Hulk #12 & 13 (2015) – The Review

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Duggan finally did it – he made me NOT look forward to the next issue of his spectacular run thus far.  He put Deadpool in the book!  I’ll admit it though, Deadpool wasn’t all that bad – he did link it in so that it made sense to have him there AND he handled the one issue every Hulk reader has been asking about since the beginning of the Omega story line: Is Hulk really going to de-power the original and great Sensational She Hulk?

Hulk #12 & 13
W: Duggan
A: Bagley

Before we begin the actual review I am going to give a huge shout-out to Bagley for finally bringing back some artistic consistency to the Hulk title.  Not only does the cover art mirror the illustrations inside – the cover actually gives a snapshot of what happens!  This probably isn’t the biggest deal to many – but to me it really affects the overall reading experience.  So, thank you, Mr. Bagley, for not only providing some spectacular artwork to marvel at but also for providing the constant that the Hulk has been lacking in the past few years.

Here is the biggest hurdle in destroying the gamma-beings that litter the Marvel U: we actually LIKE some of them!  We want some of them to exist and to continue to be around!  This includes the original She Hulk;  Jen Walters is a bad-ass!  Not to mention, she has a long and fantastic run in the Marvel U as an Avenger and part of the Fantastic Four!  Wait, are we still allowed to mention the FF on a blog about Marvel?  Anyways, let’s not forget about the great gamma powered villains that we need – such as the Leader!  Sure, the last we saw him he was red – but I don’t want a Hulk universe without the Leader in it!  If my choice is a red Leader or none at all – I would crow “Give me red all day long!”  Thankfully, Duggan has written a clever way out of that debacle.

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The rogue AI that Doc Green has created and then lost control of?  Well, it knows every step the Doctor is going to make – and while that’s scary enough – it has teamed up with the Leader.  When Greenie shows up to “cure” the Leader – after a quick battle and an even quicker injection – he leaves thinking ‘job done’.  It’s both true and not… while the cure does exactly what it’s supposed to and Sterns is reverted back to his vulnerable and of average intellect human self the change only lasts a minute as he begins to become the familiar hue of emerald.  The AI converses with the lunatic who is all but enthusiastic to be his large-headed and green self.

This issue wouldn’t be perfect without setting up the battle royal that the good doctor is in store for in the next issue.  Deadpool locates Ross and points Doc Green in the direction for what has to be the most anticipated smack down of this entire event!  Are we finally going to see Red de-powered?  Will the Hulk finally be able to pull off the one thing that every Hulk fan has cried out for ever since the Loeb series proved itself to be a crap shoot of misfirings and ill-conceived plot devices.  Grade: A (for both)

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8 responses to “Hulk #12 & 13 (2015) – The Review

  1. PLease de power red. The writing and art is so great. Dugan seems to be rectifying and evolutionizing the Hulk universe….,,from what I see is, from previews is that red will stay. Which to me absolutely sucks. I really have been endeared to deadpool though. Get rid of all other hulks please. except for she hulk leader and ….. Ok abomination. Skaar could have been dealt with better. No More Gammas or Hulks !!!!!! Get original or different characters in your lineup Marvel with different powered to challenge Hulk. I just want red to go away forever. Want Cap and Thor back soon. Please

  2. These are two good issues. I agree with you it would be nice to see the Red Hulk de powered. He just isn’t working as a character. Does anybody think that the AI might be working with Banner against the Hulk? Of course the AI is also working with the Leader but Bruce might not know that.

    • I would be surprised to find out that Bruce and the AI are working in conjunction with each other. Perhaps I just like it better when a character seemingly thinking he has everything under control and all the bases covered suddenly realizes they bit off more than they can chew!

      • The AI enemy is great. Granted like Ultron but at least something different from gamma. The prospect of ridding Red from the Marvel Universe seems to be a fantastic dream. Please. Please. Please. Get rid of this worm of a hulk and keep ross around again. The bullet in the ear is lame. Why not have Deadpool snap red with the cure. Do not, now. Like the direction of this storyline. Hulk should just smash this Hellboy clone into the ground and get rid of him forever. Won’t happen tho. And that is why I hate Marvel. Get some originality idiots !

  3. GreenScar1990

    *My thoughts on Hulk #12*

    A good, kinda fun/average issue overall. We learned, or at least got some hints, of the ruthless A.I.’s sinister intentions. I have a feeling that the AI will, or already has, retrieved the Maestro’s time-frozen body from Kang’s trophy room at the end of time and will proceed to merge its intelligence with that of the Maestro’s own psyche to create a true Omega Hulk. At this point, I’m willing to bet on it.

