So, for the record, I really like this Donny Cates-written Hulk series.
I just don’t feel like I have a lot to say about some of these individual issues.
Issue: Hulk #4, February 2022
Writer: Donny Cates
Artist: Ryan Ottley
The Plot: President Ross comes looking for the Starship Hulk.
Commentary: While issue #3 took a second to show that, on an Earth where Bruce Banner perfected the gamma bomb but did not become the Hulk, Thunderbolt Ross was somehow elected President, #4 opens to explain where most of this Earth’s heroes are. There’s one exception held for a last page reveal, so I won’t say who, but the bottom line is there aren’t other heroes on this Earth. The comic specifically opens with the fates of that universe’s Tony Stark and the X-Men. Let’s just say it didn’t end well because Ross, as president, seems to have taken a J Edgar Hoover/Joseph McCarthy approach to potential threats to himself or his power and essentially eliminated them before they could do much of anything to stop him…whether they were even considering trying to stop him or not.
I mean, the previous issue showed President Ross had no objections to just using the gamma bomb wherever and whenever he saw fit, creating a lot of highly deformed Hulks for his version of Banner to just dump into the space between spaces. He just doesn’t care what happens to people.
At least, I assume so. It’s not like there was a quick trip to see how ordinary Americans are making out under his administration.
However, that’s not the point here as Ross found out what his Banner was doing, and the visiting Banner decided he could just smash what was sent their way. There’s more to it than that, but 616-Banner had a moment when he realized he wouldn’t be finding any superhero back-up on this world, and he paused just long enough to feel bad about that…before deciding he didn’t need anyone because he’s got control of the Hulk now, leading to a lot of smashing before Ross dropped his secret weapon in the last few pages.
All this and the Savage Hulk in the “engine room” being sicced on Marvel Zombies to give the physical body power, a move that Savage Hulk seemed to enjoy when he saw what was after him this time, and there isn’t that much to say since this issue was mostly Banner and/or the Hulk smashing things in a new world.
And yet…I really dig this series.