Back in the day, comic tie-ins to big events that had no real connections to the main story were referred to as “red skies crossovers.” During “Crisis on Infinite Earths,” there were far too many comics which were touted as crossing over with “Crisis” but in fact were just characters at one point looking up and commenting, “Wow, look at those red skies” before continuing on their business. With Marvel’s .INH comics, the temptation comes to have a, “Wow, look at that Inhuman” tie-in. With that in mind, it’s a bit of a relief to see Mark Waid, Clay Mann, Seth Mann and Miguel Sepulveda tackle their “Inhumanity” crossover with something a little more original.
I like the idea of Bruce Banner being mobilized to try and find a way to stop the transformative Terrigen Mists before anyone else is turned into an Inhuman; it fits with what we know about the Marvel Universe in general, and specifically with how S.H.I.E.L.D. (whom Banner now works for) would want to act. More importantly, “Indestructible Hulk” #17.INH has on display how the rest of the superhero community views Banner. With Iron Man, Hank Pym, and the Beast invading Bruce’s lab, their distrust makes one of the cruxes of this series — Bruce Banner trying to do good in a world that will never really forgive him for what the Hulk has done — front and center.
That said, what doesn’t work in this issue is how standard the issue rapidly becomes, with Bruce turning into the Hulk and the other characters having to scramble after him. If we’d stuck with the first half of the issue (and mixed in the revelation that one of the lab assistants that we’ve been reading about in this series has Inhuman heritage and will transform if exposed to the Terrigen Mists) this would have been a lot more fun as far as I’m concerned. We’ve seen the Hulk being pursued by heroes many times before, and having him clutching a bomb that may or may not be the solution to the problem with the Terrigen Mists hardly elevates this into something different.
Clay and Seth Mann’s art is good here, reminding me a lot of artists like Stuart Immonen. It’s clean and smooth, and the characters look very expressive under their pencils and inks. It’s not flashy or snazzy, but it doesn’t need to be either. Ultimately it looks attractive and it gets the story told. Sepulveda’s pages are a little more textured than the Manns, but it’s overall a good match. There’s no big visual shift from one to the other, and I appreciate that the editors are taking care to make the transition smooth.
“Indestructible Hulk” #17.INH has a nice take on the crossover phenomenon, and with more to come there’s a lot of potential. For now, it’s solid. And if nothing else, I appreciate the lack of “red skies” syndrome.