Review: The Incredible Hulk Vol. 2

The Incredible Hulk, Vol. 2The Incredible Hulk, Vol. 2 by Bruce Jones

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

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Hollywood buddy read with my Shallow Comic Reading pals!

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Solid follow up to Return of the Monster. This one includes the Transfer of Power and Abominable storylines. Bruce Jones ties up a few loose ends and keeps it more interesting than I was expecting. Teach me to stereotype a Hulk story. Those mysterious agents are still at it trying to wrangle the big green guy. Jones finally fills a few holes left from Vol. 1 and gives a bit more background on who they are and what their deal is. Doc Samson continues to get fleshed out a bit more in this one as well. I’m a little more interested in him as a character now and that’s after hating on him in Vol 1.

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While I did enjoy the first half of this collection, I really felt like this one picked up on the ass end. I’ve loved big-ass monsters duking it out since I sat glued to the TV on Saturday afternoon as a kid watching Godzilla take on all comers. Jones delivers just that when the Abomination steps to the Hulk and it’s ON. Liked the slow build to the final throwdown. Bruce paced the story well and certainly gave both Blonsky and Banner lots of motivation to wanna beat the piss outta each other. Jones continues to focus primarily on the Banner half of the monster in this one, but as long as he keeps it interesting, I’m cool with it. That, and Banner gets his freak on, the dirty hobo.

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Stuart Immonen provided the art for the first half and it’s not his best work. Not horrific, just seemed sorta muddy. Not my thing. Deodato, however, ends the book on a high note with his kick-ass work in Abominable. Not always a fan of Mike’s shit, but he kills it here. This really reminded of his work on Original Sin, which could be the high water mark of his career to date. For me anyway. Kaare Andrews continues to provide some great covers as well. His Where the Wild Things Are inspired cover was pretty boss.

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So Vol. 2 is a recommend. Bruce Jones’ stuff, along with Greg Pak’s Planet Hulk , is on the short list of Hulk stuff I would tell any comic fan to look up. Still some loose-ends, but overall fun stuff.

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Review: Marvel Knights: Hulk: Transforme by Joe Keatinge (Goodreads Author), Piotr Kowalski (Illustrator)

Marvel Knights: Hulk: TransformeMarvel Knights: Hulk: Transforme by Joe Keatinge

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Mean GREEN Buddy Read with my fellow Shallow Readers!
Criteria for this one? Anything with a green character!

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Whoo-Hoo!
I was pumped up for this buddy read, especially since I thought I’d picked out a real winner.

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I don’t know about anyone else, but I didn’t actually pay much attention to the spelling in the title. I saw Marvel Knights: Hulk Transmumblemumble.
Well, turns out, transform is spelled that way because ta-da! it’s Hulk…in Paris!
I know, right? This should be fun!

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Eh. It wasn’t a total loss, but it’s not as good as it sounds, either.
It starts off with Banner on a subway…sorry, Metro train acting weird. A nice young woman notices him, follows him off the train, and eventually helps him out.
She’s a good Samaritan, so (naturally) bad things will befall her family.
Who was this lady, and what does she have to do with the overall story?
*shrugs*
So why dedicate so much time into her story?
*shrugs*
Oooook.
Moving on!

Banner has amnesia, and some off-shoot of AIM lead by Nikoleta Harrow is after him. She evidently wants to prove that she (and AIM’s other bastard children) were not mistakes, by capturing and harnessing the Hulk’s power.
Or something like that.
Surprisingly, it doesn’t end well for her.

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This was a decent bit of fun, but it felt like I was missing some Bigger Picture. I thought the Marvel Knights titles were self-contained stories, but maybe I’m wrong?
The biggest surprise for me was The Incredible Hulk #1 that’s included at the end of this book.
It. Was. AWESOME!
And, if you know me, you know that I usually don’t enjoy reading older comics. But this was really fun! Not only do you get to see Hulk in his original gray, but I didn’t realize that in the beginning, his transformations were linked to sunrise and sunset. Or that Hulk could ‘talk’!
Sure the dialogue sounds silly by today’s standards, but it’s definitely still worth reading.

Transforme itself was alright, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to recommend this to anyone but a Hardcore Hulk Fan. However, Hulk’s Origin story is something I’d recommend to anyone who enjoys comic books!

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The Essential Incredible Hulk, Volume One

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Writer – Stan Lee

Artists – Various

Three stars

This is prehistoric Hulk written by Stan Lee. The Hulk character was a tough one to draw a bead on and make compelling and most importantly, marketable, which is why the number of different versions of the Hulk in this volume alone will make your head spin. From brute to toddler brain to communicative lummox – does he sound like he grew up in Brooklyn or Iowa – is he gray or green? The only thing consistent is his pants – always purple. He even sports a pair of ugly-assed shorts for awhile. It’s no surprise that the original Hulk run lasted only six issues.

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