Swallowing the Hulk... not in the dirty way...
I don’t think there has ever been another comic that takes a turn for the worst faster than this relaunch has. The first issue was somewhat intriguing – and the following issue takes a dump on the fans. Amazingly, in EVERY SINGLE ASPECT of comics in general! Let’s break it down:
Art: The cover is misleading as it says Silvestri when in fact pencils and inks were done on this book by – ready for this – 10 different artists. 10! Double digits! That’s a belly-aching amount of doughnuts (I know from experience) let alone artists on a single book! So, let me get this straight, Silvestri, who isn’t even staying on for 3 whole issues, can’t complete these issues on his own. He has to call in a whole team to do his job. What does that add up to? Only a terrible looking, mish-mosh of pages cobbled together.
Red She Hulk...
Story: Yeah, the story WAS interesting but also walked a very fine line of either glory… or falling into an abyss that shows off the writers inability to tackle such a complex character like the Hulk. Aaron, has fallen – and fallen hard. I could buy Banner as a bad guy – especially if written the way Pak did, where Banner was doing what he did for what he thought was the greater good – much like how the best villains are written. But Aaron makes Banner into a raving loony. Plain and simple – and that’s just boring as hell to read.
Boy - Silvestri's style sure changes page to page!
Price: Do I really need to say anything here? $3.99 for a less than mediocre 20-page comic? We’re getting ripped off – by at least $4
1:200 Colorless Cover Variant
Variants: I know I have pretty harsh thus far – so let me just say the one nice thing I can about this issue – it has, hands down, one of the coolest variant covers EVER. Deodato makes you wish for his days back on the book in one simple homage to Iron Man #128. Now that that has been said – the rest is all downhill… again. See, there are 2 variants for this issue. The 1:50 Deodato – and the colorless 1:200 cover. Are you freaking kidding me??!?!? I felt ripped off when issue #1’s “rare” variant was the colorless cover (I know that Marvel calls them sketch covers – but let’s be honest here – they are regular covers without color. That’s it.) but now I was not only insulted – but actually angered enough to ask my LCS to no longer pull any “sketch” covers for me. Not only are the covers unimpressive – but the colorless covers make the image that much more boring.
Two rarest covers thus far... how... unimpressive.
Overall Grade: F. Is F the lowest I can give this issue? Is F- a real thing? I don’t think so – but I am giving it a F- anyways.
Portacio - coming to a title near YOU!
It has been a wild ride! But not really – Marvel announced that the newly announced Silvertri/Aaron super group on the Hulk will be no longer as Silvestri hands over the title to Portacio. Really, Mark? you couldn’t even last a mere 6 issues at least? Oh well – this can only be good news as NOT ONE other site thought that Silvestri’s work was anything to be excited about.
What to get into first? I have so much to share! I was lucky enough to have the morning off and planned to get to the LCS before it opened – waiting outside the door until they opened the doors, rush inside and get my issues. But it was raining – so I just waited in my car until the neon “OPEN” sign came on and then strolled into the shop. No rushing needed – as I was the only one there. But that’s alright – I was still excited! I knew there were quite a number of variants to get – 7 covers in all – and I had the manager putting them aside for me – so I wasn’t worried about getting them all. But I was interested in picking up quite a number of blank covers because I am working on something… secret right now!
#1 with Super Rare Sketch Variant
So, what do I discuss first here? Story? Art? The variants? Let’s start with just that – the variants! The regular cover has become well known now as it’s the same art that was used in all of the promotion for the re-launch. My favorite cover is the 1:15 Ladronn Hulk cover. The sheer intensity of the illustration screams out “Hulk!” Another – the Neal Adams cover – is a cool idea but I think the face sort of ruins the whole cover. Portacio’s art is… what it is – a decent cover. Some say it’s a “3 per retailer” variant – and others have it listed as a 1:15. Either way, I have it. The Keown variant – a 1:50 – is an amazing shot… of the Hulk’s foot. I know what he was going for here – but it doesn’t work.
1:50 Keown Variant
The rarest variant of them all is the 1:100 sketch cover. I HATE that. A black and white version of the regular cover? What genius! And by genius I mean loser. But yes, I have that one too…
My favorite variant:
1:15 Ladronn Variant
The story is an interesting one – I didn’t read very much of the Fear Itself event – didn’t really interest me – but I do know that the Hulk and Banner were separated. Aaron has made a curious and enthralling debut with the Hulk being asked to stop the one thing more dangerous than himself – and that’s… himself. Or, his other self. Banner. He’s asked to stop Banner. Banner looks as though he’s gone a little batty – trying to make himself another Hulk.
1:15 Portacio Variant
A few years ago we could have all said “That was a unique set of circumstances that could not be duplicated – Hulk is one of a kind” but of course, that is all ruined now (thanks Joey Q and Loeb – please, do me a favor, punch yourselves in the face) because MODOK and the Leader created the Red Hulk – who is basically the same character – just red. So why can’t Banner? But whatever – like I said, Aaron has written an interesting jumping on point.
Silvestri does not impress me with the art - there are a few good shots - but the majority is not good
The art – I wasn’t so jazzed about. Silvestri is a great artist, don’t get me wrong, but he’s NOT a great Hulk artist. There are some great looking pages – and others… not so much. I did dig the Dr. Moreau feeling that Banner’s lab had to it – but I was underwhelmed with the issue’s art overall. And that’s all I will really say about that.
Another Good Hulk Shot
Now, the Hulk has been separated from Banner a few times before – under Byrne he became a mindless raging monster – and under PD he is much pretty much as he is here – only now, he’s going to stop Banner! It’s something I didn’t think I’d ever see. It’s certainly an interesting premise. So, should you guys bother picking this issue up? Absolutely – buy it – buy it NOW! I’m thinking we’re in good hands with Aaron. Grade: B+