Incredible Hulk #82


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Incredible Hulk #82


  • Words: Peter David
  • Art: Jae Lee
  • Inks: Jae Lee
  • Colors: June Chung
  • Story Title: Dear Tricia?
  • Publisher: Marvel Comics
  • Price: $2.99
  • Release Date: Jun 2, 2005

Jae Lee joins Peter David for this somber tale of mysticism, vengeance and redemption.

Bruce Banner is to comics what Kane was to television: a world weary wanderer, always on the move. This issue finds Bruce in London where he runs into a pretty young sorceress named Tricia. The two make a connection in their short time with one another, but they are not meant to be together in this lifetime. Tricia is not only engaged to another; she is marked for death by someone close to her and/or her abilities. With time running against him, the Hulk and Tricia search high and low for the culprit(s). Even if they make it in time, what then? Will Hulk smash?

Going into this issue, I was still a little thrown by the last issue where Peter David wrapped his first, reality-altering arc. I’m still not clear of the outcome there, but I was very much looking forward to this one-and-done with Jae Lee. It’s still a strange little yarn, but at least there is a clear and concise story being told, and the art is not only fitting for this solemn script, it’s darn near perfect for it.

Despite my misgivings about his previous story arc’s conclusion, Peter David is still giving the readers the kind of Hulk book they were missing through the Bruce Jones years: lots of Hulk, lots of action and quite a bit more fun. Sure, this issue is a lot darker than the previous six in tone, but the characters are all revealed, and the point of the story is clear. David’s dialogue can sometimes come off a little hokey when he writes superheroes, but the majority of the time it is genuine if not fun to read. Fortunately, every word crafted here reads as though it comes from the heart of the characters, making for an effectively bittersweet ending.

Just as Lee Weeks was perfect for Tempest Fugit, so is Jae Lee perfect for Dear Tricia… I haven’t even opened a Jae Lee penciled book in over ten years because I really just never liked his "messy" style. Despite most panels having pretty nondescript backgrounds (which is perfect for foggy London when you think about it), Mr. Lee has seriously improved over the years. Tricia has a soft, womanly glow and the Hulk is a towering, menacing monster just as he should be. Lee crafts visually gloomy yet appealing work on every page. That said, the mood might not have been captured correctly were it not for Chung’s equally gloomy colors.

Though I wouldn’t particularly classify this issue as fun, I have to give credit to PAD for this intermission issue. He developed a script that suits Lee’s talents to a T. Next up is a House of M tie-in issue, so this calm before the storm is a welcome and visually appealing respite I wouldn’t mind seeing more of.

-Kert McAfee

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