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Mark Waid is the golden boy at Marvel in my eyes. He rebooted Daredevil last year to huge success and has consistently put out one of the best comics they've got. Now he's brought that formula to the Hulk, who has gone through a bit of a roller coaster over the past few years .
Waid does a lot of setup in this comic. It feels natural for the story to take the road it does in this fashion, but for those wanting to open immediately to splash pages of Hulk smashing, you might be disappointed. In order to get Banner and Hulk in the place he needs them to be for this new series, Waid has to show us a lot of dialogue which, while not exactly customary for the one syllable gamma monster, doesn't ever become a chore while reading.
When the story does convert itself into a more action-oriented title in the later pages, the artwork really makes it engaging. Artist Leinil Yu has one of the best splash pages I've seen all year in a comic in this debut series, but it's not without it's faults. There is a lot of action stuck in the final pages of this comic and a lot of it runs together. So many bullets are flying and gun barrels flashing that it becomes hard to distinguish what exactly is occurring in each panel. More experienced readers might have an easier time navigating the action, but newcomers may get lost.
Indestructible Hulk is a good debut issue. It may not have all the elements that fans want from the start, but it's building towards a run that I think will leave a lasting impression.
Rating: 7.5 / 10
Journey Into Mystery #646
The primary selling point of Marvel NOW! has been to relaunch all new ongoings and give new readers a place to jump on with the characters. Not every title in the Marvel line-up relaunched and Journey Into Mystery is the only one that has jumped on without starting with #1. Journey Into Mystery comes onto the scene with a new creative team and a different lead character, but don't let the issue number scare you, it's easily the most accessible of the Marvel NOW! titles.
Kathryn Immonen is behind the wheel of the series and she is directing the warrior Sif in an adventure truly unlike anything else Marvel is publishing. In an adventure comic that spans all of the nine realms, Immonen is continuing the tradition of a warrior comic, but has it grounded in a world unlike the previous story arcs in the series. While Journey has it's fair share of action, the heart of the characters and the comedic relief really do add to the title - there's literally something for everyone here.
Valerio Schiti is the series artist and he does impeccable work. With barren landscapes, tremendous buildings, countless warriors, feral beasts, dragons, and regular children, his art never gets stale. He squeezes more detail into one panel than some artists do in a page and with each story beat it gets more exciting.
Journey Into Mystery is the kind of thing Marvel wanted with their 'Point One' campaign many years ago, an accessible story in an already established series that can draw in new readers. This is the kind of comic that stands out from the rest of their comics both because of it's content and it's female protagonist. This could quickly become one of my favorite comics Marvel is currently making.
Rating: 9 / 10
Head over to Page 2 for the Captain America review!