Man, this week is a very good week to be a fan of Mark Waid. He both wrapped up the first proper Rocketeer miniseries since Dave Stevens died, in a blast of a finale involving rayguns and dinosaurs, and also just relaunched the Hulk in about the best way possible.
The book essentially works because it focuses on changing Banner. Waid gets out of the way, right away, that Banner isn’t looking for a cure: He’s officially tried everything currently available to modern science and it doesn’t work.
And it’s taking one of the most brilliant scientific minds of the 616 out of the game, something that annoys Banner a lot. A nice touch is that it’s tied up in Bruce’s ego a little bit: He’s as upset that Tony Stark beat him to fighting the Phoenix Force as he is that he couldn’t help.
So he’s treating his condition as if it’s MS or diabetes. It can’t be stopped… but it can be managed. So he’s cutting a deal with SHIELD: Give him a lab where he can help by building new technology, and when he inevitably hulks out, point the Hulk towards the nearest supervillain and let him loose.
It’s a great setup that Waid both builds to and pays off in the space of an issue.
On the art side, Leinil Francis Yi has a lot of fun with the work, but frankly, he’s too heavy-handed with the inks. Take a look at this panel:
It’s as if he’s trying to cover up his pencils, and it’s a bit odd to see since actually his pencil work is quite good, especially when rendering action scenes. He’s a great choice for the book, but Marvel, spring the cash and give him an inker.
This is really a nitpick more than anything else, though. This is one of the most fun books Marvel NOW! has put out, and it’s worth picking up.