Four Colour Thoughts – Hulk #1 (2021)

The Creators – Donny Cates – Writer, Ryan Ottley – Artist, Frank Martin Jr. – Colours, Cory Petit – Letters

The Players – Bruce Banner (Hulk), Betty Ross-Banner, Avengers, Dr. Strange, Fantastic Four, Spider-Man

The Story – Boiling it all down, The Immortal Hulk was the story of the relationship between monster and man and this is a story of a man who has become a monster in order to control one.

The Take – Taking the reins of the Green Goliath for this new era is Donny Cates and Ryan Ottley and while it might be early to say, they might be just the right team with the right take to follow up from that which preceded it. Here, the Hulk is still an engine of destruction but it is Bruce Banner who is fully in control, who has taken the reins and is now able to control every iota of his being – including the Hulk. As Dr. Strange explains it, Bruce has transformed the Hulk into a starship and rebuilt his mind where Bruce is firmly in control and at the helm of this ship while the Hulk is locked up. It is from here that Bruce not only controls the Hulk’s body but also his rage and his strength. One does have to wonder if Banner is mentally all right though as he has a full-on conversation with his wife Betty – a figment of his imagination or a part of his psyche trying to tell himself that what he does is wrong. Cates does a great job at establishing this new status quo, wasting no time in explaining or going into what happened between the end of the last series and this one aside from a few short blurbs, instead focusing on moving forward in the first part of the story he calls Smashtronaut. Making it look as good as it does is Ottley who shines on the book, cutting loose with the visuals as the Hulk takes on Iron Man during the latter half of the book. Most surprising out of all of this, aside from that ending which definitely leaves things hanging, is just how cold Bruce has become, though some might just call it pragmatic. Bruce knows what he is, what he becomes and that the Hulk will outlive him so he does what he does now so that he might solve the problem of the Hulk, something he has been trying to do for years and something that nobody else has ever been able to do thus far. Altogether, this was a great start to the new book and it should be a lot of fun to see where it goes from here, in terms of what happens to Bruce and what happens when the Hulk breaks free.

Worth It? – Yes

1 reply »

  1. This was certainly a really interesting premise for the characters of Banner and Hulk. It was a surprisingly dark story as well with some cool Sci-Fi elements thrown in as well. Will be interesting to see how this all develops.

    Liked by 1 person

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