I'm hard pressed to find a more enjoyable tradepaperback than this collection, the latest in Marvel's Hulk: Peter David Visionaries line of books! Watch as Banner transforms from the green Hulk to the gray Hulk and even both at the same time! MPD at it's finest!
While the first couple of Hulk: Peter David volumes (with artwork by a young Todd McFarlane and containing the first appearance of the Las Vegas Joe Fixit persona of the Hulk) are excellent, this collection is really the pinnacle of David's entire run on the series.
The issues contained inside this collection feature the climax of a years-in-the-making storyline highlighted by the introduction of a New Hulk. All loose ends from David's beginning on the Hulk nearly 3 years prior are tied up and new plots are started! The New Hulk (later known as the Professor Hulk) is a merger of the green hulk, the gray Joe Fixit Hulk, and Banner himself. Also, the supporting cast swells with the introdution of the Pantheon (a super secret think tank dedicated to pushing mankind headlong toward their ultimate future destiny) are seen fully for the first time, and would factor into the series for several more years.
While these issues were sell outs and extremely popular at the time of their initial publication, time has not dulled their enjoyment one iota! I enjoyed them just as much as I did nearly 20 years ago!
My only (very, very minor) complaint is that there are a two filler issues contained within. These were written by David, but the artwork was by non-series regular pencillers and were intended as one-offs to give primary series artist Dale Keown a chance to catch back up on the series. The two stores in question are not bad by any means, they're just jarring when read in context of the larger storyline. One issue features a Grey Hulk vs. Rhino battle during Christmas shopping season at the mall, and the second contains a Doc Samson spotlight issue.
This is one of Peter David's best volumes of comics' work, with one major exception, and that's saying quite a bit for a writer like David who has written some excellent stories and whose career in comics now spans some decades.
This is the volume where David elevated Hulk from a pedestrian comic book cliche' into one of the more genuinely intelligent, interesting and pyschologically engaging reads of its time. In this volume, David completes a character journey he had begun at least two years prior, by completing a transformation of the Hulk from a savage childlike creature into an intelligent but brutish thug and finally into a smart, tough, capable and apparently well adjusted character. For long time readers of the Hulk, this 'fix" is of course deft sleight of hand on David's part. There's a secret to this new, "combination Hulk," with various aspects of the Hulk persona finally appearing "unified." The devil is in the details, and readers discover some years hence, that the Hulk created in these pages isn't a healed, well-adjusted Bruce Banner, but a new persona entirely, albeit possessing some of the qualities of all of the previous incarnations up to this point.
David's approach to the Hulk here is similar in scope to what Alan Moore managed with the Swamp Thing, namely using an existing origin and extrapolating from that origin in an organic, logical way that does not fundamentally change what we already know, but enriches the tapestry in a new and refresing way. For David, the Hulk is essentially a victim of multiple personality disorder, and therefore the changes in personality and appearance by the Hulk all appear to have a rational explanation, as opposed to the usual comic arbitrariness.Read more ›
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Smart, thrilling, action-packed, and -- believe it or not -- funny! All of these describe the incredible (sorry) job Peter David did in his 10+ years run on The Incredible Hulk. This trade paperback catches the Peter David run at the beginning of the "professor" Hulk persona and is also chock full of elements that will continue to resonate in the Hulk books for years to come. I cannot recommend this book enough!
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