Brandon Borzelli's Geek Goggle Reviews
Parker, Pagulayan, Vlasco, Paz & Staples
The final issue of the Haunter Hulk arc goes out with a very loud bang. This issue is the perfect example of what I expect from a Hulk story (no matter who is writing it) and what I demand from almost every comic book. This is a case where the cover most certainly matches up with the contents. This is just a flat out fun comic book to read.
Full disclosure: I haven't liked this arc very much. I felt it was slow and too mystic for my tastes. I also thought that the concept was too loosely tied to the Circle of Four crossover, but never really made mention of those events. However, this issue made me forget all my problems with the previous two (last one especially) issues.
The issue launches immediately into action as the Hulk is tangling with some monster in Fresh Kills, New Jersey. Strange is the guiding light behind the Hulk's purpose, though only communicating telepathically. Strange convinces Hulk to revert to human form. This is all leading up to the Legion of Monsters assessing the Hulk's haunted problem and dealing with it without tipping their hand.
Of course, nothing is straightforward and there is an enormous battle. The ending seems to put to bed the haunting issue but I felt it was open-ended enough that this may not be over. Parker weaves into the story a long lost character from the recent Hulk continuity that helped made the story that much more satisfying.
The book is loaded with action. Who doesn't want to see monsters ripping other monsters in half? Not only is the issue filled with violence, but the book presents a good, self enclosed story. That's right, you don't need to know anything from the previous two issues in this arc. The recap page and narration provided by Strange and Hulk interacting is all you need for the story. Parker also writes the Legion of Monsters with distinct voices and very good dialogue. The book even has a charming ending to it.
The only drawback is that I wasn't really given any background on the character that makes an appearance at the end. The problem is clear, but the reason for the predicament the character is in is not. It felt too much like tossing the character into the mix for fun and not for a reason that was evident.
The artwork is a lot of fun. How can you go wrong with big splash pages of monsters bashing into each other? The book's art really brought this story to life. Sure, the book is fairly gruesome at times but what do you expect when you have monsters all over the place?
Hulk should be a fun book with some sort of deeper character moment hidden in the book somewhere and this book has both. The character may be General Ross, but the characteristics still should be the same for this Jekyll and Hyde concoction. This book is definitely worth picking up. Even if you haven't been following this character at all.
4 out of 5 geek goggles