Indestructible Hulk #1
By Mark Waid and Leinil Francis Yu
A frustrated gifted scientist, Bruce Banner brain-stormed a new way to harness gamma radiation at the cost of his own humanity. His gamma bomb brought out a dark side of his psyche, an indestructible monster of rage called the Hulk by the military who hunted him. The Hulk has been going through a very hard time creatively. The only really strong period that the Hulk has enjoyed in recent years has been thanks to Greg Pak starting with his ‘Planet Hulk’ story and into the explosive conclusion. Even within that run there were moments when the series lagged or faltered in its search for an identity.
However, the thankfully brief Incredible Hulk series by Jason Aaron and a cadre of guest artists marked a new low for the Hulk. The weird black humor and garishly broad out of character distortions of the Hulk and Banner were not helped by an overly convoluted plot and a wildly different array of art styles.
You’d think that since Hulk is one of Marvel’s most high profile heroes and one that any adult who saw the Avengers or child who owns a pair of Hulk hands can easily identify him he would have a kick ass monthly comic book but in truth it has been a mess. Despite promising preview images and the proven high quality Mark Waid’s scripts, the Marvel Now! relaunch did not fill me with high hopes. Boy was I wrong.
This is finally the great Hulk book that fans have been waiting for.
Finally accepting that he and the Hulk must work together, Bruce Banner approaches Director Maria Hill for a job as an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. His logic is simple. The Hulk has traditionally been thought of as a bomb when he could be a cannon instead, aimed at a target defined by S.H.I.E.L.D. The trade off is that Banner could develop new technological marvels for the world while giving his alter ego an outlet for its anger.
It’s so simple that I wonder why this was never thought of before, unless I am missing something. In his trial outing, Hulk faces the Mad Thinker who has constructed a killer robot using discarded Ultron maintenance tools designed to manipulate adamantium. The Mad Thinker believes that any problem is made up of quantifiable data, information that can be processed. That theory proves false when he points a laser capable of slicing the most durable material in existence at the Hulk… and the monster keeps coming.
Mark Waid is known for his gift at grasping characters and clever plots (among many other noteworthy qualities). His version of the Hulk is inspired and smart but also very dynamic. The edgy line work of Leinil Francis Yu adds a suitable amount of character and energy to the series that makes it stand out. The Hulk deserves to have a high profile knock-out comic that readers and critics talk up on line and in the shops. The Indestructible Hulk could very well be that series.