What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stronger!
Indestructible Hulk is easily My personal favorite series, and this issue hasn't changed my mind towards it, no; it has in fact made me like it even more. The thing is, the concept of the whole time travel arc is actually silly in general, because with Time Travel there comes a lot of inconsistencies and mistakes. However what Waid manages to so here, is grasp the fact that a time arc such as this can be very interesting with a character like the Hulk, therefore he utilizes these concepts almost to the fullest.
As per usual, I'd like to open up my review by discussing the Art of the issue. Last time around, the rough transition from Matteos to Jacintos art hindered my enjoyment slightly, but here, the change is much more smooth and natural considering that this time around it's done by setting up two different environments while last time it was mid battle. Mahmuds art is nothing but amazing here; each panel was very expertly drawn and each Version of Hulk was actually given his own distinctive quality. Jacintos art is much different from Mahmuds considering it's more fun centered and has the cinematic vibe to it. I think the artist division in this issue was actually pretty well done as Asars expertise lies in smooth visuals while Jacintos is more prone to illustrating action scenes.
Moving on, story wise this issue was actually superb. One of the Chronarchists is messing with hulks history and it causes him to bounce between incarnations. As I mentioned before, Waid utilizes these characteristics about the Hulk well and expertly puts it on paper. It gives him a lot of opportunities to provide the fans with a fun issue. This was of course not an exception, considering that Mark Waid brings back a fan favorite version of the Hulk, the Green Scar, and really shows of how amazing he really is. The green Scar faces off against Fin Fang Foom and hulk utilizes his speed, strength and size to his advantage in order to best his foe. I also found it very humorous that Hulk made a comment on how Fin Fang Foom was basically unaffected by His punches despite the fact that each blow obviously made him suffer considerably.
Banners self narrative and will-power to keep himself from breaking down and abandoning hulk was also amazing, and it shows how really level-headed he has become in dealing with stress over the years. The final Chronarchist has yet to strike me as a villain though, he is supposed to be the most dangerous one and the final battle has been set up perfectly for the next issue, so I really hope that we a great fight as an end to an already great arc. Moreover, The main Villain reveal is actually pretty interesting and puts to question on why hulk was actually chosen for this mission, not to mention the fact that it really shows just how manipulative and powerful Zarrko really is; Though I hope this is further explained in the last issue of this arc, otherwise it would be a major plot hole. And last but not least, the true shining moment was really the ending, I was actually surprised that Waid decided to take this rout as I was expecting something entirely different, and now all the interviews I've read from waid actually makes so much sense. As hulk travels back in time, he saves banner from becoming the hulk and he himself gets bombarded with more Gamma radiation, and the result is one amazing spectacle. It really shows that if the thing that had created you can't kill you, then you truly are INDESTRUCTIBLE. This concept was expertly shown and it really ties well to the general idea of the whole series. Hulk truly proves that he is really Immortal!
On the other hand, while the story was very well constructed, I was a but let down by the fact that abomination was not really In it more so than one page. I can understand that with sandman, as he's not really that relevant to the hulk other than the fact that he's tough to beat, but with Emil, it was really a terrible tease you know?Abomination is hulks arch nemesis so I was hoping that maybe we'd see a little more of him, and this issue would have been absolutely perfect If we did. Personally I would have got rid of Sandman and would have stuck to abomination for at least three to four pages, because it would have satisfied hulk fans even further. Oh well.
Otherwise though, this issue is fun, packed with a lot of action, and absolutely brilliantly constructed story wise, and It ends in a way that makes you want to come back for more.