What’s scarier than when Bruce Banner turns into the Hulk? When Bruce Banner CAN’T turn into the Hulk, that’s what.
That’s the hook of the new Incredible Hulk series: now that Bruce Banner is no longer the Hulk thanks to the events of incredible Hulk #600, the man who invented the Gamma Bomb, one of the smartest men in the world, actually has time to think because he’s not distracted by turning into the Hulk every five minutes or trying to find a way to end his curse. And now that he does have time to think, the other Marvel heroes are worried about what he may do next.
The issue opens with Bruce retrieving the Hulk’s sword and recruiting his son Skarr, so that Bruce can train the son of Hulk to fight, in case he does become the Hulk again. He’s planning ahead to have a way to take down the Hulk, because he’s been cured before and it never sticks. It’s a nicely paced issue setting up how Bruce relates to the rest of the Marvel Universe, and how they see Bruce. There’s also a few nice surprises for old fans, and some good revelations for those who don’t regularly follow the Hulk. It’s a great jumping on point, and there’s even a recap page for those that do start here. Written by Greg Pak and illustrated by Ariel Olivetti, who’s art is a mix of hyper-realism and caricature.
Also starting this issue is a back-up strip featuring the Savage She-Hulk from an alternate future, who also happens to be a child of Hulk. She came to the Marvel Universe recently in her own Savage She-Hulk four-issue miniseries and this co-feature picks up subplots from that book. Written by Fred Van Lente and illustrated by Michael Ryan, this first issue sets up her status as an agent of ARMOR (formerly SHIELD’s alternate reality division) and quickly starts the action rolling.
To there you go, two ongoing features for $3.99, both of which are taking interesting setups in new directions. Check it out!
-Daron “The Colonel” Jensen