Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Original Sin: Hulk vs. Iron Man TPB

Mark Waid and Kieron Gillen wrapped up their run on two Marvel icons in a strange way. Departing Hulk and Iron Man, respectively, the last big story by the authors involved tying in to the Marvel crossover Original Sin. Unfortunately, I’d say that my opinion of this series is the same as the runs that these creators had on their books. Good concepts, solid execution, but the story never really hooked me.

The sin that comes to light in this story is that Tony Stark may have tinkered with the original gamma bomb. Was Stark responsible for Bruce Banner becoming the Hulk? (Spoilers: No.) There are some neat narrative tricks here. The best is that Stark can’t remember what he actually did the night before the gamma test because he had been drinking so heavily. So he has to use an assortment of technological aids to try to recreate just what happened all those years ago.

While this is happening, the Hulk is hunting down Tony Stark. It’s always fun seeing Hulk rip through Iron Man armor, and that holds in this collection. I also enjoyed the spin of this being an Extremis-focused Hulk. Thanks to Tony Stark’s brother Arno, Hulk is smart AND angry, which is a bad combination.

I am a bit bummed that Kieron Gillen’s Iron Man run sort of petered out in this tie-in mini-series rather than in the core title. I didn’t collect this as it came out, so it almost seemed like Gillen’s story just faded rather than going out with a bang like it deserved. The Iron Metropolitan city, Arno Stark, the black and gold armor… these are all dangling threads that could have used stronger conclusions.

Mark Bagley is one of the MVPs of the Marvel bullpen, and he pulls his weight again. It’s not a tough sell to draw Hulk fighting different Iron Man suits, but it isn’t guaranteed to look this good. I especially enjoyed seeing Bagley’s take on the black and gold suit. I’ll miss that one, the current white suit just doesn’t do it for me.

This is a FAIR comic. Perfectly fine, but an odd place to tuck away story conclusions that should have gone down in the core titles.

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