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HULK #38

Now it is generally well know that ‘bad guys’ – or ‘villains’ for use of a better word – don’t really get along together. I find that this is because there is a genetic flaw within their DNA – inadvertently making them into a$$-hole. And do you know who else has a genetic flaw? Writer: Jeff Parker; Artist: Elena Casagrande; and Publisher: Marvel Comics – especially in September 2011. 

You might have thought that the worst thing to happen to General (Rulk) Ross today was to have a building thrown on top of him by the supercharged Thing. But no, as to make matters even worse, MODOCK turns up, Black Fog Turns up, and so does Zero / One too. Also, lets not forget about the Thing, huh? Therefore, what happens when Rulk villains meet? Do they clash? Hmm? Yes – yes they do. But not until the Thing punches Rulk into the stratosphere, clearing a path for an initial confrontation that is strained to say the least.

However, over time, both MODOCK and Zero / One shield themselves from the Things prying gaze, and then enter a ‘information exchange’ in which they learn of there shared history together – there common ground – and there mutual hatred for Rulk. Unfortunately, though, the results of this discourse, is a simple one to fathom – Rulk, your in deep sh*t now!

Still, where is the Rulk, huh? Lying in a field far-far way – recovering from his injuries.

To be continued...

Now that is a little more like it. This issue of the Hulk – unlike the previous chapter – was a lot more fun. In a strange way, it did kind of remind me of a silver-age tale, where two villains meet up, clash, and then decide to beat-up a mutual hero. OK, so maybe not one hundred percent like that, but still, this concept is the conceptual genesis behind this issue.

Personally speaking, I like to think that the two main reasons why this issue was better, is all to do with its focus and its realisation.

Where focus is concerned, it marginalised the whole ‘Fear Itself’ strand of the story, and then concentrated upon getting the two villains – MODOCK and Zero / One – on the same page. And I have to admit, that way in which this transpired – by making them both scared of the supercharged Thing – really did work for me, especially the segment when MODOCK tries to be a hero (that was funny).

However, the realisation part of this equation is a strange one to explain, though it does all centre upon the noticeable absentee within this issue, the Rulk. Theoretically, Rulk does not need to be in this issue all – as he is merely the realised element that channels the bad guys hatred.  I like to think of him as the ‘Calvera’ figure as depicted in the film ‘The Magnificent Seven’ (as played by Eli Wallach), because he is the person that everybody is speaking about, but doesn’t really see. OK, I understand that this may sound somewhat obtuse all and all, and that is why this issue does feel kind of stained in places.

Overall, however, this isn’t a bad second Hulk-instalment of ‘Planet of Fear’ – as it told a story – it progressed this plotline along a bit more – and on top of that, it was more enjoyable than the previous part. Granted, the Rulk wasn’t in it much, but sometimes this is not necessarily a bad thing. Well – lets face it – the title of the comic is called the ‘Hulk’, and the only related person to him in this issue is the ‘Rulk’... except for this issue of course. Good job Parker and Casagrande – but please remember – you are not out of the woods yet – Omex is Coming!

Nice issue – picking up momentum.


HULK #38 HULK #38 Reviewed by David Andrews on August 23, 2011 Rating: 5
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