Written by: Al Ewing
Art by: Joe Bennet
Bruce Banner is back from the dead. Is he a man or a monster? Whatever he is, when night falls The Immortal Hulk walks the streets!
Character Catch-Up: Our dear friend Dr. Banner sure has been through a lot lately. First he gets killed at his own request (somewhat) by Hawkeye. Then his body is magically stolen and resurrected by The Hand. After a brief stint rampaging at the behest of The Hand, Banner once again passed away after being cleansed by Doctor Voodoo. But poor Bruce just can’t rest in peace, and is once again brought back to life, this time by Hydra. After once again passing away and subsequently being revived for a THIRD time, Banner has finally managed to escape from this crazy cycle and now is in hiding like the good old days.
Today’s Resurrection: Hulk is on the run once again. Seems like Banner is up to his old routine of hide in plain sight and hope that nothing goes wrong. Sadly, with this being the Hulk, peace never seems to last. After a botched gas station robbery, Hulk is none too pleased at the resulting chaos. And when night falls, our big green goliath goes out to serve some justice gamma-style. Hulk makes quick work of the robbers, including putting the fear of God into every last one of them. With his punishment given, Hulk vanishes into the night content with having puny Banner find shelter. But with a perceptive cop on his trail, how much longer can Banner stay incognito and out of the spotlight? Come back next issue to find out!
Personal Thoughts and Opinions: As the start of a new Hulk title, Al Ewing certainly seems to be going back to the deepest roots of Hulk’s character. Banner is constantly on the run from the law and other heroes but when night falls the Hulk emerges to cause trouble for any evil-doers that might cross his path. It’s a simple premise but it’s still very entertaining to read. One aspect I really enjoyed is a question put forth on the very first issue of The Incredible Hulk – Is he a man, or a monster? Or both? This issue starts to tackle that idea right from the get go, showcasing a situation in which what Hulk does isn’t exactly very heroic. The dichotomy of the Hulk is a deeply ingrained part of his character, and I’m glad that it’s being brought back prominently in this series.
The artwork as well is quite impressive. I’ve always found that one of the most important parts of a comic is the expression of emotion in the character’s faces. Mr. Bennet does a great job of showing each character’s emotion in the moment. His interpretation of the Hulk’s design especially is very well done. There’s a lot of detail put into Hulk’s face, and some of the expressions he makes are quite chilling to look at. I’d certainly cower in fear if I saw that face staring down at me. The action as well is drawn very well. It’s easy to follow along and exactly what I’d hope to see in an action-oriented book like The Hulk.