Incredible Hulk 77 Reviews
The following was originally posted on PopCultureShock.com:
Incredible Hulk #77
"Tempest Fugit" Part 1
Available: Wednesday! (2005-01-05)
Writer: Peter David
Artist: Lee Weeks
PCS REVIEW by Harold Bloomfield
PCS SCORE: B+
No this is not a dream; this issue of the Hulk is really written by Peter David, the author of probably the best run ever on this character. I can’t really think of anyone who’s done better but I’ll qualify the statement just to be on the safe side. For those of you who might be wondering what all the hoopla is about, this issue offers a little glimpse of David’s take on ol’ green skin. It also serves as a lesson for practitioners of decompressed story telling. Go out with a bang and the thinnest of what’s come before will be forgiven. In a bit of irony David’s return serves as a showcase for artist Lee Weeks as about half the issue consists of the Hulk underwater taking on a shark and later a giant squid-like monster. Weeks provides great renditions of the ocean creatures as well as a dynamite Hulk. Kudos also go out to the colors provided by Studio F as the shades of green for the water and the Hulk are quite impressive. While these pages serve to display not only Weeks’ skill but the impressive power of the Hulk they also bring this issue dangerously close to another example of today’s ultra slow moving story telling. I mean half the book is basically pinups of underwater shots and the Hulk tangling with huge sea creatures. Great pinups and illustrations of the scope of the Hulk’s powers but pin ups nonetheless. Fortunately David fills the rest of the issue with a textbook example of his psychological take on the relationship between Bruce Banner and the Hulk which is much move complex than what we usually get. He also gives us an intriguing change over sequence that further illustrates his dexterity with these characters.
Best of all David supplies a stunning cliffhanger that quickly makes the reader forget the thinnest of what’s come before and makes next issue a must read. For those inclined it may also send you out for a refresher on Shakespeare’s The Tempest to get the maximum enjoyment from this five part story. So in summary, Peter David deftly shows that with the right cliffhanger decompressed story telling doesn’t have to leave you feeling cheated and that for him writing the Hulk is like riding a bike.
The following was originally posted on TheFourthRail.com:
INCREDIBLE HULK #77
"Tempest Fugit Part 1 of 5"
I'm not gonna lie to you folks, this creative team has a lot of money in the bank with me. Peter David, in addition to being on a major roll right now with Fallen Angel and Madrox, wrote the definitive Hulk for years and years, and seeing him return to the book suddenly makes me interested in the character again. Lee Weeks and Tom Palmer did some beautiful artwork on the second arc of the Bruce Jones run, and they do some equally beautiful artwork here. So I'm definitely looking at this one with rose-colored glasses, to some extent. But hopefully that doesn't detract much from my opinion when I say that this is a really good first issue, with some very powerful visuals, an intriguing mystery and a slightly tweaked take on the Hulk and Banner that also seems potentially interesting. It starts out a little slower than I expected, but there's definitely a good foundation being built here.
David and Weeks open the issue with a terrific visual indicator of the Hulk's power, and they do it without the cliche "Hulk rips up a town" that most would have used as a shortcut. Mind you, I don't think that Hulk ripping up a town is a bad way to do things, it's tradition after all, but the setting that David has come up with, and Lee has captured so perfectly, is a really neat way of indicating not only the Hulk's strength but his durability and unstoppability. His choice of opponent also says a lot, as it is indicated that even the most feared predator is little obstacle to the Hulk. And full credit to Studio F, who use a palette of greens that reinforces one of the Hulk's primary colors and is also perfect for the setting. Beyond a really strong establishing sequence, though, what does this book have to offer? Well, there's David's trademark exploration of the Hulk as part of Banner's psyche, on a more complex level than just "he's Banner's anger." This includes a well-written moment where the reader witnesses the transition between Hulk and Banner, getting a glimpse into their thoughts changing as they go, and even seeing how everything Hulk thinks comes out as speech bubbles but Banner actually thinks, leaving his inner thoughts as caption boxes. It's very clever writing, and tells a lot about the two characters in a small space. It also includes the Hulk fighting a couple of giant monsters, which hearkens back to the character's roots, springing from the Lee/Kirby monster tradition. If you've got giant monsters, you need an artist who can keep up, and Weeks, Palmer and Studio F definitely keep up. Whether it's the normal predator in the opening pages, the enlarged behemoth of the middle sequence or the mutated pure fantasy creature of the last sequence, these artists nail the awe-inspiring size of the creatures, and make them look like formidable foes for the Hulk. They also do a wonderful job on both of the exotic environments that David puts his protagonist into. The Hulk has rarely lacked for impressive artists, even when the writing was subpar, and it's nice that when the writing is stronger, the art remains strong as well.
David has mentioned in passing that this is a story patterned on The Tempest, but aside from broad strokes, those parallels aren't obvious just yet. However, there is a nifty little cliffhanger, and fans of Shakespeare will be surprised to see who is playing what appears to be the role of Caliban (or perhaps Ariel?) in the story. As with David's previous Shakespeare-inspired effort "Hurlyburly" in Fallen Angel, however, while a knowledge of the play might make the story enjoyable on another level, a complete lack of knowledge won't affect your enjoyment of the story at all. It's a shame that Marvel couldn't give this book a new number one, as it seems to have as much of a legitimate claim to it (if not more, with the book having disappeared for several months prior) than recent relaunches like Captain America and Iron Man. But it essentially is a first issue, and it's a very good one. 9/10
This is an unofficial fan site and is in no way affiliated with the production of the movie, and all pictures and other material are not intended to infringe on any copyrights owned by Universal Pictures and Marvel Comics. All original content & design Copyright © 2007 GammaStorm.com