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  1. #1
    Ed Liu's Avatar
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    Incredible Hulk #34 - 76 "Return of the Monster" Talkback (Spoilers)

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    Howdy,

    Anybody out there read this title? If not, the current issue looks like a good jumping-on point (<-- SUBTLE HINT). So, how about we make this for discussion of the last arc and the new one just starting. Basically, a talkback from the beginning of the last arc to this arc, to now, and beyond.





    The story in this issue is that Bruce Banner, on the run from the law and shadier elements, is caught during a convenience store robbery. The police negotiator who arrives on the scene is still recovering from a bank robbery gone wrong. And what is the FBI doing here?

    Bruce Jones is simply marvelous at graphical storytelling, and the artwork is very reminiscent of John Romita Jr. Jones has taken the Hulk back to basic principles: the tension between the man and the monster. He very effectively spreads that tension throughout all the major players of this story: all the characters have inner demons they are wrestling with, leading to an incredibly tense situation where we're left wondering who's going to snap first.

    My one question for regular readers is, "Who's the girl in the bikini Banner sees after he contemplates what will happen if he Hulks out?"

    I picked up an issue of Hulk in the middle of the last arc while I was waiting for a train, and was seriously blown away by what I read. I'm really looking forward to the TPB coming later this summer.

    Comments?
    Edward Liu | Disney Forum moderator | Toon Zone News Interviews Editor

    "It ain't so much the things we don't know that get us into trouble. It's the things we know that just ain't so."
    -- Josh Billings

  2. #2
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    ive got one issue where he uses her to "focus" on in order to contain his emotions, and thus the big green machine


    could it be Ms. Ross?

  3. #3
    Clayface's Avatar
    Clayface is offline Molecularly Malleable Mod
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    INteresting set-up, but I sort of felt let down by the issue, since it really was nothing more than a set-up. Kinda wanted more for my money, i guess.

    "With my feet upon the ground, I lose myself between the sounds
    And open wide to suck it in, I feel it move across my skin.
    I'm reaching up and reaching out, I'm reaching for the random, or what ever will bewilder me.
    And following our will and wind we may just go where no one's been.
    We'll ride the spiral to the end and may just go where no one's been.
    Spiral out. Keep going"
    -Tool, Lateralus

    "Be ashamed to die unless you have won some victory for humanity." -Horace Mann


  4. #4
    MattL. is offline Member
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    I like the back to basics approach, but I really hate the Vertigo style execution and the weird aversion to showing the Hulk at all.

    Yeah, geez if that happens somebody might think this is a comicbook. Cuz you know, thats such an awful thing and will prevent us from the oh so holy grail of mainstream acceptance.

  5. #5
    Clayface's Avatar
    Clayface is offline Molecularly Malleable Mod
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    Picked up Incredible Hulk #41. Hmm, well, it took an interesting twist in the storyline with this issue, but I still feel like maybe this book is moving a little too slow.

    I just jumped onto the title 3 or 4 issues ago, and so far have enjoyed it enough that it keeps me coming back each month, even if it is slow. Hopefully it'll continue to pick up.

    "With my feet upon the ground, I lose myself between the sounds
    And open wide to suck it in, I feel it move across my skin.
    I'm reaching up and reaching out, I'm reaching for the random, or what ever will bewilder me.
    And following our will and wind we may just go where no one's been.
    We'll ride the spiral to the end and may just go where no one's been.
    Spiral out. Keep going"
    -Tool, Lateralus

    "Be ashamed to die unless you have won some victory for humanity." -Horace Mann


  6. #6
    Cogliostro's Avatar
    Cogliostro is offline Finish it...
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    The plot thickens dun dun dun :-p
    "Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason than that of blindfolded fear." Thomas Jefferson (1743 - 1826)

  7. #7
    kid_flash's Avatar
    kid_flash is offline Speedy Teen
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    I haven't read HULK #40, which is why I haven't commented on #41 yet.

  8. #8
    Clayface's Avatar
    Clayface is offline Molecularly Malleable Mod
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    Incredible Hulk #43 was a great issue. Loved the way the story was ended, and that whole "mutated by Hulk blood" thing was disgustingly cool.

    "With my feet upon the ground, I lose myself between the sounds
    And open wide to suck it in, I feel it move across my skin.
    I'm reaching up and reaching out, I'm reaching for the random, or what ever will bewilder me.
    And following our will and wind we may just go where no one's been.
    We'll ride the spiral to the end and may just go where no one's been.
    Spiral out. Keep going"
    -Tool, Lateralus

    "Be ashamed to die unless you have won some victory for humanity." -Horace Mann


  9. #9
    Ed Liu's Avatar
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    I think Bruce Jones is the best Hulk writer since Peter David. My one gripe with this issue is the whole Coleridge thing. While it does mirror the situation, it's kind of incongruous. "Hey, I just pumped you full of enough drugs to stagger an elephant and am dragging you to an ambiguous scientific agency for them to dissect you. Let's talk about an 18th Century poem." Um, wha?
    Edward Liu | Disney Forum moderator | Toon Zone News Interviews Editor

    "It ain't so much the things we don't know that get us into trouble. It's the things we know that just ain't so."
    -- Josh Billings

  10. #10
    kid_flash's Avatar
    kid_flash is offline Speedy Teen
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    Once you get past a super-secret agency leaving their communicators on an open frequency (which I didn't realize until Sally said "I hope it's an open frequency") this was really good.

