A New Hulk for A New Age

Greg Pak’s work with Amadeus Cho in The Totally Awesome Hulk  is important to my own personal Hulk journey.  As a kid, I loved the Hulk.  I read a lot of his comic books too – and every single Hulk comic I read (save a back issue or two) was written by Peter David.  He shaped my entire understanding of the Hulk.  As my (first) comic collecting run was coming to an end, Mr. David’s final issue of The Incredible Hulk was mine as well.  Now, twenty years later, I’ve met a new Hulk and a new Hulk author.  In Greg Pak’s The Totally Awesome Hulk, I’ve found a brilliant mix of the old and the new as well as a Hulk that’s fun, relevant, and even teaches me a little something along the way. Continue reading

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What does YOUR Hulk look like?

As a kid, I was always reading and re-reading The Incredible Hulk.  In fact, I have one comic box from my youth entirely filled with nothing but Hulk comics.  There was just something about this monstrous hero that I found exciting!  However, reading about the Hulk also made me sad.  So often he’s the epitome of isolation, feared and rejected by the world, unable to be with those he loves.  It’s an odd experience to love a superhero who always makes you feel like you should give them a hug and tell them it’s going to be alright.  But the Hulk also fascinates me as a metaphorical example of our anger’s devastative potential.  And when I read the Hulk now I wonder…what do I unleash when I get angry? Continue reading

Many Faces, One Symbol

On July 6th, Marvel announced that after the conclusion of Civil War II a young woman named Riri Williams will take over for Tony Stark as Iron Man.  Fandom reacted as it always does.  There was intrigue.  There was optimism.  There was excitement.  Annnd there were the usual (tired) cries of it being a p.c.-driven agenda or proof that Marvel is out of ideas, echoed in the familiar refrain of, “I don’t mind a female/minority/etc. superhero…but why can’t they have their own identity??”  But I’d like to argue if you think Spider-Man is simply Peter Parker, you’ve missed the entire point.  Spider-Man represents so much more than Peter Parker.  Spider-Man is a symbol, an ideal.  The more people we see picking up that mantle, the more people we see embodying that symbol, the better.  This is as true for Spider-Man as it is for Iron Man or any comic book superhero. Continue reading