Review: Hulk #30

Published on February 21st, 2011

Hulk #30 just came out, and I gotta say, it may be my favorite issue since this series started. Why did I like this book so much? Well, it might have something to do with The Impossible Man, who always manages to get a smile from my face. This issue, written by Jeff Parker, features art by Ed McGuinness who we haven’t seen on this book for a few months. And no disrespect to the massively talented Gabriel Hardman, but seeing McGuinness’ art was a nice surprise.

So in this issue, Red Hulk has been sent to Death Valley by Bruce Banner to check out a teleport tube, that Banner believes is searching for the Hulk. Eventually, a character by the name of Woodgod (looks more like Goat-God to me) exits the portal and immediately attacks Red Hulk. The demonic looking guy gets a few hits in, but come on, he’s fighting a Hulk. It doesn’t take a lot of effort for Rulk to beat his attacker into a bruised and battered mess before he’s sent back to his own dimension.

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Then that goofy, green, elfish alien, the Impossible Man, shows up to set up a video feed for the battle that’s about to begin. That’s when the portal opens up again and we meet Xemnu The Living Titan, and the original Hulk. Xemnu has come to Earth to battle the Hulk (he doesn’t care which one), for the rights to the name, “Hulk.” Also, he’s going to take over the Earth. So, Red Hulk decides to bash this guy’s brains in, but instead he ends up smashing himself because Xemnu has mind control powers that only the green Hulk is immune to. Never being the one to miss a cue, the green Hulk drops out of the sky, ready to do some smashing.

Well, it looks like Xemnu’s a bit of a wimp because instead of fighting Hulk, he just brings in a bunch of nasty looking monsters out of the portal to do his fighting for him. Now the Hulk is tough and everything, but even he can have some trouble fighting half a dozen alien monsters at once. Being the mischievous guy that he is, Impossible Man decides to lend a hand and use one of his machines to merge Hulk and Red Hulk into one being, now referred to as “The Compound Hulk.” He’s got the strength of both the Hulks, and is resistant to Xemnu’s psychic abilities.

You would think that being twice as strong would make this an easy fight for the Compound Hulk, but before Banner and Ross can really do some damage, they have to figure out how to work together in one body. Eventually the two are able to take down the monsters, and now it’s time to face Xemnu! Oh wait, not yet, he’s got his own Hulk clone, Kluh, to do more of his fighting for him. This time, Compound Hulk has to face something that’s his equal, so Banner and Ross decide that if they can focus on their shared love of Betty, they can work together to take down this pale imitation. And once that threat’s been taken care of, the Hulks are able to burn Xemnu down to his robotic form and kick him back through the portal. Impossible Man, now satisfied with the profit he’s made on the fight offers to bring the Hulks with him to make a killing on intergalactic fighting, but they “politely” decline and the two are put back to their normal, separate selves, which brings the story to a close.

If you’re looking for a good one-issue book to read, this one is perfect for you. This issue was filled with so much action, you’re going to feel like you were just in a fight by the time you’re done reading it. If all the violence wasn’t enough for you, you also get some good, old fashioned, comedic entertainment thanks to the Impossible Man, and Kluh, a Hulk that looks like he stepped out of Deliverance, but talks like Kelsey Grammar in an episode of Frasier. It’s that weirdness that Jeff Parker is fantastic at writing, and works perfect for McGuinness’ art style. If you haven’t picked up this issue, I urge you to do so because you are missing out on one of the best single issues I’ve read in months.

Ken Zeider
Ken@ComicImpact.com