REVIEW: ‘Hulk,’ Issue #3

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Hulk #3 - But Why Tho

Hulk #3 is written by Donny Cates, illustrated by Ryan Ottley, colored by Frank Martin, and lettered by VC’s Cory Petit. It is published by Marvel Comics. Following the end of the second issue, Bruce Banner comes face to face with an alternate version of himself and learns that he’s traveled to a universe where his gamma bomb test succeeded. However, this comes with a heavy cost as the atmosphere has become irradiated, transforming others into horrifying Hulk-like beings. Meanwhile, the events in El Paso that drove Banner to construct “Starship Hulk” are brought to light.

The concept of the multiverse is all the rage, spreading from superhero films and TV including Spider-Man: No Way Home and What If…? and even comics like Justice League Incarnate and Avengers Forever. Cates takes a different approach to the concept by showcasing how Bruce Banner’s attempts to do good often lead to destruction-no matter the Earth, some constants are absolute. The alt-universe Banner even calls himself “Death, destroyer of worlds”-both a reference to J. Robert Oppenheimer and how his gamma bombs poisoned the world. Cates also touches upon the duality of the Hulk, including Banner’s own unending rage toward his super-strong alter ego after El Paso. “I never forget,” Banner’s narration reads, words tinged with disgust and regret. The feeling is mutual, as the Hulk vows that Banner can’t keep him caged in the “Engine Room” forever.

Ottley continues to push the envelope with every page, spilling blood and gore whenever he gets the chance. From the Hulk doing battle with a “Giant-Size Wolverine”-and winning-to a nightmare where Banner’s head is flattened into a paste, this issue isn’t for the faint of heart. And when it’s revealed that there are Hulks on the alt-Banner’s world, they aren’t the usual jade-hued mountains of muscle readers would expect. Instead, they are misshapen abominations-one even has a long insectoid body with a face literally fused into his chest. In his own way, it feels like Ottley is paying homage to Al Ewing’s Immortal Hulk.

And finally, Martin delivers some sensational colors. Red is prominent in Banner’s dreams and the interior of Starship Hulk, while the Earth the Alt-Banner occupies is tinted emerald green due to the multiple gamma bombs that have been set off. A green glow also comes from the various computers set up in Alt-Banner’s laboratory. There’s even different shades of green for the narrative captions that Petit utilizes; regular Banner has a darker shade of green while Alt-Banner has a lighter shade. There is also a surprising lack of color, as a massive figure begins to show up in Banner’s mind. This figure is a living shadow, with muscles to rival the Hulk and fiery red veins spreading through its muscles with glowing red eyes and a sadistic grin to match. This figure has been hinted to be a figure similar in power to the dark deity Knull, who was the main antagonist of Cates’ Venom saga; it remains to be seen if lightning strikes twice.

Hulk #3 travels to an alternate universe, upping the violence and terror in the process. The next issue hints at a battle royale between different Hulks, and given what the creative team has cooked up fans are in for a treat.

Hulk #3 is available wherever comics are sold.


Hulk #3
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TL;DR

Hulk #3 travels to an alternate universe, upping the violence and terror in the process. The next issue hints at a battle royale between different Hulks, and given what the creative team has cooked up fans are in for a treat.

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