Green Days: A Hulk Fan Blog

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Linkage- Solicitation for Incredible Hulk #100

(cross-posted at Superheroes, etc.)

Marvel released a solicitation for Incredible Hulk #100 at yesterday's Joe Friday's column.

Be warned, below there be SPOILERS!!!

I'm not only surprised at the revelations of this solicitation, but at the fact it was released at all! It gives away two pretty major plot points: 1) that whatever comes of the conflict between Hulk and Miek that we just saw at the end of Hulk #97, apparently they emerge as comrades, and 2) Caiera Oldstrong, the character who has - so far - been pumped up as perhaps the most dangerous of Hulk's adversaries, has joined forces with him! And remember, we're still waiting to see the issue where Hulk and Caiera fight!

You know, it's funny. I'm not going to provide a link because the effort wouldn't be worth it, and I don't want to embarass the poster in question, but maybe a month ago on the CBR forums, I read a post from a guy complaining that Marvel had "lied to us." He wasn't complaining about scheduling or shoddy treatment of creators. He was complaining about Marvel's misleads in their advertising. For example, he complained about the covers to recent issues of Fantastic Four that suggested Doctor Doom might pick up Thor's hammer. At the time, I thought the guy was stupid to the degree that he should get special parking for it. First of all, it's not like misleading covers are anything new in the industry. Second of all, the guy was basically complaining that the story was NOT spoiled for him beforehand.

But now that I think about it, it's difficult to dismiss the guy's complaints. When Marvel readers get used to having the solicits give them all the info rather than the comics, what else should they expect?

I decided to make Incredible Hulk an exception to my no-floppy/GN-only rule, at least for the duration of "Planet Hulk" (and perhaps beyond), but now I'm thinking that was a dumb decision. If I hadn't been reading "Planet Hulk" issue-by-issue, this wouldn't be a problem. Even if I saw the solicit before the hardcover collection was released, it probably wouldn't have stuck with me. Sure I'd probably have to wait until, at the earliest, late next year for the hardcover, but at least I could read the story without knowing everything beforehand rather than being spoiled by the solicit.

I realize this is relatively minor compared to the big clusterfuck over the rescheduling of Civil War, but it pissed me off. I may just decide to drop Hulk, ignore the solicits, and wait until the HC comes out.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Review - The Incredible Hulk #97

The Incredible Hulk #97
By Greg Pak, Aaron Lopresti, Danny Miki, Chris Sotomayor, Randy Gentile, and Ladrönn
$2.99 US

WAR! What is it good for? The best Hulk storyline this side of 1998, that’s what.

Last issue brought us the opening shots, and the fierce revolt we’ve been waiting for breaks out across Sakaar in "Planet Hulk: Anarchy, Part 2." The Red King rains fire down on his subjects in Crown City, Hulk and his allies invade the Maw, and dissension brews in the ranks as the Hulk grows unsure of how much blood he’s willing to spill.

This last aspect of the issue is my favorite. While reveling in battle and still close to his "warbound" companions, we see the Hulk questioning his own thirst for revenge as it’s mirrored in characters like Elloe and Miek. His search for his own humanity comes in conflict with his loyalty and his darker self, and eventually it leads him to try to do what he’s always done: remove himself from the situation and strike out on his own. Pak doesn’t give us any narration or inner dialogue to betray Hulk’s thoughts, and even his dialogue is sparse, but his actions show us everything. And I should mention the green guy’s attempt to separate himself from his allies leads to one of the best endings we’ve seen so far in "Planet Hulk."

But something’s been bothering me ever since "Planet Hulk: Anarchy" began and I think I’ve finally put my finger on it.

While it started out as a gladiator story, "Planet Hulk" has become a war epic, and with open war finally breaking out on Sakaar, I’m hungry as hell for the kind of big double-page spreads of battle scenes that saw so much overuse in CrossGen’s late titles. Obviously, pumping those pages out every issue didn't save CrossGen from drowning, but "Planet Hulk" feels like the kind of storyline that that kind of treatment could serve. I’m hungry for big, Brath-y, silent panels of nothing but swords, lasers, big freaking axes and blood, blood, blood!

But I’m not putting that in the minus column just yet. I’m trusting that Hulk’s creative team is doing what the creators of CrossGen never learned to do: building up to the big moments rather than killing the effect by filling each issue with nothing but those scenes. And the fact that I’m so bloodthirsty for it is probably more of a testament to a skillful building of suspense than anything else.

No BS. No pandering. It has been so long that I could say something like "I can’t believe I have to wait a month for the next issue!" about Hulk or any other comic for that matter. And it feels good.

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