Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Lesser Known Joe Casey Comics: The Incredible Hulk #471

[Continuing my look at Joe Casey's run on The Incredible Hulk. I feel a cold coming on, so no "witty" comments in this space today. New posts Monday, Wednesday and Friday.]

So, the Circus of Crime has kidnapped Bruce Banner and are now fighting the Hulk publically in a Vegas casino. The goal: get people betting and then rob the place. Criminal masterminds, they are. What actually happens is that the Hulk tears through them and escapes, while they all go to jail.

Banner is aided by Marlo and Dr. Spar, who shoot him full of adrenaline, which gets him all worked up and green. The ensuing fight if very entertaining, mostly because of Ed McGuinness's art. He draws the sheer absurdity of the Hulk fighting circus folk very well. My favourite pic is a two-page spread of the Clown riding a moped, shooting at the Hulk as they bust through a wall.

This issue is peculiar as Bruce Banner rarely appears--and when he does, he's helpless. It breaks from Casey's pattern for the run. I do enjoy that it's two women who rescue him, subverting expectations.

The Clown continues to narrate the issue and the only interesting information given is his commentary on the Hulk, how this one is silent, and business-like. This does enforce Casey's conception of the character, reducing him to pure muscle--his role during this run. Although, that may change... I honestly can't remember.

At the end of the issue, some big red alien towers over Banner. To be continued.