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Hulk #4

Posted: Thursday, July 10, 2008
By: Philippe Duhart

Jeph Loeb
Ed McGuiness, Dexter Vines (i), Jason Keith & Guru EFX (c)
Marvel Comics
Plot: Red Hulk and Green Hulk go at it in the middle of nowhere. Meanwhile, Tony Stark and Maria Hill discover who this Red Hulk character actually is. Well, maybe…

Comments: If I were an artist -- rather than an expert doodler -- I would think that designing a fight scene pitting two Hulks against one another would be the highlight of my career. Well, the PG-13 highlight of my career. No, scratch that. Two Hulks pummeling each other warrants a hard R.

Two #$%@in’ Hulks!

But Ed McGuiness let me down. After three issues of the massive-gun toting Red Hulk handling things handily, we finally get what we know we needed all along: Banner getting angry about something or other. And when the gamma-scented doppelgangers finally face off…well, that’s the problem. Punches are thrown, heads are smashed, a chokehold employed. One Hulk tosses the other off of the Golden Gate Bridge. Standard fare. It wasn’t quite They Live is what I’m getting at. Granted, I’ve seen worse super-hero battles over these last three decades. But, we’re talking two #$%@in’ Hulks!

O.K. I’m over it.

The story of the new Hulk has thus far been pretty good. And I say this as someone who has never had much of an interest in the Hulk, regardless of color. Like all many, I jumped on the Planet Hulk bandwagon. And, like all of you, I was entirely disappointed by the dénouement of World War Hulk. (Do crossovers ever end well? Remember Civil War? Infinity Gauntlet?)

Of course, not a whole lot happens in this installment. There’s a fight. There’s a discovery. All we needed from issue four. Jeph Loeb, however, is an immensely capable comic plotter. The series is moving along nicely.

Two great things did happen in #4 that warrants mention. First, Red Hulk clocks the Watcher. Lays him out good. As if that wasn’t badass enough, Loeb and McGuiness demonstrate a rather efficient way of dealing with a gun pointed directly at one’s face, provided one’s enamel has been mutated by gamma rays.

Buy it. Or, better yet, borrow it from a friend and 'forget' to return it.



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