There's a lot of craziness going on with the story involving a renegade A.I.M. group and their goal to control Hulk, but despite all that's going down in the plot, it's Piotr Kowalski's art that makes this series standout. There's a consistent amount of detail on every page, and when you finally do see a certain iconic character, the intensity is ramped up big time. There's also a ridiculously psychedelic scene involving the Hulk and it's without question the moment that'll stick with you once you put down the issue. My only real gripe is some of the faces seem a bit squished at times, but it's hardly distracting and totally minimal compared to all of the praiseworthy work elsewhere.
The series is only four issue long and Joe Keatinge is wasting no time moving forward. Instead of seeing the moments after the last issue's cliffhanger, we fast-forward and pick up sometime well after the chaotic moment. It's still unclear what's going on with Banner, and Keatinge instead decides to focus on the villains and their sense of urgency. It's a bit hectic and somewhat disappointing we're not getting a bigger focus on the Avenger, but Hulk fans should be pleased that the coolest moment is a Hulk-focused scene and the cliffhanger promises some huge action.
Things are moving along very quickly and characters we barely know have become the focal point instead of Bruce Banner. It almost feels like we missed the issue covering who everyone is and what's going on. I mean, yes, it's easy enough to fill in the gaps and the last issue provided some bare basics, but it's tough to really appreciate the conflict that's going on instead of going, "Wait, what?" Instead of being in the moment and immersed in this war between villains, I found myself kind of taken aback when we're hit with a teleporting ship that's malfunctioning and a giant baby robot waging war on the front lines. I'm sure some people will love it, but it got too out there a bit too fast for me.
I have no idea how Hulk's pants stayed on this time considering he's now basically mega Hulk, but when there's a giant robot baby in the middle of a war and a droid pilot seemingly taken out of Star Wars (reminded me of an evil version of 2-1B), it doesn't really seem that questionable. At any rate, it beats having a giant, nude version of Hulk, so I guess I'm glad the pants can stretch to such a crazy degree.
MARVEL KNIGHTS: HULK has some engrossing artwork, but the lack of focus on the title character is definitely a bit of a bummer. Instead, a new organization has become the center of attention and it feels like we're abruptly tossed right into the middle of things. It's strange but certainly fun at times. I'll definitely stick around to see how it plays out, but hopefully it won't just be Hulk smashing and then the group realizing he can't be controlled. Even if it is, at least we know it'll look solid!