Comic of the Week: Generations: Banner Hulk & Totally Awesome Hulk #1August 7, 2017
BRUCE BANNER. AMADEUS CHO. Both have carried the curse of the Hulk. Now they come face-to-face at last – but will they meet as friends or foes? Fan-favorite Hulk scribe Greg Pak is joined by red-hot artist Matteo Buffagni (X-MEN BLUE) for a time-bending tale that will finally answer the question on everyone’s minds: WHO IS THE STRONGEST ONE THERE IS?
That is the setup for one of the first installments of the new Marvel Generations event, that will bring together previous and current iterations of characters, and this one certainly caught my eye, as for as long as I have collected comic books Hulk has always been front and centre. I needed to see what they had planned for Banner, who is of course currently (spoiler alert) dead in the main continuity of the Marvel Comic Universe. Of course Amadeus Cho is the current carrier of the Hulk name, so this seemed to me that it would have all the potential in the world for a great little one shot story.
Unfortunately, it did not.
This was a huge letdown because of all people to be writing the issue it was Greg Pak, Pak is a writer who knows Hulk far better than almost any other writer Marvel could have put on the book. I was excited to see his named attached because he has handled large event style Hulk stories such as World War Hulk, being the big one, and soon he will be revisiting that story. This story just seems really out of context, and does not fit with the Banner Hulk that we all know and love, and the Banner Hulk that Pak has written so well in the past. Most of Banner Hulks history he is not the most eloquent speaker, mostly broken words, and adamantly proclaiming Hulk Smash. Well in this book however Banner Hulk speaks fluidly to Amadeus Cho Hulk about the best way to treat the Hulk inside each of them. This happens a few times during the book and it just seems so out of character it takes you right out of the book.
Not only that it just seemed very slapdash the way the story comes together through the book and tries to do far too much that it actually hurts itself far more than it helps.The fact that Pak wrote the book had me going in with high hopes of seeing Cho and Banner smashing together, or each other, and left wondering what it was I just read. So far this does not give me much hope for the latest event from Marvel. Pak is still one of my favourite writers, the one shot format and the lack of connection between Cho and Banner unlike their previous interactions hurt the book, as well as cramming so much story into one comic.
Personally it just seems like an opportunity was wasted in bringing together Banner’s Hulk and Cho’s Hulk for the first time, they could have been let loose to do something fun, exciting that would have been a great read for old Hulk fans and new Hulk fans alike.
The artwork at times is not bad but it just seems like each Hulk is very angular, and the action can be a bit hard to follow. There also does not seem to be enough differentiating each Hulk which towards the end with both Hulks fighting at the same time can be confusing. The only way you can really tell them apart is by having to inspect which one has the spiked hair of Amadeus Cho. The cover I thought was fantastic with both Hulks together ready for action, it was just the artwork inside was a bit of a letdown.
While it is great to see a character like Bruce Banner back in action after having been sidelined, this just did not do justice. The only way I could recommend this is only if you are the most die hard of Hulk fans. Otherwise give this a pass and wait for the next Generations book.
Let us know what you think of Marvel’s Generations line in the comments.