Oh the Hulk. You and I have a love/hate relationship. I just can’t seem to find a good time to read you. Either your amazing run has just ended (Greg Pak), or there is a shit writer (Jeph Loeb). But that seems to be alleviated, with Mark Waid making the Jade Giant fun again.
Mark Waid seems to be channeling Mark Ruffalo’s version of the Hulk from Avengers. This is no surprise, as Ruffalo’s Hulk was received so well. He’s a troubled guy, but he has accepted what he has become, and he’s decided to use it for good. But Waid adds a dark side to Banner. His long conversation with Maria Hill shows how calculated and methodical Waid’s version of Banner is going to be. As much as he’s a loose cannon, he knows what’s going to happen well before anyone else does. The egotistical moment about Tony Stark is an interesting choice. I’m interested to see Waid write Tony Stark. Granted, I don’t have to wait long, as #2 deals with just that. Much like Daredevil, Waid balances intense drama and humor very well. The humor comes up organically, and punctuates the scenes well. If Indestructible Hulk shows one thing, it’s that Mark Waid can do no wrong when it comes to writing comics these days.
I didn’t finish Jason Aaron’s run on Incredible Hulk, so I’m not sure what has happened to how the Hulk thinks. But I like the way Waid writes the Hulk here. The real monster is Banner, but no one sees it that way. To many writers have focused on the Hulk and how he and Banner relate. Lets have a series JUST about Banner and how he uses the Hulk. Waid writes the fight scenes to Leinel Yu’s strengths, giving him big, kinetic scenes to pencil. And he does this without sacrificing the momentum of the story. Not a terrible amount happens this issue, as Waid spends most of it catching readers up on who Banner is, what he has been through, and how he is going to act going forward in the series. We also don’t know why he has this new armor or robot friend (that’s seen on the cover). But then again, it’s one issue.
Leinel Yu’s pencils seem slightly scratchier than usual. They look better than when they look pristine, like in Secret Invasion. Yu nails the massive action scenes, conveying the shear power that the Hulk contains in his body. But he nails the quieter moments, which make up the majority of the issue. His facial work has improved vastly since his days on New Avengers and Secret Invasion. And while Waid can nail the humor, it’s up to Yu to convey it well, which he does. It seems like Yu and Waid are going to be a comic force to be reckoned with. Sunny Gho’s colors well. Gho nails the big fights scene, with some great shadowing and lighting effects.
Indestructible Hulk is the title that may convert people who have been skeptical of a Hulk book. Another great start for a Marvel NOW! book.
Indestructible Hulk #1 gets 4/5.