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Location: Lancashire
Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
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Member Since: Tue Jul 04, 2017
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Posted: Sat Aug 05, 2017 at 09:53:55 am EDT (Viewed 246 times)
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No more words necessary.

Certainly it's a very poor finished product, but to dismiss it with no more of a comment that "crap" is a little too damning and unfair i think.
On first reading the piece is certainly a confusing buisiness, Amadeus Cho/Hulk falling from the sky inexplicably into a world not his own is something left unaddressed even as the story ends, and yet this combined with the eventual arrival of an equally unlikely sea monster leads me to believe that far from being an exercise in sheer indulgent laziness from Greg Pak the truth to the matter is that something went badly awry in the communication between writer and editor, that or the editor(s) failed abysmally in managing the intentions of Pak's story and designating that intention to a competent artist who is willing and able to recognise it for what it is - a love letter to the Silver/Bronze-Age era of comics, and those early years of The Incredible Hulk where the green Behemoth would encounter an entirely convenient random monster or alien to beat up or befriend virtually every other month of his ongoing title...

So rather than dismiss this book as out of hand rubbish and a waste of paper take a moment to consider what it is that went wrong. As despite me sharing your utter bewilderment and worry at what was going on and who-was-doing-what-to-who by issues end I would also stand up and and point out that that fault isn't in Greg Pak's brief but thoughtful scripting of a meeting between an overly entitled and arrogant Cho and the wiser world weary Bruce Banner, rather it actually lies in shockingly uneven and inexperienced artwork.
And by that I mean to say It's not that Matteo Buffagni lacks ability, the transformation sequences as Cho-Hulk reverts to human are very well done, and the scenes that focus the quiet moments of Cho being involved in just-another-day-in-the-life of an on the run Bruce Banner are both powerful and moving as the inflated ego and self-entitlement of the privileged Amadeus is faced with another reality altogether as he plays spectator to the unpleasant facts behind his idolised hero's early years living with the volatile Hulk. A life filled with demeaning squalor and the sheer desperation of day to day survival with nothing and no one as help. These genuine character scenes see Buffagni at his best, and contrast sharply against the action sequences and fantasy elements that bookend these interim scenes as in the second act especially it is all but impossible to work out what is going on. As Hulks Cho orders Banner to evacuate the Diner of occupants and when/why/how the Banner/Hulk enters the scene. Who hit who is impossible to say. For that matter who-says-what is impossible to say in this final act.
And it is this lack of clarity in the artistic side and the visual style that is the true problem with this one-off book. The story is fine, it fulfills its function in that Amadeus is its focus and he ends having experienced a lesson that changes his views...

If the Silver/Bronze-age aspects that were so evident in the script had been promoted by editorial and an artist sympathetic to that era's clarity and imagination had been found then this would be a fine piece of finished work. Imagine if Sal Buscema himself had been contributor here, apart from his eminent suitability to recreating the style and era Greg pak was clearly aiming for we would have had no trouble at all in reading the issue as by virtue of his own considerable skill and storytelling ability Buscema's every single panel would have left no one in the audience wondering what was going on therein. You will never read a Sal Buscema book and not know what was going on, and to whom. By contrast Matteo Buffagni's work as demonstrated here shows in full effect what a problem exists with many of today's artists who enter the sequential storytelling field of the superhero book...

But in short I do feel this was a good script given the limitations of the format being worked under. It's the finished production that lets that script down, as what Greg Pak intended wasn't what was supported by either editor or the artist.

Contrast these well designed scenes of a detailed town setting and two people cautiously setting foot through it and what comes pages later as the fantasy element and action sequences arrive and the problems in Matteo Buffagni's artwork become blindingly obvious. Comfortable and competent in illustrating everyday setting and situations, awkward and out of his depth when asked to design anything fantastical and action based... which presents fundamental problems in a book featuring characters such as these.

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