Paolo Rivera’s masterful cover for “Indestructible Hulk” #9 depicts Matt Murdock and Daredevil on the Hulk’s shoulders in the place of the archetypal cartoon angel and devil. Naturally that means that Mark Waid has brought the titular character from his other Marvel title over to this book for a team-up. Waid is joined by artist Matteo Scalera, who strappingly depicts Hulk’s rage.
Never one to back away from a writing challenge, it’s only natural that Waid would find a way to weave the characters from his two Marvel books together. It’s a brilliant fit and also answers a question that was raised back when this series started as we learn who Banner confides in and why. Waid also reminds us of Banner’s inventions and continues to give readers reason to cheer for Bruce Banner as much as the Hulk. Completely in control of the characters and scenes, Waid lets Daredevil tip the scales a bit towards Matt Murdock in a conversation with Maria Hill. After all, if he only sidesteps the identity accusations in his own title, surely Daredevil is aware that he can’t conceal himself from everyone.
Scalera’s previous experience in the Marvel Universe on “Secret Avengers” plays nicely here as the artist is afforded the opportunity to draw not only Hulk and Daredevil, but S.H.I.E.L.D. and an Agence Byzantine weapons deal gone terribly wrong. Add to that a near-full page final image of an iconic Marvel baddie and Scalera is able to run the full gamut of Marvel Comics rather quickly. Personally, I cannot wait to see more of the big bad from Scalera, who gets an assist from the bright colors of Val Staples and sterling letter work of Chris Eliopoulos. The three visual masters work brilliantly in concert to provide a dingy, roughed-up looking story.
The epitome of the team-up between Hulk and Daredevil comes in the form of a five-panel page, set up with the panels running widescreen and delivering a humor-tinged time-lapse as Daredevil tries to get some answers. Waid masterfully balances humorous moments like that with suspense, action and predicaments that truly challenge our heroes all while incorporating more and more of the Marvel Universe into the adventure. There’s a lot going on in “Indestructible Hulk” #9, giving readers their money’s worth and more. The best part of it all, however, is the fact that this is just part one. There’s more Daredevil and Hulk coming up in the next issue.