I was impressed with the first volume in this series as it can be very difficult to make the Hulk/Bruce Banner into a likable character. The Hulk is back to his nearly mindless self, but he still has enough control to keep from hurting his friends. What really tips the scales for this series is the fact that Bruce Banner is really likable. That has been pulled off before as seen in the Avengers movie, but I still don’t typically like him as a character in the comics. This writer really gets him and it would be cool if Bruce could always look this good. This volume is about as good as the last one, which means that it’s very enjoyable!
The volume is really divided into two story arcs. The first part of the volume sees Bruce Banner lead his team of researchers into the home of the Frost Giants. They are there to steal some of the lifeblood of the planet to use for either a cure or an invention. I forget which at the moment, but you already have to question their mission. This does look like the humans are instigating the battle with the Frost Giants this time right? Well, their journey gets an unexpected twist when the heroes realize that they have time traveled to the past. Thor doesn’t know them and getting back to the present may be difficult. This arc was certainly a lot of fun.
The second half involves a team up with Daredevil. The Hulk is sent on another mission and this time he’s attacking a base that Baron Zemo runs. Daredevil is able to provide some assistance for a while, but the Hulk starts to turn back into his mindless self. Can Daredevil survive this encounter long enough to calm the Hulk down? It’s going to take all of his skills to achieve such a feat! This story was pretty good as well. It’s not quite as fun as the first half and the art is not quite as good, but it’s still a very solid adventure that you will be glad you read.
Bruce Banner definitely looks pretty good as mentioned earlier. My one gripe is that he was pretty rude in the first arc. Thor was really having too much fun to notice or to care, but Bruce just seemed like another person when around him. The Hulk and Thor have always been rivals so maybe that Banner still feels a little aggressive towards the prince of Asgard. Aside from that, he still proves to be a heroic individual. He got to develop a new phone that is difficult to trace and now he is trying to cure a disease that currently has no cure. Banner is definitely making the most out of this opportunity and maybe he will actually get to end the series on a high note. I am guessing that something big will happen to restore Banner back to being on the run, but hopefully this isn’t the case. He deserves a good fate once in a while right?
Thor’s portrayal is certainly very good. This is Thor from the classic days so he still thinks of humans as little more than playthings. He also has a lot of fun when fighting. Thor’s grin never goes away and you can certainly feel how confident he is of victory. This does allow his fighting to get a little sloppy and the Frost Giants get closer to Earth than they should have, but I wouldn’t call it a power inaccuracy since Thor is clearly toying with the villains. I would be pleased if Thor was portrayed like this more often. There is also a scene involving Mjolnir that will prove entertaining for Thor fans. After the Ultimate Avengers film, writers love bringing this situation up to show what should happen? What is the situation in question? You will need to watch the film or read this comic to find out!
Daredevil’s portrayed as he should be. He’s still a very good lawyer who doesn’t bow down to Shield. He may have a moment or two where he feels fear and doesn’t seem to mind admitting it, but I’ll let it slide since just about everyone is afraid of the Hulk. His hand to hand skills are impressive and he does a good job of avoiding the Hulk, but not in a way that will make you wince. I can buy the scenes and that’s the important part. Daredevil could certainly hold his own series if he was always like this, but I also like him as a guest star. That role may suit him more than any other.
That’s really it as far as the main characters go. Maria Hill’s rivalry with Bruce Banner is starting to get a little dangerous as she threw him out of a plane without a parachute. Having the ability to transform into the Hulk at will definitely has its perks like in that scene, but it’s still pretty risky. Baron Zemo appears briefly, but there’s not much to say about him. He certainly can’t hold his own against the Hulk so he dashes away at top speed. I’m guessing that we’ve seen the last of him, but maybe he’ll return.
The plot involving Banner’s suspicious teammates is put on hold for the most part. They’re around during the Thor story, but only one of them gets any real character development. Banner still has to go on many missions as the Hulk so he’s not given a lot of time with them. He keeps mentioning how he selected them for a specific purpose and I’m waiting for one of them to turn traitor, but it hasn’t happened just yet. I suppose that will just mean that I have more plots to look forward to in the future!
The art switches once the arc shifts into the Daredevil adventure. I am definitely a fan of the art from the first half more than the second, but they both look good. The first one is more on the retro side since there is time travel involved while the second one looks more like the first volume. The pages are very detailed and the artist does a good job of not overdoing it while still making the art look unique. There are certainly no Marvel/DC comics that I am aware of, which currently use this style.
Overall, The Indestructible Hulk has done it once more. This comic was very interesting and a blast to read. The series is quickly establishing itself as the definitive Hulk title. Once again, there are really no issues to be found with the series and it is too bad that the comic had such a short run. I shall definitely keep an eye out for the next volumes. I highly recommend this to all comic fans. It is a great action title and the writing is exceptional. You can’t ask for a better combo than that right? It should also be noted that Agent Coulson appears as a guest star. He helps out against the Frost Giants and proves that he is still one of the tougher agents in Shield. That is yet another reason to check out this volume!