Incredible Hulk #78


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Incredible Hulk #78


  • Words: Peter David
  • Art: Lee Weeks
  • Inks: Tom Palmer
  • Colors: Studio F
  • Story Title: Tempest Fugit ? Part 2 (of 5)
  • Publisher: Marvel Comics
  • Price: $2.99
  • Release Date: Feb 9, 2005

Peter David’s return to the title he defined continues to be a smashing success.

The Hulk never really appealed to me on a character level. Bruce Banner, the genius wimp doesn’t either, really. I tried the earlier parts of Bruce Jones’ run, where he tried to cross the X-Files with Re-Animator, but the mystery lost steam quickly. And when Marvel forced Jones to write the multi-part Absorbing Man arc (that had nothing to do with what Jones was already doing) to coincide with the feature film, it forced me out of caring at all anymore.

Then there’s Peter David’s lengthy run of the 80s and early 90s. Despite all the fanfare surrounding it and even though I typically like everything else PAD does these days, I could never bring myself to splurging on a character I have no great love for. Marvel is smart to be releasing that run in trade form to coincide with this new arc because now I may just have to dip into the wallet (or the couch cushions as it were) to see what I missed.

After reading this issue, two things occurred to me: 1) I have no idea what is going on, and 2) I’m loving it. There are a few things about PAD that I can find in his work when he’s at his best. One of those is a strong sense of pacing. People like me, that don’t know what Monster Island is or the difference between Gray Hulk and Green Hulk need a slightly more deliberate pace to get a feel for what might be going on. Another is his intelligent sense of humor. This is what carried a lot of David’s Captain Marvel when it was at its best. Here, the humor isn’t quite as overt, but it is still strong enough to bring a smile to my face. I should also point out that fans of the talking Unjolly Green (and Gray) Giant are in for a treat this issue, as there is a face-off.

If I’m not entirely mistaken, Lee Weeks has changed his style a bit. It’s almost as if, in honor of David’s return to the book, Weeks has brought us a sort of throwback look that we might have seen in the Sixties. It is paying off great dividends for him, Palmer and Studio F as they have created something that feels mysterious. I also like how the flashback sequences to Banner’s pre-Hulk days look. Ever since Jim Lee redefined how a flashback sequence should look in his Batman run, a lot of artists have tried to bring the same ingenuity to such settings. Weeks and company have provided probably the best yet.

As fun as it is to watch Hulk smash, potentially the most appealing thing to come out of PAD’s return is what he is divulging about Banner’s past -- before gamma radiation brought about his alter ego’s personification of devastation. All in good time, I’m sure. In the meantime, next issue looks to be another doozie as a certain… dragon-esque Marvel monster faces off with Hulk.

- Kert McAfee

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