Saturday, July 29, 2023

The First Two Issues of the Latest, "Incredible Hulk," Run Are Quite Entertaining

Not too long ago we had one of the best runs focused on the Hulk ever. Al Ewing and Joe Bennett's "The Immortal Hulk," was superb, and whatever came after it would unfortunately face impossible expectations and quite likely fail to measure up. That led to, "Hulk," by Donny Cates and Ryan Ottley. It limped to 14 issues and was marked by Cates simply quitting and Ottley remarking how it was possibly the last time he'd do a corporate book as opposed to his own creator-owned stuff. The series started off fun, at least, but we were left wondering what could have been by the sudden end. Thankfully, with just two issues it has become clear that this latest run of, "The Incredible Hulk," is a return to that lovely horrifying vibe of, "Immortal," while also being its own thing.

Phillip Kennedy Johnson is writing with Nic Klein on art and, "The Incredible Hulk," has made it clear we're in some creepy territory. There's a super-powerful dark monster summoning all the other creatures to come help it and the Hulk might be the only thing that can stand in the way. Bruce Banner and the Hulk are back to squabbling with each other as they often do, however, so that complicates any plans to stop the World from its latest cataclysmic threat. In this issue, we meet some folks rising from the dead with one of their leaders, Sister Sadie, spreading an eerie gospel to a bunch of somewhat-cognizant zombies. It is a bit humorous and quite creepy.

The Hulk works in many fashions. He can be heroic and hang with other heroes. He can even be comedic relief at times. For my money, however, I like when he is a terrifying force of nature that invokes more fear than joy in those who witness him. The Hulk is Bruce Banner's Id when you drill everything down to its most basic. He is rage and destruction incarnate. The only saving grace to the Hulk is there are sometimes things even more alarming and spine-chilling than him. Having a comic focused on the Hulk going up against other supernatural and horrifying monsters helps make this point clear. I'm all for it and based on these first two issues I think we're in for a wild and scary ride!

5 out of 5 stars (for both issues).

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