Written by Greg Pak
Art by Frank Cho & Sonia Oback
Published by Marvel Comics
Release Date: December 2, 2015


Totally Awesome Hulk starts off with a monster beginning as our new Hulk, Amadeus, jumps right into the throes of a fight. Very quickly, we find that Amadeus may not be quite himself, and he rubs some other familiar faces the wrong way. In a brief visit to the past, we see how this story may have gotten its start, while a conflict in the last pages of the issue promise a rockbreaking round of fisticuffs.

I wanted to try something new, and Totally Awesome Hulk #1 was definitely out of my usual range of comics. It had a lot of things I expected, while also pointing to an unfolding mystery. It didn’t quite jive with me, and part of me expected that, but I am curious how the series will develop over time.

Greg Pak does some excellent character play during this issue. There are some characters I was pumped to see through the story, giving me hope that this will be one series that has regular guest appearances. Pak has a grasp of how some familiar faces would respond to Amadeus and his behavior as Hulk. If this first issue is any indication, Pak is also going to help us explore the psychology of the Hulk in a new body, something I think promises some excitement in the future.

The art of this issue was stellar. Frank Cho and Sonia Oback work wonderfully together to create dynamic panels throughout the issue. There’s nothing lost, even in this mix of monstrous and human, and the entire world of Totally Awesome Hulk #1 is beautifully rendered. There are a lot of great details in both the characters and the environment in the issue, from emotions and expressions to great use of shadows.

Amadeus as Hulk may have to grow on me. Before Secret Wars, the last I read of him was in the pages of The Incredible Hercules during Secret Invasion. He was snarky and quick-witted, and I loved it. As the Hulk, though, Amadeus has some interesting characteristics. His sister hints that some of his behavior is out of character, so I look forward into how this development is further explored. There are some lines that I’m not fond of later in the issue, but I have faith in this series for the long haul because the other characters were spot on.

Overall, this series raises some questions for me. I’m always down for a changing of the guard, so I’m interested to see where this goes. Until then, Totally Awesome Hulk will be a series I have an eye on.

The Verdict: 7.5/10



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