So, not very many Hulk fans are digging this new Hulk run – and it’s not like I can really give solid reasons on why they SHOULD – all I have is my own reasons for liking it. Believe me when I say that I know it is FAR from a great run so far – nor do I think it will go down in the Hulk history books next to PD or Pak’s Planet Hulk – but it’s a major step up from what we’ve been shoveled, as far as Hulk stories go, for the last few years. I think Waid is building up to something – unlike Aaron whose ultimate plan was pretty transparent and also pretty shallow at that – Waid is a really accomplished writer. Sure, Hulk hasn’t really said a word yet and Banner seems to be controlling everything, but we haven’t really gotten to the meat of what his run will signify. At least, I don’t think…
In the meantime we’ve been served some pretty fun, action filled issues where the Hulk is confronting former foes and former allies that he still has grudges against. Maybe Waid hasn’t found the voice that he wants the Hulk to have – or maybe he has but hasn’t reached the point where he’s going to unveil it – but at least we have issues WITH the Hulk in them! When Bruce Jones didn’t have an idea of who the Hulk he was writing was – he simply didn’t write the Hulk into the stories! Also, I like reading a Hulk who has some trouble before ultimately accomplishing something – like Waid did in the latest issue. Was Hulk going to pass out or die? I doubt it – but the story is at least more interesting when the Hulk has some trouble fighting his foes but then is able to put the smackdown in the end – like in Planet Hulk.
I did say I have been enjoying this – even more than Pak’s second run – and that’s because when Pak took over he was forced into writing a Hulk book without a Hulk and instead his first few arcs centered around Banner training Skaar. Let’s face it – Skaar has proven to be a pretty forgettable short-lived character in the MU. He may follow in the footsteps of Spider-Man 2099 – one that a lot of people liked – but not enough to keep a series of his own alive. He may stick around in the MU – but he’ll never be the lead. Then Pak dealt with the other son Hulk had… I think Hulk said it best here:
That’s right… ANOTHER SON… while I really liked reading Pak’s second run – there was too much whining and Hulk children and… goodness, I mean, Hulk had two sons and a daughter in the span of a year! How is that humanly possible? All of which needed to be addressed and cleaned up. That’s what Pak’s second run was all about to me – cleaning up the mess that was created before him while trying to tell his own stories too… not an easy feat. He did it better than most could have – but the “Hulk Family” was a failed experiment that I don’t think anyone will ever want to re-visit.
Back to Waid’s run: We are still pretty early on here – and unlike when Aaron’s run was at this point – I am still hopeful that this is going somewhere great. I have patience when I see a writer has consistency and seems to be writing a decent story. Notice I have been giving slightly above average grades – but not exceptional – which reflects how I feel. This is not classic material – but so far, so good. What do you guys think?