Incredible Hulk #6: The Dog With The Fewest Fleas

This is it! This is the final battle, the one that will show us exactly the future for Bruce Banner and The Incredible Hulk. This is what we’ve waited six issues to see!

Oh wait, no it’s not.

Incredible Hulk #6 isn’t a bad issue, in fact it’s the best of the sad, limp attempts of writer Jason Aaron to make Hulk “edgy”, but once again Aaron drags out the end of this clash between man and monster. I should probably stop taking shots at Aaron for doing this with his books. I guess this is his way and nobody at Marvel seems to want to tell him to wrap it up. Regardless of that, Incredible Hulk #6 is a fun issue, even if it does have some problem areas.

Now, where were we? Oh yes. Incredible Hulk #5 ended with Banner and Hulk racing towards each other for the final (we hoped) showdown. Banner had multiple weapons and a force field, while the Hulk had just his bad ass self. This issue opens with that clash; Hulk beats on Banner, Banner fires weapons at Hulk. FLASHBACK #1: Hulk, just after Doctor Doom has separated him from Banner. Hulk is dismayed at Doom’s asking price for the separation. Apparently the bad Doctor wants Banner all for himself.

Back in the current world, Amanda Von Doom and her sidekick are trying to set the Gamma Bomb up to kill Bruce Banner. Why? Why destroy Banner? Oh the answer is coming my friend, and it’s not only obvious but also kind of stupid. Back to Hulk and Banner duking it out. FLASHBACK #2: A small crib with an infant being reviled by onlookers. Who is it? Yep it’s Amanda Von Doom and, SURPRISE (to no one) she really is related to Doctor Doom. See, I told you the reason was stupid. Back to Amanda Von Doom setting the Gamma Bomb. Just as she does, these men show up, tribal looking men who suddenly turn into Hulk creatures and attack. Amanda and her henchmen slap out at them, which raises Banner’s ire so he rushes off to protect them

FLASHBACK #3. Hulk returns to Doctor Doom’s home, battles him, and then leaves with Banner. That, however, seems to have been Doom’s plan all along. Why? Who knows, I’m sure Jason Aaron will tell us, slowly, painfully slowly, over the next thirty issues. Back to the current era, Hulk and Banner have a really deep conversation about their relationship, life as a single entity, etc. Hulk tells Banner he’s there to watch him die and then BOOM the island blows up. That’s the end. That’s how Jason Aaron manages to squeeze one more issue out of this already overly long story arc.

The action and fun of Incredible Hulk #6 is genuine, I really did enjoy reading it. Plot wise, as I said before, there were some holes. Why is Banner trying to kill Hulk if he’s interested in a reunion? If Banner can’t make himself Hulk out, how did he create his Hulk men? Did Jason Aaron really have to make Amanda Von Doom an actual descendant of the Von Dooms? I also grow weary of the “divorced couple” aspect of Banner and Hulk’s relationship. Those points aside, Hulk #6 was the first issue since the first issue that I enjoyed reading.

The art is still a mess. Whilce Portacio still draws Banner like a skinny hipster and he’s still trying to mimic original artist Marc Silvestri. Some of the panel layouts are cool, but overall the art is incredibly underwhelming, even sloppy. Where does Hulk go from here and is Banner really dead? I should be driven to find these answers but the way Jason Aaron writes, I just don’t care. Still, Incredible Hulk #6 is, thus far, is the dog with the least amount of fleas.

(4 Story, 2 Art)