Saturday, July 20, 2013

Book Review: Hulk: The End by Peter David


Also mildly offensive, but mostly boring.

The trade paperback has two stories: Future Imperfect and The Last Titan, both by Peter David.

Future Imperfect

It had never before occurred to me that the many dangers the Hulk faced in his life might include rape. I wish it had never occurred to Peter David, either.

Other than that, the tale is a fairly dull, meandering thing. In the future, humanity has faced the one enemy superheroes can't defend against: It has destroyed itself. I bring this up because both Future Imperfect and The Last Titan repeat this refrain rather tediously. Otherwise, they don't really belong in the same universe and are together, I assume, to provide enough "story" to fill a TPB.

Anyway: It's the future. The plucky rebels are running around spouting plucky rebel slang and being shot at by the Evil Goons. It turns out that the Head Goon is Hulk-of-the-future who was actually strengthened by the radiation of the final war and took advantage of his strength and smarts to build the one truly liveable city on earth. Here he rules arbitrarily, indulging himself in all sorts of sensual pleasures, while his people are downtrodden. Plucky rebels, who have no real distinguishing features so I'm not bothering with names, bring Present Hulk forward to fight Future Hulk. Fighting ensues, Good Hulk is captured, cue offscreen rape, escape and a tedious monologue by Evil Hulk about how he'd predicted this--which leaves one wondering why he didn't just kill his past self and spare us all--and on to the finale.

Never mind the possibility of an actually interesting story that deals with the fact that, no matter how arbitrary he was, Future Hulk had actually been the one person on the entire planet to think of building a safe city, or that the rebels have shown no intelligence or leadership skills but have now killed everyone who did, or... Oh, anything that made me want to care.

Why did I finish it? It was short. I was curious.

The Last Titan

Humanity has destroyed itself--only Banner, Hulk, some giant cockroaches, and an alien video camera remain.

Banner sulks. Hulk sulks. Giant insects come. More sulking. A vague and over-inflated comparison between the Hulk and Prometheus.

The tale tries for pathos; it achieves mild levels of "ick" when the Hulk is eaten live by giant cockroaches and his mostly destroyed carcass has to regrow itself.

Verdict? Skip.

Who's Who
Future Imperfect
Writer: Peter David
Illustrator: George PĂ©rez
The Last Titan
Writer: Peter David
Illustrator: Dale Keown

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