Let it never be said that Joe Keatinge's new Hulk series is light on smashing. Even though Hulk technically doesn't appear in Paris, this book makes an explosive debut and the threat he's facing has made a staggering entrance.
The writer does a fine job setting the stage, but the details surrounding the grand picture are light and this issue appears to be all about giving us the absolute bare basics, but doing so in an entertaining fashion. There's some sharp and enjoyable dialogue here (most notably with the Uncle) and it's not too long before matters get truly hectic. Without giving anything away, let's just say Paris is going to need to set aside a lot of funds for repairs and there's some really twisted panels as it all goes down.
In some comics, the attention to detail with the location can take a bit of a hit. Piotr Kowalski and Nick Filardi make sure this isn't one of those comics. On the very first page, the two strike you with a totally immersive and commendable page of Paris. It doesn't go downhill from there, either. Every room and outdoor setting has its own sense of life and, in turn, really sells the moments Keatinge crafts. The final page is a real jaw-dropper, too.
My biggest gripe is how this book throws you right into the middle of a bigger story and then has to use an info-dump to fill us in. The villain literally has to monologue in the end (apparently to herself) just to help tell us the basics about why this is all going down. Also, it's unclear why Banner can't transform, but I'm sure they'll dive into that.
Very minor distraction: subtitles are used for one scene, but then the book reverts back to translated dialogue.
The plot is still pretty light on details, but for the most part, that's alright since this is an opening chapter and it does just enough to sink a strong hook into us. I'll definitely stick around for the second issue and that's all thanks to solid writing, a staggering second half and impressive work on the environments. If this is what the book has to offer without Hulk, I can only imagine how crazy it'll get if the Green Goliath does finally appear.