Epic Beards of Review: The Incredible Hulk #312 (Comic-a-Day 76/365)

comicadayThe Incredible Hulk #312, OCT 85 (writer) Bill Mantlo (artists) Mike Mignola & Gerry Talaoc

Was a might disappointed to see the “Secret Wars II” triangle logo in the upper right corner of this issue, but was treated to a delightful origin story of the Hulk. We all know how the story goes, but this starts waybackwhen, all the way from Bruce’s birth.

I recall elements of this from the Ang Lee epic from a few years back (I think) but I can’t be sure if it has always been this way. No Marvel Zombie am I, but I dig it.

There’s something about Bruce growing up, being the Hulk right from infancy, that it tickles the toes and curls the nose hairs. Family life, high school, the workforce: it all adds up to what he becomes. There’s something really neat from the get-go as we see a ghost-like imposition of the Hulk overshadowing every panel that Bruce is in.

It’s quick, it’s easy, but it works. Bruce doesn’t have issues, he’s got volumes. It’s deep, man. The existentialism is on par with the last few issues of Doctor Strange, to the point where you see Bruce wallowing in some sort of interdimensional crossroads trying to figure out how he got to where he is. It’s silly, especially in juxtaposition of the dark of his origin.

Then there’s the last three pages. Don’t read ’em, make up your own ending or even rip ’em out for all I care: The Beyonder is a chump and he shouldn’t be seen in comics again. Three pages to ruin an issue. For SHAME.

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