Part one of “Hulk United” starts in this issue marking the beginning of the end for Jason Aaron’s run with the character. It seems even more evident that the outcome of these final three issues will be leading directly into Mark Waid and Leinil Yu’s Indestructible Hulk title in November, so anyone looking forward to that may want to check out what’s happening here first. And if you’ve already been reading this series then know that it seems Aaron is set on making the whole ride worth the price of admission.
Read on for my review!
My complaints with the previous arc were basically that Jason Aaron really didn’t seem to be giving us the whole story. It was like we were getting all these little pieces so that he could basically tell us a set of five vignettes of crazy situations he can shove the Hulk into for the readers amusement. If all I was supposed to take out of it was Hulk in crazy situations then I’d say that arc was successful, but it was supposed to be an important stretch of his run leading into the finale.
This issue doesn’t make “Stay Angry” seem like it was really that important, but at least it does successfully set up the finale of this title in a way that gets me really excited both for the next two issues and whatever it leads to in Mark Waids upcoming series in November. Aaron’s narrative comes to a head in this issue, going all the way back to his material in Fear Itself #7, running through what was happening in the first arc, and showing us what Banner’s been doing this whole time, while the series has been lending its focus to the Jade Giant. There are even some cheeky references to earlier Hulk stories strung within.
What Aaron has been doing with this series since issue #1 is redefining the Hulk/Banner relationship for a new generation of comic readers, and even though his run has been short at just fifteen issues, I believe he’ll be remembered for giving us a fantastic new answer to the question: Who is the monster; who is the man?
Jefte Palo rejoins Aaron for this issue, and his work is a welcome return after the lack of artistic stability we had for the previous five issues. Palo proved his worth on this title back in issue #7.1, and he definitely doesn’t disappoint here. The artist certainly gets to stretch his wings as he illustrates many locale from the desert, Nevada, a casino, Antarctica and Latveria, and he also gets to illustrate a mixture of nice scenes of dialogue as well as some action. It’s a mix of pretty much everything you could want to see and he does it with a certain flair that makes me with Palo could have illustrated much more of this series.
Simply put, this is a damn good comic. Aaron proves that he’s had a vision since issue #1 for where to take the Hulk and it’s an exciting one. If this issue shows us anything, it’s that the next two issues are going to be full of action, and full of the same analysis of character that has been the highlight of this series since issue #1.
GO Rating: 4.5/5