Marvel Comics is expanding their Gamerverse this week with an Avengers: Hulk prequel book. Find out how this version of Bruce Banner differs from the 616 and get a little insight into what might be going on in the video game. Jim Zub, Ariel Olivetti, and Andy Troy deliver on a monster for Hulk to smash, but what about the man?
This is a good intro to Bruce Banner and the ever-so-slight differences in the character for the Gamerverse. The issue establishes Bruce’s self-loathing over the monster within him, the temper he has, and the nature of his lab. That includes a love interest and a coworker who is happy to meddle in dangerous science. These elements establish a future threat that’ll likely be explored in the upcoming game and it produces an interesting monster for Hulk to fight too.
Speaking of Hulk, he looks great in this book, and so does the monster. Olivetti and Troy render this squishy looking beast well and the fight scene on a harbor dock is pretty fun too.
The book ends well enough, looping in a familiar Avenger and catching us up on what his deal is in this universe. If you had to check off some boxes you can generally see how he’s slightly different. That being said, the differences aren’t too great and I was surprised to see these characters mostly mimicking their 616 selves. That left me wanting; usually, these Elseworlds tales bend the characters enough to make them feel new or to explore new elements we didn’t think of. The fact that they are so similar makes for a ho-hum experience. If you’re a brand new reader to Marvel and know you’re getting the game, I suppose this is a fine way to start yourself off. Longtime readers like myself are going to want to skip this since it doesn’t add much to the narrative.
This is a just okay experience for longtime Marvel readers, but if you’re new to the characters you might dig it. If you’re buying the game this is a no-brainer to purchase since it gives us a hint or two as to what is to come and establishes the general feel of each character well.