July 4, 2022

Gabbing Geek

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Noteworthy Issues: Hulk #3 (January, 2022)

The Hulk learns about an alternate world where Bruce Banner was never the Hulk.

Alright, Donny Cates on the Hulk.  Is Bruce Banner more dangerous than the Hulk?  Maybe this issue will answer that question.

OK, not really, but it’s still a fun series so far.

Issue:  Hulk #3, January 2022

Writer:  Donny Cates

Artist:  Ryan Ottley

The Plot:  Bruce Banner, in his “Starship Hulk,” learns more about another Bruce Banner from an alternate reality.

Commentary:  As much as I generally dig Donny Cates’s work, I gotta say, this is very much the sort of work where it probably works better to read it in trade form.  It is a slowly paced story where I can read a whole issue and think not much has happened.  That could be an issue-long brawl or in this case an info-dump.

See, Banner, in the Starship Hulk form, was collected from the void between realities by another Bruce Banner.  The curious thing is this Banner was never a Hulk, and he’s surprised to see the Hulk can talk.  Apparently, just because he never turned into a Hulk doesn’t mean he’s never seen a Hulk.  This is a Banner who did successfully create the Gamma Bomb but was never exposed to its destructive power.

Instead, the bomb he thought would somehow lead to a more peaceful Earth has led to a more radioactive one, and many times, the results of a bombing are human survivors…in the form of often deformed green monster men and women.  Good two page spread from Ryan Ottley for that one.  Said Hulks are flushed into to the void and the alternate Banner wanted to study one, but he only managed to nab an alternate version of himself.

Nice and simple, with a splash page suggesting a confrontation of some kind that probably won’t go well.

Then again, the issue opened with something interesting.  There’s been some hinting the Hulk went on some kind of violent, deadly rampage before the series started, and that’s why Banner sent himself into the void and why the other heroes were looking for him.  But there’s this hint that both Banner and the Savage Hulk persona know of something else down in the Hulk’s psyche, something neither of them like or trust very much.  Banner tried to lock it up.  The Hulk tried to attack it.  What was it?  I have no idea, but I’ll bet it’s gonna be good when I finally see it.

Grade:  B

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