Monday, December 28, 2009

Hulk No More (Review)

Citizen's Grade: Impressive.

This third volume of the Hulk, written by Jeff Loeb & artwork by Ed McGuinness, has all the elements of a great story. In the first arc of the volume, The Grandmaster comes to Hulk and offers a way to bring back his dead love, Jarella. He has to put together a team to battle unknown foes. Hulk chooses Silver Surfer, Dr. Strange, & Namor....a.k.a. The Defenders. Then The Collector enters the fray with his team led by Red Hulk, The Offenders.

They battle it out, and in the end Jarella is still is The Grandmaster.

The second story arc guest-stars Spiderman, She-Hulk, Leonard Samson, and Ben Urich (Daily Bugle reporter).
It is narrated by Urich, who is uncovering a conspiracy involving Hulk that dates back to the end of the "World War Hulk" storyline.

They uncover a secret "Gamma" Base, run by General Ross & Modok, doing experiments on A-Bomb and Banner, and discover that they are trying to produce super "gamma soldiers". This is where it gets exciting as Samson reveals himself to be bad, Red Hulk appears, Banner turns into Hulk.....they fight, and A-Bomb saves Banner as the Gamma Base blows up.

The final chapter reveals that Banner has lost the ability to turn into the Hulk, despite Ares and Norman Osbourne's attacks.

I loved this volume. Loeb perfectly weaves his story, continuing from the previous two volumes.....more secrets and hints as to who Red Hulk is (without giving it away), the way he has changed Samson's character, and the direction he is taking Hulk show his brilliance as a writer. McGuinness is stellar as usual. I would suggest reading all three volumes to get a full understanding of what's going on, but this volume just increases the build-up to "Fall of The Hulks" for me!

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