Thursday, 2 December 2010

Review; Hulk 14 - 17

I get it now. When Jeff Loeb’s Hulk started a couple of years ago, I thought it was the writer lazily inventing a ‘new’ character by having the old one coloured-in red instead of green. Actually, that is partly true. However, I’ve since realised, thanks to an almost irrational desire for Hulk comics I’ve been experiencing recently, that it’s also meant to be dumb. This is a comic for readers who sometimes just want to see a violent brawl for the flimsiest of reasons.

Each issue of this run starts with a recap page that is refreshingly monosyllabic. It’s called “previously ON Hulk”, not “previously IN Hulk” as you would expect from a comic book. It’s like Loeb is telling us, “I write for TV, don’t you know?” I almost respect him for implying the medium he would rather be writing for. Unfortunately, this brevity is missing from the main story where the lead character’s internal dialogue bogs down the reading experience. Why have your character reveal some of their inner workings via an off hand remark or an unconscious gesture when it can be layered over the entire length of your story with a trowel.

These four issues feature the story, if you can call it that, titled Code Red. Red Hulk has learned that his transformation from his secret human identity has been witnessed by X-Men character, Domino. For some bizarre reason, he enlists the aid of variety of idiotic Marvel characters including The Punisher, Elektra and Deadpool, to find her. But when they do, surprisingly easily I might add, she’s got back-up from the equally idiotic mutant black ops team, X-Force. They all have a big fight that is prolonged unnecessarily thanks to the appearance of an ‘all-new’ character, the irritating Red She-Hulk.

Of course, Loeb seems to be an artist’s writer, which explains why this series has been drawn by a strong list of creators so far. Ian Churchill, the artist on Code Red, draws the story with appropriate thick-headedness and entertaining energy. In fact, his work here looks almost satirical.

Jeff Loeb’s Hulk comics remind me of old WWE soap opera plots and wrestling matches, only more preposterous and larger than life. Even the cast behave out of character, see Doc Sampson for example, to fan the feud that leads to the next big bout. They are great fun, great, shame-filled fun, but only because I bought these as part of an eBay lot that means these four comics cost me, altogether, only £2.80. Had I paid more for the set it would be impossible for me to identify the fun in them.


  1. Stoopid blogger, not saving my comment. Can't be bothered to type it again. In short: I agree.

  2. Thanks Rol, I like to be agreed with. Now I'm cross about Blogger too. I would have liked reading more about how you agree with me.