REVIEW : Hulk #9 – “The Hunt for Oliver”

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HULK #9
Writer: Mariko Tamaki
Penciler : Julian Lopez and Francesco
Colorist : Matt Milla
Letterer : VC’s Corey Petit
Release Date : 8/9/17

Rating : T +
Price : $3.99

Plot

The host of Jen’s favorite cooking webshow Oliver was drugged during a live event and turned into a monster. Now Oliver is on the run in search of a cure, and now it’s up to Jen, Bradley, and Oliver’s boyfriend Warren to find Oliver before he gets to out of control.

Hulk #9

Story

What I really enjoyed about this issue was how much it felt like an episode of cop drama procedural. Jen felt very much like a detective on a case. Chasing down leads and shaking down suspects for info. It felt refreshing seeing her still being reluctant but slowly stepping back into a superhero type role. Jen has always been a natural. Ever since her early days she’s been extremely confident in her abilities, so seeing her being so hesitant is an interesting change of pace. The fact that the host of her favorite cooking show is the victim in this case makes it much more personal to Jen. Ever since the beginning the series the cooking show has served as a source of calm and solace for Jennifer, so Jen feels even more of a connection to the host now that he is forced to deal with a monster of his own.

Hulk #9

By far the most exciting parts of the issue were when Jen was in her Hulk form shaking down Ray and Steve, the two responsible for turning Oliver into a monster. The change in this current Hulk form is clear when you compare it to her original. I like to think of it like this, Jen’s human form plays good cop, she thinks more rationally and tends to try and solver her problems with diplomacy. Hulk Jen however fits the role of bad cop. Hulk Jen has far less control. She is much more rash and impulsive often responding to obstacles with aggression. Besides let’s be honest here part of the fun of a hulk book is seeing a hulk smash stuff and watching the bad guys pee their pants. I also enjoy watching Oliver’s turn. You really feel for him. He didn’t ask for any of this. His entire life is falling apart. It really helps you as a reader get more invested in him and root for Jen to help him get his life back.

Hulk #9

Art

Personally I was torn when it came to the art in this issue. I’m never a fan of having two artists on one book. More often than not the two styles clash and create a disjointed feeling to the book. Unfortunately that seems to be the case here. The art is very inconsistent. In some places the art is very detailed and fluid. In other spots the art seemed abstract and out of place. The one area that did remain consistent was the coloring. The coloring especially stood out once Jen took her hulk form. The grey and green of her form really contrasted against the bright backgrounds. That contrast parallels the dichotomy between Jen and her Hulk form, which I appreciate.

Hulk #9Verdict

Overall I enjoyed the issue. It was pretty fast paced and had a classic vibe to it. Jen Walters hitting the streets, kicking, butt and taking names. The  parallels between the monster Oliver is becoming and the monster that Jen is afraid she’s become makes an interesting dynamic. While the art wasn’t entirely consistent when the art shined it really shined. I’m looking forward to the confrontation in the next issue. This could be a pretty epic battle.

Rating

3.75/5 Stars.

 

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