Saturday, April 28, 2012

Incredible Hulks: Savage TPB

I’m a tad disappointed in the ending of Greg Pak’s great run on Incredible Hulk. I loved so much of it, but here at the end it seems like the focus that made the first issues so strong has faded a bit.

I’m not sure if it is the dilution of the “Hulk” concept into so many people or what, but the book feels too crowded. The first half of the trade has the Hulk, Skaar, and his Warbound head off to the Savage Land to confront Miek the Unhived. The bug-man from Planet Hulk is bigger, stronger, and crazier than ever, plus he’s got more changes going on too. Ka-Zar and Zabu are hanging around, of course, but I feel like the guy is fighting for page time with too many other characters.

I like Ka-Zar, but I almost wonder if seeing the Warbound deal with Miek might have been a tad more dramatic. The other odd thing is how friendly Ka-Zar is with Hulk. I don’t remember these two being so chummy, but I have faith in Pak’s research skills, so he’s probably playing it accurately.

There is some nice gross-out stuff with the bugs that Miek controls, and Dale Eaglesham does a nice job. I would have liked to have seen him draw some of the She-Hulks. His Ka-Zar is fantastic, but I felt like he never quite mastered Korg’s odd blocky face. The rest of the Warbound look good, but Korg’s face is a bit of a distraction.

The second half of the trade mines more history when the Hulk teams up with one of Hercules’ old girlfriends against Tyrannus and Red She-Hulk. Betty Ross is just being difficult, of course, but that’s what makes her so loveable these days. (I don’t remember the Greek historian at all, but this has got to be pretty obscure stuff, right?) Tyrannus is always an amusing villain, and I enjoyed Pak’s take on his leadership style. He’s yet another baddie who wanted to do a “good” job.

I never quite bought in to the Hulk as a spy idea (it’s sort of a joke anyway), but seeing Hulk and Red She-Hulk work together makes up for it. Tom Grummett does a decent job on the art, but it seems a bit looser than his normal style. Maybe he rushed on some pages? I really enjoyed his take on the religious Knights of Rome, they had a fun, comic-y appearance that set them just above fodder level. He draws a nice bulky helmet for Tyrannus, too.

I’m hoping the final trade Heart of the Monster has a bit more of the emotional impact that Pak brought in other storylines.


No comments: