Bruce Banner has gone through a whole lot over the past few years. He’s pretty much been a sad smashing sack with some heroic moments in between for as long as I can remember. But two things came along to change that: Joss Whedon and Mark Waid. In ‘The Avengers’, Joss reminded the world that the Hulk is truly a hero and that Banner is making the best out of his situation. At the same time, before the movie came out, Waid was approached with taking the reins of the Jade Giant for Marvel NOW! and he pitched a similar take on the character. But the point, we have ourselves a brand new Hulk in the pages of Marvel Comics and now that he’s come realize a few things, he’s indestructible.
In this first issue of this brand new series, Bruce Banner approaches Maria Hill, the director of S.H.I.E.L.D., with a whole new outlook on life and a proposition. After years of searching for a cure for his condition, the good doctor has determined that he has a terminal condition like cancer or diabetes and has to learn to live with it. Additionally, now that he’s shifted focus from curing himself, he’s decided to start focus instead on helping the people of the world like Reed Richards and Tony Stark do. So in order to get what he wants from Hill, Banner and the Hulk audition, so to speak.
After reading the first installment of this new series, I’m enjoying the direction that Mark Waid is taking the Hulk. At first, I wasn’t so sure that I’d like Banner basically being an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., but I can see the affiliation putting Bruce in some interesting predicaments that we’ve never seen the Hulk in before. Sure, Greg Pak put the big guy in space, and we’ve never seen Hulk as a gladiator before, but I’m fully confident that Waid has some interesting stuff up his sleeve. I mean, look at what he did with Daredevil. He’s having a phenomenal run on that book and he can do the same with this one.
In terms of the art, I’m usually not a fan of Leinil Yu’s work. I can appreciate it, but I usually find it to be too dark and scratchy. In ‘Secret Invasion’, the tones and colors utilized were muddy and dirty and just didn’t mix well with Yu’s style. However, in ‘Indestructible Hulk’, Yu’s images are greatly enhanced by Sunny Gho’s colors, especially the green used for the Hulk. The splash page in the middle of the book looks glorious. The artistic team behind this book might be one of the best in the whole relaunch.
Overall, ‘Indestructible Hulk’ is one of the standout books of Marvel NOW!. It has made me check out a character that I wouldn’t normally check out and I’m thinking of sticking around for a while. Cheers, Marvel. You got me right where you want me. Mostly because I want to find out about these mechanical pants Hulk is wearing on the cover.
INDESTRUCTIBLE HULK #1
Written by MARK WAID
Art by LEINIL FRANCIS YU & SUNNY GHO