We’ve all been there: two issues in your hand, you can only afford one. What is the broke geek to do?! Sean Sorensen is here to guide you in your thrifty comics crusade by providing you with the one issue each week that’ll make you say, “Shut up, and take my $5!” It always feels good to get the most “BIF! BAM! POW!” for your buck, doesn’t it?
Hope this message reaches you in time! For the love of all that is holy: do not – I REPEAT – do not buy Dial H #11. I was wrong. Oh God, I was so wrong. What a waste of money…
Now back to our regularly scheduled review…
This week, Marvel shined with three strong offerings in Age of Ultron #4, Thanos Rising #1, and Indestructible Hulk #6. These three books left the rest of my reads in the dust. But, you ask, who would win in a battle between The Hulk, Ultron, and Thanos? It’s actually a really easy question to answer.
Hulk has never been a favorite of mine. I feel like the Jekyll and Hyde bit has been done to death, and you can only watch the Hulk smash so many things before it actually get’s boring.
Enter Mark Waid.
In one arc, he managed to make both the Hulk and Bruce Banner fresh and exciting again, all without stripping away the core characters. For once, a writer is allowing Bruce Banner to grow and stretch his legs a little, making the Hulk’s appearances all that more satisfying.
There is so much to love about this issue’s story. Bruce Banner is his own mad scientist version of the Future Foundation. With unlimited funds from S.H.I.E.L.D. and his own hand picked team of assistants, Banner is a sight to behold. Want to make a portal to Jotunheim using a sliver of Uru metal from Mjolnir? Sure. Why not? They can do that. And do it, they did.
Opening the way to the one of the other nine worlds brings us some nice scenes with the Hulk vs. Frost Giants, with some help from Thor. The twist? This is not the Thor we were expecting. Somehow Banner’s portal landed them in a time before Thor’s involvement with the Avengers. Banner’s interaction with Thor is pure gold, including a comment about how the Thor he knows “drinks a Shake Shack dry once a week.” Kudos to Waid for making this Thor a lot like the Simonson Thor from the 80’s, complete with Shakespearian voice. It’s a great touch and jives perfectly with the art for the book.
Oh, did I forget to mention that this arc is being penciled by Walt Simonson? My bad.
I don’t think there could have been a better choice to pencil this story. There is something about Simonson’s art that just shines any time he is drawing anything having to do with Thor and crazy mad science. This issue is chock full of Simonson sound effects, Simonson energy circles, and Simonson motion lines. For fans new and old, this issue is an artistic treat.
But – and sadly yes, there is a “but” – Mr. Simonson’s art does suffer just a tad from the coloring job done on the book. This could be the crotchety old fan coming out, but I think Simonson’s art lends itself to the old pen and paper days. The digital color just doesn’t work as well with his pencil and ink style. It comes off like someone tried to color a page that was meant to be black and white. But this is a small quibble; it’s still a gorgeous book.
There you have it, folks: Indestructible Hulk #6 has been found worthy of your $5. Between Mark Waid’s mad science and old school Thor fun and Walt Simonson’s fantastic art, this book delivers on every page. If you still need some convincing, I will direct you to this spoilerific splash page from the end of the issue. If that doesn’t sell you, you must be a fun-hating robot.