Brandon Borzelli's Geek Goggle Reviews

Hulk #5
Marvel Comics
Loeb, McGuinness, Farmer & Keith

I want to like this comic. I loved almost every incarnation of the Hulk over the last twenty years. I feel I have been light on this particular title due to my biasness. At this point I would like to point out that I truly believe a comic is a team effort. I don’t praise or blame the writer or the artist for a comic’s success or failure. Even spelling mistakes are a team letdown. Having said that, my criticism for this comic runs deep. And it ain’t pretty.

The premise of this issue is for Hulk (red) to battle Thor. Now, I have purchased various collections of the Hulk battling other heroes or monsters and I like them. However, when told as part of a “story” you need some meat, some teeth, some reason why they are battling. This comic gives you nothing like that and it is executed in a poor and insulting manner.

Hulk threatens Thor. He claims he will kill him. He seemingly has no motivation for this. Hulk is so powerful he is even able to use Thor’s hammer. Again, this is without explanation as to how this is even possible. At the end he leaves Thor and his hammer on the moon. He knows he didn’t kill Thor. The question is why? Why waste time telling your opponent you’ll kill then you take his power source from him, don’t kill him and then leave him alive with the power source within reach? You make sense of it because I can’t.

Oh but there is more. Green Hulk emerges from San Francisco Bay and decides he will team with the Blue A-Bomb to go after red Hulk. Iron Man shows up with some friends to help hunt down red Hulk. Both green Hulk and A-Bomb are idiots. They apparently have no brains. This regression of the Hulk from the intelligent monster we saw during Planet Hulk and World War Hulk is shameful. There is no explanation for it and it has totally destroyed any character development done in the last 5-10 years.

And why is Iron Man willing to help green Hulk? Wasn’t Hulk in prison like two issues ago? Doesn’t anyone care that he isn’t in the jail underground anymore? Forget continuity with World War Hulk, this comic doesn’t even have continuity within its own arc!

The artwork is flat out lazy. There are almost no backgrounds. Maybe some rain or some stars, but no real imagination in creating any type of scene. Oh sure there are some big splash pages and nice battles, but as a result there is virtually no dialog. I read this comic sitting at a traffic light (including the ads). The only thing done nicely is the use of color. I just picture McGuinness saying he was behind and some big wig at Marvel telling him to just copy and paste some art and screw the backgrounds.

To recap this series so far, Hulk kills the Abomination with a gun. Then he invades the helicarrier and doesn’t kill anyone (Iron Man, She-Hulk, etc) with his gun. Then he finds the new A-Bomb and fights him. Then he bumps into the real Hulk and fights him, but doesn’t kill him. Then he bumps into Thor and fights him, but doesn’t kill him. So what exactly is the purpose of the red Hulk? What is the plot of this comic? What exactly am I paying for here? I’d rather see a bunch of Hulks, one of each color running around calling each other Rulk, Orulk, Yulk and Vulk. At least that way I would know I was supposed to laugh.

There are two good things about this comic. One, the story in the back is cool. A one page cartoon Hulk. Two, this issue is new reader friendly. Neither are worth the three bucks.

I can't in good faith recommend this comic. I am addicted to the Hulk. But even something like crack, provides some benefit of pleasure to the user before it kills them. This comic apparently only brings frustration and bitterness. If someone is out there who likes this story and this issue then bless your heart. You are a kind soul.

0 out of 5 geek goggles

Hulk #5