WRITTEN BY: Mark Waid
ART BY: Leinil Francis Yu
PUBLISHER: Marvel Comics
RELEASE: November 21 & December 19, 2012
Sometimes we show up late to a party. I’ve been told that if it is a trendy, rad, quickly paced party that has some of our favorite people in the universe in it, then it’s worth showing up to the party even if this particular party started nearly three months earlier. We have an editor these days, and if she lets me strain the metaphor as thin as I just did she likes me more than I like myself.
The TV inspired Bruce Banner has been running around making the Hulk boring since the 80s. I’m not saying that the formula of Bruce shows up in a city; there is injustice; the Hulk fixes it; repeat’ is boring exactly but lets all agree that it works better on TV and move on?
When Mark Waid’s birthday comes around Leland is very likely to write a quick bio of him, but for now know that all the good things that people say about Brian Michael Bendis are actually true of Mr. Waid. Waid writes about dynamic characters with driven dialogue. They are intense, uniquely voiced characters that are true to their history, their cannon, and most importantly he doesn’t let any of that get in the way of telling interesting stories.
Light Spoilers From Here Out
The Marvel Now! Hulk is like watching the most interesting and engaging car crash I’ve ever watched. At the beginning of issue one Bruce Banner has come to the conclusion that The Hulk is incurable. As a reasonable reaction he turns himself over to S.H.I.E.L.D’s Maria Hill, asking to put both himself and The Hulk at their disposal as a way to atone for his crimes and as a way to do SCIENCE! Things play out about as you’d expect.
As de facto leader of of everyone’s favorite 616 Universe Secret Cabal Tony Stark has had his share of issues with The Hulk recently and Waid uses that tension to to let Bruce’s seams show in issue two. It is clear, at least to me, that finding out that The Hulk is Indestructible has unhinged Bruce and he is acting out the most dangerous rendition of the first two acts of Office Space imaginable. Letting Hulk’s obligatory issue two teamup-and-then-fight be with Iron Man lets Waid pull some slight of hand since Tony has to be the only person who has known Bruce as long and as well as he has but still miss the obvious signs of a maniac episode. Tony Stark is the most self-obsessed person in the universe, after all and he is really easily distracted by SCIENCE!
Waid’s writing is often a bit brooding, though, which of course is a great match for the eponymous character in this book. Bruce has decided to be a super outgoing, shiny-happy-time Bruce Banner, but Waid reminds us in the second issue that he is still a man who is most comfortable either alone with numbers, or in the company of other hyper-geniuses talking about numbers.
This book might, at times, be little more than an in-depth version of the bromance from that one movie, but I have high hopes for this book. It has a interesting direction, great characterizations, funny jokes, wonderfully drawn scenes and a great sense of pacing. If it is still on the shelves at at your local store pickup a copy, or two.
Vestrymen Grade: B+