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Pak at his best proceeding
on 3 June 2011
When unknown Greg Pak took over the Hulk almost 5 years ago nobody (especially not me) thought much of it. After the extraordinary almost 12 years run of Peter David, a back-to-Hulk-smash-intermezzo forced on by editorial and an interesting but very controversial run by Bruce Jones everything that could come was under the suspicion of redundancy. And Mr. Pak surprised us all. His take on the Hulk was to become one of the most original in the rich history of this mainstay Marvel character.
Nevertheless it was not Pak's quality writing that got the Hulk in the spotlight again but the brutal revamping of the character in form of the Red Hulk by Jeph Loeb. This lead to the state that there are two Hulk titles at the moment, the adjectiveless Hulk with the Red Hulk and the Incredible Hulks (with a plural 's') by Pak where characters like the Bruce Banner Hulk, his son Skaar, Rick Jones, and the She-Hulks are around. The stories are character driven, complex issues and subplots sown in the last decades are harvested plenty. Recently Pak's run and the title itself have been announced to come to an end with #635.
This volume contains the lead stories of #618-622 and the backup "Smash Files" from #614-620. (Attention: mild spoilers ahead!) The odd group of hulklike beings find themselves in the aftermath of the big show-down with Banner's son Hiro-Kala on one hand, involved with the proceedings of Chaos War on the other hand. Finally the Hulk has a big slug-out with the Greek god Zeus.
You have to know a lot about these characters to really understand what is going on, but if you have been following the fate of Bruce Banner for some time with interest you will not be disappointed. Pelletier complements Pak's writing perfectly. All this will not win them a Pulitzer but it guarantees a lot of fun for you when reading.