REVIEW: ‘Hulk,’ Issue #6

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Hulk #6 - But Why Tho

Hulk #6 is written by Donny Cates, penciled by Ryan Ottley, inked by Cliff Rathburn, colored by Frank Martin, and lettered by VC’s Cory Petit. It’s published by Marvel Comics. The finale of the “Smashtronaut” arc finds Starship Hulk overtaken by a malevolent presence pretending to be Bruce Banner’s former wife Betty Ross, who decides to push the Hulk to his limits, nd in the process, creates a terrifying new creature that is referred to as a “Titan.” The only thing that can stop the Titan’s rampage is the Hulk, but after being forced to battle endless waves of enemies at Banner’s behest, can Banner and the Hulk find some measure of peace?

The debut of the Titan was hyped up in the weeks leading to the release of Hulk #6, with series editor Wil Moss even comparing it to the dark god Knull from Cates’ run on Venom. The hype may have gone a bit overboard, however. Even though the Titan is a majorly destructive force, it only appears for half the issue. In Cates’ defense, the issue may be building up the Titan as a recurring threat. A similar road was paved for Knull throughout Venom and eventually led to the events of King in Black. It wouldn’t be a stretch to see a similarly themed Hulk event centered around Titan’s presence.

Where the issue really shines is how both Banner and his alternate-universe counterpart take back control of their lives. Banner lets the Hulk out of the Engine Room to deal with “Betty” while Alt-Banner finally stands up to his father-in-law, President Ross. Cates’s script features a sequence between both Banners, as they deliver a speech about how they won’t be controlled anymore. Petit breaks this speech up throughout a series of panels, with each Banner’s words feeding into the other’s. The issue also features “Betty” giving her own theory on the Hulk’s power, similar to how Doctor Strange gave his theory on the Hulk and Banner’s dynamic in the very first issue.

Ottley and Rathburn deliver some of the best artwork of their career when it comes to this issue, particularly in how they depict the Titan. The Titan is a massive, 30-foot-tall creature that looks like an unholy union of Hulk flesh and machinery. Protrusions along its spine emit blazing red energy along with its eyes and mouth, and its skin is charcoal black. The Engine Room also goes to Stage Nine, featuring a collection of Marvel’s cosmic characters such as Thanos, the Phoenix Force, and Galactus.

The cherry on top is Martin’s colors, which bring an ominous vibe to the proceedings. As Starship Hulk transforms into the Titan, his flesh changes from a bright green to a jet black. The Titan’s energy permeates the sky, transforming it into a blood-red color. Shortly after, real blood is shed as it tears into the various Abominations surrounding it.

Hulk #6 brings the “Smashtronaut” arc to a close while introducing the monstrous menace known as the Titan. With the upcoming Hulk Vs Thor: Banner of War storyline approaching, Starship Hulk is about to face one of its biggest battles yet—and also celebrate the green goliath’s 60th anniversary. I trust Cates and incoming artist Martin Coccolo to deliver a smashing story.

Hulk #6 is available wherever comics are sold.


Hulk #6
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TL;DR

Hulk #6 brings the “Smashtronaut” arc to a close while introducing the monstrous menace known as the Titan. With the upcoming Hulk Vs Thor: Banner of War storyline approaching, Starship Hulk is about to face one of its biggest battles yet—and also celebrate the green goliath’s 60th anniversary. I trust Cates and incoming artist Martin Coccolo to deliver a smashing story.