Writer: Mariko Tamaki
Penciler : Nico Leon
Colorist : Matt Milla
Letterer : VC’s Corey Petit
Release Date : 4/29/17
Price : $3.99
Jen comes face to face with the monster controlling her client. Can she help her as she is, or will she need to awaken the monster she’s been keeping hidden within since her recovery?
A big theme of this first arc and series as a whole is change and how to cope with it. That has been something Jen has struggled with ever since she first woke up from her coma. The series has been extremely psychologically focused. We get a really good peak at what makes Jen tick at this point. I am a fan of character driven stories so its right up my alley. The flashbacks gave is a good look at what the early days of Jen’s recovery were like. Introducing Bruce’s ghost was a nice plot device. It helped reinforce the themes of change and how much it can hut. It really comes to a head when Jen is actually faced with an actual monster and is unable to change. The cliffhanger of her possible transformation symbolizes the turning point of the series, and it’s only going to get wilder from here.
Leon’s art for this series is fantastic. What makes it so great is its subtly, which perfectly compliments the storytelling style Tamaki has chosen for the series at this point. This incarnation of Hulk isn’t just about smashing and saving the day. A lot of what happens here are small character moments. The slight color shifts in scenes also help to reflect the tone of the issue. Leon shows great versatility by doing everything from the big monster splash page to the deeper more intimate close ups, while giving everything a sense of weight. Hulk is one of those books that I could not see another artist on. These two are a dynamic duo.
Once again I feel like Hulk will go down very much like the recent Vision series. It’s an under the radar hit. A lot of classic Hulk fans may skip it because it doesn’t follow the usual hulk pace, and its been five issues and we have yet to see Jen hulk out. Personally those are all the reasons I enjoyed this issue and continue to enjoy this series. It is rare for a Hulk book to focus so much on the human side and not their hulk alter ego. The best part about Hulk is how deep it is. Its about grief, loss, and recovery. I haven’t seen a mainstream comic tackle things like this so well in a long time. I know it will definitely be an amazing trade, but if you’re interested I highly recommend that you check out Hulk #5.