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Incredible Hulk #714 Review

Amadeus is back from Sakaar, But the Hulk inside is free.

Creative Staff:
Writer: Greg Pak
Art: Carlo Barberi, Walden Wong
Colors: Frank D’armata
Letterer: VC’s Cory Petit

What They Say:
WORLD WAR HULK II BEGINS! Following his apocalyptic adventure on Planet Hulk, Amadeus Cho returns to Earth — but the raging monster inside of him has been unchained, leading to dire consequences for anybody who crosses the Formerly Awesome Hulk’s path!

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
Here we are at last- World War Hulk II.  After Amadeus’ stint on Sakaar, which was similar but still different from Banner’s time there, The Incredible Hulk has returned to Earth, and Amadeus is not so in control now.  His sister is the first to meet him after he lands, but he brushes off most of her concerns.  Back in Amadeus’ residence, we find that Hulk decided to stop locking parts of himself away, but has locked away Amadeus’ spirit in the trunk of the car we’ve often seen representing his life.  Hulk has seemingly parked it and left it there, leaving Amadeus chained inside.  Amadeus gets a bit of inside argument with Hulk here.  He feels Hulk doesn’t have the right to do all this and needs to let him out, but Hulk just gives the chilling response of, “You keep saying ‘you’.  But I am you, kid… trust me.”  The idea seems to be that Hulk reflects the darker, less likely to hold back parts of Amadeus, and so whether Amadeus ants to admit that they are one, Hulk is happy enough to do so for him.  It also means that regardless of who calls him Amadeus in the book right now, Hulk is who actually hears and responds now.

Cutting to 12 hours later, Hulk uses his new creed to save a bridge from collapsing, and then receives a notice that an old foe, Prince Phalkan has escaped from prison.  Jimmy Woo, head of the Atlas Foundation, tells Hulk that he’s assembling the Protectors, and Ms. Marvel tries to hell him that he isn’t alone in his fight, but Phalkan arrives much sooner than expected.  The reason, much to Woo, Ms. Marvel, and others’ dismay, is that Amadeus sent Phalkan his location so that the two could fight on his terms.  The Hulk and Phalkan initiate battle, Phalkan mocking Hulk for continually holding back, but this doesn’t last long.  Hulk delivers a massive and unrelentingly devastating series of blows, punctuated by the writer telling us just what Hulk’s broken in Phalkan’s body and showing a mounting counter for how long this is going to take to heal, which is honestly a really great scene, showing us just how Brutal the new Hulk has become, and the Hulk delivers a message.  News helicopters broadcasting, The Hulk announces that Phalkan came to him, and they can see the result themselves, but he also says that he’s putting all his enemies on notice now.  The comic ends here, but we do get a small repeat of Hulk’s warning with the recently resurrected Wolverine looking on.

In Summary:
This is a good issue.  While true that it doesn’t do much to advance the story or the “war” aspect much, It does set up just what’s changed and what we can expect going forward.  Our new Hulk has stopped limiting himself, like Amadeus usually prefers, and his fight with Phalkan proves that.  We’ve also got that ongoing internal dialogue to consider.  Amadeus seemingly still sees Hulk as a different entity from himself, but Hulk, and the reader, know better.  Hulk and Amadeus are one and the same, which the Hulk feels he can prove easily, and he’ll use Amadeus’ smarts and his own strength to show everyone who crosses him just what he’s truly capable of.  There isn’t a real narrator or voice to the issue, but Hulk does take the lead as a character this issue, with the focus mostly on how he’s changed and his new goals.

The book excels in this, with Hulk laying an ominous message on the trapped Amadeus, and his brutal takedown of Prince Phalkan too.  The Incredible Hulk is no longer taking anyone’s crap, and if you get in his way, smashing may just occur.  This is also reminiscent of the beginning of the original World War Hulk, where Banner/Hulk gave the world a message where he warned them of what he had come for.  It’s an interesting turn of events, because Amadeus has always striven to be the Hulk that wasn’t the mindless brute that Banner was cursed to be, a smart Hulk.  Hulk has clearly shown that smarts are still something he possesses, but he has thrown Amadeus’ restraints to the wind.  His dialogue and actions are in character until the end, which isn’t a bad thing actually.  This dialogue is more like the old Hulk than Amadeus’ Hulk has been until recently, and it feels like it’s about time.  The art is pretty decent, similar to what we’ve seen from Adadeus’ series before, but nothing too special really.  This is a pretty good start to the story, and things will have to ramp up to keep the momentum going.  Everything combines to make a decent start, but we’ll see if it can keep it going.

Grade: B

Age Rating: T
Released By: Marvel Comics
Release Date: March 21, 2018
MSRP: $3.99

Alex Henning – who has written posts on The Fandom Post.

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