Search for 'The Incredible Hulk' on Amazon
Cover Date: Annual 1997
Cover Price: US $ 2.99
Issue Tagline: None.
Format: Color; Standard Comic Issue
Story Arc(s): Add/remove story arcs to this issue
The two stories are set during the “Heroes Reborn” era of the Hulk, where a Bannerless Hulk roamed the earth in something of a bad mood, occasionally accompanied by Rick Jones’ grand-daughter from the future, Janis. The first features long-time supporting characters from Peter David’s run, Doc Samson and the Pantheon, as they deal with a child who may or may not be the offspring of Bruce and Betty. Thrown inexplicably but enjoyably into the mix is the Shi’Ar Imperial Guard, who were stationed on Earth for a brief time. The mix of characters is obscure and difficult to keep track of, but you can’t argue with the spectacle of the Hulk fighting Superman-analogue Gladiator. Writer Chris Cooper does, to his credit, manage to keep the overall theme and narrative of the story from being overtaken by the guest-stars, and the end result is both an enjoyable and respectful tale.
The second half of the issue concerns the wider Heroes Reborn arc, and showed what I believe were the first hints at some connection between the Hulk, Franklin Richards and the Heroes Reborn universe. However, it also contains the Hulk’s long-awaited first meeting with Artie and Leech, which is much more fun. There’s less at the centre of this story, but between the cutesy, manga art style, the slapstick traps the kids set for the Hulk, and the way that he seems oddly reasonable when dealing with children, it’s a nice little short story memorable because it’s funny and entertaining, rather than because anything particularly major happens in it, and sometimes it seems like there aren’t enough comics like that around…
A good annual overall, though unfortunately, the references to current continuity that made it seem more enjoyable at the time have ultimately bogged it down in the past. It’s not essential reading, but it is an amusing comic, and one that’s easy to love.
Characters: Add/remove characters to this issue
Groups: Add/remove groups to this issue
Reviews: There are no reviews for this issue. - Add your review