So – I hate to pick things apart so quickly – but Loeb is making it so easy! What I write from THIS moment will contain SPOILERS! S o stop reading if you don’t want to know what’s happened in the new Hulk comic…
So, we begin with Iron Man assessing the damage done to the 8 billion dollar Helicarrier – no casualties (how lucky!) – and we learn that Ross, Samson and Clay Quartermain are missing in action. They also replay the video from the first issue when Samson and Ross went to go see Banner. We learn that Banner whispered sweet somethings to Ross – but no one knows what (how convenient) – then we get a quick catch-up on the next page reminding us that the Red Hulk is about to fight A-Bomb (who is Rick Jones). Did we really need this catch up? No – because A-Bomb is constantly reminding us that he is Rick – or at least hates Rick because he keeps A-Bomb in a “dark place”. Ummm… okay… reminds me of the 70’s Hulk. Even talks like him.
Anyways, Red Hulk and A-Bomb fight. For a bunch of pages. Red Hulk finds out that this Abomination is pretty indestructible. He even finds out he’s bullet proof, cause he tries to shoot him, yes, Red Hulk uses a gun again. The fight is so destructive it starts an earthquake that shakes the Earth to the core – deep enough to start shaking Banner’s underground cell. As Banner gets worried the gas fills his cell to calm him down. But Banner – being really smart – HOLDS HIS BREATH! AND BECOMES THE HULK! AND BREAKS OUT OF HIS CELL! Wait, that all it took? Banner hold his breath and Banner can just break out of his cell? No contingency plan in case the gas didn’t work? Apparently not. Wow Loeb, you are genius!
At this point a bunch of robot Harpies that look just like Betty Talbot (Banner or Ross, however you want to remember her – but at the moment in Hulk history when Betty was turned into the Harpy she was still married to Glenn Talbot) start attacking the Red Hulk and A-Bomb. They carry A-Bomb off only to have him tear it apart in the air and crash down into an explosive blaze. Red Hulk pretty much tears apart the Harpies as well – but then turns around and finds – the pay off in the end here – the Green Hulk! Setting up next issue for an all out brawl.
But a pretty sloppy execution of a comic I’m really trying to love! Loeb is lazy in his writing and forgetting about his Hulk history (for example – Samson’s strength is equal to his hair length – but here Samson is still strong with a crew cut!) I’m still waiting for it to get better – and it still hasn’t. C+
This is the ending to the whole series here – I hope it’s worth it, because up until last issue it’s been moving at a snail’s pace. Seriously, did it have take 4 comics, 3 spin-off comics with a least 4 issues in each, 6 crossover comics (including his own title) for him to gather up each hero and have them unwillingly slap each other around for his amusement? I hope this last issue really makes up for the others. Here’s to hoping…
UPDATE! (SPOILERS): Alright so I just finished the issue… now, The Hulk, on the verge of killing Iron Man (which I personally thought would’ve been the ballsiest move ever) through Mr. Fantastic stopped at the last minute. The two waring factions were arguing that they knew the Hulk better and Rick Jones was saying that he knew Hulk would never kill anyone. Then they brought in the made up character from a few years ago – made up in the fact that they said he was a forgotten character from the 60’s and he wasn’t – The Sentry, they had a pretty cool brawl, that lasted almost the entire issue. The Hulk was beating Sentry to a pulp and the Sentry was doing some major damage to the Hulk. The fight ends with Bruce Banner getting the last punch in before Robert Reynolds (The Sentry) dropped dead. Well, seemingly dead.
With Bruce there Miek went crazy and speared Rick Jones (actually trying to spear Banner but Jones saved him… yet again). At this point Hulk starts beating Miek to bits. Miek confesses that he saw them plant the bomb on Hulk’s ship that killed off everyone on Sakaar. He knew it would remind Hulk of what he was – he sacrificed millions of souls to let Hulk make an end. I think this was a cop-out on Marvel’s side because now they can say that the heroes never really killed anyone – except they are still guilty of tricking Hulk into space and trying to desert him on a desolate planet! Hulk, really angry now, screams at the heroes that he will hate them forever – that none of it would’ve happened if not for them. (which is true) Sending shock waves around the world Hulk tells Stark to “Do it! Before I break the World!” (Again, making Stark the hero when most of this was his fault from the start) Then Stark hits Hulk with a laser that disintegrates the Hulk, leaving only Banner, who now seems dead, lying in a crater. Shield takes Banner away and puts him three miles below the Mojave Desert. Inside a coffin type container Bruce Banner lies there and then closes his eyes. There is also a extra special surprise at the end that you will have to read the comic if you want to see…
Issue – *** out of 5 / Series gets a * out of 5 though – took long and drawn out. Should’ve had way more action than it did. Saved all the action for the end. Too easy of an ending. Needed more of a twist but had none really. No one care when real villian is exposed.
Leave a comment and let me know what you thought.
Also, as much as I like Jeph Loeb’s writing on his Batman (Long Halloween), Daredevil Yellow, and Hulk Gray, this new monthly Hulk comic seems to stepping out on the wrong foot. They are turning him red. Red? That’s a bit gimmicky – they seem to be resorting to gimmicks to sell this book rather than selling it on the story involved. I can think of worse artists than Ed McGuinness so I’m not too worried about the artwork -but I don’t have high hopes for this comic if they have to start out by turning the Hulk a new color just to get some controversy and sales. Boo. Boo to you Loeb. You’re better than this cheap publicity.