Hulk #7 (2014) – The Review

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So, looks like I didn’t have to wait long to have my questions about what would happen to Skaar once his gamma is taken away answered.  The answer, of course, might not make all that much sense – but let’s wait to get into the review first.  Doc Green is still out to rid the world of all the other gamma weapons – and his focus is aimed at his own son.  Not that he cares – he makes it abundantly clear that he wants nothing to do with him – another clue that this incarnation of the Hulk is one of the most different, callous and angry versions we’ve ever seen.

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Pak made Skaar a foe on par with the Hulk’s strength – and Duggan does a decent job displaying that – although I sort of feel as though Skaar was a little too easily beaten.  After getting injected with the cure, though, Skaar transforms into a human… mostly.  Duggan doesn’t forget to mention that Skaar could possibly still have some of the old power in him – and then Doc makes a Kill Bill reference and off he goes.  The battle, I thought, could have been greater – but either way we are down another Gamma.  Which is good.

Banner returns in the pages of the Hulk #7, although briefly, and he doesn’t seem to be able to form a coherent thought.  Or maybe he just didn’t have enough consciousness to say anything – either way we are made aware that Doc Green is keeping Banner at bay by refusing to sleep.

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Rick Jones is the bookend of this issue where he lets Betty know of the Hulk’s intentions and she, much like her father, bursts into crimson and vows to bring the fight to the Hulk… or something to the effect.  Overall, another decent issue by Duggan as he cleans up the MU’s Gamma Family.  Grade: B+

I do have to add that the variants this month are top-notch!  the Bully variant is beautiful and the figure variant is one of my favorites by far!  I could have done without the BM homage to Hulk #340… but I guess they can’t all be winners.

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4 responses to “Hulk #7 (2014) – The Review

  1. No, it isn’t. Skaar getting depowered is not good at all. Out of all the Hulks, he was the main one who shouldn’t have lost his Hulk form. He has limitless potential as a character. And even while it’s true that his current human/oldstrong form still possesses said potential, I feel that him not having the other half of his heritage takes something away from him.

    I think the main problem is simply this when involving Skaar:

    1) We have yet to get a writer who is passionate and has a vision for the character.

    2) Marvel has yet to fully utilize Skaar in a major, significant manner/way.

    What needs to happen is that Skaar needs to set out and explore the Marvel Universe. He should not remain in the Savage Land, and should not simply remain on Earth all the time. Imagine if Skaar had an ongoing series where he encountered heroes & villains from every corner of the Marvel Universe.

    Could you imagine Skaar teaming up with the likes of X-23, Thor, Amadeus Cho, the Guardians of the Galaxy, the Inhumans, and others like them?

    What about solo (or team-up) adventures where Skaar explores the 9 (10) Realms, battling Frost Giants in Jotunheim; tangling with Fire Demons/Serpents/Dragons in Muspelheim; tearing through the Dark Elves of Svartalfheim?

    There’s also the chance for some cosmic adventures. There’s always the chance he’ll encounter Galactus and his heralds again. And let’s not forget the powerful alien warlord Lord Armageddon, who holds a severe grudge against the Hulk for killing his son Trauma/Troh-Maw back in PAD’s legendary tenure. Lots of potential stories to be mined here. We could also delve into the culture of the Shadow/Oldstrong People. After all, little is known about them. Here is what we know of the Shadow People.

    1) They’re one of the oldest races in the universe.

    2) They’re physically, mentally, spiritually, and technologically advanced beyond measure.

    That’s about it.

    The Old Power itself is not only vastly powerful beyond measure (As shown in numerous cases. Examples: Hiro-Kala using it to poison Galactus; Skaar using it to drive Galactus mad with Hunger for the Old Power; Hiro-Kala moving the planet K’ai from the microverse to the 616-Universe towards Earth; etc.) cosmic, mystic and scientific in nature. Remember how easily Hiroim used his mystic training to easily get through Dr. Strange’s (who was Sorcerer Supreme at the time) defenses, including the impenetrable barrier? And let’s not forget how he overwhelmed and nearly exercised the powerful demon Zom from Dr. Strange in Incredible Hulks #620: Chaos War.

    We know so very little about the Oldstrong/Shadow People. It would be very awesome to explore their countless worlds and discover their culture in-depth. And I could honestly see a story forming where a very powerful Oldstrong Master takes Skaar under his/her tutelage. It worked for animated series like Avatar: The Last Airbender (One of my favorite series of all-time), so I don’t see why it couldn’t work here as well.

