After Bruce Banner had himself hired by SHIELD as a scientist, it was only a matter of time before he worked with Tony Stark. It’s nice to see Mark Waid get that out of the way in the second issue, and use it to further develop Bruce Banner’s newfound purpose. This comic is awesome.
The bulk of this issue is Stark and Banner testing one of Banner’s experiments together. It’s a neat sequence of events with some cleaver humour and a good amount of character development. Banner makes it clear that he doesn’t want to do the same kind of science that Stark does, and how he approaches science differently.
Of course, you can’t have these two characters interacting for a full issue without some kind of fight scene. Stark’s arrogance accidentally unleashes the Hulk (although Banner was counting on that). They have a quick fight and entertaining fight scene. This is probably the most predictable comic I’ve read this week, but that doesn’t make it any less entertaining. The art is good as well – no complaints there.
My only complaint is that Mark Waid and Jonathan Hickman (Avengers) seem to be ignoring years of Hulk development – the Hulk is much more intelligent than he used to be. He also seems to be ignoring Jason Aaron’s Incredible Hulk run. There’s no explanation as to why the Hulk is dumber – maybe that’s coming later, or maybe both writers are simply trying to connect the character to this year’s movie for new readers. There’s also a comment in this issue that Banner is giving up on finding a Hulk cure as he’s tried everything, even though he finally found one at the end of Aaron’s run. I won’t worry about that too much since Aaron’s run was a bit polarizing, but some sort of explanation and consistency would be nice.
All complaints aside, this is a great comic. It’s a fun, character driven issue with good art. If you’re interested in reading Hulk comics, this is an easy recommendation. You don’t even need to read Indestructible Hulk 1 to understand everything in this issue.