by Charlie Brooks, CMRO Contributing Writer
Written by Greg Pak, Art by Ariel Olivetti
Published: February 2010
The Incredible Hulk #605 marks the conclusion of Bruce Banner’s life lessons for his son. Not that Skaar has learned anything much, but things are going to have to come to a conclusion on that front due to the upcoming Fall of the Hulks storyline.
This time around, Banner and Skaar find themselves teleporting into New York City to fight off an invasion from the Mole Man, who always seems kind enough to pose his monsters in an homage to the cover of the first issue of Fantastic Four. But it turns out that the Mole Man is not out to actually conquer the world, but rather to offer the allegiance of his monsters to Skaar.
The Mole Man’s latest army is composed of creatures that were aboard the Hulk’s stone ship when he attacked New York in World War Hulk. Those monsters then bow down to Skaar, who they see as their true master. Banner definitely seems to have predicted this, apparently wanting to see if Skaar can follow the path of good when offered a chance to destroy. Banner also seems to have foreseen an attack from Tyrannus, the Mole Man’s rival and one of the Hulk’s oldest foes. In fact, Banner seems so unsurprised by the entire turn of events that Reed Richards is left worrying that he might have put millions of lives in danger just so he could deliver a teachable moment to his son.
In the end, Skaar rejects the allegiance of the monsters from Sakaar, killing them and wounding Tyrannus. Both Tyrannus and the Mole Man are sent packing, and Skaar is hailed by New Yorkers as a hero. The world is now ready to meet the new Hulk. But is Skaar ready for the old Hulk’s return?
The backup story concludes Lyra’s tale as she defeats the remainder of General Ryker’s goons. She manages to use trickery, allowing the enemy to absorb her powers and then using psychological warfare to make her angry. Absorbing Lyra’s power also means absorbing Lyra’s weakness, which means that anger makes her weaker. Lyra wins the day. And Ryker decides to back off for now. The story ends with a mystery person making Lyra a proposition, but we’ll have to wait for the Fall of the Hulks event to find out who this person is.
The backup story never really offered much in the way of surprises, but was never all that bad and allowed Lyra to strut her stuff. The main story is admittedly another in a series of seemingly random comic book battles, but it has a point to it and is overall extremely fun. There’s a lot of good humor and some nice bantering between Banner and his son. And the promise of the return of the real Hulk is something to look forward to. The art here is a bit uneven due to Ariel Olivetti and Paul Pelletier splitting chores once again. I don’t know if it’s the inking or not, but something about Pelletier’s pencils don’t seem to work well here. Regardless, The Incredible Hulk #605 is another very good entry in a very entertaining series. Hopefully that will continue as we plunge into the Fall of the Hulks event.