Jeff Parker must have frequently been recognized with the “plays well with others” award in kindergarten. As he did with his work on “Agents of Atlas” and “Atlas,” Parker takes an event crossover and makes it work for his book. There are certain to be some crazy event-driven completists who find this book for the first time due to their obsession with “Fear Itself,” and Parker simply opens his arms, welcomes them in, and gives them a great story.
That great story takes the prescribed bits from “Fear Itself” and deftly mingles them in with the stories that Parker already has in progress: the attacks from Zero/One and her band of misfits, and an ongoing battle with M.O.D.O.K. Parker provides a grandiose-anything-can-and-most-likely-will-happen scope to this tale as he triangulates a triple threat in the Red Hulk’s direction. After all, nothing ever happens in a serialized format in life. One problem hits and another usually seems to surface before that first one is properly handled. It’s brilliant in its simplicity, and it is one aspect of storytelling that Parker always handles well.
I have no idea where Elena Casagrande came from, but she definitely needs to stick around somewhere in the circuit of comics I buy. Her art in this issue is masterfully aligned with the “Hulk house style” set in place by Gabriel Hardman and, like Hardman’s art, Casagrande’s art works nicely with the color work from Bettie Breitweiser.
If you are going to be selective in your involvement with “Fear Itself,” I would recommend that you check this book out. True, Ben Grimm/Angrir is in this issue, but there are plenty of other threats and a great deal more action than just a destructive walk-through from a “Fear Itself” inspired baddie.
“Hulk” has been a consistently entertaining book since Jeff Parker took over, and this issue is a marvelous example of why that is so. Lucky for all of us, though, Parker is teamed up with a solid art team that help this story seem like much more than a shill for the “Fear Itself” event.