Amadeus Cho is not happy with Captain Marvel’s actions in the ‘Civil War II’ crossover.  Can The Black Panther successfully negotiate a peace?  Your Major Spoilers review of Totally Awesome Hulk #10 awaits!

totallyawesomehulk10coverTOTALLY AWESOME HULK #10
Writer: Greg Pak
Artist: Mahmud Asrar
Colorist: Nolan Woodard
Letterer: VC’s Cory Petit
Editor: Mark Paniccia
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $3.99

Previously in Totally Awesome Hulk: “Super-genius teenager Amadeus Cho cured Bruce Banner and took on the mantle of The Hulk.  An Inhuman named Ulysses has been using his predictive powers to aid Earth’s heroes in identifying likely disasters and averting them before they can occur.  Recently, Ulysses had a vision of numerous casualties and wanton destruction caused by the Bruce Banner-Hulk.  In response, Clint Barton, AKA Hawkeye, has executed Banner.  In light of this, Captain Marvel visited Amadeus in hopes of preventing any reckless reactions on his part.  Amadeus declared his composure, but continues to act out against Captain Marvel’s requests for communications.  The Black Panther has stepped in to mediate…”


There are a couple of immediate problems with this issue for me: In the first few pages, Captain Marvel makes a big show of being in charge of the Black Panther, which makes her feel like a big bully.  Second, Black Panther’s plan to tackle Amadeus/Hulk involves him making a “Hulkbuster” armor, with a cat motif and a cool matte black paint job, a plot point that feels overworked and overly familiar from all the times Iron Man has tried the same gambit.  Things are a bit better once we tune on Amadeus’ wavelength, as he is completely aware that T’Challa and SHIELD agent Jake Oh are following him, and quickly shakes their surveillance.  Amadeus is tracking the whereabouts of Clint Barton, whom he trails to a cabin in the woods, only to find that he has been out-genius-gambitted by the King Of Wakanda.  Their battle is fierce, but is interrupted by Amadeus’ sister Maddy calling him for help, as she has continued on her mission to track down monsters across the country…


Marvel has an abundance of super-geeeeenius characters, which means that the endless cycle of hero-vs.-hero leads to a hierarchy of said geniuses, and this issue definitively proves that Black Panther is higher on the list than the new Hulk, blinded by anger and teenage hormones.  It’s a nice touch from Pak that his guy isn’t the best and the shiniest hero, but their sparring in this issue doesn’t feel like genius gambitry so much as dumb luck.  As for the art, Mahmud Asrar maintains all the surface elements of Franks Cho’s glam-styled art, with much better fundamentals, especially when it comes to T’Challa’s Panther armor.  Like many of the Civil War II crossover issues of the last couple of months, it feels like the big conflict has overshadowed the entire Marvel Universe, and even Amadeus (who is directly emotionally tied to the central conflict, thanks to his love of Banner) gets stuck playing in the fringes of Captain Marvel’s story.  It’s not the best look…


All in all, though, even a not-as-awesome issue by Greg Pak is still pretty good, and combined with Asrar’s art, this one looks wonderful, even when the Big Crossover Event seems to be putting a heavy foot on Amadeus’ adventures.  Totally Awesome Hulk #10 is at least a meaningful Civil War II crossover, and both Amadeus and T’Challa get some lovely moments (as long as you don’t think about how they’re supposed to be much, much smarter than the central conceit), earning a better-than-average 3 out of 5 stars overall.  Wherever this story leaves Amadeus, I hope that he gets a chance to deal with his grief without killing Hawkeye in return…



The crossover that never ends continues, with personal consequences for the Totally Awesome Hulk.

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Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture! And a nice red uniform.

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