Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Incredible Hulks #615

It's been interesting to watch this comic change from one focused on a single character to one about a super-team.

In this case, we have Bruce Banner assembling a small army of Hulk (or Hulk-like) powerhouses into its own version of the Avengers.

And it's a family organization, including the Hulk, his son Skaar, his ex-wife Betty (Red She-Hulk), his cousin Jennifer (She-Hulk), his old friend Rick Jones (A-Bomb) and his brother-in-arms, the alien Korg.

In this issue the Hulks fly through space in a stone spaceship (just go with it) to meet the Hulk's son Hiro-Kala, who plans to destroy the Earth by hitting it with a planet.

What I really, really like about this comic is that it's loaded with smart characters. Any writer can handle the "Hulk Smash" end of things, but Greg Pak is one of the few who can manages the clever plot twists and unexpected shifts that come from writing intelligent characters.

Banner is playing chess against a number of opponents, and he's doing his best to save his family at the same time. It's a heck of a challenge, and his solutions have been very clever - but there are other forces at work here, and not all the Hulks are on the same page.

The art in this issue is terrific, and it's always great to see the talented Barry Kitson's work. His figures are powerful, his settings are detailed and his layouts are terrific.

The great thing about this comic is that - like all the best stories - you never know what to expect.

That's a tribute to the creative team and the job they've done building this storyline.

Oh, and if you don't care about smart characters, the good news is: there's a lot of smashing in there, too.

Grade: A-


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