In the wake of critical injuries and the loss of her cousin, Bruce Banner, Jennifer Walters is struggling to regain her moorings and life.  That’s a tough order for anyone, but it’s darn near impossible when you’re a Hulk…  Your Major Spoilers review of Hulk #2 awaits!

HULK #2
Writer: Mariko Tamaki
Artists: Nico Leon & Delaibor Talajic
Colorist: Matt Milla
Letterer: VC’s Cory Petit
Editor: Mark Paniccia
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $3.99

Previously in Hulk: “As Jen continues to struggle with the Hulk (and anger) within herself, her newest client struggles with her own dark secrets. What happens when a terrified recluse is forced into the world against her will? When fear is pushed into the light? Can Jen reconcile the two halves of herself in time to help her client?”

A DAY IN THE LIFE

This issue begins as Jennifer Walters’ day does, obtaining a signed document from a judge requiring that the corrupt landlord who is trying to evict her client show proof of the need for eviction.  After a quick stop for pastry, Jennifer makes her way to the landlord’s office, where the slimy Mr. Tick makes no efforts to hide the fact that he doesn’t care about her notices.  Jen informs him that he has 30 days to provide proof and that she’ll see him in court, leading to a number of sexist remarks and a small moment of satisfaction.  She stops in Central Park for a few moments of rest before returning to work, only to find a group of children playing a game…  A game we know as ‘Civil War II,’ including Hawkeye sweeping in for the kill to take down the Hulk, portrayed by a snowman.  Jennifer’s nerves get the best of her, and she rushes to her office, desperately trying to keep from hulking out and destroying everything in sight…

A LITTLE BIT UNSATISFYING

While I appreciate the change in gimmick to make Jennifer more like the classic “man on the edge of a nervous breakdown” Bruce Banner gimmick, it is a little bit awkward that there’s no Hulk nor She-Hulk to be had in this issue.  (Of course, something large and monstrous kills Mr. Tick in these pages, which might mean a case of mistaken identity blaming Jennifer for the violence next time around.)  I find the art quite charming, though, and the portrayal of Jennifer’s quiet rage as glowing green eyes is interesting, as well as her watching Youtube videos to calm herself down.  The most difficult part of the issue for me is that feeling that not much happens, with a lot of quiet character establishing moments but no big shocking moments, save for a shadowy murder…

THE BOTTOM LINE: IT HAS POTENTIAL

Regardless, this issue helps to illustrate Jen’s new status quo, both as lawyer and as Hulk, with some strong bits of characterization and a clear sense that she’s no longer the happy-go-lucky Green Giantess of days past, but something entirely more tragic.  Hulk #2 doesn’t get everything perfect, but it does stick enough of the landing that I want to read more about this phase of Jennifer Walters’ life, and the art is charming and deceptively simple, leaving the book as a whole with a better-than-average 3 out of 5 stars overall.  If nothing else, I applaud Marvel for such a big change for one of their higher profile female heroes…

[taq_review]

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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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