"Doctor Banner and the Half-Monkey Prince"
Writer: Paul Benjamin
Artist: David Nakayama(p), Gary Martin(i), Michelle Madsen(c)
Marvel Adventures Hulk benefits from the guest appearance by Doctor Stephen Strange. That’s right. Two of the original Defenders together again for the first time.
Because this is the Marvel Adventures universe, the reader does not need to worry about Illumanati or some of the less flattering Dr. Strange appearances. Instead, just sit back and enjoy the kindly Dr. Strange who is always more than happy to lend a magical hand.
The Marvel Adventures Hulk is based upon the Hulk that is the most fondly remembered, and the one likely the lay person knows. This isn’t a Hulk with Bruce Banner’s brain or a weird gray bouncer from Las Vegas. This is a Hulk-no-like-Hulk-smash incarnation. This is the green happy-go-lucky somewhat dimly lit bulb with enormous strength, but a heart of pure gold.
Dr. Banner pays a visit to the good doctor to rid himself of the Hulk. Benjamin characterizes both alter-egos splendidly. Bruce is intelligent and skeptical of Dr. Strange’s magic. The Hulk is just looking to wreck things. In short, what we have here is pure unadulterated fun with Dormammu thrown in for good measure.
Artist Nakayama does a fantastic job when illustrating the various proportions and settings. He makes the Hulk look as strong as he should look without throwing scale and the laws of physique to the wayside. Dr. Strange has a serene, majestic mien. Dr. Banner appears neat for a change. I always hated the sometimes slovenly and scrawny appearance artists tended to render to Bruce. Dormammu in his various habitués seems suitably demonic as well as wickedly humorous, and his realm has a definite otherworldly aspect. Martin's nostalgic cross-hatching subtly gives Nakayama's pencils weight.
It’s another Marvel Adventures feather in the cap. Ray like Hulk! Ray like Strange! Ray like Monkey-Dormammu!
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