Writer & Artist: Ryan Ottley
Inker: Cliff Rathburn
Color Artist: Marte Gracia
Cover Artists: Ryan Ottley & Marte Gracia
Publisher: Marvel Comics
The Hulk Planet is devastated, while Titan has taken control over the body of Bruce Banner and the Hulk. While Bruce’s allies of Dr. Sampson, or Dr. Sasquatch, and Doctor Stephen Strange discovered that a fear demon called D’Spayre set this all up. But who is the true architect behind it all? Who set all of this into motion? Read Hulk #14 to see what answers await as Bruce Banner struggles to awaken the Hulk to stop Titan for good.
If you’re interested in this comic, series, related trades, or any of the others mentioned, then simply click on the title/link to snag a copy through Amazon as you read the Hulk #14 Review.
Okay, so this comic is very much a rush-job in the story but not the art. One thing Ryan Ottley does well is keep the art looking good from the character designs to their emotional expressions and the action above all else. While the art and the action is great to look at, some of it feels a little hollow since it’s clear that the objective of this comic is to get things to the finish line and call it a day. Fair warning there will be SPOILERS throughout this review with the biggest one in a short SPOILERS section.
The comic picks up where it left off with Titan attacking Monolith and sucking out her gamma while Dr. Strange is held captive by D’Spayre and Titan in Bruce’s mindscape. It’s in the beginning within the mindscape where the comic delivers some juicy bit of detail as to how D’Spayre of all people was remotely involved in all of this. This brief bit of exposition does answer one question but brings up even more questions instead of answering them. Meanwhile everyone else is just trying to survive Titan’s rampage while Bruce struggles to regain control with the Hulk.
Let’s start with the good then get to the bad. First up, the art by Ryan Ottley continues to be great and while the plot is trying to wrap everything up as quickly as possible, Ottley does a fine job with portraying the characters and giving them well-written dialogue for the story they’re in. Even though he’s pulling double duty for this comic, Ottley pulls it all off at the skin of his teeth. It helps that he does try to cover everything in this comic from Monolith and the people of the Hulk planet to Doc Sasquatch, Dr. Strange, and of course Bruce and Hulk. Not all of it ends as well as people would like, but it’s all wrapped up as it possibly could.
Now, the bad. The resolution with Titan is the biggest casualty of trying to wrap things up in this issue. Earlier i said that Bruce was struggling to regain control of his body with the Hulk, but it’s nothing exciting. It’s just Bruce shouting while he’s stuck under debris trying to wake Hulk up only to realize all he had to really do was just get angry and hulk out. That’s it. Before that, it’s just everyone doing their best to stop Titan and failing every time before Bruce changes into the Hulk at the halfway point.
And immediately once he does become the Hulk, it only takes one double spread page for Hulk to seemingly destroy Titan. And don’t even get me started on how D’Spayre is defeated in no time at all. Then to top it all off, the comic basically ends with a very long letter from Doc Sasquatch to Bruce which details the fate of everyone in this story arc and reveals where everyone stands with Bruce. While this quick wrap up is not Ottley’s fault, it doesn’t change the fact that the resolutions feel rushed. The only thing that saves all of this is the art.
I mentioned before that there is one big spoiler that tops everything else in the comic. Early in the comic, D’Spayre tells Dr. Strange’s astral form how he get involved with the Hulk and unleashing Titan. Well, D’Spayre apparently encountered a Green Door, yes, that same Green Door that opens to the source of all gamma, aka the Below Place, as depicted in Al Ewing’s Immortal Hulk series. What’s more some entity gave him this tiny little red ball, which is supposedly Titan, and instructed him on the whole plot to trick Bruce to make the new mindscape and set everything in motion.
At the end of the comic, the figure in the Green Door who commanded D’Spayre, who orchestrated everything, is partially revealed to be none other than the Hulk’s arch-nemesis The Leader. And he looks a bit like a baby. It’s revealed in the send-off letter that Ryan Ottley wanted to leave some mysteries for readers and fans to chew on, and this is a big one since The Leader was last seen depowered and human at the end of Immortal Hulk #50. Hopefully this mystery gets explored in the new Incredible Hulk series.
Hulk #14 is the big finale to the series as Bruce and his allies struggle to stop the rampaging Titan. It’s evident that this comic is trying very hard to wrap up everything, and the resolution with Titan is over far too quickly. What keeps this comic alive is the epic art by Ryan Ottley who pulls double duty here as writer and artist, and the big reveal at the end provides a cool glimpse of who masterminded all of this.