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New Marvel Hulk series starts slow, but has intriguing possibilities

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With the new incarnation of the “Hulk” comic, written by Mariko Tamaki, Marvel has taken the series in a fresh direction. Gone is the “She-Hulk” moniker, and instead in part one,  “Deconstructed,” Jennifer Walters gets billed as “Hulk,” after the death of Bruce Banner in this particular series.

It’s nice in a way to see the comic giant put confidence in a female-driven book, especially one that’s up until now been always a male one.

With that being said, if you expected this series to start off with guns blazing, you may be disappointed.

The book starts with Walters talking to herself about something that happened in the past, and how she’s working on putting it in the past while she goes back to work at her law office of  Goodman, Lieber, Kurtzberg, & Holliway. If you’re looking for any clue as to what rattled her, though, you won’t find it in this first book. She gives hints, but nothing is clearly explained.

Maybe it’s done like that on purpose and enough people who have read the series before would know what happened, but, in my mind anytime you start off a new series, the more you can put everyone on equal footing the better. A simple one or two lines about what happened may have sufficed.

Anyhow, the book starts with Jen showing up to work, and being welcomed by her co-workers, some who hint at the fact that they didn’t know if she’d be showing up as the “green” woman or not.

Eventually, Jen is surprised by a creepy looking Miss Brewn, who tells Jen that she’s being evicted by her landlord, a Mr. Tick, even though she feels like he has no right to do such at thing.

Jen says she’ll look into it, but stops short of making a promise that she’ll be able to stop her landlord from evicting her. Brewn hints at having some kind of restorative superpower, saying that she’s unable to leave her home, and that she’s got some kind of bigger reason why that is.

I also found it interesting that the initial reveal of Brewn is that she’s sitting in Jen’s office in the dark, but then before she leaves she says “I need to get home before it gets dark” and it shows her watch face, which is the picture of the sun. That could be a hint into some kind of development further into the story, we’ll see.

After Brewn leaves, Jen asks what’s next, and sitting in the office are other superhero-looking people, several which look similar to the Fantastic Four.

It’s a nice little addition that isn’t meant to go anyplace, one would think, but was entertaining to see nonetheless.

As Jen gets home after work, a writer is waiting for her outside her door. He says that he’s an expert on social work and sociology, and that he’s hoping to talk with her about trauma and Bruce Banner, saying that he’d like to get to the bottom of what happened with her, and him, and that he’d only need a few minutes of her time.

Jen demands that he leave, and as he does, she enters the elevator to go into her room. While in the elevator, it appears as if she turns into the Hulk, although it’s done in a way whereas it’s not directly shown. The first hint we get that she turned was when we see a look at the elevator buttons, and they’ve been destroyed. Jen then settles back into her room, and we go back to reading her inner dialogue, which asks why it’s that trauma, and that mere mention of Banner, that makes her transform.

Jennifer Walters in Hulk No. 1
Jennifer Walters in Hulk No. 1

Finally, we see Brewn again talking to a mystery character in her house, who says that Jen promised that she wouldn’t have to be kicked out. It’s a mysterious being, and we’re led to believe that it’s not quite human.

Overall, I’d say that it’s a decent start to the series, but that it’s way too slow for my liking. There needed to be more action, something other than setting up future books. I understand why they’d do that, but still, it doesn’t take away from the fact that there was literally NO conflict in this first book, and that can turn away some folks who need that to get themselves invested in the story.

Seeing as I’m a bit late to this book, I’ll be reviewing future ones here shortly, as well, until I get up to the current book, which I believe is No. 4.

At any rate, as I stated at the top, I think it’s a cool idea setting apart Jen Walters as Hulk after Bruce Banner is dead, and is a move that not a lot of comic books do. It’s usually “Bat Girl” or “Super Girl” or what not. The fact that “She-Hulk” is just now “Hulk” could lead to some interesting possibilities, if they so choose to go that direction.

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