Hulk: Grand Design: Monster #1 Review

Writer: Jim Rugg

Art: Jim Rugg

Publisher: Marvel Comics


Release Date: March 30th, 2022

The celebrated GRAND DESIGN franchise continues with Jim Rugg smashing into shelves this week. Following in the rite of Ed Piskor and Tom Scioli by extending the entire canard of THE INCREDIBLE HULK, Rugg’s begins to transport enthusiasts from the very beginning to the present! Come take a glimpse at some of the biggest junctures in the HULK’S historic tale through the vision of Jim Rugg as HULK: GRAND DESIGN: MONSTER #1 kicks off!

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: Grand Design: Monster #1 Review.


Following his morally charged variant cover for RED ROOM TRIGGER WARNING #3, which ultimately parodied Art Spiegelman’s graphic novel Maus, Jim Rugg headlines another week in the comic world with his release of HULK: GRAND DESIGN: MONSTER #1. Now, for those unfamiliar with his style, I need to focus more heavily on the art to give you a grasp as to what this “GRAND DESIGN” is truly about and less on the story.

HULK: GRAND DESIGN: MONSTER #1 is simply a quick stroll through HULK’S career from INCREDIBLE HULK #1, TALES TO ASTONISH, FANTASTIC FOUR, and the AVENGERS, the entire way towards SECRET WAR and THE INCREDIBLE HULK #300 ending in 1984. Readers, there is nothing new. Picture it like a snapshot encyclopedia (for those who remember) of HULK’S history through the years. For anyone interested in hitting the highlights, this series is for you. To HULK fans wanting a trip down memory lane, this series is also right up your alley.

Yet jumping back to the important aspect of HULK: GRAND DESIGN: MONSTER #1 is Rugg’s artistic style and influence. His tone is almost indie zine meets art gallery with pop culture design and flare. However, as Rugg’s has done in other series, his tone and style changes with the character as the story progresses. His HULK morph’s in design just like it did throughout the years he represents in the comic. The best way to describe HULK: GRAND DESIGN: MONSTER #1 is a homage to the character as well as the development of the tone and style throughout the early years.


Readers, HULK: GRAND DESIGN: MONSTER #1 is more like a project than a comic, which may sound like I’m upset or disappointed. However, it’s quite the opposite. This isn’t your normal comic. And to any reader looking for a new tale, you most certainly won’t find it here. Yet, what you will find is an artistic gem reminiscent of a style and time well missed by this reviewer.

Rugg has a way of making comics… about comics. That would be the best way of describing much of his work as well as HULK: GRAND DESIGN: MONSTER #1. His art is more than just pencils. It focuses on a strong design and immense shifts in technique as well. If Jim Rugg’s is swirling in your wheelhouse right now thanks to HULK: GRAND DESIGN: MONSTER #1, go take a look at his earlier work on STREET ANGELS and AFRODISIAC. Otherwise, let me know what you think, have a great week, and God Bless!


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