Hulkverine Smash, Bub! (Totally Awesome Hulk #22 Comic Review)

Totally Awesome Hulk #22

Author:  Greg Pak

Penciler:  Robert Gill

Inker:  Robert Gill

Colorist:  Nolan Woodard

As we close out this unusual crossover between the Totally Awesome Hulk and Weapon X, I keep hoping it’ll deliver on what has, for the most part, been an enjoyable story!  Find out below if it did!

Previously:  Weapon X is developing Hulk hybrids to kill mutants.  It finally succeeded, turning one misguided youth into the ultimate killing machine and unleashing it on Logan, Hulk, and the others.  Cho’s been having a major issue with the willingness of some of the mutants to kill and so in a way it was his fault, this new cyborg was released.

Currently:  Hulkverine (Domino’s name for it) battles its way out to find Cho who still wants to try and save the kid within.  However, only by unleashing his “inner Hulk”, can Cho beat Hulkverine, but then the Alpha Hulkverine is released and it becomes a threeway battle.  However, the Alpha doesn’t follow orders and decapitates Bobby and then turns on its creators.  Alba and Stryker escape, leaving the Alpha to face off against Cho.  However, it fails to see Cho as a credible threat and instead chooses to leave, looking for the next big challenge.  Cho then turns his back on the mutants, disgusted at their attempts to kill the scientists and Sabretooth rebrands them “Weapon X”.

Thoughts/Reviews/Snide Comments:  So I won’t necessarily pick this one apart.  It’s a decent story when told on its own.  The art isn’t fantastic, but it’s not bad either (pretty much typical for the other Totally Awesome Hulk issues).  Typically, the close ups are well drawn (check out the picture above of the Hulk and Cho for an example), but anything further than that loses detail at almost an exponential rate.

If I could summarize this issue in one word, it would be “disappointment”.  I was disappointed in Pak’s ending to this saga.  It feels like despite all of the opportunities (and you can check those out in the earlier reviews of Weapon X and Totally Awesome Hulk), Cho didn’t really walk away with any character development.  I mean…maybe he’s lost some of his humor when dealing with the mutants, but really, how is he any different now than at the beginning?  He seemed to be heading towards some major lessons…maybe it’d be as simple as “killing is sometimes necessary” or maybe he’d somehow show Sabretooth that he was right and that killing wasn’t necessary.  Except that by not killing, the Alpha Hulkverine and all of the leaders of Weapon H escaped…so I wonder how many more innocents will pay for Cho’s inactivity.  Ultimately, nothing really happened to him.  He’s going his separate ways and it feels almost like wasted time.

And that’s the worst part.  I loved Pak’s writing up to this point.  So maybe it’s due to an editorial mandate?  At least, that’s what I’m telling myself.

Final Thoughts:  I feel like the ending of the Sopranos.  Such a long and enjoyable show and the finale just cuts to black without any real resolution.  Here’s hoping it picks back up as Weapon X follows Weapon H.

Rating: 5/10.

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