Saturday, 6 May 2017

Hulk [2016] #5 - Marvel Comics

HULK No. 5, June 2017
It’s entirely possible that illustrator Nico Leon wasn’t particularly enamoured with Mariko Tamaki’s lack-lustre script for Issue Five of “Hulk”. For whilst the twenty-page periodical’s narrative does touch upon Jennifer Walters' frightening flight from Maise Brewn and her “dark solution”. It doesn’t actually do so until halfway through the publication, and only then actually progresses the plot by having the increasingly battered and bruised lawyer race from inside her client’s flat up onto the roof of the apartment building.

Indeed, it could be argued that this title’s followers could quite easily have omitted to purchase this particular instalment of “Deconstructed” and still not have missed out on any storytelling value whatsoever. It’s certainly hard to imagine many readers would’ve been sorry to have squandered the opportunity to once again revisit the titular character’s “Post-War” hospital room, and witness its patient both struggling to come to terms with the death of her cousin, Bruce Banner, and begrudgingly acknowledge an awkward offer of friendship from a subdued Captain Marvel.

As a result, the vast majority of work ‘selling’ this comic disappointingly rests upon the shoulders of its freelance artist, who, despite a brave attempt to depict Jen’s mounting anger at the bleak naivety of her persecutors, can only draw so many pictures of the same skyline confrontation before the scene’s pacing completely goes flat. In fact, in many ways, the Argentine penciller may well have found more success in focusing upon the Police Department’s seemingly unwise attempt to force their way into Brewn’s building using a heavily armoured house entry team than labouring over the former jade giantesses inactivity; “Push these people back another two blocks! And get access to that building now.”

Sadly however, Leon instead decides to slowly tease out what little suspense lies within Tamaki’s writing, by sluggishly depicting Walters’ encirclement by a plethora of strange-looking tenants and they’re sharp-toothed grotesquely-shaped protectors, using nothing else than two-panel breakdowns with the occasional splash page thrown in… A decidedly underwhelming technique for imbuing the action with any semblance of excitement, and one which must surely have tested the author’s confidently-publicised belief that “Nico pulls out the most interesting details and uses them to tell a story.”
Writer: Mariko Tamaki, Artist: Nico Leon, and Color Artist: Matt Milla

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