The Incredible Hulk: Last Call #1 is a celebration of two creators who have had a massive impact on the character. It re-teams writer Peter David with artist Dale Keown for an oversized one-shot that packs a punch.
Bruce Banner is tired of being the Hulk. Heck, he’s tired of being. Taking place after the death of Betty Ross, Banner is broken and wants the pain to end. He’s debating if he should remain in this world and contemplating suicide. Not so much contemplating as Banner has tried it multiple times. But, now he has a plan that might work. But, instead of pulling the trigger right away, he reaches out to a help line.
David delivers a story focused on Banner’s ups and downs. It’s a “this is your life” type tail going through his history, both good and bad. All the time he’s contemplating if he should continue on.
The Incredible Hulk: Last Call #1 is a tough read. The comic’s a rough emotional ride focused on depression and loss. But, that’s also where the comic soars. It creates an emotional impact in the reader and when art can impact you like that, it’s a success.
The art by Keown has ups and downs. For the most part it’s dazzling and engaging. But, it’s clear Keown’s strength is the monster himself. So, when presented with Banner, things just aren’t as impressive. What’s interesting is that Keown forgoes the expected splash pages and full page spreads to let us soak in the Hulk. Instead the art matches the emotional tone with a subdued style to it all. It’s more emotional horror than monster. The art also has a lot of inkers and colorists and the shift is noticeable. None of it enough so to hamper the issue. But, it is something that sticks out while reading the comic. Keown’s work still holds up though. The art brings home the emotional story David has put together adding a depressing tone to it all through the art style and look.
The comic is an emotional one that needs a trigger warning to start. It’ll impact you at an emotional level and that’s a good thing. When art hits you at that level, it’s a success. The Incredible Hulk: Last Call #1 is a comic you may want to grab a box of kleenex while reading. These two are still a hell of a team and hopefully we get some more down the road.
Story: Peter David Art: Dale Keown
Ink: Mark Farmer, Marc Deering, Walden Wong, Scott Hanna
Color: Peter Steigerwald, John Starr Letterer: Cory Petit
Story: 8.1 Art: 7.65 Overall: 8.0 Recommendation: Buy
Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review