HULK #32


Science and technology – two man made entities that have been vastly developed over the years, just to aide us when needed. Or have they? As at times I wonder if they have hindered the human race in our quest for enlightenment and peace – highlighted in this issue, Written by Jeff Parker; Drawn by Gabriel Hardman; and Published by Marvel Comics in May 2011. 

In India, Zero/One and her deformed assistant go in search for an unscrupulous murder from her past – a dark soul called the Black Fog. Forcibly, she is aided in this endeavour by a down an out electronic salesman, who – over time – manages to find this sanguine slayer locked up, and they take him from this facility to do with as Zero/One wises. And what is that? To transform him into a ruthless killing machine, and then set him upon the Rulk. Now while this is going on, the Rulk is suffering from sleep deprivation, due to the bombs implanted in his head. You see, he is afraid to fall asleep, as if he does – and reverts back to human form – the general behind the trigger will kill him, BOOM! So, reluctantly, the Rulk tries to stay awake by keeping himself busy – like stopping a tornado from destroying a village – until his comrade in arms, Annie, takes him back to home base for further investigation.  

Gritty – earthy – and parallel in tone, this issue of the Hulk (without the Hulk in it), is just a great read. In essence, it reminds me of a mid-seventies issue of Detective Comics, as it has that slightly jaded feel to it, both in art and in pace. Now this is by no means’ meant as any disrespect, in fact, I just find that this greatly enhances the books grounded temperament, literary lifting it above the normal comic book yarn. Thankfully, both Parker and Hardman are starting to really synergise perfectly in words and illustrations, hitting there stride in producing top quality work month after month. However, my only gripe with this title, is that it’s a Hulk book without the Hulk in it. If Marvel wants a Rulk title, why don’t they just publish a Rulk book? They did before! Why do they feel that they have to hide this pretence by deviously sneaking a solo Rulk into a Hulk title?  Maybe this ploy is just so Hulk fans can get to know the Rulk first, before spinning him out onto his own. Anyways, I just find that this tactic seems kind of underhand is all, and does hinder what great work this creative team are doing – because you can be left wondering whilst reading this tale “Where is the Hulk?”. Mercifully, you don’t find yourself doing this all that much in this particular issue, mainly because the Zero/One part of the story is such a pleasure to read, that its – captivating – great – and a joy.