Mind Capsules – Hulk #5 and Batman Eternal #19

hulk 5
Hulk #5

Writer – Gerry Duggan
Artist – Mark Bagley
Inket – Andy Hennessy
Colours – Jason Keith

The fifth issue of the current Hulk run finds Banner/Hulk all fixed up after getting a bullet to the back of the head which incapacitated him for some time. Absent from the book is the aforementioned Banner and even the Hulk that everyone knows and loves. In their place is Doctor Green, still the Hulk in a way, but as he puts it, ‘his brain has now caught up to his body.’ Now the Hulk is more intelligent than he has ever been before, perhaps even smarter than Reed Richards. It is an interesting turn of events, especially as he is out to create a cure for those affected by gamma radiation, specifically those that tend to transform into much stronger beings. Like himself. Gerry Duggan comes on board to the title with a new direction that is most welcome, one that takes the intelligent Hulk idea, but turns it up a few notches. The Doctor Green persona is very matter-of-fact in his statements, a little ignorant and smarmy, but a man who knows what he wants done, when he wants it and how he wants it. Duggan also keeps Waid’s concept of working with team of scientists except now that the Hulk is so smart, they are not really there to add their input or ideas, they are only present to serve the Hulk as glorified lab assistants. Mark Bagley sticks around on the artistic front and his work looks great. When he is doing a single title a month, his work is solid, but when he starts drawing two or three books in a four to five week period, it starts to suffer. He might be a workhorse, but his art is best when he is not overworked. Going forward, it looks as if the Hulk has some big ideas he wants to put into play and of course, some opposition to them as well. A very strong start from Duggan and company.

4 out of 5

Batman Eternal #19

Writer – Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV, Tim Seeley, Ray Fawkes, John Layman
Artist – Emanuel Simeoni
Colours – Blond

Down in Brazil, Batgirl has been hypnotized and is out to take Red Hood and Batwoman down, believing they are someone else. Batman, Lt. Bard and Killer Croc are in the sewers searching for the missing teens from the previous issue and Red Robin and Harper Row are in Japan looking to get her some training. This was a fairly decent issue from the creative team with some great fight scenes between Batgirl and Red Hood. Batwoman keeps proving why she is one of the best characters in the Batman family of titles with her take charge attitude. The Killer Croc storyline is shaping up to be fairly good so far even though it has barely begun. It would be nice to gain a little more traction on the Red Robin and Harper Row plot as a page here or there in the previous books are not doing it any favours. Coming on board for artistic duties is Emanuel Simeoni. The art is detailed yet looks a little rough at the same time, and gives it a grim type of feeling for most of the issue, which actually suits the book and the story. The writers have been doing a great job on the book lately with the way they have been sticking to certain plots, moving them along at a good pace before continuing on with others and it is nice to see them trying to resolve some before introducing too many others.  Not the best of the run, but chugging along with some interesting stories.

3.5 out of 5

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