Marvel Knights Hulk #1 Review
By: Rob Neil Gruszecki
Lying face down in shallow water under a bridge in Paris is Bruce Banner. After an attack on transit that catches the attention of a young girl, Dyane, Bruce fears that something inside of him is fighting to get out and he urges the woman to leave him behind for her own safety. What follows is a conspiracy laden story where Bruce literally runs from two Hulks as they leave paths of complete destruction in their wake.
Marvel Knights Hulk is the third so far in the Marvel Knights line, following Spider-Man and X-Men. A series that houses unique visions of beloved characters, providing the freedom to the team to tell a fresh and interesting mini-story without the burden of continuity. This first issue in a series of four sets the stage for an intriguing mystery surrounding Bruce Banner and a strange sect of illuminati type gangsters hunting him down who are in possession of a serum that provokes the Hulk transformation in themselves. Interestingly enough, there are two Hulk creatures featured in Issue one of Marvel Knights Hulk and neither of them are the timid scientist Bruce Banner.
Joe Keatinge (Glory) scripts the mini-series and his story leads down a path that captures your attention quite immediately and leaves you desperately wanting answers by the last page. The cliffhanger ending is clever and the hook of the plot is excellent, keeping you curious throughout the whole journey. It will be interesting and worth a subscription to witness the narrative unravel over the remaining three issues and have the secrets of the organization and Banner’s condition revealed.
Piotr Kowalski (Sex) does a spectacular job within the pages of Marvel Knights Hulk. His only work I had been exposed to was in Sex and while I didn’t stick around long on the series I had enjoyed his Noir and subtle style. With quiet but tense beginnings in this issue, Kowalski portrays Banner’s anxieties and pain as he battles with his demons on the Metro and then gets to delve into much more explosive territory with a second half that features multiple Hulks, monster mayhem and destruction galore. His panels of these evil Hulks inhabiting the bodies of Bruce’s enemies are fantastic and I am excited to see more of his work as the series continues.
Marvel Knights Hulk reads a bit like a preview of a movie, where we get to see some kick ass action and are hinted at the plot but ultimately not given any significant revelations as to what is happening. This however isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Being that it’s the first issue of a mini, I of course only expected 25% of a book and actually the mystery of what is happening to Bruce Banner and who these Hulks are that want him destroyed plays to the strengths of the book, making it a world you will want to return to with issue two to see more pieces of the puzzle exposed. It will certainly be worth the read even if just for more great Piotr Kowalski Hulk smash panels.
Rob Neil Gruszecki is a writer, musician, podcaster and Wednesday Warrior
Dear Ghost Factory. What Should I Read? Comic Reviews & Weekly Comics Round-Up Podcast at www.Geekstampede.com