Ultimate Wolverine vs. Hulk #5


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Ultimate Wolverine vs. Hulk #5


  • Words: Damon Lindelof
  • Art: Leinil Francis Yu
  • Colors: Dave McCaig
  • Price: $2.99
  • Release Date: May 2, 2009

You know when you watch a movie and it’s obvious the actors are having the time of their lives? Think Downey Jr. in Tropic Thunder, or Nicholson in Batman.

Well, that’s Damon Lindelof on Ultimate Wolverine vs Hulk, and this issue in particular. Sure, Lindelof is only serving to perpetuate the stereotype that writers who work in other media such as film or TV can’t write on-time comics, but this series has been worth the wait. Like Jeph Loeb’s Hulk series, it makes no apologies for being a glorified punch up every issue. It’s not pretending to be some mature epic. It’s easily accessible to the non-geek and has two of Marvel’s most famous tough guy heroes beating each other up. It’s a simple premise, but Lindelof puts enough snap, crackle and pop to make sure it’s a guaranteed grin maker.

Once the trade hits this will make a superb present for youngsters who want to see more of their two favourite superheroes. They do go well together, as anyone who saw the recent animated mash-up of the pair in Wolverine and the X-Men can attest. Thankfully, even late comers to this mini-series can catch up with the re-cap page in every issue.

However, what you need to know is this: Bruce Banner was locked up after becoming Hulk and going on a rampage, but escaped, and now S.H.I.E.L.D want him back, and give Logan the task.  He’s up to the challenge, though the short mutant is soon overwhelmed after finding Hulk in a far off monastery in Tibet. It’s not long before a tussle begins and Wolverine becomes half the man he used to be. Literally. That image of a wild Hulk ripping Wolverine in two is one that will stick with you, and one that got many to pick up this series simply out of curiosity I’m sure.

Really, the first few issues could almost be set in the regular Marvel Universe. It’s just the occasional appearance of Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury that reminds you it isn’t. That, and the new She-Hulk. She has green hair, not black and she’s Betty Ross, not Jennifer Walters. It’s a nice twist. This penultimate issue begins with Logan’s amusing encounter with his cuddly spirit animal - a panda bear. Obviously, Logan’s not cuddly and when he tries to snikt, his claws are replaced with flowers. Fury wakes him out of his delirium and is forced to face the gravity of his situation – he’s now just a head on a table. That’s one thing that’s always bothered me. Exactly how can Logan survive having no torso? Fury seems baffled too, but a definitive explanation wouldn’t be too much to ask for, would it, Marvel? I mean if the guy can survive being atomized by Nitro in the Civil War tie-in, then he’s virtually a god, not a mere mutant.

Yu’s artwork is sketchy, but restrained. He’s made for these high octane blockbuster books and plays with the page boldly. There’s no detail in the backgrounds, but that keeps your eyes focused on the main battle. There’s not too much else I can say without spoiling the many wonderful moments and quotable dialogue here, but Forge’s cameo via a toilet is a slimy surprise. At times, Lindelof does seem to be getting dangerously close to fanboy mania, with references to Star Trek, Goonies, and a subtle Lost visual cue. It’s almost like he’s trying to be ‘cute’ and if it happens too often he’ll pull us out of this simple, yet largely enthralling adventure.

This series has one issue to go and I’m glad to see it’s stuck to its monthly schedule without fault since returning. It’s an easy to follow book with a firm embrace of superhero antics.

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  • Lee Newman

    Lee Newman May 5, 2009 at 7:58am

    Love this book. It is popcorn action that doesn't pretend the reader is stupid.

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