The Hulk is in the driver’s seat and Amadeus Cho cannot stop him from wreaking havoc on his friends, company, and family.  Are you ready for World War Hulk II?  Your Major Spoilers review of Incredible Hulk #716 awaits!

Incredible Hulk #716 CoverINCREDIBLE HULK #716

Writer: Greg Pak
Penciler: Marco Lorenzana
Inker: Juan Vlasco
Colorist: Frank D’Armata
Letterer: VC’s Cory Petit
Editor: Tom Brevoort
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: May 9, 2018

Previously in Incredible Hulk: “Amadeus Cho has always thought of himself as the fun Hulk – the totally awesome Hulk. But now the Dark Hulk within him is calling the shots with brutal consequences for anyone who’s ever wronged Amadeus or stood in his way. Get ready for Amadeus unleashed and cataclysmic smashing in the heart of New York as our hero – and the world – finally learns just what the curse of the Hulk is all about.” -via Marvel

THINGS FALL APART

Captain Marvel, Alpha Flight, Silk and Amadeus’s pals from the Champions have confronted The Hulk on the roof of the Olympus Group, finally fully aware that he has, in the words of Spider-Man, gone “full Dark Hulk.”  While he physically has to deal with his colleagues, the battle in his mind is against himself, in the form of Amadeus Cho’s normal mind processes.  Even the power of Sasquatch can’t lay The Hulk low, leading Black Panther and Jimmy Woo (because Greg Pak still remembers Agent of Atlas, you guys, and I love him for it) to step in with the technological solutions.  This Hulk is just as cunning as the one in Bruce Banner’s head, though, and he out-thinks and out-maneuvers even his genius sister, destroying the anti-Gamma-Ray satellite that should have been the end of it all.  It takes the power of Thor to even the stakes, and even then, Hulk realizes he still has one last play: Kill off his better half in their shared mindscape!

HERE’S HOPING THIS ONE ENDS BETTER THAN THE FIRST

Month after month, we’ve seen the Totally Awesome Hulk in action while Amadeus keeps something locked in the trunk of the imaginary car in his mind, and that something is finally out.  Seeing the angry Hulk unleashed is also a chance to see Marco Lorenzana unleashed, and the fight sequences and visual blocking in this issue are first-rate.  I love how Pak uses characters that others have forsaken, like Jimmy Woo and Silk, pulling together Amadeus’ friends and family to try to bring him back to his senses.  (I do wonder whether or not Hercules is aware that his pal has gone nuts, though.  Is Hercules dead again?)  All in all, this book has call-backs to multiple eras of Cho and Hulk history, which makes me wonder if we’re seeing the end of Totally Awesome Hulk now that Bruce Banner is back in play, but the overall effect is pretty wonderful and makes great use of the decade-plus of this hero’s history.

BOTTOM LINE: I LOVE THIS BOOK

The inventive visual sequences in the hero’s mind make the battle against his own worst impulses as exciting as the battle against his friends, and the smart use of both intellectual and power characters to deal with a Hulk who is as clever as he is powerful helps to make the threat of evil Amadeus/Hulk that much more believable.  Incredible Hulk #716 is an example of the Legacy concept working in concept and execution, using all the characters to great effect, with lovely art and strong characterization on every page, earning 4 out of 5 stars overall.  I don’t want to see the end of this Hulk, but if this is how it ends, it’s worth the journey.

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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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