X-Men Vs. Hulk #1

by James Hunt, Reviewer |

Story by
Chris Claremont
Art by
Jheremy Raapack, Larry Welch
Colors by
Chris Sotomayor
Letters by
Ed Dukeshire
Cover by
David Yardin
Publisher
Marvel Comics
Cover Price
$3.99 (USD)
Release Date
Feb 4th, 2009

Tue, February 10th, 2009 at 7:29PM (PST)


As a big fan of both X-Men and Hulk, there’s a fair argument that this should’ve been exactly the book for me. Even though it’s a one-shot set in past continuity, which is usually shorthand for “this story will never be referred to again,” the concept should’ve been fun enough to work anyway. You will notice, however, the repeated use of “should’ve” in this paragraph.

See, it wasn’t either of those things. In truth, it’s incredibly hard to review, because there’s so little to it. Wolverine pits the Hulk against his friends. They fight a bit. Then it’s over. It does almost nothing with the characters, and it’s not remotely clear why it’s set in the backwaters of X-Men continuity when you could’ve quite simply done this exact same story in the present day.

Even on a technical level, it’s a bit of a mess. Structurally, it just about holds up, but the dialogue is mostly composed of excruciatingly lazy exposition, and the characterization is all one-note. Even the artwork, while energetic and clear in what it’s depicting, is pretty weak, with every page harboring particularly ghoulish expressions on virtually every character’s face.

Padding out the comic is a reprint of a “classic” X-Men tale from Uncanny X-Men #66 in which the (original) team fight the Hulk. It contrasts well with the lead tale of the second-generation X-Men fighting the Hulk, but that’s where any praise begins and ends. The story itself is barely interesting (presumably why it’s never apparently been trotted out again before now), although a chance to look at Sal Buscema’s early work in-context is probably the best reason to buy this comic at all.

It’s sad to say, but there’s really nothing remarkable about this comic at all. Nostalgists might enjoy it, but when there are so many comics competing for your $3.99, it isn’t clear why this one expects you to be interested.