|SAVAGE HULK No. 2, September 2014|
One of my favourite super-villains, Stan Lee’s Abomination is one of the few characters I’ll actually purchase a comic book solely for; providing the artwork inside is reasonably competent anyway. However I’ve always felt Emil Blonsky’s alter ego has had something of a hard time establishing himself as an opponent worthy of rivalling the Hulk in strength and power. Fortunately Alan Davis’ superb cover to Issue Two of “Savage Hulk”, which depicts the large scaly humanoid seriously giving his arch-foe a good straight left to the chin, encapsulates all the raw aggression and sheer ferocity which once saw the human mutate attain the rank of 54th Greatest Comic Book Villain of All Time by Imagine Games Network.
Indeed under the pen and pencil of the English writer/artist I have not see a more powerful interpretation of the former KGB agent as he additionally battles the original X-Men and swiftly brings both Marvel Girl and the Angel to their knees. As Blonsky states himself this is “no dumb brute” the Hulk faces, but a behemoth who is not only bigger and stronger than Bruce Banner’s gamma-bomb induced form but one which is more intelligent too. As a result Davis gets to draw some simply superb slug-fest moments as the Abomination clearly tries to finish what he starts on the comic book’s front cover. Readers will rarely have seen the Hulk take such an almighty beating as the Russian smashes boulder after boulder into him; all accompanied by the obligatory “Fram” and Throom” sound effects.
In many ways this is real old school Marvel storytelling stuff, back to the heyday of Stan “The Man” and “King” Kirby, as the green giants go toe-to-toe, panel after panel, punch after punch, page after page. However such is the detail and impact of Alan Davis’ masterful artwork, gorgeously green thanks to the wonderful labours of colorist Matt Hollingsworth, that the relentless action doesn’t get monotonous for a moment.
There’s also some nice touches going on in the background, with the likes of Cyclops and Iceman realising they’ve been reduced to second-stringers by the two powerhouses before them, and simply concerning themselves with their own preservation.
The cowardly Major Talbot also ‘enjoys’ a supporting cast guest appearance as he begrudgingly orders his infantry and tanks forward to face the duelling combatants. Fortunately the soldier is saved by being able to arrest an unconscious Abomination, who, having inevitably goaded the Hulk once too often, finds himself soundly defeated.
|Writer & Penciler: Alan Davis, Inker: Mark Farmer and Colorist: Matt Hollingsworth|