The Devil on Hulk's Shoulder
This has been one of my favourite series since the start of Marvel NOW!, and although it's not always phenomenal, it's always good, and has been one of the more consistent series. It also doing something unique with the Hulk, and has been an amazing series.
After Bruce Banner arranges to meet his lawyer Matt Murdoch, better known as Daredevil whilst on a S.H.I.E.L.D. mission in Hell's Kitchen it sees Hulk and Daredevil work together to take down a gunrunning group called Agence Byzantine.
This was a fantastic issue, and a great start to the Blind Rage story. Mark Waid has been impressing me with this series, and he continues to do so here, as although this wasn't one of the better issues in the series, it was still good. With Waid also writing Daredevil it was nice to see him finally do a story with both Daredevil, and Hulk, and even more so due to it not being a crossover. I also loved how Waid used Daredevil enough to make him worth adding, whilst also keeping the main focus on Hulk, which was as it should be. Waid also did a good job with the drama, and suspense, and overall this was a great set-up issue, and I'm sure it will pay off in the following issue.
Matteo Scalera did a brilliant job on the art in this issue, and although it's not my favourite style, especially on the Hulk, it was still good. I did however find that the roughness of Scalera's art was a bit much sometimes, as although it was very cool at times, especially on Daredevil, it just didn't look right in other places. Scalera did however draw some amazing action sequences, as although there wasn't too many, they did look amazing. The facial expressions, and emotions were also shown perfectly, and Scalera really did a great job. The layout of Scalera's art also added more depth to the issue, also adding more drama, and tone, being perfect.
The thing that I was obviously most looking forward to with this story was seeing Hulk team-up with Daredevil. Waid manages to write both these characters brilliantly on a regular basis, but he also can write them as amazingly as a team. I just loved the interactions that Daredevil had with both Banner, and Hulk, as the dialogue was extremely interesting, an entertaining. I also loved how we finally know what Banner's insurance, and that he's got Daredevil looking out for him, and his affairs, being an excellent way of introducing him into a story, and with Waid also writing his adventures on a regular basis it make it less of a risk, as he's used to writing the character.
Another thing that was touched upon in this issue would be how Hulk reacts to certain people, and that if Banner trusts you enough that you can convince the Hulk more easier. I found this a very interesting idea, as it makes perfect sense that although Banner is sometimes classed by Hulk as his enemy, that due to them both being the same that they'd have influence over each other. Another thing I liked about this was that it showed just how little trust Banner had in Maria Hill, as when she tried to calm him down he wouldn't, whereas Daredevil tries once and succeeds.
The enemy in this issue would be a gunrunning group called Agence Byzantine, and although the name sounds stupid, they made a great catalyst to this story. The only real interesting thing about Agence Byzantine was the weapons that they were smuggling, which were some sort of supersonic gun. It was however a little coincidental that a story to feature Daredevil would also feature a supersonic gun, playing on Daredevil's main weakness. At the same time that just adds to the brilliance of it, as although it may be predictable, it adds to the intrigue, which Waid would follow up on perfectly.
This was a terrific issue, and although it's been one of the weaker Hulk issues in the last few, it was still very good, and a great start to this two part story. It also had some great action sequences, as well as some interesting, and dynamic moments, and really makes me want to read the next issue. Due to all this I'd still recommend this issue, as although it isn't the best issue to judge the series on, it was still a brilliant issue.