|FUTURE IMPERFECT No. 1, August 2015|
Despite being in some ways an unashamed “reimagining” of his early Nineties mini-series “Incredible Hulk: Future Imperfect”, and quite possibly containing one of the more laborious opening narratives of the entire “Secret Wars” 2015 comic book event. This first instalment of Peter David’s “Battleworld” tie-in title is overall a rather enjoyable experience and arguably includes one of the most mouth-watering cliff-hangers “Marvel Worldwide” have published during the Modern Age of Comics, as the “malevolent and even mightier Hulk persona known as the Maestro” encounters the orange, rocky-skinned visage of human mutate powerhouse Benjamin Grimm.
Initially however the majority of the 62,110 readers who journeyed to this “tightly conducted” domain ruled by the bearded, green-skinned "exalted baron", were doubtless perturbed by the Maryland-born writer’s seven-page long opening excursion into the soulless barren wasteland surrounding Dystopia. Indeed this ponderously slow dialogue-heavy beginning, which sees Ruby Summers from “X-Factor” stumble upon the frail and dehydrated form of an old man who claims to be “Odin, the Ruler of Asgard”, proves as lack-lustre a preamble as the searingly hot, dry desert, perfectly drawn by Greg Land, genuinely parches the mouth. Indeed this storyline simply doesn’t 'get going' until half-way through the magazine, when the unsuspecting telepath Slider conducts a scan of the one-eyed Norse God as part of the rebel community’s “routine security” and uncovers that their emaciated visitor is actually none other than Robert Bruce Banner, “typically called the Maestro.”
The introduction of this “wonderfully twisted version” of the Hulk, “with all of his strengths and none of his weaknesses” truly reinvigorates David’s unappealing prose and within the space of a couple of panels brings some much needed energy and urgency to the proceedings. In fact one can almost hear the terrified panic in Janis’ voice as the leader immediately calls out for her compatriots to “Fall back! Everybody fall back!” before the imminent onslaught of the mad century-old despot. Fortunately the daughter of Emma Frost from the “alternate future Earth-1191” isn’t yet ready to retreat from the super-strong “master tactician” and instead provides the Maestro with “two, perhaps three seconds of concern”, as well as this book’s bibliophiles some momentary action-packed pleasure, before her ruby quartz body starts to shatter in the grip of the behemoth.
|Writer: Peter David, Artist: Greg Land, and Colorist: Nolan Woodard|