Filed under: Comic Reviews, Marvel Comics | Tags: brucebanner, hulk, incrediblehulk, jasonaaron, marcsilvestri, marvelcomicbooks, rage
I’ve mentioned elsewhere on Comics Anonymous that since turning 26 I have felt mature enough to try my hand at adventuring in the Marvel universe. So far my adventures have been successful for the most part, though the fear that one day I’ll pick a total stinker is always present. I confess, I felt I was sailing dangerously close to the wind with this title.
A colleague of mine is a hard core Marvel Man and has been singing the praises of The Hulk, The Red Hulk and Spider-Man since we started working together. I a loving Ultimate Spidey so thought I’d throw a little caution to the wind and get involved with The Hulk on a number one issue. The cover on this issue immediately made me dread what I was going to find inside. I absolutely despise these types of drawings where men (or in this case, Hulks) are rendered in such a way that they look as though they are in the middle of having a stroke. Whilst I appreciate that the Hulk is likely to have a drastically different physiology than that of a normal man, it still gets right up my nose.
Taking the above into account imagine my surprise when I open the comic book to find panel after panel of deliciously fluid and yet shockingly aggressive art work. What a total slap in the face with a wet fish. The book’s artists tease us by not letting us see the Big Green Guy properly on page 1. We see him in silhouette amidst the fiery and violent backdrop of the deep subterranean world he inhabits in a beautiful and yet edgy, poetic fashion.
When we finally get to see the Hulk on the page 2-3 spread, he looks amazing. I never thought I’d see the day when I’d say that about the ‘not so jolly green giant’, although that may just have been my residual Marvel prejudice. In ‘Hulk: Asunder Part 1’ an almost handsome Hulk is hunting a previously unmatched predator on behalf of a race of ‘people’ who live near the centre of the earth.
His hunt, kill and return to the ‘village’ are all narrated by his inner monologue with displays to the privileged reader some of the probems he must’ve experienced. I don’t know much about the character but I can gauge from here that the immense rage he wither seems to be embracing or battling has led him to become an instrument of those of who would use his ‘talents’ for ill. Feel free to correct me here because I really don’t know much about him at all.
Hulk is seemingly revered by these small subterraneans, almost certainly made feeble through an extreme lack of sunlight, They are depicted in such a way that reminds me of how African and Island tribes used to be represented; wearing bones, being very daft with the exception of their elderly and mystical leader and assuming any newcomer to their environs must be either treated like a deity or cooked in a pot. And eaten.
Despite the Hulk hunting for this race of queer underground creatures he does not feel as one of them, despite their best efforts to include him. During the following gorgeous scenes we learn that the Hulk and his former alter-ego Bruce Banner are now completely separate from each other. He seems to be ready to completely engage with this new UVA/ UVB deficient world when the tranquility is shattered.
After an excellently drawn battle, US Government agent Amanda Von Doom parleys with the Hulk and informs him why she has journeyed all the way to the centre of the earth. Bruce Banner has gone insane and is up to some extremely disturbing science experiments and she needs the help of the Hulk to stop him.
Being my introduction to the Hulk I found this to be a nigh on perfect comic book. I was well introduced to the character, loved the art and the promise of enough being kept back in the tank makes me want to read issue 2. All that lets this book down is its shoddy cover.
The writer of this comic book is Jason Aaron, you can follow him on twitter @jasonaaron
Marc Silvestri drew the book, with Michael Broussard assisting.
Joe Weems, Rick Basaldu and Sal Regla on inks and Sunny Gho coloured.
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