Totally Awesome Hulk
Published by: Marvel Comics
Writer: Greg Pak
Artist (pencils and inks ): Frank Cho
Colorist: Sonia Oback
Letterer: Cory Petit
Totally Awesome Hulk is a part of Marvel’s All New All Different initiative. One of the major goals in this rebrand is for Marvel to diversify the cast of its main titles. As such Totally Awesome Hulk is rather unique in Marvel and perhaps American comics history as it features a Korean-American protagonist in series helmed by and illustrated by a Korean-American writer and artist respectively.
Many may have wondered if this was done because of the unique perspective Mr. Pak and Cho could provide or if this was yet another ploy by an industry that all too often resorts to publicity stunts in order to gain mainstream attention. And while the answer may be hard to discern, the quality of the book is noteworthy on its own.
The series takes place approximately eight months after Marvel’s universe altering event Secret Wars and focuses on former Hulk and Hercules sidekick (as well as eighth smartest person on the planet) Amadeus Cho. In the time since Secret Wars Bruce Banner (the original Hulk) has gone missing. And in an attempt to fill the gap Cho (by mechanism not totally explained as of yet) has become a new Hulk. Unlike Banner he is in control of his transformation and maintains his substantial intelligence in Hulk form. The first issue Finds him working with his younger (and considerably more focused) sister Maddy Cho to track down and capture giant monsters that are popping up all over the world. It all has a bit of old school Jack Kirby fun to it.
And if it sounds like it’s decidedly less dark and serious than some of the other Hulk series, even other ones helmed by Greg Pack such as World War Hulk. That’s because that is exactly what it is. The series seems to be taking a more adventurous and humorous approach that is not dissimilar to Frank Cho’s other marvel works like Savage Wolverine. Where Cho attempted and mostly managed to create a playful fun action series that utilized more amusing low-key humor alongside some larger gags. But that’s not to say the series is entirely comedic. There are indications that Cho is not as in control as he claims to be. Aside from being a hormonal nineteen year old with perhaps some degree of impulse control issues he now has the more primal Hulk urges to contend with. There is also a bit of nicely played mystery being built up about what led to Bruce Banner’s disappearance.
All and all the series has gotten off to an amusing start the collaboration between writer and artist seems to be working quite well. The story has room to grow and has set up some good building blocks. And Frank Cho has shown again that he is more than capable of drawing more than just voluptuous women and may be one of the best Hulk artists in some time. If you want a fun fast paced superhero comic that in some way harkens back to Stan Lee Jack Kirby days of fun superheroes and giant monsters this series aims to please.