    I was disappointed that we didn’t get to see Doc Green bust out any of his martial arts moves in his altercation with the armored A.I. Then again, they’re probably going to save it for his altercation with Red Hulk. I hope Doc G will break every bone and outright trash Rulk in their 2nd conflict. Nothing would make me happier than Red Hulk’s death.

    I was also a disappointed that Gamma Corps were basically just filler and not really utilized as much as I hoped they would be. They get some action, some dialogue, and then get depowered by Doc G. That’s about it. Though I did like that Doc Green expressed that he cares about his daughter Lyra, and doesn’t appear to want to undertake any lethal measures in eliminating other gamma-empowered beings.

    All in all, this seemed more like a filler issue that sets up for Hulk #13. 14, 15, and 16. We continue with the Frankenstein angle where Doc G created his own monster in the Omega Project, just as Banner created a monster by inventing the gamma bomb and freeing the Hulk. I can only hope that things will pick up and that Mr. Duggan delivers an incredible ending for Omega Hulk. Whether that’ll be the case or not remains to be seen.

    *My thoughts on Hulk #13*

    The absolute best thing to happen in this entire issue was when Leader was returned to his normal emerald-skinned self and the introduction of Gammon. God, I can’t tell you how much I hated the Red Leader concept. Pure idiocy IMO. Finally, we’ve got the real Leader back! That actually made a smile cross my face.

    Oh, and it would seem that we’re finally rid of those scientists with whom we’ve never really cared much about since their introduction in Waid’s lackluster tenure. Good. That means we’ll get more focus on Hulk/Doc Green, which is essential. Besides, I’m hoping for the reappearance of our favorite Hulk characters like Rick, Skaar, Jen, Betty, Lyra, etc.

    As for the rest of the issue… it was good. At best pretty good, at worst just decent. That’s just my opinion.

    But I would like to point out that I don’t like the fact that Doc G needs Deadpool to defeat Red Hulk. Not at all. I mean, seriously what was all that martial arts training for? Oddly enough, we haven’t really seen any payoff with the training Doc Green received from Iron Fist.

    I honestly hope that in the next issue Deadpool misses or betrays Hulk, thus forcing Doc Green to take down Rulk by himself. He should be able to do it by himself, anyway if he’s taken various forms of martial arts training.

    Hell, Green Scar took down Rulk without much difficulty… and that was after Rulk absorbed all the cosmic energy from the Cosmic Hulk Robot (which was empowered by Galactus himself) and even tried to drain the Green Scar of his energy. Still didn’t work in Red Hulks favor. So, contrary to what Duggan is implying, even with his absorption powers, Red Hulk is not unstoppable. Green Scar already whooped his red ass.

    So, yes, I expect Doc Green, with all his power and martial arts skills, to be able to do the same. Another thing I find confusing is apparently Red Hulk did use his absorption powers on Doc Green in their first conflict. At least according to Duggan, despite it’s never actually been shown/displayed directly as it has been in the past.

    But, seriously, I’m hoping Duggan will allow Doc Green to have a triumphant victory of redemption in his second fight with Red Hulk. I don’t want Deadpool assisting Doc Green. I just want Doc Green to get pissed, snap, cut loose, and then proceed to outright beat Red Hulk to death or near death with his bare hands. That’s what I want, and I certain that’s what a lot of us want.

    It’s time for Gerry Duggan to own up to the Hulk/Doc Green’s boast of being the most powerful being on the planet. In other words, it’s time for him to put up or shut up… to show, rather than tell. Actions speak a hell of a lot louder than mere words. It’s time for Doc Green/Hulk to prove he’s the Strongest One of All… it’s time to SMASH.

    Overall, while the issue had some really good moments and we’ve got a truly great one involving the return of the Leader & Gammon (the A.I. that Doc Green created), there’s still some things I did not enjoy with the issue. I’ve already mentioned one of the main ones above with Red Hulk & Deadpool. I’m still puzzled at why Doc Green didn’t acquire someone like Crossbones to make the shot.

    One of the other flaws is the rushed art by Mark Bagley. When not rushed, he can provide some good art. Though, in this case, one can tell this isn’t one of those times. It’s not his fault, but those at Marvel who are rushing the story to make sure it gets done by the time Secret Wars comes out.

