Well, here’s the good news – I read this issue and didn’t hate it. Not completely, anyways. Aaron has Banner as the catalyst to all of Hulk’s adventures lately, unlike in the past where Banner is picking up the pieces of the Hulk’s outings. It sort of reminds me of the Fixit era when Banner and Hulk were playing off each other – causing the other personality to try and do damage control. Here, though, Banner is the evil genius playing a little cat and mouse game with Hulk, while all the Hulk wants to know is what Banner is up to. Aaron has made the Banner personality a sick, twisted mad doctor bent on driving the Hulk crazy. Like a maniacal two-faced Joker who takes pleasure in out smarting himself.
While the Hulk was acting a little more himself in this issue it still read a little stale. The Hulk started acting a little more himself (is it because, since the new series began, the Hulk and Banner are back together again?) a little boasting – and performing fantastic tasks. It was good to see the Hulk recall his past powers too – like adapting to breathe underwater.
The black mash inhalation reminded me of the feats performed in Planet Hulk too – so all in all – a pretty decent issue. I also liked the slight twist at the end. Betrayal is always a great turnabout at the end. At the heels of the last issue it is a nice surprise – but still, as the second part in an already shady storyline I will give it a pretty decent grade of C-