    It would both give us a chance to further explore the Shadow/Oldstrong Peoples’ culture, while also giving Skaar an important role/task/mission to fulfill. Remember, neither Skaar, Caiera, Hiroim, Kate Waynesboro, or Hiro-Kala were Oldstrong Masters. Despite this fact, they’ve displayed immense power. If they can achieve such feats of power, I’d honestly couldn’t imagine how formidable a true Oldstrong Master is in combat.

    All of this potential and more can be had with Skaar if only we’d get a writer & artist who honestly cared and knows where to take the character. The sky is the limit. All is needed is someone with passion and creative vision.

    Overall, when it comes down to the issue itself… it was disappointing. The fight was short and anti-climatic. Skaar was mostly holding back, he didn’t even use his Shadowforged sword or his Old Power in the conflict. And Skaar just accepting his depowered state? I can’t see that to be honest. He’s a barbarian warrior. He doesn’t surrender. He doesn’t know fear or pain. He is the Killer of Killers for a reason. And to me, and others, it felt very out of character. Even some of the dialogue felt forced. It could even be argued that the whole Doc Green/Skaar conflict was rushed.

    I think most of us were expecting a very more emotional, intense, earth-shaking battle that had essence of the “Father against Son” mythology that the Hulk series has been known for thanks to writers like Bill Mantlo, Peter David and Greg Pak. It certainly doesn’t hold a candle to the masterpiece that is Incredible Hulk #611, that’s for sure. However, I have a gut feeling that Skaar’s depowerment will not last very long. He’s popular, one of the most popular of the Hulks to be exact.

    Despite this, I did find a few things that were enjoyable in this issue. The Hulkling scene was amusing, if not totally unneeded and could have been replaced with more Doc Green & Skaar. The eerie scene with Banner coming back only for Doc Green to immediately take control and suppress him was very cool. It brought back memories of Incredible Hulk #376-377.

    I like the fact that Skaar has aged to a 17-18 year old young adult. Not to mention that he’s got his father’s (Hulk & Banner) way of garnering the attention of beautiful ladies (gives me hope for a future ongoing involving Skaar & X-23). I honestly enjoyed that scene a bit, plus it makes me wonder what adventures Skaar will undertake in the near future. He still possesses the Old Power, which has infinite power & potential due to its connection being cosmic, mystic, scientific, and spiritual in nature.

    A lot can be done with his character, and it is very unlikely that he will remain depowered for too long given his popularity. There’s the remark that Doc Green made that also makes me think that Skaar isn’t as permanently depowered as we believe. It’s certainly up for debate.

    And I really liked the art, despite some minor coloring mistakes (the sclera of Skaar’s eyes being white instead of black). That last page of Red She-Hulk was gorgeous! I also liked the fact that Mr. Duggan acknowledges the previous Red She-Hulk series that was written by Jeff Parker, a series that was cancelled way too soon. Because what some might say, I enjoyed the Red She-Hulk series and have come to accept her along with the rest of the Hulks.

    In fact, I’m honestly tired of the complaining about the other Hulks. There’s what? Six-Seven Hulks at most? It’s not that many! There’s tons of Mutants, Inhumans, Eternals, and other beings running about the Marvel Universe! I find it very freaking hypocritical when people go ranting about the Hulks when there’s tons of other, more numerous beings in comics! If most people had those kind of perspectives, there wouldn’t be any new characters at all! Besides, if any one single Hulk should go permanently, it’s ole Thaddeus Ross, a.k.a Red Hulk.

    Okay, back to the matter of what I liked in this issue.

    I liked that Rick Jones came to warn Betty about Doc Green at the secret lair of the Order of the SHIELD. I think it’s gonna be quite clear that none of the Hulks aren’t too thrilled with Doc Green making their decisions for them. I mean, more or less, he’s trying to control their lives and force them to relinquish their power, like he’s got any damn right to do so in the first place. Like Skaar said: What gives him the right?

    I believe that a backlash of incredible proportions is coming for Doc Green in the future. It will only be a matter of time. And I’ll be looking forward to how everything goes down.

    That’s all I got to say.

    In other words…. ‘Nuff said.

  2. I love the art. All of it. Hulks purple brown and white are on point.

    Omega Hulk is awesome and his rage, strength and genius has been effectively been written so far. Thank you Duggan.

    He is bound to to taken down, but I love this storyline and I always like to see the Hulk kick butt.

    I know there are readers that don’t mind the other gammas….. I agree to disagree. I will complain until they are all gone. ….. K.

    Just get some original ideas for a superhero and supervillian….. 2 Hulks….are too much for me.

    The Hulk has been portrayed as a punching bag in so much media recently….and you have to know I am right about that (which I am 100% sure he will be in Avengers 2) …..that this storyline, if done right, can give me, as Hulk is my favorite superhero, a real thrill to read about the Stongest One There Is.

    Omega Hulk Rocks.

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