Review: How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Gamma Bomb
Incredible Hulk #1 / Incredible Hulk #2
by Jason Aaron (W); Marc Silvestri (A)
Modern supercomics don’t see a lot of endings. Unless a character doesn’t have enough clout to maintain a monthly series, fans are subjected to story after story after story with very little closure from year to year.
Greg Pak’s excellent run on various books of or relating to a certain “incredible hulk”, though marred by editorial interference, was an exception to this rule. We saw Hulk at his best, Banner at his worst, and a true family sprung up around our protagonist. From a planet where Hulk could be seen as a hero, back to Earth where he exacted his near-villainous revenge on those who had banished him. At long last both Pak and Hulk threw in the towel. The story had been told. The End.
This is comics, though. How long is this end going to last?
One month, it turns out.
Now we have a new book, once again called The Incredible Hulk, written and drawn by Marvel superstars. Herein, we find the newly separate Hulk and Banner dealing with things as best they can. Hulk is living underground, with the Moloids, eking out a simple existence, enjoying not being thought of by those around him as a monster, growing a beard. Banner is on an irradiated island, trying to re-create Hulk, experimenting on the animals around him in monstrous fashion, growing a beard. Where one is the beard of contentment, the other is the beard of crazy. The book is already asking good questions about the nature of these two.
Set aside for a moment the fact that the story borrows heavily from The Island of Dr. Moreau (and The Intrepids, even), set aside the fact that the heavily touted “superstar” artist isn’t even penciling the whole book by issue number 2; this book is worth it.
Much in the same way he has done in Wolverine, in Hulk Jason Aaron wastes no time cutting to the chase, to the core of this iconic character. No massive supporting cast, no stupid science mumbo-jumbo. Just a story about a monster trying to redeem himself and about a man desperate to cling to the only scrap of identity he thought he had.
But it’s comics, so there are also gamma-sharks, talking warthogs and a floating brain.