Indestructible Hulk #16 (Marvel)

IndHulk16

Rating: 3/5 – Shows promise, but doesn’t deliver.

Indestructible Hulk number sixteen starts a new storyline with Mark Waid still writing, but has artist Mahmud Asrar taking over the art.  I’m not entirely sure he’s the right artist for the Hulk, but I’m looking forward to the rest of his work on the series.  I was a little disappointed in the finish of the last storyline as it started off so strong, so going into this storyline I’m a bit cautious on how this one will finish, especially since this particular issue starts strong, but doesn’t finish the same way.

This issue carries the Inhumatity banner, but I’m unsure as to why.  It’s a straight forward story that can be read without any prior knowledge of what’s come before in this series, or from the Infinity event.  The story opens up so strongly with Bruce Banner getting back into the lab and trying to live up to his promise of delivering a new “world changing invention” every Friday.  The problem….the other big brains like Reed Richards, Tony Stark, etc…are beating him to it.  It’s a great premise and something I wish Waid would have kept exploring through the whole issue.  Instead, the second half of the book turns into a Hulk Smash book which is usually fun, but after the opening, I wanted to see more of Bruce Banner and less of the Hulk.  I would love to see Waid who is known as such a smart writer, focus on that aspect of the character.

I’m a fan of Asrar’s art and I am looking forwards to seeing more of his work, but I’m not sure if he’s a right fit for this character.  His art is solid, but doesn’t convey the monster and uncontrollable rage of the Hulk.  There’s a few scenes where the Hulk is in mid-transformation and it doesn’t look how you’d expect it should.  The transformation looks too simple.  I’ve always been a fan of his work in the past so I’m hoping he’s still adjusting his style to fit the character.

Overall, this was an average issue of the Hulk that at times showed promise.  I’m hoping that Waid can deliver on both aspects of the Hulk character, with a little more emphasis on Bruce Banner.

Reviewed by: Shawn Hoklas – shawn@comicspectrum.com
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