On my commute into work this morning Greg Pak tweeted out asking for a few people who wanted to review “Totally Awesome Hulk #7”. I had not read any of the series yet, but was hearing some great things about it and wanted to check it out. I sent him a message and he sent me a digital copy of the issue to read. I had a long commute into work today as I had to catch the Sounder train into Seattle then catch a ferry across to Bainbridge Island to get to the office. Well, I missed the ferry so I had time waiting for the next one that I decided I would use to read the issue Mr. Pak was so kind to send me for review.
I sat down, pulled it up on my phone and started reading. I thought to myself “Man, this is issue 7. I have no idea what happened in the first 6 issues. Hopefully I’m not completely lost” I got about two pages in then this guy rolls up in his wheelchair and starts talking to me. Now, I’m not one to talk to people out in public, but I’m also not one to be rude to someone who wants to talk to me. Well, after a few incoherent sentences I realized it was going to be difficult to finish reading this issue. I kept trying through. I wont go into to much detail about the interaction because I want to keep this to the review, but I did draw a comic on my Instagram talking about it. You can see it to the right if you want to.
THERE WILL BE SPOILERS AFTER THIS POINT!
Eventually I did get to sit down and read the issue in it’s entirety. Now, I’m a fan of Greg Pak. I loved his Batman / Superman run and 1602: New World was fantastic. So I already knew he’s a quality writer and the art is by Alan Davis, who did JLA The Nail and JLA Another Nail, so I it has a good base just going into it. As I mentioned before my biggest fear for this issue and the review was that it’s issue 7 in a series I have not read. Luckily this issue appears to be a GREAT jumping on point. It does a great job explaining what happened without wasting time. Based on what I know of the series going in it’s based around Amadeus Cho, who is the Totally Awesome Hulk and Bruce Banner has been missing. This series is centered on Cho and his take on the Hulk, which is much less angry that Bruce Banner’s hulk and way more cocky.
However, this issue is all about Bruce Banner and more told from his perspective and how he is dealing with coming to grasp with no longer having the Hulk inside him. I don’t want to give you a beat by beat playback of the book, because you should just pick it up yourself and read it. I will give you some high points I really liked. When Banner first see’s Cho as The Totally Awesome Hulk it’s a pretty neat scene. This gives us some backstory on WHY Banner is no longer Hulk and WHY Cho is. Again, I really feel like this would be an issue you can grab and read without knowing anything about Cho at all. The fact that we have a story told from the non-main characters point of view, but this non-main character still feels like he IS the main character (The Hulk) and we really feel the struggles he is having with this, it’s great. It’s what I love about comics. When they shift slightly from the norm of a series and give us something special.
This is a fantastic issue that makes me want to go back and pick up the first 6 issues to read. I want to see more of Amadeus Cho as the Totally Awesome Hulk and I really hope he STAYS the hulk for awhile. I like The Hulk, but a new take is always welcomed. Break the status quo. I’m also a big fan of legacies. I really wish more super-heroes would have (and keep) legacies in characters. Have the mantle of a hero pass to the next generation. Dick Grayson passes Robin to Jason Todd (that didn’t work out to well for him). Peter Parker is replaced by Doc Oc. Amadeus Cho takes over for Bruce Banner.
Ultimately, if you are curious about this new Korean-American Hulk character, pick it up. I’m going to go back read issues 1-6 now. Thanks Mr. Pak for giving me a comic that is now going to cost me money to get the other issues.