Thor and Walter Simonson finish off their visit with Bruce Banner and Mark Waid in “Indestructible Hulk” #8. While the conclusion of the “Gods and Monster” storyline is hardly Earth-shattering, it is certainly enjoyable comic reading from a creative team of the comic book industry’s legendary talents.
I do not need any excuse to pick up a comic featuring new Thor art by Simonson. Add to it that Mark Waid has been using his run on “Indestructible Hulk” to redefine Bruce Banner and “Indestructible Hulk” #8 becomes easy money for Marvel. The story itself is straightforward comic book stock, including the subplot of a medically-challenged teammate of Banner’s trying to deliberately get killed in action and another teammate functioning as a disguise for subterfuge from the Frost Giants. There’s nothing really new here, but Waid mixes it all up and injects just enough humanity into all of the characters to make the protagonists worth cheering for in their battle against the mustache-twirling (if they didn’t have frozen mustaches) evil of the Frost Giants. Waid’s Banner isn’t necessarily the star of this issue, neither is Hulk, but the story doesn’t need an outright star to succeed.
With Simonson’s impactful art celebrating everything the artist brings to comics, “Indestructible Hulk” #8 has plenty of smashing and flying, dramatic poses and sublime storytelling. Simonson’s Hulk isn’t necessary as definitive as his Thor, but the scope of calamity and destruction become poetry in Simonson’s artwork, with inks by Bob Wiacek and bright coloring from Jim Charalampidis. Lettering from Chris Eliopoulos is reminiscent of John Workman’s contributions to the legend of the thunder god, but the rumbling sound effects don’t quite anchor the panels like Workman’s did.
As he did in this month’s issue of “Daredevil,” Waid presents hope and inspiration for readers while bolstering characters in the comic books, by embracing the fact that no amount of superheroics can tackle real world issues like Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease or cancer. That doesn’t mean the fight has to end, but the real fight should be infused with wonder and achievement in the positive adventures of heroes and mortals. Waid’s delivering good messages in fun reads, and you all should check them out. Next issue, Waid brings a crossover as only he can do it, but this issue — despite being the third part of three — is solid enough to be enjoyed by itself.