banner’s maniacal pleasure in making the Hulk’s life miserable.
I said before that this series reminded me of the movie Crank – well, the derivative really shows as the Hulk asks the Punisher to repeatedly shoot him in the face or when he jumps out of a moving truck just to “keep him angry” reminiscent of the many times Jason Statham asked someone to do something to get the adrenaline moving. I think the real issue lies with Aaron’s inability to capture the character of who the Hulk truly is. In this issue alone the Hulk acts and says many things that are out of sorts for a character 50 years deep. First off there is this:
The Hulk is hesitant about attacking the Punisher… because he thinks he has a gun that can kill him? I mean, really? This hit me so bizarre as at the Hulk’s inception he was bullet proof. As a weapons expert I know the Punisher is really good at killing men – but the Hulk? Remember this?
Because apparently Aaron doesn’t. Let’s move onto the rest of the issue where the Hulk (who seems to be in control of his rage enough to have to ask someone to keep him angry) continues to kill person after person. Maybe it doesn’t show him “kill” them – but it shows the Hulk just hauls off and punches a person in the face. With the kind of power the Hulk holds punching a Mexican in the face would – or should – have crushed his skull. Since it didn’t happen I can only assume he holding back his punches – but since that isn’t stated I am left thinking that Aaron is just a lazy writer. Nevermind the fact that the Hulk isn’t the kind of vigilante that murders the bad guys in cold blood.
The main bad guy is a large humanoid dog – and personally, I hate when people try to make dogs look and have human like qualities, it always looks awkward. This is no exception. The thing is – the Hulk isn’t out to stop this man/dog – he’s in search of information about what Banner has been up to. Killing the Pit Bull – the Man/Dog is just a bonus I guess. This is only after Pit Bull shoots Hulk in the face… with syringes filled with heroin. Syringes that can pierce the Hulk’s skin? Refer back to my whole “Hulk being bullet proof” section to see why this is such a bother to me. Not to mention – who has a gun that shoots a dozen needles out? Why would such a thing exist – except in situations where you wanted to try to kill with massive (not to mention expensive) amounts of herion.
This series is not even a year old and has had over a dozen different artists (none of them have been exceptional) but only one writer… one terrible writer. I think I would have preferred the opposite – one artist with many different writers. That way I wouldn’t feel like I am stuck in reading comics that continue to damage the integrity of the character I love so much. Grade: F