Totally Awesome Hulk #1
By Greg Pak, Frank Cho and Sonia Oback
Totally Awesome Hulk is another re-launched title after Secret Wars that has a different lead character. If fans are skeptical about wanting to pick all these new and different books up, that’s understandable. Amadeus Cho isn’t exactly one of the coolest characters in the Marvel Universe, but he is getting his chance to shine. If you’re a fan of the Hulk, hopefully this title will peak your interest and you’ll give it a shot, because it’s well worth it.
Greg Pak has written many different characters very well. His current run on Action Comics is the kind of writing that Superman has needed since the start of the New 52. He should be given the benefit of any doubt when he debuts a new book. Totally Awesome Hulk doesn’t sound like a great book, but it actually is. Pak makes Amadeus Cho pretty funny in this issue, something we didn’t get with Bruce Banner, and his jokes hit. There is usually a serious tone with Hulk books, but Pak decides to forego that and make this a fun title. The banter between the Cho siblings works well too. In a panel where Maddy scolds Amadeus for being too goofy, we see that he may not be as in control of his powers as he thinks. There will probably be fans who will skip this series since Bruce Banner isn’t the focus; that is a foolish move because Banner is very much a part of this series. Pak’s writing really pushes this book to be better than it should be. Based on premise alone it sounded lame, but Greg Pak is a wizard and made it a really enjoyable read.
The pencils are handled by, oddly enough, Frank Cho with colors by Sonia Oback. Sometimes when Frank Cho is on art duties, some of his characters look too thin. That isn’t the case here as he honestly knocks it out of the park. This may be some of Cho’s best work. His attention to detail this issue is excellent too. In a panel where Amadeus is trying to suppress the Hulk from coming out in him, we see his fist go from human to Hulk. As he reverts back to human hand again, we see the marks from his fingernails digging into his palm. Frank Cho really kills it this issue and there are a ton of guest stars that look equally as good. Black Panther and Tony Stark look amazing as they battle a nuclear reactor. The monsters that are unleashed have originality about them as well. The colors by Sonia Oback work wonderfully here too. Everything about her colors feels natural here. Oback also uses great colors on skin tone as the sun is blocked out in some panels. This is just a great job all around by the art team. If this quality can continue, this will be a premier marvel book.
There is really no other way to say this, but Totally Awesome Hulk was totally awesome. Greg Pak made Amadeus Cho a likable character. He’s funny and quick-witted and all around fun. There really can’t be enough said about the pencils and colors. This is some of the best art on a Hulk book in years. This is a series for anyone and everyone.