Writer: Peter David
Art: Dale Keown, Mark Farmer, Marc Deering, Walden Wong, Scott Hanna, Peter Steigerwald, John Starr, VC’s Cory Petit
Release Date: June 5th, 2019
Suicide Hotlines, a trip down memory lane, and a street fight with Mister Hyde all in this week’s THE INCREDIBLE HULK LAST CALL #1 by the rampaging Peter David. Let’s smash right into this issue!
WARNING SPOILERS AHEAD!!!
Peter David opens the issue with Bruce Banner calling a Suicide Hotline at Christmas because he AGAIN is contemplating taking his own life. However, this time, Bruce has hired a hitman to snipe him from afar and thinks this will do the trick.
As the Suicide Hotline worker is trying to talk Bruce out of killing himself, he continues to talk about how he met Betty, how they eventually got married, how Betty was able to get through to the Hulk, and how she formed a bond with him. But as many do who are suicidal, Bruce begins to think about everyone’s life and feels it would be better if he was never there, especially Betty.
After a recap of Betty’s history as the Harpy, Bruce overhears the hotline operator get into a fight with this guy from the night before named Cal who eventually turns into Mr. Hyde. Well, once our Jolly Green Hero heard trouble, he went running and busts in to save the day. David ends the issue with readers finding out that Bruce actually hired Deadpool to take him down simply by saying “Please.” Oh, how nice and a funny twist to end the issue!
Immediately out of the gate, Peter David grabs readers attention by showing fans how indestructible the Hulk is, which was informative to new readers BUT shown in such a creative way that drew this Hulk fan right into the issue. David leads fans to understand that there is practically nothing that can take down the Hulk, even if he’s in the puny Banner form. That said, even though this reviewer was drawn in from Jump Street, the best part of the issue was the way David described the bond formed between Betty and the Beast. Betty says, “you have the same eyes. Don’t you know that? If the eyes are the window to the soul, then so be it. You have the same soul.”
Regardless of how many personalities Banner has, or what beast he may change into, his soul is still the same. His heart and passion are still the same. David’s telling readers that the love Bruce has for Betty surpasses simple formalities, as well as human nature. Throughout the entire issue, David is trying to hammer home the importance of their relationship and just how powerful it makes them both. This reviewer loves that perspective, especially from someone who has written so much of this character’s mythos.
GREAT STARTING POINT
This issue was easy to follow and straightforward. Peter David gives fans a jumping on point to recap the Hulk, his daily internal struggles, and his relationship with his wife Betty. This is key because in THE IMMORTAL HULK by Al Ewing readers are left wondering what’s happened to Betty. Fans have seen a red Harpy creature but David sheds some extra light on that relationship and gives readers some extra background on Betty.
The story was well paced, not too wordy, and held this reviewers attention from start to finish. This comic opened new readers eyes to the idea that the Hulk is simply another personality that comes out and not some mindless transformed monster. Another interesting part of the issue was when David wonderfully showed the Hulk in the background of his conversations with Betty even before he became the Green Goliath. This showed fans that may have forgotten that the personality, or inner demon, has always been apart of Banner even before the Gamma Bomb. The Gamma bomb didn’t create the Hulk because he was always there. The Gamma bomb simply gave that personality the powers to go with him. Often times, readers think the gamma made the beast when in all reality, the beast was always there.
The art team, led by Dale Keown, does an amazing job making each panel clean, action-packed, well designed, and easy to follow. For example, Keown and his crew did a fantastic job showing a transparent Hulk lurking behind Banner and Betty in each scene amplifying the haunting nature between Bruce’s personality disorder and the constant battle he suffers through daily trying to fight off the beast inside. In addition, the deep red blood subtly drawn into the panels with the Mr. Hyde fight, as well as the face shot of a battered and bruised Hyde, were so impressive. The detail in each scene was so vigorous, forceful, and impressive. The art team simply did an amazing job and this reviewer thinks the art very well could be worth the price alone.
Peter David’s natural feel for the character, as well as the history these two share, shows throughout each page. David beautifully recaps Hulks history, evolution, and mental anguish all in one issue while catching new readers up with the character and gives them an amazing jumping on point moving forward. This reviewer highly recommends the issue for any Peter David fan, Hulk fan, and anyone interested in jumping into THE IMMORTAL HULK. The art was dynamic, spirited, vivid, and brought each page to life while giving comic fans a touching look into the struggles Bruce Banner must face daily as well as the intimate relationship between Bruce and Betty. Get to your shop and pick this incredible issue up. You won’t be disappointed.