Comic Picks By The Glick

Mark Waid’s Final Smashes on “Hulk”

March 28, 2015

Unlike the last volume, “Indestructible Hulk vol. 4:  Humanity Bomb” actually tells a coherent story.  More remarkable is the fact that Mark Waid manages to tell an interesting story in spite of the deeply uninteresting “Inhumanity” setup he’s saddled with.  With the terrigen mists transforming transforming random people throughout the country into Inhumans,  Bruce Banner builds a bomb to try and defuse the threat.  Things go about as badly as you’d expect, but they do lead to some engaging superhero action and a rare four-way brainiac team-up between Banner, Tony Stark, Hank Pym, and Henry McCoy as they try to keep the situation from getting any worse.  The story does suffer a bit as it transitions from the terrigen threat to a rather bland scientific collective trying to manipulate the chaos to their own ends.  It’s not as big a deal as the chaotic art, which is generally good on a moment-to-moment basis and a mess overall due to the fact that six artists worked on the five issues of the regular series collected here.

There’s also an “Indestructible Hulk Annual” by writer Jeff Parker and artist Mahmud Asrar to pad out the page count in this volume.  It features Banner and Stark teaming up to find out what one of their old mentors is up to on a deserted island.  Parker gets some good mileage out of the volatile relationship between the two heroes and Asrar does good by all of the monsters they wind up fighting.  It’s harmless fun overall.

Then we come to the end of Waid’s run with the relaunched “Hulk vol. 1:  Banner DOA” which picks up from the cliffhanger that wrapped up the previous volume as we find out that the title character now has the mind of a child.  It’s all part of another shadowy organization’s plan to control the Hulk and utilize him for their own nefarious ends.  That part I could’ve done without, but it does lead to an extended fight between Hulk and an upgraded Abomination with some Avengers in the role of the calvary.  This setup allows Waid to deliver an even more focused and energetic story than before, and the art from Mark Bagley conveys the action and the big setpiece moments quite well.  The first volume of “Indestructible” was the best of the writer’s “Hulk” comics, yet this at least sends the uneven run out on a high note (with an epilogue of sorts in the “Original Sin” tie-in).

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