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Indestructible Hulk #2: Slow Burn

The new status quo – Hulk: Agent of Shield – will take some getting used to, and Mark Waid's easing us into it.

Indestructible Hulk #2

I have no idea what Mark Waid has planned for Hulk. Granted, this is only issue two in his Indestructible Hulk run, but it sheds very little light on what comes next. Waid wants to position Bruce Banner as a man who has turned his rage from battling the Hulk to being remembered as a scientist in the league of Mr. Fantastic or Tony Stark. Waid writes his version of Banner as though he’s on edge, waiting to get green on anybody who questions his scientific merit. Banner is still twitchy, but he seems to be channeling his anger through a quest to solve the world’s problems. Is Banner really becoming philanthropic, or is he just tired of his scientific contributions being second to his green goliath ones?

The entirety of Indestructible Hulk #2 seems centered around Banner wanting to step out of the Hulk’s shadow. Is it for ego? For credit? Is it to actually do good things or is Banner being controlled by some unseen force? Who knows? The mystery is part of what I like about what Waid’s doing so far. That being said, I still think people have a problem writing Banner. I don’t know when Banner became a prick, or when he lost his humanity, but it makes him a far less interesting character. I’m not saying go back to the cry-baby '70s, but Banner as an egotistical prick doesn’t do anything but make him a human Hulk with no powers.

Storywise, nothing happens in Hulk #2. There’s a lot of scientific banter between Tony Stark and Banner before a fight breaks out on a mountain. Waid could have been a little clearer on what the fight was about, why Banner started it and how come the two were chummy after it ended. While I dig the slow and mysterious way Waid is moving the story, his writing here is clunky and the dialog is usually bad. It could just be Waid getting his Hulk-legs, and that’s what I hope, because if the writing is this disjointed and clunky by issue 10, we’re going to have problems. As of right now, I still have faith in Waid’s talent.

Leinil Yu’s art is an entirely different deal. I hate it. All the faces are drawn as though they’re dirty and most often the faces shine as if partially made of metal. Yu’s Hulk is just bad. In an attempt to make him look like Banner, the Hulk loses that monster effect and ends up looking like ‘roided out weight lifter. I’m also not sure why Yu has such a thing for Hulk’s teeth, but he does. In almost every panel that features the Hulk, he’s open mouthed and bearing his teeth. It’s off-putting to look at, as is most of Yu’s art.

5

(3 Story, 2 Art)