Published on June 26th, 2023 | by Howard Smith
THE INCREDIBLE HULK #1 REVIEW
Summary: Banner is no longer able to hold back the monster within.
Green With Terror
Bruce Banner has once again found himself on the run, but this time in The Incredible Hulk #1 it’s from the complete consumption and takeover of the Hulk himself. Locked in a constant battle for control, Banner fears the dismay that the Hulk will bring to his unrelenting existence. Having trapped the Hulk in his mind, Banner is no longer able to hold back the monster within. The Hulk emerges in a terrifying new way. In the meantime, the eldest of the Mother of Horrors pursues the big green brute as she trails behind him. The Green Door is now shut, and the monsters lurking in the shadows are at the precipice of revival, but the key to unlocking these nightmares is confined in the flesh of the Hulk.
Starting off in an eerie direction, Phillip Kennedy Johnson (Carnage Forever) ushers in a chilling trip for Bruce Banner and the Hulk. While the Hulk has always been a monster to most, Johnson creates a story that passes on that communication of dread and excitement into a new chapter for the character. In this instance, the idea of what horror exhibits in the world with Hulk is amplified to unfamiliar heights in The Incredible Hulk #1. As readers prepare to sit and read what’s new for the big green angry fellow, they’ll discover that Johnson’s vision for the Hulk’s growth is twisted and alarming but serves the purpose of disclosing that this isn’t the same Hulk as before. Especially after what Bruce Banner put Hulk through in the last series, Hulk aims to make him suffer while taking complete control over the mind and body. Bruce Banner walks a lonely road, and the Hulk wants to keep it that way. There are moments within the comic book that may even creep out the hardcore fans of Hulk and have them wanting to read the next installment. In any case, Johnson’s storytelling capability of progression and trajectory is vigorous at the beginning of this series.
Comparatively, Nic Klein (Thor, Venom, The Sacrificers) and Matthew Wilson (The Flash, Dark Ages, Black Science) combine their talents to drive home the statue of how horror is supposed to be perceived in The Incredible Hulk #1. Klein’s works on the interiors are horrifyingly entertaining to mentally consume page after page. The mere sight of Hulk’s transformation through Kleins’ imagination is above the usual and far from a sensational wonder as previous iterations have displayed. Klein’s artwork, especially his cover for the comic book, is a perfect fit for a story like this one. Although Klein illustrated the composition, Wilson is thankfully the one who brought this grotesque comic book to light. The stunning colors that allow this comic book to flourish provide an overwhelming abundance of fear and uncertainty. The shadowy intensity says a lot about the kind of situation Banner has found himself in. The darkness that surrounds this era of the Hulk is attained by the astounding artistry of Wilson.
Last, but not least, Cory Petit (Agent X, Age of Ultron, Gravity) showcases his great lettering skills that make this comic book interesting to read even more. The super cool element of having a monster inside of the character is the ability to create word balloons that hush over normal thoughts and proceed straight into the monster talking instead. While that is an intimidating feature to have as a character, Petit produced unique lettering choices that provided a clear understanding that readers aren’t dealing with anything remotely happy. However, it is important for readers to comprehend that this recent version of the Hulk is downright scary in The Incredible Hulk #1. Petit makes sure that this outlook is apparent and does so very well.
Ripping a page out of the tales of horror, The Incredible Hulk #1 evokes a story of monsters and carnage bound to unfold. The Hulk wants to be left alone, but he won’t be able to obtain that solitude with what’s coming for him. Be sure to grab this issue from your local comic book store or online wherever they may be sold. The age of monsters is coming.
Writer: Phillip Kennedy Johnson
Artist: Nic Klein
Color Artist: Matthew Wilson
Letterer: VC’s Cory Petit
Cover Artists: Nic Klein
Editor: Wil Moss
Publisher: Marvel Entertainment