It turns out that this whole “Fall of the Hulks” extravaganza is an elaborate joke on Amadeus Cho, who has long considered himself the Seventh Smartest Person in the Marvel Universe. Or the Eighth, at worst. But as “Fall of the Hulks” escalates, and we learn that the Leader and M.O.D.O.K. plan to capture and manipulate the Top 8 geniuses on the planet, Amadeus learns that he’s not among the Elite 8. He barely even cracks the Top 10.
That’s not really what this issue — or the mega-crossover — is completely about, but it does have that kind of inside-joke quality as we discover who the Eight Smartest really are. And the Leader and M.O.D.O.K. continue evilly scheming their evil schemes.
I’m not sure I could summarize the plot of “The Incredible Hulk” #607. I could list the events, but I don’t know why everything’s happening. And I appreciate that feeling. Sure, I haven’t been completely following every “Fall of the Hulks” tie-in, but I’ve mostly been keeping up, and I still don’t know which side all the players are on, and what the overall climax will lead to. And that’s a feeling I like to have when I’m reading a superhero event — even one that’s limited to a small corner of a comic book universe.
This doesn’t have the austere unfolding of “Siege” (which is rapid-fire for a Bendis storyline, honestly), but it has slam-bang action and quick cuts and characters popping in and out like a video game on fast forward. It works for this series. It works for this crossover.
And though the Avengers zoom in and out of the action without much cause, and Bruce Banner has assembled a team of conveniently heartbroken heroes to help him in his personal quest, even though there’s no real reason why they would all join forces, “The Incredible Hulk” #607 keeps everything zooming along so quickly that any concerns about the whys and wherefores are left in the dust. It doesn’t matter. What matters is the spectacle and the speed.
Unfortunately, Paul Pelletier’s always-clean character work and Buscema-classic layouts are marred by Frank D’Armata’s oppressive coloring. D’Armata over-renders every image, adding garish glows and sickening greens even when the Hulk is nowhere to be found. It’s a disservice to Pelletier’s sturdy craftsmanship.
Moreso than most Marvel “events,” this feels like a “Crisis.” A crisis with a sense of humor about what it is, yet playing it all with straight-faced glee. The glee that accompanies a line like, “Avengers Smash!”