“Indestructible Hulk” #10 is the concluding entry in a 2-part story co-starring Daredevil, written by Mark Waid (the regular writer of both characters) and drawn by Matteo Scalera.
Waid’s critically-acclaimed approach to Daredevil has involved an interesting exploration of the character’s blindness — a subject which is oft-mentioned, but rarely acknowledged as any sort of limitation. Waid treats Daredevil’s visual impairment with greater realism and consideration, and he brings a flavor of this to the current Hulk storyline, entitled “Blind Rage.”
As stories go, it’s a fairly basic team-up with the kind of premise that wouldn’t have been out of place in the ’70s. Baron Zemo has a weapon that can hurt the Hulk, making him lose control. Daredevil, as one of the few people the Hulk recognises as his friend, attempts to bring him under control. Waid’s genius as a superhero writer is that he can take a familiar, almost overplayed premise and make it feel modern.
Scalera’s visuals aren’t quite on the same level as those on Daredevil’s main title, but few are. The book suffers from a lack of backgrounds at times, which makes the action hard to place and the pages look a little unfinished. That said, the sense of energy, speed and weight is palpable, and that’s something which makes a story like this — one about a rampaging, out-of-control Hulk — all the more successful. Not every artist could pull that off.
If anything’s a problem with this story, it’s that it doesn’t quite deliver on the promise if issue #9, which suggested we’d see a lot more Banner and Murdock interaction. It also doesn’t give enough time to the villain (Zemo appears in only a few panels, and gets away before a proper confrontation can occur) which gives the plot a less-than-satisfying conclusion. Perhaps it’s something that’ll be followed up as a subplot, but it’s not particularly clear.
It’s certainly not a bad story, and it’s good that Waid spends some time on what makes the Hulk interesting — his power and unpredictability — but as an extended action sequence the issue isn’t particularly compelling, and the wrap-up feels rushed. Despite its flaws, it’s still part of a superb Hulk run, and Waid writing more Daredevil is never a bad thing. On that basis, even as a sub-par entry for the series, it’s still better than most.