REVIEW: Incredible Hulk #1

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Today sees the release of Marvel Comics’ new Incredible Hulk #1 by Jason Aaron and Mark Silvestri. As a long time Hulk fan (I’d argue long suffering… But that’s just me), I was very interested to see what Marvel had cooked up. I’m hoping we’ll see a return to a version of the character that sees his personality struggle as the core element of the series, but I have no real expectations one way or the other. PTB and I will launch into a spoiler-filled discussion of the issue starting right now…

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The State of the Incredible Hulks – Winter 2011

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I don’t follow too many Marvel Comics titles very closely. For whatever reason I’ve always found their characters hard to relate to with the exception being the Hulk. He was my one Marvel character and I was ridiculously loyal to him for a long time. When I finally stopped reading the monthly Hulk title early on during Jeph Loeb’s tenure,  it had been at least eight years since there had really been a run with the character that appealed to me. That type of loyalty is kind of sad actually… but I’ve digressed. Jeph Loeb is gone. I’m back. And the number of Hulks seem to have multiplied considerably.

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No Comics Wednesday (for me)

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I can’t remember the last time this happened, but I have nothing on my pull list for this week. Plenty of books from all publishers will be on the shelves, but there’s honestly nothing that I normally read. Knowing that a week with no books shipping is likely scheduled for the Wednesday between Christmas and New Year’s Day again this year, it makes for a pretty bleak December of comic books for me.

In an attempt to compensate, Kevin and I thought we’d look at the shipping list for the today and next Wednesday (a lot of these books got pushed back to December 15th) and see what I could have bought if I had unlimited resources of time and cash. Even though we don’t necessarily read all of these books, there may be some spoilers to come.

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Final Marvel 70th Anniversary images

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As 2009 speeds to its conclusion, the final Marvel’s 70th Anniversary variant covers have been revealed.  These are part of a set of monthly covers we’ve posted about previously in January and June.  While they’ve been difficult to find, I still think these are amazing images that Marvel should have made more readily available.

09_Ms_Marvel_45_70th 10_Amazing_Spider_Man_608_70th11_Invincible_Iron_Man_20_70th12_Incredible_Hulk_605_70th


Hulk smash puny arithmetic!

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Incredible_Hulk_600Today saw the release of Incredible Hulk #600, another landmark issue in the year of Marvel‘s fuzzy math 70th Anniversary.  The dodgy addition is in full effect for this Hulk issue as well since I can’t make heads or tails of how this is issue 600.

According to my research (Wikipedia), Hulk was featured in Tales to Astonish from issue 60 through 101.  At this point, the series was renamed Incredible Hulk and ran to issue 474.  The title was relaunched (as were a number of Marvel books at the time) with a new #1 and ran through issue 112.  This is where (and Kevin loved this) the title became Incredible Hercules.

The final days of the Incredible Hulk title saw the Hulk’s journey to an alien world in Planet Hulk when the Illuminati decided to protect the Earth by sending the Hulk away, and his eventual return for vengeance in World War Hulk.  Despite the success of these stories by writer Greg Pak, Marvel mysteriously handed the Hulk over to Jeph Loeb for a new series with a another issue #1, that was and is God awful.  This book reached issue #12 last month and has focused entirely on another mystery in the identity of a new Red Hulk (called Rulk, see, God awful).

Adding it up we have 101 issues of Tales to Astonish, 373 issues of Incredible Hulk (102-474) volume 1, 112 issues of Incredible Hulk volume 2, and 12 issues of God awful Hulk.

101 + 373 + 112 + 12 = 598

So, they’re off by 1!  No, they aren’t because you have to include Incredible Hulk -1 from Marvel’s Minus One Month in 1997.  599..therefore, this is issue 600.

Not really, there are still two problems:

1.  The original 1962 Hulk series by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby ran from issue 1 to 6.  Wouldn’t that make this issue 606?

2.  Hulk wasn’t featured in Tales to Astonish 1-59.  Wouldn’t that make this issue 541? or 547?

Happy Anniversary Hulk!

Almost forgot the issue review, we’re still not told the identity of Red Hulk, we get a reprint of Hulk: Gray #1, two fun Chris Giarusso stories (featuring Green, Red and Blue Hulks), and an intriguing She-Hulk story featuring someone who’s not any She-Hulk I’m familiar with and is apparently Bruce Banner’s daughter from the future.  I did not feel this was worth the $4.99 price tag and I’m not even sure it’s issue 600.

As of this paragraph, this post is now titled “What to Think of the Upcoming Incredible Hulk 601.”  It is a conversation Kevin and I had months ago when we learned:
Incredible Hulk was returning with issue 600 followed by future issues written by Greg Pak, Jeph Loeb’s God awful Hulk book would continue with issue 13, Skaar Son of Hulk would continue without Skaar, and Incredible Hercules would not be affected in any way.

Kevin: I don’t even know what to make of this.  Or if I even want to read it, what I need to do to catch up.  What a nightmare.

Pete: I think you can ignore Herc, obviously.  I can lend you all of the remaining Skaar issues leading up to 600.  I’m stopping that book at issue 12.  I think we can ignore Loeb’s Hulk.  The only real story is “who is the Red Hulk?” so, I think at that point you could start with Hulk 600 and go on from there.

I’ll be getting at least issue 600 (since it fills in between WWH and Loeb’s Hulk #1) and 601 (just to see what Pak has planned).  I will not be getting any of Loeb’s Hulk issues.  It is a nightmare, but I trust Pak.  I know you didn’t dig Planet Hulk so much, but I really enjoyed his run and World War Hulk for the most part.  Easily, the best since the Peter David stuff.

Kevin: Yeah I really liked World War Hulk.  Planet Hulk not so much.

Pete: I think Pak back on Incredible Hulk is absolutely worth checking out.  I have my doubts that Loeb and Pak had all of this worked out at the beginning though.  I just feel like Pak would have reacted differently when we asked him about the transition and encouraged us to keep reading.

Kevin: Yeah that’s what I thought when I read that comment yesterday.  When we saw him at NYCC he had no future Hulk plans in place.

Pete:  This post is now 700 words.