Up until the last issue, Mark Waid had this book pretty much running a specific formula. It was certainly entertaining (Banner helps in the first half, Hulk smashes in the second), but the repetitive nature of the issues was definitely noticeable as well. Thankfully, Hulk's little trip to Jotunheim feels like a breath of fresh air for this series and adds new and very interesting elements to the mix.
Mark Waid truly killed it with this script. It's relentlessly hysterical and Thor fans, I promise you Hulk holding Mjolnir makes sense! As if the constant flow of laughs wasn't enough (courtesy of the best Hulk/Thor team-up ever), #7 delivers quite a few twists that make it clear this adventure is much more than chuckles and punches. The ending is certainly odd, but I'll give Waid the next issue to flesh that one out.
Yes, it sucks not seeing Leinil Francis Yu on the title. The man's easily identifiable style fits so well with the book, and having Hulk smash under his work produces some tremendous and brilliant images. Despite that, I'm confident in saying Walter Simonson is a better fit for this new tale. His illustrations are more lighthearted in nature and have more of a lively feel to it, perfectly complimenting the overflowing amount of humor in this book. The action isn't as intense or frenetic, but that's overshadowed by the sharp script. You're an emotionless robot if the struggle over Mjolnir doesn't at least make you smirk.
While there was plenty of hilarity in the Hulk and Thor team-up, I feel as though the fight with the Frost Giants dragged on a little too long. I know it's tough to believe I'd say such a thing, but I found myself more interested in the bigger picture once the gears began to turn. Simonson's rough style fits this story's atmosphere well, but some facial expressions for the humans are a little too jagged for my taste.
Not only is this latest chapter absurdly funny and pretty energetic, but it's plentiful on story, too. While none of the twists are likely to take your breath away, they are legitimately interesting and it makes this trip by far the most promising story we have yet to see from the series. I'm not a big fan of sports idioms, but I think saying, "Waid knocked it out of the park with this issue" is absolutely appropriate. It's simply a good time.