Waid, Bagley, Hennessy, Keith
I will most certainly be SPOILING!
So, first off good show Mr. Waid. The writer of Hulk is also writing Daredevil and he has officially linked the two. By making Matt Murdoc his lawyer, Bruce Banner has unofficially tied the two stories together.
At the end of last issue, Hulk stood out of the rubble holding Cap’s Shield. As far as hulk sized brass knuckles go, they seem to do the trick. With fury as well as the new weapon, the two gamma monsters are back on even ground. Two Hulk level threats having an even fight can do a lot of damage to the surrounding town, and in the Hulk’s precarious medical condition, time is of the essence.
Maria’s teleport bracelet liberated from the two henchmen last issue combined with Tony’s strategic mind and the abilities of his comrades quickly crystallizes into a plan. The aftermath is the mindless Abomination floating in space somewhere and the Avengers taking Banner into custody for his own protection.
At this point, Maria’s whole world goes sideways. She now has to tell her superiors that she broke the brilliant mind of Bruce Banner and the usefulness of the Hulk. She also comes under fire from Daredevil as she comes clean about lying to him and fabricating Bruce’s check in times. The Man Without Fear demands to know where the Hulk is being kept.
The answer is exciting! The Stark brothers are working on helping Banner…by giving hi Extremis! The neurosurgeon from the first issue is back, using Stark Tech and putting the volatile chemical into the once great mind. The Starks expect an extended recovery time with observation and rehabilitation, the whole nine yards.
Then Banner wakes up.
The issue ends in an ambiguous way. Banner is up and smart again, talking with Tony and making super intelligent jokes offhandedly. But Tony has a point. Bruce is back and he is smart. How smart has become the question.
While not nearly as amazing as the previous issue, there were still a lot of noteworthy elements to discuss in Hulk #4. First, I was a little shocked at how closely the Avengers closed ranks around Banner. He is known as a monster, and the last thing I really knew about him was that the military had him locked up after the World War Hulk incident. The Avengers seemed hyper protective and sympathetic, and I have to ask, when did that happen? I loved the straight comic book feel of the team coming up with an interesting plan to defeat a superior enemy, even if it felt a little soft-science for me. I am really curious how Daredevil will factor in to the series down the line, especially since Waid writes that title as well. With the freedom to tie the series together, I’d hope to see some kind of excellent connection; something as good as the Animal Man and Swamp Thing comics were in the early days of the new 52. Finally, the Starks just put Extremis in Bruce Banners head. I wonder just how intelligent he will end up, of course, but I worry more about the volatile nature of Extremis. Have they literally turned him into a Gamma Bomb on accident? I guess we will find out. Wonderful issue, wonderful series, and the next issue just can’t come out fast enough.
My rating: 4 / 5