Comic Reviews /
Incredible Hulks #621
By Colin Andersen
January 30, 2011 - 20:40
Beware: This review contains spoilers for Chaos War #5. DO NOT read on if you haven’t read that issue and don’t want important events spoiled for you.
No comic book being published today surprised me as consistently Incredible Hulks does. Maybe it’s the lingering bad aftertaste from the early parts of Jeph Loeb’s run Hulk that keep my expectations low or maybe it’s just the amazingly consistent quality of the book. Either way, Incredible Hulks has somehow managed to become one of the books I most look forward to reading every time a new issue is released.
Issue #621 comes fresh off the heels of both Chaos War
and the Hulks
own three issue crossover with that story. This issue features little in the way of the extended Hulk family and instead focuses on following Bruce Banner/ The Hulk’s journey to meet with the recently-resurrected Zeus. Why does he seek this audience? Well, the reason is easily what makes this month’s issue so great. Hulk isn’t mindlessly looking to pick a fight but instead looking for a way to “cure” his family. After seeing the way Hercules was able to not only restore the universe after its destruction and bring some heroes back from the dead, Bruce Banner wants to know why Hercules couldn’t be bothered to help heal his sick family. This culminates in a heart-rending scene of Bruce Banner breaking down into tears and pleading for Herc’s help, but unfortunately only Zeus can help now. I won’t say what happens next, but I will say that anyone looking for some truly satisfying action won’t be disappointed.
As good as the action in the latter half of the book is, Incredible Hulks #621
is far and away at its strongest when focusing on Bruce Banner and his emotions. This is some of the most believable emotions that I have seen out of a comic book in a very long time. You can see the despair in his face and just how torn apart he is at the current state of his loved ones. He isn’t there for himself and he can’t stand to see those he care about ripped apart (in some cases literally) just because they know him. Seeing Hercules himself shed a tear only adds the palpable sadness of the scene. Greg Pak handles writing the Hulk and Banner equally well and never has an issue made their voices more distinct than this one. Once the Hulk comes out, the reader is immediately aware that they are dealing with a different character altogether that just happens to share the same goals as Banner. If there is one problem with the issue it’s that the latter half of the book moves way too quickly; things happen too rapidly to be fully appreciated.
None of these great moments I’ve been talking about would have been nearly as good if not for Paul Pelletier’s pencils. I don’t think I have ever read a comic illustrated by Pelletier that I haven’t loved and this issue is no exception. As good as Pak writes the scenes with Banner, Pelletier is the one that truly brings them to life; if just the dialogue of the scene wasn’t enough to make you tear up, the look on Banner’s face will. I honestly don’t think I have seen such an honest look of despair in a comic book before and it is powerful stuff. I would be perfectly happy is Paul Pelletier never left Incredible Hulks.
If you’re anything like me, something about the Hulk books kept you away from them for years. It used to be that I had little to no interest in ever checking out one the various Hulk
comics over the years. If that is the case then IGNORE ALL OF THESE URGES! This is not only one of my personal favorite comics on the stand right now, it really is one of the all around best. It has a little bit of something for everyone; it’s got action for those who want it (and some damn good action at that) but it also has some truly deep moments of substance. I recommend that everyone that is at all interested in superhero comics, and maybe some of those who don’t, check it out even if only once.
Rating: 9 /10
Last Updated: February 5, 2023 - 09:06