Friday, 12 July 2013

Indestructible Hulk Volume 2: Gods and Monster by Mark Waid and Walt Simonson review

Mark Waid’s second volume of Indestructible Hulk is a book of team-ups as Thor and Daredevil join Hulk for some action-filled stories. Fans of Silver Age Thor have to pick up this book immediately (assuming you haven’t already rushed out to buy the single issues) as Walt Simonson is the artist for these 3 Thor issues - yes, THE Walt Simonson! The guy who defined Thor is back to draw the character once more and his art is as gorgeous as you would expect. 

Giant kneepads, smiling, big-winged helmet Thor looks fantastic as Banner and his research team head into Jotunheim to collect samples of a liquid ore called eiderdurm for their experiments. It seems their portal also took them back in time as Thor doesn’t recognise Banner or Hulk. 

As good as the art is, it’s clear Waid worked the story around what Simonson wanted to draw as the story feels a bit disjointed and thrown together. It’s basically just an excuse to have Walt Simonson Thor in this Hulk book, which is fine I suppose though the story feels insubstantial. There are some nice moments like when Hulk seemingly lifts Mjolnir (Thor’s hammer) and when the two fight the frost giants, their combined Hulk smash/hammer smash looks really cool and causes immense damage (of course). 

Ironically, I liked the Daredevil team-up story more though I wasn’t a big fan of Matteo Scalera’s art. The evil Agence Byzantine have stolen some Thor-level ordnance and are headed to make the trade to Baron Zemo in Manhattan - Daredevil’s territory. Banner and Murdock join forces to hunt down the stolen weaponry as it emits a high-pitched shriek which Daredevil can track with his senses. 

Banner’s relationship with Murdock is great not just because Matt is Bruce’s insurance against SHIELD (which Hill still doesn’t know about) but I also liked that Daredevil can control Hulk’s rage using a certain tone of voice because Hulk recognises him as a friend. Banner’s also got some nice back-and-forths with Maria Hill who keeps him in check from being too cocky with his secret inventions. 

The series is still a lot of fun but I felt that the second volume wasn’t as strong as the first one was. The storylines were a bit lacking though Simonson’s art makes the book a standout, especially for classic superhero art fans.

Indestructible Hulk Vol.2: Gods and Monster

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