By Greg Pak, Ario Anindito, Morry Hollowell and Andrew Crossley
There were some that scoffed when Weapon X and Totally Awesome Hulk crossed over for a little event called Weapons of Mutant Destruction. This was important because it introduced a new character called Weapon H, which was essentially a mix between the Hulk and Wolverine. Based on first appearances and the look in general, some thought this may not be a character that sticks around. Well, we’re a solo series down and now Weapon H is starring with both the Hulk and Wolverine in a series called Hulkverines. Greg Pak is again at the helm as the writer, and despite the odd name for the book, you might be surprised by it’s content.
Greg Pak has had his hand in writing the X-Men, Weapon H and some classic Hulk stories, so he seems like a natural fit for Hulkverines. Right off the bat in this issue we are treated to action. The Leader is brought in, almost in a Hannibal Lectre capacity, to help track down the Hulk. These opening pages setthe tone for how the series will be moving forward. They’re dark, violent and gritty, but they also highlight how vicious the Leader can be. Pak gives us glimpses of what a normal life for Clay could look like too. Going out to eat in Erie Pennsylvania with his family and just having fun with his kids. This of course gets derailed when Clay begins to feel under the weather and is unable to control himself. Pak allows tension and mystery to build before the first confrontation between Weapon H and the Hulk. We all know this book is going to be a violent slugfest, but it’s nice that Pak gave a decent enough build up to that. The issue gives us an intriguing enough cliffhanger that, for as silly as this title might seem to some, it’s actually very interesting.
The pencils are handled by Ario Anindito with colors by Morry Hollowell and Andrew Crossley. The pencils for this introductory issue are excellent. There is a texture to what Anindito lays down on the page that grabs your attention. His hatching, whether it’s on Bruce’s five o’clock shadow or Clay’s hands as his claws pop, is refreshing to see. Anindito has this great panel where Clay has his claws popped and he’s chasing Bruce. The look of terror on Bruce’s face is amazing as he flees from danger. The colors by Morry Hollowell and Andrew Crossley also rock this issue. The art department as a whole was great, but the colors really make Anindito’s art pop. The first confrontation between Bruce and Clay has Bruce in the woods staring at an almost entirely shaded Clay, with the exception of his red glowing eyes. A masterfully colored panel by two very good colorists.
Hulkverines is a better book than you might think. The action happens fast and the story is entertaining. Greg Pak has written many characters in the marvel rolodex, and he continues to show his characterization is spot on. The Art is for this issue is flat out stunning. It has a gritty style that works with this gritty tale. Hulkverines is a fun ride!