Posted by:
Matt McGloin

Review: Incredible Hulks #616


INCREDIBLE HULKS #616 PREVIEW Writer: Greg Pak Breakdowns: Barry Kitson Finishes: Scott Hanna Colors: Matt Milla Letters: Simon Bowland Cover: Pagulayan, Paz, & Martin Publisher: Marvel Release Date: November 10th, 2010   The emotional roller coaster continues as this time we are taken through the corkscrew in the penultimate issue to “Dark Son!” In Incredible Hulks #616, Greg Pak gives us a an intense issue that turns you upside down more than a few times, knocking you on your head and leaving you unsure of where you started! The confrontation continues between father and son as they argue over the enigmatic energy known as the Old Power. Clearly, Hiro-Kala thinks he is in the right, even justifying killing billions to save the universe. Pak mirrors this with the Hulk family as they must decide the fate of Hiro’s enslaved minions who stand in their way as they attempt to stop the son of Hulk. It may come down to whoever is the stronger; however does might make them right? Hopefully so, as the world Hiro abducted is set on a collision course with Earth! The Green Scar’s inner turmoil is ever present as he displays emotion from high to low. Clearly, his anger is in direct conflict with his guilt and sadness of leaving Hiro-Kala, albeit unknowingly, back on Planet Hulk.  The moment is upon the Green Giant as he must make the life or death decision for his son, instead he admits his weakness and leaves it up to Banner. While the Emerald Goliath is too weak to do what must be done, the twin brother of Hiro-Kala, Skaar, makes the ultimate sacrifice (well, almost) for the denizens of K‘ai. There is no second guessing here as he uses his Old Power to merge with the planet staving off the exponential energy he helped jump start. The pages are filled with much emotion with the sympathy you feel, that comes and goes with this character, returning. While the various incarnations of Hulk are battling with emotion, the “puny” human known as Banner seems to exhibit none. While true he has been known to keep them locked in only to be released in an angry form of gamma, Banner as of late has been a cold calculating often manipulative player in this game. The transformations seem to be more one of mutual understanding between man and monster than anything emotional related - at least for Banner. Curiously, we see Green Scar changing form when he exhibits extreme emotion - that being weakness - and not Banner. Next issue sees the final fate of Hulk and sons decided. I know some Hulk fans would be happy to see either evil twin banished - permanently. Before this arc I would have agreed, particularly in regards to Hiro. However, his potential as not only a descent cosmic villain has been demonstrated, but he also keeps the Hulk connection to Sakaar - and namely Caeria - ever present. The art from Barry Kitson and Scott Hanna was to be commended. They really did a great job balancing the range of emotion and Hulk busting that came with this issue. Colorist Matt Milla does an exceptional job mixing the colors of the Old Power with the backgrounds of the planet in addition to all the green skins. Very nice. Usually, you don’t see one of my Hulk reviews without some sort of critique in regards to the appearance of the Hulk - which I am uber particular about. I’m glad to say that the “Smash Files” back-up which featured art from Al Rio was pretty good! Actually, I’ve enjoyed most of back-ups with this one by Tim Seely giving us a neat Hulk, She-Hulk, Armadillo tale. More bang for your buck which is always a good thing!The Incredible Hulks - a smashing, thrashing, pulse pounding heck of a good time! Lovin’ every minute of it!