  11. #11
    Mattashell's Avatar
    Mattashell is offline Before punk,there were NUGGETS
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    My copy of The Incredible Hulk #45 hasn't arrived yet, so I may drop by the store again later.

    I'm contributing the "Silver Surfer Rebooted" fanfic to the Marvel Rebooted website.

    Check out Guttertown Massive on Facebook and Tubmblr.

  12. #12
    Clayface's Avatar
    Clayface is offline Molecularly Malleable Mod
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    I should have also gotten the new Incredible Hulk issue too, but Diamond didn't ship any to our store, so I have to wait until next week.

    "With my feet upon the ground, I lose myself between the sounds
    And open wide to suck it in, I feel it move across my skin.
    I'm reaching up and reaching out, I'm reaching for the random, or what ever will bewilder me.
    And following our will and wind we may just go where no one's been.
    We'll ride the spiral to the end and may just go where no one's been.
    Spiral out. Keep going"
    -Tool, Lateralus

    "Be ashamed to die unless you have won some victory for humanity." -Horace Mann


  13. #13
    Marc's Avatar
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    Incredible Hulk #45 was another great issue. Some of Stuart Immonen’s best art ever.
    A little disorienting at times, but that’s exactly the point, as you share Banner’s confusion as to his current situation. There’s a subplot here that I hope reaches a conclusion.
    Under Bruce Jones’ writing, Hulk is one of my few “must have” books each month.

  14. #14
    kid_flash's Avatar
    kid_flash is offline Speedy Teen
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    I apologize for my earlier comments about Immomen's art. I love this stuff, keeps you guessing at every turn.

  15. #15
    wonderfly's Avatar
    wonderfly is offline In the not too distant future
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    Well, I hear the latest issue of the Incredible Hulk kicks off a new storyline. And so, I put it on my list of "to read" items, to give it a chance. I tried to read Bruce Jones' first year on the title...I read his first 3 or 4 issues, but I just couldn't get into it. The plot was taking way to long to drag out, and I was totally unsure what was happening. Besides, I was a little sick by then of "Bruce Banner" on the run. That happens all the time though, and depending on how it's written, I can get into it.

    Now in my point of view, nothing it going to ever beat Paul Jenkin's run on the book. That was a great version, (or I should say versions) of the Hulk. Jenkins even outdid what Peter David did on the book! And, might I add, he wrote stories that added on to previous chronology created by Peter David. He even found a way to resolve all these different versions of the Hulk by showing how Banner's mind was splintering even further as time progresses.

    And then Bruce Jones comes along. And everything becomes a murder mystery, and Banner's on the run from secret govt. agency, and I'm like...*yawn*

    So did I miss anything? Can someone sum up his first year on the book? Am I making a wise choice by starting up this title?

  16. #16
    Marc's Avatar
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    The Incredible Hulk is one the best books available, period. I can understand why some people couldn’t get into Jones’ run. In some issues Banner didn’t even transform into the Hulk! But the way it was portrayed was much more realistic, frightening, and more movie-like. That’s effective drama. The Hulk is a monster. It’s supposed to be terrifying, and you shouldn’t want Banner to change, unless his life is in immediate danger. You get to the point where you share Bruce’s fear and when the jade giant finally shows up, it’s scary and exhilarating all at the same time.

    Paul Jenkins did excellent work on Hulk, the best in years, but Jones has made the book his own. He’s combined elements of the Hulk TV show from the 70s, added more of the danger of The Fugitive TV show and the suspense of a horror story. Bruce Banner is now on the run, and as stated in the TV show, “wanted for a murder he didn’t commit.” Banner must keep moving, never staying in one place too long, trying to clear his name. A little boy named Ricky Myers was killed during one of the Hulk's rampages, at least we think he was killed.
    Spoiler:
    It's been speculated that Ricky didn't die after all. It's also possible that Ricky Myers doesn't even exist, that the goverment created him as an excuse to take down Banner once and for all.
    We still don't have all the answers.

    And then there’s Banner’s email ally, the mysterious Mr. Blue. Who is he? Why is he helping Banner? What does he have to gain by aiding a known felon? Speculating as to the identity of Mr. Blue has been half the fun. Is he someone we’ve seen before? Captain America, Rick Jones, Reed Richards? All wear blue, and all are Bruce’s close friends. Whoever he is he’s one step ahead of the government during their pursuit of Banner.

