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'Hulk Annual' #1 brings the Jade Giant back to his horror roots
Marvel

Comic Books

‘Hulk Annual’ #1 brings the Jade Giant back to his horror roots

‘Hulk Annual’ #1 is a smashing good time.

The Hulk is terrifying. Stop and think about it: Bruce Banner is forever a man haunted by the specter of a gamma-irradiated explosion, triggered by his anger and transforming into a nigh-unstoppable force of rage. Only the heroic, including the Avengers, and insane, including gamma-powered menaces like the Leader and Abomination, dare to stand up against him. That is, until now.

Hulk Annual #1, titled “The Veridian Project,” follows a documentary crew as they travel to Viridian, New Mexico. This small town is very significant because it was adjacent to Los Diablos – the military base where Bruce Banner had his fateful gamma-charged encounter. Though it’s long been deserted, it turns out that there are still monsters among the wreckage of Los Diablos…and soon, the Hulk is drawn back to his birthplace for a bloody battle.

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From the jump, it’s clear that writer David Pepose and artist Caio Majado want to bring the Hulk back to the horror elements that made Immortal Hulk a standout title. Pepose’s script jumps through time, starting off slow as the crew gathers their gear to travel to Veridian. Then without warning, readers are plunged right into the thick of the action as the Hulk slugs it out with a massive monster. Pepose’s Marvel work has produced some unorthodox results, such as a Fantastic Four two-parter that was basically “Die Hard in the Baxter Building” and the pulpy mashup of Savage Avengers – but it makes for some unique comic storytelling. More authors could take a page from his book.

'Hulk Annual' #1 brings the Jade Giant back to his horror roots

Marvel

When it comes to the art, Majado chooses to illustrate in a style that resembles a handheld camera. Panels often tilt on their sides or shake, giving the illusion of the cameraman running for his life. He even manages to make the Hulk look absolutely terrifying. In Hulk form, he literally towers over everyone – a mass of muscles and rage. When Banner hulks out, Majado sketches his flesh enlarging and his eyes glowing bright green, which will put the fear of God in nearly every reader. Speaking of green, colorist Edgar Delgado uses liberal dashes of it throughout, especially when the crew switches to night vision.

The book ends with a story from Phillip Kennedy Johnson, Travel Foreman, and Matthew Wilson that sets the stage for Johnson and Nic Klein’s upcoming Incredible Hulk run. If the main story was a return to horror, then the backup races full-on into that territory. Johnson’s script is packed full of disturbing implications, only eclipsed by the disturbing imagery Foreman and Wilson paint on the page. Simply put, Banner’s life is about to become even more complicated.

Hulk Annual #1 makes a triumphant return to the Jade Giant’s horror roots while also offering a unique take on a well-worn plot device. Not only is it a great stand-alone story, but it also offers a unique look into the upcoming Incredible Hulk series. Simply put, it’s a smashing good time.

Hulk Annual #1 is available wherever comics are sold.

'Hulk Annual' #1 brings the Jade Giant back to his horror roots
‘Hulk Annual’ #1 brings the Jade Giant back to his horror roots
Hulk Annual #1
Hulk Annual #1 makes a triumphant return to the Jade Giant's horror roots while also offering a unique take on a well-worn plot device. Not only is it a great stand-alone story, but it also offers a unique look into the upcoming Incredible Hulk series. Simply put, it's a smashing good time.
Reader Rating0 Votes
0
Returns the Hulk to his horror roots.
Solid stand alone story.
Majado's art captures the feel of a documentary.
The backup story is just as engaging as the main one.
8.5
Great
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