Hulk #5 Review
Hulk #5 review by Donna Jackson
Written by Jeph Loeb
Art by Ed McGuiness
The Hulk has been a busy guy. After being exiled to a foreign planet by Tony Stark and other members of the Illuminati, he became the ruler of the new world and took a wife. Unfortunately, Bruce Banner's happiness was short lived. A bomb on the ship the Hulk came in, thought to be put by the Illuminati, exploded and killed Hulk's wife and the child inside her, all while Marvel was in the midst of a Civil War. He came back to Earth with his band of alien warriors and took over New York and Madison Square Garden in retaliation for what he thought was the murder by the Illuminati of his wife. Eventually, the Hulk was betrayed by his alien allies. Defeated by the Sentry, Bruce Banner was hid away in one of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s underground station
Which brings us to the newest Hulk storyline, now in its fourth issue. A mysterious, and extremely powerful, Red Hulk has appeared in the Marvel Universe. He carries a gun which he used to kill the Abomination. He's thrown the Hulk to the bottom of the ocean, left Tony Stark and She-Hulk a battered mess, and even punched the Watcher in the jaw (yes, THAT Watcher.) Now, if you think it's ridiculous for a character who's only a few issues old to have such power, and you're expecting some revelation on his power or any explanation on the point of this new character's existence, you won't find it here. If you saw Jeph Loeb's name on this book, and expected a story like his previous Hulk project 'Gray', I'm sorry to say you will be disappointed. Nothing nostalgic or introspective like Loeb's collaborations with Tim Sale here, or even an over the top high-profile story like Loeb's ongoing Ultimates 3. Instead, you will be treated to a lot of punching and fighting, intertwined by brief discussions of characters wondering what exactly they're punching and fighting.
And Thor fans, you will be disappointed as well if you think the Norse God' appearance will provide some value to this book, or at the very least a worthwhile opponent. Thor is so unbelievably manhandled that you wonder what the point of him appearing in the story even is. To further show off the Red Hulk's power and jumping ability? For Loeb to write someone besides the god of thunder lifting Mjolnir? Will Thor even show up again? I don't think I care enough to find out. It may inadvertently lessen my opinion of Thor's own excellently written book.
The series' impressive sales prove there's an audience for a story like this, but I'm not part of it. If it wasn't for Ed McGuiness' beautiful artwork, this book's rating would be even lower. Planet Hulk and World War Hulk were far from perfect stories, but in their own way, they made the Hulk character much more interesting and got him away from his whole overused "Hulk ANGRY, Hulk Smash!" persona. I had hoped this new tale would further develop the Green Goliath into a leader, and given him a new M.O. which would have raised his status in the Marvel Universe even further. Instead, the new Hulk series is the comic book equivalent of Rock 'em Sock 'em Robots. That may be enough for some readers, but every