    The heroes of the Marvel universe have been contemplating this for years: what would they do if Banner went out of control and had to be stopped by any means necessary? Banner should have been brought down years ago. Reed wants to help him, the Avengers want to stop him, and the government wants to kill him. It’s exciting stuff, but those are just my thoughts.

    - Cap

  17. #17
    Ed Liu's Avatar
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    Howdy,

    In contrast to my opinions on Grant Morrison's New X-Men, I think Bruce Jones' Hulk is an example of a revamp done right. This is not to say that Peter David (or, for that matter, Stan & Jack) got it wrong. I think Jones has a really intriguing take on the character that's perfectly logical, but provides lots of room to play around with.

    Hitchcock said that the difference between surprise and suspense is that surprise relies on witholding information (e.g., a bomb goes off suddenly in a crowded restaurant), while suspense relies on giving information (e.g., we see a ticking time bomb with 90 seconds left on the timer, and then see everybody in the restaurant talking about incredibly inane things, completely unaware of the bomb going tick-tick-tick). Jones' comic is about suspense, with Banner as the ticking time bomb and the Hulk as the explosion that we know is coming. If you view the comic in that sense, the fact that we get long stretches WITHOUT seeing the Hulk looks more like a very deliberate decision, rather than just a way to fill pages.

    The other angle I find interesting is that the comic is actually about Bruce Banner, and the inner demon he has to face. We all have demons that challenge us; the difference is that ours can't cause millions of dollars worth of property damage if (when) they get out of control. With a demon like that, it's a wonder that Banner didn't become withdrawn and paranoid BEFORE, and the book does a marvelous job at capturing that pervasive sense of dread and fear that must come along with being Bruce Banner.

    If I have to complain about anything, it's that the book is amazingly frustrating to read month-to-month (which is a good thing, BTW -- I say the same thing about Bone and Cerebus, and Sandman while it was still being published), and that Jones is being a bit too coy about giving answers without replacing them with more questions. The only reason why I stopped buying the book monthly is because it doesn't need my sale to keep going, but Power Company does.

    -- Ed/Ace
    Edward Liu | Disney Forum moderator | Toon Zone News Interviews Editor

    "It ain't so much the things we don't know that get us into trouble. It's the things we know that just ain't so."
    -- Josh Billings

  18. #18
    kid_flash's Avatar
    kid_flash is offline Speedy Teen
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    Put simply, the new version of THE HULK (which began with Brian Azzarello's brilliant BANNER mini) is the only version I've ever been able to get into. The idea of Hulk just popping up whenever Banner gets peeved never appealed to me at all, or the idea of the Hulk as a superhero period.

    But as Ace and the good Captain said much better than I could, THE HULK is all about suspense now. It's not BOOM, wow, lookit that Hulky go and wreck stuff. It's about a guy who's desperately trying to save lives by controlling this bomb he has strapped to him insides. And on top of that, he's on the run from a group of people who want him dead, aided only by his instinct, a mysterious contact, and people he meets along the way who he believes he can trust.

    Anyway, THE INCREDIBLE HULK continues to be one of the best monthly comics around.

  19. #19
    Mattashell's Avatar
    Mattashell is offline Before punk,there were NUGGETS
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    I finally got The Incredible Hulk #45! Can this book get any better? Every issue leaves me hungry for the next. I was blown away this month, and if the trend continues, the next will be even better. A+

    I'm contributing the "Silver Surfer Rebooted" fanfic to the Marvel Rebooted website.

    Check out Guttertown Massive on Facebook and Tubmblr.

  20. #20
    wonderfly's Avatar
    wonderfly is offline In the not too distant future
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    Yeah, all of what you said is good and all, but the pacing is just so slooooooooooooooooooooowwwwwwwwwwww....I read the first 3 or 4 issues, and I was unimpressed. And you mean to say they still haven't revealed who Mr. Blue is? Maybe I'm an impatient man, but I don't like comics to withhold answers from me.

    The other thing that bugs me is...which version of the Hulk is this? I hear rumors it's a new version....or is it the Snake Hulk we saw in Paul Jenkin's run on the book? You know, the Evil Hulk? (Which, possibly, is the evil Hulk from the future seen in that David/Perez comic from years ago, right? I forgot the title of that work...)


    I mean, yeah, it's clear that we've been working towards the Hulk becoming evil for years now...are we saying that this is finally it? That's be kinda crappy, since I see no reason for the Hulk to be evil. He's always been chased by the law, and always been angry and depressed, but this doesn't qualify as evil. I always figured it'd be a little something extra that would push him over the edge.

    And what happened to all the Hulk personalities from Jenkin's run on the book? I don't know...perhaps I didn't handle the rough transition from Jenkin's run to Jones' run very well...

    Still, I'll give the book a try again. Anything is possible.

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