"Agent of T.I.M.E." has been ridiculous and in the best way possible. Now, the story dives into Hulk's history and the final product is a whole lot of fan service as we see familiar faces as we approach the Green Goliath's origin story. However, writer Mark Waid avoids the redundant because this isn't merely jumping back and reliving moments/brawls -- it's placing them in totally outlandish and hysterical settings while throwing different versions of the Hulk our way. Yes, you've seen Hulk and Abomination fight, but have you seen them fight on the moon?! That's barely scratching the surface of the creativity Waid throws into this issue and, to no one's surprise, it's a thrill. Oh, and if for some reason you need an extra reason to understand why this issue is full of greatness: "Gladiator" Hulk (or as many here know him: Green Scar) vs. Fin Fang Foom.
The issue is filled with moments that'll make longtime Hulk fans cheer, but more importantly, Waid presents some very interesting factors. The Chronarchists haven't been the most development antagonists around, but perhaps that's because there's something -- or someone -- else pulling the strings. I'm not ashamed to say that never even crossed my mind and the new story thread introduces some big questions. Plus, Waid sure knows how to tease his readers and hits us with an awesomely gripping cliffhanger. The next issue. Give it to me now, please.
Colorist Val Staples teams-up with artist Mahmud A. Asrar for the first five pages and they really do impress. So much, in fact, that I would have preferred for them stick around for the entire issue. Asrar is tasked with bringing a few very distinct settings and characters to life and he does so very well. It still offers an animated and fun vibe to match Waid's script, and while it may not pack the same kind of intensity Matteo Scalera brought to the book, it's still very easy on the eyes and more than adequately detailed. After the fifth page, former VENOM artist Kim Jacinto works with Val Stapes and brings a more eccentric and energetic approach. This unique look works best with the non-human characters and provides some really amusing and engrossing expressions from characters like Hulk and Fing.
Jactino rocks quite a bit, but regular humans come off with jagged features, often around the mouth and jaw. The end result is a few instances of somewhat awkward and unnatural looking characters.
As previously stated, the book opens with a glorious panel of Hulk and Abomination slugging it out on the moon. However, we're then abrutply brought to a totally different scene. Perhaps you can chalk it up to me being a fan of Emil, but that piece just oozes potential. I understand Waid has a lot of content to tackle in this issue, but seeing as Abomination is a big part of Hulk's history, it would have been really cool to see him get a little extra time instead of Sandman. I mean, those two fighting on the moon? Who wouldn't want to see more of that!
Minor gripe: The panel of Hulk punching Fing doesn't seem to match the dialogue. Hulk remarks his strikes are like flea bites to the creature, yet without the words provided, it looks like Hulk is landing one heck of an impressive strike. Fing definitely seems heavily impacted by it, as his jaw is knocked slightly out of place and blood spews from his mouth. I'm sure Hulk meant to imply his hits weren't doing any lasting damage, but they definitely appeared to be far more troublesome than a little bite. Again, it's a minor gripe and I appreciate the conclusion of the fight, but this one little part stood out to me.
Issue after issue, Waid hits us with a fantastic sense of fun as Hulk faces new and wacky variables during his adventure through time. It comes as no surprise at all that this issue is no exception. Waid bringing Hulk back to his origin gives him the opportunity to hit us with quite a few pleasing moments and he throws some wonderful twists into the mix. This is yet another great issue that shouldn't be overlooked.