I guess I was one of scribe Jeff Parker’s few fans on his take on The Exiles, and I still miss his rendition of the team. But he still has no trouble putting the odd guys together – kind of like Matt Fraction on Defenders – and that is what he does here in Hulk #53.
Red Hulk, Alpha Flight, Machine Man and the Mayans make for a strange mixture, but that is what Parker works with the best. Each character is given his spotlight -- dialogue, action or intent -- and no one is left out. Mayan gods taking over the limelight sprout from long-ago back-ups in Parker’s work with Hulk, and bloom here wonderfully as this story kind of jostles along.
Now no one admired Dale Eaglesham’s art on Fantastic Four as much as I did, but this comic – as represented on the cover – is more of a jigsaw puzzle than anything else, looking like it is awaiting someone to put it together. Strange Colan/Palmer panel shapes wander around the page, not hindering the action or emotion but oddly (that word again) adding to it.
If this had guest starred Doc Strange instead of Alpha Flight, we really would’ve had a great mystic Ditko-esque adventure!
I really appreciate what Parker has put into this book, and I am glad his previously planted threads are now drawing story dividends. That takes patience -- and imagination!