Sunday, November 16, 2008

The Incredible Hulk # 49

Writer: Bruce Jones
Artist: Stuart Immonen
Cover Artist: Kaare Andrews
Publisher: Marvel
Published: March 2003

I is for the indomitable incredible HULK! SMASH!

The only reason I picked this issue up was because of the cover by Andrews. It's an homage of Maurice Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are, which is a tale concerning a young boy named Max and his journey into wild country. Sendak has a wicked drawing style. He is able to keep the monsters cute, but not so cute that you would want to hang out with them. They're still monsters after all. In an interview with Maurice, he states his inspiration for the monsters were his family. He goes on to say that when he was growing up the real monsters were his aunts and uncles, with their big noses, and monstrous features, and they would tug and bug him to no end.

Where The Wild Things Are is currently in production to be a live action movie directed by Spike Jonze. Apparently, however, after a screening with some children, the movie was too scarey, with kids crying and demanding to leave the theatre. The studio heads are not a fan of this development, so I hear they are going to be re-shooting some or all of the film. Too bad. I would love to see the original.

Ok, back to business, the Hulk comic. Now, the Hulk is the split persona of Bruce Banner, a scientist who was blasted with gamma rays. To me it's just a green spin on Jekyll and Hyde, but with a contemporary spin. Hulk has since been turned into several live action movies, starting with the 70s version starring Lou Ferringno as Hulk and Bill Bixby as Bruce. In the last few years it has been adapted into two major film adaptations.

The first Hulk film directed by Ang Lee focused on the emotional anger that fueled the Hulk, and the relationship between father and son. This film was not a favorite of Hulk fans, but from a story level, I thought it worked very well. Some of the most interesting aspects of Hulk is the comparison between Bruce and Hulk, and what drives them. Also, having seen (and liked) Eat Drink Man Woman, it comes as no surprise that Lee would focus on family relationships as fuel for the green fire.

The more recent Hulk starring Liv Tyler and Ed Norton got back to basics. They scrapped the family/emotional arc and got to the smashing. Which, really is what the Hulk is all about. Smashing, and lots of more smashing. So, in this regard I really liked the film. In many ways, the two films are psychological manifestations of the duality between Banner and the Hulk. Each film views Hulk from a different perspective, but in the end, they are both Hulk films though and through.

Oh, the comic review: Hulk kills a guy/monster named Pratt, and something or the other. Hey, I only bought the comic because cover, so I have no idea of the storyline up to this point, and couldn't really figure out the big picture. Next up:


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