A gamma bomb went off and the Hulk watched Bruce Banner turn to ash in his own arms, but it seems that doesn’t exactly mean Doctor Banner is dead. It’s no longer the Hulk in Banner’s head, but it’s Banner who is in the Hulk’s head, and he has a plan. Whatever that plan is, it can’t be good, so the Hulk needs to Stay Angry so that he can’t revert into puny Banner and let him get away with whatever he’s up to.
Read on for my review of Incredible Hulk in Stay Angry part 1!
There’s a definite difference in Jason Aaron’s Hulk series than pretty much any other I’ve come across, and that’s in the fact that Aaron isn’t afraid to play with the ridiculous aspects of the series while also utilizing the deep and disturbed character that is Bruce Banner. In this issue, he does more with the former in a story that plays out like one of the Crank movies, except with Hulk in the role of Chev Chelios. If that sounds like fun to you then you’ll probably enjoy it, otherwise, stay away.
This issue is all about the insane and ridiculous fun that Jason Aaron likes to have with the character, from Hulk suddenly waking up in Mexico to him getting shot in the face with a heroin gun by a gangster man-dog, to telling Punisher to shoot him in the face multiple times to make him stay angry. The issue is full of insane adrenaline and, honestly, it’s just a lot of fun. But it also has a hidden layer of deep story beneath that in which we have no idea what Banner’s plan is.
There’s not much else to say about the story, but if you want your Hulk comics to be less… insane (mostly due to the fact that Banner himself is insane at the moment) then you should probably look elsewhere for a story about the Jade Giant.
The art, however, is an area to discuss. I’m a fan of Steve Dillon, but honestly he shouldn’t be on superhero books. He’s great on stuff like Hellblazer, Preacher, and on Punisher titles (like PunisherMAX, where he previously joined Jason Aaron), but when he tries to portray costumed heroes it just… doesn’t come out right (see issues #1-25 of Wolverine Origins). The Hulk here just looks odd. Rather than making him a huge muscular goliath, he draws the hulk as if he were just a pretty tall dude who works out a lot. And has torn pants. There are some really nice scenes and panels in the issue, but overall I think the issue suffered a lot due to the artist on it. No offense to Mr. Dillon, but his work just doesn’t work here. Luckily, this arc has a different artist on each issue as the hulk interacts with different characters in different locale (next month he’ll be in Atlantis), so we can count on an improvement as far as art goes in next issue.
Overall, this is probably the craziest Aarons’ run on the series has been yet, and I don’t think that’s a bad thing at all, but I really wish another artist aside from Steve Dillon was chosen to open this exciting arc. I look forward to seeing where the story takes us, because something tells me it’s going to end with quite a bang.
GO Rating: 3.5/5