Waiting For The Trade – Fall of the Hulks Volume 1 (Panini Edition)

Writers: Greg Pak, Jeph Loeb, Jeff Parker
Pencillers: John Romita Jr, Ed McGuinness, Paul Pelletier, Carlos Rodriguez, Ryan Stegman
Inkers: Klaus Janson, Vicente Cifuentes, Mark Farmer, Danny Miki, Tom Palmer
Colourists: Dean White, Dave Stewart, Frank D’Armata, Guru FX
Letterers: Simon Bowland, Richard Starkings

Collects: Fall of the Hulks: Alpha, Fall of the Hulks: Gamma, Hulk #19-20, Incredible Hulk #606, Red Hulk #1

I can tell when I’m writing a review that collects a handful of titles within an event as it usually takes me longer to write the credits than the review…although, actually that might speak more to how quickly I write so maybe I should keep quiet?

Anyway this Panini TPB collection of the first part of Fall of the Hulks makes for an interesting read. What Panini have done in collecting this is to pull together some of the disparate titles which make up the Fall of the Hulks event and publish them within one series of trades. Marvel on the other hand are releasing collections for each constituent series, and hardcovers at that! I’ve not done the maths but I wouldn’t be at all surprised to find the Panini version offering considerably better value particularly at £11.24 via The Book Depository. Panini also throw in some character profiles and a thumbnail variant gallery.

How to collect an event is always tricky, but I think in this instance where there’s a huge amount of subplots in the air at any one time this linear fashion may best serve the story, it certainly best served me with my inability to remember what’s happening book to book.

For those uninitiated the primary plot of Fall of the Hulks revolves around an attempt by intellectual super-villains led by The Leader trying to take over the Marvel U and, given who is leading them, have their revenge on the Hulk and his compatriots. I won’t go much further as even explaining who some of the players are and their status quo could be considered spoilers. This is one of the weaknesses of the event for me, there’s just too many balls in the air and too much going on without much actually happening. You’ve got Bruce Banner, Red Hulk, Red She-Hulk, She-Hulk, Savage She-Hulk, A-Bomb, The FF, The Leader, Samson, The Mad Thinker, Skaar, Black Panther, X-Men, Avengers…it just goes on. Not all of them are at the heart of the story but too many for my tastes, less is more.

As you’d expect from a Hulk event there’s plenty of big knock-down fights to be had and as hinted at above quite a bit of intrigue, I’m still not 100% sure what’s going on and that’s not just because there’s so much to keep track of.

Artistically the book is on solid ground, while I’m going through a phase of not enjoying JR Jr’s work the other artists are all putting great work on the page and the painted cover by Marko Djurdjevic is bound to catch people’s eyes in the bookshop marketed this is aimed at.

Overall though I’m not crying out for more, I find myself just wanting it to be over so that the herd can be thinned a little.

Reviewer: Dave Williams

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