Back from the dead! He cannot be reasoned with. He will not be stopped. Bruce Banner isn’t home right now. There is only THE IMMORTAL HULK.
It’s been building for a few issues now, but the Hulk returns in Avengers #684. But, what’s his journey and why is he back? Writers Mark Waid, Al Ewing, and Jim Zub plot out an interesting issue that’s split in a way revolving around “origins.”
While the “main show” is the return of the Green Goliath, the issue also focuses on the truth about Voyager. Who is she? How did she trick everyone and change memories? That’s all answered here. That aspect is pretty interesting and while it falls a little short in the delivery, the potential impact of it all has me excited about what’s to come.
But, the main focus is the return of the Hulk. The issue takes us through how he’s back and why he’s so pissed. We learn that his healing factor is so good that he’s basically immortal and we’re shown numerous instances where he’s died to emphasize all of that. It’s a logical next step for the character and connects dots in a way that’s interesting. While not a retcon, it uses past stories to create a stronger one here and adding a new twist to the character.
Waid, Ewing, and Zub also add a lot of pathos to the character as he just wants to rage to end. There’s something even more tragic about it all. This is a person who realizes he’s a monster and just doesn’t want to continue but keeps being brought back. Again, it’s interesting and sets up an exciting future.
From there, it’s the Hulk doing what he does best, being an unstoppable force.
The art is a little hit and miss with this issue. Art duties are handled by Joe Bennett and Paco Medina and the flashbacks are in stark contrast with the present battle. The flashbacks are a little meh while the battle has some fantastic details. It’s noticeable and a disappointment for an event that has been so good both in story and art.
The issue is the first bump in the event, but it’s still an entertaining one. The creative team give us a break to catch up readers as to the Hulk’s history while also setting him upon his destructive path. It’s an issue that sets things up and has me scratching my head as to how the Avengers are going to deal with this new x-factor.
Entertaining though a bit flawed.
Story: Mark Waid, Al Ewing, Jim Zub Art: Joe Bennett, Paco Medina Cover: Mark Brooks
Story: 7.5 Art: 7.0 Overall: 7.45 Recommendation: Read
Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review