Beyond Spider-Man : 2002 : The REALLY Incredible Hulk

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Date: Oct 11, 2002
Next: Agent X-Cellent?
Prev: Halo Jones
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[No Spider-Man]
Incredible Hulk (Vol. 2) #46
Jan 2003 : No Spider-Man
Editor:  Axel Alonso
Story:  Bruce Jones
Pencils:  Stuart Immonen
Inker:  Scott Koblish
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Review

The Hulk has been around for a long time and my experience of the character up until recently wasn't all that exciting. Peter David had an extremely long run on the book and a lot of people at the time gave it a lot of praise and when Andy Kubert joined him on the book, I thought it was time to check it out. Well the art was amazing, but after a few issues I found the stories repeatative and pointless. I dropped the book and steered well clear through Byrne's revamp and even through Paul Jenkins (I writer I enjoyed) tenure. As far as I was concerned I couldn't see anyway in which the Hulk could be made interesting.

But, when Paul Jenkins finished up on the title a creator I knew little about took on writing duties, his name: Bruce Jones. I read a couple of reviews that were favourable. I started to see Kaare Andrews awesome covers in the local shop. My interest was slightly piqued. Then Marvel started but the issues on their site as a dot comic. I decided to check it out (hey, it's free) and was surprised when I was drawn in by the story and started to eagerly await each chapter as it was published on the web. By the end of the first arc on the web there was no way I could stop myself from picking up the book at my local comic shop, especially since Lee Weeks was drawing the next arc.

These days the Incredible Hulk really is an incredible comic title. It's full of suspense and mystery and hardly ever actually includes the Hulk! Gone are the repeatative "Hulk Smash" stories or the "I am the strongest stories". Instead the story has been following Bruce Banner on the run from the law, a secret organisation and himself. When the Hulk does appear it is with dramatic effect. When he's not 'on screen' his presence is felt, particularly in Bruce Banner's expectant horror of what the could might've done and could do. It makes for an intense storyline. There's lots of mystery too, but not so much that you feel totally lost or frustrated by the lack of answers. Add this to the spectacular art and the best covers on any comic title I've seen lately and what you've got is comic that's better read than many of the books on the market.

So if like me you've been previously burnt by the Hulk or totally uninterested, now is the time to pick up the title and check it out. I don't think you'll be disapointed.