The Incredible Hulk #77 Review

Reviewer: Chris Delloiacono
Story Title: Tempest Fugit: Part One

Written by: Peter David
Penciled by: Lee Weeks
Inked by: Tom Palmer
Colored by: Studio F
Lettered by: VC’s Randy Gentile
Editor: Tom Brevoort
Publisher: Marvel Comics

Peter David became the full-time writer of The Incredible Hulk with issue #331 of the previous incarnation of the series. PAD’s run did not come to an end until issue #467. Over the course of the epic story told by PAD, the Hulk was a bouncer in Vegas, the leader of an organization that protected the world, battled his future self, and became a bandaged recluse on the run from the law. In all that time Peter David focused on the characters of Bruce Banner and the Hulk. There was always forward movement for the characters. And it was ever so good.

Then came the dark times! Only a handful of writers have worked on the main Hulk book since. First it was Joe Casey closing out the previous series. Then it was John Byrne, Paul Jenkins, and Bruce Jones. There were some other writers interspersed in there, but none contributed more than a few issues. The stuff by Casey and Byrne was forgettable, Jenkins’s contribution was quite good, and Jones’s run started out excellent, but petered out quickly, and developed into an interminable bore.

With issue #77 of the current series the master has come home! After reading the first part of PAD’s run (which is guaranteed to last six issues, but could be longer) The Hulk is clearly back in the best hands possible.

Part one of “Tempest Fugit” serves as a stirring re-introduction of The Hulk and Banner. The issue is high on action and strange locales, plus there’s also a nice mix of mystery. This issue may be #77, but it’s a fantastic jumping-on point. Everything you need to know about The Hulk is present, and the fast-paced story will make you come back next month.

We begin underwater with a serene seascape. The idyllic scene doesn’t last long as a shark’s head is propelled at the “camera.” A beautiful two-page spread introduces the jade giant still holding the back half of the shark. We then move into a flashback sequence of a young Bruce Banner in high school. These moments link the past-Banner with the present Banner/Hulk amalgamation. The idea that the Hulk has long been a piece of Banner’s psyche was explored brilliantly by PAD in the past, and it appears to be a major part of the new story.

The story continues with an epic confrontation between Hulk and a giant squid. Once Hulk has proven that he’s the “strongest one there is” he arrives on the shore of some uncharted desert island (sorry, I had to use that one). This is where the elements of the story that are modeled after William Shakespeare’s The Tempest become apparent. The Hulk turns back to Banner and meets up with some individuals. We learn that we are now on Monster Island, and you wouldn’t believe the “monster” that shows up and confronts Banner and his new friends.

PAD’s rocking first issue back wouldn’t have worked nearly as well if it wasn’t for the unbelievable work by Lee Weeks and Tom Palmer. The Incredible Hulk hasn’t had major issues with the art over the past few years, but the Hulk character has rarely been drawn in a classic style. I’ve missed that, but with the Weeks/Palmer teaming that’s not a problem any longer! Their work brings us the old-school Hulk that I’ve missed! Many thanks, gentlemen.

It’s been more than six-years, but PAD’s back on Hulk and it’s as good as it ever was. The story was a superb set-up for what will hopefully be just the first of many more Hulk stories from Peter David.

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