comicsthegathering dot com logo

Incredible Hulk #713 Review

by Charles Martin on February 21, 2018

Incredible Hulk #713 Review
Writer: Greg Pak
Penciler: Greg Land
Inker: Jay Leisten
Colourist: Frank D'Armata
Letterer: Cory Petit
Publisher: Marvel Comics

Important Hulk News! Remember the Trunkmonster metaphor that Greg Pak introduced in Totally Awesome Hulk #1? After 26 months and a spillion rehashings, it's finally progressing into meaningful development!

Oh yeah, this issue also offers a finale for Planet Hulk II: Fury Road: Ragnarok. This arc is going out like it started: As an annoyingly shallow collage of scraps from the original Planet Hulk and bits and bobs from recent action movies. It's a forgettable backdrop to the interminable battle between the idealistic Amadeus Cho and the murderous Monster Hulk he keeps locked in his metaphorical car trunk. 

The relationship between the Trunkmonster struggle and this issue's Big Important Warlord Fight is problematic. There are obvious parallels and the two conflicts could be intimately intertwined. But they're not. In fact, cause and effect end up so jumbled, I half-suspect some of Greg Pak's key plot twists were vetoed by his editors.

Warning! Moderate Spoilers!

To see Monster Hulk take the wheel and then steer the Warlord fight to exactly the sort of ending Cho-Hulk would have arranged is intensely disappointing. No murder, no sacrifice, no wanton violence, nothing at all that would weigh on Amadeus's conscience; it's just a bog-standard (but highly nitpick-able) Deus Ex Hulkina. 

Yet Cho still feels so guilty afterward that MCU Thor (the bluff and hearty Chris Hemsworth tracing presented here is not Jason Aaron's Odinson) feels compelled to give him a page of "buck up, kiddo, you did your best" cheerleading. At the end, it sure feels like Cho has done grim and gritty things to bring freedom to Sakaar - but flipping backward by a few pages reveals nothing but everyday heroism and some questionable Hulk physics.

Spoiler Territory Ends Here!

Greg Land's art imbues the action with some pro forma visual polish, but he's doubly hamstrung by his usual enthusiasm for generic poses and faces and by the fact that this trip to Sakaar really hasn't produced much in the way of memorable action or characters. Why burn a whole splash page on the prayers of High Priestess Generic Land Female Maeera? It's not like we're going to remember her after we put this issue down.

The nuts-and-bolts writing of Greg Pak's script is likewise satisfying but shallow. Mr. Pak is a highly skilled writer and the dialogue flows smoothly from panel to panel. It's only when you step back for a broader look that you realize this tapestry is both threadbare and half-unravelled. 

Amadeus Cho's cruise-control Sakaar road trip comes to an end with slight confusion and a promise of real character development to come. It's been an aggressively non-memorable journey, and while there weren't any "grab the pitchforks" sins committed, I can't imagine this being anywhere near as well-regarded as the original Planet Hulk in ten (or five, or one) years' time.
 

Our Score:

6/10

A Look Inside

Comments

Charles Martin's picture
Spillion (n): A large comicbook number equal to "too many instances for the author to bother enumerating." In truth, probably barely into double digits. From Wonderella, who "[has] totally got like a spillion powers when tied up."