Thursday, March 8, 2012

Hulk: Gray (TPB)

I'm really not a fan of the Hulk. Maybe it's just lack of interest, or maybe it's ignorance. Either way, I don't find myself grabbing that big green bastard off the shelf at the comic book shop.

Hulk: Gray (2004), however, is a story about the Hulk that I not only have read multiple times, but I really love. Written by Jeph Loeb and illustrated by Tim Sale, this story focuses on the early, gray version of the Hulk. No, the book is not that obvious. There is also an underlying theme, which is that the world is not always black and white, in a philosophical sense.

The story starts off with Bruce Banner visiting his friend, who happens to be a psychologist, in the middle of the night to talk. He recalls tales of being the Hulk at the beginning of it all. This is great for me because I'm not a regular Hulk reader, so I can catch up with the origins, as well as go beyond how Bruce Banner became the Hulk.

As many of you probably know, Bruce Banner became the Hulk by absorbing loads of gamma radiation. The reason why he was out in a field in the middle of the radiation is because some punk kid, Rick Jones, was wandering around with nothing better to do than stand in the middle of an army test site. Bruce Banner saves Rick's life by throwing him to safety and taking the gamma radiation blast himself. When Bruce Banner realizes that he's alive after such a shock, he goes off on Rick and flat out blames him for ruining his life. Good for him. Rick's lucky he didn't punch his dumb lights out.

Betty Ross' relationship with the Hulk in this story is not some sappy love story, where she finds him hideous at first, but grows to love him. She is legitimately scared by him and doesn't want to be anywhere near him. Her father, General Ross, adds no comfort to her life. You wonder who's the meaner monster, the Hulk, or General Ross?

Iron Man has a great cameo in this book. Him and the Hulk go at it and it's a pretty brutal battle. My favorite part of their tussle, however, is that the Hulk keeps calling Iron Man a robot. What a moron.

I really like everything about Hulk: Gray. My absolute favorite part about it is that it ends with Bruce Banner getting really, really pissed...


  1. Savage Hulk > Gray Hulk > Red Hulk > Green Hulk

    Always dug the Gray guy's stuff, especially his time as a bouncer in Vegas. Some really solid writing in that period.

    Planet Hulk is a fun story line too, it's worth reading if you decide you want some more Hulkster in your life.

  2. Oh I actually have a hardcover of Planet Hulk sitting on my shelf waiting to be read. I found it in my laundry room (Laundry Room Finds). Maybe I'll move it up in the queue.