Hulk #5 Review

Writer: Donny Cates

Art: Ryan Ottley, Cliff Rathburn, Frank Martin, Federico Blee, and VC’s Cory Petit

Publisher: Marvel Comics

Price:$3.99

Release Date: March 30th, 2022

As President Ross spews forth gamma hell, Banner’s Spaceship HULK endeavor encounters its most devastating challenge to date. Let’s smash into HULK #5 by Donny Cates and Ryan Ottley as Banner finally learns who may actually be in full control of this HULK. And I’ll give you a clue, it ain’t him!

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 Hulk #5 Review.

THE DISPATCH

Donny Cates unveils a more cerebral attack this week focusing more on what’s happening inside the “HULK spaceship” and less on the battle outside. Readers get glimpses of the skirmish between this world’s Spider-HULK but ultimately the premise lands squarely on the mental battle with Banner, HULK, and the image of Betty that seems almost possessed. There is no doubt something deeper is happening in which Cates is hinting at, however, my concern is that we may not actually figure it out in a logical way that makes sense.

Past practice dictates that Cates is leading readers down a path that portrays something rather devilish is in control of Banner. There are even implications that there may be a hidden personality at work that might have been locked up since he was a child. Some possible clues were certainly dropped in this week’s HULK #5. Still, reading a plethora of Cates titles tells me that I shouldn’t jump to conclusions quite yet.

Nevertheless, HULK fans will get quick panel layouts of some crazy battle sequences that showcase a whole heck of a lot that Ryan Ottley should be proud to share. Blood, fire, destruction, and literal creatures being torn apart make up only half of what Ottley illustrates throughout HULK #5. Readers will undoubtedly find this installment rather intense. However, with the focus being more on the mental landscape of the “HULK Spacecraft”, the weight of these fights is lost.

Sure, we see HULK find zombies, Asgardians, Demons, Mutant Spider Creatures, and dozens of other gamma-mutated beasts. Nevertheless, it’s more snippets and snapshots with the actual fights taking place off-panel. With the main focus happening mentally, HULK fans lose a better balance of what attracted them to the title recently, which was the sheer brutality of this comic.

Sure, Cates is playing at something. There is no doubt. However, I wish he just balanced out the issues more leading up to this point instead of making the last issue an all-out melee while HULK #5 focused more on Banner internally with a spattering of intense illustrations that are &&@$ impressive.

FINAL THOUGHTS

HULK #5 has more story and tends to lean in on some narrative beats that really weren’t there before providing the depth needed to take this series from surface level to substantial. After the last review of HULK #4, I said I needed more. Well, we’re getting something that’s for sure. Let’s hope it culminates into something worthwhile seeing as the first arc concludes next month. Let me know what you think, have a great week, and God Bless!

8.3/10

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