If you've been following me around, you'd have noticed that I've shown a great dislike towards how the last agent of time arc concluded, it seems like a waste of potential above anything else, so I was hoping that maybe this new issue could have regained that spark waid had at the beginning of his run, which gladly is exactly what had happened. This is one heck of an issue, and it excites me greatly.
Firstly, I had previously stated how much I disliked the change in character, specifically for Banner. While for the most part waid wrote a great Bruce, the way things developed had left me scratching my head for a while, I'm not sure if I was confused or angry at the fact that Banner had become jealous of the other brainiacs of the Marvel universe. I sat down thinking, telling myself that Banner isn't selfish, he's a selfless hero!, but after come contemplation it occurred to me that changes happen, and they are good only if the actually make sense, and in this case it did. I understand now why Banner would be jealous of Tony, Hank and Reed, it's probably because he has been overshadowed by the hulk for so long that he eventually developed an inferiority complex, Banner probably feels that unless he beats the other he won't be able to clear Hulks name of his work and efforts. This made so much sense when I finally came to this realization. However, yet again, this is a good opportunity to evolve Banner as a character, here needs to be a price for his ego, which will lead him to a better path, and something tells me that that is exactly where we are going.
The story itself unfolds pretty simply, but that doesn't mean that it isn't great. Waid has seized a good idea here, The Marvel Universe is facing a crises that requires intelligence, so we get Beast, Hank and tony as guest stars. This increasingly entertaining and fun, the relationship and tension between the group of eggheads was not only well written but very funny too, not to mention the fact that the inclusion of the assistants made it all the more amazing. I laughed a lot when Banner shows his invention to the others, and while they do come to quick decision, I can't really say I blame that for that. I seemed to notice that this still boils down to Tony Vs Banner, which is fine really, If Jeff Parkers annual proved anything, it's that the dynamic between these two gets really intriguing.
These events spiral out of control, which eventually leads to a great fight. Clay Mann is an amazing artist and I really hope that he doesn't leave this title for a very, very long time. His Hulk is absolutely spectacular and the sky fight between Hulk, tony, Beast and Hank( yes you heard that right) was breathtaking. Clay Mann has great Character designs as well as great story telling skills.
Overall, I really liked this issue, it had great action, great writing, and spectacular art. I hope waid keeps up the writing quality he had in this issue. It's a great start to a new arc. If I have to Nitpick i'd say that I wanted to see more of Randall, but Mark maid it pretty clear that he'll be very important further on.