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HULK #44

There once was an Arabian Knight. Who always seemed to want a fight. But as time ticked on, the Rulk dropped a bomb, and the Knight eventually turned white. Or otherwise a story depicted by Writer: Jeff Parker; Artist: Patch Zircher; and Publisher: Marvel Comics in December 2011.

So what’s the story morning glory?
In this third chapter of ‘Hulk of Arabia’, we are presented with Rulks and Machine Mans journey into the Egyptian territory known as Sharzard.

Now within the first half of this story, these two biologically diverse heroes, encounter a Manticore, find some dead troupes sprawled out in the sand, as well as an invisible fortification that prohibits people from entering the lavish metropolis, Sharzard.

Next, the preceding part of this tale, Rulk and Machine Man once more meet up with the Arabian Knight, whom accompanies them into the city through an open gate, before they are all then escorted to see Dagan Shah, the Sultan Magnius.

However, during this latter part of this journey, the Arabian Knight does switch sides, and the Sultan begins to encase our two heroes in crystal.  


What is the most memorable sentence spoken in this issue?
When the big glowing head appeared at the entrance of the gate and spoke to ‘the gang’, I felt exactly what the Rulk said ‘Least he knows English’.

Shame that the Machine Man’s subsequent exposition spoilt the gag.

Was the story any good?
In essence, this issue of the Hulk, is a journey of sorts, which allowed our two main protagonists, Rulk and Machine man, to get to know each other. 

Now, personally speaking, I did prefer these ‘segments’ more so than the adventurous  part of the tale, because it gave the writer, Jeff Parker, the excuse to throw a little bit of character into the mix.

As for the rest of this story on the other hand, well, it was OK – as it told a travel-log with a plethora of mystical and Egyptian based splendour.

Was the art any good?
Artist, Patch Zircher, does surpasses himself on this issue – as he can draw a mean cityscape set in the desert. Moreover, I did enjoy his larger panelled artwork as well – as they did have a much more vibrant and bold quality to them – especially where his human composition is concerned.

Though, on the flip side of this artistic endeavour, the colourist, Rachiel Rosenberg, is a mite heavy handed on the use of yellow. I have been to Egypt before – and trust me – it is not that yellow (grey is anything).  

What is the best thing about this issue?
I liked the interaction between Rulk and Machine Man myself – especially when Ross had to de-power himself, before they talked about their timorous mutual history together (i.e. via Dr. Abel Stack).

Also, I did like the way that Ross expressed his affection towards Alice when he was in that Arab get-up – very revealing, huh?

What is the worst thing about this issue?
As much as I enjoyed the exposition within their fight with the Manticore, overall, I though that this was nothing more than a bad excuse for Ross to de-power, as well as to allow a lose segway from the last issue to this one.

Well, was it really necessary in this issue, huh? Did it have any relevance story wise?

Also, an open doorway to a secret city? Ha! That was silly I thought.

If you could sum up this issue in a phrase or saying, what would that phrase or saying be?
Irish comedian, Dave Allen, had a sign off phrase that I feel is very pertinent to this tale, which is – ‘Goodnight, good luck, and may your God go with you.’

If this issue were a movie, an object, or a piece of music, what would that be and why? 
Even though the film I am going to mention is much grander than this comic book installment – and much more groundbreaking too – I found that this travelling tale reminded me of the John Huston film ‘The Man Who Would Be King’. Because they both have a middle-eastern feel, and a large chunk of each of them entails a journey.

What do you think would have made this issue better than it was?
Personally speaking, I would have added a bit more depth to the plot, just to make it more than just a stepping stone story. Granted, the ‘character’ was there – but the depth wasn’t – too quick a read.

Final thoughts...
Now I am confused by the future of this Hulk title. Well, ‘The Incredible Hulk’ has been rebooted, and that seems to be doing very well enough on its own. So what is going to happen to this title, huh? The Hulk comic without the Hulk in it? Rulk is the Hulk now – so will this title change its name – or will it fade away?

True, right?

Marks out of 10? 7.5

HULK #44 HULK #44 Reviewed by David Andrews on November 25, 2011 Rating: 5
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