Writer: Mariko Tamaki / Artists: Francesco Gaston and Julian Lopez / Marvel Comics
Jen Walters continues her path back into the world of heroics as she searches for the Ollie, the chef that went viral after his cooking show pilot was sabotaged by him being unknowingly drugged with mutant growth hormone. Walters is on the hunt for Ollie as she knows what it’s like to be a monster — who better than Jen Walters in her current state to try and talk to Ollie about the way his life will be now. There’s a guest appearance from Patsy Walker (aka Hellcat) and we get to see her prying into Jen’s motives for taking on this “case” which has superhero issues written all over it. The transformation between Walters and her new gray Hulk persona was the most interesting it’s been yet as this time Jen was struggling to be able to communicate and master this new monster she’s become.
I was a huge fan of Francesco Gaston and Julian Lopez’s gray Hulk this time around, The Hulk is has a bit more of an animated softness to her look (in contrast with her more gritty, big, “You don’t want ANY problems” look we’ve gotten from past issues, which were perfect). I like this look for Walter’s Hulk as it lends us to being more sympathetic to her plight as she struggles to speak and interact with others with her usual Jen Walters snark and humor. We’re seeing Tamaki putting Walters in much more of a grief counseling position as she is desperately trying to find Ollie before his condition worsens or before he does something he will regret for the rest of his life. Keep in mind there’s still a shitload of issues that Jen hasn’t worked out within her own life, which is why her Hulk is still Gray but her being so eager to help out a stranger struggling is what makes Jen such a hero to begin with.
We’re seeing more of Jen Walters out and about and although it’s good to get her out of her head, I’m also eager to see Walters back to dealing with her own trauma and the little things she has to do to keep her anxiety under control. Those are the elements that really drove me to checking out this title, and after Jen finally gets a hold of Ollie and helps, here’s hoping we can get back to that inner struggle.
Reading Hulk? Find BNP’s other reviews of the series here.