“Totally Awesome Hulk” #6 gives us a quick conclusion to the storyline that began last month as the Hulk and Maddy wrap up their time with the Enchantress and Thor. While it’s not a bad ending, it does feel a bit rushed and misses an opportunity to delve a bit deeper.
Pak’s storyline doesn’t belabor anything; we get in and out in a startlingly fast manner. Having been confronted by the new Thor at the end of the previous issue, Hulk and Maddy have to quickly gain her trust, find out what the Hulk did during his blackout, defeat the Enchantress and start plumbing the depths of Amadeus’ guilt. That’s a lot to unpack in one issue.
The problem is with whipping through all of this at a breakneck pace is that there are moments that could have used a little more space. Amadeus’ guilt over the death of his parents feels almost brushed to the side as quickly as it’s brought up. While we might see more of it down the line, this feels like too big a deal — not only for Amadeus himself, but also for the relationship between him and sister Maddy — to get resolved so quickly, even with an epilogue revisiting those feelings at the issue’s end. Similarly, Thor’s confrontation with the Hulk and her discovery that Amadeus’s version is different than the traditional one feels hustled past just a bit; considering that this Thor is also a new person in the role of a classic character, it feels like there was more story potential. It’s also still really unclear as to why the Hulk agreed to work with Enchantress. Again, this could be something that’s going to be revisited a bit later, but — for the moment — it feels hurried through quite quickly.
So what does work in “Totally Awesome Hulk” #6? For starters, there’s still a lovely, wry sense of humor running throughout the book; for instance, the little matched “Hmp” noises from Thor and Maddy. When Amadeus turns the tables on the Enchantress, his glee almost oozes off of the page, and that’s thanks in no small part to Choi, who draws a wonderfully confident Hulk, to say nothing of Maddy. From Maddy smirking at the nickname Thunderpants to when she gets a chance to blast the Enchantress, it’s a reminder that she’s as much of a main character as Amadeus. They’re a good team, and both Choi and Pak remind us of that thanks to their on-panel chemistry.
“Totally Awesome Hulk” #6 is a lot of fun, but it’s hard to keep from seeing the missed opportunities that feel as though they were swept under the rug. I liked Pak and Choi’s work here, but this is an instance where a little more space could have turned this from an above-average comic into a great comic. I’m still a fan of the series, but my expectations were a little higher than what we received this time around.