Sunday, December 13, 2009

Quarter Bin Review- “Hulk Smash” #2

Marvel Comics, April 2001

Garth Ennis (writer), John McCrea (artist). Cover by Kevin Nowlan.

Summary- Following a disastrous confrontation with The Hulk last issue, two American soldiers (Major Parker and Lieutenant Mitchell) attempt to rally for a second assault. Parker scolds Mitchell for panicking at the sight of the Hulk, endangering his men. Parker insists that as an officer in the army, it was Mitchell's job to lead- he didn't have the privilege of being allowed to feel fear. Meanwhile, the Hulk screams out a surprisingly eloquent speech about how humanity constantly persecutes him, declaring mankind to be the most destructive species on Earth.

Mitchell and Parker successfully lure The Hulk into a trap and drop half of a cliff side on top of him, but The Hulk just shrugs the debris off and attacks. Parker falls from the cliff to his death, his last words being an order for Mitchell to keep fighting. Mitchell is soon met by four soldiers wounded in the initial confrontation. Though Mitchell offers them a chance to save themselves, the infantrymen stand by him, vowing to stop The Hulk while he's still far away from civilians. The soldiers attack the Hulk again, and though they actually manage to knock him off his feet, they fail to take the green monster out. With no way left to stop the raging giant, and with his troops wounded and facing certain death, Mitchell trains his sidearm on the Hulk and orders him to stand down. After a tense stare down, the Hulk miraculously backs away and wanders off, either confused or impressed by Mitchell's willingness to risk his life for his fellow man.

Comments- Well, Hulk sure is well-spoken today. He's too savage to be Smart Hulk, too smart to be Savage Hulk and not nearly grey enough to be Grey Hulk. Maybe Peter David has a name for this one too...Ennis is probably more in the loop than I am. Though more likely than not, he didn't really care about how smart or dumb The Hulk usually is- he's exactly as smart and as eloquent as the story needs him to be. In all honesty, I was more concerned with Ennis' overuse of somewhat obscure military slang- I'm guessing at least ninety-five percent of the people who read this issue will be left scratching their heads at least once. Despite all that, this issue is fairly interesting, offering a strong story about military honor and offering a rare insight into the Hulk's psyche. "Hulk Smash" doesn't really hold up to Ennis' usual high standards, but it's entertaining enough nonetheless.

Final Rating- 5/10.

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