Incredible Hulk 77 – “Tempest Fugit, part 1”
By Peter David and Lee Weeks
The Story: Hulk goes for a walk and reminisces about the old days… at 40 fathoms.
The Good: Peter David proves with this issue that the genius of his previous Hulk run was not in the peculiarity of his various takes on the character, but in his natural talent and craft as a storyteller. This is a fairly straightforward Hulk story, with a familiar version of ol’ Greenskin, the surly-but-vocal one from his brief time with the Avengers and some of his Tales to Astonish run. The goodies lie in the strong portrayal of that character, and in the glimpses we see of his relationship with Bruce Banner.
Speaking of Banner, we do get to see a new side of him here, one that adds a bit of irony to the proceedings while shedding some light on a mostly untapped period of Bruce’s life. Contrary to some folks’ opinion, you can’t really have Hulk without Banner, and the always-shifting nature of their uneasy symbiosis is the core of what makes the concept so fascinating. That’s highlighted in the “change” sequence in this issue, one that has a lot of fun playing with the give-and-take between these two personalities.
And it wouldn’t be the Hulk without big action sequences (unless you’re Bruce Jones, but we won’t get into that). We get one of those here, a nice dust-up with a giant squid, and the ending promises we’ll see plenty more before the arc is over.
In fact, let me gab about that ending a bit. It’s a great “To Be Continued” moment; not only is it unexpected, but it leaves the reader desperate to find out what happens next. So many books today eschew cliffhangers and take the route of “Okay, we’re done, you get more next time,” but it’s an essential part of serial storytelling and, if properly used, a great part of any writer’s toolbox.
Enough about the writing; let’s talk about that art! Weeks provides some gorgeous work, including a cover that sets the tone perfectly and some beautiful fight work. Whenever the Hulk hits something, it’s an event, and Weeks gives the action the spectacle it deserves. He also handles the
I don’t usually bring up the colorists, but Studio F deserves some major applause for their work here. Since most of the issue takes place underwater, they had a particularly rough challenge ahead of them, but they met it with flying colors. I mean damn, this is gorgeous stuff to look at, enough so that the comic would be fun to read even without the words.
The Bad: As of right now, the team is only scheduled for six issues. That can change, but only through sales and word of mouth. In other words, it’s up to you guys. Don’t let me down.
The Quote: “No one. He thought I was no one. Think again.”
The Final Word: A perfect jumping-on point, a fun part one, and a nifty-keeno story in its own right. What more could you want from a comic?
The Grade: A