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Thursday, June 19, 2014
“Hulk destroys, Banner builds” was the vision statement behind a new era in the life of Bruce Banner and his green-skinned alter ego. Instead of living as a fugitive on the run from the authorities, Banner became a card-carrying agent of SHIELD and a member of the Avengers, using all of his diverse talents for the betterment of mankind.
Aided by a team of similarly maverick scientists, Bruce resolved to develop a new world-changing invention every week, while filling the rest of his time embarking on dangerous missions for SHIELD in the guise of his Hulk persona.
But things take a dangerous turn when the Inhuman king Black Bolt releases the powerful Terrigen mists into the atmosphere, triggering genetic changes in any descendants of the Inhuman race which result in them gaining superpowers and sometimes mutating into new and monstrous forms.
Jealous of the achievements of his peers Tony (Iron Man) Stark, Hank (Giant-Man) Pym and Hank (Beast) McCoy, Banner resolves to find a cure for the Terrigen transformations within 24 hours, but nobody expected his solution to come in the form of a bomb…
With his Avenger allies on his tail, the Hulk tries desperately to fulfil his other self’s objectives, and explode the bomb into the atmosphere – but can Banner be trusted to do the right thing, or has he let his ego get in the way of his duty to humanity?
Mark Waid’s reinvention of the Hulk/Banner relationship proves there are always new stories to tell, and the shocking cliffhanger at the end of this particular volume adds weight to that theory by showing something which has never previously been witnessed in any Hulk story over the past 50-odd years.
Also included in this volume is the first Indestructible Hulk annual, which finds Bruce working alongside Tony Stark, and reveals hitherto unknown details of a connection between the two geniuses in their youth. It’s a perfect echo of the “science brothers” dynamic evident in the first Avengers movie, while at the same time offering a Hulk/Iron Man team-up which is far from filler. Worth the price of admission on its own!