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Incredible Hulk: Pardoned Paperback – May 9, 2012
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Top Customer Reviews
After gaining the full intelligence of his alter ego Bruce Banner, the Hulk is granted a presidential pardon for his past rampages and is accepted by his superhero contemporaries and by society at large. This doesn't make things much easier, however, as Banner must learn to cope with the pros and cons of his newfound celebrity status, the old enemies who continue to attack him, and his own self-doubt.
Mantlo cleverly sets his intelligent Hulk apart from the Hulk of old while remaining true to the essence of the character: the Hulk has always been less concerned with being a hero and more concerned with being at peace. His new form is no exception. With the shadow of the monster behind him (at least for now), his main goal becomes rediscovering who the man, Bruce Banner, is and what his place in the world will be. Sal Buscema's wonderful artwork adds much depth and detail not only to the settings, but to the characters as well. His rendition of the intelligent Hulk evokes a newfound sense of reason, as well as an underlying fear of what he once was, and may become again.
Featuring guest-appearances by virtually every Hulk-related character ever created, and by nearly the entire Marvel Universe pantheon of heroes, PARDONED is a milestone in the ongoing story of the Hulk. Hopefully further reprints of Mantlo's Hulk stories, both before and after those collected here, will soon follow.
The Hulk having the mind of Banner is interesting -- it's hard to believe it took two decades for Marvel to publish such a storyline -- but Mantlo's exploration of the implications, studded among the slugathons, are the story's reward. Banner thinks the fusion of brawn and brilliance will make life easier and more rewarding, but the change presents a new set of challenges. Banner's friends react selfishly, and Banner is surprised they aren't as happy for him as he expected. Banner realizes the Hulk's savage mind was too stupid to fear danger, which made him angrier and stronger. Banner also fares poorly under the media's fawning attention.
Since this is a traditional superhero comic, Mantlo does wheel out some hoary old tropes: unnecessary fights breaking out because of miscommunication, villains refusing to kill the Hulk after defeating him, the Hulk coincidentally running into old foes in the depths of space. And as an `80s comic, it wasn't written for the trade paperback; the tone shifts without warning, villains wander in to add a little action (not a bad thing when those villains include the Leader, Abomination, Wendigo, Zzzax, and the U-Foes), and subplots exist to add jeopardy rather than advance the main plot or a character arc.
Buscema earns the title of greatest Hulk artist on both the quality of his work and his longevity. Pardoned, in the middle of his Hulk run, gives him a chance to do something few artists get to do: humanize Hulk.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
the book was graet and was at a real good price hope tp find more like it in the futurePublished on April 21, 2014 by daniel waller jr
I'm glad Bill Mantlo's Hulk has been getting reprintings, even if they don't start at the beginning of his run, missing classic comics like Hulk vs. the Absorbing Man. Read morePublished on July 23, 2013 by Dusty