Overview

Ultimate Wolverine vs. Hulk #2

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Ultimate Wolverine vs. Hulk #2

Credits

  • Words: Damon Lindelof
  • Art: Leinil Francis Yu
  • Inks: Leinil Francis Yu
  • Colors: Dave McCaig
  • Story Title: N/A
  • Publisher: Marvel Comics
  • Price: $2.99
  • Release Date: Feb 22, 2006

After seemingly being executed for mass murder in Manhattan, Dr. Bruce Banner has been discovered alive and he and his alter ego haven't been keeping a very low profile.

Since using himself as a human guinea pig for his own failed version of the super-soldier serum, Bruce Banner’s anger has brought destruction on the world in the form of his beastly id, the Hulk. S.H.I.E.L.D. held him captive for some time before determining that execution should be the punishment for his heinous crimes. The method for that execution was leaving him alone in the middle of nowhere to be blown to smithereens by a one megaton bomb. The execution attempt is a failure unless what S.H.I.E.L.D. was really trying to do was make Hulk mad.

Banner recovers from this predicament and sets off to make a life for himself. Unfortunately for him, he can’t reconcile his past, specifically the part taken up by his unrequited love interest, Betty Ross. His anger with that part of his life leads him and the Hulk on a journey from Europe to Tibet in search of peace and self-forgiveness.

In a storytelling fashion similar to that which can be seen on the hit television show Lost (of which Lindelof is co-creator), this issue is told as a flashback from one character’s point of view. It is an engaging way to let the story unfold as the reader gets to see some action and plot direction before being filled in with some rather necessary details of the characters. I am waiting for the hardcover for volume two of Ultimates, so I’m not up on my Ultimate Hulk lore, but volume one made Banner out to a bit of a sorry excuse for a man who had been torn down by his friends and colleagues at every turn. There was very little depth to the character beyond that, though we got to see exactly who the Hulk was and what he could do. Lindelof gives Banner a voice here. We get to see a broken but ultimately brilliant man who has lost his way and is trying to make amends.

If that all sounds a little too sappy, don’t worry; there is also a lot of Hulk action in this issue…and most of it is surprisingly hilarious. Lindelof treats the Hulk much the same as Millar does: as a giant personification of a child’s temper tantrum with strength and an appetite that are unmatched. Through Hulk’s actions, I found myself smiling or actually laughing out loud on several occasions, though the story is undoubtedly dark.

Leinil Francis Yu offers up some pretty atypical artwork for the Ultimate Universe. Despite story tone, most art on these books has been bright and bouncy with very little edge to it. With two of the most murderous "heroes" in the title, what Yu shows is anything but bright and bouncy and it’s full of edginess. Whether it is the dark mind of Banner expressing himself, Hulk going on a rampage or humorous delivery, Yu is up to task on each point. And without McCaig there to take the colors down a shade, Yu’s efforts might go to waste. Together, Yu and McCaig complement each other almost to perfection.

I’m not certain why this series has thus far been bi-monthly, but if the quality maintains its current pace I will gladly wait as long as it takes to get more of Ultimate Wolverine vs. Hulk.

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