Writers: Peter David, Greg Pak
Artists: Juan Santacruz, Aaron Lopresti, Dale Keown
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Plot: Three different stories about our green friend.
Comments: We all known that The Incredible Hulk is a giant about 15 feet tall. There is a very impressive statue of the Hulk at Universal Studios LA. If you stand beside the monster, you feel like a little bug. This issue of The Incredible Hulk is also giant-sized. It contains three stories: "Green Pieces" by Peter David, the ultimate Hulk writer; "Banner War" by Greg Pak which isnít a full 22 pages story but more of an interlude to the next issues of "Planet Hulk"; and finally, "Hulk: The End" also by Peter David.
Let me start with "Hulk: The End," a story has already been published and hard to get. Iíve never got my hands on that one, so this Giant Size Hulk finally gives me a chance to read it. Mankind has finally killed itself and left Earth as a ruin. There isnít any human alive..., except Bruce Banner. The last man on earth, without any women like Y The Last Man. So he feels really lonely.
Time has passed, and Bruce is about 200 hundred years old! The natural first question is, how is this possible? Oh, he has some radiation in his blood, but Dale Keown draws Dr. Banner as a skinny, fragile man who could not even lift up a little pebble. Okay he can still kill a small bug, but Bruce Banner has lost the will to live. While Banner is tired of life, the Hulk isnít. Even at that age, he looks likeÖ the Hulk: strong and very healthy, with a very nice touch of grey hair. Bruce survived mankind not because of his smarts, but because of the strength of the Hulk. The monster he so hates. And the monster hates Banner. In a lot of Hulk stories they need each other to survive, but Banner doesnít want to be the only survivor anymore. Hulk does. Because Banner is human. And humans need other humans to life. We need people to talk to, laugh with, cry with. But Hulk isnít human; he thinks he doesnít need anybody but himself. I pity Dr. Banner. His life became a nightmare, fighting monster inside him and struggling with the outside world.
Just like in the first story, "Green Pieces." Hulk shows his human side trying to do the right thing when the super hero group, The Champions, act without even asking questions. This is what Civil War is about: Super heroes making matters worse. So after reading this story, I decided that super hero registration is maybe not a bad idea. "Green Pieces" really feels like a back up story. You can put this anywhere within the Hulk continuum, and nothing will change. The drawings by Juan Santacruz are very average. Some faces doesnít have the right perspective. Facial expressions are dull with lots of open mouths that are all the same even when they are on different characters. For instance, Ghostrider, the man from hell on his bike, looks in this book like a cartoon from the 80s. Jae Lee did a great back up story in The Incredible Hulk #82, so it can be done. This one isnít.
The interlude story "Banner War" deals with Dr. Banner's struggle to get rid of the Hulk. But Hulk is the strongest one there is, even when he is dreaming. Bruce doesnít stand a chance in this story against Hulk.
Which is the same subject "Hulk: The End" is about. Will Bruce ever have a chance against his inner monster? Poor guy. The interlude is only mildly interesting if you're reading "Planet Hulk," otherwise you can't follow the context of this story. And Iím following "Planet Hulk," but this story is indeed nothing more than an interlude, so you can skip this story, along with "Green Pieces."
But getting back to the main story "Hulk:The End." I love how Dale Keown draws the Hulk. I always was a big fan of his comic book Pitt. The way Dale pencils the muscles of the Hulk is amazing. So much detail. Look at the veins and the ripples around his eyes. Not bad for a 2oo year old monster without botax. The ghosts from the past are a strong extra by Dale Keown. You can feel the silence and emptiness of that era of our earth. I hope that that Mr. Keown will find it in his kind heart to draw Hulk again.
Final Word: So is this book worth $4.99? If you don't have "Hulk: The End," then definitely yes, but if you're one of the lucky ones who already has that story in your basement then pass this one; the other two stories arenít exciting.
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