Since 1962, one common thread has coursed through the story of The Hulk: Bruce Banner is miserable and Hulk smashes. From being hunted for being a ticking time bomb ready to destroy a city from the slightest provocation, to watching helplessly as his wife and lifelong love died, each consecutive Hulk comic was one sad, depressing act to the next.
Yet, Marvel execs knew they had the diamond in the rough to resurrect this depressing, hulking beast when Eisner winner Mark Waid picked up the keyboard. As one of the top-tier in-house writers at Marvel, Waid is known in the world of comics for taking Daredevil -- another sad and tormented character -- and adding new life and vigor to a waning story. And though Waid doesn't hold the golden key for writing the "perfect" story, he sure is pulling his weight to make Hulk a hero instead of a menace.
Themes of this reboot permeate throughout “Indestructible Hulk #4,” which is an upbeat, fast-paced story that finally gets away from the backstory of the first three issues and dives head first into the plot.
Opening on a refreshed and rested Banner, who is now working for S.H.I.E.L.D., “Indescribable Hulk #4” is basically an exposé on the daily life of Hulk, introducing the reader to Banner’s new team of scientists tasked with salvaging his reputation, along with tons of tidbits on how Bruce is actually keeping the beast dormant.
For those new to Mark Waid’s writing-style, or for folks still stuck on Hulk back issues, this is a new take on a Marvel staple, with an upbeat Banner who, actually, cracks a few jokes. This is a far cry from suicide attempts and Hulk rage-fest; instead it is a look into how the main protagonist is truly attempting to make a difference in the world.
And if you’re worried that this book is all chatter, fret not because the action quickly picks up as Maria Hill sets Banner on another mission to investigate the lost city of Lemurian , currently occupied by a rogue Atlantean Warlord who goes by the name of Attuma. As you can guess, once Hulk and S.H.I.E.L.D. rendezvous with this deep-sea Wardlord, mayhem breaks loose as Hulk is shot like a missile at Attuma.
To top it off, Leinil Yu’s artwork truly complements this book. Known for his work in Superior and Secret Invasion, Yu is a seasoned artist that shows why his work is sought after, with detailed splash pages throughout the fourth issue of Indestructible Hulk that lends well to the book’s overall setting and feel.
Long and short, this is a decent comic that deserves to be read. And, this is especially true if you’re tired of watching Hulk sulk around, because there are few pity parties in Wade’s take this Gamma-powered beast.