Sunday, 17 May 2015

Savage Hulk, Volume 1: The Man Within by Alan Davis Review

X-Men #66 from 1963 is included at the back of this trade but I’d recommend reading that issue before Alan Davis’ four-issue Savage Hulk arc as Davis’ comics are a sequel to what happens in that issue. A summary of X-Men #66 is: Professor X is in a coma, Banner built a device that could help him, X-Men and Hulk battle in Vegas, everything’s wrapped up neatly by the end. 

Because Davis’ arc takes place directly afterwards, we’re dealing with Silver Age X-Men and Hulk - not the current Bendis X-Men/Waid Indestructible Hulk, but the characters as they were from ‘63. Beast hadn’t undergone his secondary mutation to turn him blue and furry and Jean was still called Marvel Girl and wore a horrendous mask! 

What I can’t figure out is WHY this got published - Davis has no story to tell! X-Men #66 had more meat to it in a single issue than Davis can stuff in four and what happens in those comics adds nothing whatsoever to the story presented in that issue. Hulk fights Abomination and The Leader separately, we get to see some X-Men characters temporarily hulk-out, and that’s it - wow, what a pointless trade! I love Davis’ art and the comic looks amazing but the script is utterly empty and the story non-existent. 

I was going to change my rec at the start to: just read X-Men #66 and skip the Davis stuff because it’s basically the same thing either way, you’re just saving yourself time. But X-Men #66 isn’t exactly a landmark issue anyway, nor is it well-written or that interesting, so I’d recommend skipping this entire trade entirely! Savage Hulk: pure crap Marvel product! 

(As a side note, the credits to X-Men #66 are a bit wonky. In the issue itself Roy Thomas is credited as writer with Stan Lee as editor though on the publishing info page to this edition, Stan Lee is credited as writer with no mention of Roy Thomas. I suppose from a reader’s standpoint it doesn’t matter as Thomas was hired by Lee precisely because he could mimic Lee’s craptastic writing style so it’s not like you could tell any differently!)

Savage Hulk, Volume 1: The Man Within


  1. I admit, I've never had the desire to read a Hulk book. I don't see the appeal of the character. Of course, that may be because I haven't read a great Hulk book. Any suggestions?

    1. Jason Aaron's Incredible Hulk run was ok - the second volume was really good.

      Mark Waid's Indestructible Hulk was good for the first two, maybe three volumes.

      Joe Keatinge's Marvel Knights: Hulk was unexpectedly kinda brilliant.

      Hope that helps!