    Also, I loathed the scene of Doc Green getting stunned and knocked on his ass by Old Man Steve. That’s downright insulting. Such an assault shouldn’t have even phased the Hulk. Now, if Rogers had the entire Avengers roster (that consist of numerous teams with formidable powerhouses like Starbrand, Captain Universe, Thor, Hyperion, Blue Marvel, etc.) backing him up, I could maybe see Doc Green standing down (though most Hulk incarnations would have fought them all head-on and resumed to smashing their skulls in). But backing down to a pathetic old man Rogers?!

    Not cool. I hate seeing Hulk back off in such a manner. It makes him look weak. And Hulk doesn’t do weak. It makes me want to scream at the writer in a Robert DeNiro voice: “WTF?! C’mon, man! Give Hulk his balls back!” True, I’m not expecting Doc Green/Hulk to actually harm Old Man Rogers, but he should have easily withstood the energy discharge, snapped the cane in half, and retorted Cap’s threat with one of his own. That’s what should have happened.

    Then again, Doc Green isn’t like the other Hulk incarnations. Sadly. He lacks what made the other personas such badasses. Only time will tell if this will change or not.

    That’s all I’ve got to say about the issue. I’m hoping we’ll get some great moments in the last 3 issues of Omega Hulk.

    Cheers… err… I mean…. SMASH!!!!!!

    • Doc Green, you make some interesting points.

      1. I like the idea of the AI merging with the Maestro. Of course this would not be the original one from Future Imperfect but one from a alternate universe Have you seen the Maestro in Peter David’s recent Spider-Man 2099? It seems he might have his own place in the new Secret Wars history.

      2. You are right about the power absorbing inconsistency. It seems the Hulk only needs Deadpool for that bullet that prevents the absorbing power. Then he will use what Iron Fist taught him to attack the Red Hulk.

      3. Are you following Hickman’s Avengers?

      • GreenScar1990

        To answer your inquiries, Zeno:

        1. Yes, I have read Spider-Man 2099 #9-10. Good stuff from PAD. And we once again get confirmation that Maestro killed all the heroes & villains of that time (Dr. Doom, Silver Surfer, Thor, etc.). I’m quite looking forward to see what Maestro will do during and after Secret Wars. And I can’t wait, as I’m hoping Maestro will go head-on against Odin (as it was stated that Odin would be an ally against the Maestro in the solicitations). That’ll be an epic clash if we get it.

        2. I personally hope Deadpool misses/betrays Doc Green, forcing him to fight Red Hulk on his own without aid. Then, during the battle, Doc Green finally embraces his rage & savagery before proceeding to beat Ross to death with his bare hands. That’s what I, and many others, want to see happen. If it doesn’t, I’m going to be disappointed.

        3. Yes, I’m currently reading Hickman’s Avengers & New Avengers. But I don’t think they’re all that great. Lots of inconsistency and plot-holes. It just seems to have dragged on for way too long. And I’m not particularly fond of Hickman’s treatment of Hulk in the series. He had him mind-controlled by Abyss and only broke free when she lost control of him due to Thor’s blasting her with a massive thunderbolt, had him weakened/restrained back from his full power potential when facing Sun God, had him blasted into orbit by the omnipotent Starbrand character, and tease a fight between Hulk against Thanos & the Black Order only to have Hulk easily take Thanos best shot and come back for more and then have Proxima Midnight drop the weight of a supernova star on him (which he resisted) before she unexpectedly reverted him back to Banner. I probably missed one or two other moments, but overall not that impressed with his treatment of the Strongest One of All.

  4. Im in agreement with most of the above, in particular – Good: return of the Green Leader and the constant of Bagley’s art over the run, Bad: Deadpool’s bullet and Bagley’s art being rushed.

    What really concerns me at the moment is that I think we are going to lose Doc Green in Secret Wars and go back to normal Savage Hulk. I would imagine that with the new Avengers movie Disney would want the classic characters back in the comics. It seems to me that creators have been given free reign to create characters outside the norm and then everything will be rebooted back to normal after Secret Wars. A few examples – Doc Green, She-Thor, Black Captain America. I really hope Im wrong as Doc Green is the most interesting and original Hulk incarnation we have seen in many a year but I think the seeds have already been sown by Duggan – a couple of occasions it has been mentioned that Doc Green is losing his intelligence and cant stay that way forever.
    I really hope Im wrong – as much as love Smashy I dont need to see him again for a while and would love to spend another couple of years with Doc Green and see him develop as a character. Cant see that happening though…
    RIP Doc Green

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