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HULK #45

Machine Man and Rulk were lovers. Well not exactly lovers but brothers. Because what happened one day, to both of there dismay, was that they found out they shared Mothers. Want to know more? Then have a look at this comic book Written by Jeff Parker; Drawn by Patch Zircher; and Published by Marvel Comics in January 2012.

So what’s the story morning glory?
This fourth chapter of ‘Hulk of Arabia’ is basically a tale of two half’s, with an additional question thrown in at the end for good measure.

Part One – ESCAPE – Regrettably, Machine Man and the Rulk are in a right mess at the moment. For a start, they are both incarcerated in a crystal prison by the Sultan Magnus, Dagan Shah. Next, the Sultan penetrates Rulks mind to figure out what he knows so far. And finally, after the Sultan leaves to terrorise Egypt, he orders his henchmen, the Scorpion and Haya, to look after ‘his prisoners’

Opps! Not a good idea – because Machine Man uses his head, and is able to escape with Rulk in toe.

Part Two – THE BAD GUYS ORIGIN – After they escape, Machine Man and Rulk both stumble upon a microcosm under the city of Sharzhad (as you do), where they then discover the Sultans alien based origins, as well as why he is able to do what he can do.

The Question – POW – What do you think the Sultan does next, when he catches up to Machine Man and Rulk in the microcosm?

Ooops – to be continued?

What is the most memorable sentence spoken in this issue?
OK, I know that this might sound strange, but I did like it when Machine Man queried Rulks earlier question, by stating ‘Are you asking me if I can dream?’. Because this phrase reminded me of the title of Phillip K Dick’s novel, ‘Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?’ – Which was later adapted into the film ‘Blade Runner’.

Was the story any good?
Aesthetically, this section of Hulk of Arabia is an origin issue by in large. Granted, there is a bit of segway sequence at the beginning of this tale – where Machine Man and Rulk escape from there confinement – but the main focus was on ‘the origin’

Now is this a good thing or a bad thing in retrospect? Errr – bit of both I suppose – because I did find that the origin was presented in an original way, though the story in itself was kind of exposition heavy in the execution.

Still, it was OK overall.  

Was the art any good?
There were a couple of things that I visually enjoyed in this issue. Firstly, I liked the Sultans hair – very slick and shiny. Secondly, I did not mind the ‘alternate origin sequences’ – it was very reminiscent of Jim Steranko’s artwork. And thirdly, I felt that the colouring had improved too – it had more depth, and worked better within the tale.

However, in places, Patch’s line work still comes across as being a bit too ‘scratchy’ – particularly when something in the same page is relatively clean looking.

Too – contrasting.

What is the best thing about this issue?
I liked it when Machine Man ‘used his head’ to get out of his confinement. For me, this was a very enjoyable surprise – it was entertaining, funny to watch, and presented a new dynamic to the whole ‘escape scenario’.

What is the worst thing about this issue?
I was not too keen on the whole sequence where ‘the voice’ started explaining to Rulk and Machine Man about the Sultans origins. Mainly, because the font used wasn’t too clear upon the page, plus structurally, the tale in itself, was floundering as a story on its own.

If you could sum up this issue in a phrase or saying, what would that phrase or saying be?
I am afraid to say that I had the compulsion whilst reading this issue, to state ‘Allah be praised’ in a loud and boisterous voice.

Sorry Johnny Arab, no offence implied, OK?

If this issue were a movie, an object, or a piece of music, what would that be and why? 
So this was an origin-based story, it told a story, and was kind of an artistic looking story too. Therefore, in my opinion, I can easily compare it to a Sesame Street Cartoon from the 1970’s.

What do you think would have made this issue better than it was?
This issue needed more personality I think. You see, I felt that the majority of this issue was exposition based, with only one or two actions scenes thrown in to keep up the momentum. But if we saw more of a personal dynamic going between the Rulk and Machine Man, then I am sure that this read would have been a lot more pleasurable – rather than a ‘so and so’ did a ‘so and so’ to a ‘so and so’ tale.

Know what I mean?

Final thoughts...
This is one of those comic books, which make my head go all in a tizz. One week I like it, the next week I do not – etc, etc, etc...

Well, I find that the main reason for this, apart from the story presented in the actual issue, is that I do not know where I stand with this book.

Is it a book about the Hulk or the Rulk? Also, if it is about Rulk, why isn’t his name at the beginning, and why isn’t his status in the current ‘Incredible Hulk’ storyline more apparent?

Simple questions to answer, right? So why isn’t no one at Marvel doing this? Huh?

Marks out of 10? 7.5

HULK #45 HULK #45 Reviewed by David Andrews on December 22, 2011 Rating: 5
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