Thursday, 17 October 2013

Indestructible Hulk Special #1 Review

So, another small week for me, but it was a week that saw the continuation of Marvel's 'Arms of the Octopus' storyline, the special issue crossover which had began a couple of weeks back in the pages of All New X-Men Special #1. Now it was time for part two to continue that story within a second series special, this time the book being Indestructible Hulk Special #1.

Picking up where All New X-Men's special left off, the narrative switches perspective from X-Men's Beast to the Jade Giant's alter ego, Bruce Banner as he explains how, after performing Hulk's latest mission for S.H.I.E.L.D. (which subsequently saw the best Hulk to Banner reversal technique ever) he is called upon by Spider-Man and the New X-Men (as seen at the end of the last issue) to provide insight into the Gamma Irradiated Young Doctor Octopus that appeared previously. After a bit of investigating Banner came to the conclusion the X-men reached previously that a temporal anomaly has brought past versions of characters to the present, which is seemingly confirmed when the (supposedly) dead Abomination begins tearing up the city, resulting in the good Doctor to get a little bit angry....

Note the Hulk's receding hairline.
This special maintains writer Mike Costa from part one of the story (although the artist is different). However, despite the consistency in the writing skill, this issue didn't feel quite as engrossing as All New X-Men. I think the main problem here is that Indestructible Hulk Special #1 feels a lot like filler, especially introductions and catch ups between characters, some which were played out previously, giving a very repetitve feel. This is most likely the biggest problem of the issue as it takes a lot of space which could have been replaced by necessary plot development or action. That said, this 'filler' dialogue isn't the only problem as the art doesn't really help in my mind. I'm sure Jake Wyatt is a good artist (though I've not seen any of his other stuff) but I just didn't like how this issue was drawn, with the depictions of Hulk and Abomination most likely being the worst culprits.

I think if Arms of the Octopus had been a two issue story it might have worked well. However, in this additional issue Hulk (despite narrating as if he's the main character) feels a lot like a guest star in what is meant to be his own title. It's not a terrible is but, although the Abomination thread does help move the overall plot forward with a unexpected twist, it all feels like too much effort for too little reward. Oh well, maybe Spidey's issue can make up for it.

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