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HULK #43

There once was a General called Ross. Who thought that he was a military boss. But then one day, to his dismay, he turned red and became very-very cross. As depicted by the underdogs of the comic book world, Writer: Jeff Parker; Artist: Patch Zircher; and Publisher: Marvel Comics in November 2011.

So what’s the story morning glory?
In part two of ‘Hulk of Arabia’, we see the Rulk commencing his battle with the ‘Secret Avengers’, until they are initially delayed by the arrival of the Arabian Knight, and then halted by the subsequent appearance of Steve (Captain America) Rogers.

Next, these four separate factions all discuss together what they are able to do, to stop the influx of weapons coming into the Middle East – care of terrorist, Dagan Shah.

The outcome of this is all too apparent though – Steve and the ‘Secret Avengers’ have to stay behind due to governmental edict – the Arabian Knight does whatever he wants to do (namely, fly off in a huff) – and the Rulk is joined by Machine Man, and they both go off to investigate matter together.

However, once on point, a big winged creature turns up and... ARRRGHHHH!

What is the most memorable sentence spoken in this issue?
When War Machine blasts the Rulk and screams at him “Look who is calling someone a knockoff”.

Was the story any good?
The story was fine – even though it did come across as a bit too obvious in places. Also, on top of that, the ‘battle scene’ and the ‘convenient crossed purposes’ that these heroes found themselves in – did feel a bit too formulaic to feel natural.

Whilst on the other hand, the general through line was fine and simple to follow, and I did enjoy the ‘Machine Man’ inclusion into this story – it’s interesting territory to explore, considering Rulk’s relationship with Amy.   

Was the art any good?
I like Patch. I like his name (it’s cute) – I like his art (in places) – and I like the idea that a man named Patch can draw (must be my medication). What I do not like though, is the way that his style – even though cinematic – does come across as rushed at times, and has a strange way of feeling flat. Now this could be because of the inker – Rachelle Rosenberg – heavy shading, or the colourist – Ed Dukeshire – muted colour pallet. However, whatever it is – something is not right somewhere along the line, and I am sure that this can be improved upon in some way.

What is the best thing about this issue?
I liked the last segment of the book, in which Rulk and Machine Man started to talk to each other about their ‘motives’. It was rather refreshing to see Rulk get taken down a peg or two, and without any punches or kicks thrown. Moreover, I do like how Steve Rogers is acting as ‘exposition man’ on this issue – and reminds me of... sigh... Austin Powers ally, ‘Basil Exposition’ – just with a tighter fitting suit.

What is the worst thing about this issue?
Personally speaking, I was not too keen on the way that the Arabian Knight has been depicted in this comic book. Well, he just seems to come across as token ‘Middle Eastern man’, who has a grudge to bear with the ‘infidel Americans’. Heck, at one point in the story, I though that he would start spitting at everyone and asking for the right to eat couscous!

OK, so this may be a character arc that will be explored within this story arc – but, as I have said previously in this review – too formulaic.

If you could sum up this issue in a phrase or saying, what would that phrase or saying be?
‘Don’t mess with the Zohan’.

If this issue were a movie, an object, or a piece of music, what would that be and why? 
OK, after my previous answer, I want to say ‘Don’t mess with the Zohan’ – but I won’t. Instead, I feel that this comic book reminds me of the seventies movie ‘Ashanti’...

... except that it is a little more colourful and violent. 

What do you think would have made this issue better than it was?
Something funny would have been nice for this tale – just to lighten up the ‘exposition heavy’ pretext a little, as well as make the whole adventure more entertaining. Well, if Parker had the gumption to call this arc ‘Hulk of Arabia’, I would have thought that he would have made the tone of this story fit the title. 

Oh! In addition to this, I would have a scene where Rulk is dressed up as an Arab, and then go into a shop and haggle for a gourd – Python style.  

Final thoughts...
I am interested to see where this story is going to go next – as it could be great one if my feelings about ‘Machine Man’ and Rulk are true, with both of them experiencing a personal journey together.

Marks out of 10? 7.5

HULK #43 HULK #43 Reviewed by David Andrews on November 15, 2011 Rating: 5
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