The Incredible Hulk #603

I'll admit it, the character of Skaar didn't really interest me. There's something about the son of the Hulk that just didn't click the earlier times I read comics starring him; it's not that I'm against legacy characters, but this particular one was evoking a slight sense of boredom. After three issues of Skaar sharing "Incredible Hulk" with the Hulk-less Bruce Banner, though? This is a seriously fun book.

I like that Greg Pak writes Banner with a great deal of intelligence. He's a bit of a schemer here, but with an end point in mind on how to try and neutralize himself. It's a perverse, different kind of planning and that take on a character (trying to create a weapon to be pointed at yourself) is nicely away from normalcy. Skaar himself also comes across interesting in "Incredible Hulk," which was a pleasant surprise. Banner bringing him to the Juggernaut the previous two issues was fun, but Skaar's interactions with Wolverine's son Daken have pushed this story into high gear. Heck, even Daken himself comes across for the first time as a character I'd want to see more of. I guess it just goes to show that there aren't really bad characters out there, just bad takes on characters.

Having Ariel Olivetti draw the Banner and Wolverine scenes while Giuseppe Camuncoli and Cam Smith tackle the Skaar and Daken scenes is a bit of a visual whiplash for the reader. Olivetti's art is overly smooth and pristine these days, with Camuncoli and Smith have a beautiful rough, textured form on their pages. They're about as far from one another as you can get, but to be fair both Olivetti and Camuncoli turn out some great art here. I'm just not entirely sure they should be in the same story.

The back-up story starring the Savage She-Hulk is all right, although it doesn't quite compare to the lead. Fred van Lente and Michael Ryan are turning out a story that feels much shorter than it actually is, though; the pacing feels a little off, with ten pages seeming more like just five. It could be that this new She-Hulk and her foes just aren't quite grabbing my attention yet. Hopefully that'll change soon; after all, this is the same comic that made me like Skaar. "Incredible Hulk" as a whole is a good title these days, and it's nice to see this counterpart to "Hulk" not only have a purpose, but get a chance to shine. Having two "Hulk" titles does make sense after all, who knew?

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