|[ I'M CLASHING? ]|
DING! DING! It’s fight time in death valley. In the green and red corner, is the HULKS! And in the other colorless corner, is... A
LOT! This all battle issue is refereed by Writer: Jeff Parker; Artists: Ed McGuiness; and Presented by Marvel Comics on February 2011.
Under Bruce Banners direction, the Rulk is called to outer-space ‘
Death Valley’ to investigate a disturbance in this lo-cal. And what does he find? Trouble – trouble in the shape of the hybrid, Wooddog, whom the Rulk quickly dispatches before the Impossible-Man steps into the fray. In a round about way, the Impossible-Man then tells the Rulk that he is to do battle with an opponent to defend the human race. And who is this opponent? Xemnu, the original Hulk – a malevolent being who suddenly teleports into the vicinity and beats the s**t out of the Rulk. Thankfully, Bruce notices this turn of events, and in haste, quickly bolts himself into play and tries his best to relinquish this foe. However, Xemnu has the upper hand, and likewise bolts into play many monstrous beings to beat both of the Hulks into guacamole, SQUASH! For reasons of his own, the Impossible-Man does a dozy, and with the use of a ray gun, merges both the Hulks together into a composite being – with twice the might to vanquish this ghastly sight. POW! BIFF! DONG! And KABOOEY! Does twice the might make right? Well, in this case it does, before the Hulks, SPLIT! In the back-up feature, A-Bomb investigates a quandary in a cave, resulting in him being bashed by friendly foes.
This issue of the Hulk is a somewhat jovial one. It presents a formulaic formula of setup – engage – do battle – and, BOING! One that is comically narrated by the Impossible-Man whist the plethora of combatants do battle. OK, it does say on the cover that this is a ‘Gamma Sized All-Battle Issue’, thoe I would have much preferred it to say ‘Silly slobbering slugfest’ (well, maybe not the ‘slobbering’ part). As normal with Parker and McGuiness, the story is fairly self-contained and the art is bold, just ideal of an issue that does not seem to fit into the current chronicling of this title. In all honesty it feels as if it was a ‘special guest’ issue or something, not really tying into all the other events in this pre-existing mythology of Hulk-dom! Granted, the relationship between the Hulk and the Runk is touched upon – namely their love for Betty – but it does not give us anything new that the reader does not already know. However, the one thing that is somewhat new, is they way that Impossible-Man was utilised in this issue. He literally broke the forth wall, both commenting on the action as well as interacting in the story itself, in the same comedic vein as writer Keith Giffen. For me, this is what saved this issue, giving it something that is not part of the norm, whilst adding to the overall flavour that this issue was trying to convey. KAPOW!
THE RATING: B