Axel-In-Charge: Extending "Secret Wars," Excitement for a "Totally Awesome Hulk"
Fred Van Lente wrote two of the four stories in this week’s Hulk Family #1!
Let’s take a look!
The first story was a slight, but fun story set during the days when the Hulk was known as Joe Fixit and was working as a bouncer in Las Vegas. Peter David’s run sure was a lot of fun, wasn’t it?
In any event, in this story, She-Hulk is at a law school reunion in Vegas when she runs into Joe Fixit, and wants to know if he is, in fact, her cousin (who everyone thought was dead at this point in time). They are interrupted by two mutant nutjobs going by the names Discordia and Tantrum, who were sent to Vegas by the gods of chaos (well, that’s what they believe – really, they’re just a few bananas short of a bunch).
The story is not long (16 pages, I believe), and it’s mostly just fight scenes, but it’s enjoyable enough. Van Lente has a good read on She-Hulk.
Scott Clark (haven’t seen his credit in awhile!) does a serviceable job on the art, but a lot of the times his characters come off looking waaay too stiff. I recall his work used to have a lot more fluidity – at least when he was doing Alpha Flight at Marvel. I will admit that some of his early Wildstorm stuff also had stiffness problems. I guess inker Greg Adams could possibly be at fault, but Adams has never struck me as being an overpowering inker, so I think it’s likely on Clark’s end. There are some strong individual panels (one shot of Hulk’s face as he’s pounding on the bad guy if dynamite), but I think Clark just needs to loosen his pencils up a bit.
The second story is also rather short (only 7 pages), but I think Van Lente actually got across a lot more character work in those seven pages than he did in the 16 pages of the first story. Here, he is working again with his creation, Scorpion, who is investigating whether Bruce Banner is actually her father, which was rumored in some earlier issues of Hulk. To figure this out, though, she goes rogue to free Banner from SHIELD custody.
This leads to some action scenes, as Scorpion goes up against a convoy, but it’s handled nicely (artist Diedrich O’Clark does a solid job). The ending has a great twist that brings an impressive touch of humanity to the story. It packed a good punch.
The other two stories are a teaser by Greg Pak for the next issue of Skaar, Son of Hulk, and a cute short story by Paul Tobin featuring ANOTHER kid of Hulk (that is the theme for this one-shot – all characters related to the Hulk, or, in Scorpion’s case, MAYBE related to the Hulk) that was introduced in a one-shot awhile back written by Jeff Parker
none other than Fred Van Lente. In that comic, Thundra used the Hulk’s genes to create a daughter of Hulk and Thundra. The daughter is now the leader of the Femizons in an alternate future. Tobin seems to have fun cutting loose with the lack of real standards to base the story on – it’s an alternate future and they’re Femizons – no real guiding light there – so whatever he wants to do, he can do!
The book is topped off with a reprint of She-Hulk’s first issue, which also happens to be her origin (it is naturally referenced in the first story by Van Lente).
All in all, I probably wouldn’t recommend this book, as it is pretty slight on content for a five dollar book, but it’s not a bad read. Van Lente has the best story in the book, though (Scorpion – and that’s including the reprint of The Savage She-Hulk #1!)!
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