July 15, 2024

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Noteworthy Issues: Incredible Hulk #4 (September, 2023)

The Hulk finds some monsters in a swamp.

And now, another quick review for an issue from a series about monsters meeting monsters.

Issue:  Incredible Hulk #4, September 2023

Writer:  Phillip Kennedy Johnson

Artist:  Travel Foreman

The Plot:  Green monsters meet when Banner encounters the Man-Thing!

Commentary:  The Hulk in this series may be at his least friendly ever, a creature that seems to hate everything and everybody save for teenage runaway Charlie (who is forbidden from helping Banner), but he especially hates Bruce Banner.  Banner, meanwhile, is doing everything in his power to get Charlie to stop following him and the Hulk, but she’s not interested in that.  Meanwhile, there’s this thing in a swamp that seems to be luring people into the bog by posing as dead loved ones.  And yes, being lured in is not a good thing.

But then Banner meets up with the Man-Thing in the swamp.  There’s a nice twist here where Man-Thing can take the human form of Ted Sallis to communicate with Banner or the Hulk within the Nexus of Realities but…if I want to know what Sallis wants, that’s for the next issue.  I will say it is nice twist to show a human Sallis, bringing in two scientists that were cursed by accidents to transform into green monsters.  Will there be more to it than that?  I don’t know, but it is odd that the Man-Thing doesn’t seem to hate Sallis, probably because they are basically the same person, and Sallis’s curse is arguably worse since the Man-Thing is a mute thing that may not be overly intelligent.

And therein lies the problem with this issue:  it’s part one of two.  This issue is all set-up.  It’s good set-up, to be sure.  The swamp monster is nice and creepy.  Charlie is in danger, and there’s advancement on her character arc.  Plus, it is a nice twist on the Man-Thing, possibly as the one being on Earth that the Hulk can’t hurt.  But it is still set-up.  There’s only so much for me to react to since it’s only half a story.

Grade:  B