I would like to begin by stating that I am not a Hulk fan. I have never really had an interest in the character. I’ve heard things through the grapevine that I’ve thought to be interesting such as the Planet Hulk storyline, but besides that my exposure to the Hulk has been meager at best. I’ve seen the two newest Hulk film adaptations, which I both enjoyed and disliked for very different reasons, and Lou Ferrigno’s Hulk is as legendary as Adam West’s Batman. You just don’t mess with the legends.
However, after finishing up Fear Itself #7, the stellar conclusion to last summer’s Marvel event, my interest in the green incredible became intrigued. The final issue of Fear Itself concludes the miniseries and then wrap-ups with a series of epilogues. One of these epilogues is a short piece pertaining to Bruce Banner and the Hulk. Within this particular segment Bruce is internally speaking with the Hulk. The Hulk sits cross-legged in the darkness of Banner’s mind while Bruce proceeds to pace and rant to the Hulk. Finally the Hulk becomes fed up and tells Bruce to leave. Mighty hard to leave considering they inhabit the same body, but miraculously enough at the end of the epilogue Bruce Banner and the Hulk are left separated in the desert; Bruce sitting stunned on his butt, while the Hulk stalks off into the distance.
Honestly, I couldn’t recall any of the other epilogues so vividly, but this one stood out, and intrigued me enough to purchase the first issue of Marvel’s new release of the Incredible Hulk.
Usually I save my overall rating for last, but today I am going to switch it up a bit. I give the Incredible Hulk #1 a four-and-half stars out of five. I thought it was a great foray back into the jungles of the Hulk mythos – figuratively and literally, and here’s why:
First off the art is amazing. Marc Silvestri penciling is very reminiscent of a lot of concept art used for video games and films. It’s very rough and raw, but has a certain beauty unto itself. And, considering that this comic book is about the Hulk, and not Bruce Banner and the Hulk, I think that the “rough and raw” effect of the art is very appropriate considering the character. Also, most of the plot takes places underground and the use of varied hues, including a healthy dose of brown, orange, and red, excellently accents the Earthly setting. The bright green skin of the Hulk pops against the rocky background, which details the importance of the Hulk and highlights that fact that this comic is solely about him.
As for the writing, I think that Jason Aaron is one of the best that Marvel currently has under its belt. His current work on the latest volume of Wolverine has been excellent, and by far one of my favorite runs of the past several years. His writing, especially his introductory story arcs seem to delve into the character by stripping away all of the excess fluff layered on over the years and then focusing on the framework. Personally, this skill is necessary to drawn in people who haven’t been fans because it presents the character in its most basic form allowing newcomers to develop new opinions and perhaps hop onto a new series that they normally wouldn’t even have considered before.
Overall, the first issue of the Incredible Hulk was phenomenal. Purchase it, love it, and just allow Aaron to take you on a journey into the heart of the beast.