REVIEW: Hunger #2 (of 4)

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Or – “Double Your Galactus, Double Your Fun!”

Galactus + Gah Lak Tus = Kiss your universe buh-bye, Ultimate Rick Jones!

Your Major Spoilers review awaits!

SUMMARY

Pros
It’s nice-looking.
An interesting take on the world-eater…
Cons

Feels like we’re spinning our wheels.
It will suck if this is just a swerve…

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

READER RATING!

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (4 votes, average: 3.50 out of 5)


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Hunger2CoverHUNGER #1
Writer: Joshua Hale Fialkov
Artist: Leonard Kirk
Colorist: Jesus Aburtov
Letterer: VC’s Cory Petit
Editor: Mark Paniccia
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $3.99

Previously in Hunger:  Last issue, the 616 Galactus (a man in purple armor with antlers, for some reason) was transported in the Ultimate Marvel universe, where he encountered Ultimate Gah Lak Tus (a swarm of vaguely insectoid monsters with antlers, for some reason.)  Much to the chagrin of that universe’s protector (Rick Jones, for some… oh, skip it), the two Galacti merged into one, combining their terrible majesty into one being, possessed of a hunger that even Denny’s Grand Slam couldn’t cure…

THIS IS PROBABLY BAD…

We open in space, as the armadas of the Kree and Chitauri combine their vast might against the Gah Lak Tus swarm under the conscious control of regular Galactus.  It is a battle that proves quite futile, as the World-Eater or the Swarm alone could probably destroy them.  Together, they’re just overkill.  We see young Norrin Radd contemplating the cosmos before he is suddenly awakened to the danger, and races to the scene on his surfboard.  I could have sworn there was ANOTHER Silver Surfer, a monstrous one with big wings, back in Ultimate Fantastic Four, but this one is pretty much identical to his 616 counterpart.  Combining forces with Rick Jones, The Surfer is successful in driving back the swarm for a second, but no matter how much power they seem to have, neither of them does anything more than blasty-blasty with their hands (a common problem with possessors of phenomenal cosmic powers in comics, I find.)  Artistically, it’s a fine sequence, especially as Galactus hovers over a planetscape in his newly pseudo-cybernetic majesty, prompting Rick Jones to misquote Jaws: “I think…  we’re gonna need a bigger armada.”

CHAPTER TWO SYNDROME IS IN FULL EFFECT.

Miniseries these days are often six issues, which can lead to some padding in the middle issues.  Surprisingly, even though THIS series is four issues long, this issue feels a little bit draggy, giving us long-winded speeches about whether the Kree, Humans and Skrull Chitauri can co-exist, as well as nearly a full page of The Watcher reiterating what he spent all of last issue talking about:  Galactus is dangerous and stuff.  By the end of the issue, the Kree have set off their Doomsday weapon to try to kill the Big G, Rick and Norrin have made their way to Earth, and the Gah Lak Tus swarm has begun transforming humanity (in a very Star Trek Borg fashion) into more of itself, leaving us with a cliffhanger that doesn’t really have a whole lot of hang to it.  Norrin states ominously that their foolish return home with Swarm in tow has “doomed [Rick's] entire world,” but halfway through the story it seems like we’re hearing a lot more about the menace than we’re being shown.  Galactus is shown to be a force of nature, which I like, but for some reason it feels like he’s plodding along, wasting his time engaging spaceships when he could start ripping planets apart with his new swarmy powers…

THE BOTTOM LINE: I WONDER IF THEY HAVE THE GUTS TO MAKE IT PERMANENT?

The two overarching questions of this miniseries are both driven by the same underlying concern:  How much change can it actually create in the comics?  Will they, as rumors have it, destroy the Ultimate Marvel reality?  Will Galactus retain his enhanced abilities if and when he returns to mainstream 616 reality?  As neat as it is to give one of Marvel’s oldest antagonists a power-grade bump, the story feels somehow remote to me (though it may be my unfamiliarity with the Ultimate properties coming into play.)  Hunger #2 asks some interesting questions, but is undermined by the fact that the comic-book status quo will render the answers moot in short order, earning 3 out of 5 stars overall.  It’s a nice looking book, certainly, and not nearly as depressing as its seemingly apocalyptic story elements would have it seem…

Rating: ★★★☆☆