Writer: Donny Cates
Art: Ryan Ottley, Cliff Rathburn, Frank Martin, and VC’s Cory Petit
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Release Date: December 15th, 2021
Somehow, Bruce Banner has managed to turn the HULK into a Starship. Say what?! That’s right people… you see the HULK’S body has become the actual Starship with Bruce Banner’s persona driving the trusty steed and HULK’s rage as the fuel. However, with recent events surrounding the HULK blaming him for the destruction in El Paso, Banner becomes the very first “Smashtronaut” and pilots this puppy through a portal leaving this world behind. Let’s smash into HULK #2 by Donny Cates and Ryan Ottley to see if we can figure out exactly how and why Bruce orchestrated this feat.
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Well HULK fans, don’t sit down too long because this issue of Donny Cates’ HULK will fly right by with a bombardment of action. From page one until the would-be cliffhanger, it’s nonstop. However, the blitzkrieg of the issue merely masks the lack of story or narrative beats. Don’t get me wrong, HULK #2 is tons of fun. Nonetheless, it lacks story development, purpose, and even answers to any questions driving this train. They’re entirely missing. Readers are still thrown into the middle of Cates’ tale with little to no direction. And, this reviewer was hoping to get a little nibble in order to provide some explanation for these narrative beats.
Moreover, HULK #2 reads like “What if” water cooler talk amongst friends. “And then HULK battles Fin Fang Foom. And then he battles a giant WOLVERINE…” Truthfully, it just came across as a bit trite and trivial to the story especially on the heels of the deep and torturous nature of IMMORTAL HULK. Yet on the flip side, if you’re new to the HULK and are looking for something fun and exciting that never takes its foot off the gas, this issue is totally for you.
Ryan Ottley certainly gets to play in this week’s HULK. If anything, Ottley is more responsible for telling the story this week than Cates. From start to finish, this sucker is all action brought to you by this art team. From bodily explosions to epic fight scenes against gargantuan-sized WOLVERINES, Ottley gets to showcase exactly what he can do without any reservations. Prepare for some graphic illustrations, thorough stabbings, and tons of blood.
I wish there was more to say about HULK #2… but nothing really happens and it treads water purely on the surface. Readers will get some killer action, imaginative fight scenes, and a super quick read that may cause a double-take. The main storyteller in this week’s HULK is no doubt Ottley who showcases his talents and expertise splendidly. However, fans jumping on this new series get very little narrative development masked by a melee of massacres. Was this story entertaining? Sure. But it doesn’t do much else. I hope that Cates gives readers something more substantial next issue. Let me know what you think, have a great week, and God Bless.